The U.S. men’s national team announced their 28-man squad to play against England and Italy next week as the USMNT close out 2018 in style on the road.
Interim head coach Dave Sarachan didn’t spring many surprises with his roster selections and he has once again given youth a chance to shine against the Three Lions and Azzurri in friendly matches.
There is also the fact that Sarachan has called up 28 players, as the MLS Cup playoffs are still ongoing and seven players selected in his roster are currently still playing in the postseason, so that could impact the players he selects to play.
Below we take a look at the best possible lineup for the USMNT as the young crop aim to impress before a new manager arrives, which will be by the end of December and is widely expected to be current Columbus Crew head coach Gregg Berhalter.
JPW’s best possible USMNT XI v England (3-4-3)
—- Steffen —-
— Carter-Vickers — Miazga — Brooks —
— Yedlin — Adams — McKennie — Robinson —-
— Pulisic — Wood — Weah —
This lineup is a mixture of the players who have fought their way into Sarachan’s squads over the past 12 months, plus the experience of Pulisic, Brooks, Yedlin and Wood add a little experience.
Steffen should get the nod in goal over Guzan and Horvath, although the latter is playing well for Club Brugge. In defense Miazga and Carter-Vickers are struggling for regular minutes on loan from Chelsea and Tottenham respectively, so they need the minutes, while Brooks is playing regularly for Wolfsburg after his injuries. Aaron Long and Walker Zimmerman should see some time, but maybe during the Italy game.
In midfield the duo of Adams and McKennie could be joined by Trapp or Acosta in a more defensive 3-5-2 system, but with Pulisic and Weah pinching inside instead of playing as out-and-out wingers they should have some help centrally. Bobby Wood will provide the focal point up top and his runs in behind England will give the U.S. an outlet, even though his hold-up play isn’t his main strengthen. Setting up in a 4-3-3 will give Wood the support he needs from Pulisic and Weah, who are no doubt the most exciting talents in this squad.