The hiring of Gregg Berhalter to coach the U.S. Men’s National Team certainly elevated the hopes of some Columbus Crew SC players as they work to receive a call-up and represent their country in international competition in years to come.
Artur is one of them. Yes, you read it right.
Enjoying his vacations in Brazil, the midfielder revealed in an interview to local website Lancenet that if he remains in Major League Soccer in the future, acquiring the American citizenship and playing for the Stars & Stripes would be a possibility to be considered.
“I dream about playing in Europe, but you never know what’s going to happen and I don’t think about it. I just want to give my best and see what the future presents me,” he said. “The possibility of remaining here, becoming an American citizen and playing for the National Team is certainly something to think about. It would be a step forward in my career. My childhood dream is obviously to play for Brazil, but if the opportunity arises, it’s something I would consider.”
Playing for the U.S. or not, the 22-year-old midfielder, who joined the Crew in 2017 and has three more years on his deal with the club, is confident about Berhalter’s success with the National Team.
To the Brazilian, all his former coach will need is time to implement his ideas at the international level.
“Each athlete comes from a different club and he will need some time to get all of them on the same page regarding what he wants for the team,” he explained. “It won’t happen overnight but I’m sure he’s able to do it. He’s a great coach, a very smart guy and he’s very good with the players. He feels what we need at every moment and he knows when to push or to praise us.”
Artur also spoke about the unique experience he had with Crew SC during the 2018 season with the possibility of the franchise relocating to Austin, Texas, dominating the news about the team for most of the year.
“The coaching staff was very straight with us since the beginning and every time they had an update they would share it with us,” the Brazilian added. “We were focused on playing because we couldn’t really control it. It was weird because it’s not something that happens in Brazil and I don’t really understand how it works. To me, it’s important that a club builds its history in one place and stays there, where its roots are.”
The article also compared the level of the Brazilian Serie A and MLS. Artur, who played four matches for Brazilian giants São Paulo FC in 2016, believes that the technical level in his home country is still better, but he noted that MLS is closing the gap.
“The playing style is different,” he said. “I think the game is a little more intense here. The quality of the players is a little higher in Brazil but I think that’s because the league here is very young. It’s improving a lot, I feel it changed since I arrived. One thing that I believe is better here is how teams tactically prepare for games. I feel like coaches go a little deeper in that aspect here.”