For the first time in seemingly forever, the New England Revolution had a presence on the USMNT, with World Cup hero Jermaine Jones acquired over the summer being a regular call up and MVP candidate Lee Nguyen getting his first international appearance in seven years against Columbia back in November.
But what are the chances of someone else on the Revs joining Jones and Nguyen with the US?
LOCKS: Jones, Nguyen
I'm not going to go into great detail on these two, Jones is transitioning to centerback but it's Nguyen at has a chance to make the biggest impact. Lee is the playmaking, #10 type that the USMNT desperately needs in the starting lineup. In case you forgot about this...I'm just going to leave this here:
Check out this post from last November on Lee's future impact with the USMNT and why he might be best suited in the central attacking midfield role for the USA at the Gold Cup this summer at the very least.
HIGH: Andrew Farrell
Farrell had his ups and downs in his sophomore season, but he former #1 overall pick showed well late in the season and in the playoffs and is penciled in right now to play center back for the Revs next season, something he did fairly well early in the year with Jose Goncalves out with an injury.
But I've been saying for a while that I think Farrell's future internationally is going to be at right back, even as a defense first starter or as a substitute. That doesn't mean he can't play center back or even learn to play holding mid in a pinch, but his speed is such an asset on the outside and is something that needs to be capitalized on. Of course, Farrell needs to improve his crossing to really make the jump to that next level but as far as locking down the right flank, even late in games off the bench, right now he's your guy.
MEDIUM: A.J. Soares*, Teal Bunbury, Kelyn Rowe, Chris Tierney, Charlie Davies
Soares gets the asterisk because he's not technically with the team and likely will be playing in Italy. But everyone on this list I think played their way into the conversation during the MLS Playoffs in particular. Bunbury offers a versatile option up top or out wide and has some US experience as well as the greatest goal-call ever.
Chris Tierney offers the same versatility at either left back or even left midfield and if he doesn't get a chance here than he's probably not going to get one. At 28 he's probably nothing more than a really good bench option but with the retirement of DaMarcus Beasley at left back and only youngster Greg Garza penciled in on the "domestic" depth chart (Garza plays in LigaMX and their season begins tomorrow) it's a chance for maybe veterans like Tierney, Robbie Rogers or even Chris Klute to get a look in January.
Davies has been as in-form as any striker in the US pool stretching back even past the MLS Playoffs. As far as MLS strikers go, aside from Clint Dempsey who could feature up top, you have Chris Wondolowski and Eddie Johnson to contend with for a roster spot. Davies is only a few years younger at 28 but might offer more going forward in the 2018 qualifying cycle and be worth a look. Rowe is also this high solely based on versatility but has a big crop of players to contend with. Midfielders like Perry Kitchen, Luis Gil and Wil Trapp are also in the mix and while Rowe can feature in the middle and out wide I always like to have options like that on the bench.
LOW: Scott Caldwell, Bobby Shuttleworth
Both of these guys played really well down the stretch, but it's just a numbers game. Both Scotty and Bobby just have too many players in front of them. Caldwell's probably behind all of the guys I just mentioned competing with Rowe, not to mention stalwarts in the holding midfield like Bradley, Beckerman, etc., and I'm not sure how well Caldwell's technical style would fare internationally with his struggles against bigger, playmaking types at times but did improve as the season went on.
Shuttleworth is behind guys like Nick Rimando, Bill Hamid and (maybe) Sean Johnson. But the deepest position on the USA depth chart will always be goalkeeper and while someone's probably keeping tabs Shuttleworth, they're also watching guys like Luis Robles and Steve Clark among others.
So that's everyone in the Revs' starting lineup from the 2014 MLS Cup Finall not named Goncalves because he's not eligible to represent the USA (sadly). Kevin Alston, Patrick Mullins and Darrius Barnes were the outfield players on the bench along with backup keeper Brad Knighton and I'd even classify Mullins as low despite moving on to NYCFC in the Expansion Draft. Still, the Revs will have strong representation with the national team as training camps and preseasons begin across MLS later this month and into February with Jones and Nguyen.
We'll see if any of their teammates join them.