Eric Lichaj is back on the radar for the USMNT. After emerging as one of the most reliable defenders in the EFL Championship, the fullback was called into the Copa America Centenario by then USMNT coach Jurgen Klinsmann. Bruce Arena has said that he is looking at bringing Lichaj back into the team for World Cup qualifiers in March.
In an interview with Four-Four-Two, the Nottingham Forest defender said about hearing the news, “It excited me, and it gave me more motivation. Because that’s definitely something I want, to get back in the team.” He went onto say, “I feel like I can provide something, whether it’s starting in the squad or on the bench. I think I can provide something to the U.S. team for the qualifiers and for the upcoming World Cup.”
Lichaj has become one of the most reliable defenders in the Championship. Last year Matthew Doyle of MLSSoccer.com tweeted that he had played over 12,700 minutes of soccer injury free in recent seasons. In addition to his ability to stay healthy, the fullback can play on either the left or the right side as a fullback. He has also emerged as a leader of his team, wearing the captain’s armband for Nottingham Forest.
His versatility and reliability show why he is on Bruce Arena’s mind coming into the March World Cup qualifiers.