Fans of the United States Men's National Team are understandably excited about the future of the program following a thrilling run at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
The core of the team is extremely young by global soccer standards, and with the 2026 World Cup set to take place in the United States, it's all setting up for a generational opportunity to grow the game.
Pundits are already beginning to forecast what the USMNT roster could look like as hosts for the next tournament. On Tuesday, ESPN.com dropped an article projecting the squad for the 2026 World Cup, including names of some of the top young prospects in the country who could be in contention four years down the road.
Two players from Sounders FC's development pipeline, midfielders Obed Vargas and Reed Baker-Whiting, were named as top talents to watch for the USMNT over the next few years.
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"The Guardian named the 17-year-old part of its Next Generation 2022 crop in September," ESPN.com's Bill Connelly wrote about Baker-Whiting. "He dominated the MLS' Generation Adidas Cup, and in 305 minutes with the Seattle Sounders, he has created five chances and attempted six shots worth 1.4 xG. Of all the teenagers we're discussing, Baker-Whiting might be the most likely player to force his way into the US manager's plans."
Connelly and ESPN were equally excited by the prospect of Vargas breaking into the USMNT setup.
"Another 17-year-old Sounder, Vargas has already logged more than 1,300 minutes in MLS and the CONCACAF Champions League," wrote Connelly. "He has major potential in a pivot midfield role, and he has proven that he can both pass the ball and draw contact at high levels."
You can find the full article HERE.