There hasn’t been a dual day in US Soccer media since “that day” as it’ll be remembered as, the day USA failed to qualify for the World Cup and Bruce Arena vacating the manager chair. On top of that, many soccer fans here in the States have been calling for Sunil Gulati to step down as president of the US Soccer Federation. Until the final list of candidates is announced, I’d like to stay away from presidential talk and debate.
For now the Men’s national team has to turn its attention to the third best team in FIFA, Portugal. Dave Sarachan has been put in charge of the team as interim manager for the time being. With such a meaningless friendly, we all kinda hoped for a roster not full of usual and just use it as an opportunity to cap tie youngsters and give them their first caps against a formidable opponent in a game that isn’t making or breaking anything.
We got the following roster: (Credit to US Soccer)
GOALKEEPERS (3): Jesse Gonzalez (FC Dallas; 0/0), Bill Hamid (Midtjylland/DEN; 3/0), Ethan Horvath (Club Brugge/BEL; 1/0)
DEFENDERS (7): John Brooks (Wolfsburg/GER; 32/3), Cameron Carter-Vickers (Sheffield United/ENG; 0/0), Eric Lichaj (Nottingham Forest/ENG; 13/1), Matt Miazga (Vitesse/NED; 3/1), Tim Ream (Fulham/ENG; 26/1), Jorge Villafaña (Santos Laguna/MEX; 14/0), DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle United/ENG; 48/0)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas; 16/1), Tyler Adams (New York Red Bulls; 0/0), Alejandro Bedoya (Philadelphia Union; 65/2), Lynden Gooch (Sunderland/ENG; 2/0), Weston McKennie (Schalke/GER; 0/0), Kelyn Rowe (New England Revolution; 3/1), Danny Williams (Huddersfield Town/ENG; 22/2)
FORWARDS (4): Juan Agudelo (New England Revolution; 26/3), Dom Dwyer (Orlando City SC; 3/2), C.J. Sapong (Philadelphia Union; 2/0), Josh Sargent (St. Louis Scott Gallagher; 0/0)
At first glance I noticed three things: 1.) No Pulisic 2.) No Bradley 3.) No Jonathan Gonzalez. Pulisic has elected to stay in Dortmund camp to focus on their domestic campaign which I’m totally ok with. No Bradley means I don’t immediately start the game with hatred and anger and anxiety. No Jonathan Gonzalez isn’t a make or break for me because he’s only 18 and has a lot to prove to me. I’ve heard a lot of good about him and he’s verbally committed his allegiance to the USA but since it was in the news I thought US Soccer would make it official.
At second glance, and as a Union fan I was ecstatic to see CJ Sapong finally get his second chance with the National team. He became the clubs all-time leading scorer this season and has really solidified himself as a club legend. It was also nice seeing Josh Sargent and Weston McKennie get their opportunity with the senior team after their pivotal role in the success of the U20’s.
Obviously Dave Sarachan isn’t going to last for forever and the discussion over who should take over is in full swing. First and for most we are definitely going to wait until the election of the new USSf president to appoint a coach or at least it’d be in our best interest.
The man who has kinda thrown his own name in the hat is Sam Allardyce. He was quoted on talkSport radio saying:
“Yes I would go, I think. I think there’s a presidential election in January which has stalled the process. If I got the opportunity to speak to the U.S. then I would look forward to it,” Allardyce said. “International football is totally different to Premier League football. It’s 10 games a year. There’s a huge amount of down time, to go and watch the players and all that. It’s not the same day-to-day pressures as you get in the Premier League. I’ve always loved the States. I’ve been going for many, many years. I played there for the Tampa Bay Rowdies and had a terrific time by the way.”
So the question is, would you take Sam Allardyce? In the Premier League he had a good record of inspiring a group of guys and keeping them alive in the league and safe from the drop. He does mention the shorter schedule and he knows how to get the best outta players when needed. Although I think our upcoming generation is too young for him. He’d try to give the experience players and veterans the chance and we’d dig our own hole. I ultimately wouldn’t be pissed if we got Sam Allardyce but I think there are other candidates we need to take into consideration.