Norfolk-raised former Norwich City academy player Dom Dwyer named in USA squad for Gold Cup

Dom Dwyer in Sporting Kansas City action. Picture: MIKE GUNNOE

Dom Dwyer in Sporting Kansas City action. Picture: MIKE GUNNOE

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King’s Lynn-raised football star Dom Dwyer has been called up to the USA squad for the first time ahead of the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Dwyer, 26, didn’t make the grade during an injury-hit spell with Norwich City’s academy as a youngster but played in non-league for King’s Lynn and Staines.

He crossed the Atlantic to begin a scholarship with Tyler Junior College in Texas and has since risen to stardom in Major League Soccer with Sporting Kansas City.

The forward is also something of a celebrity in the US as he is married to US Women’s team forward, and 2015 World Cup winner, Sydney Leroux.

He has scored consistently for Kansas in recent seasons, with 56 MLS strikes to his name in the past three and a half campaigns, and received his US citizenship in March to qualify him for selection.

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The former College of West Anglia student, born in West Sussex, is one of four uncapped players named in Bruce Arena’s 23-man squad ahead of the Gold Cup on home soil.

The tournament is the equivalent of the European Championship for the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF), with Mexico the defending champions.

Posting to his 253,000 followers on Instagram, Dwyer said: “Delighted, honoured and very excited for this opportunity. An absolute dream come true.

“Thank you for all your kind words and overwhelming support. Not just here to take part, let’s get this cup #goldcup2017 #pinchme.”

More: King’s Lynn football fan’s surprise encounter with the town’s former player Dom Dwyer

Dwyer’s rise to prominence across the pond sees him earning a base salary of $550,000 for the 2017 season – around £432,000 – although that is still a long was short of the big bucks earned by the likes of Brazil star Kaka ($6.6m at Orlando) or former Spain forward David Villa ($5.6m at New York City), ranking him 65th in the league’s earnings.

The hosts are in Group B and face Panama in Nashville on Saturday, July 8 (9.30pm UK time), Martinique in Tampa on Thursday, July 13 (2am) and Nicaragua in Cleveland on Sunday, July 16 (12am).

“It’s a good roster with a nice blend of experienced, veteran players and a good group of newcomers as well,” US head coach Arena said. “There’s good balance at every position. We can play a number of ways, and I think all these players have a desire to play for the US and will be working hard.

“It will be a competitive camp. They are going to be highly motivated, very coachable and they have an opportunity to make a statement.”

• Follow David Freezer on Twitter @davefreezer or on Facebook @DavidFreezer1

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