Fantasy Football - Footballguys Forums
Premier

US Men's National Team

Recommended Posts

We can't expect a higher success rate than academies in other countries. Barca, Ajax, Southampton, Basel, etc.

That's kind of what I was getting at upthread -- can the Barca/Ajax/Southampton/Basel development models more or less be "bought" and exported to the U.S., given sufficent cash? Even overpaying their administrators, best youth coaches, etc. to lure them to come to the U.S.

While I understand that Klinsmann is at the top of the mountain of U.S. Soccer ... does he have the lower-level guys downstream to execute Barca/Ajax/Southampton/Basel-type player development? And if not, can those lower-level guys be imported?

Throwing money at the academies won't necessarily fix it. For one, they start getting kids at 6 or 8. Ours don't start til U13. Of course, we could start it earlier but I don't think many parents will want their kid just playing soccer. Same could probably be said for the kid.

The other aspect is just the massiveness of the country. In the smaller European countries, you only need 20 or so academies to cover the entire country. Here, 20 academies would barely be enough to cover Texas or California. The amount of distance required to travel to practice can be insane. Suburbia is also not conducive to pick up games which is another aspect all together.

I think the US can do a better job at fostering younger talent, but this is very tough with our culture. I enjoyed my time playing baseball and basketball and wouldn't have given that up. Beyond that, even when these kids are found, they might get world class training but plenty of other kids fall through the crack. Even in Europe, if you don't get in Ajax's system, you most likely train with a smaller professional club where here, if you didn't get into ODP or the academy system, you were left for whatever club you already were in.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We can't expect a higher success rate than academies in other countries. Barca, Ajax, Southampton, Basel, etc.

That's kind of what I was getting at upthread -- can the Barca/Ajax/Southampton/Basel development models more or less be "bought" and exported to the U.S., given sufficent cash? Even overpaying their administrators, best youth coaches, etc. to lure them to come to the U.S.

While I understand that Klinsmann is at the top of the mountain of U.S. Soccer ... does he have the lower-level guys downstream to execute Barca/Ajax/Southampton/Basel-type player development? And if not, can those lower-level guys be imported?

My perception is that it's more of a cultural issue than an issue with not knowing how to develop talent. We could bring over tons of European coaches to teach the game the "right way" but that doesn't do much if American parents and kids don't buy into it.

I agree with this. Every little Catalan kid's dream is to play for Barca. Parents there will make sure their 8-year-old is getting his 10,000 touches in. All other sports take a back seat. We can copy the methods, sure, but we can replicate that culture? Probably not.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The percentage of African-American players in MLB has dropped from 27% to under 8% the past 20 years, which many observers have also attributed to pay-to-play. It made me wonder how AAU basketball teams get funded?

Also, yes to fatguy's comment about culture. I don't know if our kids love it enough early enough yet. That might not change until it's the first sport for most of their daddies.

And I'll weigh in on the side that thinks athleticism is not the predominant asset in footy. At least not in the American sense of size and speed.

Edited by roadkill1292

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We can't expect a higher success rate than academies in other countries. Barca, Ajax, Southampton, Basel, etc.

That's kind of what I was getting at upthread -- can the Barca/Ajax/Southampton/Basel development models more or less be "bought" and exported to the U.S., given sufficent cash? Even overpaying their administrators, best youth coaches, etc. to lure them to come to the U.S.

While I understand that Klinsmann is at the top of the mountain of U.S. Soccer ... does he have the lower-level guys downstream to execute Barca/Ajax/Southampton/Basel-type player development? And if not, can those lower-level guys be imported?

I don't pretend to know the profit and loss details for the academies but I suspect they're a loss leader for the clubs. I specifically included Southampton in my examples because they've had a lot of recent financial problems and were as low as League 1 (third division in England) this decade. Basel is in a small league but have had Champions League money to play with.

I have to think there were spells recently where Southampton's revenues were lower than a successful MLS club so this isn't purely a question of dollars and cents. However it will take time, planning and execution. Gareth Bale's association with Southampton began when he was nine years old.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We can't expect a higher success rate than academies in other countries. Barca, Ajax, Southampton, Basel, etc.

That's kind of what I was getting at upthread -- can the Barca/Ajax/Southampton/Basel development models more or less be "bought" and exported to the U.S., given sufficent cash? Even overpaying their administrators, best youth coaches, etc. to lure them to come to the U.S.

While I understand that Klinsmann is at the top of the mountain of U.S. Soccer ... does he have the lower-level guys downstream to execute Barca/Ajax/Southampton/Basel-type player development? And if not, can those lower-level guys be imported?

Don't have an answer, but I heard Bill Simmons bring this up yesterday in his post-mortem podcast with Rob Stone. He threw out Jerry Jones and Daniel Snyder, hated billionaires in this country...and if they threw some serious cash down to help accomplish this sort of thing, it could certainly change the public sentiment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We can't expect a higher success rate than academies in other countries. Barca, Ajax, Southampton, Basel, etc.

That's kind of what I was getting at upthread -- can the Barca/Ajax/Southampton/Basel development models more or less be "bought" and exported to the U.S., given sufficent cash? Even overpaying their administrators, best youth coaches, etc. to lure them to come to the U.S.

While I understand that Klinsmann is at the top of the mountain of U.S. Soccer ... does he have the lower-level guys downstream to execute Barca/Ajax/Southampton/Basel-type player development? And if not, can those lower-level guys be imported?

Don't have an answer, but I heard Bill Simmons bring this up yesterday in his post-mortem podcast with Rob Stone. He threw out Jerry Jones and Daniel Snyder, hated billionaires in this country...and if they threw some serious cash down to help accomplish this sort of thing, it could certainly change the public sentiment.

MLS has a cadre billionaire owners. We don't really need to look outside the league for sources of money. This is not a problem that can be solved by just throwing money at it IMO. It is a very complicated problem for a country our size.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have to think there were spells recently where Southampton's revenues were lower than a successful MLS club so this isn't purely a question of dollars and cents. However it will take time, planning and execution. Gareth Bale's association with Southampton began when he was nine years old.

if you remove TV revenue, then this would be true, but the world wide TV revenue for EPL teams trounces any type of revenue MLS teams can generate at this point in time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So we have been talking about "culture" as an issue in development. Culture is playing a big part in development in Texas and California right now.

As people may know, MLS and Liga MX are battling for the young hispanic talent in these two areas of the country and MLS is losing more than they are winning. I read an article with one of the MLS academy directors that said they are finding that the Mexican parents of the American kids are MUCH more comfortable sending their kids back to Mexico to go into a a development academy than they are sending them into an MLS or US based academy.

Many of these kids could represent either US or Mexico, but if they grow up in a Mexican development system and eventually grow into Liga MX, I bet more times than not they would choose the Mexico team over the US.

I don't know how to battle a problem like this. The academies in those areas have good hispanic coaches but that does not appear to be enough.

Edited by NewlyRetired

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Soeaking of Southampton :)

@BrianSciaretta: Cody Cropper signs one-year deal with Southampton - promising move for the young goalkeeper who has 2 official #usmnt call-ups.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have to think there were spells recently where Southampton's revenues were lower than a successful MLS club so this isn't purely a question of dollars and cents. However it will take time, planning and execution. Gareth Bale's association with Southampton began when he was nine years old.

if you remove TV revenue, then this would be true, but the world wide TV revenue for EPL teams trounces any type of revenue MLS teams can generate at this point in time.

True but Southampton was out of the top flight from 2005-2012. They were placed into administration about midway through this period and had to be rescued by new ownership. The Liebherrs are wealthy but not Sheikh rich. A lot of their current selling is due to them overextending themselves since promotion. I was using them as a well-known example of a smaller club with a productive academy program. There are others in the lower divisions. It's been a major focus for AFC Wimbledon who are nowhere near MLS revenue levels.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Soeaking of Southampton :)

@BrianSciaretta: Cody Cropper signs one-year deal with Southampton - promising move for the young goalkeeper who has 2 official #usmnt call-ups.

A UK passport works wonders

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jermaine Jones all but confirming he is going to sign some where in MLS

S/o & Thanks for the support from the Fans in US and in Brazil AMAZING!!! maybe we see us in MLS

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Howard was asked on the Dan Patrick show about 2018 and he said he think Guzan should be the keeper. He did not come out and announce his international retirement but he might be considering it.

Maybe he wants to stick around for the show in 2016.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So we have been talking about "culture" as an issue in development. Culture is playing a big part in development in Texas and California right now.

As people may know, MLS and Liga MX are battling for the young hispanic talent in these two areas of the country and MLS is losing more than they are winning. I read an article with one of the MLS academy directors that said they are finding that the Mexican parents of the American kids are MUCH more comfortable sending their kids back to Mexico to go into a a development academy than they are sending them into an MLS or US based academy.

Many of these kids could represent either US or Mexico, but if they grow up in a Mexican development system and eventually grow into Liga MX, I bet more times than not they would choose the Mexico team over the US.

I don't know how to battle a problem like this. The academies in those areas have good hispanic coaches but that does not appear to be enough.

Build a wall.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ives' 2018 projected roster:

PROJECTED USA 2018 WORLD CUP ROSTER

GOALKEEPERS- Brad Guzan, Tim Howard, Cody Cropper

DEFENDERS- DeAndre Yedlin, Fabian Johnson, John Brooks, Omar Gonzalez, Matt Besler, Will Packwood, Timmy Chandler, Greg Garza

MIDFIELDERS- Michael Bradley, Mix Diskerud, Joe Corona, Luis Gil, Geoff Cameron, Wil Trapp

FORWARDS- Jozy Altidore, Aron Johannsson, Terrence Boyd, Darlington Nagbe, Julian Green, Joe Gyau

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting direction Tasker moved the discussion for me.

I agree that every player on the roster is a good to great athlete, even Beckerman. So then it comes down to how these players trained when they were 10. Seems odd.

These guys have played for Roma, teams in the EPL and The Bundesliga. It surely can not be about their training as a U 8-12 player.

Is there any way we take our best group of players between 18-27 and put them on an MLS side playing together as a team. Its not about athletes or youth training imo, its about these guys constantly playing together as a team. I bet if they did this, we would at the very least be able to hold posession better against a team like Belgium. Maybe im off on that assumption, but seems logical to me. Sure thw issue of competitive teams to play becomes an issue but there is always ways to challenge players.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We could probably find success with early academies in California and Texas to counter act the Mexico attraction. Dan Patrick actually said something I agree with in that if we concentrated on pockets of high soccer involvement like California, Texas, and even now the Northwest we could replicate the strong pools of talent found in other nations without the need for nationwide action.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting direction Tasker moved the discussion for me.

I agree that every player on the roster is a good to great athlete, even Beckerman. So then it comes down to how these players trained when they were 10. Seems odd.

These guys have played for Roma, teams in the EPL and The Bundesliga. It surely can not be about their training as a U 8-12 player.

Is there any way we take our best group of players between 18-27 and put them on an MLS side playing together as a team. Its not about athletes or youth training imo, its about these guys constantly playing together as a team. I bet if they did this, we would at the very least be able to hold posession better against a team like Belgium. Maybe im off on that assumption, but seems logical to me. Sure thw issue of competitive teams to play becomes an issue but there is always ways to challenge players.

One thing about MLS that might hurt us is the striving for parity which spreads our best players out. Over the years, some national teams have stocked their teams from the best 2-3 teams they have domestically.

That practice has diminished some in recent times.

I don't see it ever happening in MLS so it is a non starter. The last time this occurred was in 1983 when Team America all played for the DC side in the NASL. Not coincidently, the league folded shortly after.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting direction Tasker moved the discussion for me.

I agree that every player on the roster is a good to great athlete, even Beckerman. So then it comes down to how these players trained when they were 10. Seems odd.

These guys have played for Roma, teams in the EPL and The Bundesliga. It surely can not be about their training as a U 8-12 player.

Is there any way we take our best group of players between 18-27 and put them on an MLS side playing together as a team. Its not about athletes or youth training imo, its about these guys constantly playing together as a team. I bet if they did this, we would at the very least be able to hold posession better against a team like Belgium. Maybe im off on that assumption, but seems logical to me. Sure thw issue of competitive teams to play becomes an issue but there is always ways to challenge players.

One thing about MLS that might hurt us is the striving for parity which spreads our best players out. Over the years, some national teams have stocked their teams from the best 2-3 teams they have domestically.

That practice has diminished some in recent times.

I don't see it ever happening in MLS so it is a non starter. The last time this occurred was in 1983 when Team America all played for the DC side in the NASL. Not coincidently, the league folded shortly after.

I'm sure it wouldn't hurt but I don't think it's necessarily the recipe for success. The South American nations have to deal with their top talent going overseas at a very young age. This particular collection of Brazilans hasn't played or trained together very often. Messi has spent most of his life outside of Argentina. Spain benefitted from having players brought up in the Barcelona system but was able to successfully integrate others into the side.

I'm going back to the Swiss example and suggest that there needs to be better coordination at the national U** levels. They should use consistent training and tactics so it is easier to plug players into the senior squad when the time comes. Time spent with the national team is short; the more prepared players are coming in, the more efficient they will be. In this respect, I think adopting Germans hurts a bit but preparation is no substitute for talent.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
My perception is that it's more of a cultural issue than an issue with not knowing how to develop talent. We could bring over tons of European coaches to teach the game the "right way" but that doesn't do much if American parents and kids don't buy into it.

American kids & parents buy into developing top skills in football, baseball, basketball, etc. ... and even in niche sports like figure skating or lacrosse. What cultural issues are you thinking about? Stuff like teens getting steered away from soccer and toward the big American sports -- even if soccer is truly their best sport -- because soccer is less "prestigious"?

EDIT: posted this before I read Spartans' excellent point in post #352.

Edited by Doug B

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But the US typically goes deep in those type of tournaments.

I don't think you would hear the complaints as much if the US was a consistent semi finalist.

I don't agree with the complaints mind you, but I have heard them my whole life and I just ignore them at this point.

Spain just ended arguably the greatest run in soccer history. Almost none of the players would fit this "best athlete" fallacy that comes up once every 4 years.

They'd still be in the tournament if Ricky Rubio, Fernando Alonso and Rafa Nadal played soccer.

We'd still be in the tournament if Michael Bradley and Geoff Cameron played soccer. :cheapshot:

Edited by CBusAlex

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Apologies if posted, but this is about as comprehensive a list of players to keep an eye on this cycle that I've seen

http://www.sbnation.com/soccer/2014/7/3/5864221/potential-usmnt-players-to-watch-during-the-2018-world-cup-cycle

Its a long article, but posting it all here in case the article is gone in a few years, and anyone wants to look back...

DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders) - A surprise inclusion on this World Cup team, Yedlin's stock has risen considerably after three very solid performances in Brazil. Of course, the issue that most have with Yedlin still exists: as amazing as he is going forward, he's a pretty lousy defender for a right back. He's only 20 and has only been a defender for three years, so he's probably going to get better, but you should prepare yourselves for four years of debates about whether Yedlin is a fullback or a winger.

John Brooks (Hertha BSC) - Brooks' club team Hertha Berlin stayed up in the Bundesliga and they're ready to spend a bit of money to ensure they stay there again. He'll probably enter the season as a starting central defender for them, and he's only going to get better as he gets more playing time in the Bundesliga.

Mikkel Diskerud (Rosenborg) - To the surprise of many, Diskerud and Timmy Chandler were the only outfield players that did not appear in the World Cup. It doesn't help that he's a bit of an attacking midfielder/central midfielder tweener, and that he's not that visible at Rosenborg. He could really use a transfer, provided that staying in Norway isn't a family-oriented decision for the Norwegian-American (it might be).

Aron Johannsson (AZ Alkmaar) - He got one opportunity -- after Jozy Altidore went down injured -- and did so little with it that Jurgen Klinsmann changed his formation for the rest of the tournament. That's not a great look. He scored a lot of goals in the Eredivisie, but that's less impressive than scoring lots of goals in MLS. He would probably be very well served by seeking employment in France or Germany.

Julian Green (Bayern Munich) - Beyond any shadow of a doubt, the best prospect the United States has ever had. But he's buried on the bench at Bayern Munich, playing in the 4th division for their reserve team. That's no good for him, so many Americans will be hoping he gets loaned out to a top 2. Bundesliga or lower-table top-division club, but Pep Guardiola reportedly thinks highly of him and think he's best served training with Bayern's senior team while making sporadic bench appearances.

Still in the picture

These guys will be 33 years old or younger by the time the next World Cup rolls around, meaning they'll remain in the picture to make the squad as long as they continue to play at a very high level. Because these guys are already established pros, they're just getting listed. We don't need to explain what's up with this group. It will be stunning if Brad Guzan is not the U.S. No. 1 for the next four years.

Brad Guzan (Aston Villa)

Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy)

Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City)

Geoff Cameron (Stoke City)

Timothy Chandler (Eintracht Frankfurt)

Fabian Johnson (Borussia Mönchengladbach)

Michael Bradley (Toronto FC)

Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes)

Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)

Jozy Altidore (Sunderland)

So long, and thanks for the memories

Here are the players who will be 35 or older by Russia 2018. They might stick around for Gold Cup, Copa America and maybe even some qualifiers, but it would be shocking to see any of this group make the team four years from now. We thank them for being the best.

Tim Howard (Everton)

Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)

DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla)

Jermaine Jones (Besiktas)

Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo)

Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake)

Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders)

Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)

Not technically American yet

These players are arguably the biggest USMNT prospects out there at the moment. They are also not yet American citizens. The path to citizenship is not complex for any of them, but it takes a father's decision in one case and time for the others.

Gedion Zelalem (Arsenal) - The Arsenal prodigy currently plays youth soccer for Germany, but will gain American citizenship if his father -- who is eligible -- becomes a citizen. There were rumors floating around before the World Cup that his father will become a citizen and that Zelalem will choose to play for the United States, but there's no concrete evidence to suggest he'll be suiting up for the Stars and Stripes. He's been compared favorably to former Arsenal and current Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas.

Diego Fagundez (New England Revolution) - Possibly the second-best American or potentially American prospect at the moment behind Zelalem. The New England Revolution attacker has his green card and should become a citizen in two years, if he continues to reside in the U.S. and pursue it. He's turned down call-ups to the Uruguay Under-20 team to keep his American eligibility intact, but that doesn't mean he won't eventually change his mind and choose the country of his birth.

Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers) - The Portland Timbers' star youngster is on the path to citizenship and should be eligible to play for the United States by 2016. Because his home country of Liberia isn't a threat to get out of African qualifying, Nagbe should end up playing for the USMNT. He's an extremely talented and versatile attacker who can play on the wing, as an attacking midfielder or as a second striker.

Kekuta Manneh (Vancouver Whitecaps) - Even though Manneh currently plays in Canada for the Vancouver Whitecaps, he was adopted by American parents and can reportedly become a citizen. He has been called up by Gambia before, though, and reportedly rejected his last call-up due to an injury, not because he didn't want to play for the team. Manneh's path to citizenship and desire to play for the USMNT is a minor mystery, but the 19-year-old attacker will become one of the best young American players once he actually becomes American.

In a weird state of eligibility

These players can play for the United States whenever they want to. Problem is, they're yet to show that they want to. We've seen them in the pro or Under-20 ranks, so they're not really mysteries. We'll get to the mystery players later.

Juan Pablo Ocegueda (UANL Tigres) - A Mexican-American left back currently bouncing around Liga MX youth teams. He played at the Under-20 World Cup opposite Yedlin in 2013, but said he would no longer play for the U.S. when he was loaned to Chivas Guadalajara, who has a Mexicans-only policy. However, his loan expired without Chivas purchasing him, so he's back at UANL Tigres, meaning there's no longer a club-country conflict for him.

Shawn Parker (Augsburg) - Parker is German-American and his father is a citizen, so he can play for the United States at any time. The 21-year-old striker has represented Germany at youth level and just moved to FC Augsburg, where he should get more playing time than he did at Mainz. He's publicly stated that he is open to playing for the United States.

Could play for the USMNT immediately

These are younger players who are already established professionals. In four of these five cases, they've already played senior national team games. It would be stunning if they did not get call-ups over the next year and plenty of chances to prove to Jurgen Klinsmann that they deserve to be part of the furniture.

Luis Gil (Real Salt Lake) - The young Real Salt Lake star has one cap at senior level and was the United States' best player at the Under-20 World Cup. He's only 20 and he's already one of the best players in MLS. Expect him to get looks from Klinsmann very shortly.

Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew) - Another standout from the last Under-20 World Cup, Trapp has made a massive leap this season. He was a bit part player for Columbus in 2013, but was one of their stars in the first half of the 2014 season. If this last World Cup marked the end of the road for Kyle Beckerman, Trapp's pretty close to a like-for-like replacement.

Terrence Boyd (RB Leipzig) - When Altidore went down injured, a lot of fans were upset that Boyd wasn't there to replace him. He's a true target forward who has been lighting up the Austrian league and just moved to RB Leipzig, an ambitious 2. Bundesliga club backed by Red Bull, who are spending money to get them into the top flight.

Juan Agudelo (Unattached) - After a surprisingly great comeback season with the New England Revolution, Agudelo signed for Stoke City. However, he was unable to get a work permit, so he was loaned to Dutch side FC Utrecht. He performed well in the Eredivisie, but still couldn't get a work permit, so Stoke have let him go from his contract. Where he goes next will be crucial for his USMNT future.

Brek Shea (Stoke City) - Assuming he actually gets to play somewhere, Klinsmann would really like to have Brek Shea at his disposal. He's the team's only true left-footed left winger, an incredible athlete, a great defensive winger and a fullback in a pinch. Basically, he's left-sided DeAndre Yedlin. Problem is, he's not playing a lot of competitive soccer. He needs a great loan or a transfer from Stoke, ASAP.

Prospects a year or two away

This is the biggest group of the bunch, so clearly some of these players will never reach their full potential and will stagnate over the next couple of seasons. One or two of them will probably become key starters for the USMNT by 2018.

Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy) - The 22-year-old attacker is a late bloomer, but one with enough talent that MLS gave him a pretty sizable contract to keep him from going to Europe. He looked outrageously raw for someone his age last season, but he's started to look like a very solid starter for the LA Galaxy in 2014. His combination of size and pace is terrifying.

Shane O'Neill (Colorado Rapids) - O'Neill has become a key player for the Colorado Rapids at just 20, but the one thing that could hold him back at the national team level is that it's not clear what his best position is, or if Klinsmann, Under-20 coach Tab Ramos and the Rapids all agree about that. He's adept at central defense and defensive midfield, though he's played more center back. There's one complication with O'Neill, though: he's also eligible to represent Ireland.

Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas) - Very similar to Yedlin in that he's an extremely raw, athletic fullback who doesn't actually know how to defend yet. But Acosta is just 18, he's already getting Under-20 national team time and he's a competent MLS starter. It wouldn't be shocking to see him improve to national team level by late 2015.

Paul Arriola (Tijuana) - Arriola is one of a handful of Mexican-Americans who play for Tijuana, and he might be the most talented of the bunch. The 19-year-old has scored goals in Liga MX and CONCACAF Champions League, though it's not clear how much playing time he's going to get at Tijuana going forward.

Will Packwood (Birmingham City) - After a strong second-half season performance in the Championship for Birmingham City, Packwood is being billed by some as a breakout player for the United States in late 2014 and early 2015. The 21-year-old is an athletic 6'3" central defender and will certainly start to get some looks if he's starting every game for Birmingham.

Joe Gyau (Borussia Dortmund) - Gyau has been on USMNT fans' radars for a while, and we're getting dangerously close to forgetting about him as an immediate USMNT player. But the athletically gifted winger is still just 21, and has plenty of time to get better. However, he's made the curious decision to sign for Borussia Dortmund, who will almost certainly give him no chance to play first-team soccer. He'll be playing for their B team in the 3rd division of German soccer this season.

Zach Pfeffer (Philadelphia Union) - It's tough to know what to make of Pfeffer. He was billed as the star midfielder of the future when he made his first team debut for the Philadelphia Union in 2011, but three years later, he looks no closer to becoming an established pro. The good news is that he has looked excellent in recent Under-20 national team performances, so a step up might be coming soon, but the Union have a pretty bad track record with mismanaging their prospects.

Bobby Wood (1860 Munich) - Wood has one senior cap to his name, picked up last August, but he's stagnated since then. Klinsmann and the coaching staff at 1860 Munich were gushing about him going into last season after a strong finish to the 2012-13 campaign, but he failed to meet expectations. He's just 21, so that breakout season could be coming, but like Gyau, he's only a year or two from being forgotten about if he doesn't pick it up.

Dillon Serna (Colorado Rapids) - Serna was a huge star in college and for the Under-20 national team, but he stagnated a bit last year, missing out on the Under-20 World Cup and failing to play much for a Colorado Rapids team that isn't shy about throwing youngsters into the fire. Serna's getting a bit more playing time this season, though, and could break through as a star in MLS come the 2015 season.

Marco Delgado (Chivas USA) - Because he plays for perpetual MLS laughing stock Chivas USA, Delgado has seriously flown under the radar, but the 19-year-old has established himself as a solid MLS starter this year. He looks like he's on the Luis Gil Path To Success™, going from barely playing at 17, getting time at 18 and establishing himself in the first team at 19. The last step is to become a starting XI lock and borderline all-star at 20.

Jack McBean (LA Galaxy) - When McBean signed for the LA Galaxy at 16 and looked like a competent pro in some limited substitute appearances, most assumed he was on his way to becoming a star. Three years later, McBean is 19 and not yet a first-team player for the Galaxy. However, he hasn't been awful in his limited opportunities and has all of the physical tools to make the leap shortly.

The big-time teenagers

We haven't seen enough of any of these players to know if they'll even be solid professionals, but they're the youngsters with limitless ceilings. There might be a Clint Dempsey or Landon Donovan in this group, and there might be no future national teamers at all. It would be surprising if more than one of these players was genuinely national team ready by 2018, but you never know.

Joshua Perez (Fiorentina) - The former crowned jewel of the Chivas USA academy is just 16, so you'll have to wait a while to see him, but he's considered the biggest prospect in the country at his age group. He's already training with Fiorentina in Italy after leaving Chivas.

Junior Flores (Borussia Dortmund) - Flores is a couple of years older than Perez and also the biggest prospect in his age group. He's agreed to sign for Borussia Dortmund, where he'll get some time alongside Gyau in their reserve team this season, and he should be one of the stars of the United States' 2015 Under-20 World Cup team if they qualify for the tournament.

Jordan Morris (Stanford/Seattle U-23) - If you live in the greater Seattle or Palo Alto area, why not take the opportunity to go see Morris yourself? He's playing this spring season for Seattle Sounders Under-23s in the USL PDL, then will probably play one more season at Stanford before turning pro and signing with Seattle. He's the biggest USMNT prospect currently attending college.

Erik Palmer-Brown (Sporting Kansas City) - This 17-year-old Sporting Kansas City product has looked pretty raw in his limited pro appearances, but that's to be expected from a central defender of that age. He has so much upside that Juventus made a seven-figure offer for him, but Sporting KC turned them down.

Joe Gallardo (Monterrey) - If we're lucky, we'll get to catch Gallardo making some appearances for Monterrey in mop-up duty and non-league competitions this season, but he's probably still one year away from that. The 16-year-old forward has been lighting it up for the U.S. Under-17s, but it's anyone's guess if or when he'll be ready to make a jump up. He's regarded as a massive prospect, but that doesn't mean we'll get to see for ourselves anytime soon.

Emerson Hyndman (Fulham) - Hyndman is the grandson of former FC Dallas manager and college coaching legend Schellas Hyndman and plays in midfield for Fulham's youth team. He was a regular in the Under-18s during their run to the FA Youth Cup final and could end up playing a regular role for their Under-21 squad this season.

Zack Steffen (Maryland) - With Cody Cropper -- who we'll get to -- turning 20, Steffen will probably become the starting Under-20 keeper shortly. He was spectacular in his freshman season at Maryland and will almost certainly have offers from pro teams in Europe before he finishes college. He's also eligible to sign for the Philadelphia Union as a homegrown player, but since they have Andre Blake and Zac MacMath on their books, you'll likely see him pop up elsewhere as a pro in a year or two.

Wait, where's that Barcelona kid I've heard of?

Ben Lederman (Barcelona) - He turned 14 in May. Barcelona can't find a place in their first team for Rafinha Alcantara. Please stop.

The solid pros

These players are established as professionals and will almost certainly get Camp Cupcake or off-year Gold Cup shots at some point in their careers, but they may have reached their ceiling. No one is expecting these guys to become stars, but there's probably a Graham Zusi or Matt Besler lingering in this group.

Harry Shipp (Chicago Fire) - Having a great rookie season for Chicago, but already 22 and not a superstar physically.

Josh Gatt (Molde) - Numerous injuries and failure to move anywhere bigger than Molde probably mean Gatt will never reach his full potential.

Amobi Okugo (Philadelphia Union) - An excellent MLS player, but he's short for a defender and technically limited for a midfielder.

Jack McInerney (Montreal Impact) - Still 21, so can improve, but his national team prospects have dwindled after a bad second half of the 2013 season. Stuck on a bad Montreal team, but scoring pretty regularly.

Andrew Farrell (New England Revolution) - He's not Klinsmann's kind of fullback, but he's a very good defender for a 22-year-old, 2nd year player. Kind of a throwback to the Gary Neville era of fullbacks.

Bill Hamid (D.C. United) - It seems harsh to relegate a 23-year-old goalkeeper to this category, but Hamid has been getting pro playing time since 2010 and isn't that much better than he was at 19.

Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire) - Will make the greatest save you've ever seen and the worst mistake you've ever seen in the same game about six times this season.

Perry Kitchen (D.C. United) - Extremely intelligent defensive midfielder and versatile player who has played central defense and right back competently, but a bit slow and average technically. Could become Geoff Cameron Pt. 2.

Dillon Powers (Colorado Rapids) - A member of the Graham Zusi All-Stars™. Spent a lot of time in college, was expected to just be a solid pro, but he's become a prime Camp Cupcake candidate for this January. Surprisingly good technically and balanced for an attack-minded midfielder.

Benji Joya (Chicago Fire) - A classic box-to-boxer who does everything well and nothing exceptionally.

Jose Villarreal (Cruz Azul) - Wasting away in Cruz Azul's reserves after some good MLS and Under-20 performances. Has a limited ceiling and, while he's a technically solid attacker, no true position.

Will Bruin (Houston Dynamo) - Brian Ching Pt. 2, and the fact that he plays for Houston is, like the Powers-Zusi comparison, a total coincidence.

Greg Garza (Tijuana) - Has shown some flashes of ability with Tijuana, but isn't getting tons of playing time and is now 22. He'll move to a smaller Mexican team or MLS team, become a good player and be a decent left back option in a pinch.

Eric Miller (Montreal Impact) - As always, a rock solid young MLS fullback will get a place on this list, since the United States always has shaky fullbacks. He'll be 33, you'll look at his Wikipedia page and go "whoa, Eric Miller has 10 USMNT caps?!?"

The mysteries

We admit to not having seen these guys play too much, but they're eligible for the United States and considered to be pretty decent prospects. Hopefully we get to watch more of them in the future.

Duane Holmes (Huddersfield) - A 19-year-old English-American who plays for Huddersfield in the Championship. He has said in the past that he sees himself as American.

Rubio Rubin (Utrecht) - A big prospect trying to make it at Utrecht in the Netherlands. He should be a starter for the Under-20s during their World Cup cycle; Tab Ramos reportedly likes him a lot.

Tyler Turner (Orlando City) - If we're lucky, we'll get to see a lot of Turner in 2015. The 18-year-old defender is playing a lot for third-division Orlando City SC, who will join MLS next season.

Cody Cropper (Southampton) - He was the Under-20 goalkeeper for a while and he's currently at Southampton in England. Cropper's too old to play for the Baby Yanks now, and he won't be starting at Southampton anytime soon. Goalkeepers should never be written off until they're 26 or so, but Cropper was shaky at Under-20 level and he doesn't seem to be close to getting a shot with a team that loves to throw teenagers into the first team.

Caleb Stanko (Freiburg) - Started at the Under-20 World Cup, currently in Germany. Hopefully he gets some time with Freiburg this season.

Mario Rodriguez (Borussia Mönchengladbach) - Like Stanko, it's tough to keep track of him playing in German reserve soccer (for a team that's not Bayern or BVB). He's currently at Borussia Mönchengladbach.

Alonso Hernandez (Monterrey) - Like Joe Gallardo, at Monterrey, and probably closer to first team soccer. He's played for the Rayados, but he's already 20 and time's running out for him as a "prospect". He needs to play real pro soccer, soon.

Marc Pelosi (Liverpool) - Was considered one of Liverpool's top prospects for a while, but suffered a serious injury that took him out of action for 14 months. He's played left back and left wing, and will get back on the national team radar if he's starting for Liverpool Under-21s and looking as good as he was pre-injury.

Omar Salgado (Vancouver Whitecaps) - Once the No. 1 overall pick in the MLS SuperDraft and a sure bet to be the next Brian McBride, Salgado has done almost nothing while with the Vancouver Whitecaps. The good news is that he's just 20, and that he did well during a recent loan to the Charleston Battery. It's too early to write Salgado off completely, but it's also impossible to tell what he's going to be.

Joel Sonora (Boca Juniors) - He was raised in Argentina, but burn in America, and Ramos has called him up to the Under-20s. Seems enthusiastic about playing for America, not trying to play for Argentina. But he's still just 17, so we might not see him for a couple years.

The fringe

These are senior players who have been called up by the USMNT in the recent past and are still young enough that they could turn their careers around. One or two players in this group will have a bizarre late-career resurgence and find themselves in the national team going forward, ala DaMarcus Beasley.

Mike Magee (Chicago Fire)

Eddie Johnson (D.C. United)

Tim Ream (Bolton Wanderers)

Chris Klute (Colorado Rapids)

Chance Myers (Sporting Kansas City)

Michael Parkhurst (Columbus Crew)

Edgar Castillo (Atlas)

Michael Orozco (Jaguares)

Tony Beltran (Real Salt Lake)

Alfredo Morales (Ingolstadt)

Eric Lichaj (Nottingham Forest)

Stuart Holden (Bolton Wanderers)

Jose Torres (UANL Tigres)

Joe Corona (Tijuana)

Maurice Edu (Philadelphia Union)

Danny Williams (Reading)

Benny Feilhaber (Sporting Kansas City)

Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht)

Dax McCarty (New York Red Bulls)

Edited by Sinn Fein

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Apologies if posted, but this is about as comprehensive a list of players to keep an eye on this cycle that I've seen

http://www.sbnation.com/soccer/2014/7/3/5864221/potential-usmnt-players-to-watch-during-the-2018-world-cup-cycle

Its a long article, but posting it all here in case the article is gone in a few years, and anyone wants to look back...

DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders) - A surprise inclusion on this World Cup team, Yedlin's stock has risen considerably after three very solid performances in Brazil. Of course, the issue that most have with Yedlin still exists: as amazing as he is going forward, he's a pretty lousy defender for a right back. He's only 20 and has only been a defender for three years, so he's probably going to get better, but you should prepare yourselves for four years of debates about whether Yedlin is a fullback or a winger.

John Brooks (Hertha BSC) - Brooks' club team Hertha Berlin stayed up in the Bundesliga and they're ready to spend a bit of money to ensure they stay there again. He'll probably enter the season as a starting central defender for them, and he's only going to get better as he gets more playing time in the Bundesliga.

Mikkel Diskerud (Rosenborg) - To the surprise of many, Diskerud and Timmy Chandler were the only outfield players that did not appear in the World Cup. It doesn't help that he's a bit of an attacking midfielder/central midfielder tweener, and that he's not that visible at Rosenborg. He could really use a transfer, provided that staying in Norway isn't a family-oriented decision for the Norwegian-American (it might be).

Aron Johannsson (AZ Alkmaar) - He got one opportunity -- after Jozy Altidore went down injured -- and did so little with it that Jurgen Klinsmann changed his formation for the rest of the tournament. That's not a great look. He scored a lot of goals in the Eredivisie, but that's less impressive than scoring lots of goals in MLS. He would probably be very well served by seeking employment in France or Germany.

Julian Green (Bayern Munich) - Beyond any shadow of a doubt, the best prospect the United States has ever had. But he's buried on the bench at Bayern Munich, playing in the 4th division for their reserve team. That's no good for him, so many Americans will be hoping he gets loaned out to a top 2. Bundesliga or lower-table top-division club, but Pep Guardiola reportedly thinks highly of him and think he's best served training with Bayern's senior team while making sporadic bench appearances.

Still in the picture

These guys will be 33 years old or younger by the time the next World Cup rolls around, meaning they'll remain in the picture to make the squad as long as they continue to play at a very high level. Because these guys are already established pros, they're just getting listed. We don't need to explain what's up with this group. It will be stunning if Brad Guzan is not the U.S. No. 1 for the next four years.

Brad Guzan (Aston Villa)

Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy)

Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City)

Geoff Cameron (Stoke City)

Timothy Chandler (Eintracht Frankfurt)

Fabian Johnson (Borussia Mönchengladbach)

Michael Bradley (Toronto FC)

Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes)

Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)

Jozy Altidore (Sunderland)

So long, and thanks for the memories

Here are the players who will be 35 or older by Russia 2018. They might stick around for Gold Cup, Copa America and maybe even some qualifiers, but it would be shocking to see any of this group make the team four years from now. We thank them for being the best.

Tim Howard (Everton)

Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)

DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla)

Jermaine Jones (Besiktas)

Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo)

Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake)

Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders)

Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)

Not technically American yet

These players are arguably the biggest USMNT prospects out there at the moment. They are also not yet American citizens. The path to citizenship is not complex for any of them, but it takes a father's decision in one case and time for the others.

Gedion Zelalem (Arsenal) - The Arsenal prodigy currently plays youth soccer for Germany, but will gain American citizenship if his father -- who is eligible -- becomes a citizen. There were rumors floating around before the World Cup that his father will become a citizen and that Zelalem will choose to play for the United States, but there's no concrete evidence to suggest he'll be suiting up for the Stars and Stripes. He's been compared favorably to former Arsenal and current Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas.

Diego Fagundez (New England Revolution) - Possibly the second-best American or potentially American prospect at the moment behind Zelalem. The New England Revolution attacker has his green card and should become a citizen in two years, if he continues to reside in the U.S. and pursue it. He's turned down call-ups to the Uruguay Under-20 team to keep his American eligibility intact, but that doesn't mean he won't eventually change his mind and choose the country of his birth.

Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers) - The Portland Timbers' star youngster is on the path to citizenship and should be eligible to play for the United States by 2016. Because his home country of Liberia isn't a threat to get out of African qualifying, Nagbe should end up playing for the USMNT. He's an extremely talented and versatile attacker who can play on the wing, as an attacking midfielder or as a second striker.

Kekuta Manneh (Vancouver Whitecaps) - Even though Manneh currently plays in Canada for the Vancouver Whitecaps, he was adopted by American parents and can reportedly become a citizen. He has been called up by Gambia before, though, and reportedly rejected his last call-up due to an injury, not because he didn't want to play for the team. Manneh's path to citizenship and desire to play for the USMNT is a minor mystery, but the 19-year-old attacker will become one of the best young American players once he actually becomes American.

In a weird state of eligibility

These players can play for the United States whenever they want to. Problem is, they're yet to show that they want to. We've seen them in the pro or Under-20 ranks, so they're not really mysteries. We'll get to the mystery players later.

Juan Pablo Ocegueda (UANL Tigres) - A Mexican-American left back currently bouncing around Liga MX youth teams. He played at the Under-20 World Cup opposite Yedlin in 2013, but said he would no longer play for the U.S. when he was loaned to Chivas Guadalajara, who has a Mexicans-only policy. However, his loan expired without Chivas purchasing him, so he's back at UANL Tigres, meaning there's no longer a club-country conflict for him.

Shawn Parker (Augsburg) - Parker is German-American and his father is a citizen, so he can play for the United States at any time. The 21-year-old striker has represented Germany at youth level and just moved to FC Augsburg, where he should get more playing time than he did at Mainz. He's publicly stated that he is open to playing for the United States.

Could play for the USMNT immediately

These are younger players who are already established professionals. In four of these five cases, they've already played senior national team games. It would be stunning if they did not get call-ups over the next year and plenty of chances to prove to Jurgen Klinsmann that they deserve to be part of the furniture.

Luis Gil (Real Salt Lake) - The young Real Salt Lake star has one cap at senior level and was the United States' best player at the Under-20 World Cup. He's only 20 and he's already one of the best players in MLS. Expect him to get looks from Klinsmann very shortly.

Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew) - Another standout from the last Under-20 World Cup, Trapp has made a massive leap this season. He was a bit part player for Columbus in 2013, but was one of their stars in the first half of the 2014 season. If this last World Cup marked the end of the road for Kyle Beckerman, Trapp's pretty close to a like-for-like replacement.

Terrence Boyd (RB Leipzig) - When Altidore went down injured, a lot of fans were upset that Boyd wasn't there to replace him. He's a true target forward who has been lighting up the Austrian league and just moved to RB Leipzig, an ambitious 2. Bundesliga club backed by Red Bull, who are spending money to get them into the top flight.

Juan Agudelo (Unattached) - After a surprisingly great comeback season with the New England Revolution, Agudelo signed for Stoke City. However, he was unable to get a work permit, so he was loaned to Dutch side FC Utrecht. He performed well in the Eredivisie, but still couldn't get a work permit, so Stoke have let him go from his contract. Where he goes next will be crucial for his USMNT future.

Brek Shea (Stoke City) - Assuming he actually gets to play somewhere, Klinsmann would really like to have Brek Shea at his disposal. He's the team's only true left-footed left winger, an incredible athlete, a great defensive winger and a fullback in a pinch. Basically, he's left-sided DeAndre Yedlin. Problem is, he's not playing a lot of competitive soccer. He needs a great loan or a transfer from Stoke, ASAP.

Prospects a year or two away

This is the biggest group of the bunch, so clearly some of these players will never reach their full potential and will stagnate over the next couple of seasons. One or two of them will probably become key starters for the USMNT by 2018.

Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy) - The 22-year-old attacker is a late bloomer, but one with enough talent that MLS gave him a pretty sizable contract to keep him from going to Europe. He looked outrageously raw for someone his age last season, but he's started to look like a very solid starter for the LA Galaxy in 2014. His combination of size and pace is terrifying.

Shane O'Neill (Colorado Rapids) - O'Neill has become a key player for the Colorado Rapids at just 20, but the one thing that could hold him back at the national team level is that it's not clear what his best position is, or if Klinsmann, Under-20 coach Tab Ramos and the Rapids all agree about that. He's adept at central defense and defensive midfield, though he's played more center back. There's one complication with O'Neill, though: he's also eligible to represent Ireland.

Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas) - Very similar to Yedlin in that he's an extremely raw, athletic fullback who doesn't actually know how to defend yet. But Acosta is just 18, he's already getting Under-20 national team time and he's a competent MLS starter. It wouldn't be shocking to see him improve to national team level by late 2015.

Paul Arriola (Tijuana) - Arriola is one of a handful of Mexican-Americans who play for Tijuana, and he might be the most talented of the bunch. The 19-year-old has scored goals in Liga MX and CONCACAF Champions League, though it's not clear how much playing time he's going to get at Tijuana going forward.

Will Packwood (Birmingham City) - After a strong second-half season performance in the Championship for Birmingham City, Packwood is being billed by some as a breakout player for the United States in late 2014 and early 2015. The 21-year-old is an athletic 6'3" central defender and will certainly start to get some looks if he's starting every game for Birmingham.

Joe Gyau (Borussia Dortmund) - Gyau has been on USMNT fans' radars for a while, and we're getting dangerously close to forgetting about him as an immediate USMNT player. But the athletically gifted winger is still just 21, and has plenty of time to get better. However, he's made the curious decision to sign for Borussia Dortmund, who will almost certainly give him no chance to play first-team soccer. He'll be playing for their B team in the 3rd division of German soccer this season.

Zach Pfeffer (Philadelphia Union) - It's tough to know what to make of Pfeffer. He was billed as the star midfielder of the future when he made his first team debut for the Philadelphia Union in 2011, but three years later, he looks no closer to becoming an established pro. The good news is that he has looked excellent in recent Under-20 national team performances, so a step up might be coming soon, but the Union have a pretty bad track record with mismanaging their prospects.

Bobby Wood (1860 Munich) - Wood has one senior cap to his name, picked up last August, but he's stagnated since then. Klinsmann and the coaching staff at 1860 Munich were gushing about him going into last season after a strong finish to the 2012-13 campaign, but he failed to meet expectations. He's just 21, so that breakout season could be coming, but like Gyau, he's only a year or two from being forgotten about if he doesn't pick it up.

Dillon Serna (Colorado Rapids) - Serna was a huge star in college and for the Under-20 national team, but he stagnated a bit last year, missing out on the Under-20 World Cup and failing to play much for a Colorado Rapids team that isn't shy about throwing youngsters into the fire. Serna's getting a bit more playing time this season, though, and could break through as a star in MLS come the 2015 season.

Marco Delgado (Chivas USA) - Because he plays for perpetual MLS laughing stock Chivas USA, Delgado has seriously flown under the radar, but the 19-year-old has established himself as a solid MLS starter this year. He looks like he's on the Luis Gil Path To Success™, going from barely playing at 17, getting time at 18 and establishing himself in the first team at 19. The last step is to become a starting XI lock and borderline all-star at 20.

Jack McBean (LA Galaxy) - When McBean signed for the LA Galaxy at 16 and looked like a competent pro in some limited substitute appearances, most assumed he was on his way to becoming a star. Three years later, McBean is 19 and not yet a first-team player for the Galaxy. However, he hasn't been awful in his limited opportunities and has all of the physical tools to make the leap shortly.

The big-time teenagers

We haven't seen enough of any of these players to know if they'll even be solid professionals, but they're the youngsters with limitless ceilings. There might be a Clint Dempsey or Landon Donovan in this group, and there might be no future national teamers at all. It would be surprising if more than one of these players was genuinely national team ready by 2018, but you never know.

Joshua Perez (Fiorentina) - The former crowned jewel of the Chivas USA academy is just 16, so you'll have to wait a while to see him, but he's considered the biggest prospect in the country at his age group. He's already training with Fiorentina in Italy after leaving Chivas.

Junior Flores (Borussia Dortmund) - Flores is a couple of years older than Perez and also the biggest prospect in his age group. He's agreed to sign for Borussia Dortmund, where he'll get some time alongside Gyau in their reserve team this season, and he should be one of the stars of the United States' 2015 Under-20 World Cup team if they qualify for the tournament.

Jordan Morris (Stanford/Seattle U-23) - If you live in the greater Seattle or Palo Alto area, why not take the opportunity to go see Morris yourself? He's playing this spring season for Seattle Sounders Under-23s in the USL PDL, then will probably play one more season at Stanford before turning pro and signing with Seattle. He's the biggest USMNT prospect currently attending college.

Erik Palmer-Brown (Sporting Kansas City) - This 17-year-old Sporting Kansas City product has looked pretty raw in his limited pro appearances, but that's to be expected from a central defender of that age. He has so much upside that Juventus made a seven-figure offer for him, but Sporting KC turned them down.

Joe Gallardo (Monterrey) - If we're lucky, we'll get to catch Gallardo making some appearances for Monterrey in mop-up duty and non-league competitions this season, but he's probably still one year away from that. The 16-year-old forward has been lighting it up for the U.S. Under-17s, but it's anyone's guess if or when he'll be ready to make a jump up. He's regarded as a massive prospect, but that doesn't mean we'll get to see for ourselves anytime soon.

Emerson Hyndman (Fulham) - Hyndman is the grandson of former FC Dallas manager and college coaching legend Schellas Hyndman and plays in midfield for Fulham's youth team. He was a regular in the Under-18s during their run to the FA Youth Cup final and could end up playing a regular role for their Under-21 squad this season.

Zack Steffen (Maryland) - With Cody Cropper -- who we'll get to -- turning 20, Steffen will probably become the starting Under-20 keeper shortly. He was spectacular in his freshman season at Maryland and will almost certainly have offers from pro teams in Europe before he finishes college. He's also eligible to sign for the Philadelphia Union as a homegrown player, but since they have Andre Blake and Zac MacMath on their books, you'll likely see him pop up elsewhere as a pro in a year or two.

Wait, where's that Barcelona kid I've heard of?

Ben Lederman (Barcelona) - He turned 14 in May. Barcelona can't find a place in their first team for Rafinha Alcantara. Please stop.

The solid pros

These players are established as professionals and will almost certainly get Camp Cupcake or off-year Gold Cup shots at some point in their careers, but they may have reached their ceiling. No one is expecting these guys to become stars, but there's probably a Graham Zusi or Matt Besler lingering in this group.

Harry Shipp (Chicago Fire) - Having a great rookie season for Chicago, but already 22 and not a superstar physically.

Josh Gatt (Molde) - Numerous injuries and failure to move anywhere bigger than Molde probably mean Gatt will never reach his full potential.

Amobi Okugo (Philadelphia Union) - An excellent MLS player, but he's short for a defender and technically limited for a midfielder.

Jack McInerney (Montreal Impact) - Still 21, so can improve, but his national team prospects have dwindled after a bad second half of the 2013 season. Stuck on a bad Montreal team, but scoring pretty regularly.

Andrew Farrell (New England Revolution) - He's not Klinsmann's kind of fullback, but he's a very good defender for a 22-year-old, 2nd year player. Kind of a throwback to the Gary Neville era of fullbacks.

Bill Hamid (D.C. United) - It seems harsh to relegate a 23-year-old goalkeeper to this category, but Hamid has been getting pro playing time since 2010 and isn't that much better than he was at 19.

Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire) - Will make the greatest save you've ever seen and the worst mistake you've ever seen in the same game about six times this season.

Perry Kitchen (D.C. United) - Extremely intelligent defensive midfielder and versatile player who has played central defense and right back competently, but a bit slow and average technically. Could become Geoff Cameron Pt. 2.

Dillon Powers (Colorado Rapids) - A member of the Graham Zusi All-Stars™. Spent a lot of time in college, was expected to just be a solid pro, but he's become a prime Camp Cupcake candidate for this January. Surprisingly good technically and balanced for an attack-minded midfielder.

Benji Joya (Chicago Fire) - A classic box-to-boxer who does everything well and nothing exceptionally.

Jose Villarreal (Cruz Azul) - Wasting away in Cruz Azul's reserves after some good MLS and Under-20 performances. Has a limited ceiling and, while he's a technically solid attacker, no true position.

Will Bruin (Houston Dynamo) - Brian Ching Pt. 2, and the fact that he plays for Houston is, like the Powers-Zusi comparison, a total coincidence.

Greg Garza (Tijuana) - Has shown some flashes of ability with Tijuana, but isn't getting tons of playing time and is now 22. He'll move to a smaller Mexican team or MLS team, become a good player and be a decent left back option in a pinch.

Eric Miller (Montreal Impact) - As always, a rock solid young MLS fullback will get a place on this list, since the United States always has shaky fullbacks. He'll be 33, you'll look at his Wikipedia page and go "whoa, Eric Miller has 10 USMNT caps?!?"

The mysteries

We admit to not having seen these guys play too much, but they're eligible for the United States and considered to be pretty decent prospects. Hopefully we get to watch more of them in the future.

Duane Holmes (Huddersfield) - A 19-year-old English-American who plays for Huddersfield in the Championship. He has said in the past that he sees himself as American.

Rubio Rubin (Utrecht) - A big prospect trying to make it at Utrecht in the Netherlands. He should be a starter for the Under-20s during their World Cup cycle; Tab Ramos reportedly likes him a lot.

Tyler Turner (Orlando City) - If we're lucky, we'll get to see a lot of Turner in 2015. The 18-year-old defender is playing a lot for third-division Orlando City SC, who will join MLS next season.

Cody Cropper (Southampton) - He was the Under-20 goalkeeper for a while and he's currently at Southampton in England. Cropper's too old to play for the Baby Yanks now, and he won't be starting at Southampton anytime soon. Goalkeepers should never be written off until they're 26 or so, but Cropper was shaky at Under-20 level and he doesn't seem to be close to getting a shot with a team that loves to throw teenagers into the first team.

Caleb Stanko (Freiburg) - Started at the Under-20 World Cup, currently in Germany. Hopefully he gets some time with Freiburg this season.

Mario Rodriguez (Borussia Mönchengladbach) - Like Stanko, it's tough to keep track of him playing in German reserve soccer (for a team that's not Bayern or BVB). He's currently at Borussia Mönchengladbach.

Alonso Hernandez (Monterrey) - Like Joe Gallardo, at Monterrey, and probably closer to first team soccer. He's played for the Rayados, but he's already 20 and time's running out for him as a "prospect". He needs to play real pro soccer, soon.

Marc Pelosi (Liverpool) - Was considered one of Liverpool's top prospects for a while, but suffered a serious injury that took him out of action for 14 months. He's played left back and left wing, and will get back on the national team radar if he's starting for Liverpool Under-21s and looking as good as he was pre-injury.

Omar Salgado (Vancouver Whitecaps) - Once the No. 1 overall pick in the MLS SuperDraft and a sure bet to be the next Brian McBride, Salgado has done almost nothing while with the Vancouver Whitecaps. The good news is that he's just 20, and that he did well during a recent loan to the Charleston Battery. It's too early to write Salgado off completely, but it's also impossible to tell what he's going to be.

Joel Sonora (Boca Juniors) - He was raised in Argentina, but burn in America, and Ramos has called him up to the Under-20s. Seems enthusiastic about playing for America, not trying to play for Argentina. But he's still just 17, so we might not see him for a couple years.

The fringe

These are senior players who have been called up by the USMNT in the recent past and are still young enough that they could turn their careers around. One or two players in this group will have a bizarre late-career resurgence and find themselves in the national team going forward, ala DaMarcus Beasley.

Mike Magee (Chicago Fire)

Eddie Johnson (D.C. United)

Tim Ream (Bolton Wanderers)

Chris Klute (Colorado Rapids)

Chance Myers (Sporting Kansas City)

Michael Parkhurst (Columbus Crew)

Edgar Castillo (Atlas)

Michael Orozco (Jaguares)

Tony Beltran (Real Salt Lake)

Alfredo Morales (Ingolstadt)

Eric Lichaj (Nottingham Forest)

Stuart Holden (Bolton Wanderers)

Jose Torres (UANL Tigres)

Joe Corona (Tijuana)

Maurice Edu (Philadelphia Union)

Danny Williams (Reading)

Benny Feilhaber (Sporting Kansas City)

Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht)

Dax McCarty (New York Red Bulls)

Was going to suggest it be pinned on the front page, but this is good too. Fantastic round up.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think I am becoming as bitter as Donovan, but I am looking forward to the day that Dempsey retires from International soccer, and gets a nice send-off game, probably in Seattle, while Donovan never gets invited back into the team.

It would be great if Howard and Dempsey played their last game together, but I think there is an outside chance Howard is still around in 2018, as a back-up or 3rd string keeper, whose main role is leadership.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Apologies if posted, but this is about as comprehensive a list of players to keep an eye on this cycle that I've seenhttp://www.sbnation.com/soccer/2014/7/3/5864221/potential-usmnt-players-to-watch-during-the-2018-world-cup-cycle

Its a long article, but posting it all here in case the article is gone in a few years, and anyone wants to look back...

DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders) - A surprise inclusion on this World Cup team, Yedlin's stock has risen considerably after three very solid performances in Brazil. Of course, the issue that most have with Yedlin still exists: as amazing as he is going forward, he's a pretty lousy defender for a right back. He's only 20 and has only been a defender for three years, so he's probably going to get better, but you should prepare yourselves for four years of debates about whether Yedlin is a fullback or a winger.John Brooks (Hertha BSC) - Brooks' club team Hertha Berlin stayed up in the Bundesliga and they're ready to spend a bit of money to ensure they stay there again. He'll probably enter the season as a starting central defender for them, and he's only going to get better as he gets more playing time in the Bundesliga.Mikkel Diskerud (Rosenborg) - To the surprise of many, Diskerud and Timmy Chandler were the only outfield players that did not appear in the World Cup. It doesn't help that he's a bit of an attacking midfielder/central midfielder tweener, and that he's not that visible at Rosenborg. He could really use a transfer, provided that staying in Norway isn't a family-oriented decision for the Norwegian-American (it might be).Aron Johannsson (AZ Alkmaar) - He got one opportunity -- after Jozy Altidore went down injured -- and did so little with it that Jurgen Klinsmann changed his formation for the rest of the tournament. That's not a great look. He scored a lot of goals in the Eredivisie, but that's less impressive than scoring lots of goals in MLS. He would probably be very well served by seeking employment in France or Germany.Julian Green (Bayern Munich) - Beyond any shadow of a doubt, the best prospect the United States has ever had. But he's buried on the bench at Bayern Munich, playing in the 4th division for their reserve team. That's no good for him, so many Americans will be hoping he gets loaned out to a top 2. Bundesliga or lower-table top-division club, but Pep Guardiola reportedly thinks highly of him and think he's best served training with Bayern's senior team while making sporadic bench appearances.Still in the pictureThese guys will be 33 years old or younger by the time the next World Cup rolls around, meaning they'll remain in the picture to make the squad as long as they continue to play at a very high level. Because these guys are already established pros, they're just getting listed. We don't need to explain what's up with this group. It will be stunning if Brad Guzan is not the U.S. No. 1 for the next four years.Brad Guzan (Aston Villa)Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy)Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City)Geoff Cameron (Stoke City)Timothy Chandler (Eintracht Frankfurt)Fabian Johnson (Borussia Mönchengladbach)Michael Bradley (Toronto FC)Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes)Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)Jozy Altidore (Sunderland)So long, and thanks for the memoriesHere are the players who will be 35 or older by Russia 2018. They might stick around for Gold Cup, Copa America and maybe even some qualifiers, but it would be shocking to see any of this group make the team four years from now. We thank them for being the best.Tim Howard (Everton)Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla)Jermaine Jones (Besiktas)Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo)Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake)Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders)Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)Not technically American yetThese players are arguably the biggest USMNT prospects out there at the moment. They are also not yet American citizens. The path to citizenship is not complex for any of them, but it takes a father's decision in one case and time for the others.Gedion Zelalem (Arsenal) - The Arsenal prodigy currently plays youth soccer for Germany, but will gain American citizenship if his father -- who is eligible -- becomes a citizen. There were rumors floating around before the World Cup that his father will become a citizen and that Zelalem will choose to play for the United States, but there's no concrete evidence to suggest he'll be suiting up for the Stars and Stripes. He's been compared favorably to former Arsenal and current Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas.Diego Fagundez (New England Revolution) - Possibly the second-best American or potentially American prospect at the moment behind Zelalem. The New England Revolution attacker has his green card and should become a citizen in two years, if he continues to reside in the U.S. and pursue it. He's turned down call-ups to the Uruguay Under-20 team to keep his American eligibility intact, but that doesn't mean he won't eventually change his mind and choose the country of his birth.Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers) - The Portland Timbers' star youngster is on the path to citizenship and should be eligible to play for the United States by 2016. Because his home country of Liberia isn't a threat to get out of African qualifying, Nagbe should end up playing for the USMNT. He's an extremely talented and versatile attacker who can play on the wing, as an attacking midfielder or as a second striker.Kekuta Manneh (Vancouver Whitecaps) - Even though Manneh currently plays in Canada for the Vancouver Whitecaps, he was adopted by American parents and can reportedly become a citizen. He has been called up by Gambia before, though, and reportedly rejected his last call-up due to an injury, not because he didn't want to play for the team. Manneh's path to citizenship and desire to play for the USMNT is a minor mystery, but the 19-year-old attacker will become one of the best young American players once he actually becomes American.In a weird state of eligibilityThese players can play for the United States whenever they want to. Problem is, they're yet to show that they want to. We've seen them in the pro or Under-20 ranks, so they're not really mysteries. We'll get to the mystery players later.Juan Pablo Ocegueda (UANL Tigres) - A Mexican-American left back currently bouncing around Liga MX youth teams. He played at the Under-20 World Cup opposite Yedlin in 2013, but said he would no longer play for the U.S. when he was loaned to Chivas Guadalajara, who has a Mexicans-only policy. However, his loan expired without Chivas purchasing him, so he's back at UANL Tigres, meaning there's no longer a club-country conflict for him.Shawn Parker (Augsburg) - Parker is German-American and his father is a citizen, so he can play for the United States at any time. The 21-year-old striker has represented Germany at youth level and just moved to FC Augsburg, where he should get more playing time than he did at Mainz. He's publicly stated that he is open to playing for the United States.Could play for the USMNT immediatelyThese are younger players who are already established professionals. In four of these five cases, they've already played senior national team games. It would be stunning if they did not get call-ups over the next year and plenty of chances to prove to Jurgen Klinsmann that they deserve to be part of the furniture.Luis Gil (Real Salt Lake) - The young Real Salt Lake star has one cap at senior level and was the United States' best player at the Under-20 World Cup. He's only 20 and he's already one of the best players in MLS. Expect him to get looks from Klinsmann very shortly.Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew) - Another standout from the last Under-20 World Cup, Trapp has made a massive leap this season. He was a bit part player for Columbus in 2013, but was one of their stars in the first half of the 2014 season. If this last World Cup marked the end of the road for Kyle Beckerman, Trapp's pretty close to a like-for-like replacement.Terrence Boyd (RB Leipzig) - When Altidore went down injured, a lot of fans were upset that Boyd wasn't there to replace him. He's a true target forward who has been lighting up the Austrian league and just moved to RB Leipzig, an ambitious 2. Bundesliga club backed by Red Bull, who are spending money to get them into the top flight.Juan Agudelo (Unattached) - After a surprisingly great comeback season with the New England Revolution, Agudelo signed for Stoke City. However, he was unable to get a work permit, so he was loaned to Dutch side FC Utrecht. He performed well in the Eredivisie, but still couldn't get a work permit, so Stoke have let him go from his contract. Where he goes next will be crucial for his USMNT future.Brek Shea (Stoke City) - Assuming he actually gets to play somewhere, Klinsmann would really like to have Brek Shea at his disposal. He's the team's only true left-footed left winger, an incredible athlete, a great defensive winger and a fullback in a pinch. Basically, he's left-sided DeAndre Yedlin. Problem is, he's not playing a lot of competitive soccer. He needs a great loan or a transfer from Stoke, ASAP.Prospects a year or two awayThis is the biggest group of the bunch, so clearly some of these players will never reach their full potential and will stagnate over the next couple of seasons. One or two of them will probably become key starters for the USMNT by 2018.Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy) - The 22-year-old attacker is a late bloomer, but one with enough talent that MLS gave him a pretty sizable contract to keep him from going to Europe. He looked outrageously raw for someone his age last season, but he's started to look like a very solid starter for the LA Galaxy in 2014. His combination of size and pace is terrifying.Shane O'Neill (Colorado Rapids) - O'Neill has become a key player for the Colorado Rapids at just 20, but the one thing that could hold him back at the national team level is that it's not clear what his best position is, or if Klinsmann, Under-20 coach Tab Ramos and the Rapids all agree about that. He's adept at central defense and defensive midfield, though he's played more center back. There's one complication with O'Neill, though: he's also eligible to represent Ireland.Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas) - Very similar to Yedlin in that he's an extremely raw, athletic fullback who doesn't actually know how to defend yet. But Acosta is just 18, he's already getting Under-20 national team time and he's a competent MLS starter. It wouldn't be shocking to see him improve to national team level by late 2015.Paul Arriola (Tijuana) - Arriola is one of a handful of Mexican-Americans who play for Tijuana, and he might be the most talented of the bunch. The 19-year-old has scored goals in Liga MX and CONCACAF Champions League, though it's not clear how much playing time he's going to get at Tijuana going forward.Will Packwood (Birmingham City) - After a strong second-half season performance in the Championship for Birmingham City, Packwood is being billed by some as a breakout player for the United States in late 2014 and early 2015. The 21-year-old is an athletic 6'3" central defender and will certainly start to get some looks if he's starting every game for Birmingham.Joe Gyau (Borussia Dortmund) - Gyau has been on USMNT fans' radars for a while, and we're getting dangerously close to forgetting about him as an immediate USMNT player. But the athletically gifted winger is still just 21, and has plenty of time to get better. However, he's made the curious decision to sign for Borussia Dortmund, who will almost certainly give him no chance to play first-team soccer. He'll be playing for their B team in the 3rd division of German soccer this season.Zach Pfeffer (Philadelphia Union) - It's tough to know what to make of Pfeffer. He was billed as the star midfielder of the future when he made his first team debut for the Philadelphia Union in 2011, but three years later, he looks no closer to becoming an established pro. The good news is that he has looked excellent in recent Under-20 national team performances, so a step up might be coming soon, but the Union have a pretty bad track record with mismanaging their prospects.Bobby Wood (1860 Munich) - Wood has one senior cap to his name, picked up last August, but he's stagnated since then. Klinsmann and the coaching staff at 1860 Munich were gushing about him going into last season after a strong finish to the 2012-13 campaign, but he failed to meet expectations. He's just 21, so that breakout season could be coming, but like Gyau, he's only a year or two from being forgotten about if he doesn't pick it up.Dillon Serna (Colorado Rapids) - Serna was a huge star in college and for the Under-20 national team, but he stagnated a bit last year, missing out on the Under-20 World Cup and failing to play much for a Colorado Rapids team that isn't shy about throwing youngsters into the fire. Serna's getting a bit more playing time this season, though, and could break through as a star in MLS come the 2015 season.Marco Delgado (Chivas USA) - Because he plays for perpetual MLS laughing stock Chivas USA, Delgado has seriously flown under the radar, but the 19-year-old has established himself as a solid MLS starter this year. He looks like he's on the Luis Gil Path To Success™, going from barely playing at 17, getting time at 18 and establishing himself in the first team at 19. The last step is to become a starting XI lock and borderline all-star at 20.Jack McBean (LA Galaxy) - When McBean signed for the LA Galaxy at 16 and looked like a competent pro in some limited substitute appearances, most assumed he was on his way to becoming a star. Three years later, McBean is 19 and not yet a first-team player for the Galaxy. However, he hasn't been awful in his limited opportunities and has all of the physical tools to make the leap shortly.The big-time teenagersWe haven't seen enough of any of these players to know if they'll even be solid professionals, but they're the youngsters with limitless ceilings. There might be a Clint Dempsey or Landon Donovan in this group, and there might be no future national teamers at all. It would be surprising if more than one of these players was genuinely national team ready by 2018, but you never know.Joshua Perez (Fiorentina) - The former crowned jewel of the Chivas USA academy is just 16, so you'll have to wait a while to see him, but he's considered the biggest prospect in the country at his age group. He's already training with Fiorentina in Italy after leaving Chivas.Junior Flores (Borussia Dortmund) - Flores is a couple of years older than Perez and also the biggest prospect in his age group. He's agreed to sign for Borussia Dortmund, where he'll get some time alongside Gyau in their reserve team this season, and he should be one of the stars of the United States' 2015 Under-20 World Cup team if they qualify for the tournament.Jordan Morris (Stanford/Seattle U-23) - If you live in the greater Seattle or Palo Alto area, why not take the opportunity to go see Morris yourself? He's playing this spring season for Seattle Sounders Under-23s in the USL PDL, then will probably play one more season at Stanford before turning pro and signing with Seattle. He's the biggest USMNT prospect currently attending college.Erik Palmer-Brown (Sporting Kansas City) - This 17-year-old Sporting Kansas City product has looked pretty raw in his limited pro appearances, but that's to be expected from a central defender of that age. He has so much upside that Juventus made a seven-figure offer for him, but Sporting KC turned them down.Joe Gallardo (Monterrey) - If we're lucky, we'll get to catch Gallardo making some appearances for Monterrey in mop-up duty and non-league competitions this season, but he's probably still one year away from that. The 16-year-old forward has been lighting it up for the U.S. Under-17s, but it's anyone's guess if or when he'll be ready to make a jump up. He's regarded as a massive prospect, but that doesn't mean we'll get to see for ourselves anytime soon.Emerson Hyndman (Fulham) - Hyndman is the grandson of former FC Dallas manager and college coaching legend Schellas Hyndman and plays in midfield for Fulham's youth team. He was a regular in the Under-18s during their run to the FA Youth Cup final and could end up playing a regular role for their Under-21 squad this season.Zack Steffen (Maryland) - With Cody Cropper -- who we'll get to -- turning 20, Steffen will probably become the starting Under-20 keeper shortly. He was spectacular in his freshman season at Maryland and will almost certainly have offers from pro teams in Europe before he finishes college. He's also eligible to sign for the Philadelphia Union as a homegrown player, but since they have Andre Blake and Zac MacMath on their books, you'll likely see him pop up elsewhere as a pro in a year or two.Wait, where's that Barcelona kid I've heard of?Ben Lederman (Barcelona) - He turned 14 in May. Barcelona can't find a place in their first team for Rafinha Alcantara. Please stop.The solid prosThese players are established as professionals and will almost certainly get Camp Cupcake or off-year Gold Cup shots at some point in their careers, but they may have reached their ceiling. No one is expecting these guys to become stars, but there's probably a Graham Zusi or Matt Besler lingering in this group.Harry Shipp (Chicago Fire) - Having a great rookie season for Chicago, but already 22 and not a superstar physically.Josh Gatt (Molde) - Numerous injuries and failure to move anywhere bigger than Molde probably mean Gatt will never reach his full potential.Amobi Okugo (Philadelphia Union) - An excellent MLS player, but he's short for a defender and technically limited for a midfielder.Jack McInerney (Montreal Impact) - Still 21, so can improve, but his national team prospects have dwindled after a bad second half of the 2013 season. Stuck on a bad Montreal team, but scoring pretty regularly.Andrew Farrell (New England Revolution) - He's not Klinsmann's kind of fullback, but he's a very good defender for a 22-year-old, 2nd year player. Kind of a throwback to the Gary Neville era of fullbacks.Bill Hamid (D.C. United) - It seems harsh to relegate a 23-year-old goalkeeper to this category, but Hamid has been getting pro playing time since 2010 and isn't that much better than he was at 19.Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire) - Will make the greatest save you've ever seen and the worst mistake you've ever seen in the same game about six times this season.Perry Kitchen (D.C. United) - Extremely intelligent defensive midfielder and versatile player who has played central defense and right back competently, but a bit slow and average technically. Could become Geoff Cameron Pt. 2.Dillon Powers (Colorado Rapids) - A member of the Graham Zusi All-Stars™. Spent a lot of time in college, was expected to just be a solid pro, but he's become a prime Camp Cupcake candidate for this January. Surprisingly good technically and balanced for an attack-minded midfielder.Benji Joya (Chicago Fire) - A classic box-to-boxer who does everything well and nothing exceptionally.Jose Villarreal (Cruz Azul) - Wasting away in Cruz Azul's reserves after some good MLS and Under-20 performances. Has a limited ceiling and, while he's a technically solid attacker, no true position.Will Bruin (Houston Dynamo) - Brian Ching Pt. 2, and the fact that he plays for Houston is, like the Powers-Zusi comparison, a total coincidence.Greg Garza (Tijuana) - Has shown some flashes of ability with Tijuana, but isn't getting tons of playing time and is now 22. He'll move to a smaller Mexican team or MLS team, become a good player and be a decent left back option in a pinch.Eric Miller (Montreal Impact) - As always, a rock solid young MLS fullback will get a place on this list, since the United States always has shaky fullbacks. He'll be 33, you'll look at his Wikipedia page and go "whoa, Eric Miller has 10 USMNT caps?!?"The mysteriesWe admit to not having seen these guys play too much, but they're eligible for the United States and considered to be pretty decent prospects. Hopefully we get to watch more of them in the future.Duane Holmes (Huddersfield) - A 19-year-old English-American who plays for Huddersfield in the Championship. He has said in the past that he sees himself as American.Rubio Rubin (Utrecht) - A big prospect trying to make it at Utrecht in the Netherlands. He should be a starter for the Under-20s during their World Cup cycle; Tab Ramos reportedly likes him a lot.Tyler Turner (Orlando City) - If we're lucky, we'll get to see a lot of Turner in 2015. The 18-year-old defender is playing a lot for third-division Orlando City SC, who will join MLS next season.Cody Cropper (Southampton) - He was the Under-20 goalkeeper for a while and he's currently at Southampton in England. Cropper's too old to play for the Baby Yanks now, and he won't be starting at Southampton anytime soon. Goalkeepers should never be written off until they're 26 or so, but Cropper was shaky at Under-20 level and he doesn't seem to be close to getting a shot with a team that loves to throw teenagers into the first team.Caleb Stanko (Freiburg) - Started at the Under-20 World Cup, currently in Germany. Hopefully he gets some time with Freiburg this season.Mario Rodriguez (Borussia Mönchengladbach) - Like Stanko, it's tough to keep track of him playing in German reserve soccer (for a team that's not Bayern or BVB). He's currently at Borussia Mönchengladbach.Alonso Hernandez (Monterrey) - Like Joe Gallardo, at Monterrey, and probably closer to first team soccer. He's played for the Rayados, but he's already 20 and time's running out for him as a "prospect". He needs to play real pro soccer, soon.Marc Pelosi (Liverpool) - Was considered one of Liverpool's top prospects for a while, but suffered a serious injury that took him out of action for 14 months. He's played left back and left wing, and will get back on the national team radar if he's starting for Liverpool Under-21s and looking as good as he was pre-injury.Omar Salgado (Vancouver Whitecaps) - Once the No. 1 overall pick in the MLS SuperDraft and a sure bet to be the next Brian McBride, Salgado has done almost nothing while with the Vancouver Whitecaps. The good news is that he's just 20, and that he did well during a recent loan to the Charleston Battery. It's too early to write Salgado off completely, but it's also impossible to tell what he's going to be.Joel Sonora (Boca Juniors) - He was raised in Argentina, but burn in America, and Ramos has called him up to the Under-20s. Seems enthusiastic about playing for America, not trying to play for Argentina. But he's still just 17, so we might not see him for a couple years.The fringeThese are senior players who have been called up by the USMNT in the recent past and are still young enough that they could turn their careers around. One or two players in this group will have a bizarre late-career resurgence and find themselves in the national team going forward, ala DaMarcus Beasley.Mike Magee (Chicago Fire)Eddie Johnson (D.C. United)Tim Ream (Bolton Wanderers)Chris Klute (Colorado Rapids)Chance Myers (Sporting Kansas City)Michael Parkhurst (Columbus Crew)Edgar Castillo (Atlas)Michael Orozco (Jaguares)Tony Beltran (Real Salt Lake)Alfredo Morales (Ingolstadt)Eric Lichaj (Nottingham Forest)Stuart Holden (Bolton Wanderers)Jose Torres (UANL Tigres)Joe Corona (Tijuana)Maurice Edu (Philadelphia Union)Danny Williams (Reading)Benny Feilhaber (Sporting Kansas City)Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht)Dax McCarty (New York Red Bulls)

Was going to suggest it be pinned on the front page, but this is good too. Fantastic round up.

Nagbe is suppose to be a citizen in 2015 I think.

http://www.mlssoccer.com/news/article/2014/04/18/darlington-nagbe-says-hes-open-usmnt-and-long-term-stay-portland-timbers

"Nagbe is still a Liberian citizen but was married after the 2012 season to a Portland resident, Felicia Houtz, and is on track to become a US citizen in 2015"

As for Diego, I don't think he will be a citizen in 2 years unless he is getting married. This was from last October:

http://www.mlssoccer.com/news/article/2013/10/23/new-england-revolutions-diego-fagundez-confirms-hes-seeking-us-citizenship-s

“Now it's about working towards citizenship and, hopefully after that, playing for the national team,” Fagundez told MLSsoccer.com on Wednesday.

The process will likely continue for the next three to five years based upon typical citizenship requirements. Any green card holders seeking to obtain American citizenship must wait either three years (if eligible as the spouse of a citizen) or five years (if eligible in all other cases) after receiving their green card before applying for citizenship, according to US Citizenship and Immigration Services. Potential applicants must also satisfy a handful of residency requirements to facilitate a successful application.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When we will know whether or not the Copa in 2016 makes it onto FIFA's international calendar? Seems like a no-brainer but you never know.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When we will know whether or not the Copa in 2016 makes it onto FIFA's international calendar? Seems like a no-brainer but you never know.

I think FIFA needs to sort out 2022 first. Once that stain is either cleaned or tucked under the table then maybe we can get a better idea on 2016.

The 2022 report is due shortly after the WC is over.

I am hopeful that with Sunil pretty hip deep in the muck right now in Fifa that he would have a good idea whether this was going to get in the calendar or not and since they went ahead with the big announcement and already sold tv rights to Univision, they must feel confident.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have been pimping both Nagbe and Fagundez for a couple of years now but I would be remiss if I did not add that neither player are game changers for US.

Given their age and their positions, both are exciting because for most people they project to be better than Bedoya and Zusi. I could make an argument that Nagbe is already better than Bedoya since Nagbe is almost a finished product.

Diego is still a kid in almost every sense of the term. I have seen Diego play probably more than 99.9999999999999% of the country has but I still can't project him right now with any accuracy.

I have said this before but he is arguably the lightest pro soccer player I have ever seen. Not the shortest, but lightest, at least in looks. It has obviously not hurt his development in any way but it still makes me wonder what happens at the next level.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have read multiple tweets today stating that both Cardiff and QPR are talking to KC about Besler.

Edited by NewlyRetired

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have read multiple tweets today stating that both Cardiff and QPR are talking to KC about Besler.

'Arry will be linked with hundreds of players between now and Aug 31.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have read multiple tweets today stating that both Cardiff and QPR are talking to KC about Besler.

Weird QPR is taking Caulker from Cardiff (and bringing in Rio), so Cardiff makes some sense. I'm not sure id advise Matt to move to the Championship at 27 , though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Apologies if posted, but this is about as comprehensive a list of players to keep an eye on this cycle that I've seen

http://www.sbnation.com/soccer/2014/7/3/5864221/potential-usmnt-players-to-watch-during-the-2018-world-cup-cycle

Its a long article, but posting it all here in case the article is gone in a few years, and anyone wants to look back...

Good article. Learned a lot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I saw Palmer-Brown play against DC United. His recovery speed is amazing. He made several very impressive last ditch tackles. Because Besler was in camp Faurlin was injured, he was starting with another virtual greenhorn. So it's not really fair to judge his positioning.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have read multiple tweets today stating that both Cardiff and QPR are talking to KC about Besler.

Weird QPR is taking Caulker from Cardiff (and bringing in Rio), so Cardiff makes some sense. I'm not sure id advise Matt to move to the Championship at 27 , though.

Michael Dawson to QPR is getting a lot of play as well.

I guess I agree about Besler but it's better to move at 27 than 28. Cardiff didn't overextend themselves financially last year and should be in a decent position with the parachute payment. You know one of the relegated teams will bounce back and the Red Bluebirds seem to have as good as shot as the others. Felix Magath at Fulham with that mishmash of a squad will be interesting. Magath said yesterday that he wouldn't take Neymar on a free because he's not a team player. I almost believe him.

ETA: Sorry, forgot which thread I was in. It won't be the last time.

Edited by Eephus

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lots of info here about Besler including the KC owner hinting they might open their own wallets to keep him. Looks like some team in the Bundesliga is in play as well.

Must be an exciting time for Besler. He played this out perfectly. Hope it works out for him.

Sporting KCs Matt Besler has enormous interest from international clubs after World Cup

BY SAM MCDOWELLTHE KANSAS CITY STAR

07/03/2014 2:18 PM 07/03/2014 5:29 PM

Before Matt Besler traveled to the 2009 MLS SuperDraft, he packed a suitcase for New York City. The Red Bulls had already laid out their plans to draft Besler and make him a fixture on their back line.

It never happened. Instead, Sporting Kansas City the hometown team for the Overland Park native selected Besler three picks earlier, thus beginning a harmonious relationship that has included an MLS championship and an MLS defender of the year award.

More than five years later, that relationship could be nearing its final days.

Sporting Club CEO Robb Heineman acknowledged Thursday that the club has received enormous interest from overseas teams trying to acquire Besler, as well as his Sporting KC teammate Graham Zusi. The offers for Besler which have come from different leagues all over the world, Heineman said spiked after his highly-rated performance for the United States in the World Cup.

Asked about the chances Besler could parlay that into an overseas transfer, Heineman replied, Id say theres a strong possibility that could happen based on the interest thats out there.

If it were to happen, it would happen probably within the next 10 days, according to Beslers agent, Eddie Rock. Besler deferred questions about the situation to his agent.

Rock said Besler is weighing three options regarding his future sign an extension with Sporting Kansas City, transfer to a club in the English Premier League or transfer to a club in Bundesliga, recognized as the top league in Germany. He has received offers from teams in both foreign leagues, which begin their 2014-15 seasons next month.

They would figure to offer Besler significant raises from his current guaranteed compensation of $200,000 with Sporting KC which makes him only the 32nd-highest paid defender in the MLS, according to figures released earlier this year by the MLS Players Union.

Besler is set to become a free agent after making $220,000 next season, Rock said. The average salary for an English Premier League player exceeds $2 million.

If Matt re-signs with the league now, his intentions would be to be a one-club player for the rest of his career. His goal would be to finish atop Sporting and the Wizards in all-time appearances and longest captaincy. He would try to build a dynasty there, Rock said.

The biggest factor with a potential move is do they provide a bigger ceiling for Matts development as a player? Would playing in the EPL or in the Bundesliga bring him to an even higher level as a player simply because youre playing against the top players in the world on a daily and weekly basis?

If Besler agrees to a deal with a foreign club, that team would be required to pay Sporting KC and the MLS an agreeable transfer fee and likely a significant one. Besler, 27, has spent six seasons with the Wizards and Sporting KC franchise and is in his first year as the teams captain.

Heineman said he has already received terms sheets with official transfer fee offers from European clubs, but Sporting KC plans to first make its pitch to keep Besler in Kansas City for the long-term.

Well try to do everything we can to retain our guys, particularly guys like (Besler and Zusi) that are so core to our team, Heineman said. But sometimes guys are going to have aspirations to do different things. If thats the case, we try to do something thats mutually beneficial to both the player and the club.

Heineman declined to discuss the exact fee it would take to pry Besler away from Kansas City. When Sporting KC agreed to transfer Uri Rosell last month to Clube de Portugal, the transfer fee was more than $1.5 million, a source told The Star, and the fee for Besler would need to be significantly larger.

Sporting KC retained two-thirds of the transfer fee, with one-third going to the MLS. Heineman said the money from Rosells transfer would be used to try to retain Besler and Zusi.

Under the league rules, Sporting KC has the option to make Besler or Zusi a designated player, which would allow the players to earn a significant salary yet have them count only $387,500 toward the salary cap. Each team is allowed two designated players but can buy a third slot. Claudio Bieler is the teams only designated player.

Sporting KC plans to pursue that option, though it still wont be able to match overseas contracts. LA Galaxys Omar Gonzalez is the highest-paid defender in the MLS and qualifies as a designated player. He will earn $1.25 million in guaranteed compensation this season.

As Ive said before, out intention is not to be a selling club, but I think weve also demonstrated to our players that we understand theyre ambitious, Sporting KC technical director and manager Peter Vermes said. And with that ambition sometimes comes the desire to go test your skills somewhere else.

I think this league provides these guys with the environment they need. Unfortunately the difference sometimes is money. Thats rampant in all sports.

While money is always a driving factor in negotiations, Rock said Besler plans to consider several non-monetary factors, as well. Besler and his wife, Amanda, are both from the Kansas City area. Sporting KC is defending an MLS championship and is in a quality position to continue to strengthen its team.

A leap overseas would likely require a three- or four-year deal. Rock said Besler has been discussing that possibility over the past year since he jumped into the national teams starting lineup during World Cup qualifying but the offers became more appealing after his performance against Portugal in group play of the World Cup.

I think Matt is going to have talks with multiple people over the course of the next couple of days. He will decide whats best for him and his wife, Rock said. With Sporting Kansas City in particular, Matt fully realizes hes playing at the top club in the U.S. There are very few places Matt could go where youre going to see the same type of training facilities, stadiums and support. And hes the captain of that team. That means something.

On the other hand, a World Cup appearance has demonstrated that Besler is raising his profile. He spent Thursday making national media stops at ESPN and has appearances booked with Good Morning America and Morning Joe, among others, on Friday.

He will not play in Sporting KCs home match Sunday against Chicago but will likely be in attendance to be recognized by his home fans prior to the game.

Might it be his last appearance at Sporting Park?

Weve got sort of the Matt Besler story. Kansas City is a great place for him to play and obviously his hometown, Heineman said. I think were willing to work with him to make him a very attractive offer to stay. I feel like were in a good position. Well let the chips fall where they may.

Edited by NewlyRetired

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Howard was asked on the Dan Patrick show about 2018 and he said he think Guzan should be the keeper. He did not come out and announce his international retirement but he might be considering it.

Maybe he wants to stick around for the show in 2016.

I would be surprised if Howard was still in play for 2018 but it might happen for him as a backup. Recall the 2006 Germany WC team with Oliver Kahn/Jens Lehman and Klinsmann as coach.

Kahn was 37 or 38 and still playing at an elite level, even though he was stuck in the backup role.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Apologies if posted, but this is about as comprehensive a list of players to keep an eye on this cycle that I've seenhttp://www.sbnation.com/soccer/2014/7/3/5864221/potential-usmnt-players-to-watch-during-the-2018-world-cup-cycle

Great article. Any word lately on where Agudelo is going to play?

Nope. Something we are all watching closely.

He is another player who must find a team to play steady minutes for. I am so bummed the Krafts are so cheap. He should have been made a DP for the Revs. He was flourishing with all the young talent NE has.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting direction Tasker moved the discussion for me.

I agree that every player on the roster is a good to great athlete, even Beckerman. So then it comes down to how these players trained when they were 10. Seems odd.

These guys have played for Roma, teams in the EPL and The Bundesliga. It surely can not be about their training as a U 8-12 player.

Is there any way we take our best group of players between 18-27 and put them on an MLS side playing together as a team. Its not about athletes or youth training imo, its about these guys constantly playing together as a team. I bet if they did this, we would at the very least be able to hold posession better against a team like Belgium. Maybe im off on that assumption, but seems logical to me. Sure thw issue of competitive teams to play becomes an issue but there is always ways to challenge players.

One thing about MLS that might hurt us is the striving for parity which spreads our best players out. Over the years, some national teams have stocked their teams from the best 2-3 teams they have domestically.

That practice has diminished some in recent times.

I don't see it ever happening in MLS so it is a non starter. The last time this occurred was in 1983 when Team America all played for the DC side in the NASL. Not coincidently, the league folded shortly after.

I'm sure it wouldn't hurt but I don't think it's necessarily the recipe for success. The South American nations have to deal with their top talent going overseas at a very young age. This particular collection of Brazilans hasn't played or trained together very often. Messi has spent most of his life outside of Argentina. Spain benefitted from having players brought up in the Barcelona system but was able to successfully integrate others into the side.

I'm going back to the Swiss example and suggest that there needs to be better coordination at the national U** levels. They should use consistent training and tactics so it is easier to plug players into the senior squad when the time comes. Time spent with the national team is short; the more prepared players are coming in, the more efficient they will be. In this respect, I think adopting Germans hurts a bit but preparation is no substitute for talent.

Couple comments. South Americans don't go overseas at that young of an age. Neymar didn't go over til last year at age 21. Even Pato, who was one of the earlier ones didn't go til 17. Messi is an exception b/c Barca was going to pay for his medical bills and River Plate wasn't. Maybe that is what you consider a very young age but most of these guys are expected to play at home for a few years. Very few guys under 18 and even less 16 are leaving and I imagine after watching Pato go overseas and party it up that players and families might wait a bit longer.

But I do agree with your general point about time being short with the national team. I can't think of any team who has more than a few guys who start that play on the same club team save for maybe Bayern Munich. I don't think stacking an MLS team will do much. It won't increase our talent level maybe just make us a more cohesive defensive team like Greece which I don't think many of us want.

I do think having a few top teams in the MLS would do well like Argentina with River Plate/Boca Juniors. They almost act like mini Euro teams in their own country with their transfer budget. That way you can get the kids on the field with a better team and they can help fund the rest of the league.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting direction Tasker moved the discussion for me.

I agree that every player on the roster is a good to great athlete, even Beckerman. So then it comes down to how these players trained when they were 10. Seems odd.

These guys have played for Roma, teams in the EPL and The Bundesliga. It surely can not be about their training as a U 8-12 player.

Is there any way we take our best group of players between 18-27 and put them on an MLS side playing together as a team. Its not about athletes or youth training imo, its about these guys constantly playing together as a team. I bet if they did this, we would at the very least be able to hold posession better against a team like Belgium. Maybe im off on that assumption, but seems logical to me. Sure thw issue of competitive teams to play becomes an issue but there is always ways to challenge players.

One thing about MLS that might hurt us is the striving for parity which spreads our best players out. Over the years, some national teams have stocked their teams from the best 2-3 teams they have domestically.

That practice has diminished some in recent times.

I don't see it ever happening in MLS so it is a non starter. The last time this occurred was in 1983 when Team America all played for the DC side in the NASL. Not coincidently, the league folded shortly after.

I'm sure it wouldn't hurt but I don't think it's necessarily the recipe for success. The South American nations have to deal with their top talent going overseas at a very young age. This particular collection of Brazilans hasn't played or trained together very often. Messi has spent most of his life outside of Argentina. Spain benefitted from having players brought up in the Barcelona system but was able to successfully integrate others into the side.

I'm going back to the Swiss example and suggest that there needs to be better coordination at the national U** levels. They should use consistent training and tactics so it is easier to plug players into the senior squad when the time comes. Time spent with the national team is short; the more prepared players are coming in, the more efficient they will be. In this respect, I think adopting Germans hurts a bit but preparation is no substitute for talent.

Couple comments. South Americans don't go overseas at that young of an age. Neymar didn't go over til last year at age 21. Even Pato, who was one of the earlier ones didn't go til 17. Messi is an exception b/c Barca was going to pay for his medical bills and River Plate wasn't. Maybe that is what you consider a very young age but most of these guys are expected to play at home for a few years. Very few guys under 18 and even less 16 are leaving and I imagine after watching Pato go overseas and party it up that players and families might wait a bit longer.

But I do agree with your general point about time being short with the national team. I can't think of any team who has more than a few guys who start that play on the same club team save for maybe Bayern Munich. I don't think stacking an MLS team will do much. It won't increase our talent level maybe just make us a more cohesive defensive team like Greece which I don't think many of us want.

I do think having a few top teams in the MLS would do well like Argentina with River Plate/Boca Juniors. They almost act like mini Euro teams in their own country with their transfer budget. That way you can get the kids on the field with a better team and they can help fund the rest of the league.

A few MLS teams are trying to seperate themselves from the others but with the 3 DP rule, you can only do so much.

Assuming the league does not commit suicide in the offseason, the details of the new CBA should be interesting to parse through in terms of roster building.

Edited by NewlyRetired

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Take with your normal cup of salt but kind of interesting.

USMNT’s DeAndre Yedlin is very appreaciated in Italy. Genoa have been pursuing the Seattle Sounders’ defender for a while. However, his performances in the World Cup have raised his price tag. Therefore, Genoa’s president Preziosi is asking a big club for help to have him next season. Roma could acquire the fullback and then loan him to Genoa, the clubs met at dinner yesterday. Yedlin could soon arrive in Seria A.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Take with your normal cup of salt but kind of interesting.

USMNT’s DeAndre Yedlin is very appreaciated in Italy. Genoa have been pursuing the Seattle Sounders’ defender for a while. However, his performances in the World Cup have raised his price tag. Therefore, Genoa’s president Preziosi is asking a big club for help to have him next season. Roma could acquire the fullback and then loan him to Genoa, the clubs met at dinner yesterday. Yedlin could soon arrive in Seria A.

A move would be good for Yedlin, not so good for MLS.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: athletes... Big tall guys do well in sports where they have to go up high and get the ball. The ball is more often than not on the ground in soccer so size is almost irrelevent. That said, of course the US does a little better with a bigger talent pool.

But as you guys already explained so well, its more than just athleticism.

I've talked about culture a bunch in the soccer thread, and some of that has been touched on here. Kids in other countries eat breath and inhale soccer tactics all the time. They're surrounded by rich history, top pros, analysts,news coverage, and to me the important part friends and family who are also immersed in the sport.

The US is slowly getting there, and the growth of the lowest common denominator depthwise is staggering. I genuinely believe the arrival of so much soccer on TV and the coming to age of parents who grew up playing sport at a high level will help continue pushing the tactical and soccer smarts awareness to grow the sport even more.

Eta... I suck and hate trying to write the kind of post from aphone

Edited by El Floppo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Apologies if posted, but this is about as comprehensive a list of players to keep an eye on this cycle that I've seen

http://www.sbnation.com/soccer/2014/7/3/5864221/potential-usmnt-players-to-watch-during-the-2018-world-cup-cycle

Nice article, my only real question is why they have Joe Corona listed as a fringe player? He's 23 years old and was in the 30-man camp. Is Ives really assuming he's just kinda gonna drop off the radar?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A move would be good for Yedlin

If he gets minutes. We've seen many guys make the jump and then die on the bench.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A move would be good for Yedlin

If he gets minutes. We've seen many guys make the jump and then die on the bench.

Yeah, the wrong move (and there are more wrong moves than right for him) would be awesome for his wallet but could kill his development.

Keeping my fingers crossed

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   1 member