The Future : Three Future Players to Watch for USMNT
Weeks ago I wrote a scathing blog calling out USMNT coach Jurgen Klinsmann and the whole men’s national team who failed miserably in last month’s Gold Cup. What’s a good scathing without any propositions on how to right the ship? Never fear soccer fans, here are three attacking US starlet’s that should be playing on the senior team, ASAP.
(In order of importance to the team)
3. Darlington Nagbe- Nagbe has absolutely mesmorizing skills on the ball. It’s not his pure talent and class that get him on this list, it’s his positivity when he plays the game. Nagbe (who would be employed as an attacking winger when called up for USMNT) is ALWAYS putting pressure on the opposing teams defense and is versatile enough to beat you passing, dribbling, or shooting (the soccer triple threat, baby!). There are only two things that concern me about Nagbe: he is close to becoming a U.S. Citizen (from Liberia) but has yet to obtain full citizenship. Nagbe also appears to take the occasional “play off”; USMNT already have Clint Dempsey to do that, they can’t afford another super talented player slacking off. To quote principal Strickland from “Back to The Future”, “You’re a slacker!”.
(Please note Nagbe torching USMNT regular Kyle Beckerman at the 12 second mark in his highlight video)
2. Jordan Morris- Where “will” meets “skill”. Stanford star (yes, he’s still in college, and yes, there is something as college soccer) is the most dynamic forward prospect since Landon Donovan. Morris has the pace, heart, and finishing touch to be a fixture on the USMNT for the next 10 years; easily. In addition to being completely fearless when it comes to attacking, Morris rises about the rest because of his motor and heart. Case and point; the 3:40 mark in this video against Mexico. When you’re looking at this buildup, one thing completely stands out… he’s the ONLY one consistantly moving! It’s Morris’ movement that truly sets him apart; he is almost ALWAYS the most active player on the pitch (elementary but true!). Either it’s that Morris is the most fit player on the team or just wants it more, one thing is for sure; Morris should always be on the squad come game day.
- Gedion Zelalem- I continue to call him “ZZZZs” as a nickname; first he lulls you to sleep. then he PUTS you to sleep. Simply put, I have never seen a midfielder even close to his talent ever represent the USMNT ( sorry Claudio Reyna and John O’Brien!). I actually thought this last year, and decided to give it a full year of watching his U-everthing Arsenal club games. He’s got it all; he’s growing into his body, has wonderful placement and weight on his passes, can dribble and pass out of danger like it’s a joke to him, and his composure on the ball is that of a player 10 years his senior. He’s the type of player that has the potential to run your team at for the next 15 years as a central midfielder. One thing to note is that Zelalem is NOT Freddy Adu just as much as he is NOT Adrea Pirlo; one needs to watch his flow to really understand his brilliance when he chooses to take games over (see the second clip against Fulham as evidence).