The United States men's national team roster for Concacaf World Cup qualifying in October was released on Wednesday, with coach Gregg Berhalter calling up 27 players for the three-game window. The roster doesn't included Christian Pulisic and Gio Reyna, the team's two most talented players, due to injury. Midfielder Weston McKennie, who was sent home from camp last month for breaking COVID protocols, is quickly back into the squad for next month's games.
The U.S. got off to a poor start in qualifying with back-to-back draws against El Salvador and Canada, but a big win at Honduras last time out has the team in third place and fully on track to qualify, with hero Ricardo Pepi on the squad.
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GOALKEEPERS (3): Sean Johnson (New York City FC), Zack Steffen (Manchester City), Matt Turner (New England Revolution)
DEFENDERS (10): George Bello (Atlanta United), John Brooks (Wolfsburg), Sergiño Dest (Barcelona), Mark McKenzie (Genk), Shaq Moore (Tenerife), Tim Ream (Fulham), Chris Richards (Hoffenheim), Antonee Robinson (Fulham), Miles Robinson (Atlanta United), DeAndre Yedlin (Galatasaray)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Kellyn Acosta (Colorado Rapids), Tyler Adams (RB Leipzig), Gianluca Busio (Venezia), Luca de la Torre (Heracles), Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy), Weston McKennie (Juventus), Yunus Musah (Valencia), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders)
FORWARDS (6): Brenden Aaronson (Red Bull Salzburg), Paul Arriola (D.C. United), Matthew Hoppe (Mallorca), Ricardo Pepi (FC Dallas), Tim Weah (Lille), Gyasi Zardes (Columbus Crew)
Here are three things to know about the roster:
Pulisic and Reyna to show up?
As I reported yesterday, there was a chance that Gio Reyna could end up being included in the team at some point during the window as he recovers from injury. Berhalter basically confirmed that, throwing Pulisic into it as well, while also calling it unlikely. To get them for just a game during this window is rather unlikely and would certainly go against the wishes of their respective clubs, Dortmund and Chelsea. But if the U.S. struggles in the first two matches, don't be surprised if one of them comes in if they are deemed fit, as both bring creativity and scoring ability to the final third.
England-based players won't travel to Panama
Panama is listed as red in the UK when it comes to travel, and that means that the England-based players, like Antonee Robinson, won't be going to the country for the second game as it would prohibit a timely return back to the UK. It would have restricted Pulisic as well.
As it stands, requirements upon return would include a 10-day hotel quarantine, so Berhalter said those players would move on to Columbus to get acclimated for the third match.
Latest on Julian Araujo
Berhalter was asked about the status of right-back Julian Araujo, the highly-rated LA Galaxy star who has been with the U.S. program since U-18s but has been linked with a switch to Mexico. Berhalter said it wasn't his place to comment on it and that Araujo would, in time, release something. But sources have told CBS Sports that Araujo is just waiting for FIFA to approve his one-time switch to Mexico, meaning that the U.S. is likely out of the running for his services.
While it's a tough break, right back is actually a position of relative strength. U.S. fans will be fine with it, knowing that they landed the bigger fish in Ricardo Pepi.
Thursday, Oct. 7
USA vs. Jamaica, 7:30 p.m. ET
Sunday, Oct. 10
Panama vs. USA, 6 p.m. ET on Paramount+
Wednesday, Oct. 13
USA vs. Costa Rica, 7 p.m. ET
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