There have been plenty of moments along the way which have made us all say: “damn, I can’t believe the U.S. aren’t at the World Cup…”
Another of those moments arrived this week.
On June 4 the final 23-man rosters for all 32 nations who qualified for the 2018 World Cup were announced.
[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ]
Of course, the U.S. men’s national team didn’t submit a squad because, as we all know, they didn’t qualify for the tournament.
But with the USMNT not at a World Cup for the first time since 1986, who would’ve been heading to Russia this summer had Bruce Arena (he would’ve likely stayed on if they had qualified) had the chance to lead the Stars and Stripes?
Below is a projected 23-man squad had the U.S. qualified, taking into account the several players who were mainstays of Arena’s and young emerging talents who seem to have peaked at the right time.
Remember: this is a squad of who I think would have been included in the USA’s 23-man roster under Arena. Not the actual squad I would have selected…
JPW’s projected USA 2018 World Cup squad
DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle United, Premier League)
Geoff Cameron (Stoke City, Championship)
John Brooks (Wolfsburg, Bundesliga)
Tim Ream (Fulham, Premier League)
Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City, MLS)
Omar Gonzalez (Pachuca, Liga MX)
Jorge Villafana (Santos Laguna, Liga MX)
DaMarcus Beasley (Houston Dynamo, MLS)
Michael Bradley (Toronto FC, MLS)
Alejandro Bedoya (Philadelphia Union, MLS)
Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas, MLS)
Paul Arriola (D.C. United, MLS)
Dax McCarty (Chicago Fire, MLS)
Weston McKennie (FC Schalke, Bundesliga)
Darlington Nagbe(Atlanta United, MLS)
Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC, MLS)
Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders, MLS)
Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund, Bundesliga)
Bobby Wood (Hamburg, 2. Bundesliga)
Timothy Weah (Paris Saint-Germain, Ligue 1)