International boss may now be regretting Celtic hero's World Cup snub after Qatar drama

By John McGinley

November 22, 2022

The fact that Celtic defender Cameron Carter-Vickers was on the bench for the United States at the World Cup last night probably wasn’t much of a surprise to long-term observers of the national side.

Carter-Vickers has only really burst back onto the American scene over the last six months, last winning a clutch of caps before that way back in 2018.

In summer friendlies he was given starting opportunities, but not when facing more difficult opponents such as Morocco or Uruguay, rather against smaller nations in Grenada and El Salvador.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

After missing matches against Japan and Saudi Arabia in September due to injury, it always felt likely he would at least start this tournament on the bench, despite his progress with Celtic over the last 18 months.

Yet, head coach Gregg Berhalter may well be regretting not starting the Bhoys star against Wales after a late error from alternative option Walker Zimmerman led to a Gareth Bale penalty that was duly put away for a 1-1 draw.

Zimmerman rashly flew into a challenge on the Welsh legend in a manner you wouldn’t have expected from Carter-Vickers given his composed and reliable displays in a Celtic shirt.

The case for the Hoops stand-out starting against England or Iran is now strong. Carter-Vickers has been exposed to Champions League football this season and has taken on a brilliant leadership role for the Bhoys to help them surge ahead at the top of the Scottish Premiership table.

Zimmerman, in contrast, has never played outside of MLS and while he’s won many more caps for the national team, is surely now at risk of being replaced after his tackle effectively cost his country the win.

Aaron Long is another contender to play alongside veteran defender Tim Ream, so Carter-Vickers is far from an automatic pick even if the Nashville SC star drops out. However, the Celtic 24-year-old is showing more potential than him too.

I’m obviously writing this from a fan’s bias, but it really feels like a World Cup chance for the defender is looming and why not against the country of his birth on Friday? We’d all love to see him prove a point!

In other news, Timo Weah has nothing but brilliant things to say about Neil Lennon and Celtic; World Cup revisit.