MLS Analyst Matthew Doyle recently wrote an article on MLSsoccer.com outlining the depth at each position for the United States Men’s National Team moving forward.
Three Quakes made his list – Nick Lima, Jackson Yueill and Tommy Thompson – as either first-choice guys or ‘waiting in the wings’.
The parts pertaining to San Jose’s players can be read below. The full article can be read here.
- DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle United)
- Tyler Adams (New York Red Bulls)
- Matt Polster (Chicago Fire)
- Shaq Moore (Levante)
- Nick Lima (San Jose Earthquakes)
Adams might end up being a central midfielder instead, but for now I've got him here since he checks every box necessary to be an elite fullback, but isn't quite there (his first touch in traffic is wanting) to be an elite midfielder.
Polster proved to be a playmaker as a right back this year, and he competes like hell. The 21-year-old Moore is just starting to get meaningful minutes with Levante – it remains to be seen, of course, if that ends up being significant long-term. But if he keeps getting on the field for a La Liga team, he should certainly get on the field from time to time for the US.
Lima was very promising before an injury ended his season.
As with the list of left backs, many of these guys can/do play as wingbacks should the US end up going in a 3-5-2/5-3-2/5-4-1 direction in the future.
Waiting in the wings: Reggie Cannon (FC Dallas), Matthew Olosunde (Manchester United U-23s)
- Weston McKennie (Schalke 04)
- Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy)
- Marky Delgado (Toronto FC)
- Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders)
- Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas)
- Alejandro Bedoya (Philadelphia Union)
- Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers)
You could take the guys in slot Nos. 2-thru-5 and arrange them any way you like (and you could certainly list Lletget at other positions), and you'd have a good argument. I just went with my personal preference based upon what I've seen over the last couple of years.
Regardless, they're all, at this point, playing to win the job as McKennie's back-up:
Maybe that changes as one or another finds a new level, or as McKennie turns into more of a true No. 6. But for now, these are the 8s.
Bedoya gets his spot here for the same reason Guzan, Besler and Bradley have held onto theirs.
Waiting in the wings: Tommy Thompson (San Jose Earthquakes) turned into a real two-way player this year, at home both as a wingback and a central midfielder. He needs to win a starting job outright this season, though.
- Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund)
- Kelyn Rowe (New England Revolution)
There just aren't a lot of domestic No. 10s that get playing time, either at home or abroad.
Pulisic is much more often used on the wing in Germany, I've got Rowe listed here even though he's rarely played as a 10 through his six-year professional career.
Waiting in the wings: Jackson Yueill (San Jose Earthquakes), Andrew Carleton (Atlanta United), Emerson Hyndman (Bournemouth).
Yueill is much more of a "control the angles of the game and play attackers into space"-type of playmaker – a true midfielder – while Carleton is just a pure, inventive attacker. I'm high on both of them for different reasons.
As for Hyndman, it's not quite make-or-break for him just yet, but he's played all of three minutes across all competitions for the Cherries, and it's not like he's a kid anymore. The soon-to-be 22-year-old needs to go on loan as soon as the transfer window opens in January, and he needs to stay somewhere he can get on the field every week.