USMNT roster for 2022 World Cup: Goalkeeper Zack Steffen out of squad, striker Haji Wright goes to Qatar

United States men’s national team coach Gregg Berhalter has named his 26-man roster for this month world Cup in Qatar on Wednesday. Here’s what you need to know:

  • The list included a few surprises, including omitting the goalkeeper Zack Steffen and forward Haji Wright and central defender Tim Rame.
  • Much of the listing was as expected. Stars Christian Pulisic, Tyler Adams, Weston McKennie and Gio Reyna never doubted. Nor were we expecting starters like Yunus Musah, Sergiño Dest, Antonee RobinsonWalker Zimmerman, Matt Turner and Tim Weah.
  • However, there have been a few key position battles and call-ups that have unfolded over the past few weeks and days of selection.

Main inclusions and omissions

Among the notable decisions, Berhalter brought Shaq Moore from Nashville SC against Reggie Cannon from Boavista, Seattle Sounders winger Jordan Morris against FC Dallas veteran Paul Arriola and Sounders midfielder Cristian Roldán against the Rangers youngster. . Malik Tilman.

No decision, however, was as surprising as the dismissal of Steffen, the Manchester City goalkeeper who featured in World Cup qualifying as the USMNT’s No.1 keeper.

Injuries limited Steffen in qualifying and allowed Turner to earn top spot in the depth chart. Still, Steffen was expected to make the squad as a substitute. The past few months, however, have hinted at a change. Steffen pulled out of the June camp for family reasons, then left Manchester City on loan to move to Middlesbrough, where he would get more games. He was also cut from the USA roster for September friendlies, despite being healthy enough to start Boro’s final game before the Fifa Open window.

Berhalter chose not to bring Steffen to Qatar, calling Luton Town instead Ethan Horvath and NYCFC’s Sean Johnson.

Ahead of Wednesday’s roster announcement, much of the attention focused on two groups of positions: centre-back and striker. Berhalter delivered surprise inclusions at both locations.

Ream, 35, had not been called up by the United States since last October. He withdrew from that qualifying camp for family reasons and had not returned with the United States since. With chris richard Missing through injury, however, Berhalter opted to bring in the veteran defender over other options like Mark McKenzie from Genk or Erik Palmer-Brown from Troyes.

Up front, it was seen as a battle between Josh Sargent, Ricardo Pepi and Jordan Pefok for two of the last three spots. Berhalter did bring on Sargent, but he opted to leave Pepi and Pefok at home and instead called up Wright, who has scored four goals in his last four games and has nine this season in the Turkish Süper Lig with Antalyaspor.

Wright made a return to the American pool during the June window, his first call-up since 2019, thanks to good form that has seen him score 25 goals over the past two seasons. Wright scored from a penalty in his debut game for the United States against Morocco in June, but Berhalter also criticized the 24-year-old’s performance after coming on as a substitute at half-time in a Las Vegas game. Nations League against El Salvador later in the window.

Pefok had a good start Bundesliga season with Union Berlin but has not scored since September 18. Pepi, meanwhile, has five goals and two assists in nine games since moving to Groningen on loan in the summer, but that hasn’t been enough to make the World Cup list.

Sargent has eight goals and two assists this season for Norwich in the English Premier League. Jesus Ferreira has made the squad despite failing to score in his last seven games in the league. MLS season and without having played a game since FC Dallas was eliminated from the playoffs on October 23.

The United States will open the World Cup on November 21 against Wales. They will face England on Black Friday, November 25, and close out the group stage on November 29 against Iran.

It should be noted that this list becomes official on November 14, when the final squads are submitted to FIFA. Players will continue to play matches for their clubs this week and there is time for injury substitutions, if needed.

Preview of the starting XI

Based on the qualifying and squad we’ve seen in the last six games in June and September, there’s a pretty clear idea of ​​what Berhalter will think about their first-choice XI against Wales. That being said, Berhalter has provided enough surprises in his comprehensive list to leave us a little uncertain about two key areas: the centre-back and the forward.

Here is our planned XI against Wales:

  • Formation: 4-3-3
  • Goalkeeper: Matt Turner
  • Defenders (left to right): Antonee Robinson, Aaron Long, Walker Zimmerman, Sergiño Dest
  • Central Midfield: Tyler Adams, Weston McKennie, Yunus Musah
  • Forwards: Christian Pulisic, Jesus Ferreira, Tim Weah

A position to watch

It must be #9.

USA have been unable to find a striker to rely on for consistent production, and Berhalter’s surprise inclusion of Wright adds another wrinkle to the mix.

Ferreira, as mentioned, hasn’t scored in his last seven games for FC Dallas and hasn’t played since his team was knocked out of the MLS playoffs on October 23. Sargent, meanwhile, has scored eight goals this season for Norwich in England. Championship, but was injured in late October and missed two games, and hasn’t scored since October 15.

Wright, meanwhile, enters the tournament as the team’s top scorer. He has scored four goals in his last four Turkish Süper Liga games and has nine so far this season.

It remains to be seen how Berhalter chooses to use these three options, but there is no obvious choice or lock-in option.

Expectations for the group stage

The young stars who make up the core of this team have generated excitement around this team, but it’s important to remember how young this American team is.

The American team that qualified out of CONCACAF had an average age of 24.07. His starting lineup was even younger: 23.82. The average age of this full squad when they take the field against Wales will be slightly higher (as you would expect, especially with the inclusion of Ream) at 25 years, 175 days. Still, there is only one player in the squad with World Cup experience: Yedlin.

The 2022 team also ties the 1990 USA team for most players under 23 on a USMNT World Cup roster with nine: Adams (23); Aaronson, Dest, Josh Sargent and Weah (22); Jesus Ferreira (21 years old); Musah, Reyna and Joe Scally (19).

The history of the World Cup shows that there is a ceiling for young teams. In the last five editions of the tournament, only one country has reached a semi-final with an average age below 25.9 years: Germany in 2010. This team reached the semi-finals in Africa South, then brought back many of the same four-year-old players. later and won the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

There will be a learning curve, but that doesn’t mean the floor shouldn’t be set at a certain level. For most, that means getting out of the group.

“I don’t care how old they are, I don’t care,” U.S. men’s national team legend DaMarcus Beasley said in an interview for “From Couva to Qatar: Remaking the USMNT», a narrative podcast for Athleticism. “I expect them to succeed. I think they will. I think 100 per cent they will come out of the group. I think they will silence a lot of critics.

The four nations in Group B (USA, Wales, England, Iran) have an average rank of 15, the highest of any group in Qatar.

Full USMNT World Cup roster

USMNT squad for the 2022 World Cup

Position Player club Age Caps

GC

Matt Turner

Arsenal

28

20

GC

Ethan Horvath

Town of Luton

27

8

GC

Sean Johnson

NYCFC

33

ten

DEF

Antonee Robinson

Fulham

25

29

DEF

Joe Scally

Borussia M’gladbach

19

3

DEF

Sergino Dest

AC Milan

22

19

DEF

Shaq Moore

Nashville SC

26

15

DEF

By Andre Yedlin

InterMiami

29

75

DEF

Cameron Carter Vickers

Celtic

24

11

DEF

Aaron Long

New York Red Bulls

30

29

DEF

Tim Rame

Fulham

35

46

DEF

Walker Zimmermann

Nashville SC

29

33

ENVIRONMENT

Acosta de Kelly

LAFC

27

53

ENVIRONMENT

Tyler Adams

Leeds United

23

32

ENVIRONMENT

Luca de la Tour

Celtic Vigo

24

12

ENVIRONMENT

Weston McKennie

Juventus

24

37

ENVIRONMENT

Yunus Musah

Valence

19

19

ENVIRONMENT

Christian Rollan

Seattle Sounders

27

32

ENVIRONMENT

Brendan Aaronson

Leeds United

22

24

YOUR

Jordan Morris

Seattle Sounders

28

49

YOUR

Christian Pulisic

chelsea

24

52

YOUR

Gio Reina

Dortmund

19

14

YOUR

Tim Wea

Lille

22

25

YOUR

Jesus Ferreira

FC Dallas

21

15

YOUR

Josh Sargent

City of Norwich

22

20

YOUR

Hadji Wright

Antalyaspor

24

3

Required reading

(Photo: Orlando Ramirez/USA Today)

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