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Top 25 players in the USMNT player pool right now

Joe Prince-Wright, Nicholas Mendola and Andy Edwards recap a flurry of transfer activity involving key USMNT players ahead of this year's World Cup, including Chris Richards heading to Crystal Palace.

About one month into the new European season and under three months away from the World Cup, there’s a changed dynamic when it comes to rating the statuses of the Top 25 players in the USMNT player pool.

Injuries now shift how we rate these players because a knee problem that would’ve normally left us saying, “Yeah but he’ll be fine come Qatar” no longer carries as many pages on the calendar.

Transfers have also changed how we view player status and there’s even a big early-season coaching change to consider in the case of Christian Pulisic at Chelsea (Graham Potter does like him a versatile attacker, CP).

[ MORE: Latest USMNT transfer news ]

And there’s another question as MLS reaches the end of its season with players looking better on U.S. soil than they did abroad. Are we fully embracing Matt Miazga’s fine performances back on U.S. soil with FC Cincinnati? Should those showings matter as much, more, or less than Chris Richards’ lesser playing time at Crystal Palace?

Is Cristian Roldan’s fine MLS season enough to cast a wary eye on Luca de la Torre’s small amount of minutes since moving to La Liga?

And what about the keepers? Matt Turner’s not playing for Arsenal but he’s training with one of the deepest attacks in the Premier League while Zack Steffen and Matt Turner are playing week-in, week-out in the Championship.

Are Jesus Ferreira’s 18 goals in MLS that much tastier than Josh Sargent’s hot start in the Championship? Jordan Pefok missed a penalty on Sunday but has otherwise been monstrous for Union Berlin, as has Haji Wright for Antalyaspor. How much should that matter compared to injured Timothy Weah’s inaction for Lille, or Ricardo Pepi getting minutes in attack-favoring Eredivisie?

Below you’ll find the rankings, changes from last time, and the protocol for slotting our 25.

Top 25 players in the USMNT player pool right now

Before we go any further with this list, here’s a reminder of how we sort the talent with some ground rules:

  • The ranking is meant to illustrate who would be most likely to positively affect a USMNT match, regardless of manager or teammates, right now.

  • Health doesn’t matter to our rankings if a current injury isn’t one that could drastically alter the player’s skill set moving forward at the World Cup.

  • Age/potential/experience doesn’t matter either, at least not much; It’s how likely you are to contribute to the team if put on the field right now. Obviously, Paxton Aaronson is a better long-term prospect than Jordan Morris, but the Seattle Sounders forward is currently better prepared for the stage than the Philadelphia Union youngster.

  • Finally, if you’re breaking a tie between players… ask which you’d be more upset to hear was unavailable for a USMNT camp.

Here we go:

  1. Weston McKennie, Juventus (2)
  2. Tyler Adams, Leeds United (3)
  3. Yunus Musah, Valencia (4)
  4. Christian Pulisic, Chelsea (1)
  5. Brenden Aaronson, Leeds United (9)
  6. Jordan Pefok, Union Berlin (18)
  7. Antonee Robinson, Fulham (10)
  8. Giovanni Reyna, Borussia Dortmund (11)
  9. Walker Zimmerman, Nashville SC (7)
  10. Sergino Dest, AC Milan (6)
  11. Chris Richards, Crystal Palace (8)
  12. Josh Sargent, Norwich City (NR)
  13. Jesus Ferreira, FC Dallas (NR)
  14. Timothy Weah, Lille (5)
  15. Erik Palmer-Brown, Troyes (NR)
  16. Cameron Carter-Vickers, Celtic (19)
  17. Tim Ream, Fulham (NR)
  18. Joe Scally, Borussia Monchengladbach (23)
  19. Haji Wright, Antalyaspor (20)
  20. Zack Steffen, Middlesbrough (14)
  21. Matt Turner, Arsenal (15)
  22. Luca de la Torre, Celta Vigo (12)
  23. Djordje Mihailovic, Montreal Impact (NR)
  24. Matt Miazga, FC Cincinnati (NR)
  25. Kellyn Acosta, LAFC (17)

Dropped out since last ranking: John Brooks, Benfica (13); Miles Robinson, Atlanta United (16); Gianluca Busio (21); Paul Arriola, FC Dallas (22); Ethan Horvath, Luton Town (24); Gaga Slonina, Chicago Fire (25).

Follow @NicholasMendola