USMNT roster analysis
Sarachan makes major roster changes ahead of European trip
The U.S. national team will now head to Europe for friendlies against Ireland and France. The roster will look significantly different after interim head coach Dave Sarachan made a series of sweeping changes to the team. ASN's Brian Sciaretta breaks it down.
BY Brian Sciaretta PostedONE DAY AFTER defeating Bolivia in a friendly in Philadelphia, United States national team interim head coach Dave Sarachan today made sevearal changes to the team’s roster for the upcoming friendlies against Ireland and France. In total, 10 players have been added while seven departed.
May 29, 2018
May 29, 2018
The most significant departure from the team is Christian Pulisic who leaves after a lengthy season where he accumulated over 2300 minutes for Borussia Dortmund. With a long preseason, the Bundesliga season, and the Champions League ahead of him in 2018/19, the Hershey, PA native will take a few weeks off.
Also departing the team after the Bolivia friendly are Alex Bono, Alejandro Guido, Lynden Gooch, Ethan Horvath, Matt Olosunde, and Walker Zimmerman.
Joining the team are goalkeepers Zack Steffen and William Yarbrough; defenders Shaq Moore, Tim Parker and DeAndre Yedlin; midfielders Tyler Adams, Luca de la Torre, Kenny Saief and Will Trapp; and forward Bobby Wood.
Here is the roster along with some thoughts
GOALKEEPERS (3): Bill Hamid (Midtjylland/DEN; 5/0), Zack Steffen (Columbus Crew SC; 2/0),
William Yarbrough (Club León/MEX; 3/0)
DEFENDERS (9): Cameron Carter-Vickers (Tottenham Hotspur/ENG; 2/0), Eric Lichaj
(Nottingham Forest/ENG; 15/1), Matt Miazga (Chelsea/ENG; 5/1), Shaq Moore (Levante/ESP;
0/0), Erik Palmer-Brown (Manchester City/ENG; 1/0), Tim Parker (New York Red Bulls; 0/0),
Antonee Robinson (Everton/ENG; 1/0), Jorge Villafaña (Santos Laguna/MEX; 17/0), DeAndre
Yedlin (Newcastle United/ENG; 50/0)
MIDFIELDERS (10): Tyler Adams (New York Red Bulls; 3/0), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana/MEX;
21/3), Luca de la Torre (Fulham/ENG; 0/0) Julian Green (Stuttgart/GER; 9/3), Weston McKennie
(Schalke/GER; 2/1), Keaton Parks (Benfica/POR; 1/0), Rubio Rubin (Club Tijuana/MEX; 6/0),
Kenny Saief (Anderlecht/BEL; 2/0), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew SC; 4/0), Tim Weah (Paris
FORWARDS (3): Andrija Novakovich (Reading/ENG; 2/0), Josh Sargent (Werder Bremen/GER;
1/1), Bobby Wood (Hamburg/GER; 37/11)
More first caps await
In the win over Bolivia, Erik Palmer-Brown, Alex Bono, Josh Sargent, Antonee Robinson, Keaton Parks, and Matt Olosunde earned their first caps for the U.S. team.
In the upcoming games, Shaq Moore, Tim Parker, and Luca de la Torre will now look to join a growing U.S. national team pool.
Continued Olympic preview
There is no question that the next U-23 team will hit the ground running whenever that team begins to play. Should the team qualify for Tokyo, a number of players will have first team national team appearances under their belt.
Nine players on the current roster are eligible for the U-23 team: Tyler Adams, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Luca de la Torre, Weston McKennie, Erik Palmer-Brown, Keaton Parks, Antonee Robinson, Josh Sargent, and Tim Weah. Combined with Christian Pulisic that will bring the number to 10. Along with three over age players and another two years until the tournament, it could easily be the most experienced U.S. U-23 team ever.
Strong defensive contingent
With the exception of John Brooks who will not be with the team, this roster gives the best glimpse of the future of the backline.
DeAndre Yedlin with 50 caps is the most experienced player on the team and could serve as captain. The pairing with newcomer Antonee Robinson at left back makes for one of the fastest fullback pairings in USMNT history.
But Cameron Carter-Vickers, Erik Palmer-Brown, and Matt Miazga are the next generation of U.S. national team central defenders. All three have very high ceilings and the competitions between the three will be intense.
In addition, Tim Parker’s addition will be one to watch. Injuries and bad form happen. The likelihood that Brooks, Carter-Vickers, Miazga, and Palmer-Brown will all be available at any given time is small. There is plenty of reason for another central defender to emerge. After Zimmerman’s strong performance against Bolivia, will Parker be able to match it and be in line for future call-ups? He has had a very good year so far for the Red Bulls.
And in back of them will be the likely next top goalkeeper in Zack Steffen who arrives into camp playing exceptionally for the Columbus Crew. With Sunday's cleansheet against Sporting Kansas City, Steffen has not conceded a goal 505 minutes.
Who is not here?
There are really not too many surprises on this roster and most of the noteworthy absences (players under 30) seem to have a reasonable explanation. Timothy Chandler was injured down the stretch of his season. John Brooks had a very difficult season at Wolfsburg and needs to rebound next season. Alfredo Morales is also entering into an important preseason after joining Fortuna Dusseldorf following its promotion.
Domestically, some MLS teams are in a weaker position to release players. Marky Delgado had a very good game against Paraguay in March but is dealing with minor injuries with a Toronto team that cannot afford to lose starters after a poor start. The same could be said for Cristian Roldan who cannot afford to leave Seatle now. Also, the LA Galaxy can ill afford to be without Sebastian Lletget right now.
Kellyn Acosta only recently returned from a hernia surgery and while he has played well, he is still settling in after missing several months.
There was some speculation that Stade de Reims’ American-born forward Jordan Siebatcheu was going to perhaps be in the mix but it would seem as if the multi-national is going to see how far he can go with France before deciding.
Aside from that, the roster is pretty much as expected.