One of the potential side-effects of the United States not qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russia is that it provides an excellent opportunity to clean house and give some promising American youth players an opportunity to play for their country. That appears to be what we have here.
Today, USA acting head coach Dave Sarachan released his international squad ahead of a friendly match against Portugal on November 14, and he has rewarded young Tottenham Hotspur center back Cameron Carter-Vickers with his first call-up to the senior squad.
Carter-Vickers has been a star for USA at the youth levels, with caps at the U18, U20, and U23 levels, often partnering with Chelsea-slash-Vitesse defender Matt Miazga (who was also called up to the USMNT) in central defense. This, however, is the first time he’s been called up to the senior squad.
CCV, 19, is spending the season on loan at Championship side Sheffield United, where he’s been a regular in the Blades’ back line. He has one goal and one assist so far this season, and Sheffield United are currently in second place in the Championship, just a season after promoting by winning League One.
It’s hard to say whether Cam might make his senior debut for USA against Portugal; CCV will be competing for minutes with Miazga, John Brooks, and Tim Ream. But if there were ever a good time to give a promising young American center back an opportunity to make a debut for his country, a stupid dead-rubber friendly just weeks after crashing out of World Cup qualifying seems like a good time to do it. Let’s hope it happens.