Projecting USMNT squad for March friendlies
In a little more than two weeks, members of Gregg Berhalter’s first full U.S. Men’s National Team squad will be making their way to Florida, ahead of the first of two friendlies.
Since these friendlies are part of FIFA’s official international window, everyone will be available for selection - barring injuries. Following the USMNT’s annual January camp, in which Berhalter got to assess and analyze some of the top domestic-based players, Berhalter now can test his playing style with the dozens of Americans playing abroad. Berhalter recently visited some USMNT players in Europe, and right now he’s likely whittling down his 23-man roster for the upcoming matches.
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The U.S. is set to face Ecuador in Orlando on March 21 and Chile in Houston on March 26. Take a look at who we think may be called up for these matches, assuming everyone is healthy.
Zack Steffan, Ethan Horvath, Brad Guzan
As the USMNT moves into the future, Steffan is the clear No. 1 between the pipes. With Steffan needing to accrue more appearances in order to qualify for a work permit, he’s certainly going to be starting the vast majority of games ahead. Horvath has had a strong season in Europe with Club Brugge and Berhalter will probably want to take a look at him in training. Guzan meanwhile is a steady pair of hands who could be a good locker room presence for a young team. Eventually, he’ll be phased out, but now isn’t that time.
Wildcard: Bill Hamid, Sean Johnson
Walker Zimmerman, Aaron Long, John Brooks, Matt Miazga, DeAndre Yedlin, Shaq Moore, Antonee Robinson, Greg Garza
On paper, the USMNT’s top two defenders are both European-based: Matt Miazga and John Brooks. However, the pair haven’t played well together and Walker Zimmerman and Aaron Long could give the former two a run for their money. Out wide, DeAndre Yedlin, Shaq Moore and Antonee Robinson should all get a chance to impress Berhalter, with Garza returning after suffering an injury during January camp.
Wildcard: Cameron Carter-Vickers, Mark McKenzie, Jorge Villafaña, Nick Lima
Michael Bradley, Tyler Adams, Weston McKennie, Sebastian Lletget, Wil Trapp
The most exciting part of the USMNT future has to be in central portion of the park, with the three young Americans playing in Germany. Adams has fit in seamlessly at RB Leipzig and is playing regularly off the bench and as a spot starter. While McKennie has struggled along with Schalke this season, he’ll get a look with the USMNT. Bradley and Lletget looked strong in their games in January while Trapp knows Berhalter from their time in Columbus and will likely be a regular call-up moving forward. Bradley and Trapp will likely battle for the holding midfielder role, with McKennie, Adams and Lletget jockeying for roles as box to box midfielders.
Wildcard: Marky Delgado, Christian Roldan, Djordje Mihailovic, Romain Gall, Jonathan Amon, Joe Corona
Christian Pulisic, Bobby Wood, Timothy Weah, Josh Sargent, Kenny Saief, Paul Arriola, Julian Green
Pulisic is in the final months of his stay with Dortmund, and it may be a nice change of pace for him to get back into the USMNT. He hasn’t featured for the USMNT since that dreadful night in Couva, but 2019 could be a big year for Pulisic in the red, white, and blue. Weah has been dynamite off the bench for Celtic since joining on loan while Sargent seems to have broken into the Werder Bremen first team. Green and Saief will get a chance to meet with Berhalter in person during this or a future camp, while Arriola was very strong in January and deserves another call-up.
Wildcard: Andrija Novakovich, Gyasi Zardes, Jonathan Lewis
Let us know what you think in the comments below.