USMNT roster set, Flach to Philly, Patrick Weah becomes American & more
March 23, 2021
IT IS THE START of an international window and club games are on the back-burner for the next 10 days but there is still plenty of news to discuss regarding player movement, Olympic qualifying, and news from the United States national team camp.
Here is the news we are watching
The U.S. roster has gone through a bunch of changes since was unveiled last week. Tyler Adams, Tim Weah, and Nicholas Gioacchini were released due to local COVID-19 quarantine rules. Gioacchini was later readmitted after his yellow-card over the weekend meant he was suspended for SM Caen’s first game back.
In their place, Christian Cappis and Jordan Siebatcheu were both called-up. For Siebtacheu, it was his first call-up at any level.
Furthermore, Gio Reyna, Chris Richards, and Josh Sargent have been now allowed to stay for the Northern Ireland after the initial plan was to have the depart after the Jamaica friendly.
As it stands here is the roster with only Reggie Cannon and John Brooks leaving after the first game.
GOALKEEPERS (3): Ethan Horvath (Club Brugge/BEL; 4/0), Chituru Odunze (Leicester City/ENG; 0/0), Zack Steffen (Manchester City/ENG; 19/0)
DEFENDERS (10): John Brooks* (Wolfsburg/GER; 39/3), Reggie Cannon* (Boavista/POR; 13/0), Sergiño Dest (Barcelona/ESP; 5/0), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls; 19/3), Matt Miazga (Anderlecht/BEL; 20/1), Erik Palmer-Brown (Austria Wien/AUT; 2/0), Tim Ream (Fulham/ENG; 41/1), Bryan Reynolds (Roma/ITA; 0/0), Chris Richards (Hoffenheim/GER; 1/0), Antonee Robinson (Fulham/ENG; 8/0)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Brenden Aaronson (Red Bull Salzburg/AUT; 2/1), Kellyn Acosta (Colorado Rapids; 25/2), Christian Cappis (Hobro/DEN; 0/0), Luca de la Torre (Heracles/NED; 1/0), Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy; 18/4), Yunus Musah (Valencia/ESP; 2/0), Owen Otasowie (Wolverhampton Wanderers/ENG; 1/0)
FORWARDS (6): Daryl Dike (Barnsley/ENG; 1/0), Nicholas Gioacchini (Caen/FRA; 2/2), Christian Pulisic (Chelsea/ENG; 34/14), Gio Reyna (Borussia Dortmund/GER; 2/1), Josh Sargent (Werder Bremen/GER; 12/5), Jordan Siebatcheu (Young Boys/SUI; 0/0)
* Indicates player will depart after March 25 match against Jamaica
Flach to join Phildelphia
United States U-20 central midfielder Leon Flach, 20, is set to join the Philadelphia Union from St. Pauli on a transfer fee of about $250,000.00. The news was reported by Bild on Tuesday.
In 2019, Flach played for Germany’s U-18 national team but in January, 2020 he represented the United States for the first time at what turned out to be the only U-20 camp of the cycle. This past season he made his first team debut in the 2.Bundesliga with St. Pauli. On January 3, 2021, he scored his first professional goal with a dramatic blast from distance.
This move seems to work out for everyone. St. Pauli needs money and Flach will give them a boost. Philadelphia is certainly looking for more players to develop and Flach is someone who can grow into becoming a starter. For Flach, he also gets a place where he has an opportunity to play.
This is a low-risk, high reward for Philadelphia which sold two high-profile American players to Europe in the offseason in Brenden Aaronson and Mark McKenzie. Under head coach Jim Curtin, the Union have earned a reputation as a club that will play and win with young players. Also, when given a fair sale value, the club will sell. If Flach is looking for a place where he will get a good chance of playing and being sold, the move makes sense. What is perhaps most interesting about this move is that Flach is moving out of his comfort zone to make it happen. He’s never lived in the United States at an age where he would remember but is willing to travel abroad to Philadelphia to make this move.
When speaking with Anthony Hudson and members of the U.S. U-20 team in 2020, it seemed as if Flach was going to be a big part of that team’s plans.
Philadelphia has a very promising young group of players coming through the academy but players like Flach and Anthony Fontana, 21, are a good way to bridge that gap. Flach will certainly get an opportunity to impress.
News from Guadalajara
CONCACAF’s Olympic qualifying rolls on for the United States and the regions other teams. We know the United States and Mexico have advanced to the semifinals and the two rivals will meet Wednesday night to determine who will win Group A – with Mexico just needing a draw.
Group B is interesting after Canada and Haiti played to a 0-0 draw and Honduras and El Salvador played to a 1-1 draw. Honduras and Canada sit with four points and El Salvador and Haiti sit with one point each.
Honduras and Canada face each other on Thursday, both teams advance to the semifinals with a draw but should Mexico win Group A, there is plenty of incentive to win and avoid facing El Tri in Guadalajara. Losing that game, however, would be catastrophic as a decisive winner in El Salvador – Haiti could eliminate either Canada or Honduras.
The toughest matchup for the United States right now seems to be Honduras and the mathematical odds suggest that is the most likely opponent for Jason Kreis’ team. At this point, however, anything can happen. The U.S. needs to play Mexico tough but cannot afford injuries or suspensions (which will likely see Justen Glad and Jesus Ferreira move to the bench, as they’re both on a yellow). The best thing for the team would be to have the Group B games on Thursday be very strenuous on all teams.
Weah becomes American
In February, highly regards prospect Patrick Weah, 17, signed a homegrown contract with Minnesota United. On Tuesday, Weah announced that he had become an American citizen. Liberian-born Weah is the cousin for current U.S. national team attacker Tim Weah and New York Red Bulls right back Kyle Duncan. He is also the nephew of former FIFA World Player of the Year George Weah.
Congratulations to Minnesota United forward Patrick Weah, 17, who has announced that he has become an American citizen. The cousin of #USMNT attacker Tim Weah and #RBNY right back Kyle Duncan, and nephew of George Weah is a really good prospect in his own right for #MNUFC pic.twitter.com/UnPU6EXatM— Brian Sciaretta (@BrianSciaretta) March 23, 2021
A very athletic but raw forwards, Patrick Weah is a top prospect in his own right and should be a very good addition to the U.S. U-20 pool for the 2023 World Cup cycle.