Christian Cappis becomes the 3rd Houston native to be called into the full U.S. Men’s National Team
US Soccer has announced that 20-year-old Christian Cappis, from the Houston/Katy Texas area, has been called into the upcoming US Men’s National Team camp in January. The camp will be in Qatar and Los Angeles, where the team will be preparing for 2022 World Cup qualifying. This is Cappis’ first call-up to the full national team, although he has been a consistent presence in the Youth National Team programs, having played for the U18, U20 and the U23 teams.
Cappis, or “Cappy” as he is known on the field, is currently a professional player for Hobro IK in the Danish Superliga, Denmark’s topflight of soccer. After joining the team in November of 2018, he developed into a dependable contributor, even starting a couple of games, and was heavily involved in the club’s successful fight to avoid relegation last year. This season, he has appeared in every match and has become a fixture in their starting lineup. He is also currently a member of the U23 National Team player pool and recently turned in a strong performance when he came on at halftime in a friendly match against Brazil.
With a natural passion to keep growing and improving at each level, Cappis played for several Houston area clubs as a youth player. In 2011, he joined Texans SC (now a part of RISE SC), where he would be challenged at every level. He was even cut from the Academy program at one point. But he worked his way back into the program through the club’s focus on player development and would go on to be one of the captains on the U19 team that won the US Soccer Development Academy (USSDA) national championship in 2017. This was Houston’s first, and remains its only, USSDA championship. He was named the USSDA Central Conference Player of the Year that same year, and was named to the USSDA All-Conference team in 2017 and 2018. After spending a year with the FC Dallas organization, he had the opportunity to play in Major League Soccer (MLS), but he elected to pursue his dream of playing in Europe. Cappis eventually landed in Denmark where he has continued to develop and grow. There are reportedly multiple teams in Denmark, Germany, and Italy who are tracking his progress for a potential future transfer.
Receiving this invitation is an incredible opportunity and RISE SC wants to express how proud we are of Cappy.
His path to the top has been anything but ordinary. Christian has experienced being a recreational standout, being a competitive club captain, being a High School player who didn’t make the Varsity team, being cut from his USSDA team, being the USSDA Conference Player of the Year, being captain of a USSDA team, winning a National Championship, leaving home to continue improving, convincing two different coaches that he was good enough to play in the Danish Superliga, and being one of the last players trimmed from the U20 World Cup roster. His response? A heavy dose of faith, patience, trust, and belief by those around him. His family has always emphasized character and growth as key priorities. They believed in his coaches, his club and, most of all, him. They understood that the player development process is volatile and takes time. And Cappy’s perseverance kept the journey moving forward. He never lost faith in himself. He accepted the disappointments and learned from the criticism. And he always remained open-minded and relentlessly pursued his goals.
Cappis joins a very short list of Houstonians who have represented their country in soccer at the highest level. Others of note include Imad Baba and Stuart Holden. Baba was first called into the USMNT in 1998. He was later followed by Stuart Holden in 2008. In 2010, Brek Shea, who is from College Station and a former Texans SC player, also played for the USMNT. It is no accident that all four players are products of the three clubs that have joined to form RISE SC (Texans SC, Express SC and Eclipse SC).
Producing players that have the quality to compete on the full National Team is rare and doesn’t happen by accident. The legacy clubs that came together to form RISE SC were aligned philosophically and shared a passion for the individual player development process. RISE believes that Better Coaches = Better Players and we strive to provide our players with the best environment, flexible pathways, and create better opportunities for our male and female youth athletes.