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With the travel to South Africa making a trip there a burden for overloaded starters, and with several key MLS-based players still taking part in the MLS playoffs, Bob Bradley has a limited number of options for selecting his roster for the U.S. team's upcoming friendly with South Africa. It's a situation that is looking more and more like it will lead to a look at some very young options.
Sources have told SBI that New York Red Bulls striker Juan Agudelo has been selected for the U.S. roster that will face South Africa on Nov. 17th, and now Norwegian media are reporting that midfielder Mikkel Diskerud (pictured) is also being called in for the match.
Agudelo is currently a member of the U.S. Under-20 national team and only recently made his professional debut with the Red Bulls. Neither he or Diskerud has made a U.S. senior national team appearance.
Sources have also told SBI that highly-regarded U.S. Under-20 national team defender Gale Agbossoumonde is also in the mix for a call-up for next week's match in Cape Town.
While the call-up of young players may come as a surprise to some, it wouldn't be the first time Bob Bradley has called in new faces to play South Africa. In the 2007 Nelson Mandela Challenge Cup, Bradley gave Jozy Altidore his first cap and Freddy Adu his first start.
Agudelo is coming off a very impressive showing in the MLS Playoffs, where his first two professional starts came in strong showings against the San Jose Earthquakes. Despite being just 17 (he turns 18 later this month), Agudelo showed no fear and impressive speed and technical ability.
While Diskerud's name may seem unfamiliar to those who don't follow the U.S. national team closely, he has long been regarded as a long-term prospect. Diskerud last wore a USA uniform at the 2009 Under-20 World Cup, where he saw some playing time but failed to impressive as expected. In the time since that tournament, Diskerud has enjoyed a strong career for Norwegian club Staebak and his status as a dual-eligible international player (he can also play for Norway) is likely to have played some role in having him come into U.S. camp now after the end of the Norwegian club season.
What do you think of these developments? Excited to see some new faces? Looking forward to a potential Altidore-Agudelo forward tandem?
Share your thoughts below.