It might seem wild at first, the idea of the United States men’s national team’s player pool rankings changing within a fortnight.
But these are the periods where players make their most personal impact on a coaching staff (and a fan base to boot).
When that period also happens to include the USMNT’s first two matches in nearly a year and a bevy of debutants, well, that’s seals the chances of a volatile list of the Top 25 players in the pool.
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The gap between 1 and 2 somehow feels closer, which is pretty absurd given the skills, record, and attributes of Christian Pulisic. Weston McKennie’s very powerful job in the center of the pitch is dancing through our minds.
Giovanni Reyna looked very much a kid who just turned 18 but still plenty good, while Reggie Cannon and Antonee Robinson might’ve swapped spheres of potential influence.
Rough days for Matt Miazga and to a lesser extent Tim Ream have absence making the heart grow fonder for two MLS veterans, while limited minutes for Chris Richards and no minutes for backup backstop Ethan Horvath left us wondering Berhalter’s opinion on the pair.
There’s now a glut of forwards to consider with braces for Nicholas Gioacchini and Sebastian Soto, and how do they fit when Josh Sargent and Berhalter favorite Gyasi Zardes are available. Timothy Weah getting two sub roles and passed over in the Starting XI versus Wales for midfielder Sebastian Lletget as a false nine is another big question.
Before we go any further, here’s a reminder of how we sort the talent with some ground rules:
- The ranking is meant to illustrate who would be most likely to positively affect a USMNT match, regardless of manager or teammates, right now.
- Health doesn’t matter to our rankings if a current injury isn’t one that could drastically alter the player’s skill set moving forward.
- Age/potential/experience doesn’t matter either, at least not much; It’s how likely you are to contribute to the team if put on the field right now. Obviously Konrad de la Fuente is a better long-term prospect than Gyasi Zardes, but the Columbus Crew forward is currently better prepared for the stage than the Barcelona youth.
- Finally, if you’re breaking a tie between players… ask which you’d be more upset to hear was unavailable for a USMNT camp.
Top 25 USMNT players – November 2020 – post-Wales and Panama friendlies (previous ranking)
- Christian Pulisic, Chelsea (1)
- Weston McKennie, Juventus on loan from Schalke (2) — The message-sending, coulda-been red card tackle against Panama was not smart yet still effective.
- Tyler Adams, RB Leipzig (3) — If he can be the lone mid in front of the back four, they are in business.
- John Brooks, Wolfsburg (4) — There’s a gulf between him and CB No. 2
- Sergino Dest, Barcelona (6) — What a wizard.
- Giovanni Reyna, Borussia Dortmund (5)
- Reggie Cannon, Boavista (10) — Swapping outlooks with Robinson.
- Josh Sargent, Werder Bremen (9)
- Yunus Musah, Valencia (18) — Imagine him and McKennie allowing Pulisic and Reyna to be wings. Eye-heart emoji (though England still feels first in line for his services — see video above).
- Jordan Morris, Seattle Sounders (8)
- Walker Zimmerman, Nashville SC (13) — No one gained more from Miazga’s wobbles.
- Zack Steffen, Manchester City (11)
- Timothy Weah, Lille (12) — Dropped one spot but feels like it could be a start of a slide.
- Nicholas Gioacchini, Caen (NR) — First-class poaching versus Panama.
- Gyasi Zardes, Columbus Crew (19)
- Antonee Robinson, Fulham (7) — Hasn’t looked right in a U.S. shirt compared to how well he’s played for his clubs.
- Matt Miazga, Anderlecht on loan from Chelsea (15) — A rough week in his own half, but good in the final third.
- Sebastian Lletget, LA Galaxy (21)
- Richy Ledezma, PSV Eindhoven (L5) — Can’t wait to see him and Llanez after some more real senior minutes with their clubs.
- Julian Green, Greuther Furth (17) — Unfortunately needs to be in the shirt for us to move him up and that’s not really his fault.
- Ulysses Llanez, Heerenveen on loan from Wolfsburg (NR)
- Aaron Long, New York Red Bulls (22) — Benefits from Miazga struggles.
- Chris Richards, Bayern Munich (25) — January loan? Minutes are needed higher than Bayern II.
- Sebastian Soto, Telstar on loan from Norwich City (NR)
- Tim Ream, Fulham (23)
Last five out: Ethan Horvath, Club Brugge (16); Mark McKenzie, Philadelphia Union (24); Brenden Aaronson, Philadelphia Union (20); Johnny Cardoso, Internacional (NR); Alfredo Morales, Fortuna Dusseldorf (14).
Dropped out from last ranking: Konrad de la Fuente, Barcelona (L5); Cristian Roldan, Seattle Sounders (L5); Tyler Boyd, Besiktas (L5)