Accent on youth likely to continue for USMNT in friendlies against Brazil and Mexico

Dave Sarachan, who remains in charge of the U.S men's national team while the search for a permanent replacement for Bruce Arena continues, says the roster for the September matches against Brazil and Mexico will be similar to those he named for his previous six matches in charge.

"If you've followed our team over the last six friendlies," he said at a press conference in Nashville on Wednesday to promote the USA-Mexico game on Sept. 11, "it will be composed pretty similarly to what we've done in the past."

Sarachan said he's been working with a list of 35 players.

"It's a work in progress," he said. "We're sort of paring it down as we've evaluated players both here and domestically and overseas."

Teenagers Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie and Tyler Austin along with central defender Matt Miazga will form a corps of young players around whom the team will be build.

The big question is whether he will recall veterans like Michael Bradley, who captained the USA when it failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in the last cycle but did not play in the six friendlies the USA has played since qualifying ended with a 2-1 loss to Trinidad & Tobago. Sarachan said he talked with Bradley recently and the Toronto FC midfielder understands where he is coming from.

"I've known Michael since he was little," Sarachan said. "We talk often and we did speak recently. I've made it pretty clear over the course of the months that I've had the team that the focus right now has been to offer opportunity to a lot of our young players. But we're not discounting the value of veteran leadership and Michael falls into that category."

29 comments about "Accent on youth likely to continue for USMNT in friendlies against Brazil and Mexico".
  1. Kevin Leahy, August 23, 2018 at 10:34 a.m.

    Can't imagine bringing back any long term veterans from last cycle! Bradley, Jozy, etc. are done. McKennie to me is the holding midfielder now and moving forward. It is time to name a coach and get on with the program. Let Sarachan coach the U-23's if you want to kep him.

  2. Wooden Ships replied, August 23, 2018 at 11:26 a.m.

    Echo that Kevin.

  3. beautiful game replied, August 23, 2018 at 6:37 p.m.

    Definitely no room for Bradley or Jozy et al. Get new blood in and mold a squad with the best young players. Working on an 8-year plan makes more sense than cut & pasting for WC 2022.

  4. frank schoon, August 23, 2018 at 1:14 p.m.

    Has anyone, heard anything as yet about a new coach. Anything?? We have a chance to totally start with a clean slate, a New coach, New thoughts about how we should play and develop, new blood and players....We need to leave the 'OLD' ways totally....

  5. Wooden Ships replied, August 23, 2018 at 8:16 p.m.

    Haven’t heard anything definitive Frank. Hopefully, we can convince a manager that had the skills and vision as a player. Strong and demanding personality. 

  6. frank schoon replied, August 23, 2018 at 9:32 p.m.

    Ships , you are so right!

  7. j bapper, August 23, 2018 at 2:04 p.m.

    If Bradley and Altidore are still in the mix, we will continue to go backwards. Time to move on...

  8. uffe gustafsson, August 23, 2018 at 5:16 p.m.

    Does not mean the veterans will start, think some veterans are good to have on the team for the young guys to learn. International soccer is different then league play. Just saying

  9. Wooden Ships replied, August 23, 2018 at 8:07 p.m.

    Uffe, I agree with you in many instances with national teams and veterans, but not with this team. It was primarily the veterans that soured and divided the team. Hopefully, the new, younger players, will be technically and emotionally stronger. 

  10. Kevin Leahy, August 23, 2018 at 7:11 p.m.

    Most veterans don't take well to being role players 

  11. Bob Ashpole, August 24, 2018 at 1:02 a.m.

    After the 1998 mess, I no longer assume anything about what happens in the locker room between players and coaching staff.

    Kevin and company, aside from the veterans, there are few good prospects in their 20s. Trying to build a men's senior team out of young players when we haven't qualified for an olympics the last two times out is in my opinion an unrealistic plan. One, two or three young players is not a 23-man team. 

    Frank, Grant Walh reported months ago that two sources told him that US Soccer created the GM position to pretend to make changes but they really don't want any wholesale changes. Then US Soccer hired Earnie Stewart, who started by saying that he didn't think US soccer had any systemic problems to fix. It was just a bad cycle. That reinforces what Wahl's sources said. Apparently they hired Stewart because he told him the systems were not a problem, unlike what a lot of other soccer people have said.

    I believe that the problem was not the failure to qualify. That was a symptom of the problem. The problem is the systems. Under USSF youth soccer has been commericalized and turned into a sport for people in the suburbs who can afford to pay thousands of dollars for their children to play soccer on "elite" USSF affiliated teams.     

  12. frank schoon replied, August 24, 2018 at 9:27 a.m.

    Bob, thanks for the info. That they don't want any wholesale changes was  obvious to me when Cordeiro got the job. Cordeiro's adding of a postion as technical advisors to a committe one for man and one for woman is so PC . I didn't realize there was gender difference in teaching skills. Cordeiro wants rule by going through committees fiats, like desinging a car through committees.
    Bob, Ships this is very unsettling for we are at a perfect juncture to institute brand new changes but apparently we need to drain the "swamp' first. The very fact that we are treading water all these months without a NT coach is scandalous. This would never happen anywhere in the civilized world of soccer. The European counterparts must be wondering or laughing rather as what is going on. 

  13. humble 1 replied, August 27, 2018 at 10:02 a.m.

    ++.  This fail to Qual for olympics is a big problem and bellweather for MNT.  There are two teams that qual fm CONCACAF!  That they are poaching young players to MNT means either they they are building the Olympic (U23) team now -or - it will be once again gutted / sacrificed - in attempt to shore up MNT and the Olympic qualifications will be poo-poo’d away again by a misguided leadership team.  Probably the later, but we’ll see soon enough.

  14. frank schoon replied, August 27, 2018 at 11:42 a.m.

    Humble, personally I don't care about Olympic's a joke... When I see pros from Brazil playing Olympic soccer that says enough...They are doing it only to get a is has nothing to do with soccer itself. I have no clue why we even have Olympic Soccer....good grief...Whether we do good or bad in Olympic ,proves absolutely nothing

  15. Goal Goal, August 24, 2018 at 1:36 p.m.

    Was just reading over on Top Drawer where the U15 BNT during their camp in Souther Cal this week got wiped out by two DA teams.  Article was not too flattering for that team.  What it came down to they werent competitive.  Scary.

  16. Bob Ashpole replied, August 24, 2018 at 2:11 p.m.

    The DA teams were older.

  17. Goal Goal, August 24, 2018 at 1:39 p.m.

    Was just reading over on Top Drawer where the u15 BNT got wiped out by two DA teams at their camp in Souther Cal.  Article insinuated the team wasn't competitive.  Thats scary.

  18. Goal Goal, August 24, 2018 at 1:41 p.m.

    Sorry guys about the double post but this sight gets wacky once in a while.  The first one didnt post and then both posted.  Sorry about that.

  19. Glenn Manning, August 24, 2018 at 2:42 p.m.

    I love all of your comments, I look forward to reading them since You are all SO plugged in.


  20. Goal Goal, August 24, 2018 at 2:57 p.m.

    Bob you are right.  The teams they played were one group up.  The NT's usually always play up because in most cases they can be competitive and should be competitive as they are the cream of the crop.  You think?

  21. Bob Ashpole replied, August 24, 2018 at 6:40 p.m.

    Yes, but if the coach is not picking early bloomers that 1 year age difference for boys is extreme at that age. I would have to see the matches before I could tell anything about the players. Winning may not have been a priority for the coach. He may have been focused on certain objectives for specific moments of the game instead and intentionally wanted a very good opponent.   

  22. Goal Goal, August 24, 2018 at 6:56 p.m.

    OK Bob.  All is good.

  23. Bob Ashpole replied, August 25, 2018 at 11:23 a.m.

    RW, all is not good, but you shouldn't evaluate players based on a team's performance.  You should look at the players not whether the team wins a match. The younger the age level, the more the coach should be focusing on the players' performances and development, rather than the team's performance and development. 

  24. frank schoon replied, August 25, 2018 at 12:26 p.m.

    Bob, so true...

  25. Goal Goal, August 25, 2018 at 4:43 p.m.

    Bob , I agree with you about evaluating the players but if you will go to top drawer and read the third and fourth paragraphs of the article it appears to me as a team they just weren’t into it.  In addition if you are familiar with youth soccer the San Diego Surf and Golden State aren’t power houses in So. Cal soccer.

  26. Bob Ashpole replied, August 26, 2018 at 12:03 a.m.

    I simply just don't care about results of youth matches. The biggest concern I have with USSDA is all the attention paid to who "wins" the titles. In my opinion that forgets the whole purpose of the USSDA--player development. 

  27. Goal Goal, August 27, 2018 at 7:16 a.m.

    Bob, agree.  I dont care about the results of youth matches.  However it concerns me with a team that has the title of national team, at any level, is not competitive.  Thats my concern.  Not so much with the kids at this age but those who are scouting them.

  28. frank schoon replied, August 27, 2018 at 9:21 a.m.

    RW, that is a good point about not being competitive, after all it is a National team that represents the best players we have.  We have to measure somehow where we are at as compared to our competitors. But that is about as far as I will go for the bottom line from than on is to develop them to a better level than our competitors...

  29. Bob Ashpole replied, August 27, 2018 at 10:37 p.m.

    I think it is a lot more instructive to look at the 1v1 matchups across the field. Who is better than their opponent. Who is effective 1v1. Who is uneffective. I should think that effective 1v1 play ought to be the first thing looked for in scouting field players.

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