Every January, U.S. Soccer has a tradition of calling in a group of mostly MLS players to participate in a special national team camp. Even a pandemic couldn’t keep the USMNT from this tradition, as they announced their roster decisions for the camp that’s scheduled to run Jan. 9-24 in Orlando, Fla. Cristian Roldan and Jordan Morris are the two Seattle Sounders named to the senior team.
Gregg Berhalter has seemingly taken an interesting approach to naming this roster. The former Columbus Crew head coach selected only 12 “senior” players, while naming 26 players to the U-23 roster. This camp has always been about prioritizing experience for younger players, so this is not particularly surprising.
“This is an important year for our National Team programs, and we are looking to maximize every possible opportunity,” Berhalter said in a statement. “For the senior team players, this is an opportunity to continue to develop as a group and build on the foundation of a busy and challenging year. Being alongside our U-23 team gives that group a chance to prepare for Olympic qualifying while further integrating into our culture and game model.”
Morris is the second-most capped player on the roster with 39 caps and Roldan is the fifth-most capped with 19 caps. Both were in last year’s January camp, but haven’t made an appearance for the USMNT since Nov. 19, 2019.
Although the January camp usually has some overlap with the beginning of MLS preseason, that may not be a problem this year as the potential of renewed labor negotiations could delay things.