Three Union players were called up to The US mens national team today. Keegan Rosenberry, Chris Pontius and Alejandro Bedoya will play for the red, white and blue January 29th against Serbia and February 3rd against Jamaica. USMNT January camp begins soon and the Union will be well represented. But how much playing time will the three Union players see in the two friendlies?
Keegan Rosenberry should see some playing time. He is a promising rising player, and someone who Bruce Arena should be looking at for his world cup qualifiers in March. Rosenberry has shut the likes of Kaka, and David Villa in MLS play, and played the most minutes in the 2016 MLS season. In the list of defenders, the only players who have played right back who have more USMNT experience are Brad Evans and Graham Zusi (who is now listed as a defender not a midfielder). I’d expect see Rosenberry play at least 90 minutes over the two friendlies. If he does exceptionally well in camp leading up to the games, then perhaps he can become a starter and lock up a spot for the world cup qualifiers.
Chris Pontius has some strong competition in January camp. Arena is bringing all sorts of new players to the squad. That being said, I think Chris will be able to make the 18 for both friendlies. He is coming off one of his best years in MLS, and if he can build off that in camp then he should be able to be a sub for these friendlies. His ability to cut inside while on the ball to create chances, and his ability to be an aerial threat makes him very valuable. The only reason I don’t think he starts is because players likeSebastian Lletget, and Darlington Nagbe are in the squad, and they have more recent national team experience than Pontius does. I think Pontius will see about 50-60 minutes of playing time in the friendlies. His ability to create on the ball, make ghost runs in into the box, and being an aerial threat should give him some playing time.
Alejandro Bedoya should be a starting number eight for both upcoming friendlies. In this group, his is a savvy veteran player. He needs to regain his form after a shaky end to the 2016 season. He has played the eight for the USMNT, and done a stellar job in doing so in the past. His competition for the spot are Kellyn Acosta, and Dax McCarty who are good players, but Bedoya should start over them with a strong showing in camp. He can break up attacks and start counter attacks; because of this he should be a starter. Bedoya should play around 120-150 minutes in the friendlies.
U.S. ROSTER BY POSITION
GOALKEEPERS (5): David Bingham (San Jose Earthquakes), Stefan Frei (Seattle Sounders FC), Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake), Luis Robles (New York Red Bulls)
DEFENDERS (10): DaMarcus Beasley (Unattached), Steve Birnbaum (D.C. United), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders FC), Greg Garza (Atlanta United FC), Matt Hedges (FC Dallas), Taylor Kemp (D.C. United), Chad Marshall (Seattle Sounders FC), Keegan Rosenberry (Philadelphia Union), Walker Zimmerman (FC Dallas), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
MIDFIELDERS (12): Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas), Alejandro Bedoya (Philadelphia Union), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Benny Feilhaber (Sporting Kansas City), Jermaine Jones (Unattached), Sacha Kljestan (New York Red Bulls), Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy), Kekuta Manneh (Vancouver Whitecaps FC), Dax McCarty (New York Red Bulls), Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers), Chris Pontius (Philadelphia Union), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew SC)
FORWARDS (5): Juan Agudelo (New England Revolution), Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders FC), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)
The Union are well represented in the upcoming USMNT January camp. Look for Keegan, Chris and Alejandro January 29th against Serbia and February 3rd against Jamaica. The Jamaica match up will be a fun one, as the American Union players will go up against Union goalkeeper Andre Blake! Be sure to check Philly Sports Network for updates on the January camp, and the recaps of the friendlies!
Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports