CARY, N.C. -- Interim U.S. men's national team manager Dave Sarachan said he likes what he's seen so far from the youthful roster that will face Paraguay on Tuesday, even as he sought to temper expectations about this group of players.
Sarachan's 22-man roster contains five uncapped players, as well as another 10 with five or fewer international appearances. But with this being the third training camp in which he's been in charge, Sarachan is already noticing some upticks in improvement from some young players that he brought into his first camp last November, including Schalke midfielder Weston McKennie, defender Matt Miazga and midfielder Tyler Adams.
"It's not their first time now," said Sarachan about his young holdovers. "A lot of them played with youth national teams, but with the senior team, now they come in and they have a familiar staff, a familiar system, a familiar way of doing things, and now it's just another experience they can build upon.
"I see a little more of a confidence factor with some of the younger guys, as opposed to the first camp it was just fresh for a lot of guys."
Sarachan cautioned observers to take a go-slow approach in terms of their expectations. That can be difficult given the pedigree of some young players, like McKennie and 17-year-old Tim Weah, who is the son of former FIFA World Player of the Year George Weah.
"People that have followed this young group, there is this expectation that this is potentially the next generation," Sarachan told ESPN FC in an exclusive interview. "I would say that we should just temper that a little bit because they are young."
Sarachan noted that moves the players are able to pull off in training with their clubs won't be as easy come Tuesday against a Paraguay side that contains a fair bit of experience.
"I think there's still a lot of room for improvement and that will come hopefully with time," he said. "I think the baseline has been good. It's just going to be a little bit hit or miss and a few bumps along the road as they get prepared for this game."
The U.S. roster does have some veteran elements, including defender DeAndre Yedlin, forward Bobby Wood, midfielder Darlington Nagbe and defender Eric Lichaj. Sarachan stated that the quartet is excited to be back in the national team frame, especially now that there is some distance from the World Cup qualifying failure last year.
"They've almost now have taken it a little bit upon themselves to try to translate some experience to a lot of the younger guys," he said about the veterans. "But the majority of this group is so young, and with that comes great effort, attitude, initiative, energy and excitement to be here."