The US men’s national team defeated Mexico 2-0 on April 15, leaving major room for bragging rights.
Most people can still see Tim Howard’s heroic effort against Belgium in the 2014 World Cup or Jermaine Jones’ screamer in the 2-2 tie against Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal.
That, however, is in the past and a new group of players are trying to make Coach Jurgen Klinsmann’s team. Tim Howard has taken a one year sabbatical from the US national team.
A new year calls for a new roster. Meet the returning stars and new faces on the US men’s national team.
The Usual Suspects
Klinsmann called up several players from the World Cup Brazil.
Clint Dempsey, the heart and soul of the USMNT, is at the top of the team sheet. “Deuce” has put this team on his back on many occasions, but he missed the friendlies due to a last minute injury.
Next on the list is Michael Bradley. The Toronto FC star has been the anchor of the US’s midfield for years. His international experience is important to keep the team organized and playing well.
Jozy Altidore was the unquestioned star and dunce of the two friendlies. While he managed to find the back of the net in the first match, his childish red card against the Swiss shows a lack of maturity. He needs to be one of “the guys” on this team.
The other World Cup holdovers are DeAndre Yedlin, Nick Rimando, Fabian Johnson, John Brooks, Timmy Chandler, Alejandro Bedoya, Julian Green and Aron Johannsson.
Club America (MEX) defender Ventura Alvarado got his first USMNT cap against the Danes on March 25. He only played ten minutes, but during that time the US defense seemed to fall apart.
The other newcomer is Mexican-born William Yarbrough. The Club Leon (MEX) goalkeeper is a special case for the US. It is normal to see players born in the United States with immigrant parents, it isn’t often you see foreign born players (not including players born on US military bases) that have American parents.
The 26-year-old was born in Aguascalientes, Mexico looked to be in the future plans for the Mexican national team (he’s a dual citizen), but Jurgen Klinsmann beat “el Tri” to the punch.
Yarbrough has always been a bit of an outsider. “People think I’m German, I’m from the US or they think I’m from anywhere but Mexico. The first reaction of everyone is, ‘Oh, you speak Spanish?,'” he told MLSSoccer.com.
With a 6’3″ frame and blonde hair, you can see why they would assume he wasn’t a local.
The goalkeeper has been at his current team Leon since 2012.
He didn’t play a single minute against Denmark, but he got his first cap in the second-half of the draw against Switzerland.
The Rest Of The Guys
The call up is rounded out by guys that have some national team experience.
Goalkeeper: Cody Cropper (Southampton – ENG)
Defenders: Greg Garza (Club Tijuana – MEX), Michael Orozco (Puebla – MEX), Tim Ream (Bolton Wanderers – ENG), Brek Shea (Orlando City SC)
Midfielders: Miguel Ibarra (Minnesota United FC – NASL), Alfredo Morales (Ingolstadt – GER), Danny Williams (Reading – ENG), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)
Forward: Rubio Rubin (Utrecht – NED)
Who To Watch
Aside from the usual suspects, this call was a great opportunity to see what some of these guys have to offer.
DeAndre Yedlin just moved to the Tottenham Hotspur in the English Premier League and has the potential to be a gamebreaker for the “Stars and Stripes.” The 21-year-old’s speed, insane speed, is his biggest asset. He’s a tenacious and relentless defender. His runs up and down the sideline are necessary to create width for the team. He is looking to build on a fantastic World Cup performance.
Rubio Rubin is a 19 year old striker that is on the books at FC Utrecht in the Netherlands. The Beaverton, Oregon native impressed in his first senior appearance for the US on November 14, 2014 against Colombia.
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