U.S. men’s national soccer team begins process of regrouping in Carson – Orange County Register

CARSON — What a difference a year makes for the U.S men’s national soccer team.

Last January, the U.S. players and coaches gathered at StubHub Center for the annual opening camp of the year with their eyes focused on World Cup qualifying.

After failing to qualify, the national team kicked off another year on Thursday at StubHub Center with all sights focused on the future, whatever that might hold.

“We had a good meeting last night and basically the past is the past,” interim national team coach Dave Sarachan said. “Today (Thursday) was Day 1 of a new cycle, new group of guys. They say you learn from the past, but the focus is the opportunity that they’re being given right now.”

Sarachan followed Bruce Arena from the Galaxy to an assistant role with the national team. When Arena resigned, Sarachan remained on and led the U.S. to a 1-1 draw against Portugal in November.

“We put a lot into it in a short matter of time,” Sarachan said. “When Bruce and myself and our staff took over this program in January we knew it was going to be not that easy. … When you go through something like that (failing to qualify), you don’t ever quite get over it completely, but at the same time, as professionals, we have to move on. It is never going to leave my mind, but it is not going to distract me now from what the focus is.”

That immediate focus is the future.

The 29-player roster that Sarachan called in for the camp is one of new faces at the international level. Half of them have yet to make their international debut at the senior level, 21 of them are 24 or younger. but a dozen have played for the U.S. at a FIFA Youth World Cup, including four who played at last year’s U-20 World Cup.

The elder statesmen in terms of international appearances, is the Galaxy’s Gyasi Zardes with 37.

The U.S. will conclude the camp with a friendly against Bosnia and Herzegovina on Jan. 28 at StubHub Center.

“We’re all in this together,” Sarachan said. “With or without a President, we are all trying to move this group in the right direction. Give them opportunities, play our friendlies, play during the fixture dates and be ready when the real stuff happens.

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