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Josh Wynder brings “high potential” into first USMNT call-up


It’s not often you see USL players get an early opportunity with the U.S. men’s national team, but Louisville City’s Joshua Wynder has become the latest to join that slim list of young prospects.

Wynder was called up on Wednesday as part of Anthony Hudson’s 23-player roster for next week’s Continental Clasico vs. Mexico, becoming the third active USL Championship player to earn that honor. The 17-year-old centerback is currently in his third season with Louisville City FC after debuting in 2020 and since representing the USMNT U-20 and U-19 squads.

Wynder has continued to develop in the USL, making 41 combined appearances over three years and becoming a rising prospect within the league. With plenty of the USMNT’s European players unavailable for this month’s friendly, Wynder has an early chance to become integrated into the senior setup.

“What we do know is we believe he’s a very good player, he’s a high potential [player],” said Hudson Wednesday in a press conference with media. “He is someone that we see – potentially, if he does all the right things, and he applies himself the right way – he could be someone in the future that could be a serious player for the senior team.

“It’s an honor to be called up to the senior national team,” Wynder said in a club interview. “It’s another step toward my goals. I’m excited to get to camp, learn and continue growing as a player.”

Oscar Barroso/ISI Photos

Wynder follows in the footsteps of former Louisville City defender Jonathan Gomez and former Orange County SC defender Kobi Henry as modern-day USL players to earn a USMNT senior call-up. Both Gomez and Henry have earned European moves to Real Sociedad and Stade Reims respectively, and Wynder is reportedly closing in on a move of his own this summer.

Portuguese giants Benfica have been linked with acquiring Wynder on a permanent move from Louisville City, providing an early European move for the young defender to develop overseas. Wynder’s long-term future remains very bright at both club and international level, and his April call-up should only provide confidence ahead of a potential FIFA U-20 World Cup experience this May and a move to one of Europe’s well-known clubs.

“Joshua Wynder’s call-up is another great example of how the USL and its clubs are developing the next generation of United States Men’s National Team players,” said USL Sporting Director Mark Cartwright in a league interview.

“Huge credit goes to Louisville City and everyone involved with Josh’s progression from the Academy to the first team and now to the senior national team,” Cartwright added. “I’ve talked before about Josh’s talent, and it’s up to him to continue his trajectory, but for all in the USL, it shows the quality we can produce.”


  1. re USL players, what about ibarra?

    not a fan of calling someone in then publicly saying, ““He is someone that we see – potentially, if he does all the right things, and he applies himself the right way – he could be someone in the future that could be a serious player for the senior team.” it’s a one game window and it’s a little too transparent he’s just there to practice. i think anyone they bother calling in should have a practice day shot at playing that week. this bespeaks my concern this regime picks it off paper and doesn’t actually test who looks good when they show up.

    • “re USL players, what about ibarra?”

      What about Ibarra? Miguel was 25 when JK called him in.

      Wynder is 17. Very significant difference for a player.

      If you say :

      ““He is someone that we see – potentially, if he does all the right things, and he applies himself the right way – he could be someone in the future that could be a serious player for the senior team.”

      about a 25 year USL Miguel, that is one thing. That could be construed as blowing smoke up his ass.

      Say it about a 17 year old, who by the way has been a part of the U-20’s and the U-19’s, and is nowhere near the kind of out of left field quantity that Miguel was, and you’re saying exactly what needs to be said. Exactly.

      Wynder’s a project who would be nowhere near the team if blood , money and someone’s job were on the line and everyone knows it.

      “and doesn’t actually test who looks good when they show up.”

      What does that even mean? How does that work?

      Is training set up in such a way that players who look good in training have a different process applied to them ? Unless you attend training in person, how would you know this was happening or not?

      • having watched dessicated old long (who won’t be back for this world cup) get fleeced for a goal they nearly beat us with, did wynder get an actual shot to beat him (or Z or miazga) out in practice, or was he pre-destined to sit for what was a one game window. i don’t much see the point inasmuch as IMO hudson shouldn’t have any more job and in reality definitely won’t have a job past summer. what then does it matter how the kid looked for him in practice, if he doesn’t play? no coach from this period will be left when this is over for it to matter.

        that and my point is this is all a little too planned and not really seeing how the practices and games go. i think the US needs more “gamers” who play well in the shirt. i think there is too much reliance on analytics and not enough on eye for talent. i think everyone coming to one of these camps should have a shot at playing just like i was starting 3 games into frosh college season. if you can outplay your competition you shouldn’t be sitting just because Z and long were at the world cup; because they won’t be going back.

      • you’re quoting the coach saying he has plans. the coach won’t be the coach past gold cup. his plans end there. so what. another coach will implement their ideas instead.

        i think this time period would have been better spent putting the younger faces on tape for the next coach to evaluate.

        and i am leery of coaches who are too certain what their team will look like before a practice ball even rolls. when a coach says he has plans and will be taken seriously in the future, he’s not giving the player his chance in the present time. unless this is us chasing balogun type stuff i think it’s a waste to have a player in who the coach gives no real chance to play that weekend. and i think it’s bad coaching to run your show that way. but then i think our caretaker is a……..

      • Mr Voice,

        You’re operating under a lot of prejudiced perceptions.

        1. How do you know that the guys who started did not outplay everyone else in training?

        You don’t know.

        2. What you are asking to happen is basically what Dave Sarachan did.
        I found the Sarachan games quite entertaining but of uncertain worth in terms of building a team for Qatar.

        “no coach from this period will be left when this is over for it to matter.”

        Big fucking deal.

        You know who might be left over? The players themselves. They’ll remember. And some video of those guys if the new people care enough to look back.

        You keep acting like the experience of playing for USMNT has some relationship to your college / high school playing career.

        I doubt that there’s much commonality there.

        However good or bad any of these players did in training or in the game in April of 2023 it may not matter very much to Gregg or whoever takes over permanently.

        Because whenever the new EL Jefe takes over all of these guys and whoever else bothers to try, will have to do it ALL OVER AGAIN.
        Sure, if Gregg is back, Long, Ariolla, Walker, Acosta and the rest of his gang can waltz on in regardless but besides The Specials, the new Jefe will want to see the new blood for themselves . Good past performance never hurts but that only goes so far.
        For the new boss that first camp or game is is when a player’s performance will matter, not what Aaron Long did in April of 2023.

        Last night’s game was fun. For me it was fun because a few years ago most USMNT fans were wetting their panties over Jordan’s lack of a left foot as evidenced by his use of the outside of right foot as a quick fire sub for his left foot. That technique, which is as old as Pele if not older, is now seen pretty commonly in Champion’s League games and which is how he was able to send in that lovely ball for the US’ only goal.

        There are so many shit games on these days so as far as I’m concerned Doggy Daddy’s pass made it all worth it.

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