U.S. World Cup player from LI returns to hometown for meet and greet


Joseph Scally, the Long Islander on the U.S. team that played at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, is returning home this week.

Scally, the Lake Grove native and Sachem North alum, will be doing a meet and greet at the Village Idiot Pub III in Lake Grove this Thursday, Dec. 15, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. The restaurant will also be raffling off a signed jersey of his.

“He’s a true hometown hero,” said John Sarno, co-owner of the Village Idiot, which has other locations in Patchogue and Oakdale. “He’s such a good humble kid, a real role model for all the young athletes out there!”

At 19 years old, Scally was the youngest member of the USMNT at this year’s World Cup. His team had a solid showing on the pitch, advancing out of the Group Stage before losing in the Knockout Round to the Netherlands 3-1.

The Americans were young across the board — they were the second youngest team at the World Cup with an average age of 25.2 years. Ghana was the youngest with an average age of 24.7.

While Scally didn’t get any playing time in the international tournament, the future is bright for the young defender.

In 2018, he became the second youngest player to sign with a MLS team when he joined New York City FC at 15 years old.

From there, his career continued to blossom, eventually joining German team Borussia Mönchengladbach in the highly competitive European league Bundesliga.

His talent at such a young age quickly caught the attention of the U.S. head coach Gregg Berhalter. Scally was promoted the senior national squad last summer, earning three caps with the team, including playing in a match against Morocco last October.

“Most impressive, is that at his age, he’s able to compete at that level,” coach Berhalter said last September. “I think he will be a key contributor in the future.”

Prior reporting

Top: Uruguay midfielder Fernando Gorriaran (10) and USA defender Joe Scally (29) chase the ball during the first half of an international friendly soccer match Sunday, June 5, 2022, in Kansas City, Kan. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)