It’s a new era for the U.S. Men’s National Team as Bruce Arena has replaced Jurgen Klinsmann as head coach. This will be Arena’s second stint in charge after previously leading the national team from 1998 to 2006.
On Tuesday, the former LA Galaxy coach spoke to the media to explain his vision. Arena stated that he believes that there are 50-60 players in the pool and that approximately 30 will be called into the January camp. This camp will of course consist largely of domestic players since most European leagues will still be playing. Could any New England Revolution players be on Arena’s radar? Here are three players that should be.
1. Juan Agudelo
I’ll admit that I’m not exactly going out on a limb when I say that Agudelo should be given a look. With a career highlight reel consisting of a cheeky back-heel goal and a picturesque bicycle kick, Agudelo has a slick playing style that’s hard to describe. At 24 years old, Agudelo should be in camp when healthy.
That said, Agudelo hasn’t always gotten an invite from Klinsmann. For example, Klinsmann picked Alan Gordon, a 35-year-old who doesn’t regularly start for his club team, to replace Jordan Morris instead of calling in Agudelo for the World Cup Qualifiers against Mexico and Costa Rica. It was a puzzling move, especially since Agudelo scored against Mexico in 2015. Hopefully Arena ranks Agudelo a little higher than Klinsmann.
2. Lee Nguyen
Nguyen is another inclusion that isn’t exactly shocking. The 30-year-old made his re-debut under Klinsmann but never really got much of an opportunity to show what he can do on the international level.
A new coach could do wonders for Nguyen, especially since Arena has said he wants better passers on the national team. Nguyen is a crafty number 10 that can play a killer ball. His vision and creativity could be a great asset to the Arena and the USMNT.
3. Kelyn Rowe
If Arena wants to go younger then he could call in the 24-year-old Rowe. The former US youth international has been inconsistent since joining MLS in 2012, but when he’s undeniably dynamic when he’s in form. Consider his two-goal and one-assist performance against the Montreal Impact on Sept. 17. Further evidence can be found in 2013 when he collected four goals and one assist in the U.S. Open Cup.
The most interesting thing about Rowe is that he hasn’t regularly played his natural position, as he’s often forced to play wide. Perhaps Arena would be willing to give him a run as the number 10, a move that could produce dividends for both the national team and the player.