It’s a youth movement.
Today, USMNT head coach Dave Sarachan announced the 22-man roster set to take on Boliva in Chester, PA on 5/28. 22 represents a pretty common number for asquad size, but it still sticks out. The average age of the team is 22 years, too, highlighting the massive injection of youth that fans have been pleading for since the team failed to qualify for the World Cup last fall. Let’s take a look at what this new-look squad means.
If you’re still looking for evidence that a youth movement is in full effect, look no further than the fact that arguably the squad’s most experienced player is 19-year old Christian Pulisic, who leads the team with 20 caps to his name along with midfielder Joe Corona. Fifteen of the players are under the age of 22, and seven of them are looking for their first cap, including Alex Bono, Matthew Olosunde, Erik Palmer-Brown, Antonee Robinson, Alejandro Guido, Keaton Parks and Josh Sargent.
Apart from the age of the fellas, it’s worth noting that their youth represents a fresh start. Pulisic is also the only player to feature regularly in the World Cup qualifying disaster. With the loss in Trinidad still feeling like a fresh wound, it’s important to remember that these players are not responsible for it.
This is a new team. Rather than let the understandable feelings of frustration and anger we all have rub off on a new crop of talent, this is the opportune time to lift these young guys up and show the support they have behind them.
Although some of the player’s names might be new, you’ll notice the roster is stacked with some of the biggest clubs in the world. Players coming through the setup of giants like Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester United, Chelsea, Benfica, Tottenham, Borussia Dortmund and Schalke highlight yet another reason to look toward the future with this team.
Reason for Celebration
This game marks Pulisic’s return to the team for the first time since last October, and a return to his home state. But it also presents an opportunity to present him with his AO member-voted 2017 Player of the Year trophy. We’ll be giving him his honor after the game, so be sure to stick around to show the kid what he means to us all.
Overall, this game presents an opportunity to everyone, on and off the field. Here’s a chance for young, exciting players to get senior team experience. Here’s a chance for them to establish themselves as staples of the setup going into the 2019 Gold Cup, 2020 Olympic qualification and beyond. Here’s a chance for us as fans to be a part of their development and show that we’re behind the players on the field 100 percent.
The future is here. And we’re here for the future.