The U.S. Men’s National Team will be taking the field against Canada in 14 days time and four current call-ins will be looking to make their debut in what is a highly-anticipated match in Orlando.
Gregg Berhalter named a 20-player pre-camp roster on Thursday which gets underway on Saturday, featuring MLS players whose seasons have ended. Philadelphia Union homegrowns Brenden Aaronson and Mark McKenzie, New England Revolution goalkeeper Matt Turner, and Minnesota United defender Chase Gasper will be looking to impress Berhalter with numerous European players still on domestic duty.
All four will look to leave a positive impression on Berhalter this camp, and hoping to play their way onto the USMNT squad for the Nations League matches against Canada and Cuba.
Here’s a closer look at these four MLS-based players:
The 19-year-old Union midfielder is coming off a breakout rookie season for the Eastern Conference club. Aaronson made 28 appearances for Jim Curtin’s side and helped the Union advance to the MLS Cup Semifinals, the farthest-ever finish in club history.
He scored three goals and registered one assist for the team this season, giving Curtin a young and promising option in midfield.
November is Aaronson’s second-consecutive call to the USMNT, although he has yet to feature. He has represented the U.S. Under-23, U-19, U-17, and U-15’s in the past and looks to continue his rapid rise for his country.
In his second-consecutive season as starting goalkeeper of the New England Revolution, Turner finished on the shortlist for MLS Goalkeeper of the Year.
In his 20 starts this season, Turner made 87 saves and registered five clean sheets under new head coach Bruce Arena. He helped the club make the MLS Cup Playoffs, despite a first-round exit to Atlanta United.
Turner will be hard-pressed to break into the Nations League squad ahead of the current top three options, but the pre-camp will offer him a chance to make a good first impression on Berhalter.
With left back one position that is constantly under question for the USMNT, Chase Gasper will look to toss his name in the conversation.
The 23-year-old made 15 appearances in Minnesota United’s backline this season, playing a major part in the club’s first-ever playoff appearance. Gasper has represented both the U.S. Under-21 and U-18 MNT in the past, totaling 21 appearances between both.
A standout at both UCLA and the University of Maryland, Gasper will be another option for Berhalter to choose at left back.
The second of two Union homegrowns in this camp, Mark McKenzie will try to put his name into the ever-growing list of central defenders.
McKenzie rose to the challenge in 2018, totaling 19 league appearances in Jim Curtin’s backline. After recording over 1,600 minutes last season, McKenzie had to wait for his chance to return to the first-team in 2019.
A former U.S. U-20 MNT player, McKenzie was called into the USMNT January camp, but failed to make his debut. A physical centerback with , McKenzie joins teammate Aaronson in trying to make his National Team debut.
Who do you think is the most likely to make their National Team debut first? Do you see any of these guys lasting long-term with the team? Who would you like to see called into the USMNT next from MLS?
Share your thoughts below.