A look at what the September USMNT roster could look like?
The upcoming USMNT roster is likely going to continue a trend towards youth and consist of several players who are eligible for the upcoming U.S. U-23 Olympic team. Over the past year, this new core has played well but tough challenges await this fall.
BY Brian Sciaretta PostedOn September 2nd, United States interim manager Dave Sarachan will announce his roster for the upcoming friendlies against Brazil in New Jersey and Mexico in Tennessee. There are a lot of open questions as to what that roster could look like.
August 22, 2018
August 22, 2018
ASN understands that the roster will be around 25 players and we know injuries has left a bunch of players questionable.
DeAndre Yedlin’s knee injury sustained in Newcastle’s season opener is not serious but there is still no definite date when he will return. Similarly, Kenny Saief is expected back soon for Anderlecht but there should be questions about his fitness after missing a long amount of time. Jorge Villafana has not been in full fitness since rejoining Portland and Darlington Nagbe is out with a long-term injury for Atlanta.
Aside from injuries, there are also questions about playing time for several young players. For players like Erik Palmer-Brown and Josh Sargent, it might be best served to leave them with their clubs to improve their standing to earn first team minutes.
Considering all of this, here is a look at how the upcoming roster could potentially look.
The skinny: This has been a tough position to predict. Of course Zack Steffen is the first choice goalkeeper but none of the backup keepers have stepped up. Alex Bono has made too many errors and Ethan Horvath continues to toil on the bench at Club Brugge.
Bill Hamid has a chance at making the team now that he is playing again for DC United. He struggled in his last outing against Ireland in June but should be sharper now.
At this point, none of the young options have really raised their game for the job. Matt Turner and Jesse Gonzalez have played well at times but don’t appear ready just yet. Sarachan might end up deciding on an older player like Stefan Frei, Tim Melia, or even back to Brad Guzan until one clearly emerges.
The skinny: A rather clear pecking order has emerged in central defense. John Brooks is back to playing for Wolfsburg and should be a leader this cycle. Matt Miazga should be a regular for Nantes.
Cameron Carter-Vickers is not starting for Tottenham but credible reports are suggesting that a loan to Swansea could be in the works. Sarachan will be forced to decide if players like Carter-Vickers and Erik Palmer-Brown will be best served remaining with their clubs to earn playing time. Palmer-Brown remains a very talented young player but he still does not have as many minutes under his belt over his whole career and probably would be best served remaining with his club.
If Yedlin, Villafana, and the injured Timothy Chandler can’t go, the fullback positions remain wide open on this team. Antonee Robinson can start at left back but his backup is uncertain. On the right side, Shaq Moore will probably return to the team after starting against France.
Eric Lichaj isn’t young but he plays every week in the Championship, brings experience, and can provide cover on either side.
Also in the back-up positions, if Sarachan is also keeping an eye on the U-23 team then Reggie Cannon could sneak into the mix even if he would be unlikely to play. There are some other options like Keegan Rosenberry who is having a good season but Cannon has broken through for first place Dallas and is the likely starter for the U.S. U-23 team.
The skinny: A lot of players in this position are locks. Weston McKennie, Tyler Adams, and Christian Pulisic are locks. Similarly, Wil Trapp has worn the captain’s armband recently under Sarachan and that makes him a safe bet.
Marky Delgado has had to deal with injuries this season but has been sharp lately and was solid in his last U.S. game against Paraguay in March. Also, Kellyn Acosta and Cristian Roldan have been very impressive lately.
The big problem here is wingers and outside midfielders. There just are not a lot of them at the moment. Paul Arriola has been playing much better at DC United and could be back in the mix. Lynden Gooch is in League One and while that is not ideal, he’s been a key player for the team.
Finally, United States U-20 winger Jonathan Amon is continuing to break out for FC Nordsjaelland and he plays a position that is sorely needed at the moment. There might not be room for Amon if Saief is healthy but that is questionable at this point.
The skinny: Many of these names speak for themselves. Weah’s stock has improved drastically over recent months and Andrija Novakovich has claimed the starting forward position at Fortuna Sittard. At this point, Bobby Wood brings experience despite coming off a poor season. Meanwhile, Julian Green carries some momentum into camp after scoring the goal in the team’s 1-1 draw against France.
One name to watch is Emmanuel Sabbi who is Olympic eligible and has scored four goals and added an assist in the first five games of the Danish Superliga season.
It will be interesting to see if Josh Sargent gets called in again to the national team. He is certainly a player with a huge future, but it would not be surprising if it is decided he is best served remaining with Werder Bremen during the international break so that he can improve his chances at playing time.