A bright future for men’s soccer

Following its failure to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, the U.S. Men’s National Team looks to rebound in 2022 with a roster that has more potential than any past lineup.

Headlined by Chelsea’s Christian Pulisic, Juventus’ Weston McKennie, Barcelona’s Sergino Dest and Dortmund’s Giovanni Reyna, all of whom are 18 to 22 years old, the team is gifted with many young players starring  on the biggest stages of soccer in Europe.

Pulisic has already made a name for himself as a high-caliber player. After breaking numerous records with Bundesliga club Dortmund, he transferred to Premier League club Chelsea as the most expensive North American player of all time. In 2018, Pulisic was also named runner-up for the inaugural Kopa Trophy, an award given to the best performing player under the age of 21. As the best player on the USMNT, it will be exciting to see how Pulisic leads the promising team to success in the near future.

As an important asset to Italian club Juventus, midfielder McKennie has contributed four goals and two assists in 21 Serie A appearances, earning himself a permanent deal after originally being on loan. Now playing alongside the legendary Cristiano Ronaldo and coached by Andrea Pirlo, one of the all-time greatest midfielders, McKennie has two excellent mentors. He will bring the fruits of these greats’ guidance alongside his own experience to the international stage and thrive with USMNT.

Dest is among the most talented prospects at the right-back position. The young defender recorded a 89.1 percent successful pass rate in seven UEFA Champions League matches for Barcelona and a 88.5 percent successful pass rate in 20 La Liga matches this season. Dest will be an important defensive piece in the USMNT for a long time to come.

Reyna, a regular starting attacking midfielder for Dortmund, adds versatility and agility to the national team. In 22 Bundesliga matches this season, the rising star scored three goals with four assists, contributing as a smooth passer and dribbler. At the rate he is progressing, the 18-year-old is shaping up to be the next big soccer star; he will have a significant role in USMNT’s offense.

With these young and talented players in the roster, U.S. matches in future World Cup tournaments promise an exciting show. While USMNT has been notorious for its inferior performance on the international scene, this roster has potential to change the reputation of American soccer for the better.