Joey Anthone (@USAProspects), Matt Hartman (@MattSHartman) join for a draft of uncapped U-21 Americans with assembling hypothetical teams for the 2026 World Cup in mind. The three of us each pick a 20-player roster, and briefly discuss who came out best.
Here were the rules:
- Only U.S.-eligible players born in 1997 or later are allowed.
- Anyone already capped with the senior men’s national team is disqualified. That excludes, for instance, Pulisic, McKennie, Adams, Sargent, Weah, even though they are age-eligible.
- We’re picking specifically with the goal of assembling the best possible team in 2026.
- We each need to come up with a 20-man roster, including two goalkeepers. That's a total of 60 players.
- Dual nationals are allowed, so long as they’ve accepted a youth national team call-up at some point and are not cap-tied by another nation.
We'll roll out info on Twitter (@zlebmada) and a poll to decide the winner over the next few days, but here are the major timestamps:
- 0:30 Rules
- 1:50 Rounds 1-10
- 38:10 Rounds 11-20
- 1:26:35 Brief discussion