MLS has solid representation in U.S.’ Olympic roster pool. Is it good enough to medal?

It’s been nearly two decades since the United States men’s national team fielded an Olympic roster.

The drought of missing four straight was quenched on Wednesday upon the release of the 25-player pool assembled by U.S. Olympic national team coach Marko Mitrovic ahead of this year’s Summer Games in Paris.

On the roster are 10 players on currently on Major League Soccer teams, including a number of players that have been a part of all four national team training camps held thus far in preparation for the Games.

MLS: Inter Miami CF at Vancouver Whitecaps FC

Inter Miami’s Benjamin Cremaschi is one of 10 players from MLS in the current Olympic player pool.
Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Opening rounds of the tournament begin even before the Opening Ceremony, with first matches beginning July 24. The men open their account in Group A play against New Zealand on July 27 (1 p.m. ET). It all culminates with the men’s Gold Medal game on Aug. 9 (noon, ET).

Quick tl;dr on how it all works: Olympic rosters are comprised of the best players under 23 years of age, but teams can add up to three overage players on the roster. As a sobering reminder for us born prior to Y2K, that means the majority of the players on this current roster were born in 2001 or later.

What does it mean that so many players hail from MLS first team rosters? It remains to be seen, but impressive still that in such a removal from the tournament, essentially half of the current player pool ply their trade Stateside. Typically, these rosters would holster the best American talent from playing on teams around the world, namely in Europe.

Currently, of the remaining 11 players on the roster only one, in forward Cade Cowell, plays outside of both Europe and the United States, currently playing in Mexico’s Liga MX, with Guadalajara. However Cowell is MLS groomed, so to speak, as a standout with MLS’ San Jose Earthquakes franchise just last season.

It’s a collective U.S. Soccer boasts has been compiled to complete “the Federation’s mission to develop winning teams as it will provide some of the nation’s top young talent the opportunity to face elite opposition on the world stage this summer.”

U.S. Soccer believes this early round pool of players give America the best chance to come home with a medal. What do you think?

US Olympic National Team player pool for June friendlies

Players listed with current club teams

GOALKEEPERS: Patrick Schulte (Columbus Crew, MLS) Gaga Slonina (Chelsea, EPL)

DEFENDERS: Nathan Harriel (Philadelphia Union, MLS), Jalen Neal (LA Galaxy, MLS), Bryan Reynolds (KVC Westerlo, Belgium), John Tolkin (New York Red Bulls, MLS), Jonathan Tomkinson (Norwich City, England), Caleb Wiley (Atlanta United, MLS), Walker Zimmerman (Nashville SC, MLS)

MIDFIELDERS: Cole Bassett (Colorado Rapids, MLS), Gianluca Busio (Venezia, Serie A); Greensboro, N.C.), Benjamin Cremaschi (Inter Miami, MLS), Jack McGlynn (Philadelphia Union, MLS.), Aidan Morris (Columbus Crew, MLS), Rokas Pukstas (Hajduk Split, Croatia), Tanner Tessmann (Venezia, Serie B)

FORWARDS: Paxten Aaronson (Eintracht Frankfurt, Bundesliga), Esmir Bajraktarevic (New England Revolution, MLS), Taylor Booth (Utrecht, Holland), Cade Cowell (Guadalajara, Liga MX), Damion Downs (Köln, Germany), Johan Gomez (Eintracht Braunschweig, Germany), Duncan McGuire (Orlando City SC, MLS), Kevin Paredes (Wolfsburg, Bundesliga), Griffin Yow (KVC Westerlo, Belgium)

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