With the CONCACAF Gold Cup now just a month away, key U.S. men’s national team mainstays Jozy Altidore, John Brooks and DeAndre Yedlin remain sidelined by injury. But the USMNT and its fans got some extremely good news on the medical front on Tuesday: Yahoo Sports has learned that blue-chip midfielder/fullback Tyler Adams has resumed training with Bundesliga club RB Leipzig.
That’s a hugely positive development for U.S. coach Gregg Berhalter, who will announce his extended pre-Gold Cup camp roster next week before cutting the squad down to 23 players following a June 5 friendly against Jamaica in Washington, D.C., the first of two tune-ups the Americans will play before attempting to defend their regional title.
Who besides Adams is on the rise? And how likely is Yedlin, in particular, to recover in time for the tournament? It’s all in our latest USMNT Stock Watch.
D/M Tyler Adams, RB Leipzig (Germany)
Not only is Adams expected to play in the Bundesliga finale this weekend against Werder Bremen after missing more than two months with an adductor injury, Leipzig, which will also contest the German Cup final May 25 versus Bayern Munich, qualified for next season’s UEFA Champions League in his absence.
Takeaway: The short-term upside is that Adams should be match fit and available to the U.S. team when the Gold Cup kicks off. Longer-term, the fact that he’ll be able to test himself against the world’s best players in Europe’s top club competition is a huge plus in his continued development.
M Christian Pulisic, Borussia Dortmund (Germany)
Pulisic scored in his final home match with BVB before he leaves for Chelsea this summer. The emotional strike marked his fourth of the season and second in as many weeks:
PULISIC! IT HAD TO BE!
The American gives Dortmund the crucial lead in his final home game, and look what it means to him. 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/Z9bpiU0BN8
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) May 11, 2019
Takeaway: Slowed by nagging leg injuries for much of the season, Pulisic, who is also still just 20, is nearing the height of his considerable powers right now. That’s bad news for the Americans’ Gold Cup foes.
M Weston McKennie, Schalke (Germany)
With one more league match to go, McKennie is poised to finish the season strong: He’s started Schalke’s last four games after recovering from an ankle injury, and has gone the distance in the Blues’ last two.
Takeaway: McKennie has also shown plenty of versatility, splitting the last month between central midfield – his position with the USMNT – and right back. That adaptability served him well during a tough season for last year’s Bundesliga runner-up. Look for the Texan to play an even bigger role next season under new Schalke manager (and former U.S. midfielder) David Wagner.
M Cristian Roldan, Seattle Sounders (MLS)
The 23-year-old two-way midfielder has been showing off his long-range shooting skills recently, tallying from distance in each of his last two games, including Saturday’s screamer (bottom right) against Houston:
Takeaway: Although Roldan started three of Berhalter’s first four games at the helm, he might find a lineup spot hard to come by at the Gold Cup if McKennie stays healthy. That said, Roldan’s recent form supports the notion at the very least, Berhalter will lean on him heavily off the bench.
M Duane Holmes, Derby County (England)
Holmes started and went 70 minutes in Derby’s 1-0 loss to Leeds United in the first leg of the Premier League promotion playoffs, with the decisive match scheduled for Thursday.
Takeaway: If the Rams can’t come back and win, a first U.S. call-up at any level might be the consolation prize for the Georgia-born, England-raised speedster. Even if the 24-year-old Holmes doesn’t make Berhalter’s Gold Cup squad, he’s one of several interesting options for the future who have earned an in-person look from the boss.
F Gyasi Zardes, Columbus Crew (MLS)
Last week, Zardes had a goal and an assist in a 3-1 win against the streaking Galaxy. On Monday, he signed contract extension with the Crew that made him a designated player, one of just four American forwards to hold that distinction. (Jozy Altidore, Dom Dwyer and Chris Wondolowski are the others.)
Takeaway: Altidore remains the favorite to lead the line for the U.S. this summer if he recovers from his latest hamstring injury in time. But while’s on schedule so far, that’s a big if given Altidore’s history. If the Toronto FC striker can’t go, Berhalter will turn to Zardes not just for goals, but to hold the ball up for and combine with Pulisic. There’s some chemistry there already: Pulisic and the 27-year-old Californian worked well together during March games against Ecuador and Chile.
D DeAndre Yedlin, Newcastle (England)
The veteran right back underwent season ending groin surgery last week.
Takeaway: No timetable for the 25-year-old return has been given, but it seems highly unlikely that Berhalter would rush Yedlin back for the Gold Cup at the risk of him getting re-injured ahead of Newcastle’s preseason, which begins in July.
Fabian Johnson, Borussia Monchengladbach (Germany)
Johnson played 17 games for ‘Gladbach, which holds Germany’s fourth and last Champions League spot heading into the final match day. But he hasn’t seen the field since April 7.
Takeaway: Berhalter kept the door open for the 31-year-old 2014 World Cup starter, and while Yedlin’s injury could’ve allowed Johnson to push through, his lack of action over the final month of the season probably shuts for good.
D Tim Ream, Fulham (England)
The 31-year-old started 25 Premier League games this season but his time in the planet’s best league could be over after Fulham’s relegation to the second tier.
Takeaway: Ream wore the armband for the U.S. in March and was one of just four players to crack the lineup for both games. He’ll make the Gold Cup roster and is the favorite to start at left back. Still, with the Cottagers dropping down a division and his 32nd birthday looming in October, one has to wonder if the regional championship could mark the classy vet’s international swan song.
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