October 1, 2022

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The Athletic

USMNT squad list for pre-World Cup friendlies: Pulisic, McKennie’s main team, Pepi’s surprise inclusion

With one last chance for players to make an impression before November world CupUSA coach Greg Berhalter had a few surprises in his 26-man roster for friendlies against her. Japan And the Kingdom Saudi Arabia later this month. The list is under the star headings Christian PulisicWeston McKinney Tyler Adamsand Gio Reina and Younes Musa.

The highlight being brought into the squad is striker Ricardo Pepe, who has struggled for time and goals since his move from FC Dallas For Augsburg in German Bundesliga last year. Pepe, who recently went on loan to Groningen in the Netherlands, is back in the squad and back in the picture to fight for a spot on the roster in a striker position who is suddenly full of options.

Pepe, 19, will join the FC Dallas striker Jesus Ferreira Norwich City striker Josh Sargent on the depth chart is ninth in this camp. Jordan Bivok from Union Berlin (2 goals, three assists in the 2022-23 Bundesliga season), Cincinnati‘s Brandon Vasquez (16 goals, 5 assists in 2022 MLS season) and Antalyaspor’s Haji Wright (five goals in the 2022-23 Turkish Super League season) were not included in the squad.

Pepe, who broke ground last year by scoring three goals for the United States during the playoffs, has not scored a goal for club or country since scoring twice against Jamaica last October. He started a play that led to a goal on his debut for Groningen last weekend, but his level fell well short of making big breakthroughs for the likes of Pivok and Vazquez.

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Sargent returned to the team for the first time since September, when he appeared in all three of the US’s first playoff games, and started twice. Sargent was not well liked as he struggled to make an impact as a winger for relegated Norwich. Premier League Last season. But Sargent has scored five goals in eight matches in the tournament to get Norwich to start this season.

There are three notable injury absences in the team: Left-back Anthony Robinson (ankle), goalkeeper zach steven (knee) and wing tim ya (feet). Midfielder Christian Roldanwho has been part of every American roster since last summer’s Gold Cup, was also knocked out due to injury.

Robinson’s injury has opened the door for Berhalter to learn more about the possibility of supporting the Fulham defender at the World Cup. Sam Vines, 23, is a regular at Royal Antwerp in Belgium and is a real left-footed option. Joe Scully, 19, is a consistent fixture at right-back for Borussia Moenchengladbach in the Bundesliga and could provide some flexibility in the roster if he can show that he is a solid option to play on the left, having played for both Gladbach and the United States in the past.

Steffen’s absence is noted as he battles to start his career while on loan to Middlesbrough. His injury and level opened the door for other goalkeepers to apply for a place on the roster, with Luton Town. Ethan Horvath And the New York City veteran Shawn Johnson Team formation for September friendlies and Chicago fireYoung star Gaga Slonina is waiting in the wings. Matt Turnerwho moved from New England Revolution To Arsenal in the Premier League this summer, he now appears to be in a prime position to start in Qatar.

USMNT and Arsenal goalkeeper Matt Turner.


(Photo: David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Berhalter chose not to bring in additional players for this team, and committed to the same number of players he would be allowed at the World Cup. This means that some bubble players have been left out of this list, most notably the Rangers centre-back James Sandscenter back Fulham Tim Riam And the above-mentioned strikers, Pivok and Vazquez.

Berhalter has brought in only four defenses in this team: Celtic Cameron Carter VickersAnd the New York Red BullsAaron LongCrystal Palace Chris Richards And the Nashville SC‘s Walker Zimmerman. Reggie Cannon, Serginio Dest and DeAndre Yedlin They have been named right-back options, while Scally and Vines will likely compete at left-back.

With oh wounded, Seattle Jordan Morris and FC Dallas Paul Areola They will look to secure their place on the flight to Qatar. The wing depth chart, though, is topped by some of the biggest stars on the list: Chelsea’s Pulisic, Borussia Dortmund’s Reina and Leeds United. Brendan Aronson.

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The midfield group was as expected, and Leeds McKinney, Juventus and Valencia’s Moses were the expected starters in the group that also includes LAFC. Clean AcostaLuca de la Torre, Celta Vigo, Rangers Malik Tillman.

The September team continues to highlight the youth of this US national team. Thirteen players aged 23 or under. With 14 World Cup qualifiers, the United States came in 11th with an average age of 23.82, almost two years younger than the closest team to qualify for the World Cup, Ghana at 25.67. Only one player on this team has World Cup experience: Yadlin.

The United States will meet in Cologne, Germany, this weekend. They will train there before making a quick trip to Dusseldorf for the friendly match against Japan on September 23, and then travel to Murcia, Spain for the friendly match against Saudi Arabia on September 27. The matches will be the first opportunity for 21 players the following day. List of the United States to play against an opponent from the AFC. The Americans will face another AFC opponent in Iran in their last World Cup group stage match in November.

Players will return to their clubs after camp. Berhalter may hold a camp in October for Major League Soccer players whose teams fail to qualify for the post-season, but the full U.S. roster won’t get back together until the 26-man World Cup squad is named on November 9. In Qatar on November 14, then open the second group match against Wales On November 21.

Detailed list by position

Goalkeepers (3): Ethan Horvath (Luton Town), Shawn Johnson (New York City FC), Matt Turner (Arsenal).

Defenders (9): Reggie Cannon (Boavista), Cameron Carter Vickers (Celtic), Serginio Dest (AC Milan), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls), Chris Richards (Crystal Palace), Joe Scully (Borussia Monchengladbach), Sam Vines (Royal). Antwerp), de Andre Yedlin (Inter Miami), Walker Zimmerman (Nashville)

Midfielders (6): Clyne Acosta (Luvke), Tyler Adams (Leeds United), Luca de la Torre (Celta Vigo), Weston McKinney (Juventus), Younes Musa (Valencia), Malik Tillman (Rangers).

Forwards (8): Brendan Aaronson (Leeds United), Paul Areola (FC Dallas), Jesus Ferreira (FC Dallas), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders), Ricardo Pepe (Groningen), Christian Pulisic (Chelsea), Gio Reina (Borussia Dortmund), Josh Sargent (Norwich City)

(Photo by Ricardo Pepe: David Berding/Getty Images)