Breakfast with the American's, but World Cup. Team USA releases 26 man roster, plus Group B preview.
Who's back of the month? The World Cup, and as American's, it's been a minute since we could celebrate this tournament on the Men's front. 8 years to be exact. It was 2014 when the USMNT was making their way down to Brazil. Jürgen Klinsmann was the coach. Clint Dempsey was America's hero. We had watch parties as high school was ending. Everyone was wearing red, white, and blue. There was a buzz in the air.
Coming in as the 4th seed, they got the job done in the group state. John Brooks won it at the 86th minute against Ghana. Jermaine Jones and Clint Dempsey held that tie against Ronaldo's Portugal. They fell to Germany and then later Belgium in extra time. Tim Howard made a World Cup record with 15 saves, but it wasn't enough. Team USA overperformed, but they made some noise.
Things were looking great, until they didn't.
Last place finishes, no tournament wins at the Gold and Confederation Cup's, Bruce Arena came back into the mix as head coach, and then the let down of the century was failing to qualify for the World Cup in 2018. They lost to Trinidad and Tobago, an island with the population of just over 1 million. It was embarrassing.
Fast forward to now, and it's a whole new identity for the team. No more Dempsey, Howard, nor Altidore, Zusi, and Bradley. The only return member of the squad is defender DeAndre Yeldin, who know plays for Inter-Miami in the MLS. The average age of this team is now 25 years and 175 days, one of the youngest rosters in the World Cup.
That's all behind The Stars and Stripes. With the World Cup starting later this month, it's time to preview one of USA's youngest World Cup teams ever.
It's a new generation of players lead by Captain America himself, Christian Pulisic. The 24 year old forward is the leader of the pack, and the core member that will turn around the National Team's hopes. His notability comes from playing for Chelsea, but in the qualifying matches earlier this year, Pulisic had five goals including a hat trick against Panama.
He's not the only young star that will shine for USMNT. Midfielders Weston McKennie (Juventus), Tyler Adams (Leeds), and Brenden Aaronson (Leeds), all will be turned to for offensive production. The young trio is all 24 years old and under.
The team will also draw from futbol pedigree, with several players being sons of star players. Gio Reyna (Borussia Dortmund) is the son of two U.S. soccer standouts, former USMNT captain Claudio Reyna and six-time USWNT starter Danielle Egan. Timothy Weah (Lille) is the son of George Weah, one of the greatest African soccer players of all time who has since become Liberia's president.
Goalkeepers: Ethan Horvath, Sean Johnson, Matt Turner
Defenders: Cameron Carter-Vickers, Sergiño Dest, Aaron Long, Shaq Moore, Tim Ream, Antonee Robinson, Joe Scally, DeAndre Yedlin, Walker Zimmerman
Midfielders: Brenden Aaronson, Kellyn Acosta, Tyler Adams, Luca de la Torre, Weston McKennie, Yunus Musah, Cristian Roldan
Forwards: Jesús Ferreira, Jordan Morris, Christian Pulisic, Gio Reyna, Josh Sargent, Tim Weah, Haji Wright
Group B Preview
The first match comes on November 21st, where they will take on Wales. The premiere matchup is on Black Friday (November 25th), where it's a revolutionary rematch verse England. Then the group stage closes out on November 29th vs. Iran.
Some labeling “Group of Death”, there is two or three good soccer teams destined to not back the Round of 16.
If USA can defeat Wales (led by LAFC's Gareth Bale) off the gate, then they look decent to move out of the Group Stage. Harry Kane's Three Lions team of England is the team that's heavily favored to win the group. You upset them, you're golden. Then there is Iran, who is at the bottom of the ranking and the table, they can't let a slipup happen in that match.
Hopefully Team USA can generate a spark this World Cup. This young team can make major leaps this tournament, and we're excited to tune it.
Oh, by the way, "It's Called Soccer"...