Major changes to the USMNT ahead of Tuesday’s game against New Zealand in Washington, DC.
US Soccer announced seven new players will join the team: Kellyn Acosta, Juan Agudelo, Matt Besler, Terrence Boyd, Bill Hamid, Michael Orozco and Tim Parker. They’ll replace John Brooks, Geoff Cameron, Timmy Chandler, Ethan Horvath, Fabian Johnson, Jordan Morris, Christian Pulisic, Chris Wondolowski and Bobby Wood, all of whom were sent back to their respective teams.
Jurgen Klinsmann credited the changes to keeping European players in rhythm, and giving Morris and Wondolowski the chance to get back with their teams as the MLS playoffs loom just weeks away.
Realistically, this was meant to keep club coaches happy and put the European-based players in the best position to play next weekend. Most of the starting 11 versus Mexico and Costa Rica is already set (barring injury and the fact that you can never quite be sure about Klinsmann’s lineup choices, of course!), so why not put the guys who are starting or could be starting for their clubs in the best position to succeed in the meantime?
One other thing seems clear: bench spots remain for next month. I would guess we could name 15-18 of the guys who will make the squad in a month’s time. But those final five-eight spots could be interesting.
Will someone(s) step on Tuesday to prove his value?