Ready or not, here comes the international break.
During halftime of today’s nationally-televised game between the Montreal Impact and Toronto FC, US Soccer announced the roster for the USMNT’s upcoming World Cup Qualifiers.
Among the list of players: Chicago Fire midfielder and captain Dax McCarty.
Normally we’d take this as good news. Having players good enough to be called up for the USMNT is an honor and a privilege.
MLS isn’t observing this date on the FIFA calendar, so teams across the league will be missing some of their best players to international duty. The Fire are in dire straits at the moment and can’t really afford to be without their captain. At the very least, Dax looks set to miss out on next weekend’s trip to Montreal— which, all of a sudden, is really crucial to the Fire’s playoff chances.
Given the other midfielders called up, and Bruce Arena’s recent history with the squad, it’s entirely possible Dax won’t see significant minutes. The Fire are potentially looking at losing their captain for one or more crucial league fixtures just so Brucie can have a time-waster substitute.
And of course, there’s always the fear that Dax could pick up an injury. This late in the season, even a moderate injury could put him on the shelf for the rest of the year.
So yeah. Woo. One Nation One Team or whatever.
The USMNT continue their WC Qualifying campaign against Costa Rica on Friday. Here’s the full squad:
DEF: DaMarcus Beasley (Houston Dynamo), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Omar Gonzalez (Pachuca), Matt Hedges (FC Dallas), Eric Lichaj (Nottingham Forest), Tim Ream (Fulham), Jorge Villafaña (Santos Laguna), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
MID: Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas), Paul Arriola (D.C. United), Alejandro Bedoya (Philadelphia Union), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Dax McCarty (Chicago Fire), Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers), Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders FC)
FWD: Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders FC), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes), Bobby Wood (Hamburg)