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USMNT Jan 22, 2022

USMNT training camp roster set ahead of World Cup Qualifying action

CHICAGO – As 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifying begins the home stretch, U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Gregg Berhalter has called 28 players to Columbus to prepare for the trio of games. The USMNT Training Camp roster will begin reporting to camp this weekend.

The USMNT will kick off the important three-match window with USA-El Salvador, presented by Volkswagen, on Jan. 27 at Lower.com Field in Columbus (7 p.m. ET; ESPN2, UniMás, TUDN). Three days later, the USMNT travels to take on group leaders Canada in Hamilton, Ontario (3 p.m. ET; Paramount+, Telemundo, Universo). The United States then heads home for a Feb. 2 encounter with Honduras at Allianz Field in St. Paul, Minn. (7:30 p.m. ET; FS1, Univision, TUDN).

With six matches remaining, the USMNT sits in second place in the Octagonal standings with 15 points and a 4-1-3 record. The top three teams in the group earn automatic qualification for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

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

GOALKEEPERS (4): Sean Johnson (New York City FC; 9/0), Gabriel Slonina (Chicago Fire; 0/0), Zack Steffen (Manchester City/ENG; 26/0), Matt Turner (New England Revolution; 13/0)

DEFENDERS (9): Reggie Cannon (Boavista/POR; 22/1), Sergiño Dest (Barcelona/ESP; 15/2), Brooks Lennon (Atlanta United; 1/0), Mark McKenzie (Genk/BEL; 8/0), Chris Richards (Hoffenheim/GER; 6/0), Antonee Robinson (Fulham/ENG; 19/1), Miles Robinson (Atlanta United; 15/3), DeAndre Yedlin (Galatasaray/TUR; 71/0), Walker Zimmerman (Nashville SC; 23/2)

MIDFIELDERS (7): Kellyn Acosta (LAFC; 45/2), Tyler Adams (RB Leipzig/GER; 22/1), Luca de la Torre (Heracles/NED; 4/0), Sebastian Lletget (New England Revolution; 33/8), Weston McKennie (Juventus/ITA; 28/8), Yunus Musah (Valencia/ESP; 11/0), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders; 30/0)

FORWARDS (8): Brenden Aaronson (Red Bull Salzburg/AUT; 15/5), Paul Arriola (D.C. United; 42/8), Jesús Ferreira (FC Dallas; 5/2), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders; 40/10), Ricardo Pepi (Augsburg/GER; 7/3), Christian Pulisic (Chelsea/ENG; 42/17), Tim Weah (Lille/FRA; 18/2), Gyasi Zardes (Columbus Crew; 66/14)

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

Of the 28 players, 23 were part of the USMNT’s November World Cup Qualifying roster.

Veteran defender DeAndre Yedlin (71) is the leading cap winner on the roster, followed by Gyasi Zardes (66), Kellyn Acosta (45), Paul Arriola and Christian Pulisic (42 each).

Weston McKennie (yellow card accumulation) and Miles Robinson (red card) return to the qualifying roster after missing out on the Nov. 16 match at Jamaica due to suspension.

McKennie returns to the USMNT fold after scoring two goals in his last two matches for Juventus. The 23-year-old also became the youngest U.S. international to achieve 50 Serie A appearances during the club’s 2-0 win against Udinese.

After missing out on the November camp through injury, Sergiño Dest returns to the USMNT roster as it convenes in Columbus. In the team’s last visit to Lower.com Field, the full back scored what ended up being the team’s Goal of the Year, leading the comeback in the USA’s 2-1 win against Costa Rica on Oct. 13, 2021.

Meantime, Jordan Morris receives his first World Cup Qualifying summons since September 2017. The veteran forward made his first USMNT appearance in more than two years during last month’s 1-0 win against Bosnia and Herzegovina.

AGING NICELY

The USMNT player pool for World Cup Qualifying is arguably the youngest in the world, but the age and experience continue to grow. In addition to 26 players already earning their first appearance in a World Cup Qualifier through the first eight matches, Berhalter has twice sent out starting lineups that were the youngest ever for the United States in a qualifier.

For this trio of matches, a total of 16 players have appeared in at least four contests this cycle. Red Bull Salzburg forward Brenden Aaronson and RB Leipzig midfielder Tyler Adams are the only two to have appeared in all eight thus far.

WINTER IS COMING

Rare is the time that World Cup Qualifying matches in Concacaf are played in wintertime. Even then, it was typically only one match. Scheduling changes due to the global pandemic have introduced a unique three-game window at this time of year. With Canada choosing to host the middle of the three games on the artificial turf in Hamilton, Ontario, the United States has doubled down on cold weather conditions and will welcome El Salvador and Honduras to the frigid and friendly confines of Columbus and Minneapolis.

Fans of the USMNT will recall the iconic victories in World Cup Qualifying against Mexico in 2001 – the birth of Dos a Cero – and the win in the Snowclasico in 2013 against Costa Rica in Denver. On both days, temperature at kickoff was 29 degrees. In Columbus, the Mexican team didn’t leave the locker room for warmups.

Said defender Walker Zimmerman: “You know what? I want it to be freezing. I want it to be cold. I want the snow. I want to be a part of something so iconic that I saw and I really remember growing up. And that’s exciting to me. So I think the guys are ready to embrace it, and it will be a really good environment for us fan-wise as well.”

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.

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