The arrival of Bruce Arena as the new coach of the U.S. national team will offer an opportunity to some new players, although there will not be time for the drastic changes with World Cup qualifying ongoing.
Arena told reporters on Tuesday that he expects to look at some players that outgoing manager Jurgen Klinsmann didn’t – "no names are off the table," he said – but there will not be sweeping changes.
"I don’t think the roster’s going to have radical changes from the last couple camps but there will obviously be some changes," Arena said. "I’ll use our January to identify the domestic players, and I’m obviously well aware of the players in Major League Soccer, and then continue to keep an eye on the players that are playing abroad and consider them on their strengths and weaknesses."
The January camp will be comprised of domestic-based players as those playing abroad will still be in the midst of their club seasons. That means that MLS players will make up most of the camp, and traditionally the January camp is used to give a broad look at the player pool before narrowing the squad down.
Asked specifically about players like Sporting Kansas City’s Benny Feilhaber, who was a longtime Klinsmann snub, and Querétaro’s Jonathan Borstein, Arena said those players will have a chance to break through, but there will not be many spots available.
"They and others are good players. We’re going to give those types of players an opportunity to be back in the national team program," he said. "How it ends up, I can’t answer, but I’m well aware of the quality of those two and others."
"We’re going look closely at those players in the domestic camp in January and also select a roster for the games in March. No names are off the table but I’d say it’s highly unlikely we’re going to bring many new players into the program. We’re at a time right now where we need to get results."
The USMNT has to pick up where Klinsmann left off in the final round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying with matches resuming in March, starting with Honduras.
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