Philadelphia Union, C.J. Sapong

Fafa Picault USMNT call not as shocking as accompanying snub

Fafa Picault is certainly not a household name. The American-born Haitian is perhaps one of the biggest ‘who?’ call-ups in recent USMNT history. He quite literally came out of nowhere when he popped up as one of the seven players not on the preliminary roster to be invited to the team’s Miami training camp.

The story of Fafa Picault receiving his call-up from Jurgen Klinsmann is an entertaining one. Sitting in an Italian restaurant, thinking it was a telemarketer. It’s a story to tell the grandkids. But tells it the best.

At 25 years of age and having touched down in the United States, the Czech Republic and now Germany, Picault has a bit of experience dabbling in different kinds of soccer. However, he has never been able to stick until he landed at FC St. Pauli, where he has scored four goals in 16 appearances en route to having his contract picked up for an extension.

And you know what they say for any USMNT prospect – play in Germany and Klinsmann will find you.

Klinsmann has made it a priority to target German-based Americans such as Gedion Zelalem, Julian Green, and now Picault. For that reason, it is no great shock that Picault is being given his shot at international soccer.

What is shocking is the accompanying, and continual, USMNT snub.

I love giving guys a chance. Picault is clearly someone that Klinsmann wants a god look at and he is traveled enough to warrant some sort of inspection. He is still young and with Jozy Altidore out, another striker or two may be needed. But I digress. On to the actual shock.

Forgive me if it sounds like I’m beating a dead horse, but what did C.J. Sapong do wrong to be completely ignored? When it came to replacing what Altidore had to offer, I figured Sapong would be the perfect switch. Strength, hold up play, passing and even better size than the hamstrung Altidore.

But nothing. It has been all cricket chirps on Sapong’s end. No cute stories about being at an Italian restaurant and being phoned by Jurgen. Just silence and more success at Philadelphia.

Sapong now has five goals and an assist as he continues to establish himself as one of the premier strikers in MLS. His combination of size and athleticism is a nightmare for opposing defenses to contend with and his emergence is a massive reason why the Union sit atop the Eastern Conference. He has momentum and confidence on his side.

But still no call. I’m not trying to take anything away from Picault. I’m excited to see him play. But at what point does Sapong finally get a chance himself?

About Josh Sippie

Josh has been published on CBS, FourFourTwo and more, as well as serving as the editor of Stateside of Soccer and Pain in the Arsenal. Nothing is more important than growing the greatest sport in the world in the greatest nation in the world.