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Arriola joins USMNT as Brooks, Morris, Lletget, Orozco depart

The U.S. Men’s National Team has added a winger ahead of the upcoming World Cup qualifier against Panama as several players have departed camp.

Paul Arriola is set to join the USMNT squad ahead of Saturday night’s trip to Panama City. John Brooks, Sebastian Lletget, Jordan Morris and Michael Orozco left camp, bringing the total roster to 23 players.

Brooks leaves the USMNT squad after being removed in the 70th minute of Friday’s match due to a sinus infection while Sebastian Lletget’s left foot injury suffered on Friday will be further evaluated in Los Angeles. Jordan Morris and Michael Orozco were carrying injuries heading into Friday’s match and did not dress.

The U.S. takes on Panama on Tuesday night at Estadio Rommel Fernandez.

Here’s a full look at the updated U.S. squad:

GOALKEEPERS (3): David Bingham (San Jose Earthquakes), Tim Howard (Colorado Rapids), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)

DEFENDERS (8): DaMarcus Beasley (Houston Dynamo), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City/ENG), Omar Gonzalez (Pachuca/MEX), Tim Ream (Fulham/ENG), Jorge Villafaña (Santos Laguna/MEX), Walker Zimmerman (FC Dallas), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)

MIDFIELDERS (9): Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas), Paul Arriola (Club Tijuana/MEX), Alejandro Bedoya (Philadelphia Union), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC/CAN), Jermaine Jones (LA Galaxy), Sacha Kljestan (New York Red Bulls), Dax McCarty (Chicago Fire), Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers), Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund/GER)

FORWARDS (3): Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC/CAN), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)


  1. Arriola has never been in bench when xolos is in the field always ,tha´ts because is a veri speedy
    player and score goal in the rigth moment and he loves Usa,not like the Chivas Ramon Ponce,
    the goalkkeper R. Sanchez,and the chivas Alejandro Zendejas,never play,nither drees to play
    is because Almeida respect USA,and never will play,is a pitti,but chivas is like racist team,and he
    is mexican-america,and he already played whit U20usamnt soccer in 2015,when got the third place in the world soccer

  2. The current roster should be good enough to beat Panama, even on the road, what with the momentum they are carrying in from the Honduras match. But this will be a MUST WIN for USA. They can’t afford to go 2 down in the win-loss columns again. The key to this match will be for
    the USA to score first. Panama doesn’t score many goals, and the USA could make a 1-0 lead
    stand up. On the other hand, Panama doesn’t give up many goals/ A 0-0 draw on the road would not be catastrophic, but the USA simply cannot lose this one.

    • …especially given where the next qualifier is in June. Four losses after first five matches might mean you’re only shooting for the playoff likely against Saudi Arabia, Australia or (gulp) Japan.

      • Oops, flip-flopped my fixtures for the June qualifiers….but you know what I mean. Going to Azteca on 9 points is highly preferable to going there with 3, 4, or 6. Forbid if it’s either of the former.

  3. I agree with the other commenters that Jones will start. Arena didn’t bring him for 1 game to sit him on the bench. Plus we need to play a more defensive and hard nosed line up in Panama as opposed to our home games. That’s Concacaf. Put Pulisic out wide to protect him and Jones and Bradley in the middle. Plus with an all jacked up back line we will need a stronger spine. That’s Jones.

    • +1. Panama just got embarrassed by T&T. They’ve got pride on the line, as well as the reality the WE knocked them out of the WC qualies last time. Remember that? Zusi header goal with minutes left before Panama gets to their first World Cup? If we here in the US don’t remember that wound, I can guarantee Panama does. They need to beat us; they want to kill us. Enter Jermaine Jones, midfield assassin.

  4. —————–Altiore————–Dempsey————-




    Put Pulisic back out on the wings to protect him against an ugly midfield.

    Clint and Jozy were both on fire Friday night, i don’t think Jones for Lletget will quench that

    There’s no easy answer on that backline….

    Arena probably say it’s a good chance to see some other guys out there xD

    • Now is not the time to be super defensive and “protecting people”, we still need to climb the ladder in the standings, and why change a good thing?? Now, I’m not naive, I understand the idea of not being careless away from home but we just acquitted ourselves very well formationally and personnel wise. Considering the players that have left you have to think Team will take Brooks’ place and I can also see Beasely slotting into LB since his experience is endless. JJ is a tricky one because his ability and engine is one that could see us tinker formation wise to a 4-2-3-1. We have to keep Pulisic at CAM, we’d be crazy to stop his momentum there, with Bedoya at RM, Nagbe again at LM and Jozy up top! Clint balled his ass off, and proved he is still our top dog but I too feel this game comes too quick, considering his health condition, so I can see him being an impact sub for this game

  5. This presumed CB pairing of Ream/Gonzales gives me the shivers for a concacaf away match. With Brooks out and the really shaky way Gonzales played I think its time to bring Cameron back to RCB, and consider starting Zimmerman at LCB. It would mean Zusi at rightback and no backup for him, but so many injuries mean taking a risk somewhere. Arena needs to get the defense right for this one.

    • One thing to consider is that Panama is VERY FAST on the flanks and both Zusi and Cameron have the potential of being exposed at outside back…truthfully, I’m worried a little about Villafana too. Panama’s MO is to ugly stuff up in the middle of the park, kick the crap outta everything and everybody that moves, and then counter down the wings with extreme pace. They’re very good at it.

      Be interesting to see how effective Pulisic is against a gunked-up interior…but you know they’re going to kick him and rough him up constantly. Dunno if I’d change anything but I’d be very leery of getting sluggish OB’s caught 1-on-1 against Panama’s wingers.

      • Welcome to Concacaf where its nearly impossible to play the beautiful game. Forget about tiki taka one touch football with all the fouls and hacking. Of course as usual very little of the roughness will be called against Panama but the second we retaliate we will be shown a yellow. How I love Concacaf.

        Also, can’t watch this game in English unless you have BeIn Sports because these small Concacaf backwaters hold out for so much broadcast rights money networks like FS1 or ESPN balks at the cost and hence the Qatari funded network BeIn Sport is the only one willing to overpay for the English speaking broadcast rights.

        I think as a federation we have to start developing a system by which we use a one football style against Concacaf opponents in qualifying that matches the roughness and physicality but then later be able to switch to a another style that’s a more fluid one touch style once we’re done slumming it with Central America in qualifiers or Gold Cup. We use friendlies against Concafaf to practice our rough house style and we schedule friendlies with European or South American teams to practice a more fluid passing style. I say this because the style we have to play to match the physicality of Concacaf play will never deep in a WC because the officals show yellow for the shit that doesn’t even get called in a Concacaf match.

        Good post Quozzel, just adding a bit here. I can hear in your words you’re also a bit fearful of Pulisic getting a De Jong Holden type chop, hope the kid learns that he must protect himself in Concacaf because the refs won’t.

  6. If Bruce Arena tries to change it up and puts Bradley and Jones on the field AT THE SAME TIME there goes the “wind in our sail”.





    Keep it simple and continue to go with what works (with a few changes)

    • Jones will slot in on the outside in Bedoya/Lletget’s spot, he will be fine there. How quickly we all forget last Summer when he was our third best player at Copa America.

      • For realz. Jones is a heckuva player. The real question is, can he do OK slotting in as a true winger? Because he’s played centrally so long the natural inclination will be to tuck in, whereas with a true winger I prefer a guy whose natural inclination is to get sideline chalk on his heels as his default setting, but I can live with that, especially since he’s like to have Cameron behind him and Cameron is good on the ball and will drive with surprising effectiveness up the flank if he’s given license to, and Jermaine Jones is so aware I’d trust him to cover the hole and cover for Cameron until he got back, especially since Cameron picks and chooses his spots to go forward and doesn’t spend the game rampaging up and down the field like a Yedlin or even a Fabian Johnson does.

        Bottom line is Jermaine is one of your Top 11 and if he’s healthy and available you find a spot for him. A tucked-in right wing does just fine for me.

      • NO HE WON’T Johnnyrazor. hahahaha,


        Bedoya effectively subbed in for Lletget and we proved to be Dynamic on offense. Jones is a tank but he is not a winger by any means. Bedoya was subbed in for Lletget and the carnage still continued for the USMNT so hopefully we’ll keep him there. Jones is, in fact, one of our best midfielders but it is either him or Bradley in Midfield…not both, and definitely not on the wing. We’ve put together a recipe that works (even tho the ingredients are the same) so hopefully we will stick to it.
        Defense on the other hand looked shaky toward the end of the 90, so with Brooks out we need to figure out will it be Besler, Zimmerman or Ream

      • Bizzy if you were wondering why the trap of Bradley was so effective the first twenty minutes before the US blew it open, it was because Bedoya and Nagbe squeezed in making it easier for Bradley to connect with them. We essentially played without wingers at all. Jozy became almost a lone striker with Pulisic and Dempsey playing underneath him. A 4-1-2-2-1 if you will. This also left us open play up the wings which resulted in some crosses into the box but the height of Cam, Gonzo, and Brooks made those difficult as well. What was incorrect was your assessment that it was Arena’s lineup that made the difference it wasn’t at least not the major factor it was the ability to see what was happening and almost immediately make adjustments on the field. Jones will start for Lletget if all are healthy and if he and Bradley can’t connect Bruce will reposition them so it does.

      • “What was incorrect was your assessment that it was Arena’s lineup that made the difference” ….Johnnyrazor, if it wasn’t Arena’s line-up that that made the difference then who’s did? Klinsmann? lol. Arena opted to play Pulisic as a No. 10 — a central attacking midfielder, right behind the strikers, the result? goals and MOTM status. Same players different recipe, and all the credit goes to Arena (Just like all the failure would as well).

        “We essentially played without wingers at all”
        ….What game were you watching?
        First goal look how far wide Nagbe and Lletget were
        Second goal look how wide Nagbe was which help keep the RB wide too
        Third and fourth goal almost the same thing, PLAYERS HOLDING WIDE

        we played with a diamond midfield with a holding midfielder in Michael Bradley who played distributor to kinda like a “three attacking mid” formation and two strikers who all moved in beautiful unison. No wingers? during the goals watch here the Nagbe and Bedoya are positioned

        Klinsmann tried Bradley/Jones didn’t work

      • under Arena the diamond midfield stays with Pulisic playing under Dempsey and Altidore. Bradley is captain and keeps his spot as the holding midfielder/distributor, Nagbe owns the LM position so the only area left is the RM….and hopefully Jermaine Jones will not see the field together with Bradley. If Jones plays RM WE WILL STRUGGLE in the Panama game





      • Bizzy I apologize I was a little condescending in that response and seemed to have bristled your neck a little.
        Look at where Nagbe and Lletget are on the first goal, they are both inside the box which is narrow for true wingers.

        Also the 2nd goal Nagbe starts narrow and drifts outward to make room for Jozy and Michael, but started again inside the lines of the box or the middle third it was a throw on the opposite side though.

        The third goal Nagbe is defending when Honduras turns it over, like was Bedoya is marking a man on the center line of the field and never leaves that spot as he “joins” the run.

        4th goal you are correct both are standing on the touchline to start the 2nd half spreading the defense to start, of course they can do this Bradley isn’t going to get doubled on the kickoff and its probably a set play.

        For a more thorough explanation of Arena’s narrow diamond check out

        Perhaps its just our definition of what wide is. I would expect Panama to play differently and Arena may adjust and move players around some. Certainly Panama has seen the tape too. Jones will start in the Bedoya/Lletget spot on Tuesday, I’d give it an 80% chance.

      • I think our definition of wide is a little different and I see your logic (especially with the link) but as much as I hope you are wrong with your prediction Johnnyrazor, I hope the USMNT wins. So lets see how it goes

  7. An interesting selection to replace Lletget. Makes me wonder what the starting XI may look like.
    I’m guessing that Jones gets inserted where Lletget played and Arriola becomes the attacking option off the bench.
    Have to believe that it wasn’t Arena’s intent to play Dempsey 90 minutes the other night, but injuries and cards forced his hand. Arriola provides an option at either wide midfield or as a forward.

  8. Looks like Zusi will start at right-back, our 6th option on the RB depth chart (behind Yedlin, Chandler, Lichaj, Cameron, and Orozco). And since Ream was first player off the bench when Brooks went off, you have to assume he’s going to start.

    I’m guessing the same lineup as Honduras except that Zusi at RB, Ream with Gonzalez (although I’d be tempted to play Besler instead of Ream because of his chemistry with Gonzalez), and either Jones or Bedoya for Lletget. I’m guessing Jones because Arena must have brought him with the intention of him starting one game.

    • Scratch that about RB. For some reason I thought I read that Cameron was also out injured, but he’s not. He will be the RB.

    • Well considering that Lichaj wasn’t even called in and Orozco didn’t even dress, I’d say you’re wrong about where Zusi stands in the pecking order. He is clearly above those 2 since he came on as the injury relief last night and the other 2 were nowhere to be found. But hey who am I to get in the way of all the Zusi bashing that goes on on this page, I’m just a spectator like you.

      • By the way I feel silly calling you Hot Karl..

        This is how I deduce it:

        Everyone knows Yedlin and Chandler are #1 and #2. You obviously missed that Arena said he was calling in Lichaj except that he got injured, and Arena had been talking him up. Cameron got the start. So Lichaj and Cameron are #3 and #4 in whatever order. Also you probably missed that Orozco was on the original roster and Zusi wasn’t. Zusi was added as injury replacement. Orozco was in the same boat as Morris, which is that they were injured but called in to camp anyway in hopes that they would heal in time but neither of them did. Either way clearly he was ahead of Zusi in the pecking order. Therefore Zusi is 6th in the depth chart. And Orozco was definitely called in as a right back because a roster usually has 4 center backs (5 max) and this roster already had Brooks, Cameron, Gonzalez, Ream and Zimmerman.

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