YNT Gold Cup Omissions
The 2023 Gold Cup kicks off tomorrow for the United States. The United States will look to defend their title and win a fourth straight Concacaf senior title. The federation called in a mostly B and C squad, similar to last year, with some exciting young talent called in. There are a few deserving U.S. Youth National Team players I would have loved to see on this squad, while I do understand the rationale for why each of these players were left with their clubs.
The United States Men's National Team have been searching, or not searching, for a backup to Jedi Robinson for over two and a half years. Once again, the U.S. only called in one true left-back, so John Tolkin is going to have a great chance to turn heads and make a case for that role. I would have loved to see Caleb Wiley get an extended run with the Senior team to see if he is ready to take the next big jump. In my eyes, Wiley is the most likely prospect to backup Robinson and potentially push him for a starting role long-term.
I understand why Wiley was not selected. Atlanta is already losing Miles Robinson for about a month and they lost Wiley for a several weeks during the U20 World Cup. This would have been asking a lot and maintaining good club relationships is very important to U.S. Soccer.
This was always wishful thinking considering Buck was not even selected to the U20 World Cup team, but I believe Buck is closer to the senior team than U.S. Soccer seems to recognize. Buck is one of the next big prospects
that looks close-ish to pushing for a spot. I'd argue that he is closer to the USMNT level than Gianluca Busio, who was selected to the team.
Gutierrez was not released to the U20 World Cup team, which Chicago Fire had every right to do. U.S. Soccer could have forced their hand for the Gold Cup, but either decided he wasn't ready or that would not be the best for him right now.
Gutierrez is currently tied for 6th in Major League Soccer with five assists and is quickly becoming one of the most exciting prospects in the United States pool. He can play both as a ten and a winger and would have been a more intriguing option than someone like Julian Gressel.
It is known that U.S. Soccer is very high on Kevin Paredes, but the timing for bringing him into USMNT camps have been challenging. I am not sure if U.S. Soccer would have brought him in or if it was a collective decision to prioritize Wolfsburg preseason camp. If it was the latter, I totally get it, but it would have been fun to see him play winger and/or left-back with this group.
Similar to Brian Gutierrez, Paxten Aaronson was not released for the U20 World Cup, but U.S. Soccer could have called him in to this camp. And similar to Kevin Paredes, it's very possible he was left off the roster because they want to let him prioritize Frankfurt preseason camp and solidifying a key role next season. Whatever the reason, Aaronson is another Youth National Team player that is trying to push his way into the senior picture and this would have been a great tournament to get his feet wet.
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