If there is one thing that we can all agree on, it is that things change. What was, may not necessarily be what is now or what is to come. The things we have grown accustomed to change. People move in and out of our lives. Life is fluid. And we are getting our first real taste of that tomorrow with the USMNT game against the Czech Republic.
In recent times we have seen guys like Carlos Bocanegra, and even more surprisingly, Landon Donova, come to the end of their international career. Landon’s official last game for the USMNT is in just over a month. Timmy Howard is taking the next year off and then will return to fight for his place on the team. But things are definitely changing.
US Soccer sent out a press release about tomorrow’s game and about some of the players that are on the squad for tomorrow’s match. Below is some interesting info on players. Some of which we are very familiar with, and some not so much. This may just be a friendly and the first chance that some of these young cats get with the USMNT, but it’s clear that things are changing with the players involved in the team. This is the first game post World Cup and so the first chance to begin building for all that will take place in the next four year cycle.
Get to know these players. Start embracing them. The next phase has already began.
* Jozy Altidore makes his return to the U.S. MNT after seeing his 2014 FIFA World Cup cut short because of a hamstring injury in the opening 2-1 victory against Ghana on June 16. The Sunderland striker leads this U.S. roster with 71 appearances.
* Defender Geoff Cameron, who was originally named to this roster, will not be available after suffering a groin injury during Stoke City’s Aug. 27 match against Portsmouth.
* Nine players from the USA’s run to the Round of 16 at the 2014 FIFA World Cup are on the roster: Altidore, Alejandro Bedoya, John Brooks, Timmy Chandler, Mix Diskerud, Julian Green, Brad Guzan, Fabian Johnson and Nick Rimando.
* Johnson started all four matches in Brazil, while Bedoya appeared in every game and started three.
* Hertha Berlin defender Brooks scored the USA’s game-winning goal against Ghana on June 16.
* Green, 19, scored in the second extra time of the U.S. MNT’s 2-1 loss to Belgium in the Round of 16 game on July 1 in Salvador, Brazil.
* Chandler and Johnson started the season with new Bundesliga clubs, with Chandler moving from Nurnberg to Eintracht Frankfurt and Johnson moving from Hoffenheim to Borussia Monchengladbach.
* Joe Corona was on the USA’s 30-man preliminary roster for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
* Ingolstadt midfielder Alfredo Morales has helped his side to a solid start, appearing in the first XI in all three games and scoring the opening goal of the club’s campaign. Born in Germany to Peruvian parents, he has been deployed as a holding midfielder and also in defense.
* 1860 Munich striker Bobby Wood has started all three matches to open the 2. Bundesliga season. The 21-year-old native of Hawaii and former Irvine Strikers forward made his Senior National Team debut in the 4-3 win against Bosnia-Herzegovina in 2013.
* Jordan Morris, who scored the game-winner for the U-23 MNT against Bahamas last month, was named the 2012-13 Development Academy Player of the Year for the U-17/18 age group while playing for the Seattle Sounders FC Academy. He is the first active college player to be included on a roster under USA head coach Jurgen Klinsmann.
* Rubio Rubin signed with Utrecht in July. The U-17 Residency alum was voted the 2012 U.S. Soccer Youth Male Athlete of the Year.
* Joe Gyau spent three semesters in the U-17 Residency program. His father Philip earned six caps with the U.S. MNT from 1989-91.
* Southampton goalkeeper Cody Cropper started all three matches for the U.S. at the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Turkey. Cropper participated in the MNT training camp in Stanford ahead of the team’s departure for the World Cup in Brazil.
* Emerson Hyndman is the youngest player on the roster, the 18-year-old having begun the League Championship campaign as a starter for Fulham. The grandson of former FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman was a part of the U-17 Men’s National Team and signed his first contract with Fulham in 2013, scoring three goals in its run to the FA Youth Cup final.
Like I said, some of these players we are very familiar with. But there are some young kids coming up in the ranks who will no doubt be fighting to become fixtures within the USMNT. You can’t hold back the tides of change, and many of these players represent just that.