On Jan. 10, Bruce Arena will call up his first team since taking over the United States Men’s National team for the second time. He has come out saying that there will be a number of MLS players in that camp, as is typical. Will he call up any players currently on Orlando City’s roster?
Well, his options are pretty short as there are really only three players that currently stand a chance: Tommy Redding, Brek Shea, and Joe Bendik, each less likely than the last.
The most likely player that could be called up will eventually be an important part of the USA squad if he continues to progress as he has been. Redding will have his fair share of minutes in 2017, but with Jose Aja and, most likely, Gregory Sertic in the mix he will not be starting every game for Orlando City. Before Redding can cement a place in the national team he must first be playing regular minutes for his club. Still, Redding has been a vital member of the U.S. Youth teams, wearing the captain’s band for the U.S. Under-20 team. Expect Redding to be playing with the USMNT, just not yet.
At one point Brek Shea was a no brainer for the USMNT. Now, well, he may not even be getting time with Orlando City. Shea will not, and should not, be a part of the January camp and his focus should be on Orlando City. If Shea plays well in MLS this year, look for him to be a part of pre-World Cup teams. As of right now, it is up to Shea to prove he deserves a spot.
The last player that has a slight chance in Arena’s January camp is Joe Bendik. As all Orlando City fans know, Bendik is a top quality goalkeeper. Without him Orlando City would have been one of the worst teams in MLS in 2016.
There are two main problems that will limit Bendik from getting a call up. The first is that his statistics are pretty poor. The reason for this is not because of him but the players in front of him. But strictly from a statistics point of view Bendik has no shot at making the USMNT camp. The second problem is the players in front of him. The USMNT has a history of fielding exceptional goalkeepers, and when it comes down to Joe Bendik or Tim Howard, Bendik will not make it. Similar to Shea, however, if Bendik has a great 2017 Arena may look towards him. It will still be a long shot for him getting in, though.
On a positive note, Cyle Larin will be part of Canada’s set up .The Canadians play at the end of January, and new Orlando City signing Will Johnson may also be called up to the team.