The USMNT Won’t Be In Russia, But MLS Could Be Well Represented
We know all 32 teams heading for glory in Russia. While the USMNT isn’t one of them there will still be a handful of MLS players in several nations playing. There is no way of saying who comes and goes this offseason in MLS so there are bound to be changes but the league could send north of 20 players to Russia. This list obviously isn’t final, and there are a couple reaches, but here are the list of guys currently on MLS rosters with a shot.
Belgium – Laurent Ciman
The Montreal centerback has 19 caps for Belgium, and has made several appearances recently. If someone from MLS is going to win a World Cup, this is the most likely source.
Spain – David Villa?
He got one call up recently, but the Spanish legend is a long shot to make a stacked Spain roster. If he has a few months of his current form to start the MLS season nothing is impossible.
Peru – Yordy Reyna, Yoshimar Yotun
Yotun is the most capped active midfielder for Peru, so he’s a lock. Reyna is a bit up in the air with the pending suspension of Paolo Gurrero. Reyna is an exciting young prospect for Peru, and it would be great to see the Peruvians bring in a pair of MLS’ers.
Switzerland – Blerim Džemaili
Dzemaili has 67 caps for the Swiss in midfield and should be a lock if healthy. It would be his third World Cup and he already has a goal, scoring against France in the 2014 World Cup.
Mexico – Jonathan and Gio Dos Santos, Carlos Vela
Yes we’re counting Vela since he’ll definitely be with LAFC come 2018. Both Dos Santos brothers will also feature for the CONCACAF giants. There’s an extremely outside shot for Cubo Torres, but there’s probably too much talent in front of him.
Uruguay – Nicolas Lodiero
The Sounders maestro has been a regular in Uruguay national teams. It would be Lodiero’s third World Cup as well.
Costa Rica – Francisco Calvo, Kendal Waston, Ronald Matarrita, David Guzman, Rodney Wallace, Marco Ureña, Johan Venegas
The two Central American sides are where most of the MLS flavor will be coming from. Costa Rica should be sending a whole bunch of MLS players to Russia come next summer.
Sweden – Gustav Svensson
He’s had a recent surge of caps in the past couple of years, but he played a key role in Sweden’s upset in the playoff against Italy. If he’s healthy expect him to join in the fun.
Senegal – Clement Diop
Yes, the LA Galaxy keeper does get call ups! And yes! They made the World Cup! He is one of two likely African call ups. However, his days in LA may be numbered.
Nigeria – Nosa Igiebor
His last call up came in November of 2016, but if he plays his cards right at the start of the MLS season, he could find his way in.
Panama – Roman Torres, Adolfo Machado, Fidel Escobar, Michael Murillo, Armando Cooper, Harold Cummings
Are all six of these guys going to Russia? Probably not, but several are, plus a handful of others in MLS who can get in with a great spring.