By IVES GALARCEP
With the January camp in the rear-view mirror, and the MLS-based contingent of U.S. Men’s National Team players now preparing for the upcoming Major League Soccer season, it is time to think about the next USMNT match, which will feature a team consisting almost exclusively of European-based players.
Given the recent exodus of American talent from Europe to MLS, it might seem like the pickings are slim overseas, but the reality is there are still a variety of options for Jurgen Klinsmann to consider as he evaluates the talent pool.
In my latest piece for Goal.com, I look at what the USMNT squad could look like that Klinsmann calls in for the March 5 friendly against Ukraine. It is a stronger team than you might expect given all the departures from Europe in the past six months.
What the proposed group definitely has is players who have been missing from the national team radar, such as Timmy Chandler and Danny Williams, who have both gone a full year without playing for the USMNT.
Here are some more thoughts on this proposed group:
The centerback options are a bit thin, which is why John Brooks could step in and start despite only recently coming back from a knee injury.
Stuart Holden and Josh Gatt seem like good bets to be invited into camp, if only to participate in training and spend time with the group. Both are in the final stages of returning from ACL surgeries and having them play in the friendly vs. Ukraine might be pushing it a bit.
Younger prospects like Bobby Wood and Joe Gyau are interesting options to bring into the group for the few days the team will be together, but the one to watch will be Julian Green and whether he will accept a call-up. With it being an international fixture date, and Ukraine not being far from Germany, there really wouldn’t be a reason why he couldn’t come into the camp.
Do you bring Michael Bradley in or not? He’s off that week, but do you let him stay in Toronto as he gets settled into his new city, or do you bring him in to have another chance to play him and Jermaine Jones together? I think it’s a toss-up at this point.
What do you think of the proposed European-based squad I put together? Who would you like to see start in that match? Who are you excited to see included in the projected group?
Share your thoughts below.