With Christian Pulisic, Tyler Adams and Weston Mckennie out of the picture due to injuries, The United States has a tall task ahead of them.
Interim Head Coach Dave Sarachan has called back Brad Guzan (Atlanta United) and Michael Bradley (Toronto F.C.) up to represent the U.S. in order to make up for the lack of experience in the 24-man roster after injuries have stripped the U.S. from a couple of their very important players.
After scoring a goal in the Champions League and maintaining form in his club, Christian Pulisic is living in what could possibly be his best moment in his Borussia Dortmund career, so it’s no surprise that his class and command will leave a gap to fill in the upcoming friendlies against Colombia and Peru.
With that being said, as important as players like Pulisic are, they don’t make up the whole team which, in this case, actually boasts a bit more depth than what we’re used to.
The Other Guys
The United States back line speaks for itself. With the defensive players touting their talent mostly in European teams, it’ll be interesting to see the chemistry on the pitch.
Working our way up the field, Sarachan decided to look no further than the MLS for most of his midfield which provided a large pool of talent to draw from. Again, the chemistry of playing in similar leagues can come into play and trigger an advantage.
Not to mention, well-established forward Bobby Wood (coming off from a recent brace for Hannover 96) seems to be finding his rhythm again after leaving Hamburger.
Making the Connection
The two friendlies occurring in a week’s time have something in common that shouldn’t be ignored: South America. While Peru classified to their first World Cup in 2018 after 36 years, Colombia’s presence has been highly regarded as one of the top teams in the Southern continent’s extremely competitive region.
A large amount of the MLS is made up of young, up-and-coming South American talent like Josef Martinez (Atlanta United) and Raul Ruidiaz (Seattle Sounders). Not only that, but a good portion of these players also have the privilege of representing their countries outside of their clubs. I see this as a smart move from the directors of the U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team to not stray too far from what they know while gaining experience along the way.
This USMNT squad finds itself in an awkward stage seeing as they currently don’t have a permanent Head Coach. But their “Out with the old, in with the new” mantra has remained solid throughout recent FIFA International Match dates and will, hopefully, continue in order to spark a rebuild.
Until an official process begins, Dave Sarachan is doing what he needs to do in order to get these young players as much experience as possible.