Jonathan Spector has plenty of pride at being the only West Ham United player on view at the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup being staged in South Africa.
With European title-holders Spain stating their intent by defeating New Zealand 5-0 on Sunday's opening night, the United States - the CONCACAF representatives - get under way on Monday against world champions Italy. Spector is coming off the back of a creditable showing at right-back for the US a week ago when they won 2-1 against Honduras in his hometown of Chicago to take a giant leap towards the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
Spector was delighted to get a national-team chance again after finishing the domestic season on a high with the club. Still only 23, the versatile defender is eager to make a name for himself in east London to push forward his international claims having been frustrated by injury in the past two campaigns. "I've got two years left on my contract and I still intend to see it out and stay at West Ham.
"It's a fantastic club, and the supporters are great. Obviously there's a new owner that just took over recently, but I think the management is staying and they have done a great job with the football club."
For now his focus is on US matters and with the world watching against the Azzurri on Monday night, Spector is hoping to prove his worth. The might of the opposition does not worry the former Manchester United product one bit as it will all be good experience for next year. "It's obviously setting us up for the World Cup which we still have to qualify for," he added. "It's a good practice run for what we can expect."