Dave Sarachan -- Closeup -- With US team

CARY, N.C. – Speaking to the media on Wednesday, US national team interim manager Dave Sarachan outlined the framework of the training camp that will be held in the buildup to a March 27 friendly against Paraguay.


The camp will begin on March 18, with the first training held the following day. The culminating friendly will be played at WakeMed Soccer Park, the home ground of the USL’s North Carolina FC.


Although the composition of the March roster has not been finalized, Sarachan said the concurrent FIFA window will allow him to cast a wider net than the distinctly MLS-heavy January call-ups.


“The pool is going to be a more experienced group, although it’ll be young in nature because I think, philosophically speaking, 2018 is a year to offer an opportunity to a lot of players who we think have a real future and really getting to know some new players,” Sarachan said. “So, the March roster will be comprised with a blend of European-based players, players based in Mexico and other places around the world, and then Major League Soccer players.”


Although he declined to elaborate about who exactly that group might include, Sarachan cited Tyler Adams and Wil Trapp as young MLS players who impressed during the program’s last two camps. He also cast some doubt on whether program veterans Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore will return to the national team for the next several USMNT friendlies, even while they remain in the long-term national team setup.


“Michael, Jozy, and I could name a number of other guys who have been through qualifying who I know personally and have coached over the years—I still believe there’s a future for all those players going forward,” Sarachan said. “However, for the March game and the games in May and June [against Ireland and France], I still believe that it’s a platform to allow players to get their feet wet internationally.”


Sarachan also expressed sadness over the ACL injury that Seattle Sounders forward Jordan Morris suffered last week. The setback is likely to sideline Morris for most, if not all, of 2018 after nagging injuries dogged Morris throughout most of 2017.


“You feel sick for the kid,” Sarachan said. “Beyond the fact that he’s a talent, he’s one of the all-time great people who I’ve been around.”


Knowing Morris, Sarachan remains optimistic about his future and potential return to national team form.


“[Jordan’s] attitude and positivity will help him heal quickly,” Sarachan insisted. “He’s young and strong enough where he will bounce back—this won’t be career-ending by any means. He will come back even stronger. I know this kid.”