USMNT: December roster mixes youth with sparse experience

USMNT (Photo by John Dorton/ISI Photos/Getty Images)
USMNT (Photo by John Dorton/ISI Photos/Getty Images) /
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Daryl Dike, USMNT, Orlando City SC (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Who To Watch For

Of the three goalkeepers, Bill Hamid is the only one to have appeared for the U.S. With just seven appearances, even the MLS veteran doesn’t bring much experience at the international stage. It will be interesting to see who Berhalter plays in goal, will CJ Dos Santos or David Ochoa get an opportunity despite their lack of experience with their own clubs? Ochoa made his MLS debut in Real Salt Lake’s 2-0 defeat to Sporting KC on Decision Day while Dos Santos is with Benfica B in the second tier of Portugal.

Perhaps the most intriguing thing to watch is the center backs, although I’m not sure there will be much learned against El Salvador.  With Matt Miazga‘s discouraging performances last month, Walker Zimmerman and Aaron Long have a great opportunity to prove themselves ahead of some crucial matches in 2021. Mark McKenzie may even step in and earn future looks after an impressive season with the Philadelphia Union.

The midfield will certainly give Brenden Aaronson his first opportunity since his rise to fame in 2020. Aaronson, along with FC Cincinnati’s Frankie Amaya and Colorado Rapids’ Cole Bassett will be keen to make the most of their opportunity against El Salvador. Amongst the forwards, the Orlando duo of Daryl Dike and Chris Mueller immediately pop out and could shine fresh off impressive MLS campaigns. Ayo Akinola is also another player that may get an opportunity to warrant further looks.

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All three would make their debuts with the senior national team. With the center forward position very much up for grabs, Daryl Dike must be foaming at the mouth with this opportunity against El Salvador. While El Salvador against the United States isn’t the most attractive matchup, there are still plenty of things to watch for.