Last week, new United States Men’s National Team Head Coach Bruce Arena called 32 players into the team’s January camp. The call-ups were exclusively MLS players with Orlando City unrepresented in the group.
While the January camp doesn’t bring any complications as it’s not during the MLS season, the lack of any Lions does bring up an interesting question. Do clubs really want representation on the national team?
Each time an international break arrives and the national team announces its latest call-ups, fans from around the league search the roster for players from their club, usually hoping to see a recognizable name. Many fans will find at least one player that they watch each week but others won’t. Most fans have an idea of whether they actually want their players called up but there are pros and cons to each side.
There are certainly positives to seeing players from your favorite team called into the national team. Despite the fact that a lot of Americans inexplicably treat national teams like league teams and randomly select a team to root for, having multiple players from your club representing the national team is a badge of honor for the club. Additionally, players on your team that represent the national team will gain the opportunity to play against a higher level of competition when they play some of Europe and South America’s elite. This can only be a positive for their skills, especially the younger players.
However, there are also negatives to having your club’s players represent their national team. While it’s not a problem during the January camp, MLS often still refuses to give way to international breaks by halting league play. So if you have a player on the national team, and he’s likely a key player for your club, you have a good chance of losing him for a period of time during the season. There’s also the issue of potential injury while on international duty. It’s bad enough when a club loses a player to injury, but it’s made worse when that player is lost to injury while playing for another team.
There are both positives and negatives to having players on your favorite team being called into a national team camp. While the player will gain valuable experience playing at a higher level and will give his club bragging rights for fans, if he’s consistently called into camp, he could miss a significant part of the season and could potentially suffer an injury while away. So, while Orlando City will not be represented in Bruce Arena’s January camp, it may not be all that bad of a thing.
What do you think? Would you be thrilled to see a Lion called up for international duty or would it raise your concerns? Let us know in the comments below!