This is something I've been wondering about for a while. While national team duties can get in the way of club responsibilities, I'd love to see a Union player suit up for the USMNT one of these days. It's made me wonder who the most likely candidate would be to represent the Union. With a Gold Cup coming up where Klinnsmann is likely to pick a B-team (not to mention Camp Cupcake), I'm optimistic about our chances for the Navy and Gold in the Red White and Blue.
I imagine these are the potential candidates:
Amobi Okugo: I think with Okugo, the biggest question is whether he leaves before he represents the USMNT. Center mid is going to be tough for Okugo to crack in the short to mid term, but his flexibility at playing CB (among the weaker positions at the moment), might earn him a look. Klinnsmann seems to like converted midfielders there as well.
Jack McInerney: While McInerney might have been a bit more wasteful this season than we would have liked, his performance was nothing short of exceptional given his age. That said, he's neither exceptionally fast, nor technical nor all that large. All of those probably work against his chances to get a call up, as does the relative youth of some of the players who already make up the striking corps (Altidore, Boyd). I could see him staying in MLS for a while though, and it would surprise me if he didn't get a chance at least during a camp cupcake during the next World Cup cycle.
Conor Casey: He's played for the USMNT before, but he's unfortunately past his prime. If he rebounds well from injury and Klinnsmann wants a veteran striker at the Gold Cup then maybe he has an outside shot. Even then I think it's unlikely.
Brian Carroll: A great MLS player who I could see getting a B-team call up. The D-mid situation for the US is stable enough that Klinnsmann doesn't need to worry too much about testing out young players there, and Carroll could be a very useful veteran presence on a Gold Cup squad. I
Michael Farfan: He's a talented player, probably playing the wrong position to warrant all that much attention at the moment. He'd have to vault over at least a couple of Klinnsmann favorites to have a shot any time soon. I'd be surprised if he never got a chance, but it may be after he is sold to Europe somewhere.
Gabriel Farfan: The fact that he's not a natural left back may hurt his case of getting a look, but fullback is both a fairly shallow position and Klinnsmann seems to prefer attacking options there (so much that he once started Torres at fullback). His versatility should also be seen as a big plus, as coaches like to have versatile players to fill out their roster. That said, I can imagine there are a few MLS fullbacks ahead of him in the pecking order.
Sheanon Williams: Williams would have had a stronger season this year if not for injury, but he seems to be exactly the type of attacking fullback that Klinnsmann would like. For the U-23s, it seemed Sarkodie was ahead of him, and Sarkodie also recently completed an impressive showing in the playoffs. Part of that might have been due to Porter's familiarity with the former Akron product, so for all we know, Klinnsmann rates Williams higher.
Zac MacMath: Zac has a lot of potential, but he probably falls below both Sean Johnson and Bill Hamid in the young goalkeeper pool (in Klinnsmann's estimation). Howard and Guzan are pretty much the default 1 & 2 options for the United States.
Raymon Gaddis: He has potential, but is too far away, at least for a while.
Zach Pfeffer: Pfeffer has a lot of potential, and it wouldn't surprise me if he ended up playing for the USMNT one day. Considering his recent loan to Hoffenheim, unless it's a U-20 or U-23 competition, it's unlikely that Pfeffer will represent the USMNT as a Union member.
Freddy Adu: He might make it back in to the USMNT picture one day, but it's unlikely that he'll do that while he's still with the Union.
19 votes total