Top 5 MLS Players That Could Form the USA Team For 2026 World Cup

May 31, 2024 by Staff

The US Men's National Team (USMNT) is gradually approaching the 2026 FIFA World Cup, and Major League Soccer (MLS) has become a necessary source of talent development.

Several American players who could majorly influence the team's World Cup quest are rising through the MLS ranks. Back in the days, MLS wasn’t rated but you can’t watch MLS games today and not see one or two players who are quite good and who you think should be playing in the big leagues such as the Premier league, La Liga and co.

There is increasing anticipation for the USA's performance on home ground as the team gets ready to compete internationally as co-hosts of the 2026 World Cup alongside Mexico and Canada.

5 MLS Players That Could Represent USA

As the year of the world cup draws nearer, it is logical to be curious, especially about what the home teams have to offer. So, if you're one of those who have been wondering what could transpire in the World Cup, you're in the right place.

Here are five exceptional MLS players who could significantly impact the 2026 team and show how far the USMNT has come. These guys are the ones to watch because the tournament offers the squad a fantastic chance to highlight their recent growth.

Miles Robinson

Over time, Miles Robinson has become one of the most formidable defenders in the MLS. Robinson, a central defender for Atlanta United, has developed his craft by merging physicality with a keen sense of the game.

His performances have shown his ability to neutralize dangerous attacking threats for the national team and Major League Soccer. Robinson was also a crucial USMNT defense member in the 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup, helping the team win the championship.

He provides consistency and confidence to the backline, which will be very crucial in 2026. Robinson is positioned to take the lead in the USMNT defense as he continues to develop his skills and acquire experience.

Paxton Pomykal

Paxton Pomykal has been an exceptional player for FC Dallas, displaying his technical prowess, vision, and inventiveness in the midfield. Pomykal is a well-rounded midfielder because of his capacity to dictate the pace of the game, produce cutting passes, and help defensively.

Pomykal has demonstrated resiliency and a desire to overcome setbacks to recover even stronger. Pomykal can provide depth and diversity to the USMNT roster, as the midfield is a vital team section.

His MLS experience and future development will significantly influence the midfield dynamics of the team. His work ethic and playmaking skills will also be helpful during the 2026 World Cup campaign.

Gabriel Slonina 

Gabriel Slonina, often called "Gaga," is among the most talented youth soccer players in the United States. He plays for Chelsea in the Premier League, having begun his career with the Chicago Fire in Major League Soccer.

He has now been transferred to one of the top clubs in Europe because, despite being very young, he has demonstrated poise and maturity above his years.

Slonina's ability to stop shots, command the penalty area, and distribute the ball make him a serious contender to start for the USMNT as a goalkeeper. His MLS exploits have already shown him to perform well under duress, which will be crucial at the World Cup.

John Tolkin

Rookie defender John Tolkin of the New York Red Bulls has demonstrated potential as one of the defensive players in Major League Soccer. Tolkin's ability to cross the ball well as a left-back, attack when necessary, and solid defense contributed to his quick rise to prominence.

His steady and excellent performances have drawn notice and established him as a potential prospect for the national team. Tolkien's development might solve the USMNT's consistent problem of finding a left-back.

With more training and growth, by 2026, Tolkien might become a dependable option for the USMNT, adding depth and stability to the defense unit. His wide range of skills dribbling as a player will be crucial to the team's offensive and defensive strategy.

Cade Cowell

Cade Cowell, a bright young forward, has now become a star for the San Jose Earthquakes. Because of his fantastic pace, dribbling ability, and goal-scoring flair, Cowell is easily one of Major League Soccer's (MLS) best upcoming forwards.

His mobility allows him to play wherever throughout the front line, making him a vital asset to any team. Cowell showed his promise with his stellar MLS accomplishments and US youth team appearances.

By 2026, when he may be a key offensive option for the USMNT, Cowell will have had more time to develop. It will be crucial for the team to win the World Cup for him to take on defenders and open up scoring possibilities.


Will the USMNT play any pre-World Cup matches at local stadiums? 

Yes, the USMNT will likely visit several American venues for a couple of pre-World Cup matches. These games should serve as vital practice sessions and provide the fans with a chance to witness the team in action before the event.

For more information on this, watch out for announcements from US Soccer and surrounding venues regarding ticket sales and match schedule adjustments.

What role do football supporters have in the growth of grassroots football in the US? 

Soccer fans and lovers who wish to participate in grassroots soccer development are highly encouraged to donate to local young soccer teams, academies, and programs or volunteer.

To make a difference even further, one can fund some initiatives that allow members of various groups and impoverished children to play the game.


Investing time, money, or experience in the development of soccer for the American men's team in the years preceding the 2026 World Cup is particularly beneficial to supporting the development of future players and the sport itself in local communities.

The next several years will be crucial for these athletes as they develop their abilities and gain valuable experience. The support of MLS and the national team hierarchy can significantly impact how well the USMNT performs at the 2026 World Cup.

The journey to the championship looks exciting since these young talents set the standard for soccer in the United States!