The United States Men’s National Team learned Monday who they would face in the 2021 Gold Cup, as Concacaf held its first-ever draw for the biennial tournament. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, next summer is going to be a busy one. First, the Nations League playoffs will be in June 2021, and it’s possible that World Cup qualifying for the 2022 World Cup will also begin next June. July brings the Gold Cup, and should the U-23s qualify, the Olympics will start in late July and stretch into August.
That means that there will be a lot of decisions to be made by USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter, and should the U-23s qualify for the Olympics, a lot of cooperation with U-23 head coach Jason Kreis to field the best squads possible for each tournament. It will require him to speak with coaches with several clubs—including 3-4 of the biggest clubs in the world—to get some of America’s best into camps.
But, what is the priority? Clearly, World Cup qualifying will be number one. With as many as eight World Cup qualifying matches next year in the span of 5 months, it will be important for Berhalter and the USMNT to get out to a fast start. That will mean that some of the clubs where the must-have players play may not want them to spend an entire summer playing matches with the national team and risk injury for the start of the season. Some may think that one or more of these competitions aren’t that important next summer, but deep down most fans will want the United States to win every match that they have and they will want the best possible roster on the field for each of those matches.
So, the Community Corner question this week is: what is your biggest priority for the USMNT next summer? I think everyone will probably say it’s World Cup qualifying (at least, you better think that), but after that, what’s the priority? Nations League? Gold Cup? Olympics?
Hit the comments, rank them, and discuss!