Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Red, White, Blue... and oh so green.

Gregg Berhalter has revealed his latest USMNT squad, and boy is it young. Of course, we sorta knew this was coming with all the MLS clubs rather busy at the moment - but I can't say that I expected it to be this young. We have 24 players, nine of whom will be after their debut cap when the boys tackle Wales and Panama (in Austria). And, yes, there are some surprises.

The biggest shocker is Berhalter snaring Yunus Musah, who scored his first goal for Valencia this past weekend (see clip) and before now had only appeared internationally for England (at five age levels, no less). It's also nice to see names like Richie Ledezma (who notched his first Eredivisie helper on Sunday) and Chris Richards, but  I was a little surprised to see super-green guys like Chituru Odunze and Owen Otasowie called in.

My biggest snubs? Glad you asked, because there are a handful. I'm baffled as to why Emmanuel Sabbi can't get a call, and at this point one also has to wonder what Haji Wright has to do. I'm also rather annoyed that Christian Cappis wasn't brought in because 1) he's further along than at least three other midfielders listed below & 2) the guy needs to get on a field, even if it's just proper training. Yes, very annoyed at that exclusion. One might also wonder why Tyler Boyd wasn't thrown a "cruelly inactive for his club" bone, but I'm not so perturbed over that because we'll have about 42 wingers in camp even if Christian Pulisic can't go (which seems a diminishing possibility at this point). The same reason makes it quite understandable that Joe Efford wasn't called, even if I was kinda hoping he would be.

So yeah, ignoring Cappis is the biggest crime here. I've included some links for the lesser known players in case anybody needs an introduction or two.

G - Ethan Horvath (Club Brugge), Chituru Odunze* (Leicester City), Zack Steffen (Manchester City)

D - John Anthony Brooks (Wolfsburg), Reggie Cannon (Boavista), Sergiño Dest (Barcelona), Matt Miazga (Anderlecht), Tim Ream (Fulham), Chris Richards* (Bayern Munich), Antonee Robinson (Fulham)

M - Tyler Adams (RB Leipzig), Johnny Cardoso* (Internacional), Richard Ledezma* (PSV Eindhoven), Weston McKennie (Juventus), Yunus Musah* (Valencia), Owen Otasowie* (Wolverhampton)

A - Konrad de la Fuente* (Barcelona), Nicholas Gioacchini* (Caen), Christian Pulisic (Chelsea), Ulysses Llanez (Heerenveen), Giovanni Reyna* (Borussia Dortmund), Josh Sargent (Werder Bremen), Sebastian Soto* (Telstar), Tim Weah (Lille)

- Greg Seltzer


DaMa said...

Thanks for the links. I cant remember the last time weve had a roster that I knew so little about. I didn't even know the kid from Valencia was eligible for us. Guess it's time to put valencia on the auto-dvr list.

Any idea on whether his acceptance is just for the heck of it or is it the real deal? I can remember just 1 year ago when we were kind of asking "who is the other winger" now it's starting to feel like we have better wing/fullback depth than we do anywhere else. So weird.

I guess, similarly, does Soto's call up mean he has made his choice?

Luke said...

Greg, I wanna help with the Cappis thing. You compare him to other midfielders, but you really should compare him to the 6s, as it seems that’s where Gregg sees him. There are 2 6s in camp - Adams and Johnny. Both at a higher level than Cappis, and Johnny is also a dual (and younger).

Further, you say Cappis “needs to see a field” but he is back playing with Hobro and has been for a few weeks. Totally fine leaving him out here.

DaMa said...

Also I note, no Bacon. I am okay with that. He's on the older side and as a break glass in case of emergency guy, he makes sense. And has no other choices like some of the dual nationals.

@Luke For my money on Cappis, as I noted above, we are kind of lacking depth behind Tyler and Wes... two kids who havent been completely injury-proof to say the least. Great to see Johnny... would have liked to see Cappis (more than I care about Sabbi, for instance).

Greg Seltzer said...

Lots of topics to cover from you two, so I'll bullet point these...

- I did not expect Musah to turn out for the USMNT. After all, he has captained England youth sides. I'd guess this is a "Why not check it out?" lay of the land move for the kid, but Berhalter has been wooing him for a long time now. However it turns out, good work on that.

- Honestly, I never took Soto's Chile flirtation seriously. Seemed to come out of nowhere, probably just a call-up leverage ploy. If so... well... it worked.

- Luke, I'm not aware that Berhalter sees Cappis exclusively as a #6, do you have a source for this? For me, he's a pure #8. Either way, I'd definitely say he should be ahead of Cardoso right now on accomplishment (though there are obviously other factors with that call-up).

And yeah, he's been back for a few weeks, but is playing in Denmark's second flight. I was thinking of getting him back amongst better talent/against better opposition. My bad on the incomplete point. On top of that, of course we haven't actually seen him play in a US shirt yet. So yeah, I'd have liked him involved.

- Yeah, while Johannsson is flying high right now, he's older, more of a known entity and playing at a lower level than the other forwards (except Soto). Plus, Hammarby are down to the nitty gritty of their season and in a tense race. All around, it's best he remains there whether Berhalter is interested or not.

DaMa said...

Thanks! Though I guess we'll see what changes with the Sargent exclusion.