USMNT coach: MLS players left out with playoffs in mind
Sebastian Lletget is the only player from Major League Soccer that was included in the 24-player roster for this month’s international fixtures.
For the November camp, the United States men’s national team coach Gregg Berhalter named a 24-player roster for the exhibition matches against Wales (12 November) and Panama (16 November) for the last international break of the year.
In this roster, Berhalter only included one player from Major League Soccer, Sebastian Lletget from Los Angeles Galaxy, because the rest of the league’s players considered for the national team are getting ready to participate in the playoffs.
“The important distinction is that we purposely didn’t call MLS players in because we didn’t want to jeopardize their eligibility for the playoffs. I think this is an important distinction that we need to talk about. It’s another example of the United States Soccer Federation working with MLS to benefit the clubs,” said Berhalter during a press conference.
“I think that is important, because other countries aren’t necessarily doing that and to be honest, they’re not obligated to do that. They can call their players in and we opted not to call their players in because we didn’t want to jeopardize the playoffs.”
How the new faces will fit together
For this camp there are 10 players that could make their debut with the United States national team. Gio Reyna from Borussia Dortmund is one of them and coach Berhalter talked about how he can fit in with Weston McKennie, Tyler Adams and Christian Pulisic.
“When you look at the skill sets of all four of those players, they’re extremely different. I think because of that, they fit extremely well together. When you look at Tyler, you have a controlling midfielder with a lot of range, can easily play the No. 6 position, can give you that cover in transition, but also can give you the mobility to make good plays defensively and put pressure on the opponent,” answered Berhlater.
“When you look at Weston, he’s a box-to-box midfielder who likes to arrive in the penalty box. He’s strong in tackling, but has that extra offensive edge to him. Then you look at Christian who is a 1v1 phenomenon. He’s a guy that can put players on their back heels very easily, and then Gio is a different type of attacking player. I think he’s more of a straight-line player, a guy who can arrive in the penalty box and give a final pass or final cross.”