JOHOR BARU: American-born football sensation Wan Kuzain Wan Kamal (pic) has decided to play for Harimau Malaya over the Stars and Stripes.
Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) president Datuk Hamidin Mohd Amin said it was Wan Kuzain himself who made the decision to don the yellow and black jersey of the national team.
“He contacted our Under-23 coach Datuk Ong Kim Swee last month and expressed his interest to play for Malaysia.
“FAM are making the necessary preparations as Wan Kuzain is now playing in the Major League Soccer (MLS) over there, ” he added.
However, he added that it was impossible for Wan Kuzain, who will turn 21 on Sept 14, to feature in Malaysia’s 2022 World Cup qualifying matches.
“It is unlikely for him to play for the senior squad against United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the World Cup qualifying match.
“But we are looking at placing him in the Under-23 squad for the Philippines SEA Games this year, ” he said.
Wan Kuzain’s presence will certainly add depth in the squad, which already has many young talented players such as Muhd Akhyar Rashid and Muhd Safawi Rasid.
It was reported last year that Wan Kuzain was still undecided whether to play for Malaysia or the United States.
Wan Kuzain, who plays for Sporting Kansas City in the MLS, is one of the brightest young talents to play football in the US.
Born in Illinois to Malaysian parents, Wan Kuzain, who is adept as a playmaker or winger, has represented the US Under-17 team before.
A product of the Sporting Kansas City Academy, Wan Kuzain began his career with Southern Illinois Futbol Club (SIFC-Force) before moving to the Saint Louis FC academy.
He also featured in short training stints with Dutch football club Feyenoord.
Wan Kuzain made six appearances for Sporting Kansas City and scored one goal in his debut season last year.