How’s this for a kick in the head: It’s getting to the point where more MLS men are being summoned for the Canadian national team than for the United States.
Just look at the latest Canadian gathering, as announced Friday by manager Stephen Hart ahead of his side’s friendly next week against Trinidad and Tobago in Florida.
Included are D.C. United defender Dejan Jakovic, Houston defender Andrew Hainault, Toronto FC defender Doneil Henry, FC Dallas midfielder Julian de Guzman, Vancouver midfielder Russell Teibert, Toronto midfielder Terry Dunfield, Real Salt Lake midfielder Will Johnson and two Montreal midfielders, Evan James and Patrice Bernier.
That’s nine. Now consider for a moment how Major League Soccer players have been gradually disappearing from the U.S. national team scene. (We’re not talking about the January camp now, which is something different, perennially MLS dominated and leaning toward the younger side.)
In 2011, in Bob Bradley’s last year in charge, camps began coming and going with sparse representation. We’ve seen more of the same under Jurgen Klinsmann, a reflection of more MLS talent making the jump overseas sooner in their careers.
It’s quite possible that come Sunday, when Klinsmann announces his roster for next week’s friendly at decidedly unfriendly Estadio Azteca, only three or four MLS men will be part of the plan. John Godfrey, writing for the New York Times Goal blog, reckons that five MLS types will land on the roster.
If Klinsmann calls Brad Guzan rather than Nick Rimando (quite possible, I think) it won’t be that high.
(I’ll have more thoughts on the U.S. roster tomorrow.)