In a move that could prove promising for Crew SC's developing U.S. internationals Zack Steffen, Wil Trapp and Gyasi Zardes, the U.S. Soccer Federation has extended interim head coach Dave Sarachan's contract through June. The Washington Post's Steven Goff first reported the extension, which Sarachan says was agreed upon "about a month ago."
Since Sarachan took the interim job, he's called Trapp and Steffen into two camps while providing a series of firsts for the pair: Steffen earned his first cap with the senior national team, playing the second half in a friendly against Bosnia & Herzegovina in January; Trapp was named captain and played the 83 minutes in that mach, his third senior cap. Both Trapp and Steffen are currently with the USMNT ahead of a friendly against Paraguay scheduled for Feb. 23 (7:30 pm ET; FS1, UniMás, UDN).
Zardes was also called into January's camp, while former Crew SC forward Kekuta Manneh was a late addition to the USMNT current selection.
“The roster has an average age under 24, so for the most part this is a group of younger players that we feel have a future with the National Team along with some familiar names,” Sarachan told USsoccer.com. “The timing is right to give these guys international exposure, and they will certainly be tested against a strong and experienced Paraguayan team.”
With a habit of calling the current generation of Crew SC stalwarts into national team camps, Sarachan's handle on the head job through June could mean Black & Gold call-ups through at least the next three matches.
Sarachan, who was Bruce Arena's top assistant until Arena's resignation following the failed World Cup qualification, appears to be in charge for the Red, White & Blue's upcoming matches against Bolivia (May 28), Ireland (June 2) and France (June 9). The USSF will likely begin a search for a full-time replacement until a general manager is hired.
In the midst of Steffen and Trapp's absence, Crew SC will return to MAPFRE Stadium on March 24 for an Eastern Conference clash against D.C. United at 6 p.m. ET.