By Michael Lewis Editor

BROOKLYN – It’s just about every player’s dream to play at the highest level in soccer, which just happens to be the World Cup.

Well, it isn’t one any more to Lake Grove, N.Y. native Joe Scally, who was one 26 players selected by head coach Gregg Berhalter to represent the U.S. men’s national team at the World Cup in Qatar this month.

The announcement was made at Brooklyn Steel on Wednesday evening, although the players learned their fate a few days earlier.

“Making the World Cup roster is a dream come true to me,” Scally said in a statement. “It’s something that I’ve always dreamed of since I started playing soccer. It’s the reason I played soccer. It only happens every four years, to represent your country on the world’s biggest stage, it’s something that I will remember forever and it’s something that just means so much to me. I’m really looking forward to it.”

Scally plays for Borussia Monchengladbach in the Bundesliga. He is 19-years-old and won’t turn 20 until Dec. 31.

The 5-10, 176-lb. defender struggled in an early appearance with the USMNT, but he impressed Berhalter and others with a solid performance in a scoreless draw with Saudi Arabia during the September international window.

“It was another mindset,” U.S. head coach Gregg Berhalter said after the announcement. “When you see the guy, plays he fearless. Young player. He doesn’t care who he’s playing against, and he just goes and does his job and that’s going to be valuable in the World Cup.”

As a fellow backline performer, Center Walker Zimmerman has watched Scally’s development with the national team.

“It’s been good,” he said. “I thought Joe, he’s definitely had ups and downs already with the national team. But you look at his performance against Saudi Arabia. That was his last challenge. He came on and provided energy, provided a little bit of a spark. And it’s certainly a moment that Gregg probably looked at when making these decisions. How can he come in and contribute to this team? He did so on that game and so I’m sure Gregg and the rest of the guys are confident that, that he can do so again if called upon.”

Scally was a member of New York City FC before he was transferred to Monchengladbach for a reported $2 million in November 2019.

He has played in 14 matches entering this weekend’s matches.

Scally was a teammate of New York City FC captain and goalkeeper Sean Johnson, who was one of three goalkeepers selected to the squad. Who knows? They might wind up being on the field at the same time in the World Cup.

“Proud of Scally,” Johnson said. “Happy for him, excited to get there and be be a part of something special with him. Tremendous talent. He’s done unbelievable in the Bundesliga.. So looking forward to him and being on the pitch at the same time.”

The U.S. meets Wales in its its World Cup opener in Qatar on Nov. 21, followed by a Nov. 25 encounter with England and a final Group B match against Iran on Nov. 29.