It’s been nearly a year since we’ve seen the United States men’s national team play a match. There are still no concrete plans for one to take place in 2020, but rumors persist that we could see a Euro-based friendly or two scheduled during the November FIFA international window. Our fearless leader Donald took a look at some potential opponents should that dream scenario occur.
We all know the hardships that the pandemic has caused, but we think we speak for everyone here that we’re dying to see this team play a match. Things couldn’t be going much better for the American player pool at the moment, especially in Europe. It’s safe to say that the pool may be in the best shape, as far as players playing at top clubs, that it’s ever been in.
Should the USMNT play a couple of matches featuring just players based in Europe, Gregg Berhalter will have plenty of options to choose from. We did our best to pick out some names who could feature if these matches come to fruition. Here’s who we see getting the call if the U.S. takes the field in November:
Goalkeepers: Zack Steffen (Manchester City), Ethan Horvath (Club Brugge)
Yeah. Is there really any context needed here? Same ole, same ole.
Defenders: Sergino Dest (FC Barcelona), John Brooks (Wolfsburg), Reggie Cannon (Boavista), Antonee Robinson (Fulham), Tim Ream (Fulham), Erik Palmer-Brown (Austria Wien), Chris Richards (Bayern Munich), Chris Gloster (PSV)
It’s pretty straightforward in the back, as well. Fresh off his move to Barcelona, it will be interesting to finally see how Sergino Dest fits into a full-strength Berhalter lineup.
The Tim Ream inclusion may draw some ire from the masses, but this team still needs some veteran leadership as the youngsters begin to infiltrate the ranks. He’s still getting minutes in the toughest league in the world and should provide some mentorship for the next generation coming in.
Chris Gloster is our one big reach here. In an ideal world he would join an Olympic team camp this window, but with the realities of 2020, getting him into this roster makes a ton of sense right now. This will be a common theme among our selections.
You may notice DeAndre Yedlin’s name not on the list. He’ll need to figure out his club situation before worrying about international duty at this point in his career. There’s also the matter of if he even wants to play... Same is also true for Cameron Carter-Vickers who is stuck in Tottenham currently.
Midfielders: Tyler Adams (RB Leipzig), Weston McKennie (Juventus), Gio Reyna (Borussia Dortmund), Alfredo Morales (Fortuna Dusseldorf), Bryang Kayo (Wolfsburg), Alex Mendez (Ajax), Richie Ledezma (PSV), Duane Holmes (Derby County)
It’s hard to believe we still haven’t even seen Gio Reyna make his USMNT debut yet. Gregg Berhalter has said many times this year he’ll be calling up the 17-year-old the first chance he gets. The only questions are, will he be an immediate starter and if so, where will he play?
Bryang Kayo’s name may seem a bit out of place here, but the 18-year-old midfielder is on the rise in Germany. He’s putting in eye-catching performances with Wolfsburg’s reserve team. He’s already received one call-up from Berhalter in his young career. He should be rewarded with another during this abnormal time.
Bryang Kayo vs HSC Hannover (9/18/20)— Matthew (@false_fullback) September 19, 2020
Alex Mendez and Richie Ledezma continue to fight their way towards their respective first teams at the two most prestigious clubs in the Netherlands. Their progress may not be as rapid as most had hoped but they’re still promising talents. No harm in bringing both into a Euro-based camp to see what they can do.
Forwards: Christian Pulisic (Chelsea), Josh Sargent (Werder Bremen), Uly Llanez (Heerenveen), Konrad de la Fuente (FC Barcelona), Nicholas Gioacchini (Caen), Timothy Weah (Lille), Sebastian Soto (SC Telstar), Andrija Novakovich (Frosinone)
While the winger pool may be as strong as it’s ever been, it’s still slim pickings at the striker spot. Josh Sargent continues to be highly rated by all and should get some chances with all of the amazing young talent the U.S. has at their disposal. It’s up to him to start scoring the goals and doing the other things that help the attack tick.
Nicholas Gioacchini has been impressive in the French second division for Caen. In a position of need, he could definitely get a first look in this potential camp.
There’s been some talk about Sebastian Soto being lured by Chile to switch his international allegiance. While he may not be a contender for minutes with a full-strength USMNT right now, you have to make the call and see if he’s committed or not.
Speaking of the dual-national game, it can never hurt to reach out to Theoson-Jordan Siebatcheu and Folarin Balogun to see if they’re ready to get serious about their international futures. However, it seems unlikely either accept at this point. Unless...
That’s our list. Head down to the comments and tell us who we missed.