USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter announced his January camp roster this week. Here are three takeaways from the announcement, including one harsh snub.
Like with every person or organisation, for the U.S. Men’s National Team, the new year represents a time for new beginnings, to implement new processes, to start new plans and practises, to build something new, exciting and progressive.
Gregg Berhalter has now been in the job for a year. It has a tumultuous one, to say the least, but he is turning his attention towards what is to come and a looming World Cup qualification competition that will define his tenure. Before all that, though, there is the January camp, the customary first appearance for Berhalter and his USMNT after the turn of the calendar.
So, with all that in mind, here are three takeaways from the recent roster announcement for the upcoming January camp.
3. Mason Toye a snub
The quality of player at the January camp is not nearly as high as what Berhalter will usually be able to call upon. With European clubs in the depths of their domestic seasons, U.S. players plying their trade across the continent are not released for the camp. As such, the squad usually consists of MLS players, managers often tending to offer chances to young players who would usually not be in line to feature on the senior international stage.
That is why it is surprising to see Mason Toye not included. Toye enjoyed a stellar second season in MLS. Selected 7th overall in the 2018 SuperDraft, the now 21-year-old beat out DP striker Angelo Rodriguez to lead the Minnesota United line, scoring six goals and three assists in just 820 minutes of action.
He is far from a complete player and is a little gangly and uncontrolled at times, but his athleticism makes him extremely effective as a willing runner in behind opposing defences. He has genuine potential and is now a regular starter for a playoff team in MLS. It is surprising that Berhalter did not want to at least have a look at what Toye is capable of on the international stage.