Dom Dwyer might not be a household name in the UK, but in the USA he’s taking his turn in the spotlight, and it could go on for some time.
The 27-year-old was released by Norwich City as a youngster, and after playing semi-professionally in England, decided he still had something to offer the beautiful game – but this time, in America.
After being spotted at a trial, Dwyer found a place at Tyler Junior College in Texas, where he was national junior college player of the year, before moving on to the University of South Florida – and that’s when the MLS came calling.
Sporting Kansas City drafted the striker who proved quite the signing – in fact, he became the first player in Kansas City history to score 12 goals or more in three consecutive seasons.
However, it’s in the last month that Dwyer’s star has shone even more brightly.
In March, Dwyer was granted US citizenship, and on July 1, he made his US debut, where this happened.
Dwyer netted on debut for the US national team against Ghana in a friendly, absolutely hammering the ball into the goal to make a name for himself.
Later in July, things got better still – for a boy who was desperate to make it as a footballer in America, Dwyer could only have dreamed that one day he would become the star signing for one of America’s top clubs, but that’s exactly what happened when Orlando City came calling.
And then, at last, the cherry on the cake: Dwyer scored his first MLS-All Stars goal on Wednesday in a friendly against none other than La Liga champions, Real Madrid.
The rebounded header brings the former Norwich youth player from relative obscurity into the fringes of international recognition, and for good reason.
At a time of astronomical transfer fees, diva mentalities, and persistent urgency over the fostering of grassroots talent, Dwyer’s rise reminds us that the best of the best can come from anywhere, any time.
Here’s to many more goals to come.