|photo by Matt Kremkau
On Wednesday, November 9th, US Men's National Team Head Coach Greg Berhalter had a World Cup roster announcement party in Brooklyn, NY to inform the fans and the media of who is going to the FIFA World Cup in Qatar and begin play on Monday, November 21st against Wales. While former New York Red Bulls players like Center back Tim Ream and Midfielder Tyler Adams were selected to join the roster, a current Red Bull player will also make the trip as Center back and club captain Aaron Long will be flying to the middle east.
Long has had a solid career with the Red Bulls and has been the backbone of that backline since he was called up from Red Bulls 2 during their USL tenure making strong defensive decisions, solid runbacks to prevent chances from being taken and, has also scored some big goals in the regular season, the playoffs and the US Open Cup.
We remember his disastrous 2021 season when Long was challenging for a high ball when he leaped in the air to try and control it but landed awkwardly and ruptured his Achilles tendon, which ended his season after a few games. He returned in 2022 with a vengeance and scored some big goals including the final goal in a 4-1 road victory at BMO Field against Toronto FC.
His perseverance to get back on the pitch showed why he wanted to be the captain of the club and why he is a part of the US Men's National Team. Sadly in this modern age of social media, Aaron has had plenty of detractors who have gone against him from making this World Cup Roster. Not your typical banter or analysis on why he shouldn't be on the roster, but more personal and vile attacks for no reason.
Even those who have created fake news quotes to paint Aaron Long as a racist to make their negative opinions of his so-called poor play and begging him to retire a.s.a.p. as facts. It is the current state of social media going too far and while everyone knows that Aaron Long is not a negative person, you never know when a real reporter will ask him questions about a fake quote that could sound real and cause controversy for no reason.
In this reporter's opinion, Aaron Long has beaten the haters, he has earned the full confidence of Greg Berhalter to be a part of the nine defenders on the 26-man roster for the Qatar World Cup. Whether or not he starts, comes off the bench, or sits is no longer the issue. All that matters right now is that Aaron deserves to smile, feel the positives, and earn the congratulations he will receive from his family, teammates at the club, and the other 25 players on this World Cup Roster. His extreme critics have failed.