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New York City FC's Ben Sweat could make USMNT debut Thursday against Colombia

The NYCFC defender is with the U.S. men's national team for a pair of friendlies after last week's call-up.

Ben Sweat has been a fixture for New

Ben Sweat has been a fixture for New York City FC since joining the club in 2017. Photo Credit: Steven Ryan

It’s not often that a player’s trainer gets to break the news to them that they’ve made the U.S. men’s national team. But for New York City FC defender Ben Sweat, he’ll take it.

Sweat earned his first career call-up to the USMNT’s senior side for their upcoming friendlies against Colombia on Thursday and Peru on Oct. 16.

“I found out from my trainer,” he explained to the media after national team camp Monday, “not even my agent because everybody was calling my trainer to make sure I was healthy and ready to go. It was funny to hear from my trainer first rather than my agent or the coach himself.”

Sweat was called up to camp with the U-20 side in the past but never featured for the team in any international competition. His journey to the national team, let alone NYCFC, is one of perseverance. He was drafted 14th overall by the Columbus Crew in 2014 after becoming the all-time leader in appearances at the South Florida.

He never featured for the Crew and was loaned to then-USL side Dayton Dutch Lions before being waived by Columbus in 2015. He joined the then-NASL Tampa Bay Rowdies and spent two seasons there before joining NYCFC on a preseason trial under then-coach Patrick Vieira.

“I believe that everything happens for a reason,” Sweat told “I think I was meant to come to New York and I got the opportunity to play and be successful in my first year and now into my second season and now this.”

Sweat has been a regular in the Blues backline since arriving at the club last year, tallying one goal and seven assists making in 57 appearances in all competitions.

His potential USMNT debut could come as soon as Thursday against Colombia at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, just 20 minutes from his hometown of Palm Harbor. USMNT training this week is also at his alma mater.

“It’s a special moment for myself, my wife, friends and family,” he added. “To be back at my old school, it’s a dream come true. I’m a bit emotional about it and I’m excited for the opportunity.”


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