USMNT: Seven uncapped players who might get call-ups

Jurgen Klinsmann's only chance to look at new talent before the Hexagonal starts Nov. 11 is when the USA faces Cuba next Friday and New Zealand four days later in friendlies. He has not indicated who he'll bring in, but foreign-based players like Cameron Carter-Vickers,  Lynden Gooch and Jorge Villafana, who won't be available for a January camp, could earn their first callups. Four uncapped players enjoying strong seasons in MLS also deserve a look.

Cameron Carter-Vickers (Tottenham). At 18, Carter-Vickers is being touted as one of the top young centerback prospects in the EPL even if he's one played one game for Spurs, starting in the League Cup win over Gillingham. He played for the USA at the U-20 and U-23 level but is eligible for both the USA (father Howard Carter was a pro basketball player) and England (where he was born and raised). Klinsmann tied down Matt Miazga (also eligible to play for Poland) and Christian Pulisic (Croatia) to the USA in the semifinal round of qualifying, but it will be harder to cap-tie Carter-Vickers in the high-stakes Hexagonal. (He is also eligible for the next U.S. U-20 cycle and might train at the U-20 camp in October in England.)

Lynden Gooch (Sunderland). The 20-year-old Californian made his EPL debut in the Black Cats' opener and started four of five games. The only other American to start as many games in the EPL this season is Geoff Cameron at Stoke City. Klinsmann has said he doesn't want the travel schedules back and forth to cost young European-based players playing time they've worked hard to earn. That might work against Gooch, who played for the USA at the 2015 Concacaf U-20 Championship but is also eligible to play for England and Ireland via his parents.

Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy). After trying unsuccessfully for six years to break in at West Ham United, Lletget left the Hammers in 2015 to join the Galaxy. Most of his playing time in his first season came on the wing opposite Gyasi Zardes. After Nigel de Jong left the Galaxy, the 24-year-old Lletget was moved into central midfield and contributed five assists in his last seven games. Klinsmann didn't call him up for the three friendlies the USA played last fall. He probably has a better shot since his move into the middle.

Tommy McNamara (New York City FC). A late bloomer, having red-shirted between his sophomore and junior season at Brown -- he transferred to Clemson as a graduate student -- and missed most of his MLS rookie season at Chivas USA with a knee surgery. He has blossomed in his second full season with NYCFC, tying for the MLS lead with five game-winning assists. Age works against McNamara, who will be 26 in February. If the USA doesn't work out, he is also eligible to play for Ireland.

Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders). The 21-year-old Roldan played at the University of Washington but was not taken until the 16th pick in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft. In his second season with the Sounders, he has formed one of MLS's top central midfield partnerships with Osvaldo Alonso as the Sounders have turned around their season with a late run. Roldan is another player with options, eligible to play for El Salvador and Guatemala, though neither country qualified for the Hexagonal.

Keegan Rosenberry (Philadelphia Union). If Jordan Morris wasn't in the league, the 22-year-old Rosenberry would the consensus pick for MLS Rookie of the Year. He's played every minute of every game for the Union, likely headed to the playoffs for the first time since 2012. The most amazing stat of his rookie season: He has yet to receive a yellow or red card.

Jorge Villafana (Santos). The USA is thin at left back, one of its problem positions for years, so Villafana has been mentioned in the U.S. camp as a player to look at between qualifying rounds. He parlayed an MLS championship team with the Portland Timbers into a move to Santos in Mexico. He started 15 of 19 games as Los Guerreros reached the playoffs in the Torneo Clausura and all 11 games so far in the Torneo Apertura. Problem is, Santos has collapsed, dropped to 17th in the 18-team La Liga. The 27-year-old Villafana's last involvement with the national team was on the ill-fated U-23s who failed to qualify for the 2012 Olympics.
9 comments about "USMNT: Seven uncapped players who might get call-ups".
  1. Bill Wilson, September 30, 2016 at 11:18 a.m.

    Soccer will finally become a mainstream US sport when our youth development system starts producing players who don't have parents from countries where soccer is primary.

  2. Ahmet Guvener replied, September 30, 2016 at 11:24 a.m.

    We are saving the day by utilizing players which were developed by other countries' youth development systems.

  3. Paul Estrada replied, October 1, 2016 at 3:24 p.m.

    You should drop that tired old argument since it is kind of difficult when we're a basically a country of immigrants.

  4. R2 Dad, September 30, 2016 at 11:19 a.m.

    Bring 'em all in, JK. They should be pushing for back-up slots on the squad. JK has talked about younger players pushing the older ones for starting positions. These new guys should be pushing the young, existing squad players from below. Up or out--find the quality. They all can play the game. But who has the right mentality & soccer IQ?

  5. Fire Paul Gardner Now, September 30, 2016 at 1:57 p.m.

    We are getting away from having our elite players waste the key 18-22 development years in NCAA ball. It needs to happen faster. A 22 year old playing should be entering his prime, not a "rookie" just playing professionally for the first time.

  6. Miguel Dedo, September 30, 2016 at 5:48 p.m.

    Three of the seven players listed played in the ncaa.

  7. Wooden Ships, October 1, 2016 at 8:05 a.m.

    Will he continue to call in some of the older ones that probably shouldn't figure into the hex and Russia? Don't see at this point that he can call all the above in. The two friendlies lead directly to Mexico. I'm afraid he is still thinking spine too much (JJ & MB).

  8. Bob Ashpole replied, October 1, 2016 at 2:38 p.m.

    A result against Mexico is very important to qualifying. Dempsey's loss hurts. In terms of both goal scoring and experience. The US starting lineup over the last two years has been very inconsistent. So I see three important objectives for the friendlies: looking at younger players, rehearsing for Nov. 11th, and finding the best forward lineup available for Mexico.

  9. Abtin Motia, October 2, 2016 at 10:06 a.m.

    I really doubt any of those MLS guys get a look. Not Klinsmann's style. Villafana should have been in months ago given the issues at LB. Nothing's changed so perhaps JK doesn't "rate" him. Lletget doesn't have a real position that he owns at this point and doesn't really fit into current group. Rosenberry has had a good rookie year so January camp is likely. Same for Roldan.

Next story loading loading..

Discover Our Publications