Jurgen Klinsmann released the U.S. men’s national team 28-man roster for January camp, and it included a mix of fresh and familiar faces.
USMNT players such as Jermaine Jones and Matt Besler were given the call-up, as well as first-time youngsters like LA Galaxy defender Oscar Sorto and Club Leon’s Dennis Flores.
[RELATED: Klinsmann calls in 28 men for January camp]
Friendlies against Chile on Jan.28 and Panama on Feb. 8 will feature this squad, one that is definitely designed to give Klinsmann a closer look at some of the U.S. youth available.
Some of these kids have little or no experience performing in their club’s first-team squad. The United States boss will certainly take that into consideration when observing training and these two matches.
Nonetheless, it’s possible that we see a few of those names in the 2018 World Cup roster and past that date in the next decade or so.
So, who’s the most likely to succeed out of the young guns included, aged 22 and under?
1. Wil Trapp — Columbus Crew (MLS)
Starting in the Columbus Crew squad this year and proving to be an impact player for Gregg Berhalter’s side, Wil Trapp has one of the brightest futures out of the young Americans. He commands the center of the pitch as a holding midfielder with smart touches, controlled passing and a decision-making ability that exudes his maturity. If Trapp keeps up his level of play, which Thierry Henry highly praised earlier this season, a move overseas to develop his skills further could be in order, presenting an elevated brand of physicality and pace for Trapp to face.
2. Luis Gil — Real Salt Lake (MLS)
Luis Gil is no stranger to MLS and has already notched an USMNT senior side call-up, last February in a friendly vs. South Korea. What makes the California-native so intriguing is the amount of time during which he’s actually played professional soccer: a total of 129 appearances since he made his debut as a 16-year-old in Real Salt Lake’s CONCACAF Champions League match against Cruz Azul in October 2010. He’s been a regular in RSL’s lineup from 2011 to now, and while his raw ability was obvious from day one, his feel for the pitch and attacking tactfulness continues to improve.
3. Marc Pelosi –Liverpool (Premier League, U-21’s)
A broken leg suffered in February 2013 took Marc Pelosi out of action for a 14-month span, so it’s a bit difficult to gauge where he’s stands in terms of his development. However, we know the 21-year-old’s ability to play as a back, central midfielder or winger have rightfully display his versatility. When trying to outline his strengths using current Liverpool footballers, MLSsoccer.com stated that Pelosi can “behave like Gerrard in central midfield or terrorize from the wing like Lallana”. If he were to play in MLS, viewers would likely notice performances beyond his years, similar to Trapp and Gil.
These three players taken into account are only those included in the most recent national team roster; Julian Green and Gedion Zelalem would certainly be listed otherwise.