Note: This is Part 3 of a look at the potential future of the U.S. Men’s National Team. In August, I took a guess (Part 1 & Part 2) at who might be the future of the U.S. Men’s National Team. During the international break last week, they actually fielded a team, and while some of the players I profiled in August made the cut – DeAndre Yedlin and Tim Weah were perhaps the biggest names – there were 13! players that made the club that played friendlies against Brazil and Mexico earlier this week. This is a quick look at why I might have missed those 13 players and where they are currently playing professional football.
Alex Bono – Toronto FC (Major League Soccer (USA)) – Bono was actually the fourth keeper on my list before I pared it down to three, so it was nice to see him on the roster for this week’s friendlies. He has been the first team goalkeeper for Toronto FC for the bulk of this season, with 26 total appearances in net for the club, where he has a total of 5 clean sheets. He did make an appearance this week in either game, and only has one senior club appearance with the USMNT, a 3-0 clean sheet in a friendly against Bolivia in May of this year.
Eric Lichaj – Hull City (Championship (England)) – I did not include Lichaj in my initial list because he was a bit older (29) than all the other players and I was trying to keep my list to players that may be with the club when the United States hosts the World Cup in 2026. He started his professional career in England with Aston Villa, making 32 appearances – and scoring 1 goal – between 2007 and 2013. He moved to Nottingham Forrest in 2013, where he played much more regularly, leading to his current contract with Hull City, where he has been in the starting line up in all six matches this season. He has 16 total caps with the USMNT and looks to have finally made the rotation after some other players aged out. How long his tenure lasts remains to be seen.
Aaron Long – New York Red Bulls (MLS) – Aaron Long made his senior debut with New York Red Bulls in August 2016, and has appeared in 59 matches since, scoring 3 goals. And while he made the roster for these recent USMNT friendlies, he did not get on the pitch, leaving him without and international appearances.
Tim Parker – New York Red Bulls (MLS) – Parker also made the roster this week, but stayed on the bench for both matches. He does, however, have two previous appearances with the USMNT, making his debut against Ireland on June 2, 2018. He’s started his MLS career with the Vancouver Whitecaps in 2015 – after four collegiate seasons at St. John’s University – and was traded to the Red Bulls prior to the beginning of the MLS season. He’s made 28 total appearances for the Red Bulls this season.