USMNT interim coach Dave Sarachan is in the odd position of planning a January camp without a clear view of his or the program's future. The USMNT is in transition following their World Cup exit. Following November's lengthy training stint and game in Portugal, a new group of players is now in Carson. 29 are in MLS and the 30th just left the league. Half of them have no appearances with the senior USMNT squad.
“The message to this group is, ‘You belong here, and always take advantage of any opportunities that you have with the National Team," Sarachan told USSoccer.com. "We have 18 days before we play our game against Bosnia. The whole idea for this group of players is to take advantage of the training, take advantage of getting to know one another and take advantage of the opportunity that presents itself because this is going to be part of our future going forward.”
Sarachan repeated that message in an interview with Soccer America's Ridge Mahoney. "This is a much younger group than we had for the Portugal game, and I’m expecting to see a lot of energy, a lot of enthusiasm," Sarachan said. "I thought we gave a good account of ourselves against Portugal and we could have won that game. This is a different setting with a long camp and another chance for them to play. It’s another step in the process."
Where that process ends up is currently in a state of flux. There's no full-time head coach, with the safe assumption that process will wait on the election of a new US Soccer Federation president in February and perhaps the completion of this summer's World Cup. The choice not to call in the established MLS USMNT players adds to the uniqueness of this January camp. The focus has to be on the future, and that's an across the board issue for US Soccer in 2018.
Also in the soccer news, FC Yahoo's Leander Schaerlaeckens picks up the issue with holding the September World Cup qualifier at Red Bull Arena. MLSsoccer.com's Sam Stejskal looks at USMNT players making the move to MLS.
FourFourTwo's Jeff Kassouf uses Canada's coaching decision to make a broader point about resources for women's soccer. The Toronto Sun's Kurtis Larson talks to sources about why Canada parted ways with coach Octavio Zambrano.
Goal.com's Ryan Kelly has track star Usain Bolt's attempt to become a pro soccer player. World Soccer's Brian Glanville takes issue with the Third Round of the 2017-18 FA Cup. BBC Sport on rising costs for Everton's new stadium. ESPN's Adriana Garcia reports on the €35 release fee for Boca Juniors player Cristian Pavon who is drawing interest from Arsenal. Inside World Football's Paul Nicholson updates the ongoing FIFA trial in New York.
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