It is time, my fellow USMNT fans, to rejoice and celebrate the beginning of training camp. The roster has been called forth by Coach Jurgen Klinsmann, identifying 28 players we could well see representing us in the coming World Cup. Take a gander below (referenced here):
Goalkeeper: Nick Ramando, Jon Kempin, Sean Johnson, Alex Bono
Defenders: Oscar Sorto, Shane O’Neil, Perry Kitchen, Jermaine Jones, Brad Evans, Christian Dean, Steve Birnbaum, Matt Besler
Midfield: Will Trapp, Brek Shea, Dillon Serna, Marc Pelosi, Lee Nguyen, Miguel Ibarra, Luis Gill, Dennis Flores, Max Diskerud, Michael Bradley
Forwards: Gyasi Zardes, Bobby Wood, Chris Wondolowski, Julio Morales, Clint Dempsey, Tesho Akindele.
The camp is bound to promise a comprehensive review of all selected players. This new squad has a few familiar faces as well as a breath of fresh air in its new candidates. It appears 2018 is promising for a new and exciting look into a different team capable of providing the same exhilaration we have grown accustomed to. Joining the likes of esteemed veterans Jermaine Jones and Michael Bradley, Marc Pelosi in particular is a promising midfielder to watch.
The former captain of the U17 team, Pelosi is sure to provide an athletic spectacle. After signing for Liverpool but breaking his leg early on, his future has been uncertain. Luckily for him, he will now have Michael Bradley by his side to offer some guidance, thus (hopefully) elevating his game. Already currently exhibiting skill in the Liverpool U21’s, this is his well-deserved chance to see some playing time at the national level.
While of course it is exciting to see so many veterans, I do think it comes as a bit of a surprise. Personally, I was expecting a team completely full of new and invigorating players, ready to shed tears, sweat, and blood if need be for a shot at the World Cup. That said, I am sure the veterans will give it their all. Not to mention, their combined experience, field awareness, and refined skill may just give the USMNT the extra push they need for an even deeper run than before in the upcoming tournament of tournaments.
As a side note, it should be noted that both Clint Dempsey and Brad Evans will not be participating in this camp. Although listed for the roster, the reason why I listed them above, it says here that they may very well not be playing in reality. For Evans, it appears injuries like tendonitis in his knee will be barring his attendance. For Dempsey, the reason for his absence remains to be seen.
No matter what you think of the roster, I’m sure we can all agree that we are excited to see the USMNT back together again. The energy is palpable. The anticipation is building. The cup is coming.
P.S.: For your ticket to the first friendly against Iceland in Carson, California, click here.