FourFourTwo's 9 players who should get USMNT calls this fall
Dax McCarty, Midfielder, New York Red Bulls
The Copa America made clear that 34-year-old Jermaine Jones still remains a key part of the U.S. men’s national team, but Jones’ red card suspension for the tournament’s semifinal also highlighted the Americans’ lack of depth at his midfield spot.
Jones has a unique ability to cover ground and also connect between the back line and forward players, and his partnership with Michael Bradley has been an important part of any success the U.S. has had at the international level. McCarty’s game needed to mature, and it has since the start of the 2015 season. He’s shown a better understanding for spacing in the midfield and picking and choosing when to go forward and when to stay. His passing has been much better. His defensive coverage is superior. He could be an option to replace either Bradley or Jones off the bench, much in the way Kyle Beckerman has the past few years.
McCarty should get another shot in U.S. camp, and he could be the answer to who replaces the 34-year-old Beckerman as the third option in defensive midfield. McCarty also has the right character for the locker room in the national team - a personality that would be considered a plus for the group.
Jorge Villafaña, Left back, Santos Laguna
No spot is more vulnerable for the national team than left back. U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann was forced to play Fabian Johnson in the position at Copa America due to lack of options. It’s time, then, to bring in the player who has shown the most at the club level in the past two years: Villafaña.
The Sueño MLS winner was a key part of the Portland Timbers run to MLS Cup – just look at how difficult he has been to replace – and since his move to Liga MX has thrived at Santos Laguna. Villafaña immediately stepped in to the starting lineup and played 15 games. He has earned a call-up, and the question is whether Klinsmann will wait until January to bring him in or add him to the mix during World Cup qualifying in the fall.