Post #16
Tuesday September 25, 2018 3:56pm

Joined Oct 2012
Total Posts: 981
Original post from bjelks

I think Fab would be more interested in playing for us if we had a manager he respected and a 23 he felt were international quality or at least capable of competing at a high level.
Highly doubtful that it has anything to do with the manager or the 23 man roster. He is getting up in age and likely has no interest in taking time away from club to play in games when he probably won't be in the squad for the next WC. Playing more games both wears his body down faster and increases his chances of injury - and that's before taking into account that he is crossing the Atlantic to play. His club pays him. That's his job. He probably doesn't want to make an unnecessary sacrifice that could jeopardize his income/club position when the games are more or less meaningless to him and the few years he has left in his career.

Prime example - Brad Friedel. He retired from national team duty in 2005. He was our best keeper and would/should have started in both 2006 and 2010. However, he retired from the USMNT to focus on prolonging his club career (which was probably the best choice for him from a professional perspective).

Fabian Johnson only switched from Germany to the USMNT so that he could play in a WC. Mission accomplished. He likely won't be around/good enough to play in 2022, so from his perspective... whats the point?

Post #17
Wednesday September 26, 2018 2:59am

Joined Jul 2014
Total Posts: 952
@Lilshmike - While I agree with the belief that Fabian is done representing the USMNT, I don't think the example of Friedel's retirement is a "Prime Example". Brad walked away from the NT in part because he felt that the team was in good hands (pun intended) with Keller & Howard. There was even talk about him coming out of retirement during the 2014 cycle when Howard went a back-up to Guzan.
In the current cycle there isn't anyone ready to step in right now at the level that Fabian is capable of playing at. But I'd understand if he didn't want/accept any call-ups.

As for the 2019 Gold Cup there are only a few players (11) who'd I call locks to be in the squad (if healthy).
Keeper: Steffen
Defense: Yedlin, Brooks, Miazga, Robinson
Midfield: McKennie, Adams
Attackers: Pulisic, Wood, Weah, Saief,

The rest of the 30 man preliminary squad will be significantly influenced by who the manager is, how the European season unfolds, and how much USSF pushes for MLS players to be part of the team.

Keeper: Guzan, Hamid, Horvath, Gonzalez
Defense: Moore, Cannon, EPB, CCV, Zimmerman, Parker, Villafana, D. Acosta
Midfield: Williams, K. Acosta, Nagbe, Lletget, Parks, Hyndman,
Attackers: Nova, Sargent, Siebatcheu, Green, Gall, Amon, Gooch, Sabbi, Arriola, Jozy

I could also see players like Tillman, Senora, Scott, etc... given a call to cap tie them to the US, If we can convince them to commit. Than replace them after the group stage.

Post #18
Wednesday September 26, 2018 5:19am

Joined Oct 2012
Total Posts: 981

I'm going to have to challenge that Friedel statement about the 2014 WC. Never did I hear any rumors about Friedel potentially coming out of retirement in the 2014 cycle to play for the national team as a backup to Guzan in Howard's absence. Certainly not from Friedel himself, and certainly not from any credible source or someone who was in the know. Now, there was discussion about how Friedel was arguably still one of, if not the best keeper in our pool around 2012 instead of Howard... but that's different than talk of him coming out of retirement.

I'll agree that he may not be a "prime example", but it's close enough. I'll counter with emphasizing that keepers are a different breed and have a longer shelf life than field players... so although Friedel's best years were in front of him at the time of his retirement, FabJo's likely are not. If he is still playing at a high level in 2022 and is still one of our best players, then we should consider him at that time.

I don't agree with the last statement. I dont see those guys getting called up to cap tie them. You may not be advocating for it, but I think it's a bad precedent to set of cap tying players simply to cap tie them in a competitive game, then send them on their way. If they want to play, then fine. But if they (meaning any player who is eligible for multiple nations) are on the fence, then IMO we shouldn't pressure them into playing for us and getting cap tied if they may or may not be in our plans moving forward. That won't help us in the long run. I feel like it may serve more as a deterrent. Call in fringe guys who are full blooded Americans/players fully committed to representing the USMNT for the GC and play the others in a friendly instead.

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