Ian Harkes has been a Dundee United hero in recent weeks – and still hasn’t given up hope of completing his American Dream.
The on-form midfielder has netted crucial strikes for United in the derby win over Dundee and the outstanding draw with Celtic last week.
They helped him become the cinch Player of the Month for September while he emerges as a key component of Tam Courts’ resurgent United side.
But with a host of teammates earning international recognition in recent weeks – Dylan Levitt, Trevor Carson and Ilmari Niskanen – Harkes would love to break into the USA team.
Harkes was last called into his national squad in 2018 for a friendly with Bosnia and Herzegovina.
And Harkes’ recent run of form will surely not have gone unnoticed.
“The US are in the middle of qualifiers and have a good team full of talented players,” said the 26-year-old
“Every American wants to play for their country and it is still a dream for me but it will be hard to break into the team.
“There were a few whispers just before the pandemic but I haven’t been involved with them since 2018.
“You have to keep working hard and see if you can get into their thoughts.”
While Harkes is enjoying a rich vein of form, he freely admits his wife Sarah is outshining him in the scoring charts.
Sarah netted for Celtic women in a 2-1 win over Hibernian last weekend, while Harkes was on the scoresheet in the 1-1 draw with Hoops.
While Harkes has been Mr Consistent as a two-goal-a-season man three times, he’s on the hunt for more.
He is also keen to see the Womens’ game grow in Scotland, with Hibernian and Hearts setting a new crowd record of 5,512 on Wednesday night.
“I don’t have a goal target but it certainly won’t take much to be my best season,” said Harkes. “I think my best is two.
“I’m happy to get some important goals recently and it certainly gives you the that confidence you can get a few more.
“It’s tough to try and beat Sarah as her goal certainly overshadowed mine. It was a brilliant goal.
“She helped Celtic get a win so it was a great weekend for the two of us.
“I wouldn’t say we had a rivalry in terms of goals because she has certainly got plenty more than me in recent years.
“Since joining Celtic she has got a few goals. She is doing well and playing with confidence.
“We are both just happy for each other as we want to both be successful.
“Football is a massive part of our lives but it has always been a massive part of my life.
“My family all love football so it has always been there for me.
“We speak about things because at the end of the day it is our job, but we try to put it to the side at times.”