Dominic Cervi's frustrating journey 

January, 19, 2011

CARSON, Calif. -- It doesn't take long for Dominic Cervi to declare what he wants out of the current U.S. national team camp.

"Exposure," he says. "I'm just trying to get my name out there."

Cervi, a nimble, 6-foot-6 goalkeeper, is someone you immediately notice on the pitch, and not just for his size. Early in camp, he often finished first in his group in sprints, and his quick reactions in goal are easy to spot.

But Cervi is something of an unknown commodity. Since finishing a stellar college career at Tulsa in the fall of 2007, Cervi has become an international man of mystery. He was drafted by the Chicago Fire in 2008, then served as a backup on the U.S. Olympic team. He was set to sign a deal with Celtic that fall, but couldn't complete the move until he resolved passport issues in the summer of 2009. (He now plays in Europe on an Italian passport based on his grandparents' lineage.) Since then, Cervi has ... well, he hasn't really played much soccer.

Luke Cyphers is a former senior writer for ESPN The Magazine.
Doug McIntyre is a staff writer for ESPN The Magazine. He has covered American and international soccer since 2002.