USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter calls up 26 players for training camp
CHICAGO – U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Gregg Berhalter has called 26 players to training camp in Carson, Calif., ahead of USA-Bosnia and Herzegovina on Dec. 18 at Dignity Health Sports Park. Players will begin reporting to camp this Sunday.
Kickoff for the USA’s final match of 2021 is set for 5:15 p.m. PT (8:15 p.m. ET), and the match will be broadcast on FS1, UniMás and TUDN).
With an eye towards the World Cup Qualifiers next month and MLS-based players now in the off-season, the almost-exclusively domestic-based roster comprises core national team players as well as younger players who have earned opportunities.
“It’s been a great year for the group and our objective is to finish the year with a strong performance against Bosnia and Herzegovina,” Berhalter said. “As we look towards 2022, this camp gives us the opportunity to see some new faces and allows our core domestic players to maintain their fitness levels.”
The match against Bosnia and Herzegovina falls outside of a FIFA international fixture date, leaving players who are still in-season largely unavailable.
DETAILED ROSTED BY POSITION (Club; Caps/Goals):
GOALKEEPERS (3): John Pulskamp (Sporting Kansas City; 0/0), Gabriel Slonina (Chicago Fire; 0/0), Matt Turner (New England Revolution; 12/0)
DEFENDERS (11): George Bello (Atlanta United; 5/0), Justin Che (FC Dallas; 0/0), Jonathan Gomez (Louisville City; 0/0), Kobi Henry (Orange County SC; 0/0), Henry Kessler (New England Revolution; 1/0), Brooks Lennon (Atlanta United; 0/0), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls; 21/3), Kevin Paredes (D.C. United; 0/0), Bryan Reynolds (Roma/ITA; 1/0), Auston Trusty (Colorado Rapids; 0/0), Walker Zimmerman (Nashville SC; 22/2)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Kellyn Acosta (Colorado Rapids; 44/2), Cole Bassett (Colorado Rapids; 0/0), Johnny Cardoso (Internacional/BRA; 2/0), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders; 29/0), Jackson Yueill (San Jose Earthquakes; 15/0)
FORWARDS (7): Taylor Booth (Bayern Munich II/GER; 0/0), Caden Clark (New York Red Bulls; 0/0), Cade Cowell (San Jose Earthquakes; 0/0), Jesús Ferreira (FC Dallas; 4/2), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders; 39/10), Ricardo Pepi (FC Dallas; 6/3), Gyasi Zardes (Columbus Crew; 65/14)
SIMPLY THE BEST (XI)
A pair of players earned a spot on the 2021 MLS Best XI, led by the back-to-back Defender of the Year and Nashville SC center back Walker Zimmerman. He’s joined by the Goalkeeper of the Year and New England netminder Matt Turner, who also took home the Golden Glove as the best goalkeeper in the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup.
A host of veterans will lead the effort to secure the USA’s 17th win of 2021. With 65 appearances, forward Gyasi Zardes heads the list of eight players with double-digit caps. He’s followed by Kellyn Acosta (44), Jordan Morris (39), Cristian Roldan (29), Walker Zimmerman (22), Aaron Long (21), Jackson Yueill (15) and Matt Turner (12).
After a nearly two-year absence, midfielder Kellyn Acosta made his USMNT return during last year’s December camp and went on to amass a team-leading 20 appearances in 2021, tying Landon Donovan for the most caps in a calendar year since 2002. The December camp also marks the return of winger Jordan Morris who last took part in the USMNT’s January camp before joining Swansea City on loan. The forward’s stay with the EFL Championship club was cut short after he tore his left ACL in a match on Feb. 20, but he recovered in time to make two regular season appearances and one MLS Cup playoff appearance for the Seattle Sounders.
ON THE HORIZON
The winter camps have always presented a window for those playing their way into an opportunity with the national team programs, for now and in the future. In this go around, a total of seven players will take part in their first camp as rostered senior USMNT players: Taylor Booth, Caden Clark, Jonathan Gomez, Kobi Henry, Kevin Paredes, John Pulskamp, and Gabriel Slonina. All told, 12 players will have a shot at earning their first cap for the United States.
AGAINST BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
This will be the third meeting since the Football Association of Bosnia and Herzegovina was formed in 1992. A hat trick by Jozy Altidore and the debut appearances of John Brooks, Aron Johannsson and Bobby Wood highlighted the USA’s 4-3 victory on Aug. 14, 2013, in Sarajevo. Most recently, the teams took the field in this same venue to open the USA’s 2018 schedule, with goalkeeper Zack Steffen earning his first cap and contributing to the shutout in a spirited 0-0 draw.
AT THE DIG
Dignity Health Sports Park has been a frequent host for USMNT matches at the end of the annual January camp, with the test against Bosnia and Herzegovina marking the 11th time these games have been played in Carson since 2004. It’s also the return for the United States to the stadium after nearly two years, with the team last earning a 1-0 win against Costa Rica on Feb. 1, 2020. Overall, the USMNT holds an 12-2-3 record at the venue, including 10 shutouts.
WORLD CUP QUALIFYING – WINTER EDITION
The United States will play a trio of critical World Cup Qualifiers during the winter window, beginning with a home match on Jan. 27 against El Salvador. Three days later, the U.S. will cross the northern border to take on Canada, then back home for the conclusion of the three-game set against Honduras.
Through eight matches of the Concacaf 14-game final round Octagonal, the team is traveling the right road. Compiling a 4-1-3 record, the USA holds second place in the standings. The top three teams earn an automatic berth to Qatar in November 2022.
Remarkably, the USMNT has achieved this place utilizing a group largely inexperienced in World Cup Qualifying. In addition to 27 players already earning their first appearance in a World Cup Qualifier, Berhalter has twice sent out starting lineups that were the youngest ever for the United States in a qualifier.
- As of the start of camp on December 6, the 26-player roster will have an average age of 23 years, 110 days, with 15 players age 20 or younger.
- The roster averages 10 caps and six in official competition.
- Twenty-one of the 26 players come from 12 different MLS clubs. The Colorado Rapids lead the way with four selections followed by FC Dallas (3), Atlanta United (2), New England Revolution (2), New York Red Bulls (2), San Jose Earthquakes (2), Seattle Sounders (2), Chicago Fire (1), Columbus Crew (1), D.C. United (1), Nashville SC (1), Sporting Kansas City (1)
- USL defenders Jonathan Gomez (Louisville City) and Kobi Henry (Orange County SC) round out the domestic contingent.
- Three players join USMNT camp from foreign clubs: defender Bryan Reynolds (Roma), midfielder Johnny Cardoso (Internacional), forward Taylor Booth (Bayern Munich II)
- With 65 appearances, veteran forward Gyasi Zardes leads the list of eight players with double-digit caps. He’s followed by Kellyn Acosta (44), Jordan Morris (39), Cristian Roldan (29), Walker Zimmerman (22), Aaron Long (21), Jackson Yueill (15) and Matt Turner (12)
- The December camp marks the return of winger Jordan Morris, who last took part in the USMNT’s January camp before joining Swansea City on loan. The forward’s stay with the EFL Championship club was cut short after he tore his left ACL in a match on Feb. 20, but he recovered in time to make two regular season appearances and one MLS Cup playoff appearance for the Seattle Sounders.
- Twenty-year-old, Brazil-based midfielder Johnny Cardoso returns to USMNT camp for the first time since earning his first two caps in the team’s November 2020 friendlies at Wales and against Panama.
- Six players were part of the USMNT’s November WCQ roster: Kellyn Acosta, Jesús Ferreira, Ricardo Pepi, Cristian Roldan, Matt Turner and Walker Zimmerman, while George Bello and Gyasi Zardes featured for the team in October and Jackson Yueill was an unused sub during the team’s 4-1 WCQ win at Honduras in September.
- Seven players will take part in their first camp as rostered USMNT players: Taylor Booth, Caden Clark, Jonathan Gomez, Kobi Henry, Kevin Paredes, John Pulskamp, Gabriel Slonina.
- Goalkeeper Matt Turner comes off a stellar year for club and country, one which he earned 12 caps for the USMNT, backstopping the team to the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup where he won the tournament’s Golden Glove as best goalkeeper. Similarly, Turner helped the New England Revolution claim the club’s first Supporters Shield, while also earning 2021 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year and Best XI honors.
- Defender Walker Zimmerman comes to USMNT camp on the back of winning his second consecutive MLS Defender of the Year award. The center back appeared in 25 matches, helping Nashville SC to another appearance in the MLS postseason.
- After a nearly two-year absence, midfielder Kellyn Acosta made his USMNT return during last year’s December camp and went on to amass a team-leading 20 appearances in 2021, tying Landon Donovan for the most caps in a calendar year since 2002.
- Twelve players will seek their first caps in the Dec. 18 friendly against Bosnia and Herzegovina: Cole Bassett, Taylor Booth, Justin Che, Caden Clark, Cade Cowell, Jonathan Gomez, Kobi Henry, Brooks Lennon, Kevin Paredes, John Pulskamp, Gabriel Slonina, Auston Trusty
- After last appearing in the 2018 January camp, Atlanta United full back Brooks Lennon earns his first USMNT call-up under Gregg Berhalter.
- Similarly, Colorado Rapids center back Auston Trusty gains his first camp summons since the 2019 January Camp.
- Midfielder Cole Bassett and forward Cade Cowell both took part in this year’s January camp, while Justin Che was part of the roster for the USMNT’s May camp in Switzerland.