Monday, May 29, 2017

Happy Campers

On Sunday, Bruce Arena called 27 players to prepare for the USMNT's upcoming friendly with Venezuela and the key pair of World Cup qualifiers (against Honduras and at Mexico) that will follow. There weren't any major surprises and there shouldn't be many complaints... but I have a couple.

First of all, I remain baffled at how Eric Lichaj can continually excluded. He only keeps getting better (now Nottingham Forest Player of the Year, no less) and can shine in both wingback slots (or even as a midfielder). At this point, it's more than a little strange to me. And sure, Timmy Chandler plays at a higher level, but he's rarely showed well in Red, White & Blue, and he's struggled a bit in recent weeks.

The second thought doesn't quite rise to the level of a beef. Still, I wonder why all the lines have extra staffing except the forward stable. If Bobby Wood isn't going to start the qualifiers (and considering his form and fitness, I am assuming that will be the case), it seems like he and Jordan Morris (who's also been struggling with the two F's, but looked better on Saturday) are redundant bench options. Couldn't we have also called in C.J. Sapong or Dom Dwyer to provide another element up front? Would have been nice, methinks.

Finally, with Ethan Horvath around as the third keeper, I'm not really sure what good it does to tear Nick Rimando away from his terribly shorthanded club side right now. Real Salt Lake will have two harsh away games by the time the Nats kick their first ball against Venezuela.

Anyhooo, here is your group for next week:

G - Brad Guzan (Atlanta United), Ethan Horvath (Club Brugge), Tim Howard (Colorado Rapids), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)

D - DaMarcus Beasley (Houston Dynamo), Matt Besler (Sporting KC), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Timmy Chandler (Eintracht Frankfurt), Omar Gonzalez (Pachuca), Matt Hedges (FC Dallas), Tim Ream (Fulham), Jorge Villafaña (Santos Laguna), DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle), Graham Zusi (Sporting KC)

M - Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas), Paul Arriola (Tijuana), Alejandro Bedoya (Philadelphia Union), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Dax McCarty (Chicago Fire), Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers), Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund)

F - Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders), Bobby Wood (Hamburg)

- Greg Seltzer


dwc414141 said...

4 strikers, 1 battling injury and fitness issues and another currently in a major slump scoring less than a goal every 500 minutes. Seems like you should have 1 or 2 others in camp just in case

Unknown said...

Yeah 27 players without such solid depth at striker is strange. Maybe we are looking to move deuce up to a #9 to make more room for pulisic in the 10

Kirk Diggler said...

Can't stand Chandler in a USMNT uniform. What happened to Danny Williams? He seemed to be doing well for Reading, hell they are playing today to get back to the EPL.

DaMa said...

I wonder if it means Bruce is thinking of using only one forward in at least one of the matches. Maybe without Jones around to confuse things and nobody in form other than Altidore, Arena wants to go to the 4-2-3-1.

Jay said...

So, in the wake of the roster announcement we've heard two things out of Germany: 1) Thomas Tuchel is out at Dortmund and 2) John Anthony Brooks is moving to Wolfsburg for €18-20M. You have any thoughts, Greg, on what these mean for the German contingent?

Dr.Jon said...

Did you guys see this??

Not sure how much of a loss that really is, but a player pool is better when it is deep.

dwc414141 said...

Chandler just pulled out with a hamstring injury

Jon said...

I have no idea why Jordan Morris keeps getting called in.. Dude is wack.

DaMa said...

I don't think Johnsen had much of a chance of cracking the USMNT squad. He's of an age with Altidore who he just isn't ever going to beat out. Not even thinking of the younger players who are waiting to take over.

Chandler pulling out is the most shocking thing since I woke up this morning and saw the sun had risen once again. Does this give a crack FINALLY to Lichaj? I mean it obviously shoudl right?

Morris keeps getting called in because there isn't a better choice for a late speed option down a goal. Or up a goal. He's definitely trying to figure some things out right now but Seattle's inability to work out it's front 4 has a lot to do with that and in the end, dude is crazy fast and you cant teach fast.

Greg Seltzer said...

@ Jay:

1 - I can't imagine any coaching change could derail Pulisic much.

2 - If true, this Brooks move is kinda weird to me - leaving his hometown for a struggling club and all.

@ DaMa:

Yes, obviously the Chandler absence should see Lichaj brought in, but who knows what it would take at this point?


As for Johnsen, suiting up for Norway seems like his best bet at this juncture. The first half of the Hearts season, I was thinking maybe he plays his way into the US frame, but then he stopped scoring and lost his starting place. Not encouraging at that league level, I'm afraid.

Adrian said...

To me the key decision is where to put Cameron. Start Cameron in the midfield with Bradley, with Omar and Brooks paired? Or start Cameron at defender paired with Brooks, and have Acosta and Bradley in the midfield?