United States Men’s National Team struggling, but hopeful

HUGO CALDERON, @HCal09

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The United States Men’s National Team has come under fire the past few months and deservedly so. One of the causes for concern is the failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. They only needed to beat Trinidad and Tobago, a team that was considered an easy task for the USMNT. They ended up losing the game 2-1, which ended their hopes of qualification. That isn’t to say that this team isn’t one for the future. Most of the last generation of players such as Landon Donovan, Clint Dempsey and the all time leading goal scorer Cobi Jonis have all retired and this new team is something that fans can be excited about.

The rise of the new generation all started with Christian Pulisic, the 20-year-old winger from Maryland who plays for German club Dortmund, who’s rise to one of Europe’s youngest and brightest stars began in the 2015-16 season after being promoted to the first team at the young age of 17-years-old. So far in his 21 senior call-ups he has managed to score nine goals at only 20 years of age.

Many may remember George Weah’s prolific career playing for Paris Saint-Germain and becoming a regular goal scorer in the UEFA Champions League. Now his son, Timothy Weah, is following in his father’s footsteps also playing for the same team at only 18 years old. The difference between the team his father played for and the current PSG team is that now PSG are considered to be one of Europe’s most elite clubs, boasting world class players like Mbappe, Neymar and Marco Verratti. Weah has only recently been able to break into the first team, scoring on the opening day again Caens in his team’s 3-0 win.

Weah recently received his first call-up to the USMNT back in March in a friendly game against Peru in which his team won 1-0. Since then he has earned nine caps, contributing one goal so far.

Joining the wave of up-and-coming youngsters is Matt Miazga. Miazga rose through the ranks with the New York Red Bulls. After an impressive two-and-a-half years with the Red Bulls, the American earned himself a chance to play over the sea after English giants Chelsea brought him from his hometown club. He achieved something that many players from the Americas dream of doing, playing overseas.

Since joining in January of 2016, Miazga would only stay in North London for six months being loaned out to Dutch club Vitesse in the summer of 2016, staying for two seasons until 2017. This past summer, he was again loaned out to French club Nantes in Ligue 1. This may concern people, seeing a player being loaned out so frequently, but Chelsea is known for loaning out young talent, even if they are good enough to play for the first team.  

He has represented the red, white and blue in almost all of the youth levels and his break finally came Nov. 13, 2015 against Saint Vincent and the Grenadines being substituted in the 63’. Since then, the American has earned himself ten caps for his nation, scoring his maiden goal back in 2017 against against Nicaragua in the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup in which they turned out to be the eventual winners after beating Jamaica 2-1 in the final.

These players represent light at the end of the tunnel during a dark time for the USMNT. While this team may not be as ready for challenges, their youthfulness allows them to be able to experiment and develop over time, as seen during their most recent friendlies against Columbia and Peru.

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