The time period between the September Concacaf World Cup qualifiers and the October edition may only be a month, but that has already been enough time to allow some players to push their way into the picture for the next squad Gregg Berhalter will call in.
There are bound to be changes to the group that took five points from matches against El Salvador, Canada and Honduras, as injuries threaten to leave some options out (such as Gio Reyna), and good runs of form earning some candidates a chance to jump into the fray.
There are also some players who could earn looks even though they are off to slow starts with their new clubs, including Matthew Hoppe, who made his debut for Mallorca this past weekend.
You also have positions with a multitude of options, such as central defender, which could see some players passed up despite getting off to good starts with their new clubs. Cameron Carter-Vickers has established himself as a starter for Scottish power Celtic and Matt Miazga has earned a starting role with La Liga side Alaves, but the former Under-20 World Cup teammates could be left on the outside looking in for the October qualifiers if Berhalter goes with younger options such as Chris Richards and Mark McKenzie.
There is also the possibility that Berhalter calls in a larger group for the October matches after the team was left shorthanded due to injuries, illness, and one high-profile suspension before and during the qualifiers.
Here is a look at the players who have earned consideration to be in the next camp based on their recent form:
Berhalter left Busio off the September squad to allow him to focus on his new club, and that decision paid off, with Busio settling in well at Venezia, where he has started three straight matches since arriving in Venice. Busio had his share of growing pains during the Concacaf Gold Cup, but has looked like a mature and confident player in Serie A, and could challenge for a starting role in the October qualifiers.
Six straight starts in all competitions, and matches both at right back and left back in Bundesliga play for Borussia Moenchengladbach, make Scally a very tough player to leave off the October squad. The lack of playing time for Reggie Cannon and Shaq Moore should open the door for the teenager, who has shown well at both fullback positions.
Two straight starts, and a standout showing in his most recent performance, show us a confident Chris Richards who should be a regular starter at Hoffenheim once again. There is plenty of competition at the centerback position, including Matt Miazga, who has settled into a starting role for La Liga side Alaves, but Richards gets the nod if Berhalter has to choose between those two.
An ankle injury in August cost Musah his chance to be part of the September qualifiers, but he has returned to action for Valencia, and while he hasn’t regained a starting role, his 75-minute appearance against Real Madrid this past weekend showed us a player in good form.
There is no more in-form American midfielder in MLS right now than Mihailovic, who has recorded a goal and six assists in his past seven matches, helping guide CF Montreal to a 4-1-2 record in those matches. Berhalter has shown himself to be a fan of the 22-year-old before, and if he chooses to leave Weston McKennie out of the October squad then Mihailovic could wind up being a beneficiary of that decision.
The Ricardo Pepi hype train has captured all the headlines when it comes to American striker options, but Wright has quietly enjoyed a successful beginning to his time in Turkey. The Antalyaspor striker has four goals in his past four matches, and could merit a look, though Pepi and Jordan Pefok remain the top two options, and Josh Sargent is unlikely to be dropped completely even with his recent goal drought.
What do you think of this group? Which if the aforementioned players are you most interested in seeing called in? Who didn’t make the list that you feel should have been included?
Share your thoughts below.