USMNT 5 Young Players to Watch in 2016
January training camp is officially underway, as the USMNT gear up for high profile friendlies with Iceland and Canada, ahead of Olympic qualifying in March. Coach Jurgen Klinsmann has taken a noticeably different approach with his current 23-man roster, noticeably omitting several long time National Team veterans to clear way for promising young talent.
Average player age of January’s camp is just 24 years old. Some of these players will be taking to the national stage for the first time, hoping to prove themselves and earn a permanent slot on the first team. As we look to build the future of US Soccer, these five rising stars will be the ones to watch.
- Jordan Morris (21): If there is one player everyone has been buzzing about it’d be Jordan Morris. The native Seattlite made a name for himself playing for Stanford University where he lead the team to their 2015 NCAA Championship, and was awarded the MAC Hermann Trophy as top collegiate player in 2015. Looking to the future Morris announced last week he will forego his senior year with Stanford to pursue his professional playing career, part of which will include National Team duty with the U.S.
- Wil Trapp (22): It’s no secret that in recent matches the USMNT has lacked control in the midfield. Veterans who once commanded their positions have begun to slip, opening up serious gaps in coverage and slowing down offensive progression. Klinsmann hopes homegrown Columbus Crew midfielder Wil Trapp might be the man to fill a few of the holes. Trapp was hugely impressive during crucial MLS playoff matches with CCSC and, provided he remains healthy through the New Year, will only continue to in his position as he gathers more professional competitive experience.
- Matt Miazga (20): 2015 has been an incredible year for Matt Miazga. Not only did he earn the starting centerback position on a stacked Red Bulls team, he has also found himself as an anchor for the U-23 defense during Olympic Qualifying. It is no wonder Miazga was named 2015 U.S. Young Male Player of the Year. At just 20 years old, Miazga is just barely breaking into his professional playing career, and there is no doubt Miazga will soon be a household name sooner rather than later.
- Tim Parker (22): This will be Tim Parker’s first even U.S. call up, and he certainly earned it. Parker was a standout in a defensive line that finished the MLS regular season tied for best defensive record. At 6’2, Parker is a serious presence on the back line. And for a U.S. team that has shown weakness in their back four, Parker has the opportunity to showcase his talent on the biggest stage of his professional career thus far.
- Brandon Vincent (21): Due to unfortunate injuries and unusual circumstances Brandon Vincent found himself receiving an unexpected phone call. Traditionally players who have not proven themselves on a professional stage do not earn the right to a national team call up, Vincent will be the exception. There has been a great deal of controversy regarding Klinsmann's radical decision, but the need for the team to find a consistent full back outweighs the need for Vincent to hand over an extended resume'. Perhaps its a shot in the dark, but Vincent could be just what the doctor ordered.
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