The United States Men’s National Team will head across the pond in a couple weeks, first to take on England on November 15th at Wembley Stadium, and then to Genk, Belgium to face Italy on November 20th. As was the case for the October friendlies, it has been rumored that U.S. Soccer will release the roster on Monday, a full 10 days before the first match. What is also expected is that the roster will not include players that are on teams that will still be alive in the MLS Cup Playoffs.
It's looking like the #usmnt roster for the friendlies vs England Nov. 15 and Italy Nov. 20 will come out next Monday (Nov. 5). Don't be surprised if, even with MLS taking a break during the intl window, some players on teams still alive in the playoffs are not called up.— Steven Goff (@SoccerInsider) October 30, 2018
With American interim manager Dave Sarachan assumed to remain in charge for these matches, and with the MLS Cup Playoffs affecting who he calls up, the thinking is that the roster is still around 25-26 players. There may be a couple new faces, but do not expect one of those targeted dual nationals to be on this list. Also, I think that Sarachan plays it safe and doesn’t call in any player from a team that’s still in the playoffs. This squad should be heavily European, with most of the main Euro-based Americans being called in since the matches are on the continent. Here’s an idea of what the roster could look like come Monday.
Arguably the two best goalkeepers on the depth chart, Zack Steffen and Bill Hamid, played against each other last night in the playoffs. Hamid and D.C. United lost, so he gets the call and will likely be the one that starts against England. Ethan Horvath just had a clean sheet for Club Brugge the other day, and Alex Bono will round out the goalkeeping trio.
DEFENDERS (9): John Brooks (Wolfsburg), Reggie Cannon (FC Dallas), Cameron Carter-Vickers (Swansea City), Matt Miazga (Nantes), Erik Palmer-Brown (NAC Breda), Tim Ream (Fulham), Antonee Robinson (Wigan Athletic), Eric Lichaj (Hull City), DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle)
For the most part, we have the same set of defenders that have been on the rosters for the previous 4-5 matches. Erik Palmer-Brown returns to the roster, and while I considered Auston Trusty, who had a pretty solid season and might be the lone new guy that gets a look on defense, in the end Sarachan probably does not call him in.
MIDFIELDERS (11): Kellyn Acosta (Colorado Rapids), Jonathan Amon (FC Nordsjælland), Paul Arriola (D.C. United), Marky Delgado (Toronto FC), Romain Gall (Malmö FF), Lynden Gooch (Sunderland), Julian Green (Gruether Fürth), Weston McKennie (Schalke 04), Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund), Kenny Saief (RSC Anderlecht), Tim Weah (Paris Saint-Germain)
Once again, between Paul Arriola and Wil Trapp, Arriola gets the nod since he is no longer in the playoffs. He did sub off due to injury in the 2nd half of their match, so if for some reason he doesn’t get the call, expect Sarachan to go with the rest of the midfielders in the group. 11 midfielders get the call because of Sarachan’s tendency to play 5 in the middle, and because in a pinch, players like Tim Weah or even Christian Pulisic could move further up to help out the forwards. Romain Gall finally sees his name on a USMNT roster, as he’s been tearing it up in Sweden. We’ll get to see what he can do on the international stage. Alfredo Morales has been playing regularly for Fortuna Düsseldorf, but with only 1 goal in all competitions this year and with his age (28), don’t expect to see Sarachan bring him in to compete with the other defensive midfielders.
With Jozy Altidore injured and no other forwards playing well enough to earn a call-up that’s already in the system, it’s most likely we see Andrija Novakovich, Josh Sargent and Bobby Wood once again the three men up top.
It will be interesting to see who gets named to the roster when it is announced on Monday. Who do you think gets the call?