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Projecting the USMNT’s 23-man Gold Cup roster


It may be two months away, but the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup is right around the corner and the U.S. Men’s National Team will hope to be celebrating this July.

Gregg Berhalter will get his first taste at competitive matches as the USMNT head coach with the team aiming for their seventh title in the tournament’s history. After a strong start to life as USMNT boss, Berhalter knows the goal is to win trophies and get this team back into the limelight of international soccer.

The USMNT were handed a tough draw with Trinidad & Tobago, Panama, and Guyana being paired with the hosts in Group D. Mexico and Costa Rica are two of the clear favorites to join the USMNT in the knockout stages and Berhalter will face his toughest sides yet come then.

With planning already beginning for the competition, here is one projection of who will make Berhalter’s final Gold Cup roster:

Goalkeepers (3)

Zack Steffen, Ethan Horvath, Sean Johnson

Zack Steffen is the USMNT’s No. 1 goalkeeper and should be for the future.

The Columbus Crew man has been one of, if not the best goalkeeper in MLS over the past few seasons and will be gearing up for a strong Gold Cup ahead of his move to Manchester City.

Beneath him in the pecking order are Ethan Horvath and Sean Johnson. Horvath has claimed the No. 1 spot for Club Brugge and lifted the team to strong performances on numerous outings this season. He still has room to grow and will continue to so working behind Steffen.

Like Steffen, Johnson has also risen up the charts in MLS. The NYCFC man recently started against Ecuador in March but will fight up stiff competition from veteran Brad Guzan, and fellow MLS goalkeepers Bill Hamid, Jesse Gonzalez, and Alex Bono.

Missed Cut: Bill Hamid, Brad Guzan, Alex Bono, Jesse Gonzalez.

Defenders (8)

DeAndre Yedlin, John Brooks, Tim Ream, Matt Miazga, Antonee Robinson, Aaron Long, Eric Lichaj, Daniel Lovitz. 

DeAndre Yedlin and John Brooks will be expected to be the first two defensive names written on Berhalter’s roster.

Yedlin has grown into his role with the USMNT over the years, recently wearing the captain’s armband against Chile. The Newcastle man will always bring pace and physicality to the mix and could also see himself pushed higher up the field under Berhalter’s new system. The right back position will be his lose, pending also if Tyler Adams is moved to that spot permanently.

John Brooks has earned consistent minutes with Wolfsburg and will continue to be the USMNT’s No. 1 centerback going forward. His height and physical play will be crucial against taller forwards and is a vocal leader on the pitch.

Matt Miazga and Aaron Long will jostle for minutes but ultimately Long’s rapid improvement sees him start next to Brooks. The New York Red Bulls’ defender has grown into a confident centerback, winning MLS’ Defender of the Year award in 2018. While Miazga also brings height and physicality to the mix, Long is just too good at the moment and should fend off the Chelsea loanee.

Tim Ream saw some time on the left side of the backline in March friendlies and could provide that against in the Gold Cup. Should Berhalter want more experience in central defense then Ream could also play that role as well.

Eric Lichaj brings versatility to the mix after playing numerous spots for Hull City this season. A veteran both with the National Team and in England, Lichaj brings experience and strong defensive work to the roster.

Antonee Robinson and Daniel Lovitz are natural left backs who will battle for a starting place should Berhalter go younger at the position. Robinson’s pace adds another element to the attack, while Lovitz is a stay at home defender.

Missed Cut: Cameron Carter-Vickers, Nick Lima, Reggie Cannon, Walker Zimmerman.

Midfielders (8)

Michael Bradley, Tyler Adams, Weston McKennie, Christian Pulisic, Wil Trapp, Paul Arriola, Cristian Roldan, Sebastian Lletget.

Adams, Pulisic, and McKennie are the faces of the USMNT going forward.

The three Bundesliga standouts all bring different ideas and skillsets to the table. Adams’ versatility could see him used at right back like Berhalter stated in the past, or in midfield to help spring attacks and win possession.

Pulisic is the key attacking player for the USMNT and should be the No. 10 for the next 10+ years. His durability remains a question after suffering frequent injuries with Borussia Dortmund this campaign. Finding him consistent creative play next to him however will be the question for this squad.

McKennie brings physicality to the team and like Adams, has played numerous positions for Schalke. Injuries have also hurt his playing time in Germany but he’s been able to bounce back quickly in all occasions.

Michael Bradley brings leadership to the bunch and will continue to do so until his international career is over. He may not see the field every match but he could be brought off the bench to close out wins against tougher opponents.

Wil Trapp is a shutdown midfielder who will play the No. 6 role under his former club coach. He will sit in front of the backline and shutdown attacks while also playing the ball upfield to the more-creative players.

Arriola, Roldan, and Lletget will all fight for a starting spot on the field as attackers. All three can create chances not only for themselves but also for their teammates. Arriola and Lletget will see more time on the wing while Roldan can play in the center of midfield and see more of the ball at his feet.

Missed Cut: Kellyn Acosta, Marky Delgado, Darlington Nagbe, Julian Green, Lynden Gooch, Duane Holmes.

Forwards (4)

Jozy Altidore, Gyasi Zardes, Andrija Novakovich, Jordan Morris

When healthy, Jozy Altidore is the best option at main striker for the USMNT. Altidore has been able to rebound from injury to score a trio of goals already for Toronto FC.

His physicality will wear down opposing centerbacks while his experience will be key for this younger bunch. If Altidore can grind out consistent performances then this job will remain his to lose going forward.

Gyasi Zardes was one of the winners of March camp and deserves to be called back in. Unlike Altidore, Zardes can use his speed to go after centerbacks and he showed earlier this year he can create chances for his teammates.

Jordan Morris didn’t have the best camp in March but has experience in this competition before will be needed. The 24-year-old scored the game winner against Jamaica two years ago to earn the USMNT its sixth Gold Cup title. He brings a never-give-up work ethic and an eye for goal when given the opportunities.

Andrija Novakovich remains on loan in the Eredivisie but continues to score goals for Fortuna Sittard. He may not start for Berhalter right away but he could be a good option off the bench late in matches.

Missed Cut: Timothy Weah, Josh Sargent, Dom Dwyer, Christian Ramirez, Bobby Wood.


  1. When you play and the results really don’t matter it’s easier much easier. Look up Convey interview several years back, when you play in a competitive league no one is your friend and everyone wants your job. When you play in MLS unless you’re a marginal player there is NO pressure. That’s why the “Lion” Bradley jogs to take corners in WCQ he is absolutely under no pressure. We need players who face competition week in and week out . I agree we wasted a year in our search for a head coach and I believe that GB wears MLS colored glasses.

  2. Ike Opara anyone? I know 30 ain’t ideal, but something about he and Brooks in the central pairing makes me feel secure. Just me?

  3. Seriously, You should write an objective article explaining to all of us MNT fans why, “Michael Bradley brings leadership to the bunch and will continue to do so until his international career is over.”
    Is it his vocal presence on the field?
    Is it how he leads by example? committing smart fouls for the team? tough tackles? supporting teammates badly fouled? etc
    Is it his international winning record?
    Is it the unwavering truth that he will be a part of WC qualifying and is irreplaceable?
    Is it his high percentage of passes? His excellent field vision? His high work rate?
    Perhaps there are many leadership qualities that he brings to the locker room that we are not privy to?
    I would truly love an explanation from SBI on MBs leadership qualities

    • You’re asking for way more analysis than can be expected on SBI. And while I too want Bradley retired from international duty, to be fair the article said “he may not see the field every match.” The reality is that very few people (me included) can fathom what he brings to the USMNT that Adams or McKinnie can’t. But if coach after coach keep calling him in, there’s got to be some intangible that will keep Bradley around for a bit longer…

  4. I don’t get the Lovitz selection. Not sure what he brings?

    I dont think you can leave Lima home. He showed really well in January and can be a useful back up to Adams at RB. Yes, in my opinion, I think Adams will be in the RB/CDM position he was in March.

    Ream/Lichaj/Robinson can be LB’s.
    Ream’s versatility as a fullback and CB will probably put him on the roster.
    With Robinson, i can see him being in the left wing back role. Kid can cross.

    Lichaj – just not sure he gets called in. I don’t see GB calling in a lot of guys he has not seen yet. And having a hard time envisioning him within the system.

    • I keep hearing positive reports about Lovitz with Montreal. But every time he shows up for the USMNT he looks bad. If I was a MLS GM that would pose an interesting paradox. If I am coach of the USMNT that should be a consistent record with our team of poor play, perhaps with an asterix to try again in a year or two since it is odd. But to me it reflects the current obsession with club form and minutes.

  5. This projected roster is really close to what we will see named in May. Most fans will again be pissed off but this roster seems to be in line with how our coach thinks.
    My biggest problem is that, I believe, GB already has his starters in mind for the Gold Cup. He will not consider who is in form and who is not. Who is really hot and who is now a bench warmer for their club. A lot can change between now and the Gold Cup but I am sure that the team will once again be built around MB, no matter what.

    • I tend to agree. SBI tends to have a decent horse sense of where the NT coach is headed. I rebel against it because I think the team has been poorly managed for years including selection, but I suspect you have at least some truth in terms of what the roster will be. I don’t think he watches hard enough for performance so I don’t think it matters if x, y, or z are either liabilities or anonymous. So I expect Zardes, Trapp, Bradley, Brooks, etc.

      • “He doesn’t look hard enough for performances” is the most idiotic thing you have ever said on this site. The guy who was known to watch more film than any other manager in the US, who has embraced soccer analytics to greater extent than almost any other American manager, but IV who watched the game once is a better judge of performances.

      • First, it’s patently obvious with players like Lovitz that he isn’t watching closely enough how well they play or they would never come back. However much tape he watches. Second, depending what your mindset is for watching tape there might be an easy distinction between watching the tape and registering that a player is a liability. Maybe the coach is looking for a “type” to fit a “scheme” but missing that the player is being taken advantage of despite his superficial suitability to scheme. Maybe he is overriding US tape — what matters to me — with Montreal tape — where I keep hearing how well he plays. In both cases the mere fact he watches tape doesn’t mean he’s properly focused and learning the right lessons from said tape. Third, I don’t call you an idiot for merely disagreeing, don’t be a jerk.

      • For example, the story goes that he is detail oriented but the international date friendlies did not strike me as teams that were that well prepared. The Camp Cupcake team had a more intricate idea of how to use the scheme. The March team did not manifest any unusually apt idea of how to break down their opponent and their offense was a fairly blunt instrument.

      • Point taken, I apologize for calling your statement idiotic
        Lovitz is there because we have virtually no LBs in our pool. Robinson has been injured most of the season returning just before March camp. Given that it was pretty clear that Ream would start at LB to make the 3 man backline, he wasn’t going to get many minutes (as Lovitz) didn’t so they sent him to Spain to play with U23s.

  6. Lovitz, Trapp, Bradley, Roldan, Arriola, Morris, Zardes. All play in MLS all hot garbage to me. Better talent available elsewhere and some of those guys aren’t even young so no upside either. I’m so sick of the MLS favoritism here and within our NT. I said a long long time ago it would cost us and it did last cycle and yet here we are doing the same g– d00m rodeo in a meaningful Cup, ya’ll think qualifiers won’t be any different? Zardes leading the line for us fellas, Trapp and Bradley back passing thru midfield at a slow jog, yay MLS!!

    I told ya’ll so back then and I’m telling ya’ll now ‘IF’ this projected lineup looks anything like the actual lineup then GB is in my sh-t house and we will look trash again in the Hex, mark it fellas, a Bradley/Trapp midfield won’t do it. I told you so last time and those of you know who you are.

    And as an ATL fan I’m not an MLS fan, just a realist who realzes that our league is not at the same level even as the EFL Championship or 2.Bundesliga or the team from lower level Euro leagues that regularly qualify for UCL or Europa League. We need outside help and perspective to right this ship not a manager who wants to use our best MF at RB and a starting EPL RB at RW or bench for Jordan Morris, really???

    • Whom are you accusing of MLS favoritism? SBI projection???
      Don’t understand how you can be an Atlanta fan and MLS hater at the same time?

      The good news for a rational people is that any professional coach would have the brain to understand that as of today Jozy, Bradley and others are better than alternatives we have

      • Logic would tell you not to keep calling and starting what are the soccer equivalent of AAA baseball players for a World Series while ignoring and leaving your Major League starters off your playoff roster.

        Logic would tell you that we needed change after a major WC miss. We got zero real coaching search after over a year of waiting only to have the COO of USSF appoint his brother as manager who has won absolutely nothing as a manager. We are doing the same thing as before. You all should be pissed.

        Logic should tell you that given the circumstances we need outside perspectives not insular inward looking management that thinks it knows soccer better than the rest of the world when we’ve never won anything but GC.

        No one seed the problem and we keep repeating the same mistakes. I had better hopes before this even though it’s just an SBI projection it’s probably not that far off. No other Federation could rightly justify starting a MLS lifer like Trapp over a Bundesliga starter in either Morales or moving Adams another Bundesliga starter out of his best position for an MLS scrub. Zardes don’t get me started, anyone outside the US would laugh at the suggestion he’d be our starter at striker. Do I have to relive Robbie Findlay? League and competition you play against matters, if these two players aren’t playing in Europe or under 21 up coming with promise as Adams was before moving we need to be looking elsewhere if we want to be competitive in a WC. We have talent we just call in trash over better players. Lobito? Zardes? Morris? Trapp? Recent MB?

        Please notice I didn’t call out Lleget, Long, Jozy and a few others who I think deserve it or are better or equal options but a roster that’s 50+% MLS is not our talent level. Our talent is much better than this projection unfortunately it’s probably what we’ll get.

        Logically we need to do something different than callinup MLS players over their counterparts playing in Europe at similar positions and skill sets.

        Rant over.

    • It’s exactly what it is. A rant!
      MLS is not AAA baseball. MLS is much weaker than Bundesliga, but not to a point that the best players in MLS are worse than the worst players in Bundesliga. Sure, if we talk about difference makers in Bundesliga, they should be there. But just because someone is there and plays 500 minutes a season – no!

      So, who are European based players that surely deserve it? The one I would perhaps give you is Morales. But he was given some chances and he didn’t outshine Trapp.

      Fans like you with such a bias against MLS need to keep a close eye on matches. For the most part MLS players do not look inferior for the US compared to fancy Europeans. Long vs. Miazga, Zardes vs Nova, Trapp vs. Moralez, Lletget vs. Weah, etc.

      • Please take off the rose colored MLS glasses. MLS is not even the same level as 2. bundesliga or English Championahip and sadly and shamefully much worse than even Liga MX. The AAA comparison stands and is appropriate for how the past two managers have called in players although I still have a sliver of hope for GB.

        I think it’s a cultural thing for us Americans, we so loath admitting we don’t know this game and need outside help and perspective from a non American. We can’t even recognize that a Bundesliga starter might be better for our midfield than a player who will never play outside of our drastically inferior native league.

      • Yeah these rants have become commonplace on many threads, and personally I don’t know how so many people continue to have the stamina to rant about the same things at such great length. No one has any patience anymore, and clearly some fans don’t know what it means to build a team. This pool has to be rebooted, but you have to have a bridging of the gap, meaning you don’t just call in kids with potential, although with great upside, and that’s it.

        Sarachan pretty much did that all last summer and into the fall for those tough friendlies, and we saw a lot of those players that people are calling for now. The results weren’t pretty to say the least, although there were splashes here and there from some, but i don’t think enough to warrant consistent call ups to the full team. Club form should matter, as it tends to for every NT manager across the globe. Every manager will also have their favorites, no getting around that, but there is a big picture in mind and if the likes of Weah and Sargent, etc keep progressing and playing consistent first team minutes they will be rewarded.

        These rosters for Greg only represent this moment in time, and i don’t think any fan who thinks logically about the sport expects the rosters for Nations League and WCQ to mirror the last several rosters. It’s a progression thing, and Greg has also said he will introduce a few new players every camp to slowly intergrate them into his system. It could be lip service, but i doubt it and i’m willing to be patient to see how things progress.

        With several youth tourneys coming up several of our better younger player will get opportunities to gain international experience, while also continuing to develop. When you consider the U-20 WC, Olympic Games and Pan-Am Games you have multiple platforms for our players to play for silverware, which breeds confidence and again experience.

        However, here are some players I would like to see get a look at some point this year:

        Tyler Boyd
        Duane Holmes
        Andrew Wooten
        Romain Gall
        Ventura Alvarado
        Jann George

    • Joe: How did calling in young inexperienced players, many whom weren’t playing for their clubs professional teams work out for Sarachan? Do you know why most players of national team age are in Europe right now? Because their mothers raised them there or they have a grandparent that was born there and could get them a passport. Morales and Williams would be average players in MLS had they not been born in Germany. That statement has nothing to do with development they just would have never gotten opportunities. The difference between McKennie and K.Acosta? Pulisic paved the way for American teenagers to go to Germany. When Acosta came through a few years before his only option was to sign a pro deal with FCD, who then refused to sell him when European suitor came. McKennie, Adams, and Pulisic opened doors for Ledezma, Richards, Mendez, Sargent, and Soto, that’s an opportunity that Roldan, Trapp, and Lima didn’t have. MLS has players that can play in top 5 leagues that is why they came for Almiron and PSG was looking at Luciano, and this Summer more names will be talked about. It is not like AAA Baseball, the better analogy is the NBA. Yes, the NBA is far superior to the rest of the World, but that doesn’t mean every player in the NBA is better than every player in Europe. Just as some European players have come and been stars like Tony Parker, Dirk Nowitzki, or Giannis, others have failed and went home like Darko. Should Serbia have continued to call Darko in for game after game just because he was on the bench with the Pistons? No, he was terrible!

      • Seriously Johnny, you really think the difference between K Acosta and McKennie is because Acosta signed with MLS too early and got stuck? Acosta’s touch is not good and nothing about his MLS contract stops bigger clubs and bigger leagues from seeing his poor touch and poor passing and hence their lack of interest in paying the relative peanuts MLS is asking for a transfer on him in past years. If Acosta was better technically clubs wouldn’t have balked at the peanuts payment MLS wanted.

        You can’t get around the fact that MLS is no where close to the level of these other Euro leagues and then the next sad fact that we continue once again to shoot ourselves in the foot by call in and starting players who have inferior talent all because they play in MLS. You know what I think about all this and I’m not going to say it but everyone know what the real reason is.

        I’m not satisfied with missing WCs and looking trash because we start players who can’t connect 3 passes and whose first touch is a 10 foot radius. We have players getting real minutes and playing well across Europe and you know more than most about it. MLS minutes need a discount factor of divide by 50 to compare to Europe its just not the same thing.

        Zardes, Trapp, MB(in current form), Arriola, Lovitz, Roldan, these are AAA players being called in over Major League starters. Its the same arguement me and you have been having since the Chandler snubbing during the windows when Yedlin was hurt. And you remember my prediction then and I have that same ‘nothing has changed’ feeling now hence my tone. We should be more pissed. Are fandom is being used and our NT suffers. Are talent is so much better than Trapp and Zardes.

      • Joe you missed my point, if Acosta who was as highly rated at age 17 as McKennie was, had had the opportunity that McKennie had at 17, he would be in Germany now. Where you play is most often determined by your birthplace, your grandparents, and your agent. Acosta had multiple offers from European teams when he was 19 and 20 but FCD always blocked them. Pretty much the only way to get to Europe from MLS is to play out your contract or be wanted by a top team in a top league. Otherwise, MLS doesn’t let them go. Take Trapp, for instance, he was wanted by Blackburn, but because they are not an EPL team they are not able to pay a fee that MLS wants, Is the Championship better than MLS, yes, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t many Americans playing in MLS that couldn’t play in the Championship. There is not a player currently being called in that couldn’t be a contributor in the Championship or 2.Bundesliga, they just can’t get there because of their contracts.
        And of course the question you are never able to answer. Why would some risk losing tens of millions of dollars to force US Soccer to play MLS players? There is a huge risk and virtually no reward.

  7. Parker from NY redbulls needs another look. He did great against France and everytime he gets on the field he performs well. If we giving scrubs a try lets give Geoff Cameron another look.

  8. A shout out to Johnnyrazor for his suggested selections in a post yesterday. I think they are superior to those here. Among the problems with this group–Sean Johnson had an absolute howler over the weekend that was inexcusable. Give his spot to Guzan or Hamid. Among the defenders, I’m not crazy about Lovitz while Ream and Lichaj probably are too old for the next WC. I would include CCV, and Zimmerman. Alvarado is now a consistent starter in Mexico and we know he is a good passer out of the back, so he should be given a look. At striker I’m not sold on Morris since he looked pretty poor in the last game he played for the USMNT. I would bring in someone else who is getting a lot of time in games, which kind of lets out Wood, Sargent, and Weah. Maybe Ramirez or Julian Green even though he’s not a striker. I would pick him over Morris.

    • I don’t get this new fetish for club playing time. it strikes me as similar to JK’s obsession with club affiliations. If a player scores for us why do I care how much they play in their temporary club situation? It didn’t stop us integrating Pulisic before he was first team. It didn’t stop Landon or McBride or others. Why are we suddenly club snobs taking the side of club coaches who could get fired tomorrow? We should really only care if you show up for the Nats and then play poorly because of your club situation. But Sargent had 2 goals and Weah 1 (and Wood 3) last year while struggling in club. But we should instead play Nova who has literally never scored in our shirt, and who even played at the same time as the guys who actually scored, but he didn’t???????/ At a loss. Can we please lose the club politics and motivational games and get back to who plays well for America?

      • It is kind of hard to tell how a player will play if the last time they played was 12 months ago. Wood can’t even make a roster these days, with 18-year-old American Sebastian Soto picked above him. Donovan, Pulisic, and McBride were all playing when getting call up even if it was in lower divisions, Wood isn’t getting that. I love how you still hold onto your Nova had 48 minutes clearly he’s not good enough. Don’t you think players abilities change as the player develop and age? I think Sargent will be included based on Berhalter’s comments and I think Weah as well, but to suggest Wood deserves it because he scored in October but hasn’t played in months is arguing just to argue.
        With your Steffan logic should we also leave Pulisic, Adams, and McKennie off because we know they are starters?

      • While I understand you premise, should n’t there also be something said for a player that isn’t getting consistent playing time at their club?? All NT managers around the globe use playing time as a prerequisite for call ups, why shouldn’t we? Development is paramount for our players, especially the youth players, and one of the reasons we had a lost generation of players able to help the NT was the lack of development and ushering in players to the NT that weren’t ready or worthy.

      • CP was playing first team mins before he was called up and he was used as a sub for a few games before he got his first start for NT

      • Sorry, no, not true, Pulisic was in his first few games as a Dortmund first team sub when he got his first callup in March 2016. If he was treated like Weah that would be deemed insufficient, even if both were in fact productive subs, and then productive in their initial caps. We are now playing it safe and thus more interested in players like McKennie who see the field a lot but are not as impactful when they do so.

    • Also, bear in mind that with the new roster rules for GC — roster set before the first game, no swap outs after group round — plus the weeks of camp and friendlies before GC games, I think the roster rules will force us to focus on the players at hand, and weeks to train and play games would remove any rust. I understand perhaps considering playing time for an isolated international date where players need to show up ready. But this will likely be a month or more of training and playing soccer, the perfect opportunity to work into shape and touch any players who might need it.

      • Pulisic had made a similar number of appearances as Weah before his first call up. He received a few minutes vs Guatemala. At the time there were some rumblings of interest from Croatia and since the match was a qualifier it tied CP to US for life. However, before his 2nd call up he made I believe around 10 appearances for BvB including starts, played in the Europa League and scored goals in the Bundesliga. So by call up #2 it was pretty clear that CP was legit. With Weah only playing in matches when PSGs stars weren’t playing for various reasons and subsequent loan to Celtic where he hasn’t played much since starters returned from injury it is hard to say.

    • Practice is no substitute for playing in an actual game. Rarely can you duplicate in practice what you face in a game. It’s that simple.

      • Look, as a college player I bought “playing time,” and I grew relative to my club teammates for being incorporated into my college team early on as a freshman. However it was always my impression that when my club team got back together for U23 league each summer, my head start reduced or melted away with enough training and games in the new setting. In short, if you get run and then get played — for some other team — the distinctions go away and we’re back to can you play. GC is a long camp with plenty of time to train and get in playing time, and the players involved are superior talents. I repeat, I don’t understand sitting a better player in a tougher situation behind a less ambitious and worse player who just lucked into club minutes.

  9. At mid, Lletget Green Pulisic Gall Holmes Adams McKennie Saief Arriola. Bradley and Nagbe will age out before the cycle ends. Roldan and Trapp haven’t impressed me. I don’t get the mentality that wants to leave off a player (Green) who only scores in our biggest games.

    • I’ll give you Bradley, he’ll be 35 at the next WC. Nagbe will only be 32, an age that I think he can still perform at a high level, and at the position he plays.

      • Nagbe last season had 0G 3A. No goals or assists this season. He is the paradigm of the 8 mediocre mush two way guys we had in abundance this development cycle. Not good ball winning. Not great with the ball. Just kind of there. Stats suggest on the downside of his career, and he would be rather old end of this cycle.

  10. First off, you might need to consider Adams a RB even if that’s not bright, just because that’s how GB used him. Second, I ran the goals against numbers on defense at one point this spring and they favored Zimmerman Long Lima Lichaj. Yedlin, Robinson, and Cannon all turn out equally leaky, and Brooks is in the 2+ goals a game range with Sweat. I don’t understand the affection for Lovitz, which to me is perseverating about club promise regardless what actually happens on the NT field, where he struggled with B teams of regional sides. So I would take something like Zimmerman Long Adams Lichaj Lima Brooks CCV Robinson. Not so much because I like Robinson as a defender as because 2 assists last year suggests he is a tangible tactical option if we need someone to get forward. I’d equally like to see him used as a mid or forward wide where he might be less a liability on defense. I’d also really prefer Adams as a 6 where he belongs.

    • Having re-watched many of the games since Berhalter has taken the helm his system, where the RB pinches in while we have possession, is very similar to playing with 3 in the back. Why we don’t line up that way from the start, and select a roster accordingly instead of trying to find a way to keep certain players involved in the discussion.

      (3) Keepers: Steffen, Horvath, Take your Pick (S. Johnson/Hamid/Gonzalez/Guzan)
      (6) Defenders: Brooks, Miazga, Long, CCV, EPB, Parker/Alvarado
      (4) WingBacks: Yedlin, Robinson, Arriola/Cannon, F. Johnson
      (2) CDMs (6’s): Adams, Bradley/Trapp/Canouse/Acosta
      (2) CMs (8’s): McKennie, Acosta/Roldan
      (2) ACMs (10’s): Pulisic, Holmes
      (4) Forwards: Jozy, Weah, Sargent, Green/Zardes


      In attack it plays like a 3-1-4-2, but in defense it’d be a 3-4-1-2. Adams, McKennie, Robinson, & Yedlin provide the speed and the energy to cover the ground while Pulisic floats finding the pockets of available space. Not sold on the forwards just yet, but there is enough there to give us a fighting chance to win CONCACAF GC. Throw in a couple wild cards like Saief & Gooch if you need some additional role players.

      Still need to work on our depth options, but hopefully over the next 12-18 months additional options will emerge from the U-20 & U-23 age brackets. Guys like (Dest, Gloster, Durkin, Mendez, Soto, Amon, Moore, Mihailovic, Parks, Sabbi, Ferreira, Pomykal, Sands, etc…). There is talent coming up….just may not be ready for the Sr. team just yet.

  11. I would leave off Steffen as the clear #1 — we need to learn to focus at this stage of the cycle on what we don’t know as opposed to what is obvious — and call players to compete for the backup slots. Horvath has had good games (and bad) and should be one of the selections. Johnson has an astronomical GAA of 1.8 and I can never forget the Olympic implosion. I would instead call Frei (0.8 GAA) and Gonzalez (1 GAA).

  12. To have Wood, Weah, Green, and Sargent available and then take Zardes, Nova, and Morris might be an accurate reading of organizational temperature, but in reality is leaving off dollars in favor of dimes. The first 4 had 7 goals among them in 2018. In contrast, Nova has never scored and the other two total 1 goal in the last two years. But we have become about “fashion as proxy” and the current fashionable heuristic is club playing time. Over actual NT production.

    • It’s like the pendulum has swung over against dual national types. We’re experimenting, but only within MLS January camp cupcake.

      • Speaking of, would love to see Alex Mendez called in for the cap tie.
        And see what the kid has vs. Guyana.
        Test to see if he accepts the call.

      • KC: Probably not realistic for Mendez to play in U20 WC that will end in early to mid-June and fly directly to the US and integrate into the national side on June 18. He’s playing for Freiburg’s U19s, if he starts getting first team minutes you can start to worry about Mexico calling him.

      • I don’t know if we can say that outright. Think about it, during WCQ we had several of our trusted duals from over the years in the team, while others like Williams and Johansson couldn’t stay healthy. Sarachan brought in a lot of younger options but there were no duals in the age group that he focused on bringing in aside from Julian Green. I think we’ll start to see more of them intergrated in the next year

      • Don’t know if we can say that? Yes, Sarachan tried some dual nationals — though he also whiffed on some — but Berhalter seems disinterested. That is subject to change but my point is objectively all I know is what he rostered so far. He brought in GonzoKeeper then didn’t play him. No Frei. No Pierie or Siebetchau. No Efrain if you wanted to make an early play for his loyalty. Just none all around. Every “Amon” type that got capped, got capped with Sarachan. I thought he was going to be the bridge over the dual national issue but right now it feels like stasis. To me the “bridge” would be we get back to it not being a hot button, as opposed to trying to avoid the issue.

    • Dual nationals are not likely to make switches at this point in the cycle, they still have a chance for their birth country three years out. Holmes isn’t getting called anytime soon by England, he’s been good in the Championship but not amazing and England has plenty of talented midfielders playing in the EPL. If he has earned a callup bring him in but there isn’t need to bring him in just to tie him to the US.


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