HOUSTON – Houston Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall left January's US national team camp hoping that his next chance would not be far away, but not sure when exactly it would come.
Four months later, Hall has his next chance after being called up for the World Cup qualifier against Jamaica in Kingston on June 7.
Hall’s opportunity is a unique one. He’s one of six goalkeepers called up by US manager Jurgen Klinsmann to international duty, four from MLS who will split time across each of the five matches. It will give him a brief but welcome chance to separate himself from the pack.
“He called a couple of the MLS guys in and will give them some different looks,” Hall said. “It’s good to be in the mix, but it’s my goal to fight and battle and work my way up the ladder. I’m being called in to be a third goalkeeper for that game. But I’m looking at it as not just being a third goalkeeper, but at how I can move up the ladder into the 18.”
Hall was one of four Dynamo players called in by their respective CONCACAF national teams including Brad Davis (USA), Jermaine Taylor (Jamaica) and Boniek García (Honduras). While Davis and García depart after the May 26 match at Sporting Kansas City, the Dynamo 'keeper will leave following Houston's June 1 match against the Columbus Crew and return after the qualifier in Kingston.
This will be Hall’s second stint in US camp; he was also involved in January, although he was not selected for the culminating match versus Canada at BBVA Compass Stadium. He was bypassed for the February qualifier against Honduras and for the March qualifiers against Costa Rica and Mexico.
“To be called up, I was a little bit surprised,” Hall said. “When you’re with the national team it’s about taking every meeting, every gym session, every stretching session as an opportunity to impress the coaches.”
Added Davis: “It’s great for him to get into the team and for an actual qualifier. He’s worked hard and been playing well and it’s just a great opportunity for a great teammate.”
For Davis, who will join the USMNT after the May 26 game at Sporting Kansas City, it will represent the third consecutive time he’s been called for a qualifier. He got his first taste of qualifying action against Mexico in March and is slowly becoming a staple of Klinsmann’s group.
“As of right now we [USMNT] sit in a very good spot,” Davis said. “We have an opportunity to sit atop the table and that’s what we want to go after. You want teams chasing you and you don’t want to be the team chasing others.”
Taylor’s travel plans are not yet settled according to the center back. But he knows that once they face the US, the pressure is on the island nation to improve their standing in a stacked Hexagonal qualifying group.
“The three games we have right now are a do-or-die situation,” Taylor said. “We have two of three games at home so we have to take the home games and go after six points. I think these three games are the key out of the remaining seven.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.