There have been a growing number of dual-national players on the radar of the U.S. men’s national team throughout recent time and Benjamin Cremaschi is the latest young talent set for his first senior involvement.
Cremaschi, an 18-year-old midfielder with Inter Miami, has enjoyed a positive 2023 season at club level, where he recently lifted the Leagues Cup with the Herons earlier this month. Born in Argentina, Cremaschi featured heavily in MLS NEXT Pro in 2022 for Inter Miami II before enjoying a growing first team role with the Herons this year.
With two goals and six assists under his belt across all competitions, Cremaschi has been given an early USMNT opportunity by returning head coach Gregg Berhalter.
“So we had Benja in camp in October prior to the World Cup, he was with the U-20 group and he immediately caught my eye for his just tenacity, and his relentlessness,” said Berhalter. “He’s a kid that, he was playing out of position that camp, played wing or sometimes forward, but he never quit. He never gave up, he kept running – I mean, he was running himself silly. And it really showed me what his mindset was like and I was really impressed with that.
“Now, watching his progress with Inter Miami, he’s done a great job. And this, it’s not only post-Messi. I think even pre-Messi, you see that he had some ability,” added Berhalter. “Just a really dynamic player and a guy who gives everything on the pitch. So I’m really excited, the staff is really excited to be working with him, bring him in the camp and see what he can do with our team. And we have high expectations for him at such a young age.”
Cremaschi is eligible for both Argentina and the United States and will be tasked with making an important decision that many others in the current USMNT squad have done in the past. Sergino Dest, Folarin Balogun, and Yunus Musah are just a handful of dual-national players that have chosen the USMNT over other programs, while Gio Reyna, who isn’t in camp, picked the United States over Argentina among others.
Cremaschi has made three appearances for the USMNT U-19’s under Marko Mitrovic while also being called into an Argentina U-20 camp ahead of the 2023 South American U-20 Championship earlier this year. However, the United States has offered Cremaschi his first senior national team opportunity, which is an important first step in trying to sway the promising talent away from La Albiceleste.
“All we try to do is put our best foot forward,” Berhalter said. “We try to let the environment speak for itself, we try to let the staffing and the player pool speak for itself and what we can offer the player. We talk to Ben about being able to come into the group and fit into what we’re doing, to represent the United States of America, which is a wonderful honor.
“He grew up here, he’s played for our youth team programs in the past and that’s where it starts,” Berhalter added. “Our youth national teams are really integral in helping us make early contact with these players and then bring them throughout system, and he’s another example of that…It’s such a strong culture on the team that I’m sure he’s going to feel welcomed and comfortable in our environment.”
#USMNT #high #expectations #dualnational #Benjamin #Cremaschi