January camp will prepare USMNT for crucial 2021

United States national team preliminary Gold Cup roster announced. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
United States national team preliminary Gold Cup roster announced. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /

January will be very important for USMNT to hopefully do big things in 2021

This January camp will give Daryl Dike another shot. Dike, who left the USMNT December camp early through injury, will get another shot at earning his debut with the senior team. If he does earn that shot, it would be fascinating to see how the Orlando City forward does in the senior team after an impressive first season in MLS where he scored eight goals playing with fellow USMNT forward Chris Mueller.

Eight of the 26 players have previously received caps for the USMNT. Players like Jeremy Ebobisse and Jonathan Lewis will be keen to impress with the U-23s and earn another look with the senior team. Those who do well may not initially be with the senior team but could be with them later if they continue to impress with the U-23s.

There will be 10 players making their U-23 debuts this cycle. They have a lot to prove. If they do manage to impress the coaching staff, they could very well be in the mix throughout the competitions coming up this year.

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What needs to happen?

This is the final opportunity for Gregg Berhalter and Jason Kreis to train with their group of players. They need to get things organized and have a clear process and plan for the different situations that will arise over the coming months.

For Berhalter and the USMNT, they need to figure out a tentative plan for the different squads they plan to use throughout the year.

Berhalter needs to figure out the depth chart for the positions and who he has the most confidence in to be the most productive at center forward and as the center back partner with John Brooks. With players like Dike and Altidore as well as Zimmerman and Long, this will be a good opportunity to figure that out.

For Kreis and the U-23s, they need to figure out what players jell together. Missing out on the Olympics for a third straight cycle would be a major missed opportunity for the U-23s considering all the talent that is there. With such a big pool of players available, Kreis needs to start narrowing down the options.

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Both Berhalter and Kreis need to have a clear idea of what their plans and expectations are for this year. Based on those plans and expectations, they can go from there when picking their squads throughout the year.