The USMNT begin a crucial series of games in late January, the first three of their final six for 2022 World Cup Qualifying. They currently stand in second place, however the gap between first and fourth is only two points as we head towards the final six games of qualifying. Every point will be critical from here out and while the opponents are not strong, there will be challenges ahead. The USMNT 2022 qualifying window starting in January could ease pressure or increase it on this young side.
Gregg Berhalter has relied on some domestic players in key roles including Pepi as a striker, Kellyn Acosta centrally and our centerbacks of Walker Zimmerman and Miles Robinson. He’s used Matt Turner during the qualifying campaign and Lletget and Roldan off the bench centrally or on the wing.
MLS season completed and it’ll be a long gap before their competitive matches begin again. This can certainly impact fitness, but also sharpness especially in front of goal or on the backline under pressure from opposion. The USMNT has shown strong defensive chops, but not shown a goal scoring prowess under Gregg nor been with out a mistake or two in the previous windows that have cost critical points.
Many of the other CONCACAF competition rely on MLS or a similar schedule structure domestically and will be impacted. However, several of these smaller nations will likely take a park the bus tactics approach against the strong US side. There may be fewer goal scoring opportunities ahead. That may lead Berhalter to explore his depth of players who have more competitive matches in December and January. Here are the list of players that Gregg has typically called in or fans have shown interest in exploring for the senior team.
Some of the players below come off the bench, aren’t playing or are recovering from injury. However, the fixtures, covid and recovery from injuries may open the doors for them to be considered by club and country.