Pfeffer honored by U18 call up

Euro trip a huge confidence booster

Zach Pfeffer

Photo Credit: 
Greg Carroccio

Philadelphia Union midfielder Zach Pfeffer admits he will return to PPL Park with a spring in his step this week after enjoying a memorable spell with the United States U18 squad during its European training camp.

Pfeffer opened the scoring from 30 yards in Sunday’s 2-0 win over the U19 side of Dutch club Feyenoord after coming on as a halftime substitute, following up on Tuesday with an equally impressive display in the U18’s 4-2 victory over the Dutch national side.

Pfeffer played all 90 minutes of the win over the Netherlands U18, chipping in with an assist for the United States’ opener.

“To represent my country at any level is a great honor,” Pfeffer told philadelphiaunion.com. “Every single time I put the jersey on, I know I am playing for my country and my family and friends. It means so much to me to wear the red, white and blue and I have to make sure I work as hard as I can and never take it for granted.

“Playing against quality opposition such as teams like Feyenoord and Holland helps a lot. The level and quality of the games are very good. Playing in these types of meaningful games is crucial and really helps me to continue to grow as a player.”

Feyenoord are traditionally one of the giants of Dutch football, with their Academy – shared with neighbors Excelsior – named the best in the country in 2010.

And as he continues his development with the Union, Pfeffer admits it was a thrill to play and score against such quality opposition – even if he got a little bit of help on the way!

“It was very exciting to score a goal in the first game of the trip,” he explained. “I played as a winger, but came inside and received the ball. I had a decent amount of space in front of me, so I took the space and hit a shot from about 30 yards out. I hit it well but it took a little deflection and beat the keeper.

“It was very exciting to play another international game so quickly against a great team like Holland and to get a great assist for our first goal. I was very happy to start and play the full 90 minutes. The team played great.

“I think this will help me at the Union because I am getting more quality games and more experience. Coming back to the Union after representing my country gives me a lot of confidence and hopefully I can make a contribution for the remainder of the season.”