Your Weekly USMNT Update — October 8, 2019

Last Wednesday, Gregg Berhalter released his picks for the upcoming CONCACAF Nations League matches against Cuba and northern rivals Canada. With John Brooks, Tyler Adams, Timothy Weah, and Alfredo Morales all missing due to injury, Berhalter picked an MLS heavy squad (as usual) with 70% of the squad playing in the USA. Not only are these players probably more focused on a push for the playoffs, but their inclusion is also leaving out several European based players, who at the very least play professionally in more competitive leagues. The only bright spot on the roster seems to be the addition of 18-year-old Brenden Aaronson who graduated from the U23’s to the first team, but knowing Berhalter, Brenden will probably get five minutes of game time across to ensure he “transitions properly into the squad.” Berhalter’s lack of creativity in gameplay and meek squad selections leave many USMNT fans (including ourselves) searching for something - anything - to get excited about. 

Surely, these two matches hold massive weight. If the team puts in another aimless performance, any competent Soccer Federation would put the head coach on the chopping block. I believe…..I believe that… I believe that we can beat Canada. That’s all we can muster up for now.    

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Star of the Week

Timothy Howard (40, North Brunswick, NJ) - Colorado Rapids, MLS

As a reminder of happier American times, we’d like to honor Tim Howard as our Star of the Week, as he hung up his boots ending an illustrious 22-year career (594 appearances for clubs, 121 CAPs). Tim Howard is the prime example of an American leader, known for putting the USMNT on his back with incredible saves, leadership out the back, and standing up in the face of personal challenges to become an athlete that young Americans can aspire to become. Some may remember him for his incredible record-breaking 16 save performance against Belgium in the 2014 World Cup, some may remember him as the first American to play for a top English Premier League club. We will remember him as one of the greatest USMNT players of all time. Thanks for the Memories, Tim.

USMNT Winners of the MLS Regular Season

Jordan Morris (24, Seattle, WA) - Seattle Sounders, MLS 

After nearly a year out with an ACL tear, there were many questions regarding if Jordan Morris would be able to bounce back this season. Though he had some up-and-down moments including a few average games for the USMNT, Morris was a key player for the Seattle Sounders this season, helping them achieve second seed in the West with 10 goals and seven assists. Morris adapted well to playing as both a winger and a striker this season and turning into a leader for Seattle.  Overall, Morris had a great season to rebuild his confidence and build his maturity. At 24 years old, Morris most likely won’t develop more in terms of his physical ability and skillset, but with more experience comes a stronger mentality and opportunity to develop into a leader. Of course, we still remember his mediocre displays in the past Gold Cup Final (slow to make decisions and not clinical), and hope that it was a lesson well learned. Coming off the bench for the USMNT, Morris can add a spark that could make a difference. 

Jordan Morris Interview on his comeback season:

Paxton Pomykal (19, Lewisville, TX) - FC Dallas, MLS 

Pomykal showed real consistency as arguably the top performer on FC Dallas this season. Pomykal’s engine made him a relentless force in the midfield, running his socks off in every single game. While this admittedly took away from his offensive spark at times, it was a crucial role to assume that not only showed his leadership abilities, but also underscored his grit on the field. Generally speaking, we think Pomykal is an incredibly dynamic midfielder, given his strong dribbling skills and ability to find the final pass ahead of goal, while also a bit more defensive-minded. Given his immediate success in the MLS, we wouldn’t be surprised to see him make the move to Europe soon. Still salty that his USMNT debut only lasted five minutes, but we are certain that Pomykal will have a permanent spot on the roster. 

Pomykal’s hat trick of assists versus Minnesota earlier this season:

Mason Toye (20, South Orange, NJ) - Minnesota United, MLS 

We are definitely having trouble getting excited about the USMNT and the current roster, but if there is one guy we are excited about, it is the discovery of Mason Toye this regular season. We get it, “don’t jump on the Mason Toye hypetrain,” but it’s hard to deny that he has some raw talent. He sticks out as one of the most promising attackers in the MLS mainly given his athleticism, ball-handling ability, and superb technique when striking the ball with his left foot. Lack of creativity in the final third has often been an issue for the USMNT, but Toye looks like he could fill that void. We don’t want to diminish that he clearly has a lot to improve on from a tactical and consistency standpoint, but he was a clear winner in this regular season. Check out his two unforgettable goals against LAFC:

Emerson Hyndman (23, Dallas, TX) - Atlanta United, MLS

Almost forgotten by many USMNT fans prior to this season, Hyndman played himself back into the mix after first regular season with Atlanta United. The young central midfielder looked crisp on the ball, found his way into the right spaces, did not shy away from physicality, and contributed one goal and two assists in 15 appearances. 

Check out his goal in the CF America from earlier this year:

Clearly too early to think of a USMNT call up for Hyndman as he continues to lack consistency and needs to be more clinical in the final third, but we also wouldn't rule him out just yet… 

Kyle Duncan (22, Brooklyn, NY) - New York Red Bulls, MLS

Another standout player was Kyle Duncan, given his tremendous effort up and down the flank for the New York Red Bulls. Duncan, an athletic right back is well known for his abilities including his speed, aggression, and crossing ability. He is growing game by game and had two starts in one week after struggling with injuries and form for two and a half months. In that time, he did earn a call up to Jason Kries’s U23 USMNT camp and will look to head to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

Jesus Ferreira (18, Frisco, TX) - FC Dallas, MLS

Alongside Pomykal, Jesus Ferreira was the second FC Dallas who certainly played himself onto Berhalter’s radar. Colombian born Jesus Ferreira has had an impact season for FC Dallas with seven goals and four assists. The son of former FC Dallas player and MLS MVP David Ferriera, Jesus is well known as a top MLS prospect for his composure, finishing, and youthful energy. Ferreira is a homegrown talent who was signed from the FC Dallas Academy at the age of 15, after being in the Dallas youth ranks for seven years. Although Ferreira was born in Colombia, he has represented the US U17 national team and has also been called up to the U20 national team camp. Ferreira recently acquired his American citizenship, solidifying his eligibility to represent the United States in a competitive tournament. Fererria made his professional debut at the age of 16 for FC Dallas, scored in his first match and in doing so, became the second youngest MLS player to score at that time. Ferreira’s speed and cool head in front of goal make him an exciting player to watch. 

Check out his goal against Houston:

Miles Robinson (22, Arlington, VA) - Atlanta United, MLS 

Our last winner of the regular season goes to Miles Robinson, who not only cemented his place as the leader of Atlanta’s back line this regular season but also celebrated his USMNT debut after being called up by Berhalter. A physically strong and technically robust center back, Robinson seems to be the perfect fit for Berhalter’s possession-oriented build up play. He has now joined the USMNT nations league roster to replace Walker Zimmerman due to injury.

OneGoal’s 2022 World Cup Roster as of Today

Goalkeepers:

  • Zack Steffen (24, Coatesville, PA): Played 90 minutes in Fortuna Dusseldorf’s 3-1 loss vs. Hertha BSC (Bundesliga).

  • Ethan Horvath (24, Highlands Ranch, CO): Did not play competitive soccer this week - on the bench. 

  • Bill Hamid (28, Annandale, VA): Played 90 minutes in DC United’s 0-0 draw vs. FC Cincinnati (MLS).

Defenders:

  • John Anthony Brooks (26, Chicago, IL): Did not play competitive soccer this week - recovering from injury.

  • DeAndre Yedlin (26, Seattle, WA): Played 90 minutes in Newcastle’s 1-0 win vs. Manchester United (Premier League).

  • Antonee Robinson (22, White Plains, NY): Played 90 minutes in Wigan Athletic’s 1-0 win vs. Birmingham and played 90 minutes in Wigan Athletic’s 1-0 loss to Sheffield Wednesday (Championship).

  • Cameron Carter-Vickers (21, Baton Rouge, LA): Played 90 minutes in Stoke City’s 0-1 loss vs. Huddersfield and played 90 minutes in Stoke City’s 1-2 win vs. Swansea (Championship).

  • Matt Miazga (24, Clifton, NJ): Did not play competitive soccer this week - recovering from injury.

  • Sergino Dest (18, New York, NY): Played 90 minutes in Ajax’s 0-2 win vs. ADO Den Haag (Eredivise).

  • Aaron Long (26, Oak Hills, CA): Played 90 minutes in NY Red Bulls’ 3-0 loss to the Montreal Impact (MLS).

  • Reggie Cannon (21, Chicago, IL): Played 90 minutes and notched an assist in FC Dallas’ 6-0 win to Sporting Kansas City (MLS).

Midfielders:

  • Tyler Adams (20, Wappingers Falls, NY): Did not play competitive soccer this week - recovering from injury.

  • Weston McKennie (21, Little Elm, TX): Played 45 minutes in Schalke’s 1-1 draw vs. FC Köln (Bundesliga).

  • Wil Trapp (26, Columbus, OH): Played 90 minutes in Columbus Crew’s 1-0 loss vs. Toronto FC (MLS).

  • Duane Holmes (24, Columbus, GA): Played 90 minutes in Derby’s 2-2 draw vs. Barnsley FC and played 6 minutes in Derby’s 2-0 win vs. Luton Town (Championship).

  • Paxton Pomykal (19, Lewisville, TX): Did not play competitive soccer this week - on the bench.

  • Djordje Mihailovic (20, Lemont, IL): Played 24 minutes in Chicago Fire’s 2-5 win vs. Orlando City SC (MLS).

Forwards:

  • Christian Pulisic (20, Hershey, PA): Played 10 minutes and notched an assist in Chelsea’s 1-4 win vs. Southampton (Premier League). 

  • Paul Arriola (24, Chula Vista, CA): Played 90 minutes in DC United’s 0-0 draw vs. FC Cincinnati (MLS).

  • Tyler Boyd (24, Santa Ynez, CA): Did not play competitive soccer this week - on the bench.

  • Jonathan Amon (20, Summerville, SC): Did not play competitive soccer this week - not in squad.

  • Timothy Weah (19, New York, NY): Did not play competitive soccer this week - recovering from injury.

  • Josh Sargent (19, O’Fallon, MO): Played 72 minutes in Werder Bremen’s 2-2 draw to Eintracht Frankfurt (Bundesliga).

On the Rise / In the Hunt

  • Kellyn Acosta (24, Plano, TX), Midfield, Colorado Rapids

  • Corey Baird (23, Escondido, CA), Forward, Real Salt Lake

  • George Bello (17, Douglasville, GA), Defense, Atlanta United 

  • Jeremy Ebobisse (22, Bethesda, MD), Forward, Portland Timbers

  • Romain Gall (24, Herndon, VA), Midfield, Malmo FF

  • Chris Gloster (19, Montclair, NJ), Defense, PSV Eindhoven 

  • Richy Ledezma (18, Phoenix, AZ), Midfield, PSV Eindhoven 

  • Nick Lima (24, Castro Valley, CA), Defense, San Jose Earthquakes

  • Jonathan Lewis (22, Plantation, FL), Forward, Colorado Rapids

  • Andrija Novakovich (22, Muskego, WI), Forward, Frosinone Calcio

  • Erik Palmer-Brown (22, Napoleon, OH), Defense, Austria WIen 

  • Chris Richards (19, Hoover, AL), Defense, Bayern Munich

  • Miles Robinson (22, Arlington, MA), Defense, Atlanta United 

  • Sebastian Soto (19, Los Angeles, CA), Forward, Hannover 96 

  • Haji Wright (21, Los Angeles, CA), Forward, VVV Venlo 

  • Walker Zimmerman (26, Lawrenceville, GA), Defense, LAFC

News / Transfers

Injury Update

  • Tyler Adams (recovering after adductor injury; timeline TBD) 

  • Timothy Weah (out through international break; timeline TBD) 

  • Jozy Altidore (landed awkwardly and subbed off; timeline TBD)

  • John Anthony Brooks (lingering injury; timeline TBD) 

  • Alfredo Morales (returned injury from USMNT friendly vs. Mexico; timeline TBD) 

In Case You Missed It

After being on the field for just under 10 minutes, Captain America played this perfect pass to Michy Batshuayi who scored the fourth goal in Chelsea’s 4-1 victory over Southampton.

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