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USMNT Sep 29, 2021

USMNT to convene with 27-player roster for training camp in Austin, Texas

CHICAGO – U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Gregg Berhalter has called 27 players to Austin to begin preparations for the next phase of 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifying. The USMNT Training Camp roster will begin reporting to camp this Sunday.

The USMNT opens the three-match set at home on Thursday, Oct. 7 against Jamaica. Kickoff at Q2 Stadium in Austin is set for 7:45 p.m. ET (ESPN2, Univision, TUDN, Sirius XM). Three days later, the USA travels to face Panama at Estadio Rommel Fernandez in Panama City (6 p.m. ET (Paramount+, UNIVERSO). The U.S. closes out the window with its first visit to Lower.com Field in Columbus to take on Costa Rica at 7 p.m. ET on Oct. 13 (ESPN2, UniMás and TUDN).

“We are excited to get the group back together for this next round of World Cup Qualifiers,” Berhalter said. “This squad represents a diverse group of talent, and we will need to rely on each and every team member to navigate through these three games. Our focus now is Jamaica and preparing to win that game.”

DETAILED ROSTER BY POSITION (CLUB/COUNTRY; CAPS/GOALS):

GOALKEEPERS (3): Sean Johnson (New York City FC; 9/0), Zack Steffen (Manchester City/ENG; 23/0), Matt Turner (New England Revolution; 10/0)

DEFENDERS (10): George Bello (Atlanta United; 4/0), John Brooks (Wolfsburg/GER; 45/3), Sergiño Dest (Barcelona/ESP; 13/1), Mark McKenzie (Genk/BEL; 7/0), Shaq Moore (Tenerife/ESP; 11/1), Tim Ream (Fulham/ENG; 46/1), Chris Richards (Hoffenheim/GER; 3/0), Antonee Robinson (Fulham/ENG; 15/1), Miles Robinson (Atlanta United; 12/2), DeAndre Yedlin (Galatasaray/TUR; 67/0)

MIDFIELDERS (8): Kellyn Acosta (Colorado Rapids; 40/2), Tyler Adams (RB Leipzig/GER; 17/1), Gianluca Busio (Venezia/ITA; 6/0), Luca de la Torre (Heracles/NED: 3/0), Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy; 32/8), Weston McKennie (Juventus/ITA; 25/7), Yunus Musah (Valencia/ESP; 6/0), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders; 28/0)

FORWARDS (6): Brenden Aaronson (Red Bull Salzburg/AUT; 10/5), Paul Arriola (D.C. United; 8/0), Matthew Hoppe (Mallorca/ESP; 5/1), Ricardo Pepi (FC Dallas; 1/1), Tim Weah (Lille/FRA; 13/1), Gyasi Zardes (Columbus Crew; 62/14)

The matches are scheduled during a FIFA international window, making all players available for selection. While teams can summon a larger group, the game day roster for World Cup Qualifiers may only include 23 players.

BACK IN THE MIX

Several players return to the USMNT fold for the October matches, led by a pair of veteran attackers back from injury. D.C. United winger Paul Arriola and Columbus Crew forward Gyasi Zardes (4) bring World Cup Qualifying experience – and matching blonde locks – into the mix. Zardes – who has three goals in his last two matches for Columbus – will have the chance to play at the Crew’s new home Lower.com Field in the window finale against Costa Rica on Oct. 13.

Gianluca Busio, Matthew Hoppe and Shaq Moore rejoin from the Gold Cup-winning side, while Yunus Musah and Tim Weah are also back from injury after being part of the squad that captured the inaugural Nations League title.

FIVE EQUALS TWO

While the road to Qatar is long and winding, the USMNT has positioned itself well at the start of the campaign, completing the opening window of 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifying with an undefeated 1-0-2 record during the first “triple date,” picking up four points on the road including an historic comeback in the 4-1 win away to Honduras. With five points total from three matches, the USA sits in second place in the table tied with Canada. This also marks the second-highest point total from the previous six qualifying cycles in which the United States began with two of three matches away from home.

DEPTH CHART

With three matches in seven days, roster depth is increasingly critical to success. During the first set of qualifiers, Berhalter deployed 21 different starters and 22 total players. Overall, 16 participants made their World Cup Qualifying debut, including a record-tying 12 in one match (0-0 draw at El Salvador). Antonee Robinson and Ricardo Pepi both scored their first international goals, recording the tying and game-winning goals respectively in the 4-1 win against Honduras. At the other end of the park, Matt Turner’s appearance on Sept. 2 at El Salvador made him the first USMNT goalkeeper to earn a qualifying debut since Brad Guzan on June 15, 2008 against Barbados.

This roster includes 24 players who were part of one of the USMNT’s championships during the summer: 14 participated in the Nations League and 12 in the Gold Cup, with Kellyn Acosta and Sebastian Lletget on both rosters.

LAST TIME OUT

Eighteen-year-old forward Ricardo Pepi and a number of highly effective second-half substitutes sparked the U.S. Men’s National Team to a 4-1 come-from-behind victory at Honduras in its third and final match of the September World Cup qualifying window. The young U.S. attack exploded in the second half with a four-goal outburst in front of stunned fans at the Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano, earning the USMNT it’s third ever victory after trailing in an away World Cup Qualifier, and the second when trailing at halftime on the road.

The victory came with the USA’s youngest-ever starting XI in a World Cup qualifying match and boosts the U.S. into to a tie for second on points in the Octagonal standings.

FINAL ROUND QUALIFYING – THE OCTAGONAL

For the first time, Concacaf has included eight teams in the final round of qualifying for the World Cup. The teams will play a round-robin, home and away format which includes 14 matches each. Due to the global health pandemic, a process which normally takes place during the course of 18 months has been reduced to seven. Additionally, the condensed schedule includes four ‘triple dates’ consisting of three matches during a seven-day window. The following teams have reached the final round: Canada, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Jamaica, Panama, Mexico and the United States.

ROSTER NOTES

  • As of the first day of camp, the 27-player roster will hold an average age of 24 years, 203 days.
  • The squad averages 20 caps and 10 appearances in official competition.
  • Players hail from clubs in 10 different countries: USA (10), Spain (4), Germany (3), England (3), Italy (2), Austria (1), Belgium (1), France (1), Netherlands (1) and Turkey (1)
  • Eighteen players return from the September World Cup Qualifying camp.
  • Thirteen players are age 23 and younger: Weston McKennie (23); Tyler Adams, Luca de la Torre and Mark McKenzie (22); Chris Richards and Tim Weah (21); Brenden Aaronson, Sergiño Dest and Matthew Hoppe (20); George Bello and Gianluca Busio (19); Yunus Musah and Ricardo Pepi (18).
  • Eighteen players have previous World Cup Qualifying caps: DeAndre Yedlin (13), Kellyn Acosta (9), Paul Arriola and Tim Ream (7 each), John Brooks (6), Sebastian Lletget and Gyasi Zardes (4 each), Brenden Aaronson, Tyler Adams, Antonee Robinson, Miles Robinson, Cristian Roldan, Matt Turner (3 each), Sergiño Dest (2), George Bello, Weston McKennie, Mark McKenzie and Ricardo Pepi (1 each).
  • Twenty-four players were part one of the USMNT’s championships during the summer: 14 participated in the Nations League and 12 in the Gold Cup, with Kellyn Acosta and Sebastian Lletget on both rosters.
  • Nine players will look to make their World Cup Qualifying debuts: Gianluca Busio, Luca de la Torre, Matthew Hoppe, Sean Johnson, Shaq Moore, Yunus Musah, Chris Richards, Zack Steffen and Tim Weah.
  • With two more goals to his name from last window, Brenden Aaronson has five goals and three assists in 10 career caps. His 8 G+A is the second most among USMNT players through their first 10 appearances, following only Eddie Johnson (8 goals, 1 assist) and Peter Millar (9 goals).
  • Left back Antonee Robinson collected his first World Cup Qualifying assist in the 1-1 draw at Canada on Sept. 5, before registering his first international goal to start the USA’s 4-1 comeback victory at Honduras three days later.
  • Robinson has appeared in eight matches while club teammate Tim Ream has played in all nine league matches for Fulham this season.
  • Cristian Roldan has scored in each of his last two matches for Seattle Sounders, tallying in the 3-2 Leagues Cup Final defeat to Club León on Sept. 22 and the club’s 2-1 win at Sporting KC on Sunday.
  • With 10 caps in 2021, Matt Turner has already set the record for most appearances by a USMNT goalkeeper in a debut year and holds an unbeaten 8-0-2 record with seven clean sheets for the Red, White and Blue. Between the USMNT and his play for league leading New England Revolution, Turner has posted a combined 14-1-5 record since July 3.
  • Turner’s appearance on Sept. 2 at El Salvador made him the first USMNT goalkeeper to earn a qualifying debut since Brad Guzan on June 15, 2008 against Barbados. Turner is the 25th goalkeeper all-time to appear in a qualifier for the USMNT.
  • With his start at Honduras on Sept. 8, Ricardo Pepi (18 years, 242 days) became the second youngest player to appear in a World Cup Qualifier. He became the fourth youngest player to tally in a USMNT debut match and with his two assists, just the second player to register three or more goal involvements in a qualifying debut. Pepi’s debut effort comes in behind only Aldo Donelli’s four goals in the 4-2 win against Mexico in the USA’s first qualifier on May 27, 1934 in Rome, Italy.
  • Pepi’s 12 goals lead all U.S. eligible players in Major League Soccer this season.
  • Kellyn Acosta has appeared in 17-straight USMNT matches, the most consecutive matches by a USMNT player since Jeff Agoos (2001-02) and Landon Donovan (2001-02). Acosta’s streak dates back to his appearance in the 6-0 win against El Salvador on Dec. 9, 2020 in Fort Lauderdale.
  • Sebastian Lletget has earned caps in 15 of 16 USMNT matches in 2021 and is tied with Brenden Aaronson for the team lead in goals with four.
  • Meanwhile, goalkeeper Matt Turner and center back Miles Robinson have featured in nine-straight USMNT contests, dating back to the 1-0 win against Haiti to open the Gold Cup on July 11.
  • Having missed out on the September camp due to injury, Paul Arriola and Gyasi Zardes regain USMNT calls after recording braces at the weekend for their respective clubs. Zardes has three goals in his last two appearances and seven on the season for Columbus, while Arriola has contributed five goals and two assists for D.C. United.
  • Zardes will have the chance to play at the Crew’s new home Lower.com Field in the window finale against Costa Rica on Oct. 13. Zardes previously represented the USA at Historic Crew Stadium, assisting on the opening goal of a 4-0 World Cup Qualifying win against Guatemala on March 29, 2016.
  • After sitting out at the weekend, midfielder Tyler Adams returned to the field for RB Leipzig on Tuesday, coming off the bench in the club’s 2-1 defeat to Club Brugge in the UEFA Champions League. In the campaign opener on Sept. 2 at El Salvador, Adams (22 years, 200 days) became the second youngest player to captain the USMNT in a World Cup Qualifier after only Walter Bahr who was 22 years, 156 days when he wore the armband against Mexico on Sept. 4, 1949.
  • After injury forced his withdrawal from the USMNT’s September camp, Tim Weah has appeared in each of the past three Ligue 1 contests for Lille. The winger last earned Man of the Match honors and was named to the Ligue 1 Team of the Week after providing an assist and drawing the game-winning penalty kick in the club’s 2-1 win against Strasbourg on Saturday.
  • Eighteen-year-old midfielder Yunus Musah has taken part in each of the past five games for Valencia. Musah last earned a cap in the USA’s 4-0 win against Costa Rica on June 9 in Sandy, Utah and would make his USMNT debut in official competition should he play in October.
  • After settling in at their new clubs, midfielder Gianluca Busio (Venezia) and forward Matthew Hoppe (Mallorca) are back in the team for the first time since the Gold Cup Final triumph against Mexico on Aug. 1 in Las Vegas.
  • Shaq Moore is another Gold Cup returnee. The Tenerife right back joined Miles Robinson and Matt Turner as the USMNT’s three representatives on the Gold Cup Best XI last month.
  • Center back Chris Richards returns to the USMNT for the first time since playing in the 2-1 win at Northern Ireland on March 28. Richards has gone the distance in all three matches since going back on loan from Bayern Munich to Hoffenheim at the summer transfer deadline.
  • Dutch-based midfielder Luca de la Torre also returns to the USMNT after last appearing at Northern Ireland. De la Torre has featured in all six Eredivise matches for Heracles this season.
  • Sergiño Dest provided his first assist of the season on Luuk de Jong’s 14th minute goal to help Barcelona to a 3-0 win against Levante on Sunday.

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