Terrence Boyd couldn’t contain his happiness when discussing his new move to Austrian club Rapid Vienna on Monday, the same day the news emerged that the 21-year-old striker was leaving Borussia Dortmund on a move to the Austrian power.
The only player on the current US national team who has yet to actually play a first-team match, Boyd was a star on the Dortmund reserve team, but decided it was time for a change in order to help him secure playing time and continue his growth as a player.
“It’s a great team. Rapid Vienna is a record champion in Austria, a big name,” Boyd told FOX Soccer of his new club. “The league is good for young players, plus they are in qualification for Europa League, and the coach wants me and I need that feeling.
“It wouldn’t make sense for me to stay at Borussia Dortmund if I’m not going to get to play,” said Boyd, who was facing an uphill climb behind Dortmund stars Robert Lewandowski and Mario Gotze. “If a club isn’t going to play me, and I’m striker number three or four then I would just see few minutes. A young player needs to play.”
Boyd has made a strong impression on the US national team since making his debut against Italy in February. He has been one of the surprises of the current camp, showing a combination of size, strength and good quickness for his size. He has impressed Klinsmann, who has had steady praise for the young forward.
The move to Rapid Vienna, which should lead to steady first-team soccer, will also mean Boyd getting the chance to keep improving and keep a hold on his place in the national team depth chart, where he has surpassed some forwards with more experience.
“Being with the national team and I’m the only guy who’s not officially a pro yet, is a bit weird,” Boyd acknowledged. “I have to start being a pro with the first team in a good league. Jurgen (Klinsmann) and (US assistant Andy) Herzog told me that this should be the right move and a good decision.”
“We are happy that he makes that step to a club where he will probably see a lot of playing time, and it’s a league that’s kind of in between,” Klinsmann said. “If he goes straight into a first Bundesliga German team there might be the risk where he’s not playing right away. He still needs to fight his way through at Rapid, but we feel very comfortable with that move.
“He’s not a kid that says ‘I want to play the highest possible level.’ No, it’s ‘I just want to play and I want to prove to people that I’m a good striker’,” Klinsmann said of Boyd. “He’s a very, very hungry kid.
"The Austrian League is a very good league," Klinsmann added. "Obviously, it's not on the level with the top four leagues, Germany, England, Spain and Italy, but it's right there with the other leagues in Europe, where they have to prove a point and play in European competitions."
Boyd will join his new club on Thursday, where he will undergo a physical to finalize the transfer move and three-year contract with his new club. He is excited for the new challenge, although he admitted it was not easy leaving two-time defending German champion Borussia Dortmund.
“Dortmund is a world-class team, and the football they are playing is really huge,” Boyd said. “It’s sad to leave Dortmund, but it’s soccer, life goes on. You have to test yourself to make yourself better and I think this is the right step.”