The USMNT will gather for a January camp to kick off a huge 2021 for Gregg Berhalter’s side, and they will also be joined by their U23 side as they prepare for Olympic qualifying.
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With World Cup qualifying, Gold Cup and the Nations League final four coming up for the full USMNT side in 2021, Berhalter has called up 12 players who are all from Major League Soccer as the January camp, as always, falls outside of a FIFA window for competitions.
That means no Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie, Tyler Adams, Gio Reyna et al., but this is a good chance to see some USMNT mainstays back in action, as the camp begins on Jan. 9 at IMG academy in Bradenton, Florida.
“This is an important year for our national team programs, and we are looking to maximize every possible opportunity,” Berhalter said. “For the senior team players, this is an opportunity to continue to develop as a group and build on the foundation of a busy and challenging year. Being alongside our U-23 team gives that group a chance to prepare for Olympic qualifying while further integrating into our culture and game model.”
Some noticeable absentees are Michael Bradley an Gyasi Zardes, as the former has reportedly agreed with Berhalter to stay in Toronto as he aims to a lead a new era in Ontario after Greg Vanney left as their head coach.
Jozy Altidore and Jordan Morris are both included in the USMNT squad as they try to stake their claim to be the starting strikers, as all 12 players are over the age of 24.
Along with the full national team, U.S. Soccer has also called up a 26-man roster for a U23 side to help them prepare for CONCACAF Olympic qualifying which begins in March.
Jason Kreis, the U23 head coach, is excited to finally get his squad together as Olympic qualifying was postponed over 10 months ago.
“With Olympic qualifying approaching quickly, this training camp is a great opportunity to prepare ourselves and evaluate some new faces,” Kreis said. “While 2020 was a very challenging year, it was impressive to see so many U-23-eligible players make major strides on the field. Some of them have been involved with the senior team over the last few months and it’s exciting to now get our players and staff back together in camp alongside Gregg and his group as we prepare for a very important qualifying tournament.”
Chris Gloster, Daryl Dike, Bryan Reynolds, Andres Perea, Jesus Ferreira and Bryang Kayo are just some of the intriguing names included on the U23 roster.
It was also announced that the USMNT will play a match at the end of January, which a number of the U23 squad will play in after linking up with the full national team from Jan. 24, but no date or opponent has been announced.
GOALKEEPERS (2): Sean Johnson (New York City FC; 9/0), Matt Turner (New England Revolution; 0/0)
DEFENDERS (3): Tristan Blackmon (LAFC; 0/0), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls; 18/3), Walker Zimmerman (Nashville SC; 13/2)
MIDFIELDERS (3): Kellyn Acosta (Colorado Rapids; 24/2), Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy; 17/4), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders FC; 19/0)
FORWARDS (4): Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC/CAN; 115/42), Paul Arriola (D.C. United; 34/6), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders FC; 39/10), Chris Mueller (Orlando City SC; 1/2)
USMNT U23 roster
GOALKEEPERS (3): JT Marcinkowski (San Jose Earthquakes), David Ochoa (Real Salt Lake), Brady Scott (Austin FC)
DEFENDERS (10): Julian Araujo (LA Galaxy), George Bello (Atlanta United FC), Chris Gloster (PSV Eindhoven/NED), Aaron Herrera (Real Salt Lake), Aboubacar Keita (Columbus Crew SC), Henry Kessler (New England Revolution), Mauricio Pineda (Chicago Fire), Bryan Reynolds (FC Dallas), Miles Robinson (Atlanta United FC), Sam Vines (Colorado Rapids)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Hassani Dotson (Minnesota United FC), Bryang Kayo (Wolfsburg/GER), Andres Perea* (Orlando City SC), Tanner Tessmann (FC Dallas), Eryk Williamson (Portland Timbers), Jackson Yueill (San Jose Earthquakes)
FORWARDS (7): Cade Cowell (San Jose Earthquakes), Daryl Dike (Orlando City SC), Jeremy Ebobisse (Portland Timbers), Jesus Ferreira (FC Dallas), Jonathan Lewis (Colorado Rapids), Benji Michel (Orlando City SC), Djordje Mihailovic (Montreal Impact/CAN)
*Player is currently ineligible to represent the United States