Interim United States men’s national team head coach Anthony Hudson excited fans with an interesting roster selection for the March international window. A mix of usual starters and fringe players has fans eager to see how the team will lineup.
The USMNT have two Concacaf Nations League games to play with a trip to Grenada on March 24 and a home game in Orlando, Florida, vs. El Salvador on March 27.
Here’s a reminder of the 24 U.S. players selected for the pair of games.
Our 24-man roster for @CNationsLeague duty
— U.S. Men's National Soccer Team (@USMNT) March 15, 2023
Here's arguably the strongest starting lineup that Hudson could field.
Update: Tim Weah was forced to withdraw from the roster after suffering a head injury in a game. Djordje Mihailovic was brought in as a replacement.
Potential USMNT starting XI for Concacaf Nations League
Let’s discuss the formation and look at each part of the field.
It’s nice to see Zack Steffen back on an USMNT roster after being left home for the World Cup. He still isn’t the No. 1 goalkeeper as Matt Turner holds that role. It wouldn’t be shocking if Hudson decides to do some rotation in goal with two different starters between the sticks for the Nations League games.
Tim Ream is arguably one of the most in-form center backs on the planet right now and should be a guaranteed starter. With Tyler Adams out injured Ream could wear the captain’s armband for the U.S.
Antonee Robinson has become irreplaceable at left back for the Stars and Stripes. He and Ream create a formidable partnership in defense which has paid dividends for Fulham and the U.S. Robinson is also the only true left back on the roster.
Miles Robinson is the only player from Major League Soccer on the 24-man roster. Robinson was a usual starter for the national team before his Achilles injury in May 2022 that saw him miss the World Cup. Some fans were disappointed not to see Cameron Carter-Vickers or Chris Richards in the squad, but Robinson is a top choice too. This could be his first USMNT appearance since March 31, 2022.
Joe Scally rounds out the backline. The 20-year-old has been great for Gladbach this season and deserves the start for the USMNT. Sergiño Dest has completely fallen out of favor at AC Milan and hasn’t played in a game since Jan. 24.
Weston McKennie will fill in at defensive midfield for Adams who is out with a hamstring injury. McKennie has transitioned to a more defensive role with Leeds United. The other option for defensive midfielder is Johnny Cardoso.
Luca de la Torre and Yunus Musah make up the rest of the midfield. De la Torre has broken into the starting XI for Celta Vigo and has been putting in quality performances. The same can’t be said for Brenden Aaronson who has been struggling with Leeds United recently.
Christian Pulisic is an obvious starter. Tim Weah was going to get the starting spot at right wing over Taylor Booth, Gio Reyna and new USMNT addition Alejandro Zendejas. Weah's head injury rules him out so Gio will take his spot. Booth could make his international debut as the 21-year-old has excelled with FC Utrecht and its rumored he could land a big transfer this summer.
The two options at striker for the USMNT are Daryl Dike and Ricardo Pepi. Both are solid options at the No. 9 as Dike has four goals in his last five games for West Brom and Pepi has two in his last four.
Dike returns to the national team after injuries ruined his last season and a poor 2021 Gold Cup saw him fall out of Berhalter’s favor. Dike’s last appearance for the USMNT was on July 30, 2021.