USMNT interim manager Dave Sarachan says veterans still have place in squad

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United States interim manager Dave Sarachan (Getty Images)

U.S. men’s national team manager Dave Sarachan has been youth friendly since taking up the position for fired Bruce Arena, but he claims veterans are still needed in the squad.

Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore, players who have made a consistent impact for the USMNT in competitions such as the World Cup, Gold Cup and Copa America Centernario, have been left off recent rosters. But Sarachan still values them.

“We’re not discounting the value of veteran leadership, and Michael falls into that category,” said Sarachan, whose contract was extended in June through the rest of this year, via espnfc. “There will be a time, I’m sure, when we’re going to count on those players like Michael to be a part of this. We had a good conversation, and I think he understands where we are.”

Fabian Johnson, John Brooks, Altidore and Bradley are trying to earn their way back onto the squad. The USMNT next plays in a major event in June when they compete in the 2019 Gold Cup.

“If he’s healthy, that’s been an issue, [Brooks] would have a little bit more of an opportunity in the near future to be a part of some rosters,” Sarachan said.

Regardless of Sarachan’s plan with veterans, Christian Pulisic remains the heart of the USMNT squad. The 19-year-old, who last played for his country in May, has become an important member of Borussia Dortmund’s squad, even reportedly drawing interest from Liverpool and Chelsea this summer.

The USMNT failed to qualify for the World Cup this year for the first time in more than 30 years. Currently in a transitional period, it will be interesting to see how the squad looks by June.