Monday, May 9, 2016

The B Team - Missing Copa América

So back in March, for kicks we put together a U.S. roster comprised of players that were not on the World Cup Qualifying Roster or the Olympic Qualifying Roster to see what kind of team we could throw together. Now with Copa América looming and the U.S.'s 40-man preliminary roster in place, I thought it might be fun to do it again. Our roster's going to look a little bit different this time with some players getting called up (Nick Rimando, Eric Lichaj, Danny Williams, Graham Zusi, Tim Ream and Perry Kitchen) and others hampered by injuries (Quincy Amarikwa), but I still think this is a halfway decent - if MLS-biased - roster. Here's what I came up with:


Goalkeeper - Luis Robles - New York Red Bulls - The reigning MLS goalkeeper of the year who hasn't missed a start since 2012 has had a rough start to 2016, but much of that can be attributed to the porous defense in front of him. CAPS: 2

Left Back - Jorge Villafaña - Santos Laguna - For whatever reason, despite the lack of left backs in the system, Villafaña still isn't getting a look with the USMNT. Well, he's a staple at left back for our B Team. CAPS: 0

Center Back - Nat Borchers - Portland Timbers - The Wyndham Rewards Wizard is still plugging away at Age 35. He's not a long term solution, but he brings toughness and savvy to the table without being a high risk for cards (just one yellow in his last 41 regular season matches. CAPS: 3

Center Back - Chad Marshall - Seattle Sounders - The 6'4" Marshall is exceptional in the air and already has a pair of goals for the Sounders this season. Paired with Borchers, Marshall would make the U.S. tough on set pieces on both ends of the field. CAPS: 11

Right Back - Robbie Rogers - LA Galaxy - Rogers is better on the left than on the right, but he's shown this year after Ashley Cole took the left back spot that he can play on either side of the field. With his attacking background, Rogers is always dangerous moving forward and would give the U.S. an effective attack out of the back. CAPS: 18

Defensive Midfield - Wil Trapp - Columbus Crew - One of many young players looking to be the heir apparent to Kyle Beckerman, Trapp helped the Crew reach the MLS Cup in 2015, and has started every game for them in 2016. CAPS: 2

Defensive Midfield - Dax McCarty - New York Red Bulls - Full disclosure, I would have liked to put Matt Polster in this spot alongside Trapp, but Polster's banged up, so instead we'll go with the veteran. McCarty was a huge reason for the Red Bulls' success in 2015, and after a slow start he's playing better of late. CAPS: 5

Left Wing - Brek Shea - Orlando City SC - He's been playing more left back than left wing, but he's got the athleticism and the attacking skillset to allow him to slot in here without a huge drop in play. CAPS: 34

Attacking Midfield - Benny Feilhaber - Sporting Kansas City - Klinsmann may not like Feilhaber, but I do. He's a playmaker, and has a great engine, and while he may not be Michael Bradley, he could certainly run this offense. CAPS: 41

Right Wing - Mike Grella - New York Red Bulls - An exciting winger, Grella burst onto the scene in 2015 after spending 2014 in the NASL and delivered 9 goals and 7 assists for the Supporters Shield Winners. And to show it wasn't a fluke, Grella is off to a fast start in 2016 with three goals already. CAPS: 0

Striker - C.J. Sapong - Philadelphia Union - One of the more notable snubs, Sapong is really coming into his own with the Union and is a big reason they've turned their fortunes around. CAPS: 2.


Goalkeeper - Clint Irwin - Toronto FC - CAPS: 0
Goalkeeper - Tim Melia - Sporting Kansas City - CAPS: 0
Left Back - Jonathan Bornstein - Querétaro FC - CAPS: 38
Center Back - Michael Parkhurst - Columbus Crew - CAPS: 25
Center Back - Marvell Wynne - San Jose Earthquakes - CAPS: 5
Right Back - Jonathan Spector - Birmingham City - CAPS: 36
Defensive Midfield - Scott Caldwell - New England Revolution - CAPS: 0
Attack Midfield - Sacha Kljestan - New York Red Bulls - CAPS: 46
Left Wing - Chris Rolfe - DC United - CAPS: 10
Right Wing - Chris Pontius - Philadelphia Union - CAPS: 0
Striker - Juan Agudelo - New England Revolution - CAPS: 20
Striker - Jack McInerney - Portland Timbers - CAPS: 0

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