As part of U.S. Soccer’s Fan Friday celebration, U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Bruce Arena held a Facebook Live chat covering a wide-range of topics and gave particular insight in to the team’s January camp.
With the annual gathering serving as the only warm-up before the MNT’s two important World Cup Qualifying matches in March against Honduras and away to Panama, Arena mentioned some of the names that will join the team in Carson, Calif., on Jan. 10.
“We hope to announce our January camp in the near future, but you’re going to see many of the typical faces,” Arena said on Facebook Live Friday morning. “If I can give you a little bit of insight, a couple players that haven’t been around for a bit are going to be back in camp. An example would be Benny Feilhaber, Juan Agudelo, Gyasi Zardes, Darlington Nagbe, Jordan Morris, Chris Pontius, Dax McCarty, Keegan Rosenberry from Philadelphia, two center backs – [Matt] Hedges and [Walker] Zimmerman from Dallas and so on and so forth.”
Speaking later about the need to test younger players in the team’s wide midfield positions, Arena also dropped the name of Kekuta Manneh. Born in Gambia, the Vancouver Whitecaps FC winger recently gained his U.S. citizenship, pushing him one step closer to being eligible for the U.S. MNT.
Speaking about Beasley, “He’s a player we’ve invited into camp. We have a shortage at left back. DaMarcus, still at his age, he’s still a reliable, steady left back. We need to look at him and see where he is right now and still consider him as an option on our depth chart.”
Dempsey, who was forced to end his season early due to an irregular heartbeat back in August, will use the camp as a way to ease back into things before Seattle Sounders FC begin their M.L.S. Cup defense in March.
“I’ve spoken to Clint recently and I’ve been in touch with the people in Seattle and we’re going to move along slowly,” Arena said. “Our goal is to bring Clint to the camp in January in a limited capacity and slowly build him into the preseason in Seattle and hope that he can be a consideration for our games in March.”
Watch Arena’s full Facebook Live chat below.