Like every manager, Jurgen Klinsmann has his favorites. These seven guys, however, don't seem to be among them and represent the biggest current snubs on the USMNT.
The Americans have a pretty darn solid centerback pairing in John Brooks and Geoff Cameron. But Cameron's recent injury proves that there's always room for more depth. Hedges was a finalist for MLS defender of the year both last season and this season, and he has been a key piece of an FC Dallas team that won the Supporter's Shield this season and were Supporter's Shield runners-up last year. He was capped once last winter and he hasn't been back since, but plenty of fans think he could provide some needed depth in defense.
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Over the summer, it seemed like Nagbe could be on the cusp of breaking into the USMNT. He's an excellent passer who is good in transition and at helping move the ball around, and he seemed like he could be an answer for the USMNT in maintaining possession after a couple of solid appearances in friendlies. He made the roster for the USMNT in Copa America, but he played precious few minutes at that tournament. It was a similar story for subsequent World Cup qualifiers, so when he was called up for a pair of friendlies last month, he reportedly declined, ostensibly frustrated by the lack of playing time. So, perhaps this is a bit of two-way snub, but Nagbe has plenty of reason to feel like Klinsmann never gave him much of a real shot.
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There's an argument to be made that the USMNT needs a playmaker orchestrating the attack and creating chances. And there's an argument to be made that the guy to do that could be Nguyen. His past couple of seasons with the New England Revolution haven't been anywhere near 2014 when he scored 18 goals in one season. But he still is a dynamic, creative force in the attack and he is one of the league's assists leaders. Sacha Kljestan, for a long time another big snub, seems to have assumed that playmaker role, but Nguyen could offer some competition or depth.
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McCarty last appeared for the USMNT back in January 2011, but the defensive midfielder continually proves his quality for the New York Red Bulls. There's a reason why the club's defense has been one of the best the last couple seasons, and McCarty is part of it. In light of a player like Kyle Beckerman seeming like he may be aging out of the USMNT picture, McCarty is a solid holding midfield option.
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Hamid has had his share of injury time this season, but he may be one of the best goalkeepers the Americans have. And yet, he's never managed to break in beyond that third goalkeeper spot, and these days he seems to be much further down the list. That's despite the fact that Brad Guzan, who remains in the top two of goalkeepers, hasn't been playing for his club for a while now and hasn't been in the best of form.
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This one is never going to happen because it seems that Feilhaber and Klinsmann just plain don't like each another. But that's not going to stop USMNT fans from thinking about Feilhaber's creative playmaking in the midfield and wondering what could've been. “I don't think Jurgen calls in the best players that are available to him – that, for me, is a problem,” Feilhaber said in January after being snubbed for the USMNT's large annual camp. Feilhaber was last called in for the USMNT in 2014 and he probably won't be back unless Klinsmann is out.
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This one has always been a bit of a headscratcher. Even as the USMNT has needed a left back, like when Fabian Johnson (a midfielder for his club, it should be noted) was injured earlier this year. But even as Klinsmann has called in a batch of Liga MX players, Villafana is constantly passed over. He was excellent for the Portland Timbers when they won the MLS Cup last year, not just with his 1v1 defending, but his bombing runs and crosses in the attack. He's continued his great form for Santos Laguna, and yet he is still waiting for his first senior national team call-up. That Klinsmann doesn't at least give Villafana a look in camp baffles.