Top Stories

MLS-based players to be focus of USMNT squad vs. Mexico


The U.S. men’s national team is 15 days away from returning to action this month in the first-ever Continental Clasico against Concacaf rivals Mexico, and although interim head coach Anthony Hudson would love to continue the chemistry between his European-based players, the focus will likely shift to a MLS-based squad.

Due to the European season not coming to a pause in April, Hudson will be forced to test the depth in the USMNT squad against El Tri on April 19 at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. Only Atlanta United defender Miles Robinson was the lone MLS player called into the March Concacaf Nations League window, with the MLS regular season schedule in full swing.

Now with the tables turned and many of the USMNT’s European stars likely unavailable, MLS players such as Jordan Morris, Jesus Ferreira, Robinson, and others could have a chance to boost their stocks ahead of a busy summer schedule.

“Over the last three or four years, a lot of good work has been done in terms of building a strong, healthy player pool with really, really healthy competition in the squad,” Hudson told reporters Tuesday in a conference call. “I think a lot of our planning is a function of the schedule we have and we’re obviously limited by certain things that are out of our control. There are one-off situations, unique situations, in Europe where maybe there’s a conversation that can be had to get a player released for a game like this. 

“It is very tricky to get European players to come outside of the window in a moment like this,” Hudson added. “So the squad is obviously going to be a heavily-based MLS group with, say, three or four players that have been allowed to come in.”

The USMNT clinched a berth into the Nations League semifinals after defeating Grenada 7-1 and El Salvador 1-0 during the March window.

April’s showdown with Mexico will be the first of two-consecutive matchups with the Americans and El Tri set to square off in Nations League play on June 15 at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada. The USMNT is riding a four-match unbeaten streak against El Tri in all competitions, which included head-to-head victories in the Concacaf Nations League and Gold Cup Finals in 2021.


  1. What size of squad will it be? Don’t think you need more than 20 man squad for this game.

    GK: Celentano, Johnson

    D: Jones, Harriel, Isias, Miazga,
    Z-man, Neal, Regan

    M: Acosta, Buck, A. Morris, Pomykal, Atencio, Williamson

    F: J. Morris, Ferreira, Vasquez, Cowell, Arriola

    I would like to see Pachuca Mexican-American LB Isias called in for this. I want to see what he is all about. We have seen Tolkin.

    • Are you a Sounders fan? Ragen and Atencio?
      Bassett, Ledezma, Parks maybe? I’d definitely go for Tim Tillman but I think he’d need to file his switch papers. I think Isias is more likely to get/accept a call from El Tri. We could see Dest or Konrad given they aren’t even dressing. Or maybe a guy like Bryang Kayo that his team Nuremberg II isn’t under threat of relegation and they have no chance of promotion, but that seems a stretch.

      • JR,

        If Dest, Konrad or Kayo aren’t even dressing why would we want to call them up?

        Is not dressing a sign of progress?

        As fans we haven’t seen these guys in a while or maybe ever and are curious to know what’s up with them.

        But I expect a lot more from Hudson and his staff. I expect them to know a lot more about the players than we do to the point that they shouldn’t have to call them in just to remember what position they play.

        If Hudson wants to give Dest a chance to knock off some rust or show KDLF some love that’s one thing but in general I thought the idea was to incentivize our guys to work harder and have them realize that if they aren’t playing regularly in the first team then we won’t call them up.

        Getting a cap for not dressing harkens back to participation trophies, capping players because they “work hard” are” good guys” and youth soccer helicopter parents .

        I thought the idea was to pull the USMNT away from that philosophy and adopt a more “professional” attitude.

      • V: I don’t think any of those three will be included. Kayo is playing but for U23s. Dest was called in March and did well so I think it’s related more to he’s not good enough for Milan or Barca but plenty good enough for USA and most other clubs. Konrad I’m not sure any of the public knows what’s going on. He might even be injured news out of Greece is hard to find. Rumor was they would end his loan in January but it was never announced that that happened. With loans some times it’s as simple as you aren’t an upgrade over the guy we own so we aren’t going to play you when we can develop our own asset.

      • JR,

        Dest seemed good enough for Barca when Koeman was manager. He’s still our best right back but his confidence has taken a hit lately.

        It’s Xavi who never rated hm.

        As for Milan, given the World Cup, Dest picked a bad time to change clubs.

        And when he came back it seemed to me Qatar had taken a lot out of him. He took the Netherlands loss harder than most it seemed. Dest probably needs to get healthy, play out the season, and then figure out where his next job is going to be whether it’s Milan or somewhere else.

        World Cups traditionally take something out of the players.
        With Qatar being mid season it will interesting to see how this manifests itself.

        No one from the USMNT has really come blazing back.
        Adams has his old adductor injury back, Aaronson still looks out of sorts, lots of earnest running around for no particular reason, without much production. Weston is doing okay, but he’s sort of performing Tyler’s old job not his signature box to box role. Pulisic isn’t setting the world on fire though is that due to Harry Potter? Maybe Frank brings him back. Gio has struggled to get on the field. Turner? Weah is playing fullback trying to morph into Davies.

        As far as I can tell only Jedi and Ream are back to pre-Qatar level and Fulham are struggling.

    • Zendajas and Sonora would also be available. I’m not sure Alex needs to be there but Sonora didn’t get any minutes last window, plus he’s more a natural 10 than the 8 he played in Jan.

      • Konrad was supposed to go to Hull City, but they didn’t make the deadline in time, so it was denied. I can’t stand when that happens , because it leaves the player at a club they don’t want to be at and probably won’t get much playing time.

    • Robinson, Zendajas, Sonora and Tolkin will all likely be on the squad. There needs to be as many experienced players as are available in order to give some new prospects a chance to perform well when they are given a chance. That is better than being just tossed out against what could be a strong Mexican side.

    • Hudson said he expected 3 or 4 to be not from MLS. The question was asked about European players so I’m not sure if he’s counting Liga Mx in those 3 or 4. Slonina would be a likely choice given EPL really gives little attention to their youth teams.


Leave a Comment