With 4 players on the present roster, no membership is healthier represented on the US males’s national team’s January camp than Orlando City SC, whose Exploria Stadium home will host Sunday’s friendly vs. Trinidad and Tobago (7 pm ET | FS1, UniMas, TUDN).
Daryl Dike, Benji Michel, Chris Mueller and Andres Perea are all in rivalry for minutes, a hefty presence for the Lions and a mirrored image of the large progress made in year No. 1 under coach Oscar Pareja. All however Mueller are Olympic-eligible, and all however Mueller are in search of their USMNT debut, making the 24-year-old College of Wisconsin product – who scored two goals in his first cap, earned just last month – virtually a veteran by comparability.
“I haven’t been round for too lengthy,” Mueller said on Monday, chuckling at the concept that he may present some mentorship for his membership teammates. “However they’re all great players, and they’re adapting shortly. They’re all doing so well, and I am so pleased with every and each considered one of them. They’re all so young and they’ve just performed so well for themselves to be right here. And for us all to be right here collectively, enjoying at Exploria Stadium, it is type of ironic, but it surely’s positively a great alternative.”
The presence of fellow Lions appears to be easing the training curve.
“For positive it is great to have acquainted faces that you simply see each single day in coaching. And I feel it is great as a result of everyone knows what one another are able to. We go into coaching, we have seen one another play each single day so we all know to carry one another to excessive expectations,” said Dike on Thursday. “You maintain your self to increased requirements as a result of you may have these acquainted faces round you; they push you to get higher.”
Watch: Chris Mueller shines vs. El Salvador
Nonetheless just 20, Dike goals to push up the United States striker depth chart along with his uncommon mix of dimension, power, mobility and finishing nous. Perea, additionally 20, is a dual-national who was recruited to modify allegiance from Colombia – the place he was a youth national team regular – and could also be on a fast observe in defensive midfield because of his vary, chunk and upside.
Kreis supplied an expansive overview of the trio in a Jan. 12 media availability.
“All of these players I feel have had fairly breakout seasons in 2020 and all earned alternatives with us by means of their play with their membership,” said the US Under-23 coach, who additionally oversees Inter Miami CF’s academy and USL League One side, Fort Lauderdale CF.
“Andres we discover to be a really, really fascinating holding midfield player for us,” Kreis continued. “The amount of ground that he is succesful to cowl defensively, I feel it is just a little bit completely different level than a few of the different guys that now we have in our pool. His processing of the ball, he’s nonetheless studying just a little bit about that and what we’re in search of in a No. 6, however he is displaying marked enchancment just from last camp to this camp. We will already see that he is taking on the concepts and making use of himself really well.
“Daryl has some to be taught, just a little bit about what’s completely different about what Orlando City desires from their strikers could also be completely different than what we’re maybe in search of in ours. However an excellent, tremendous good and keen, hungry young player who really desires to be taught. You’ll be able to decide up on that each time you speak to him and work with him, so desperate to see how he progresses by means of the 2 weeks right here.”
Michel, an Orlando homegrown, is a tad bit older (23) however his velocity and aptitude are getting him appears on the wings, notably as an affect substitute.
Watch: Benji Michel scores late game-winner
“If we take a look at Benji’s qualities, one of many issues that jumps out at you proper away is his electrical tempo,” said Kreis. “And also you noticed within the video games in Orlando this last year, when he would come into these video games, oftentimes he was in a position to make an actual imprint on the match. And so I feel just a little little bit of a query mark for us can be, can he make that very same kind of imprint from a beginning function?”
This camp has blurred the strains between Gregg Berhalter’s senior squad and Kreis’ U-23 group a bit, complicating efforts to divine precisely the place the Orlando contingent fall within the quest for first-team minutes. Sunday’s match may prove a major information point in that regard, with Berhalter hinting on Monday that every one 4 may take the pitch.
“With Andres, he carried out really well all through your complete camp, very secure within the defensive midfield place, in a position to really enhance his physique form receiving balls, in a position to play forward. We predict he did a really good job,” said the USMNT boss. “With Chris and Benji and Daryl, there’s attacking threats: with velocity with Benji, I feel timing of his runs with Chris, and then with power and good capacity within the penalty field with Daryl. So I feel all of them made an affect and we’re wanting forward to seeing them carry out against Trinidad.”
The quartet acknowledge that maintaining Orlando on their present upward trajectory is the best method to stake particular person claims for national-team alternatives within the busy year forward.
“We put what we did within the past and we all know that we just wish to enhance,” said Dike. “We made the playoffs for the primary year this year, and we all know that subsequent year we wish to win, subsequent year we wish to go farther than what we did this year, continue to enhance, enhance. And it begins now. It begins within the offseason.”