Erik Palmer-Brown

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Five USMNT players to watch in club adventures

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The next level is within reach for these five Americans abroad, whether it’s a step to stardom or just a move toward finding a new permanent home.

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  1. Andriya Novakovich, Fortuna Sittard — He’s re-signed with Reading, but the Football League Championship side isn’t ready to hand him the keys to a big role (or lose him before he reaches peak value). The Wisconsin-born 21-year-old with two USMNT caps will attempt to bring his prolific Dutch second division season (19 goals for Telstar) to Eredivisie with promoted club Fortuna Sittard.
  2. Erik Palmer-Brown, NAC Breda — The 21-year-old center back has taken baby steps in Europe, but defending in the prolific Eredivisie (on loan from Manchester City) is a tall ask. While Matt Miazga’s proven he could handle the load, EPB will look to do the same.
  3. Tim Weah, Paris Saint-Germain — This one’s rather obvious, but we’re not watching to see whether the fiery young striker is quality. Rather, what would it say if the 18-year-old can get significant playing time with a Champions League mainstay?
  4. Julian Green, Greuther Furth — Last season’s loan to Furth was enough to make the 2.Bundesliga club want to buy the former Bayern Munich man from Stuttgart. Green is now 23, four years removed from his World Cup goal against Belgium but mere months from his friendly goal against France. Is the next step now?
  5. Emerson Hyndman, Bournemouth — The 22-year-old’s former club, Fulham, is now in the Premier League, and Hyndman sure is hoping to face them. He spent all of 2017-18 with the Cherries but only found the pitch in the final match, a year after making an impact on loan to Rangers. He may be set for another loan, but needs to break through wherever he ends up (and if he gets playing time, he’s a good bet for it. Smart player).

Eight years on: Who starts for the USMNT at 2026 World Cup?

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Imagine the year is 2026. The U.S. Men’s National Team is in the World Cup final. This is all hypothetical of course. But, who starts?

[ MORE: How 2026 World Cup was won by the United Bid ]

Wednesday’s vote to hand the United bid (Canada, Mexico and the United States) the World Cup has those in North America jubilant.

It may not take the sting out of the USMNT’s failure to reach Russia this summer, but it does give those that support the Stars and Stripes hope for the future.

Pro Soccer Talk takes a quick look at who could potentially start for the U.S. in 2026, with a number of bright, young stars aligning for the Yanks.


SQUAD BREAKDOWN

Zack Steffen has quickly become one of the top goalkeepers in Major League Soccer at the age of 23, and there’s no reason to believe he won’t have moved on to a top-tier European side by 2026. He could face some competition from other youngsters like Ethan Horvath or Jonathan Klinsmann, but things are shaping up for him to be the starter in net for many years to come.

Defensively, this is going to be a very strong unit, not to mention athletic. Matt Miazga and Erik Palmer-Brown could form a partnership for the next decade in the center of defense between the former’s size and the latter’s pace. Out wide, a pair of players playing in England and Spain, respectively, with Antonee Robinson and Shaq Moore will give the Americans two quality two-way players that can both defend and help in the attack.

It’s weird to think about life after Michael Bradley, but the U.S. has two studs in the midfield that will quickly change the perception of the nation. Tyler Adams and Weston McKennie will hold down the fort in front of the back four, with Adams being the wildcard because he simply doesn’t stop running. Ever.

Christian Pulisic will have already gone to Real Madrid and Barcelona and become a Champions League winner by this point. (Yes, maybe a bit too lofty on the expectations, but this is my dream.) Anyway, he’s a given. Andrew Carleton hasn’t gotten consistent time with Atlanta just yet due to the club’s massive amounts of attacking talent, but he’ll likely be in Europe as well by 2026. Then, PSG star Tim Weah will have the long-departed Neymar’s role of breaking down back lines and scoring 30 goals a year in Ligue 1.

Last, but not least, Josh Sargent will become the new Clint Dempsey/Jozy Altidore/Brian McBride hybrid that the U.S. has desperately needed up top. He’s fast. He’s strong. Dare we say, he’s used Werder Bremen as a stepping stone to Bayern Munich? Why not? He has star potential written all over him.

USMNT Projected XI 2026/Matt Reed

How might the USMNT line up versus France?

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When we last saw the United States men’s national team, they looked very much like a side that hadn’t played together much.

A surprising first half lead very much against the run of play yielded to the Republic of Ireland’s control and a 2-1 loss.

[ PREVIEW: France vs. USMNT ]

While Dave Sarachan might’ve been tempted to tear up his lineup card and never look back, he won’t be well-served throwing something unorthodox at the wall and hoping it sticks.

That’s because France, in its send-off match, carrying the badge of World Cup contender? Yeah, that’s a tough ask.

Here’s how the guys looked to open Saturday’s loss at the Aviva Stadium:

Hamid

— Yedlin — Miazga — Carter-Vickers — Villafana —

— Trapp —

— Weah — Adams — McKennie — Rubin —

— Wood —

It’s not going to be exactly the same in Lyon. Hamid was rusty, and the USMNT didn’t take Zack Steffen away from Columbus for a couple weeks to plant him on the bench.

Plus, Cameron Carter-Vickers struggled and there are a few guys who, frankly, are probably in line for minutes.

We’ll provide two XIs: one with minimal changes, and another that’s nearly wholesale. What Sarachan tries is anyone’s guess.

Minimal change XI

Steffen

— Yedlin — Miazga — Parker — Lichaj —

— Trapp —

— Weah — Adams — McKennie — Rubin —

— Wood —


All changes XI

Steffen

— Moore — Parker — Palmer-Brown — Robinson —

— Parks —

 — De La Torre — Corona — Green —

— Novakovich — Sargent —


A nice mix of changes XI

Steffen

— Yedlin — Miazga — Parker — Lichaj —

— Trapp — Parks —

— Weah — Adams — Green —

— Sargent —

Three items of USMNT interest

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The United States men’s national team begins a fortnight of friendlies with Monday’s 6:30 p.m. ET kickoff against Bolivia in Chester, Penn.

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Even under the tutelage of an interim manager — Dave Sarachan has yet to lose since taking the reins from Bruce Arena — these young Yanks can make statements as the USMNT looks to the 2019 Gold Cup and hopefully the 2021 Confederations Cup.

Here’s what to keep an eye on:

Bono, Hamid, or Horvath?

While Sarachan may not be around for the long-term, goalkeeping coach Matt Reis has a good chance of staying on the staff. Even if he doesn’t, the GK usage against Bolivia, Ireland, and France will say something about the unit.

The fact that Sarachan pulled Alex Bono away from Toronto FC in the middle of MLS season bodes well for his chances to see significant playing time. Bill Hamid (Midtjylland) and Ethan Horvath (Club Brugge) are terrific talents and will be going all out to earn the top spot.

The next of the uncapped gems

Eyes are understandably on Josh Sargent, but he and Bono are joined by five other uncapped players.

Most of the names have danced through the prospect radar for some time, some more than others.

Centerbacks Erik Palmer-Brown (Manchester City) and Matthew Olosunde (Manchester United) seems unlikely to get a ton of time, especially given Sarachan seems to lose track of who’s been capped and who hasn’t as the moments tick away in these friendlies.

Antonee Robinson, 20, is Everton property and behind Jorge Villafana and Eric Lichaj on the depth chart, though he should see a chance to show as the side’s left back of the future at some point.

Midfielders Keaton Parks (Benfica) and Alejandro Guido (Tijuana) are lesser known entities, and those are always intriguing for USMNT fanatics. Will these two trend toward the national team paths of Emerson Hyndman or Darlington Nagbe?

The Pulisic progress report

There’s little doubt about Christian Pulisic, but he’s officially been handed the keys to the USMNT kingdom. After an exhausting season with Borussia Dortmund and free from the shackles of most of his teammates from the World Cup qualifying failure, how will he fare with all the eyes, arms, and legs of Bolivia, Ireland, and — most interestingly — France taking aim at him.

Report: PSV likely to land Man City, USMNT’s Palmer-Brown on loan

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A number of well-known American players have completed moves to Europe over the years, and a former Sporting KC defender is about to embark on his own journey abroad.

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U.S. youth national team centerback Erik Palmer-Brown is headed to Premier League side Manchester City, who currently leads the English top flight, after signing a pre-contract with the club back in September.

It is now believed though that the young player will go on loan once he arrives with the English side.

Metro is reporting is that Palmer-Brown is likely to complete a move to Dutch Eredivisie club PSV Eindhoven on loan.

Palmer-Brown helped the U.S. Under-20 national team reach the quarterfinals at this year’s U-20 World Cup in South Korea, after previously representing several other U.S. youth national teams.