Here’s the hypothetical. The US men’s national team has a critical 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier coming up in November. What would be your starting XI?
It’s a question posed to Matt Doyle on Extratime presented by Continental. Watch the video and check out the breakdown by position after the video below.
On yesterday's show @MattDoyle76 named his #USMNT starting XI for a hypothetical November qualifier.— Extratime ⚽🗣🎙 (@Extratime) September 22, 2020
Agree? Disagree? Listen to the full segment and then send us your lineup! https://t.co/KJLY1ANcJO pic.twitter.com/xmz2pi3Y5r
Watch: Doyle gives USMNT starting XI
Doyle had no doubts about his backline: Sergiño Dest, John Brooks, Aaron Long and Reggie Cannon.
The fixtures for Doyle are MLS academy products Tyler Adams and Weston McKennie partnering in central midfield.
Also, ex-NYCFC academy player Gio Reyna would occupy the string-pulling No. 10 in midfield, with a caveat:
“Although Sebastian Lletget has been great for the US national team every time he’s played for the US national team and he has been great recently for the Galaxy, one of the best players in the league, Reyna is probably a different level,” Doyle said.
A healthy Christian Pulisic mans the left wing spot, while Jordan Morris is on the right ahead of Tim Weah, who isn’t at full fitness yet.
However, if this important match were to be held in March 2021, Doyle would consider one potential change.
“I would put Reyna as that right side pinched-in winger and [Paxton] Pomykal in the central midfield,” he said. “But Pomykal hasn’t been healthy at all this year, but when he has played, he has been one of the very best players in the league.”
Up front, Doyle picks Josh Sargent over Jozy Altidore.
“Jozy does not look like the Jozy of even last year so far in 2020 and we have to recognize that,” he said.
In fact, the Toronto FC striker wouldn’t even be his No. 2 choice.
“I’m considering Gyasi [Zardes] because Gyasi’s been incredible,” Doyle said, calling the Columbus Crew SC forward “the MVP of MLS at this point,” while touting Portland Timbers forward Jeremy Ebobisse as one to watch eventually.
“I love Ebobisse, it’s not at the point where I’m thinking of starting him in a World Cup qualifier,” Doyle said. “Not quite yet.”