MLS Will Be On Display Again During CONCACAF Cup Match

Nearly half the USMNT roster for the US vs. Mexico game is from MLS. They look to highlight the league
by Katherine Rupp   |   Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Major League Soccer is wrapping up the regular season with most teams having from two to four matches remaining. And on this weekend, the weekend of the CONCACAF Cup match, there will be a game with Eastern conference implications (Montreal Impact at Colorado Rapids). However, most eyes – even though Montreal is sitting right above the ‘red line’ (for playoffs), Colorado is already eliminated from the 2015 MLS Playoffs – will be on the USA – Mexico game.

From Tim Ream at Fulham and DeAndre Yedlin at Sunderland – and with Fabian Johnson who’s recently been injured but has returned to play for Borussia Monchengladbach and now has been called to the USMNT – to Gyasi Zardes of LA Galaxy, an in-form Graham Zusi at KC, and the seemingly-never-aging but also retired and now un-retired Houston Dynamo player DaMarcus Beasley, there’s a solid 23-man roster for the big match against Mexico. Out of the 23 players, there are 12 from MLS that were called up for the game at the Rose Bowl.

Additionally – although the USA – Mexico game may overshadow the U-23 Olympic Qualifying games – there are many MLS players playing with the U-23 Yanks. On the Olympic Qualifying team are up-and-comers like Matt Miazga who’s been having a fantastic season with the New York Red Bulls but also with most youth national team call-ups he receives. And with the U-23 win against Panama on Tuesday night, the ‘Baby Nats’, as some call the team, advance to play in Sandy, Utah at the RioT (also known as Rio Tinto).

With players like – to name a few – Miazga, Columbus Crew SC midfielder – and US U-23 captain – Wil Trapp, Matt Polster from the Chicago Fire, and San Jose Earthquakes’s Fatai Alashe and Marc Pelosi, the young Yanks will look to qualify for the Olympics. Also, though these players, many of them on MLS teams, still on the U-23 team, keep those names in mind as they may be making quite the showing and impression in years to come for the full US national team.

That said, there are a handful of Major League Soccer players – and none of who are on the Rapids or the Impact – that will be playing in the CONCACAF Cup match against Mexico. And this match – that is sold out at the Rose Bowl and will allow the winner of the game to be entered into the 2017 Confederations Cup (somewhat of a primer to the 2018 World Cup that will be held in Russia) – with huge implications, also has, as previously mentioned, a large contingent based in MLS. Regardless of the score, this will showcase some of the best players and their skills from CONCACAF, and most notably from the US team from Major League Soccer. Only Ventura Alvarado – a young and somewhat un-tested defender (although Coach Klinsmann rates the Club America player highly) – and Michael Orozco, defender who plays for Club Tijuana, play in Mexico.

Although this CONCACAF Cup is a game to decide if the US or Mexico will be going to the Confederations Cup, many people are on the fence about whether the USMNT need to go or not. Some people call it a distraction and unnecessary tournament about 12 months before the World Cup yet others call it a needed competition to gauge how a team could fare in 12 months after in the World Cup.

Whatever your opinions on the CONCACAF Cup match and the Confederations Cup, a United States versus Mexico game is always, always exciting, and even moreso when 90,000 people will be in attendance to watch the game.

Katherine RUPP

Drake University
Club Domestic:
Sporting KC
Club Foreign:
Tottenham Hotspur
Unabashed Minnesotan by birth. Tried reliving the glory days of collegiate intramural soccer championships but an ACL tear dashed future hopes of adult recreational greatness. Covering a city’s team that’s too big for one state: SKC.