The Top Three
3. Jozy Altidore
Injuries kept Jozy Altidore out of the USMNT lineup at the end of 2019. After featuring in the Gold Cup, the Toronto FC forward was out for most of the MLS Cup playoffs but did make an appearance against the Sounders in the final where he scored from off the bench. 2020 will be a huge year for Altidore as he will be challenged with returning to form for Toronto, as well as trying to make it back into the mix for the USMNT. The talented group of young attacking players coming through the ranks could very well displace Altidore from regular call-ups to the national team this season, especially if injuries hit again. But if Altidore can keep himself on the pitch, he should be Berhalter’s go-to center-forward.
2. Jackson Yueill
Midfielder Jackson Yueill has only recently seen time in the starting XI for the USMNT. He played all 90 minutes in three of the four Nations League matches, as well as the recent Costa Rica friendly. Yueill is one of the San Jose Earthquakes’ top players. He will get plenty of chances to further develop this year under Matias Almeyda. And having already established himself as a crucial cog in the San Jose machine, he is now turning to proving that he can be a key piece of the USMNT’s future. Will this be his biggest year yet?
1. Aaron Long
A possible move to West Ham United did not materialize for Aaron Long in the January transfer window. As a result, the USMNT defender will spend the first few months of the 2020 season with the New York Red Bulls. Depending on what happens in the near future, Long’s playing days in MLS may be coming to a close. Regardless, Long is going to want to show good form right from the start of the season as other European clubs may come knocking when the summer transfer window opens.
For the USMNT, Long remains a key piece of their backline. Hopefully, he is able to further develop and grow as a player whether that means he plays an entire season in MLS or moves elsewhere.