Chelsea midfielder Christian Pulisic and Manchester City goalkeeper Zack Steffen headline the United States men’s national team 23-player roster for the upcoming CONCACAF Nations League Finals in Denver.
The Premier League pair will take part in the Saturday’s UEFA Champions League final for their respective clubs, but will both miss the USMNT’s friendly against Switzerland in St. Gallen on Sunday as a result.
The U.S. will then travel home to face Honduras on June 3 at Empower Field at Mile High, and if it prevails in that match, it will move on to the final set for June 6. If the U.S. falls to the Catrachos, it will take part in a third-place game that same day. Mexico and Costa Rica square off in the other semifinal matchup.
“We are excited to gather this group together as we compete to win the Nations League trophy,” USMNT manager Gregg Berhalter said. “It’s been a great year for our player pool and the unprecedented successes of winning multiple league and cup championships. Our focus now becomes continuing this success with the national team.”
Tyler Adams was among the players named to the roster despite missing the last part of RB Leipzig’s season. On a Zoom call with reporters, Berhalter said the U.S. staff has been monitoring Adams’ situation closely, but the player is so important to the team that including him was “a risk worth taking.” A player can be replaced up to 24 hours before a team’s first Nations League game.
With New York Red Bulls defender Aaron Long recuperating from surgery to repair a ruptured Achilles tendon, plenty of eyes are on the complement of center backs. In addition to Wolfsburg’s John Brooks, Anderlecht’s Matt Miazga, Genk‘s Mark McKenzie and Fulham‘s Tim Ream have been called in, leaving Nashville SC‘s Walker Zimmerman as the odd player out.
“There is a deep pool, and we’re looking forward to seeing what these guys can do in this camp,” Berhalter said.
Also not included is forward Daryl Dike, who will eventually return to Orlando City SC after completing his loan at English Championship side Barnsley. MLS players will get an opportunity to impress later this summer at the CONCACAF Gold Cup. Berhalter said that Dike will remain with the U.S. for the duration of this camp and will play in the June 9 friendly against Costa Rica. For now, Joshua Sargent and Jordan Siebatcheu will be the forward options in the Nations League.
“We based it on current form,” Berhalter said. “Jordan had an outstanding year playing for Young Boys. They won the title running away. He scored a lot of goals. We thought that his movement inside the penalty box is really good, and getting on the end of crosses is really good. And Josh is playing at a really high level. He’s playing in the Bundesliga every week, is competing, his minutes this year were off the charts.”
The roster is heavily weighted toward Europe-based players, with only four of the 23 based in Major League Soccer. Of those overseas players, nine made at least 30 appearances in a European top-flight league this season.
In terms of trophies won, nine players won a total of 12 trophies this season, a group that includes: Brenden Aaronson (Austrian League and Cup), Sergino Dest (Spanish Copa del Rey), Ethan Horvath (Belgian First Division A), Weston McKennie (Supercoppa Italiana, Coppa Italia), McKenzie (Belgian Cup), Giovanni Reyna (German DFB-Pokal), Jordan Siebatcheu (Swiss Super League), Steffen (English Premier League, English League Cup) and Tim Weah (French Ligue 1).
Detailed roster by position (club/country; caps/goals):
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; 36/15), 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)