Wooten, Novakovich headline snubs from preliminary USMNT Gold Cup roster

Wooten, Novakovich headline snubs from preliminary USMNT Gold Cup roster

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Wooten, Novakovich headline snubs from preliminary USMNT Gold Cup roster

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Gregg Berhalter named his 40-player provisional roster for this summer’s Concacaf Gold Cup on Monday. Included were the expected players like Christian Pulisic, Tyler Adams, and Weston McKennie.

Just like there was some surprises, several players who could’ve been called in did not get named. While experience is a main factor, a chance to get guys exposure on the international level is also a driving force behind these decisions.

With some in-form players not being included for the tournament, we decided to list five guys who deserved a call-in.

Here’s the five biggest snubs from Berhalter’s provisional roster:

1.) Andrew Wooten

Andrew Wooten may be 29-years-old, but he is coming off the best domestic season of his career. Wooten’s 17 goals, including 12 in this calendar year, was the fourth-most in the 2. Bundesliga which helped Sandhausen fight off relegation.

His physicality is a plus and his ability to go the full 90 minutes is also a promising factor. He may not get the notice due to playing in the second-tier, but Wooten deserved a chance to prove that he can help the USMNT. Outside of Jordan Morris, Wooten had a better goals per minute ratio than any other forward on this roster.

2.) Andrija Novakovich

Andrija Novakovich spent the season back in the Netherlands and was able to contribute for a top-flight side in Fortuna Sittard. His nine league goals and two assists was a positive sight after his 19 a year ago in the Dutch second-tier.

At 22, Novakovich is at the perfect age to become more implemented with the USMNT under its new head coach. Even if Novakovich is not starter material just yet, he can provide a different option off the bench in this competition. If Novakovich succeeds with Reading next season, there is zero reason why he shouldn’t receive a closer look in the future.

3.) Julian Green

Julian Green was a focal point for Greuther Furth this season, increasing his appearances, goals and assists. The Tampa, Fla. native totaled 30 appearances in all competitions and helped the club fight off relegation. The 23-year-old has experience with the USMNT and can be used in a number of different ways under Berhalter.

He can play in midfield or in any of the offensive positions which helps not only his cause, but also the team’s. Like Wooten, Green produced better numbers than Joe Gyau who played in the same division and a better all-around option as an attacking player.

4.) Eric Lichaj

With the USMNT looking for versatile players in the backline, one of its best options was not chosen in the 40-player provisional roster. Eric Lichaj showed his durability and versatility with Hull City this season, amassing 40 appearances in all competitions.

Under Nigel Adkins, Lichaj played left back, right back, and even centerback when needed for the Tigers. At 30, Lichaj still has some years to contribute to this team and has experience of being included in the past. He is a physical defender who can help prepare the younger defenders for the future. Lichaj could’ve taken the place of Daniel Lovitz, Andrew Gutman, or Marlon Fossey.

5.) Emmanuel Sabbi

21-year-old Emmanuel Sabbi is a player like Jonathan Amon making his way through the Danish Superliagen. Sabbi has yet to get a look by the USMNT but saw his numbers take a drastic jump this season abroad. He tallied over 2,000 minutes of first-team action, more than 1,400 than all of last season.

Sabbi recorded five goals and two assists for Hobro and recently helped them remain in the top-flight, scoring the winning goal in a two-legged playoff. He brings pace and creativity to midfield and can also play the wing if needed. He’s appeared twice for the U.S. U-23’s earlier this year and could’ve added a spark off the bench in this tournament.

Who did you think deserved a closer look by Berhalter and his staff? Are there any other players not on this list that you think deserved to be called in?

Share in the comments below.

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