Predicting the USMNT January Camp Roster

From Last Word on Soccer, by Noah Sobel-Pressman

The January Camp has been a part of the USMNT for many years. During this camp, players from leagues where they don’t play in the winter (MLS and Scandinavia) get a chance to showcase their talents. Many prominent players got their start with the USMNT from the January Camp. For example, Tim Howard, Geoff Cameron, and Jozy Altidore all began their national team careers in this camp. More recently, DeAndre Yedlin and Gyasi Zardes have used this camp to advance their USMNT careers.

Predicting the USMNT January Camp Roster

In the first camp with Bruce Arena at the helm, the USMNT will be facing Serbia on January 29th. Normally they play two games, but this year only one was scheduled. Arena has already dropped some hints as to who he will be including.

Already Included: Benny Feilhaber, Juan Agudelo, Gyasi Zardes, Darlington Nagbe, Jordan Morris, Chris Pontius, Dax McCarty, Keegan Rosenberry, Matt Hedges, Walker Zimmerman, Kekuta Manneh, DaMarcus Beasley, and Clint Dempsey

Here are the 30 people (plus Clint Dempsey) I predict to be at the January Camp.

Goalkeepers

Already Included: None

Prediction: Brad Guzan (If he ends up in MLS), Ethan Horvath (If he doesn’t transfer from Molde), Luis Robles, David Bingham, Bill Hamid (1st alternative), Sean Johnson (2nd Alternative

Arena hasn’t said already indicated which goalies will be called up. Tim Howard will be unable to play as he is rehabbing a fracture of the right adductor longus. Brad Guzan is rumored to be returning to the MLS to play with Atlanta United. If he returns to MLS, he will almost definitely be in this camp. Ethan Horvath is also the subject of transfer rumors, and as long as he stays put, expect him to also be in camp. As of now, it seems Horvath is the future USMNT number one goalie. However, after Guzan and Horvath, the depth chart isn’t as clear. Arena will probably call in two more goalies, and Bingham and Robles will most likely be his picks. Both are solid MLS goalies with a little USMNT experience.

Defenders

Already Included: Keegan Rosenberry, Matt Hedges, Walker Zimmerman, DaMarcus Beasley

Prediction: Justin Morrow, Steve Birnbaum, Robbie Rogers, Tim Parker, Drew Moor, Matt Besler

Before announcing the roster, Arena cited four defenders (1 RB, 2 CB, 1 LB) who he will call in. He will probably call in two more full backs and four more center backs. Justin Morrow had the most goals of all defenders and tied for seventh most assists of all defenders. Morrow also strong defensively. Steve Birnbaum and Matt Besler frequently get called up to the USMNT and Arena will want to take a look at them. Tim Parker was called up the last January Camp, and is one of many young, talented American center backs. LA Galaxy left back Robbie Rogers plays the position where the USMNT lack the most depth. Also, Arena has coached Rogers before. Rogers will help Arena figure out the USMNT left back depth.

Midfielders

Already Included: Benny Feilhaber, Darlington Nagbe, Dax McCarty, Chris Pontius

Prediction: Sacha Kljestan, Michael Bradley, Alejandro Bedoya, Sebastian Lletget, Kellyn Acosta, Lee Nguyen, Jermaine Jones

Arena highlighted center attacking midfield as a position of need with the USMNT. Sacha Kljestan and Lee Nguyen are two of the best CAMs in MLS, which highlights the need for their call up. USMNT veterans Michael Bradley, Alejandro Bedoya, and Jermaine Jones will also be called into camp. The former West Ham United youth player, Sebastian Lletget, found a place under Arena in LA, and will look to do the same with the USMNT. In addition, Lletget can be the creator Arena and the USMNT need. Finally, Kellyn Acosta may have an opportunity to play in his more natural position, defensive midfield. Where Arena plays Acosta will be interesting, because he can also play full back.

Forwards

Already Included: Jordan Morris, Juan Agudelo, Kekuta Manneh, Gyasi Zardes, Clint Dempsey (If healthy)

Prediction: Jozy Altidore

The majority of forwards in the January Camp already were named by Arena. Dempsey will probably be in the camp, but not at full strength. He will help Arena in the locker room, as he is a veteran presence. In return, Dempsey will begin to return to full fitness. Jozy Altidore will almost certainly be in the camp. At the end of the MLS season, Altidore was is fine form.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.