It seems like yesterday, we were just thinking about the CONCACAF rosters for the United States Men’s National Team. After an impressive run to capture the Gold Cup, it’s already time for coach Bruce Arena to think about who he is going to put on the field for the World Cup qualifiers in September. Obviously, injuries play a role in his final decision, but it looks like he is leaning toward a healthy combination of experienced veterans and youthful talent, which means the roster is most likely going to look a little bit different than the one that just brought home the CONCACAF title.
Selections: Tim Howard, Brad Guzan, Ethan Horvath
Howard and Guzan were the obvious choices in net for the United States, but the third goalie slot has been up for grabs heading into the qualifying matches. Bill Hamid was on the Gold Cup roster, but it looks like Arena is going to want some youth in goal, so rumor has it, he is between Horvath and Jesse Gonzalez. Horvath has the upper hand to this point, but Gonzalez might knock him off the roster if Mexico continues to show interest in the young goalkeeper.
Selections: Graham Zusi, Tim Chandler, Geoff Cameron, Matt Miazga, Matt Besler, Tim Ream, Justin Morrow, Jorge Villafana
Injuries made this position a little more difficult to project, as John Brooks, Omar Gonzalez, and DeAndre Yedlin will all be held out due to injury. The only other major surprise snub on Arena’s roster of defenders is DaMarcus Beasley, who still has an outside shot at making the team.
Selections: Christian Pulisic, Michael Bradley, Darlington Nagbe, Paul Arriola, Kellyn Acosta, Dax McCarty, Gyasi Zardes, Alejandro Bedoya
More injuries, more problems. Fabian Johnson and Kelyn Rowe will be out with injuries, so USMNT will have to rely on the supremely-talented Christian Pulisic and the aging veteran Michael Bradley in the middle of the field.
Selections: Jozy Altidore, Clint Dempsey, Bobby Wood, Jordan Morris
Another excellent combination of youth and experience is the lethal pair of Jozy Altidore and Clint Dempsey at forward. Let’s just hope they can stay healthy heading into September.