Episode 47: The Future Draft — picking teams of un-capped American U21s


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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

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