Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Plenty To Chew On

Several things leap straight out from the squad Gregg Berhalter has called up for CONCACAF Nations League duty. DeAndre Yedlin is back from a long layoff, and Miazga is also fit enough for a USMNT return.  Brendan Aaronson has received a first call-up (which I asked for a month ago).

And, of course, there's no Sergiño Dest, a fact that will no doubt have large portions of our soccer bubble panicking. I'm not taking this as a sign that he's definitely switching, just that he needs time to make up his mind. The Ajax youngster is not in any of Oranje's current call-up rosters.

For me, the most notable tidbit is seeing Christian Pulisic listed by the team as being among the midfielders. That tells me he's likely headed back to the #10 role, and if so, I applaud the move. Some folks seem to think playing on the wing would give him more space (aha, but probably far fewer touches) and fewer defensive responsibilities (which is quite untrue, as wingers in a 4-3-3 set definitely need to get back more than the string puller). We need him running the show, not waiting for it. At least for now.

My biggest complaint comes from the redundancy of calling the play-alike distribution firm of Bradley, Trapp & Yueill while somehow there's no room in a camp of 26 players for even a single dedicated midfield ball-winner. Yeah, I get that Tyler Adams is out, but there are other choices available (even if one of them is suddenly, ironically, playing right back). 

G - Brad Guzan (Atlanta United), Sean Johnson (New York City FC), Zack Steffen (Fortuna Düsseldorf)

D - Reggie Cannon (FC Dallas), Nick Lima (San Jose Earthquakes), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls), Daniel Lovitz (Montreal Impact), Matt Miazga (Reading), Tim Ream (Fulham), DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle United), Walker Zimmerman (LAFC)

M - Brenden Aaronson (Philadelphia Union), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy), Weston McKennie (Schalke), Christian Pulisic (Chelsea), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew), Jackson Yueill (San Jose Earthquakes)

F - Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Paul Arriola (D.C. United), Corey Baird (Real Salt Lake), Tyler Boyd (Beşiktaş), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders), Josh Sargent (Werder Bremen), Gyasi Zardes (Columbus Crew)

- Greg Seltzer


DaMa said...

I'm not saying Dest is gone... but he's gone. I mean look he is playing regularly as a teenager for the perennial Eredivise powerhouse. And it's not like that Dutch national team backline is filled the brim with locked in starters. He is going to get senior team call-ups sooner rather than later. Does anyone think he isn't going to take that call? Honestly?

And we shouldn't blame him. It's great that he was willing to play for us while he was, but you cant blame a guy who one would think SHOULD identify more with the country where he was born, raised and lives for actually having a preference for that country. The question is, should our solution just to be to call in Lovitz and call it a day or should we be looking for more long term solutions.

Assuming there is no chance GB will alter systems to fit our personnel (why are national team coaches so against this?) we will need to find a go to left back for the near future. In that case I would certainly be calling someone like Robinson (Antonee) over someone like Lovitz. And I would be giving Lima the starts.

Also depressed a bit at the Walker over Miles choice. Miles has been better for club and (limited) country and at this point seems like the better long term prospect as well. Walker is too up and down.

Also tells us plenty about who GB is that Trapp and Zardes are still getting calls. Just a typical american soccer coach who is going to have "his guys" and not be willing to step away from them. The number of guys who could be helping this team instead of Trapp is staggering (for money I would be going with Keaton before Canouse, but him too)... Zardes at least you can legitimately make the argument that he is 3rd (I would disagree, but its at least defensible).

The rest of it seems okayish. I love the Aaronson call as he really does seem like a good fit at a position we need some other solutions at... but then there's no Paxton.

ZackL said...


It might still be too soon to say for sure that Dest is gone, but the fact that he isn't in this squad is definitely disappointing. But, like you said, who could blame him if he does opt out? Beyond his personal connection to either the Netherlands or America, he (like any player) is probably being pragmatic: which program seems more likely to win something in the next 10 years? I feel like we both know the answer to that.

Beyond my usual morose ramblings though, this roster is more or less what I expected. One or two nice inclusions (or maybe just one in Aaronson) and then a few irritating retreads. At this point I honestly don't know what else to say about Trapp or Zardes, beyond that they are clearly going to get invites/minutes for as long as Berhalter's in charge.

I honestly don't hate that Yueill's getting another look, but I do agree with Greg on the redundancy there. And as a DC fan, it would be great to see Canouse get some time with the national team. Parks would be cool too, even if he's isn't an outright ball-winner in quite the same way.

Maybe Pomykal and Robinson got snubbed/removed to let them get time with the U-23's?

DaMa said...

He's gone (rip Robert Hunter).

I had the same thought on Paxton and miles on the U-23's... but same deal with Aaronson right? Maybe he's one of the 3 that doesn't make the gameday roster and so it doesn't matter... but for my money Robinson should be in the competition to start (given the form of Long and Zimmerman and Miazga just coming off injury... and his national team form) in which case he should be there without question.

downintexas said...


I know you think the Netherlands have a better shot at winning something. But do they? WC 2026 is in the US. Normally host teams do very well. Imagine our current players who are 23 and younger. Not just current MNT players but the U23 and U20. Now take all those guys and add 7 years. That is a bunch of players in their prime playing at home in the WC. I don't think we win but we should go very far. If everyone hits their ceilings and every one is in great form. I can't see why we couldn't be a semifinal team in 2026.

ZackL said...


I'm definitely excited about the U-20s and U-23s, and by the fact that MLS academies seem to be producing some serious prospects (see most of FC Dallas' midfield, among others). And you're right, a team that's compromised of those guys could absolutely make a deep run in 2026. And Dest turning into the next Dani Alves is by no means a sure thing. Doesn't mean it won't sting if he opts for the Netherlands in the future. Plus, there are a handful of other guys on the U-20 roster who could represent another country. So there's no guarantee that they'll be playing for the US in the future.

I think a lot of my frustration is that for all those positives, it's still not clear to me if the senior side is actually making progress or not. There are a lot of reasons for that of course, but I can't shake that feeling regardless. And some of the dual-nationals on the youth teams might be wondering the same thing. Seven years is a long time in soccer (I think the average length of a pro career is eight). Guys might not want to wait that long to find out if the USMNT/USSF ever get their acts together.