Reports continue to suggest that Minnesota United midfielder Miguel Ibarra will get the nod from Jurgen Klinsmann and be called up to the U.S. national team in October.
Ibarra, 24, has impressed for North American Soccer League (NASL) outfit Minnesota United over the past three seasons and rumors are strong that the California native will be called up to the USMNT camp ahead of the October friendlies.
ProSoccerTalk spoke to U.S. Soccer about the potential call up and all they could confirm was that a “preliminary roster release went out last week and that the final roster is expected to be finalized on Sunday” for the friendlies against Ecuador on Oct. 10 in Hartford and Oct. 14 in Boca Raton against Honduras.
If Ibarra is called up, it would mark the first active player from North America’s second-tier to be called into the U.S. national team since the league relaunched in 2011. It would certainly come as a surprise but with Klinsmann showing in previous squads — especially the roster for the USMNT’s last friendly against the Czech Republic on Sept. 3 — that he’s willing to cast the net far and wide to find the best talent, giving Ibarra a shot to show what he’s made of certainly isn’t out of the question.
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The U.S. have called up young players from Europe, Mexico and even collegiate soccer in the case of Jordan Morris, as the road to the 2018 World Cup continues with Klinsmann keen to not miss out on giving any player a chance. With speculation continuing about Ibarra, Minnesota United have released the following statement.
“We are aware of the speculation regarding the possibility of Midfielder Miguel Ibarra being called up for the U.S. Men’s National Team training camp in October.Although we have not seen a finalized list of players being called up and we don’t know if he will ultimately end up on such a list, we are not surprised that a young and talented player like Miguel Ibarra has drawn the attention of the U.S. Men’s coaching staff.We are extremely proud of how Miguel has developed as a player and a person over the last several years here in Minnesota.”
Ibarra scored and assisted in Minnesota’s 3-2 victory over Ottawa last weekend and this season he has eight goals and six assists in 21 games for the Loons. The University of California, Irvine graduate was picked up in the 2012 MLS supplemental draft by the Portland Timbers but wasn’t signed and then landed with Manny Lagos’ men in Minneapolis. The speedy winger who can play across the attacking positions is an intriguing player who Klinsmann has obviously been keeping tabs on for quite some time.
We will have to wait and see if Ibarra has made Klinsmann’s latest squad but if he does, it will send out a huge message to the U.S. soccer community that the standard of play in the NASL is continuing to get stronger and it will be a massive feather in the cap for Minnesota United in the future recruitment of potential players.