FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Isaac Angking’s first call-up to the United States Under-19 Men’s National Team came at an impeccable time for the New England Revolution’s Homegrown rookie.
The call came directly after the 18-year-old made his professional debut in New England’s 1-0 road victory over New York City FC last week, as he departed for Bradenton, Fla., the following morning to join the U19s for the U.S. Soccer Under-20 Men’s Invitational.
For a young player progressing each and every day, it was a perfect storm.
“It was one of the biggest weeks I’ve had so far,” Angking said. “I went into my (MLS) debut and almost scored a goal, which built up my confidence going into the U19 camp.”
Angking took his moment to shine at the national level, truly grasping his chance. He made three total appearances with the U19s, proving himself more each time he stepped onto the pitch.
The midfielder first came off the bench for the final 45 minutes of the U19s’ 2-2 draw with Venezuela, then started and played 85 minutes in their 1-0 victory over the U.S. Men’s National Team Under-20 squad. Angking finished strong with a full 90-minute run-out in the U19s’ 4-1 victory over Jamaica, which secured the Invitational title for the U19s.
While the U19s’ title was a team effort, Angking made a massive individual contribution in the win over Jamaica by scoring the opening goal from the penalty spot. In that game he shifted from the playmaking number 10 spot he had played in the first two matches and into a more box-to-box role.
“Getting there, I already had confidence,” said Angking. “I knew most of the guys, so I felt pretty comfortable. It was just coming back from injury, and I hadn’t been called back since U17s camp, so I had to prove myself in this camp, and hopefully I did.”
Angking, who signed his first pro deal with the Revs back in January, didn’t have the smoothest start to his MLS journey, missing the first half of the season because of a non-soccer-related medical emergency. He bounced back, though, and the experience only made him even hungrier to succeed.
“It’s just a huge, inspiring moment,” said teammate Kelyn Rowe, who has also played for the U.S. Men’s National Team at multiple levels. “For Isaac to come back from the injury that he had, then play with us for the first time, then go into the call-up, I think it just gives him a little bit of confidence going in.
“We all know he’s a good player, but he now has that confidence in himself, as well – which he’s never very shy of anyways – but it’s good to see him on the field in that sense.”
As Angking continues to further his development and gain important minutes in MLS and at the national level, his teammates are looking forward to seeing how it translates to his future with the Revs.
“It gives you massive experience playing at that international kind of level – what the tempo’s like, what the game’s like, what pressure games are like. That means stuff when you’re playing in cups, European cups, and stuff like that,” said teammate Michael Mancienne, who came up through England’s youth ranks. “It’s a great experience for him to learn and progress.”
Angking returned to Foxborough on Wednesday, and will be available for selection for the Revs’ matchup against Los Angeles FC at Banc of California Stadium on Saturday night (10:30 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Boston, 98.5 The Sports Hub).