The USMNT are in Qatar as the 26 players named in Gregg Berhalter’s 2022 World Cup squad are confirmed.
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After missing the 2018 tournament in Russia and enduring an eight-year spell out in the international football wilderness, the Yanks are only 12 days from their opening game against Wales.
The likes of Christian Pulisic, Tyler Adams, Weston McKennie, Gio Reyna and Brenden Aaronson headline the 26-man roster which is set to be the youngest team (on average) at the 2022 World Cup.
Of course, plenty of questions still remain unanswered…
Who will start at center back? Who will start up front? Will all of their stars be fully fit to face Wales, England and Iran in Group B?
Given recent results and performances, there is a lot of pressure on Berhalter and the USMNT need to get off to a flying start.
World Cup 2022 schedule, start time, dates, how to watch live
- When: November 20, 2022 to December 18, 2022
- Group stage game kick-off times: 5am, 8am, 10am, 11am, 2pm (all ET)
- Location: Qatar
- TV channels en Español: Telemundo, Universo, Peacock
- Streaming en Español: Peacock (all 64 matches)
Confirmed USMNT squad for 2022 World Cup
Goalkeepers: Ethan Horvath, Sean Johnson, Matt Turner
Defenders: Cameron Carter-Vickers, Sergiño Dest, Aaron Long, Shaq Moore, Tim Ream, Antonee Robinson, Joe Scally, DeAndre Yedlin, Walker Zimmerman
Midfielders: Brenden Aaronson, Kellyn Acosta, Tyler Adams, Luca de la Torre, Weston McKennie, Yunus Musah, Cristian Roldan
Forwards: Jesus Ferreira, Jordan Morris, Christian Pulisic, Gio Reyna, Josh Sargent, Tim Weah, Haji Wright
🥁 DRUMROLL, PLEASE 🥁
— U.S. Men's National Soccer Team (@USMNT) November 14, 2022
Who wasn’t picked, and what were the big dilemmas?
Goalkeepers: Zack Steffen
Defenders: Chris Richards (injury), John Brooks, Reggie Cannon, Mark McKenzie, Sam Vines (injury), Erik Palmer-Brown
Forwards: Ricardo Pepi, Jordan Pefok
The same areas which have been an issue for the last few years: center back and up front. Walker Zimmerman will start at center back but the spot alongside him is a huge question mark following the injury to Miles Robinson. Aaron Long has struggled, while Chris Richards and Cameron Carter-Vickers both had injuries last month so couldn’t get valuable reps alongside Zimmerman. Richards has since confirmed he won’t be fit for the World Cup. Veteran Tim Ream has been drafted in given his fine form for Fulham and right now, he seems the most likely to start alongside Zimmerman.
Up front there is a huge debate around Jordan Pefok. Most fans believe he should be called up but Berhalter didn’t call him up and Josh Sargent was preferred over Ricardo Pepi, while Haji Wright was preferred over Pefok in a big shock. Jesus Ferreira seems to have the No. 9 jersey for now but the USMNT has really lacked a clinical finisher since the heyday of Clint Dempsey, Jozy Altidore and Landon Donovan. It’s a big problem and perhaps one of the many talented attacking midfielders they have could play in a false nine?
Which players were on the bubble?
It was a big surprise that Zack Steffen was left out of the squad, as Matt Turner is now the undisputed No. 1 but Steffen was next man up. Instead, Sean Johnson and Ethan Horvath got the other goalkeeper spots on the roster. Steffen played for Berhalter at Columbus Crew and has been a key part of the USMNT over the last four years. But he isn’t going to Qatar.
Tim Ream is having a great season for Fulham and even though Berhalter said he wants something a bit different from a center back, he’s in. Erik Palmer-Brown was right on the bubble.
Luca de la Torre is injured but he’s almost back fit, so he made it ahead of Johnny Cardoso, Malik Tillman, while Cristian Roldan being included was a bit of a surprise.
Up top Jordan Pefok, Ricardo Pepi and Paul Arriola were the big losers here. Jordan Morris, Haji Wright and Josh Sargent got in ahead of them, but it was a flip of the coin in all of those situations. Arriola and Pepi delivered in key moments in qualifying but won’t be going to Qatar.