Brandon Vazquez snubbed from USMNT Nations League roster

Credit: Monterrey

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Credit: Monterrey

This Wednesday, March 13, the USMNT announced its official roster for the CONCACAF Nations League Final Four.

There were the household names like Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie and Gio Reyna, but a notable name left off the roster was Monterrey’s Brandon Vazquez.

The Chula Vista native has had a fantastic season with Rayados in the Liga MX with five goals scored in just six games as a starter. Vazquez has also scored three goals in the CONCACAF Champions League and has clearly won over the very demanding Monterrey fan base. Kids at the Estadio BBVA in Monterrey have even been seen with Superman capes in honor of Vazquez’s nickname.

The clear player that had the potential of being left off for Vazquez was Ricardo Pepi, who is playing in the Eredivisie with PSV and is younger than Vazquez, but he has not been receiving consistent playing time in the Netherlands. Pepi has inclusively only scored two goals in PSV’s last 15 games, which is not an impressive mark by any stretch of the word.

Both Pepi and Vazuez offer a strong physical presence up top, but Vazquez arguably offers a bit more of that and arguably better heading ability. The USMNT also potentially will face Mexico in the Nations League final, and Vazquez is clearly familiar with some of the players on Mexico’s roster at this point. Vazquez had previously told EVT that he was looking forward to the Nations League, but he did say there was “nothing set in stone.”

There is not much controversy with the rest of the USMNT roster, and there are some exciting names on it based on recent form, like Pepi’s teammate Malik Tillman and Real Betis’ Johnny Cardoso. Tillman has scored six goals and provided five assists in just 10 games as a starter for PSV Eindhoven in league play.

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Johnny has been really consistent in the midfield for Real Betis, and given his versatile play, it will be interesting to see his role with the USMNT. The U.S. midfield is crowded, with players like Tyler Adams, Weston McKennie, and Yunus Musah also on the roster, but Johnny has the potential to see some minutes based on current form.

The USMNT will play Jamaica for a chance at the CONCACAF Nations League final on March 21 at AT&T Stadium in Dallas.

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