The pandemic has offered a limited sample size into the shifting of the USMNT player pool ahead of the March window. Tests against a semi-experienced Wales side and CONCACAF opponents Panama, El Salvador, and most recently Trinidad and Tobago vary in terms of how much you can read into these results and player performances.
That being said, you can only play who you are scheduled against. There are four players who seized the opportunity yesterday against the Soca Warriors in the 7-0 victory in Orlando that merit strong consideration for the crucial March FIFA window (barring further changes to the FIFA calendar in this period of flux).
Goalkeeper Matt Turner
Besides Zach Steffen, there are no locks in the goalkeeper position which means there are opportunities for roughly half a dozen American goalkeepers to at a minimum fill those other 2 spots for a Gold Cup or World Cup Qualifying roster.
Matt Turner is at the top of the American MLS goalkeeper pile right now, and what impressed me the most about his penalty save against Trinidad and Tobago was the circumstances leading up to it. He was largely uninvolved prior to that moment but showed the focus needed to be a reliable goalkeeper be it a starter or backup at the international stage.
Defender Sam Vines
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Much of the early damage done in this 7-0 victory was through the left, and Sam Vines was responsible for setting up the first goal. Left Back remains a question mark position because Sergiño Dest is primarily a right back and Antonee Robinson has his ups and downs with Fulham.
Vines is still very green and should be tested against stronger opposition (much like many of the players involved in yesterday’s friendly) but that opportunity could come in March.
Winger Jonathan Lewis
Another Colorado Rapids player, Jonathan Lewis is one of the most consistent young talents in Major League Soccer. He impressed both in the MLS is Back Tournament and in the season restart, and he had loads of pace and energy that can improve the USMNT in many ways.
Lewis would likely have to settle for a super-sub role when Gregg Berhalter has all of his options available to him, but that works because tired defenders would loathe the sight of him.
Forward Jesus Ferreira
Whether it’s against Brazil, Trinidad and Tobago, or San Marino, when you’re involved in 2 goals and 3 assists in one game, people will notice. Along with left back, striker is the biggest concern for the USMNT going forward.
Recently we saw Nicholas Gioacchini and Sebastian Soto throw their names into the mix with their goals, so why not bring them and Jesus Ferreira into the same camp. Not only would that inspire all of these forwards to raise their games but imagine the shooting practice. Ferreira is the biggest lock of any player on this recent roster to be called up for the next one.