CJ Sapong has earned his first two international caps playing for U.S. National Team.HARRISONBURG, Va., Jan. 26, 2012 - Former James Madison soccer standout
Sapong entered the United States' Jan. 21 1-0 win over Venezuela, played in Glendale, Ariz., in the 74th minute. In a Jan. 25 1-0 win over Panama he came on the field in the 76th minute. That match was played in Panama City, Panama.
The games came in the final days of a 23-day national team training camp, held in Arizona, Carson, Calif., and Panama. U.S. National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann selected 20 players for the training camp roster.
Some of the assessments of Sapong's play from members of the news media:
Leander Schaerlaeckens ,ESPN.com, on the U.S.-Panama match:
CJ Sapong, (grade) 6 (on a scale of 1-10): Looked far better out there than his predecessor (Teal) Bunbury, using his imposing physique to hold the ball up and wrestle defenders.
Ives Garlacep, Fox Soccer, on the Venezuela match:
Wednesday's match (vs. Panama) should also offer an opportunity for several other players who impressed against Venezuela. Fullback Zach Loyd looked sharp at left back and could merit a longer look from Klinsmann, while forwards Chris Wondolowski and CJ Sapong both played well as second-half substitutes.
Luke Cyphers and Doug McIntyre, ESPN.com Insider:
While Teal Bunbury had a difficult time linking with the midfielders and holding the ball, his Sporting K.C. teammates Graham Zusi and CJ Sapong turned heads all camp long, and continued to do so in Panama City.... In just a short stint on Wednesday (vs. Panama), Sapong showed far better touch and held the ball far more effectively than either of the other U.S. forwards. Sapong's ability kept the U.S. in possession playing a man down, and helped take the fight out of the Panamanians. Like Zusi, he did enough to put himself in the conversation for a callup to the A-team's next match in February against Italy in Genoa.
Sapong (Manassas, Va./Forest Park H.S.) who played for JMU from 2007-10, was selected the 2011 Major League Soccer Rookie of the Year after helping his Sporting Kansas City reach the Eastern Conference final of the MLS playoffs.
At JMU he was voted the 2010 Colonial Athletic Association Player of the Year after leading the CAA and ranking among the leading NCAA Division I players in scoring with 33 points. In 2010 he shared the CAA lead in goals (12) and game-winning goals (4) and also topped the conference with nine assists. Sapong finished his JMU career ranked fifth all-time in points (95), seventh in goals (37) and fourth in game-winning goals (12).