Chicago (January 8th 2017)- The USMNT Roster has been announced for the 2018 Edition of the January Camp. Interim head coach, Dave Sarachan, called in 30 players, mainly MLS based. The roster is also incredibly young, with 21 of the 30 players called in under the age of 25.
USMNT Roster Announced for 2018 January Camp
With the annoying news of Jonathan Gonzalez escaping the grips of the USMNT thanks to their own incompetence, this roster is not entirely in bad shape. The USMNT needs to grow younger, and with 21/30 of these guys under the age of 25, this is a very good roster. The roster is as follows:
Goalkeepers (4): Alex Bono (Toronto FC), Bill Hamid (FC Midtjylland), Cody Cropper (New England Revolution), Zack Steffen (Columbus Crew)
Defenders (9): Danny Acosta (Real Salt Lake), Justen Glad (Real Salt Lake), Nick Lima (San Jose Earthquakes), Justin Morrow (Toronto FC), Ike Opara (Sporting KC), Tim Parker (Vancouver Whitecaps FC), Matt Polster (Chicago Fire), Brandon Vincent (Chicago Fire), Walker Zimmerman (LAFC)
Midfielders (11): Tyler Adams (NYRB), Paul Arriola (D.C. United), Russell Canouse (D.C. United), Marky Delgado (Toronto FC), Marlon Hairston (Colorado Rapids), Ian Harkes (D.C. United), Brooks Lennon (Real Salt Lake), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders), Kelyn Rowe (New England Revolution), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)
Forwards (6): Juan Agudelo (New England Revolution), Dom Dwyer (Orlando City), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders), Christian Ramirez (Minnesota United), Rubio Rubin (Unattached), CJ Sapong (Philadelphia Union)
Notable omissions would obviously have to be the likes of any of the older recognizable faces. I actually think that Sarachan got most of the position player groups spot on. A lot of these players have earned call ups and while they’re surprisingly included, they have deserved those calls. I look to three players though for notable omissions.
The first is how badly Sarachan got the Goalkeeper group. Cody Cropper was a USYNT guy but was bad in England, and wasn’t that impressive in MLS. Alex Bono wasn’t the type of guy that was winning TFC points on his own, and I’m overall not that impressed with his goalkeeping. Tim Melia is the biggest leave off on this roster in my opinion, at least in terms of the coaches deciding to leave him off. Melia was the MLS goalkeeper of the year, and no goalkeeper was better at winning his team points on his own. The other goalkeeper omission is of course Jesse Gonzalez, but it seems like Pareja was the one who kept him out.
According to reports, Oscar Pareja kept both Kellyn Acosta AND Jesse Gonzalez out of the USMNT January camp so they would be able to focus on team training for the upcoming CONCACAF Champions League. That makes up our three notable omissions.
While I like this roster, I’m still incredibly disappointed in the goalkeeper choices. But it will be fun to see so many promising youngsters getting a taste of play with the national team. But truly, the new Head Coach can’t come soon enough, as Sarachan has already messed up enough for the USMNT. To completely ignoring calling in a prospect as promising as Gonzalez, pushing him to your biggest continental rival, is absurd and unacceptable.
While the USMNT thinks they have time, they need to get a lot of decisions right, right now. The good decision making should be starting now if they want to get to the World Cup in 2022. It’s clear that Sarachan can’t do it. So go get someone to run the team that will take charge for the 2022 cycle. If they don’t do it soon, they’re costing themselves some extra development time.