The home guard of the U.S. Men's National Team was in full action this past week. The LA Galaxy and Houston Dynamo both started their CONCACAF Champions League campaigns while the MLS season entered the home stretch.
With two World Cup qualifiers coming up Sept. 6 at Costa Rica and Sept. 10 in Columbus hosting archrival Mexico, we can expect a new USMNT roster by early next week.
Since MLS stubbornly refuses to honor the FIFA International Match Calendar, any MLS players called to national team duty will miss key league games. Seattle Sounders players on the USMNT roster will miss two home games, Sept. 4 versus Chivas USA and Sept. 7 versus the Chicago Fire.
The league standings are tight in MLS and every game is crucial in securing a playoff birth.
Because all of the European-based players are free from club duty there is a strong possibility that the MLS playoff race will affect Jurgen Klinsmann's roster choices. Klinsmann will certainly call his MLS starters but clubs may be reluctant to release key players during the playoff chase to sit on the USMNT bench.
If Klinsmann doesn't call in a player for these qualifiers, it does not mean that player is out of the national team picture: "If they are not called in for the games against Costa Rica it doesn’t mean that any of those guys are out of the picture by any means."
That's next week. This week we review the performances of the home guard adding two new players to the guard: Juan Agudelo and Carlos Bocanegra.
All metrics courtesy of MLSsoccer.com.