- Finally, we get to see Ethan Finlay - thank goodness for small miracles. I'm cool with the goalkeepers selections, and I certainly can't gripe about having a pair of actual left back prospects called.
I'm also delighted to see Tony Tchani get a shot along with Crew teammate Wil Trapp. Despite his struggles in MLS, it's necessary to have Mikkel Diskerud on board - hopefully we can see him get proper minutes as a playmaker.
Now to the gripes, which should be painfully obvious:
- Erm, is this even a senior team squad? Sure, January has always been a time to check out MLS youngsters, but c'mon. Okay, so a guy like Matt Miazga will get a prime time look, but there are far too many Under-23 call-ups expected to masquerade as full internationals when several fully deserving MLS guys are overlooked yet again.
Are we supposed to accept there are no places for the likes of Andrew Farrell, Benny Feilhaber, Matt Hedges, Sacha Kljestan, Sebastian Lletget, Dax McCarty and Chris Tierney (three of whom were Best XI selections last season), but a one-goal rookie forward and a 3.Liga winger are set for a US shirt? One even has to wonder about the otherwise earned spot belonging to Jordan Morris, who is supposed to be busy choosing his first pro club.
Once again, the coach is too eager to gaze into the future when the present needs enough work as it is. I don't even want to come off as criticizing these youngsters. After all, this will be the last chance to gather a senior side before World Cup qualifying resumes in March and I can count all of six guys who are sure to be in that important selection. So the revolving door line-ups will continue, we will all talk about the old doomed-to-be-repeated adage for two months and I can't even promise all of these Under-23 cats will be in uniform for the huge Olympic qualifying tie against Colombia. This isn't even a mix of camps; it's a lot of kids with a handful of mentors. Gosh, what could go wrong come spring?
Sorry, coach, I don't get it. It's one thing to bleed young senior level players. It's quite another to talk about finding out if half the roster can 'understand what it takes to step it up and to become an international-level player'. Talk about blurred lines...
- Greg Seltzer