Editorial (May 28, 2017) – The United States Men’s National Team roster has been announced. Head Coach Bruce Arena has called in 27 players ahead of the World Cup Qualifiers in June.
USMNT Roster For June WCQ: MLS Stars And Heathly Europeans A Plenty
The Yanks will host Trinidad & Tobago on June 8th in Denver, CO then play Mexico at Estadio Azteca on June 11th. Let’s see who made the cut.
GOALKEEPERS (4): Brad Guzan (Atlanta United FC), Ethan Horvath (Club Brugge), Tim Howard (Colorado Rapids), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS (11): DaMarcus Beasley (Houston Dynamo), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Timmy Chandler (Eintracht Frankfurt), Omar Gonzalez (Pachuca), Matt Hedges (FC Dallas), Tim Ream (Fulham), Jorge Villafana (Santos Laguna), DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle United), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
MIDFIELDERS (9): Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas), Paul Arriola (Club Tijuana), Alejandro Bedoya (Philadelphia Union), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Dax McCarty (Chicago Fire), Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers), Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund)
FORWARDS (4): Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders FC), Bobby Wood (Hamburg SV)
Reinforcements From Europe:
The USMNT had one area of weakness going into the last round of qualifiers: Many key European based players were out. Especially on defense. While there might be some last minute chances, it’s encouraging to see a few players on here. DeAndre Yedlin is back after missing the last round of qualifiers. Fabian Johnson and John Brooks are as well. Bobby Wood was questionable for this roster, but he’s here too.
Even if a few of these players have to get sent home early due to these injury concerns, the Americans have depth. Omar Gonzalez has been killing it with C.F. Pachuca as a center back. Jorge Villafana did well in March as well at full back.
Other than Sebastian Lletget, supporters have to be very happy with the health of this player pool.
MLS Stars Representing:
Over half this roster comes from Major League Soccer, and it’s hard to argue with most of these callups. The stars like Clint Dempsey and Jozy Altidore are here. Dax McCarty and Alejandro Bedoya have been great for their club teams. They’re there too. Graham Zusi’s been called in as a defender and he’s been a decent right back for Sporting KC.
Other than Nick Rimando (who’s back line is banged up), every MLS player on this roster is fit, playing well, and having a signficant impact on their club team.
Roster Snubs And Lucky Call Ups:
Unlike the Jurgen Klinsmann era, it’s hard to pick some of these out. Paul Arriola hasn’t wowed me, for club or country. He’s not a starter on this roster, so if you’re going to call a guy in to be a training body, I might have gone for a younger player who would benefit more from those practices. Say Emerson Hyndman.
It’s getting close to the end for Nick Rimando as well. He’ll turn 38 next month. He had a bad start to 2017 but has played better recently. Many younger Americans are playing well in goal in MLS and elsewhere. I’d bet on Ethan Horvath beating him out for the third spot.
When I look at this roster, the only No. 10 style player is Christian Pulisic. I’m shockedy at least one other central attacking player wasn’t called in. Sacha Kljestian has six assists in MLS play and has shown promising chemistry with Pulisic in the past. Benny Feilhaber has also had some great moments for Sporting KC. I would have expected one of them to make this roster.
I’m a bit surprised Jordan Morris made this roster given the issues the Seattle Sounders attack has had recently and the rumor he’s carrying a knock. His familiarity with Dempsey is very valuable though. That said, Juan Agudelo has ten goals and three assists in his last 16 appearances dating back to last September. I wouldn’t mind seeing Swagadelo get another shot at the natonal team.