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Sizing up the USMNT roster and first-choice XI: Pulisic, Reyna and more


While it remains unclear just when the soccer world will return to action, whenever play resumes it will include some very important matches for the U.S. Men’s National Team.

The Nations League knockout rounds were postponed, clearing the international calendar for the USMNT until World Cup qualifying begins later in 2020.

Which players will Gregg Berhalter call on when play resumes? Here is a closer look at the player pool and the best available squad the USMNT can field when action returns:


Zack Steffen, Sean Johnson, Brad Guzan

Knee tendonitis has kept Steffen out of action in 2020, but with time to give his knee rest, Steffen should be ready to go when play resumes, and he remains the top choice as starter.

Sean Johnson and Brad Guzan should continue to battle it out for the second spot, and round out the trio most likely to be called in. Johnson was in very good form to start 2020 and had solidified the second spot, but Guzan’s experience makes it a real possibility he would still be the choice to start important matches if Steffen wasn’t available.

Missed the Cut– Bill Hamid,


                                                                                                    Photo by Roy K. Miller/ ISI Photos

Reggie Cannon, DeAndre Yedlin,  John Brooks, Aaron Long, Ventura Alvarado, Matt Miazga, Sergino Dest, Antonee Robinson

Reggie Cannon has moved ahead of DeAndre Yedlin, who has fallen out of the playing rotation at Newcastle. Ventura Alvarado was sidelined by injury recently that would have kept him out of the March friendlies, but he’s a good candidate to be called in when play resumes, if he’s healthy.

Robinson’s heart condition required a procedure to correct, and it remains unclear how long he would need to recover, but if he’s healthy when the USMNT is back in action then he should definitely get a look.

Missed the cut– Tim Ream, Nick Lima, Walker Zimmerman


                                                                                                    Photo by Roy K. Miller/ ISI Photos

Weston McKennie, Tyler Adams, Sebastian Lletget, Michael Bradley, Cristian Roldan, Jackson Yueill, Duane Holmes

Bradley was already set to miss four months after offseason surgery, but now he could very easily be healthy and available when the USMNT returns to action. As much as looking at younger alternatives is something Berhalter should consider, Bradley is still a player you bring in for important matches.

Holmes was sidelined with an injury that was going to cost him a shot at the March friendlies, but he was in excellent form before the injury, and Berhalter was scouting him and planning to have another look.

Missed the cut – Alfredo Morales, Wil Trapp, Julian Green, Richie Ledezma, Paxton Pomykal


Jozy Altidore, Josh Sargent, Gyasi Zardes, Jordan Morris, Gio Reyna, Tyler Boyd

In this projection we include three strikers, though generally Berhalter only brings two. Zardes is capable of playing in a wide role, and it’s tough to see Berhalter leaving either Altidore, Sargent or Zardes home if all three are healthy and available.

On the winger front, Jordan Morris is a locked in starter, while Gio Reyna’s rapid rise thrusts him into the conversation. Tyler Boyd stands a good chance of starting in the near term after Paul Arriola’s torn ACL, but you have to think Reyna is on the fast track, and could be a candidate to start by the time World Cup qualifying rolls around.

As Berhalter searches for new winger options, you have to think he’ll try to find room for Jesus Ferreira, who is versatile enough to play multiple positions. Sebastian Saucedo is another player who has enjoyed a rapid rise in 2020, and he stood a good chance of playing a prominent role in Olympic qualifying.

Tim Weah is a player who has to be considered when healthy, but after missing almost an entire season due to hamstring injuries, it’s tough to tell whether he will be able to work his way back into the USMNT conversation this year.

Missed the cut – Andrija Novakovich, Jesus Ferreira, Tim Weah, Sebastian Saucedo, Ulysses Llanez

Preferred XI

As much as there will be a continued belief among many USMNT fans that it’s time to move on from Michael Bradley, nobody should be surprised if he remains a focal point in midfield when World Cup qualifying rolls around. He has clearly lost a step, but partnering him in central midfield with two tireless engines like McKennie and Adams could help cover for his weaknesses while allowing the system to benefit from his distribution.

Gio Reyna’s time will come, and it’s easy to see him starting a year from now, and when that time comes, Pulisic can slide to the middle, with Adams dropping into the defensive midfield role he is perfectly-suited to play. That’s a shift that will happen eventually, but it wouldn’t shock me if we’re seeing that as early as September.

At striker, Jozy Altidore is still the top option, though Josh Sargent is the heir apparent and is well on his way to grabbing the lead striker role for himself.

Reggie Cannon gets the nod ahead of DeAndre Yedlin, though if Yedlin can regain a starting role at Newcastle, or make a move to a club where he becomes a starter, then the battle for the starting right back role will open up.

Sergino Dest is both the best right back and best left back option in the pool, but there are fewer left back options at the moment so he should slot into that role for the near future.

What do you think of this projected squad. Who would you change in our projected preferred starting lineup?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Not going to get excited about projected lineups. One unexpected thing this Covid virus has done has taken the pressure off GB and bought him some time to try and figure out where we’re going and who’s going to take us there. I will be very disappointed if GB tries to move forward with some of the players he apparently was going to use before all this. I think that this is the time to get younger and that means dropping the likes of Bradley, Jozy and Guzan as well as some he was using that weren’t really shining. Time will tell if GB learned anything or if its back to the same misguided teams he was picking before the virus hit

  2. You’re going to get a hard reset from the long corona break which will likely favor mid-career continuity or the players who come out the other side healthy or hot. I don’t think sitting around for months favors the players 30 or over. I also think the lack of playing time will not help the younger players break in faster other than those like Reyna or Llanez who had already been called or were already seeming to make an impression.

    • Also might keep young MLS players from transferring to Europe the cash they were asking prior to this break will likely not be there now. Also effecting A Robinson since he hasn’t been able to have his operation.

  3. Keeping it real, IVES is stuck on Bradley. He is not even up to par in MLS let alone the USMNT as a whole. Look at this article on MLSSOCCER…

    “I’ve surely stepped in it this time. By accepting the mission of imagining who would win a game between US men’s national team-eligible players with MLS day jobs and those who draw club paychecks from abroad, I’m poking at a real hornet’s nest.
    The debate has kicked off countless tense squabbles since Americans playing in Europe and Mexico became a hot topic in the early 2000s, from BigSoccer to Twitter to your current edition of
    So here I am to piece together a starting XI for both imaginary teams and then figure out how a game between the two sides would unfold. I’m clearly opening myself to irked rants from all corners, regardless of what result I predict.
    But first, let’s introduce my chosen squads. We’ll assume everyone is fit, but maybe those who’ve been out a while are a form question mark.

    Goalkeeper: Brad Guzan (Atlanta United), Bill Hamid (D.C. United)
    Defenders: Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls), Miles Robinson (Atlanta United), Walker Zimmerman (Nashville SC), Reggie Cannon (FC Dallas), Ryan Hollingshead (FC Dallas), Aaron Herrera (Real Salt Lake)
    Midfielders: Russell Canouse (D.C. United), Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy), Jackson Yueill (San Jose), Darlington Nagbe (Columbus), Paxton Pomykal (FC Dallas)
    Forwards: Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Jordan Morris (Seattle), Paul Arriola (D.C. United), Jonathan Lewis (Colorado), Gyasi Zardes (Columbus)
    The MLS boss would have one heck of a time deciding several close position battles, to put it mildly.

    In goal, there are numerous suitable options, but I’d probably start Guzan for his high-level experience, solid all-around game and quality at facing spot-kicks. There weren’t nearly as many plum left-back choices. I took Hollingshead over Chase Gasper and Daniel Lovitz in spite of the fact that he’s the only one from that trio with no USMNT caps to his credit.
    While manning the backline and attack stables were pretty straightforward, picking the midfield cogs was more difficult. A large amount of skillset redundancy is how experienced national teamers like Michael Bradley and Wil Trapp were left out. I simply tabbed Yueill as being on the best form trajectory. In a similar vein, Cristian Roldan – I actually penciled him in as the starter in Yueill’s spot at one point during the roster build – was the last/toughest bench cut.
    The MLS attacking line may not have a talent edge, but unlike the Exports, they’re proven producers at the international level. The backline is aces at defending on the run and the midfield group is full of pluck, which they’ll need to deal with Christian Pulisic & Co. The MLS team also has the bench advantage, especially when it comes to the midfield and attack.

    The elephant in the room is the midfield matchup. The MLS group is solid, but the trio they’re up against is on another level. The uncapped duo of Canouse and Hollingshead may not actually be liabilities, but at this level they’re at least big question marks. With the defensive midfield work of Canouse sorely needed, Nagbe drops to the bench. Because of this, the team is likely going to suffer a sizable possession deficit to the Exports, which only makes them more tactically predictable.

    The Exports
    Goalkeepers: Zack Steffen (Fortuna Dusseldorf), Ethan Horvath (Club Brugge)
    Defenders: John Anthony Brooks (Wolfsburg), Matt Miazga (Reading), Sergino Dest (Ajax), Antonee Robinson (Wigan), Ventura Alvarado (Necaxa), Tim Ream (Fulham)
    Defender/midfielder: Geoff Cameron (QPR)
    Midfielders: Tyler Adams (RB Leipzig), Weston McKennie (Schalke), Christian Pulisic (Chelsea), Duane Holmes (Derby County)
    Forwards: Josh Sargent (Werder Bremen), Giovanni Reyna (Borussia Dortmund), Timothy Weah (Lille), Ulysses Llanez (Wolfsburg), Emmanuel Sabbi (Hobro IK*)

    Most of this team’s lineup picks were no-brainers, but filling out the bench was a bit tricky.
    Some may argue that DeAndre Yedlin deserves to be on the roster, perhaps even as a starter. However, his form has dropped and Dest’s large edge going forward earns him the start. Cameron’s ability to cover both the fullback positions and defensive midfield then nudged the Newcastle man right off the match squad.
    Up the field, Julian Green narrowly missed out as both the midfield playmaker and wing backup, while Sabbi beat out a bit of competition to deputize the forward role.

    The Exports’ midfield advantage is sizable in this fantasy matchup. Adams, McKennie and Pulisic are each Champions League knockout-caliber performers for their respective roles. This squad also has a compatible center-back tandem, speed to burn out wide, loads of verve and a netminder capable of heroics.

    The biggest concern would be over how much cutting edge the front line could produce. Reyna, Sargent and Weah all bring loads of talent, but precious little experience. It’s also worth fretting some over the defensive capabilities of Dest and Robinson, who will each be charged with corralling a strong MLS threat when they’re not bombing forward.

    How would the game go?
    Though each side has their areas of superiority, there’s not a ton separating the MLS and Exports teams. Adding the pride factor to our fictional showdown, one would expect a tight contest with momentum swings. You might also figure the Exports would hold a decent possession advantage, with the MLS crew looking to stay compact, absorb pressure and jump onto the counter attack. Even so, they can’t just cede the midfield to their pricey opponents from overseas.
    To have a chance, they’ll need to disrupt McKennie’s supply/distribution chain and prevent him from sending Pulisic and the other pacy Exports attackers off to the races. Can the MLS midfield do that for 90 minutes? That’s unlikely, which is precisely why the Chelsea roadrunner opens the scoring late in the first half thanks to a give-and-go with Sargent.
    Just when it looks as though the Exports might double their advantage, the MLS boys get loose on the break to tie the score on the edge of halftime. Yueill slips Morris behind on the left and his shot is parried by Steffen, but the rebound is easy enough pickings for Altidore.
    MLS then carries much of the second-half play, but are left agonizing over several huge Steffen stops when McKennie bags an 85th-minute decider created by interplay between Pulisic, Dest and sub Llanez. When all is said and done, the Exports boutique midfield makes the difference in a 2-1 bout.”

    Bradley and Trapp left out of THE MLS LINE-UP, Cameron listed as a defensive midfielder, Nagbe recognized at one of the best to represent MLS……finally an article that is bias free based on talent, skill and ability!!!! Thank you Greg Seltzer lol

    • Your singularity of focus is impressive, in this fantasy article Nagbe is benched behind Canouse and Altidore scored and you still held it up as a sterling example because Bradley wasn’t picked.
      Also, I’ll be shocked if your comment isn’t deleted you can’t copy and paste an almost complete article from another site.

    • hahaha, Johnny clueless razor strikes again hahahaha

      1. You cannot plagiarize (take the work or an idea of someone else) when you give full credit where credit is do….an article in MLSSOCCER by Greg Seltzer who I thanked in the end lol

      2. Benching Nagbe means the team is “likely going to suffer a sizable possession deficit to the Exports, which only makes them more tactically predictable.”…what do you think he means in regards to Nagbe’s ability?? lol,

      3.Speaking of “singularity of focus” who made a comment about Altidore. He is irrelevant so I did even mention him. Are you so use to defending him that you have to, even when he is not worth bringing up?

      Listen Johnnyrazor if you are mad about your boys Altidore and Bradley I get it…..but their time has past so get over it haha

      • You actually did plagiarize because you used too much of the article even though you did somewhat cite the article, although not in any approved form APA, MLA, etc… I don’t really care about that though.
        It is just improper form to place a near complete article on someone else’s website. If you link the article and hit a few quotes interested individuals would still click on the link and give the add revenue it earned by creating and publishing the piece.
        One opposing view point from Seltzer doesn’t prove Ives is biased, if you found multiple authors with the same opinion then you could begin to make a case.

      • Highlighting a link is not different that copying most of the article……it’s just making it easier for people to read. whether you list a lot or a little, YOU / ME / and everyone on here get most of their ideas and views from somewhere else… other words other sources. You have not experienced or played soccer at a professional level to come up with some of your far fetched point of views… you like me ARE JUST Regurgitating someone else’s work…FYI. Why you are butt hurt about this particular article is beyond me but knowing that Greg’s article really bothers you in the manner it has quite frankly brings me so much joy during this quarantine hahaha.
        IVES, Seltzer, me, you ……we all have a point of view about how we feel things should be and is totally irrelevant in the player selection process made by GB (just because IVES says Bradley should be our CM doesn’t mean he will be). So before you get all touchy / holy on me, when we argue, we argue on the bases of our individual paradigm. So with that said do now act like what you bring to this site, however significant it may be, is somehow from your higher intellect…….and not you really regurgitating some else’s hard work and research.

        At the end of the day Bradley is not the player he use to be and should not be starting for the USMNT……. it doesn’t take Seltzer’s article to highlight that fact.

      • All of the following are considered plagiarism:
        turning in someone else’s work as your own. copying words or ideas from someone else without giving credit. failing to put a quotation in quotation marks. giving incorrect information about the source of a quotation.
        1. I gave credit
        2. The whole article is in quotation

        So like you said even though it is not important, to educate you, plagiarism has nothing to do with “too much” of an article…..well maybe if it has to do with Bradley or Altidore hahaha

    • Oh and Johnny, I love the way Greg Seltzer highlighted the fact that Bradley + Trapp = skillset redundancy and dropped them both for someone better haha (if only GB saw it that way)

    • Bizz,
      Whether your post stays or not is not up to me, I really couldn’t care less. If your comment is taken down it will be because what I said, you shouldn’t publish another’s near complete work even if you give them credit. However, small it is it does take away from Setzer’s income even though his site is free. I didn’t want it to be taken down and have you think that SBI was censoring you because you disagreed with Ives. That was my only reason behind my comment. I actually agree with you that Bradley shouldn’t be called in but I understand Ives’s thought that if the next match the US plays is a qualifier and Bradley is in form any manager would likely call him. It feels like Berhalter has been grooming Yueill to replace Bradley since the GC and the March friendlies and NL with Bradley injured could have solidified that but that chance is gone. There really are too many unknowns at this point with injury recovery, scheduling uncertainty, ability to improve or not deteriorate during quarantine to even guess as to who will come out as our best options. Stay safe Bizzy, as much as you drive me crazy I do enjoy your opinions.

  4. So the question is, why all the Michael Bradley promotion from Ives? Is it friends just looking out for each other or is Ives trying to to tell us to get used to Bradley till 2022? Oh gosh I’m scared if it’s the latter. another failed WCQ cycle.

  5. Remember when all the CM Vets were exterminated by Dad Bradley, so he can start building the team around his son michael? Fast forward 13 years alter and this time the vet is being pushed aside for the better versions of Mikey. Nepotism.

    • Here are the CMs for 2006 WC, 34 year old Claudio Reyna, John O Brien who played 21 club matches between 2002 WC and 2006 WC because of injury Mastroeni and Ben Olson. Meanwhile MB was starting in the Eredivisie and scoring 15 goals. Shortly after he made a move to the a Bundesliga were he was a regular starter so yeah only got into the line up because of nepotism.

      • Reyna was 32. he gracefully retired so the next generation can break through and get the experience.

    • So we went from exterminated by Bob to gracefully retired. The CMs were either old, injured, or average. Prolonged or frequent injuries to Adams and McKennie along with average play from Yueill, Trapp, Canouse, K Acosta and others have kept M Bradley around. Dude should retire but saying he only made it because of nepotism is complete fiction.

  6. Gio Reyna is better than Jordan Morris at this point. It’s just a fact. Although, imagine the way Morris would stretch the defense as a forward on top with Pulisic and Reyna on wings w/ Adams and McKennie in the center. Either way, the only reason Reyna isn’t in the starting XI is because of his age, and that’s not a good reason. He plays an impactful role at one of the biggest clubs in the world against the best competition – multiple levels above that of MLS. I actually think, although Morris is best utilized as a winger for his club, he could be an answer up top given the injury proneness of Altidore and the…um…difficulties inherent to Zardes as the lone forward. Sargent isn’t quite there yet to be starting IMO from a hold-up play and goal scoring vector (Morris may not be a hold up forward either, but he has shown that he can knock the ball into the net).

    On the MB front, I’m not sure that this team needs a pure DCM in the hole. I think the most important thing is whether a player can retain possession and relieve pressure given the two young buzzing CMs in front of them in Adams and Weston. Especially if we play a high press. I don’t think Bradley has the legs anymore, and I think (while his vision is still fantastic) his ability to actually play the pass quickly and/or keep the ball under duress has diminished as well. Nagbe would be ideal here as a way to link between the attacking mids and defenders, as well as to provide a drop outlet to the guys in front in order to keep the ball….alas.

    I’m not sold on Lleget, Jackson Y, or the other MLS kids as an alternative here, either. Most of them seem to be average possession players AT BEST against mid-low tier opponents, and I just don’t think any of them would be an improvement to Bradley. That said, and I’m a big Alfredo Morales fan here, I don’t think he’s a best XI guy in a possession style and would rather see him come on to embolden defensive shape and insert some steel into the midfield in a situation where we’re protecting a lead.

    Have any of you seen much of Hyndman or Keaton Parks since they’ve come back to MLS? On paper, to me, Parks seems like the ideal replacement for Bradley – silky on the ball, thinks quickly, good in the tackle, and physically imposing for a DCM. I just haven’t seen enough of him. How do you all rate him as the heir to the DCM spot? Any overtures about Roldan will be mocked. I’ve seen a lot of him. Trash.

    • The only reason he’s not in the starting 11 is we haven’t had any matches he was available for since he began playing with the first team. He would have been available in Nov. but was at the time with Dortmund youth and coming off a lackluster U17 WC. People are guessing Berhalter wouldn’t start him because of age but Dest went straight into the starting eleven based on his club play no reason to think Reyna wouldn’t too.
      It’s hard to judge the MLS based guys with only two new games but I’ll give you my thoughts on the DCM choices.
      Hyndman and Nagbe don’t have the defensive bite to play as line 6s especially if Wes and Tyler are pressing and leaving the 6 as the lone cover. I see Hyndman as an 8 or even as a wing with the full backs pushing wide and he cutting inside. Nagbe has said he has no interest and quote “I’m a home body”.
      Yueill is a good passer and reads the game well and has learned how to be a little nasty under Almeda but is probably the least athletic.
      I haven’t seen a lot of Park but I think he’s lacking defense. He seems to like to get forward a lot too.
      I haven’t seen Durkin since he started playing regularly in Belgium but those that have say he’s made large strides.
      How guys come out of the layoff is hard to predict and with the schedule pretty up in the air it’s hard to predict who will move into the different spots.

      • Who we have at the # 6 will depend upon what formation Berhaulter uses.
        IMO our CDMs are as follows:
        1) Adams, 2) McKennie, 3) Morales/Yueill, 5) Bradley 6) Canouse/Servania/Durkin
        Box-to-Box CM’s (# 8)
        1) McKennie, 2) Holmes, 3) Pomykal 4) Hyndman, 5) Aaronson, 6) Parks/Green/K.Acosta

        In a 4-3-3 my preferred would be McKennie, Adams, Holmes.
        In a 4-2-3-1 I’d use Adams & McKennie deep (2) with either Homes or Pomykal/Hyndman as the CM in the 3 line.
        In a 4-1-4-1 I’d use Adams with McKennie & either Holmes or Hyndman as the creative CM.

        We’re still in a transitional period as some players (Bradley/Morales) are aging out and our younger players are gaining in experience. Depending upon when leagues are back to playing will have a huge impact on which players will be most prepared for the return of National Team competitions.

      • Wow haven’t seen K.Acosta mentioned in quite some time. Seemed to find a little of his groove a little under Fraser.
        I think Aaronson is a 10 not an 8, looked better defensively in two Union matches this season but not enough to be an 8 at this point.
        What’s your number 10 ranking?
        1. Pulisic 2. Holmes 3. Ledezma 4.Aronson 5. Lletget 6. Vassilev. 7. Mendez
        Not sure where Vassilev fits seems to playbfor AVs U23 as a CF, played as more a second striker in his couple of appearances for full team.

      • Honestly, as long as Berhaulter is the manager I don’t really see the team using a pure # 10. If I were to rank those capable of playing the roll of the 10 it would be along the following:
        1) Pulisic – Although I prefer him out wide. If Llanez or Weah really catch on than sure move him into the center. As he matures he may ultimately be a 10.
        2) Holmes – Although better as an 8
        3) Lledezma – Probably our only pure 10
        4) Lleget/Green – Probably only as a bridge while the younger generation gain experience.
        5) Aronson – Likely will end up as an 8 as he develops (Similar to a young Bradley)
        6) Mendez – Still too green…and may ultimately end up as a wide attacker.
        7) Scott – Only thing holding him down on this list is lack of PT. Could easily see him tied w/ Green @ the 4th spot in place of Lleget (Limited shelf life).

    • Lost: disagree on Aaronson, I don’t see him playing as an 8. He’s today more of a second striker than a string puller but not a guy that wants to run up and down all day long. I don’t know if his finishing and passing ever develop into a starting level #10 for NT in big competitions.
      Berhalter always had a #10 in Higuain at Crew, he’s evolved it a little by using a tandem high in the center but there is always an AM that stays primarily in the offensive 3rd. Pulisic in the CP/Wes grouping in GC, Wes in the Wes/Roldan pairing in NL. It may not be a traditional straight in the middle 10 role but they AM offset on the left has been a 10 throughout Berhalter’s era.

  7. Haha Bradley in the starting lineup, SBI posters’ heads are exploding. Seriously though, respect to the guy, but he is done internationally. I mean I know some 40 and 50 year olds with soccer smarts and skills beyond the average u17 player, but if you put them on the field, especially in the center of midfield, the 16 yr olds will run past them like they were traffic cones all day long…

    • Yeah, I am inclined to agree. Many fans forget that Bradley, at his absolute peak, as a super-athletic workhorse destroyer in the midfield that quickly closed down space and made it hell for attacking players to play through us. He was also very good at finding a good pass compared to others in the pool like Ricardo Clark, Mo Edu, Jose Torres and Benny F (the latter of the two were better running at players than picking out a key pass) but he was never really world class in that regard. He, in his prime, was an optimal general on the pitch with a great blend of work ethic, steel, athleticism, amazing defensive instincts, and quick play. As his legs have declined, he has become more of a wise, savvy player who relies on his vision – which is top-tier by MLS standards, but not particularly elite outside of it. When you consider his diminished athleticism, his more passive physical approach versus the nastiness he used to bring on the pitch, and a mid-high level but not world class elite passing ability you get a net average and aging player who is valuable most because of the experience he can bring to younger players. I’m not sure that’s enough anymore, and certainly not enough to merit a starting XI place.

    • I’m good with Bradley still starting ahead of other options as long as he is rested. The final at the end of the Gold Cup – he was exhausted, Up until then he played better than any other 6 would have.

      • Bob Bradley posts on here. Nobody should be ok with Bradley still in the team at this point. This a national team not a high school social club.

  8. A little editing problem with this since Ives doesn’t list CP in the article and then shows him as a starter on the diagram. Obviously he is a member of the team and a starter and he plays where he wants to play. Take Boyd off the list and replace him with Pulisic. I have real problems with the midfield selections. Ditch Bradley and Roldan. Include Morales for Bradley and Hyndman or Green for Roldan. I really haven’t seen Holmes, so I would be tempted to use either Green or Hyndman for Holmes since both have top league experience while Holmes does not. Even making the bench of a top 5 league team is a bigger accomplishment, IMO, than playing in a lower division. Thanks to Bizzy for the quote from Cameron which coincides with my opinion, which is why I would put Yedlin ahead of Cannon. Hyndman ahead of Roldan and Green ahead of Holmes. Yedlin was already a star in MLS, has WC experience, and has started probably close to 100 EPL games. Newcastle has a new coach this season in Bruce and Yedlin has had some injury issues. Temporarily losing his starting job doesn’t make him worse than Cannon. When Cannon has an EPL team come calling for him, then you consider him as a starter

    • Sorry but I don’t think Green is the player that Duane Holmes is right now, and I’d also argue that he plays in a better league than Julian too. Saying he has experience in a top league is a little misleading when you consider he never started a game for Munich and only got mop up duty in a few league and Champions League games. I’d side with Holmes being ahead of Green bc i have watched them both a lot this season amd last and for me Holmes deserves more of a look.

      Roldan, I can convince myself of not being a consistent contributor to the Nats so he doesnt need to be there and could be replaced by someone like a Hyndman, although Hyndman is another player that had to put his tail between his legs and come back stateside as well to get minutes(ala Parks and Saief). The SPL I wouldnt call a big league or highly competitve, so he doesnt have top level experience either, especially considering he never really played for the Bournemouth first team for any extended period of time, but you can see the ability he has nonetheless

    • This is such a simple solution we wouldn’t even need a manager or a GM just who ever has the best agent makes the 23 man roster. Whomever plays for the highest ranked EPL team is the captain then anyone else on an EPL roster whether they play or not starts and then I guess we’d go anyone in Spain, then Germany. France would fill in next then Netherlands, where it gets tricky is how do we rate someone in the Championship vs 2Bundes, Denmark, Scotland? Or maybe people that know far more about soccer that actually have time and access to watch the matches of all these players and work them out against each other could rate them and place them on a roster. is a great resource there are 5-10 Derby matches from this season you can watch and more from last year. You can search by player 6 Emo matches from Rangers, not much for Green mostly his NT appearances. There are 46 Yedlin matches but no Newcastle since Jan 2019. You can find two Boyd complete matches from Europa League as well.

    • The Bizzy/Gary Roster Composite Roster
      GK: Guzan (EPL), Steffen (Bund) Klinsmann (Bund 4 benches)
      Def: Ream, Yedlin, Miazga, Dest, Moore, Brooks, Robinson,
      Mid: Bradley, Pulisic, Morales, McKennie, De La Torre (1 EPL bench) Adams, Vassilev, Hyndman, (sorry Green our because obviously these guys with EPL experience must be better)
      For: Jozy (most EPL matches and Euro goals)Sargent, Wright, Wood
      I’m torn on Cameron but he’ll be 35 in July but he has more top league starts so he should knock Adams out of the roster but I’ll let it slide.

      • I’m disappointed in you johnny. You use the cheap debating trick of oversimplifying and misrepresenting my position and then attack me for things I never said, nor believe. You ignore, for example, that Hyndman scored two goals in his first 3 games with Atlanta and that Green was having an excellent season until his injury. Some of the other selections you attribute to me are so ridiculous that I don’t want to waste my time responding on what is obviously not even a serious post on your post. I thought you were better than this.

    • Sorry Gary perhaps being quarantined has me off my game. You said Green was better because he’d made the bench in the Bundesliga and Hyndman has 2 end of season cameos (the same # of EPL appearances as Vassilev). Just because someone hasn’t played in Europe doesn’t mean they aren’t better than someone who has. The difference between say Pomykal and Vassilev is a passport. If Green grows up with his Dad instead of his mom he’s in MLS. Hyndman isn’t in Atlanta because he loves Chicken and Waffles and hates mushy peas, EPL teams found him not good enough, his wasn’t a 6 million dollar contract to return home. Cannon had reported interest from at least one EPL club last fall but would have not been able to get a work permit. He restructured his deal with Dallas to make his transfer easier but with Covid he admitted last week he may have to wait until next January to move. You really should check out though, hundreds of matches, 111 USMNT matches dating back 1979 you can search by club or team. Say you want to watch Klinsmann there are 92 of his matches as player and 38 he managed. You can even find 13 matches your beloved Tata played in and 135 he managed.

  9. Very impressed with Yuell, and this might bump Cannon out of the right back and Adams to that spot. Not sure about it, but he looks very internationally ready. Cannon has the physical tools but still needs to develop in his decisions/his crosses. Yedlin is the wild card here, as some have observed.

    • doubtful…..Cannon has shown a lot in the last few performances to lead me to believe he’d be fine starting or backing up Yedlin. Id even argue he’s a better crosser than Deandre. Some people just refuse to get in line with what’s apparently clear bc he’s in MLS

      • Yuell also in MLS. I guess time will tell here. They are both very good players. I’m just impressed with Yuell’s passing, positioning, work rate. Need to see more, though.

    • No one in the currently player pool, and I mean NO ONE, is better than Adams at the CM position to push him to RB. Additionally, the RBs are better at RB than Adams is at it. The strongest players at their natural positions (Adams at CM, Yedlin/Cannon at RB) outclass the Jackson Ys or other upcoming players, so shifting things around to include these squad players is foolish, I think.

  10. What does Michael Bradley offer at the international level? We all know he has no legs left, and he not as strong as he once once, both physically and mentally. He is woefully overmatched on the field. Ives will probably argue ghat his experience in the gires of qualifying and calmness under the gun make him a valuable player. At the international level, everyone knows what Michael knows. It’s like the kid who was really good at age 10-12 because he had some skill and really understood the game for that age. But as you grow up, its not enough to be smart, experienced, etc. you have to have some outstanding physical skills(as a player not just an athlete). The brains of MB are not enough when you are TWO steps slower than everyone else on the pitch. Ives let it go. He is done internationally.

  11. As soon as I saw MB90 included I came to the conclusion that this will be the last time I read and/or comment on anything from Ives. Good bye.

    I cannot stomach the thought of another WC cycle watching that loser jog around for 90 minutes hoping for one decent pass from him while the opposition runs through the middle exploiting out swiss-cheese defense

  12. Actually, I wish Bradley and Altidore do make the team, as this team WILL suck without question, as of course it always has with those two present, and maybe eventually it’s going to be clear exactly what is wrong with US Soccer. With US soccer it’s Privilege over talent (Cameron said it, Feilhaber said it, Jermaine Jones said it, Darlington knows it). Yet even though Privilege makes it easier to pursue talent, like the opportunity given to players because they are the coaches son or a close friend of the family, talent isn’t something you’re given without putting effort in.

    Ahh, Geoff Cameron said it best:
    “Look, there are plenty of excellent players in MLS. It’s not just the level of “quality” that’s elevated overseas. It’s more than that. It’s a whole mentality. In the top leagues in Europe, it’s just … ruthless. And not just in training camp. Not just when you’re trying to impress a new manager. Every. Single. Day.”

    “It’s a grind, both mentally and physically, to keep earning your spot every weekend. You can’t even explain it until you’ve lived it. At Stoke, sometimes we have a few of the academy kids come and fill in during practice if we need some extra bodies, and we can usually tell within the first five minutes — seriously, within the first five — whether or not the kid is going to make it as a pro. There’s a certain mentality. A certain look in their eyes. A certain demeanor when they take a really hard tackle. You can recognize it almost instantly.”

    “It has nothing to do with athleticism or size — attributes that the scouts and coaches in U.S. Soccer seem obsessed with sometimes. I remember the first time I trained with Bojan Krkić at Stoke. He’s listed at like 5′ 7″, but he looked more like 4′ 10″. And the guy was just an absolute animal out there. He’d made it through the Barcelona system at that size. I remember thinking to myself, What would’ve happened if he had come up in U.S. Soccer?”

    “this is the mentality that is so toxic across the board in youth soccer in America. It’s not about proving yourself every day. It’s about what you did last year. It’s about who you know. It’s about your size. It’s about your reputation. It’s about what youth club you played for.”

    “These are the kind of coaches who will take their teams to Europe for a week to train at Barcelona’s academy and be too proud or too stubborn to ask the Barca coaches any questions. It’s the kind of mentality that Jürgen, for ALL HIS faults, was trying to get away from. He was trying to build something from the ground up. He was trying to end the silver-spoon culture and introduce real competitiveness at every level.”

    Silver spoon mentality….not doing $hit for club but flying the flag for country……Brilliant Geoff, absolutely brilliant!!!! WELCOME TO MORE YEARS OF HEARTACHE…..hahaha, well at least we are all going to suffer together ???

  13. Bradley was already set to miss four months after offseason surgery, but now he could very easily be healthy and available when the USMNT returns to action…..yet starts ahead of a Bundesliga Veteran Alfredo Morales??

    Altidore, Mr. Injury prone himself, who can never finish a single MLS season health, who has never got anything top honors for scoring goals or getting assists, who plays on a team like TFC (with Bradley) that cannot go toe-to-toe with the top 5 teams in Liga MX….gets the nod because “ Tim Weah will only be considered when healthy, but can’t right now after missing almost an entire season due to hamstring injuries” ……haha, I swear you can’t make this BS up

    • I believe Jozy was a top league goal scorer at AZ Alkmaar for a season or 2, but if anybody knows for sure they can correct on that! I agree thay Jozy can’t stay healthy and that doesn’t bode well for having our hopes of scoring goals pinned to him, but until another ST is scoring goals consistently or playing at a high level week in and out, there aren’t many options at that position.

      • “I believe Jozy WAS a top league goal scorer at AZ Alkmaar for a season or 2,”….so what Altidore did in 2011 – 2013, 6 + years ago, justifies his abilities ?? haha,

        1. “Altidore has 56 goals in 112 matches since returning to MLS and ranks behind Chris Wondolowski (who is at retirement) for total goals scored in the last 4 years, highest goals scored in a single season in the last 4 years and number of consecutive goals scored in the last 4 years
        2. Altidore has never achieved ANY TOP HONORS in ANY CATEGORY in a league like MLS in 4+ years
        3. He can’t stay healthy for a complete season
        4. Altidore scored 1 goal in 42 appearances for Sunderland in the EPL in his prime
        5.Move to Hull City in the 2009-10 season, 25 appearances for the Premier League side, he mustered up just one goal and assisted three others.”
        6. Playing at a high level, he has a grand total to two goals in a staggering 70 Premier League appearances

        And you are worried about Altidore’s form 6 years ago??? haha, to put things into perspective, 6 years ago Freddy Adu was still playing soccer for the Philadelphia Union lol

        “…until another ST is scoring goals consistently or playing at a high level week in and out”. Hahah, Ronniet Jozy Altidore is not scoring goals consistently or lighting up MLS OR PLAYING AT A HIGH LEVEL WEEK IN WEEK OUT (TFC remember?) ???. Unbelievable…

      • Your only counting regular season MLS matches, counting CL (Jozy scores in Tigres and Club America) Playoffs and Domestic Cup (Altidore’s goals are against Vancouver and Montreal) he’s above Wondo. ——————
        If you had two matches you want the person who is most likely to score. Over the last 5 years there is only one American who has averaged at least one goal per two games, Jozy Altidore. That’s using over 100 contests to determine a statistical probability, that’s what my post sad. You advocated using two matches to predict, which shows you don’t understand statistics.

    • Wondo from 2015-2020 averaged a goal every 2.46 matches. 1 playoff goal every six matches in his 16 year career. (Jozy has equaled Wondo’s playoff goal total at age 16)
      Altidore from 2015-2020 averaged a goal every 2 matches. A goal every 1.5 matches in playoffs.
      San Jose’s avg finish 7th in West one playoff appearance. Playoff record 0-1
      Toronto’s avg finish 5th in East 4 playoff appearances 3 MLS Cup Finals 3 Canadian Cup Championships, Champions League Runners Up, Playoff record10-5-1
      Every other game he plays is pretty consistent, helping his team to the Cup final 3 of 4 years is pretty consistent. He’s missed too many games the last two seasons but if he’s healthy and that’s the premise of the article all these guys getting well he scores. And by the way he has 2 more EPL goals than Wondo.

      • What is the “Golden Boot soccer award?
        Golden Boot Award. The ‘Golden Boot Award’ or the Golden Boot is ‘handed over’ to the player who scores the most number of goals for his team in a FIFA World Cup tournament.
        The European Golden Shoe (also known as the European Golden Boot) is an award that is presented each season to the leading goalscorer in league matches from the top division of every European national league.

        There is no recognition in soccer for highest goals per game, or an award recognizing such an accomplishment as that’s only a mediocre way to saying you cannot achieve much. “When mediocrity becomes the accepted norm, excellence dies a painful death”. Christian Ramirez has represented the USMNT twice and has scored once….which means he has a better goals-per-game scoring average than Altidore, wont you agree?? haha, in the real world, soccer players are professional athletes and should train and condition their bodies as such. Playing games, scoring and staying healthy is a combination that represents good players. So with that said
        Jozy Altidore
        11 goals 7 assists
        Retiree Wondolowski
        15 goals 2 assists (highest scoring American player)

        Jozy Altidore
        7 goals 1 assist
        Retiree Wondolowski
        10 goals 5 assists

        Jozy Altidore
        15 goals 6 assists
        13 goals 8 assists

        Jozy Altidore
        10 goals 5 assists
        12 goals 3 assists

        Jozy Altidore
        13 goals 0 assists
        Retiree Wondolowski
        16 goals 2 assists (highest scoring American player)

        14 goals 4 assists

        So like I said Chris, at the END of his amazing career, STILL has a better goal scoring count in the past 6 years than Jozy. Which says a lot about our “TOP SCORER” haha!!!!

      • No you said Altidore doesn’t score which is false. He scores in every other game he plays, better in playoff matches. If he’s fit or not with the national team he’s consistently outperformed Wondo or Sapong or any other US player in MLS.

      • ” If he’s fit or not with the national team he’s consistently outperformed Wondo or Sapong or any other US player in MLS.”

        ….back tracking I see, haha. National team but not league play, huh. Not doing $hit for club but flying the flag for country…priceless. So the fact that multiple players in MLS outscore him (when the job description IS SCORING GOALS and Wondo is at retirement) is not worthy of highlighting? haha. Secondly Altidore out scores all these players on the national team BECAUSE HE IS THE ONLY DEAD BEAT CONSISTENTLY ON THE NATIONAL TEAM, haha. If those other guys were consistent as he was (LIKE IN LEAGUE PLAY, AGAINST THE SAME OPPOSITION) they would out score him….like they are doing in MLS

      • And its not that Altidore doesn’t score goals (as I even listed his goal count and do know how you can miss that) its that there are others doing a better job and they are not even fit to be on the national team and yet people shamefully say “he’s our top striker”….haha, unbelievable!!!

      • “Ha ha Ronniet Altidore is not scoring goals consistently” once every two matches isn’t consistent?
        Since 2015 Wondo scored two more goals in MLS matches 66-64 and he played in 40 more matches. Across all competitions (MLS Domestic Cup CL) Jozy 72 goals to Wondos 70. Jozy’s cup goals all against Liga Mx or MLS.
        Since 2015
        Wondo 66 goals 164 matches 1 per 2.5
        Altidore 64 goals 124 matches 1 per 1.9
        Dempsey 36 g 87 m 1 per 2.4
        Dwyer 57g 145 m 1 per 2.5
        Ramirez 32g 87 m 1 per 2.7
        Gyasi 49g 139 m 1 per 2.8
        JMo 32g 97 m 1 per 3.0
        CJ. 49g 158 m 1 per 3.2
        Agudelo 28g 148 m 1 per 5.2
        Not only is Altidore consistently scoring in MLS he is far and away the most consistent US forward in the last 5 years. Maybe Jozy is mediocre but he’s least mediocre of the group. Sapong and Wondo are more durable but if you need goals in an International window you don’t need the guy that scores the most over 34 matches you need the guy that scores the most in two and that is Altidore.

      • Hmmm…I guess there is some reason to what you said. Some BS but some truth hence “you can’t throw the baby out with the bath water”.

        “Not only is Altidore consistently scoring in MLS he is far and away the most consistent US forward in the last 5 years.” ❌
        BS, and that means you didn’t go over my post on goals – shame on you

        “Maybe Jozy is mediocre” ✅
        Facts…100% facts

        “Sapong and Wondo are more durable” ✅
        Facts…100% facts

        “…if you need goals in an International window you don’t need the guy that scores the most over 34 matches you need the guy that scores the most in two and that is Altidore” ❌
        Back to BS…Jordan Morris 2 goals 1 assist in 2 games, Gyasi Zardes 1 goal 0 assist in 2 games, Khiry Shelton 1 goal 1 assist in 2 games, Jonathan Lewis 1 goal 0 assists in 2 games, Erik Hurtado 1 goal 0 assist in 2 games, Teal Bunbury 1 goal 0 assist in 2 games, Chris Mueller 1 goal 0 assist games…..even Jonathan Bornstein has a goal haha ???

        Now take a wild guess where your boy is in 2 games
        ALTIDORE 0 GOALS 0 ASSISTS, IN 169 MINUTES PLAYED, WITH 8 SHOTS ON GOAL….so yes you need the guy that scores the most in two games and for sure Altidore is not it haha ?

      • -2 matches isn’t a adequate sample never took a stats class obviously.
        -Across all club competitions Jozy outscored every mls based US striker including Wondo and in fewer matches.

      • “you don’t need the guy that scores the most over 34 matches you need the guy that scores the most in two and that is Altidore” – by Johnnyrazor
        “-2 matches isn’t a adequate sample never took a stats class obviously.” – by Johnnyrazor
        Hahahaha?, you are absolutely clueless. DO YOU READ YOUR OWN POSTS!!! You use to be sharper than this, haha?. If you don’t read your own posts you surely are not reading mind, so I’ll have to beat it into you haha?

        ALTIDORE VS RETIREE WONDOLOWSKI (the mere fact we are comparing them is embarrassing)
        Jozy Altidore – 11 goals 7 assists
        Retiree Wondolowski – 15 goals 2 assists (highest scoring American player)✅
        Jozy Altidore – 7 goals 1 assist
        Retiree Wondolowski – 10 goals 5 assists✅
        Jozy Altidore – 15 goals 6 assists✅
        Wondolowski – 13 goals 8 assists
        Jozy Altidore – 10 goals 5 assists
        Wondolowski – 12 goals 3 assists✅
        Jozy Altidore – 13 goals 0 assists
        Retiree Wondolowski – 16 goals 2 assists (highest scoring American player)✅
        Wondolowski – 14 goals 4 assists

        Zardes has been outperforming Jozy ever since he arrived in Columbus at a CF
        Zardes – 13 goals 2 assists✅
        Altidore – 11 goals 7 assists
        Zardes – 19 goals 0 assists ( a number Altidore will never attain!!!!)✅
        Altidore – 7 goals 1 assist
        Altidore – 15 goals 6 assists✅
        Gyazi Zardes was not playing as a target forward with Galaxy.

        Sapong – 13 goals 2 assists✅
        Altidore – 11 goals 7 assists
        Sapong – 4 goals 3 assists
        Altidore – 7 goals 1 assist✅
        Sapong – 16 goals 5 assists✅
        Altidore – 15 goals 6 assists
        Sapong – 7 goals 2 assists
        Jozy Altidore – 10 goals 5 assists✅

        Count the tick marks (since you seem to be blind to facts haha). Wondo has dominated Altidore, Zardes has scored more goals when playing as a CF than Altidore,…..and Altidore is US Soccer’s top striker??? hahaha???.

      • Bizzy, i answered 2 of your queations, yet you still came back with your narrative lol…..Jozy was the leading scorer in the Dutch League and was named to the dutch leagues team of the year one season. You then say that he couldnt surpass Wondo for leading scorer in MLS over a 4 year period but im pretty sure that was because of injuries, and if you count cups and i ternational games he actually did surpass Wondo in total goals. So, if you want to say he shouldnt be around for the Nats because he’s injury prone, that’s one thing, but what you can’t convince people who know better of is that he’s not a consistent goal scorer when he’s healthy.

      • Ronniet
        “Jozy was the leading scorer in the Dutch League and was named to the dutch leagues team of the year one season”….hahaha?, yes and Freddy Adu was still relevant and playing for the Philadelphia Union (that how long ago that was)….hmm I guess I can bite, read this:

        “There has been a strong recent history of Eredivisie attackers struggling to make the grade in the Premier League. Most notably with Vincent Janssen with Tottenham Hotspur and Memphis Depay at Manchester United. Both attacking players were star men in the Dutch league and sealed big moves on the back of big goal-scoring seasons.

        Janssen, like Altidore, became one of the worst strikers from open play in the Premier League ?, while Depay could never justify his hefty price tag and was shipped off to France just one season later. The Dutch league is much different, much slower, and much more defensively exploitative than the Premier League or Bundesliga (Aaron Johannsson is another example).

        Hmmmmm, does that make sense, wait there is more:
        Altidore sealed a loan move to Hull City in the 2009-10 season then struggled of course to score 25 appearances for the Premier League side (one goal and 3 assists)
        He became a laughing stock at the Stadium of Light and again managed just one goal for Sunderland, bringing his grand total to two goals in a staggering 70 Premier League appearances.

        “Janssen, like Altidore, became one of the WORST strikers from open play in the Premier League,”….do you know how bad you have to be to be labelled ONE OF THE WORST!!!!. I guess one mans trash is another mans treasure hahaha, Eredivisie is much more defensively exploitative and Altidore scoring goals proves that fact (Wondo and Zardes would be breaking all kinds of Records in Eredivisie ? ? ?)

      • Oh and Ronniet…..these are some of the people who know better haha???

        The top ten Worst players in the EPL:
        Jozy Altidore (Hull City, Sunderland) ?
        Ali Dia (Southampton)
        Ade Akinbiyi (Leicester City)
        Stephane Guivarc’h (Newcastle United)
        Afonso Alves (Middlesbrough)
        Victor Anichebe (Everton, West Bromwich Albion, Sunderland)
        Kostas Mitroglou (Fulham)
        Andreas Cornelius (Cardiff City)
        Ricky van Wolfswinkel (Norwich City)
        Erik Meijer (Liverpool)


    • The only issues I have with this roster would be:
      1) Bradley. If you have to have him on the roster (I wouldn’t), for god sake keep him out of the starting XI. I don’t care who you pair him with in midfield, he would be a huge liability with the attack minded outside backs we have. If you need a mature CDM to back-up Adams I’d go with Morales….but IMO McKennie could be pushed deeper and one of my options in # 2 could be slotted in the more advanced role.
      2) Roldan. Has had ample opportunity to show what he can do. Has failed to replicate his club form with the National Team. This is not unusual. I’d much rather give the opportunities to younger options like Pomykal, Ledezma, or Aaronson. They have shown themselves capable in their leagues, and deserve the opportunity to prove if they are better options than Roldan.
      3) Guzan. While the most experienced GK, he’s also the most likely to make errors. IMO it’s time to move on from Brad. I don’t care if it’s Hamid, Horvath, or another keeper…..they’re not going to play anyway.

      Jozy, Boyd, & Zardes are all balancing on the edge of being relegated off the team. Jozy can’t to stay healthy. Boyd has been struggling for minutes in Turkey. Zardes, while versatile and a hard worker, has a lead foot. Would not be surprised to see Sargent elevated to the starter with Morris as the back-up as other wing options emerge (Weah & Llanez)…or as Ferreira gets more experience. May not happen now, but within the next 12-18 months I’d actually expect to see this happen.

      • Roldan or Holmes would be out since Ives forgot to include Pulisic. I guess it could also rule out Boyd, Reyna, or Zardes. May choice to leave out would be Roldan because his skill set doesn’t match 3Gs possession style.
        As for Bradley, I’m ok if he’s a late sub to add a CM to kill off the last 15 minutes. He hasn’t a good 2nd half in an international match in some time. He’d probably be better than Morales at that, I guess.
        3rd GK, the roster position I care the least about.
        All that being said there is a lot of assumptions that guys will get healthy and stay healthy.

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