Road to 2022: Analyzing USMNTs’
The USMNT will face off against 3 rd ranked, and raining European champions Portugal on November 14th . This will be a huge opportunity for many new players in the USMNT pool, especially the young guns. The US unfortunately or fortunately is blessed with a lot of time right now to experiment, something that National teams rarely have. So let’s dive into the upcoming 21 man roster for this friendly.
Roster by position (club, caps)
Goalkeepers: Jesse Gonzalez (Fc Dallas, 0), Bill Hamid (Midtjylland/Denmark, 3), Ethan Horvath (Club Brugge/ Belgium, 1)
The goalkeeper group here is probably the group with the littlest surprises. Jesse Gonzalez had a terrific season for FC Dallas. Gonzalez previously represented Mexico for their U-20, and U-23 sides. This is a good get for the United States, being only 22 years old. Horvath and Hamid both return to the side after short stints with the senior team. Horvath was recently benched for Club Brugge who now have an open goal keeper competition, look for this to be a huge opportunity for Horvath. Lastly Hamid who recently completed his transfer to FC Midtyjlland in Denmark from D.C United.
John Brooks (Wolfsburg/Germany, 32), Cameron Carter-Vickers (Sheffield United/England, 0), Eric Lichaj (Nottingham Forest/ England, 13), Matt Miazga (Vitesse/ Netherlands, 3), Tim Ream (Fulham/England, 26), Jorge Villafaña (Santos Laguna/Mexico, 14), DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle United/England, 48/0)
This defender group has a little bit of it all, young and old. John Brooks returns to the fold after his injury battles this season with Wolfsburg which kept him off of the World Cup qualifying rosters. Deandre Yedlin has locked down the right back position for the forseeable future, he has been impressing boss Raja Benitez at Newcastle starting week in and week out in the Premier League. Lichaj, and Ream bring experience even though they have not been with the National team reguraly. Then you have two very intriguing prospects in Cameron Carter- Vickers who is on loan from Tottenham, and Matt Miazga who is on loan from Chelsea. Miazga in particular has been very impressive this season for Vitesse, making Erdivese team of the week multiple times this season, and reportedly garnering interest from Dutch giants Ajax.
Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas, 16), Tyler Adams (New York Red Bulls, 0), Alejandro Bedoya (Philadelphia Union, 65), Lynden Gooch (Sunderland/England, 2), Weston McKennie (Schalke/Germany, 0), Kelyn Rowe (New England Revolution, 3), Danny Williams (Huddersfield Town/ENG, 22).
This group has a couple of very intriguing and bright prospects. Most notably Tyler Adams, and Weston Mckennie. Tyler Adams, has looked terrific for New York Red Bulls this season, and arguably their best player, while playing out of position at right wing back. Look for him to be deployed in his natural central midfield spot for the USMNT. Weston Mckennie is making a lot of noise in Europe breaking into Schalkes first team from their historic academy. A tenacious defensive midfielder who is not afraid to stick his nose in and make a tackle. Something that the USMNT has been lacking for some time. Kellyn Acosta remains in the fold along with Alejandro Bedoya. The latter Bedoya, who I must assume is just there for experience purposes. Gooch a lively attacking midfielder who likes to take on defenders hasn’t had the best of season’s for Sunderland, but maybe a new manager will change things. Danny Williams returns after being black listed by Arena, Williams has been a part of American Manager’s David Wagner’s premier side this season. Lastly Kelyn Rowe gets another shot after impressing in the Gold Cup this summer. Pulisic is not on the roster after Dortmund confirmed he will be staying with the German giants over the international break. Pulisic has played more games this season than anyone in the pool. No reason to bring him in for these friendlies. Another notable omission is 18 year old Jonathan Gonzalez of Mexico’s best team Monterrey. Gonzalez is being pursued hard by Mexcio, and while these friendlies would not have cap tied him, it would have been nice to see him integrated into the senior team.
Juan Agudelo (New England Revolution, 26), Dom Dwyer (Orlando City SC, 3), C.J. Sapong (Philadelphia Union, 2), Josh Sargent (St. Louis Scott Gallagher, 0)
This is without a doubt the weakest position the United States has right now. With Jozy Altidore still in the MLS playoffs, and Bobby Wood left off the roster this gives us a chance to see some new faces. Most notably Josh Sargent who will move to Werder Bremen after his 18 th birthday. Sargent is the only player in American soccer history to appear at the U17, U20, and make the senior team roster all in the same calendar year. You also have MLS veterans in Agudelo, Dwyer who impressed at the gold cup, and Sapong. But for good reason Sargent gets all the hype and attention of this group.
This is a fun roster with half of the roster being under 24 which is what most USMNT fans wanted. Buckle up and enjoy the ride as we see what these youngsters got on the big stage.
By: Jimmy Hofer
Photo: Jeffrey Swinger/USA Today Sport