The USMNT roster for the CONCACAF Nations League finals has been announced and there are a few surprises from Gregg Berhalter.
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A separate squad for the friendly against Switzerland on May 30 was recently announced, and this is very similar to that, with Christian Pulisic and Zack Steffen named in the squad for the Nations League finals as they will have finished their club commitments after the UEFA Champions League final on May 29.
This 23-man Nations League squad is what you would call Berhalter’s first-choice roster.
However, there is no Daryl Dike named in this latest squad as he, Justin Che, Matthew Hoppe, Julian Green, Bryan Reynolds and Chituru Odunze will drop out of the squad after they play against Switzerland in a friendly and fly to the USA.
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Some of the surprise inclusions are Mark McKenzie, Tim Weah and Jackson Yueill, as Chris Richards and Dike are the two biggest omissions. The former has a thigh injury which kept him out for Hoffenheim recently, while Dike just finished his loan spell at Barnsley but is expected to move to Europe this summer from MLS.
Josh Sargent, Jordan Siebatcheu and Tim Weah are preferred to Dike as the USMNT’s options up top, despite the Orlando City striker causing a huge splash in England while on loan at second-tier Barnsley and attracting plenty of Premier League interest.
Berhalter has since confirmed that Dike will travel with the squad from Switzerland to the USA, but will not feature in the Nations League tournament due to form as the original squad had to be cut from 27 to 23.
Tyler Adams of RB Leipzig is included in this squad despite recent back problems which forced him to miss the final weeks of the Bundesliga season. Berhalter hopes Adams will be fit to play some part, but the USMNT can name a replacement up to 24 hours before the tournament begins.
Maybe one day we will see Pulisic, Weston McKennie and Adams on the pitch at the same time once again.
Just four players from MLS feature, but plenty more should be available for the Gold Cup as most of the USMNT’s European contingent will be unavailable for that tournament due to preseason for their club teams.
Below is the roster in full as the USMNT play against Honduras and then either Mexico or Costa Rica in the inaugural Nations League final four tournament in Denver, Colo. in early June, as well as a friendly against Costa Rica in Utah on June 9.
USMNT roster for Nations League finals
GOALKEEPERS (3): Ethan Horvath (Club Brugge/BEL; 4/0), David Ochoa (Real Salt Lake; 0/0), Zack Steffen (Manchester City/ENG; 21/0)
DEFENDERS (8): John Brooks (Wolfsburg/GER; 40/3), Reggie Cannon (Boavista/POR; 14/0), Sergino Dest (Barcelona/ESP; 7/1), Mark McKenzie (Genk/BEL; 2/0), Matt Miazga (Anderlecht/BEL; 21/1), Tim Ream (Fulham/ENG; 42/1), Antonee Robinson (Fulham/ENG; 10/0), DeAndre Yedlin (Galatasaray/TUR; 62/0)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Kellyn Acosta (Colorado Rapids; 27/2), Tyler Adams (RB Leipzig/GER; 12/1), Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy; 20/6), Weston McKennie (Juventus/ITA; 21/6), Yunus Musah (Valencia/ESP; 4/0), Jackson Yueill (San Jose Earthquakes; 9/0)
FORWARDS: (6): Brenden Aaronson (Red Bull Salzburg/AUT; 4/2), Christian Pulisic (Chelsea/ENG; 15/9), Gio Reyna (Borussia Dortmund/GER; 4/2), Josh Sargent (Werder Bremen/GER; 13/5), Jordan Siebatcheu (Young Boys/SUI; 2/0), Tim Weah (Lille/FRA; 10/1)