Who will make the USMNT roster for the November camp?
October 14, 2020
WE ARE ALL HOPEFUL that another COVID-19 wave won’t prevent the United States national team from playing games in the November window. There are plans for the U.S. team to return to the field with two games in Europe, although the games have not been announced.
There have been various reports that indicate the U.S. team will attempt to play Wales and Australia in November with both games taking place in the United Kingdom. It has also been widely reported that the roster will almost entirely consist of European-based players due to the difficulties of having players travel across continents during these times.
This roster will likely give Gregg Berhalter to check in on his European-based players, many of whom have not been able to play with a team for a year or more.
The roster size will likely consist of around 25 players for the two games and here is one prediction for how it could wind up.
- 1) Zack Steffen
- 2) Ethan Horvath
- 3) Damian Las
Others in the Mix: Chituru Odunze
The Skinny: This is probably the easiest position to figure out. Zack Steffen and Ethan Horvath almost have to get called up. After that, there are not many goalkeeping options in Europe right now. My prediction for the third goalkeeper is U-20 eligible Damian Las who is in the youth system at Fulham. He won’t play but the experience could be nice for him.
- 4) Sergino Dest
- 5) Reggie Cannon
- 6) DeAndre Yedlin
- 7) Antonee Robinson
- 8) John Brooks
- 9) Matt Miazga
- 10) Erik Palmer-Brown
- 11) Chris Richards
- 12) Tim Ream
Others in the Mix: Owen Otasowie, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Chris Gloster, Kobe Hernandez-Foster
The Skinny: A lot of these names pick themselves. Tim Ream is the older veteran on a very young selection of players. One player to keep a sharp eye on here is Owen Otasowie. The Wolves central defender/defensive midfielder has been singled out as a player they rate. It is entirely possible that he replaces Maizga or Palmer-Brown.
- 13) Tyler Adams
- 14) Bryang Kayo
- 15) Weston McKennie
- 16) Duane Holmes
- 17) Gio Reyna
- 18) Richard Ledezma
Special Note: Jens Cajuste will attend camp to train as he decides between remaining with Sweden or potentially switching to the United States
Others in the Mix: Alfredo Morales, Chris Durkin, Christian Cappis, Kenny Saief, Ian Harkes, Alex Mendez
The Skinny: There is a lot to unpack here. Obviously a healthy Adams, McKennie and Reyna go. The staff tipped their hand with Kayo when they invited him to January camp. Maybe he is brought back into this camp? Of course, this could also be a place where maybe Otasowie fits into the team as well. The defensive midfield position behind Adams is not clear.
Derby County’s Duane Holmes is also in the mix although he’s not playing as well as he was last November- January. But these games are right in his backyard and he has talent and skills to help in multiple positions.
Richard Ledezma is also one who probably will get the nod as he was instrumental at the U-20 level in 2019 and was slated to be on the U-23 team this year (and still might factor into Olympic qualifying). He is far enough along at PSV where a look is probably well worth it.
The special note here is that I think Midtjylland central midfielder Jens Cajuste will attend this camp. The dual national who will play in the upcoming Champions League with Midtjyalland has played for Sweden’s U-21 team (in an official competition) and could only leave their setup with a one-time switch. Berhalter has been speaking with him and U.S. Soccer is looking into his eligibility.
My prediction is that U.S. Soccer determines he is eligible for the United States internationally – immediately after a one-time switch. This would be the reverse opposite stance they had on him when Tab Ramos tried to bring him into the U-20 team during the 2019 cycle and U.S. Soccer told him he was not eligible. But the invitation to this camp would be done to give Cajuste a chance to evaluate the U.S. set up before making a switch.
- 19) Christian Pulisic
- 20) Tim Weah
- 21) Uly Llanez
- 22) Konrad de la Fuente
- 23) Josh Sargent
- 24) Nicholas Gioacchini
- 25) Aron Johannsson
Others in the Mix: Tyler Boyd, Emmanuel Sabbi, Andrija Novakovich, Julian Green, Shaq Moore, Sebastian Soto
The Skinny: Some tough cuts will have to be made here among the center forwards and the wingers. We obviously know Pulisic and Sargent are coming. Konrad de la Fuente is around Barcelona’s first team so that makes him an obvious pick for an experimental camp like this.
The rest are tough picks. SM Caen Nicholas Gioacchini was likely to earn his first U.S. call-up (at any level) back in March and the Kanas City-born forward who can also play as a winger has done nothing to hurt his case as he continues to be a key player for a Caen team that should compete for promotion.
It’s also tough to bypass Hammarby’s Aron Johannsson. Even though he will turn 30 at this camp, not calling up someone actually producing is a tough call.
For the last pick, Uly Llanez is now with the first team of Heerenveen on loan. While he has not made any big steps there, yet, he should play in the Eredivisie this season. When you combine that with his January camp performance in the 1-0 win over Costa Rica, he probably gets the nod.
But look at the players who we left off. Tyler Boyd has been a mainstay but is frozen out at his club, Besiktas for the foreseeable future. Emmanuel Sabbi has cooled off with OB although he’s still intriguing. Andrija Novakovich continues to produce in Serie B with Frosinone. Julian Green could sneak into this list with some good games in the coming weeks for Greuther Furth. Shaq Moore is also improving in his conversion to winger in Spain’s second tier.
The toughest cut, however, on this list is Sebastian Soto. He is scoring for Telstar and while that is a low level, his past involvement with the United States (combined with the rumors of strong interest from Chile) might put him into this camp. But who comes off?