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Who should the USMNT call for the November Nations League matches

The U.S. Men’s National is set to play the most important match of Gregg Berhalter’s tenure as head coach, and the big question surrounding the team is how many changes can we expect Berhalter to make to his team?

Is Berhalter really ready to shake things up and look at more new faces after the disappointing loss to Canada in October, or will he stick to his guns and bring back most of the same team we saw a month ago?

We should see at least one new face in November in Sergino Dest, who passed on an October call-up as he considered his national team future.

Berhalter should look at more foreign-based players in the middle of their seasons, while looking to leave out some MLS players who have gone weeks without playing after their seasons ended. Berhalter held a pre-camp this week to try and limit the impact of having some MLS players out of action, but the reality is he should choose foreign-based options earning recent regular playing time over those MLS options that have been out of action for a while.

The MLS Cup final will feature several players who could be part of the Nations League roster, so any injuries could open the door for some fringe options to step in, while Jozy Altidore could put himself into contention for a place if he can return from injury and feature prominently in the final.

What could the USMNT squad for the November Nations League matches look like? Here is SBI’s projection of players Berhalter is likely to call, and the players we believe he should call:


WILL BE CALLED: Zack Steffen, Brad Guzan, Sean Johnson

SHOULD BE CALLED: Steffen, Guzan, Johnson

There shouldn’t be many surprises at the goalkeeper position. Guzan has edged past Johnson on the depth chart as the number two to Steffen, Matt Turner is an interesting prospect who earned a look at the pre-camp, but it is more likely Berhalter stands pat in goal.


WILL BE CALLED: Reggie Cannon,  DeAndre Yedlin, Aaron Long, John Brooks, Tim Ream, Matt Miazga, Sergino Dest, Daniel Lovitz

SHOULD BE CALLED: Cannon,  Yedlin, Long, Brooks, Ventura Alvarado, Miazga, Sergino Dest, Antonee Robinson

Brooks is back from the injury he suffered in September, and should be a USMNT starter in November.

Centerback is a position that could see Berhalter go in a few different direction. Alvarado has earned a look, though he missed Necaxa’s most recent league match with an injury, throwing his availability into question.

Robinson has been playing well for Wigan, but he won’t earn a call-up unless Berhalter is ready to give up on the Daniel Loviz experiment. There’s no reason he shouldn’t, but Berhalter will make the ultimate decision.


WILL BE CALLED: Weston McKennie, Michael Bradley, Cristian Roldan, Sebastian Lletget, Alfredo Morales, Wil Trapp

SHOULD BE CALLED: McKennie, Bradley, Duane Holmes, Cristian Roldan, Lletget, Morales

Berhalter should be looking to inject some toughness into his squad, and two players who can help in that department are Morales and Holmes. Morales impressed in September, and has returned from injury to post a recent strong showing for Fortuna Dusseldorf.

Holmes is facing a tougher battle to break into the squad, with McKennie, Roldan and Sebastian Lletget ahead of him on Berhalter’s depth chart. Holmes has played well enough to earn a spot, which could allow Berhalter to use Roldan in a defensive midfield role, something he has seemed hesitant to do, but it is a positional change that is long overdue with the USMNT.


WILL BE CALLED: Christian Pulisic, Josh Sargent, Gyasi Zardes, Jordan Morris, Tyler Boyd, Paul Arriola

SHOULD BE CALLED: Pulisic, Sargent, Zardes, Jordan Morris, Emmanuel Sabbi, Arriola

Jozy Altidore has yet to return from injury for Toronto FC, so it’s tough to see Berhalter giving him a call even if he winds up playing in the MLS Cup final.

With Altidore unlikely to be available, Zardes is a good bet to get another look even though he has three weeks since his last game.

Sargent should be the starting striker against Canada, while Emmanuel Sabbi has played well enough to merit a look. Sabbi’s versatility would allow him to be an option at forward, as well as on the wing, but it would require Berhalter to give Sabbi his first USMNT call-up.

Tyler Boyd has been struggling for minutes with Besiktas, while Paul Arriola has been off for more than two weeks. Arriola is the better bet of the two to earn a call.


What do you think of this squad? Who would you call in that was left out? Who are you happy to see included in this projection?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. If we see the same squad this window that we had in October, we’ll see the same results. It’s past time that Berhaulter changed out some of “his” guys (Trapp, Lovitiz, Zardes, etc…) and changed his tactics to better match the strengths of our player pool.
    We have a number of viable options at CB (Brooks, Miazga, Long, Alvarado, CCV, EPB, Ream, Zimmerman), but few outside backs who are convincing defensively. Therefore go with a 3 back system and use the attacking ability of our outside backs slightly further up the field as wingbacks to provide width & speed.
    We still need a destroyer type CDM….Since Adams isn’t back push McKennie or Morales into the 6 roll and put a more attacking 8 into the line-up (Holmes or Green) who can link with the attackers (Pulisic, Sargent).
    At this point I’m expecting Berhaulter to trot out the same line-up used against Canada…and get beat again. At which point maybe the powers at USSF will finally realize that we need a different coach.

  2. Antonne Robinson for lovitz Europe over mls please also Alvarado deserves a call up. Agree Holmes over trap heck pomykal over aaronson or any other mls player including will trap. Rather have Ebobise Haji Wright or this Sabi guy than Zardes. Zardes is not a central forward he has proven time again that he is not that. Can’t wait for the u20s to break in the next year or so the talent is there and you won’t be able so justify not calling ledesma mendez llanez soto Richards Golster to call in weaker talent. Plus these guys are in european acadamies in netherlands and germany. You know I’ve been thinking the reason why some mediocre players from mls have been called ie. Will Trapp Daniel Lovitz Gyazi Zardes is the whole pay to play it will work all the way to the senior team. Look at the u17 they were horrible. A commenter on another blog asked what is pay to play? Someone replied it’s when poor talented soccer players have to pay to play soccer in the us soccer system they can’t afford to pay the fees so they don’t play and rich suburb kids can afford it they aren’t as good at all but they play into the US soccer system and it was clear vs the netherlands no talent not even reyna.

    • “when poor talented soccer players have to pay to play soccer in the us soccer system they can’t afford to pay the fees so they don’t play and rich suburb kids can afford it they aren’t as good at all but they play into the US soccer system”

      Absolutely spot on interpretation Fairjudge. Nice!

  3. where is horvath? club form doesn’t matter that much. at back CCV/ Moore/ Lichaj. if you look back at our big games last year they were involved. the mids are too skewed in favor of defense. like, what is our plan B to score goals except counter down a wing, and what if we need a goal at the end of the game? and do we really need 3 people at a time plus subs who can’t string passes? you need one destroyer and his sub, and then we need some creativity. anything else is drinking the kool aid. zardes would be a waste of a slot, should be wood and/or green. boyd should be out based on consistent anonymity and it should be morris backed up by weah green or one of the wing backs proclaimed as “good going forward.”

    • there needs to be more emphasis on skill and pure danger in the attack, and less on these fake “box to box” 8s who aren’t very good at offense or defense. also, at 6 we need to discard the fake regista model and get an actual destroyer in. adams if healthy. if not, holmes, morales, someone who ends plays.

  4. What happened to Wood and Johansson? Didn’t they overcome injuries over the summer? I want to see them back with the team, as well. Chandler, too…

    • amen. what we need are “middle age” strikers. soto and sargent may be a little young, though i think they should get their chances. and jozy may be getting too old, and zardes never was very good. where is the middle ground? well, the starting forwards for the france tie last year were green and wood. wood has scored plenty of qualifying goals and on good teams like mexico. green has scored on belgium and france. aj had some big goals back in the day.

    • Both have dropped down leagues and still aren’t playing for their teams. Probably age and injuries have done in ArJo. Wood is still young enough to find good form again someday, but it doesn’t appear to be right now.

  5. No Green? What does he have to do to get another look? Why would we call in Boyd? He’s done nothing except since Guyana. Just say no to Boyd, Lovitz, Trapp and Bradley. Yes to Sabbi, Robinson, Green and Holmes.

    • my theory is the brass and the coach sat down and agreed to some long term timeline leading to 2026, and he took that as license to spend forever working on his system, and to pursue the specific people he thinks should work. otherwise, based on recent results, facing imminent 2022 qualifying, any coach should be changing tactics and abandoning bad selections. to me his stubbornness, to this degree, suggests he is so immune to normal firing processes, or protected by some agreed project, that he can live on his own planet with his system and his bizarre choices. it’s like 6-10 guys who should go — well beyond normal favoritism — and while not everyone agrees on who should replace them, everyone agrees they should go and has their own suggestions.

  6. Robinson’s speed will help neutralize Canada’s speed w/ Davies and David. Yes Robinson had a bad match in a FRIENDLY w/ Jamaica, but Lovitz is terrible and Ream is better at CB where he’s less exposed than at LB. You play him against Cuba maybe but Dest should be starting LB (for now). Cannon has played better than Yedlin IMO but DAY is just returning to form. Still, Cannon is a better crosser and IMO more dangerous going baseline. Yedlin is five years later a glorified MF that can’t cross. I miss Cherundulo — or as the British announcer on the older FIFA games w/ Steve Cherry-UNDER LOW called him.

    • Bro we has awful in the Wigan and Swansea game last weekend. Also lost his mark and made Wigan get scored on. Davies and David would destroy and overwhelm him.

    • lichaj long ccv cannon

      if what you want is defense

      ccv? some say. yeah, he started the france tie and the mexico win. he’s clumsy but his man doesn’t get past him.

    • they should consider some of dest/ yedlin/ robinson as wing forward subs. get crossing/ shooting with less pressure to defend.

  7. It’s really unfortunate that it has come to the point where articles have to be written like this. I do agree with most of SBI’s calls, though, and I agree that Berhalter is past the point where we, as a fan base, can do anything more than list players in this manner. Holmes, Sabbi, and Alvarado have all earned call-ups; and we all expect those to fall through. One other player I personally feel we should be chasing is Jordan Siebatcheu, who, while not scoring much right now, is a Ligue 1 striker and we don’t know where he could be down the road.

      • This is true but it was when he was lighting it up and hoping for a France invite. He should be back to earth after a disastrous previous season. GB should give him a call, he has nothing to lose, besides, we don’t have a forward that can also play the wing at 6’3 and 175 lbs. and a motor that doesn’t quit.

    League Country Clubs Country League Conf/Fed Continent
    1 ENG Premier League UEFA / Europe???????
    4 GER Bundesliga UEFA / Europe??
    5 FRA Ligue 1 UEFA / Europe??
    7 POR Primeira Liga UEFA / Europe??
    8 TUR Süper Lig UEFA / Europe??
    9 BEL First Division A Pro League UEFA / Europe??
    10 MEX Liga MX CONCACAF / North Central America??
    11 NED Eredivisie UEFA / Europe??
    14 ARG Superliga Argentina CONMEBOL / South America??
    15 USA Major League Soccer CONCACAF / North Central America????????
    16 AUT Fußball-Bundesliga UEFA / Europe??
    17 DEN Superligaen UEFA / Europe??
    18 SCO Scottish Premiership UEFA / Europe???????
    19 SUI Super League UEFA / Europe??
    21 ENG2 EFL Championship UEFA / Europe???????
    23 GRE Ελληνική Σούπερ Λίγκα??
    24 SWE Allsvenskan UEFA / Europe??

    Now lets look at active US players :
    Christian Pulisic – Chelsea – English Premiere league
    Deandre Yedlin – Newcastle – English Premiere league
    Josh Sargent – Werden Bremen – Bundesliga
    Alfredo Morales – Fortuna Dusseldorf – Bundesliga
    Weston McKennie – Schalke – Bundesliga
    Timothy Chandler – Eintracht Frankfurt – Bundesliga
    Khiry Shelton – Paderborn – Bundesliga
    John Brooks – Wolfsburg – Bundesliga
    Tyler Adams – RB Leipzig – Bundesliga
    Zack Steffen – Fortuna Dusseldorf – Bundesliga
    Tyler Boyd – Besiktas – Turkey SUPER LIG
    Theoson Jordan-Siebatcheu – Rennes – French Ligue 1
    Haji Wright – VVV Venlo – Eredivisie
    Brenden Hines-Ike – Kortrijk – Belgium Pro League
    Ethan Horvath – Club Brugge – Belgium Pro League
    Chris Durkin – Sint-Truiden – Belgium Pro League
    Joel Sonora – Arsenal Sarandi – Argentina SUPERLIGA
    William Yarbrough – Club Leon – Liga MX
    Ventura Alvarado – Necaxa – Liga MX

    Look at the players we have starting or coming off the bench from teams in top 10 leagues in the world, and that is EXCLUDING the Austrian, Danish, Scottish, Swiss, ENG2, Bundesliga II, Greece and Swedish leagues (just because MLS ranks higher). All these players should have been in recent camp, at one time or another, to evaluate their skill, talent and team cohesiveness. There is the right configuration of players in our pool, a group that are “diamonds in the rough”, that individually they may not stand out but as a team their combination is lethal. THE US DOESN’T HAVE THE DEPTH TO IGNORE PLAYERS, especially if they play in top leagues in the world. Yet we go into the November Nations League MLS HEAVY??? Average MLS players at that??? That are not even the best IN ANY CATEGORY AMONG AMERICAN PLAYERS in MLS. Lol, we deserve to get beaten. I think we should stick with Bradley, Trapp, Zardes etc. as that will lead to GB’s exit a lot sooner.



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