Weekend Recap: American goalscorers are thriving in MLS, USMNT roster updates, and much more

Quick
Hits
  • MLS: American goalscorers are thriving, plus one other takeaway as we head into the international break
  • USMNT: Steffen withdraws and a potential starting lineup for the U.S.’s game against Morocco this week
  • USL: How the League One to Championship pipeline is impacting the USL this season

We’re back with another edition of the Weekend Recap. Every Monday, we make it easier for you to keep up with the most interesting and important things in American soccer. 

Today, we’re taking you through some of the past weekend’s key storylines, including what we know about MLS heading into the international break, some USMNT roster updates, and how the League One to Championship pipeline is impacting the USL this year. 

To read the entire Weekend Recap, subscribe to our free newsletter!

MLS

Lowery: Two things we know about MLS heading into the international break

We’re three months into the MLS season, folks. Every team is at least a third of the way through their schedule as we head into the June international break. Speaking of that break, this is a great chance to take stock of what’s happened so far this year.

So what do we know about MLS so far in 2022? What things are we confident in after this first stretch of the season? Spoiler: I’m not confident in a ton. But there are a few things that I’m willing to bank on at this point. 

NYCFC are very good

There are lots of teams in MLS this year that I’m pretty sure are good. But at this point, there’s really only one team that I feel completely confident is actually very, very good… [Subscribe]

USMNT

Lowery: USMNT updates, preferred starting XI for Wednesday’s U.S. vs. Morocco game

Over the last few days, there have been a couple of U.S. men’s national team updates that relate to the team’s upcoming June window.

On Friday, U.S. Soccer announced that Zack Steffen was withdrawing from the June roster due to family reasons. Gregg Berhalter added Sean Johnson to his roster in place of Steffen. We’re wishing all the best for Steffen and his family right now.

Without Steffen in the squad, the door is open for Matt Turner (or Ethan Horvath or Johnson) to get some serious minutes at a position that, in my view, needs a new depth chart because of Steffen’s shot-stopping issues… [Subscribe]

USL

Morrissey: How the League One to Championship pipeline is impacting the USL this season

After a midweek game to forget in which Phoenix Rising gave seven academy players their professional debuts in a 7-0 loss, Phoenix was back to a preferred 11 for their game against Hartford Athletic over the weekend with Greg Hurst leading the line.

Hurst is the real deal – and he represents a key proof of concept for the League One-to-Championship pipeline in the USL. This season, the Phoenix striker rates as the second-best player to make the move up from the third tier. Aaron Molloy, a box-to-box dynamo for surprise juggernaut Memphis 901 FC, leads the class, which is pictured in its entirety here… [Subscribe]

Subscribe to our newsletter to get Backheeled’s full Weekend Recap delivered right to your inbox each week. It’s free!