Projecting the United States men’s national team roster for the World Cup is almost as fun as the tournament itself.
And with his most recent call-up to USMNT camp, Houston Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall is hoping to play his way into that mix.
Hall was one of four goalkeepers called into the camp by head coach Jurgen Klinsmann on Friday, all battling for the right to backup incumbent starter Tim Howard and worthy second-stringer Brad Guzan.
Nick Rimando was also invited to the camp beginning Monday and is the likely third-string choice, but Hall said he’s up for the challenge to pry the position loose from the Real Salt Lake veteran.
“He’s the established No. 3, so he’s in the top three to go to the World Cup and I want to be in the top three,” Hall said. “I want to show the staff that I can be in that spot and I’m sure everyone else has the same attitude I have. We’re all in the same boat.
“I’m going to do everything I can to show that I can be a goalkeeper that can go to the World Cup. Any other attitude would be a waste of everyone’s time.”
Sean Johnson of the Chicago Fire and Bill Hamid of D.C. United were also called to camp, and Hall appears to be the long shot to take the No. 3 spot after he missed out on the Gold Cup last summer, something he admits was disappointing.
But with a second straight January call-up, Hall knows he has an extended shot to show what he can do while training next to his competition. The Dynamo ‘keeper was clear that he has a lot of respect for his campmates, but he knows it’s a competition. It’s a competition for playing time and, maybe, a spot on the plane to Brazil this summer.
“I know there’s going to be goalkeepers better on the training ground, but when it comes to games I know you’ve got to be a winner and you’ve got to work with guys to help you accomplish your goal,” Hall said. “It’s about teamwork and performing well with the team that comes from getting more opportunities.”
Getting that opportunity is something that eluded Hall in his first shot with the USMNT last year. He did not dress for a game against Canada at his home stadium after spending January of 2013 with the team, but Hall is comfortable and confident and hoping to show he’s got the goods moving forward.
“I think when you’re familiar with something you’re better,” Hall said. “I think if you’ve worked with the coaches and in the system. … You go in more confident. How I’m viewing it is, I’m good enough to be here and now I’ve got to show the coaches I’m the right man for the job.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.