Berhalter Calls 26 Players for USMNT Training Camp Ahead of Friendlies Against Jamaica and Northern IrelandYoung Stars Headline Roster as USA Faces Jamaica on March 25 in Austria; Three Days Later Will Face Northern Ireland for First Time in More than 70 Years
CHICAGO (March 17, 2021) – U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Gregg Berhalter has named a 26-player training camp roster as the USA prepares to gather in Austria for its second camp of 2021 and the first of the year on a FIFA international fixture date. The players will begin reporting March 20 to Austria ahead of a pair of friendlies in Europe.
The USMNT will continue preparations for a significant year that includes the Concacaf Nations League Final Four in June, the Gold Cup in July and the start of 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying, when it returns to action against Jamaica on March 25 at Stadion Wiener Neustadt in Wiener Neustadt, Austria. Kickoff in the rematch of the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup Semifinal is set for 1 p.m. ET, and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN2, UniMás and TUDN.
Three days later, the U.S. meets Northern Ireland for the first time in more than 70 years. The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park in Belfast hosts the contest, set for 12 p.m. ET with coverage on FOX, UniMás and TUDN.
“This is another step forward in strengthening our group in preparation for Nations League, Gold Cup, and World Cup Qualifying. It’s great to get the group together to continue to build relationships on and off the field. We look forward to the games and the different challenges they will pose.”
Despite containing a plethora of mainstays since Berhalter took the helm, the roster still averages only 11 caps, with 14 players having earned eight or less.
Based on current conditions related to the global pandemic, the matches will be played without fans in the stadiums. The staging of the camp and the matches will fall under the comprehensive U.S. Soccer Return to Play Protocols and Guidelines and in line with both the FIFA and UEFA Return to Play Protocols, as well as stringent oversight by the Irish Football Association for the match in Belfast. The participants have received an exemption from quarantine provided to professional sports organizations.
Due to Covid-19 quarantine restrictions, several players will return to their clubs following the match against Jamaica.
DETAILED ROSTER BY POSITION (Club/Country; Caps/Goals):
GOALKEEPERS (3): Ethan Horvath (Club Brugge/BEL; 4/0), Chituru Odunze (Leicester City/ENG; 0/0), Zack Steffen (Manchester City/ENG; 19/0)
DEFENDERS (10): John Brooks* (Wolfsburg/GER; 39/3), Reggie Cannon* (Boavista/POR; 13/0), Sergiño Dest (Barcelona/ESP; 5/0), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls; 19/3), Matt Miazga (Anderlecht/BEL; 20/1), Erik Palmer-Brown (Austria Wien/AUT; 2/0), Tim Ream (Fulham/ENG; 41/1), Bryan Reynolds (Roma/ITA; 0/0), Chris Richards* (Hoffenheim/GER; 1/0), Antonee Robinson (Fulham/ENG; 8/0)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Brenden Aaronson (Red Bull Salzburg/AUT; 2/1), Kellyn Acosta (Colorado Rapids; 25/2) Tyler Adams* (RB Leipzig/GER; 12/1), Luca de la Torre (Heracles/NED; 1/0), Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy; 18/4), Yunus Musah (Valencia/ESP; 2/0), Owen Otasowie (Wolverhampton Wanderers/ENG; 1/0)
FORWARDS: (6): Daryl Dike (Barnsley/ENG; 1/0), Nicholas Gioacchini (Caen/FRA; 2/2), Christian Pulisic (Chelsea/ENG; 34/14), Gio Reyna* (Borussia Dortmund/GER; 2/1), Josh Sargent* (Werder Bremen/GER; 12/5), Tim Weah* (Lille/FRA; 10/1)
* Indicates player will depart after March 25 match against Jamaica
Brenden Aaronson (Red Bull Salzburg), Daryl Dike (Barnsley) and Bryan Reynolds (Roma) are the latest to make moves amongst the USMNT contingent. In the last year, two players have become the first Americans on the first team at international powerhouses Juventus (Weston McKennie) and Barcelona (Sergiño Dest). Right back Reggie Cannon made the jump from MLS to Europe, joining Portuguese Primeira side Boavista, while left back Antonee Robinson has found a Premier League home alongside Tim Ream at Fulham, while center back Matt Miazga is working under the management of Vincent Kompany at Anderlecht.
THE USYNT PIPELINE
The primary measurement of success for Youth National Teams isn’t in the win/loss columns. The goal of the programs is to provide a pipeline to the senior team, and by that standard this current USMNT roster can only be judged a success. A total of 14 players in the group have represented the USA at a Youth World Cup: Acosta, Adams, de la Torre, Dest, Sargent and Weah (U-17 and U-20 World Cup); Miazga, Palmer-Brown, Richards, and Steffen (U-20 World Cup); Odunze, Pulisic, Reyna and Reynolds (U-17 World Cup).
And on the subject of development, the fruits of a 13-year project born in 2007 can also be seen as 15 players spent time in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy: Aaronson (Philadelphia Union), Acosta (FC Dallas), Adams (New York Red Bulls), Cannon (FC Dallas), de la Torre (Nomads, San Diego Surf), Horvath (Real Colorado), Miazga (New York Red Bulls), Odunze (Vancouver Whitecaps FC), Palmer-Brown (Sporting KC), Pulisic (PA Classics), Reynolds (FC Dallas), Richards (FC Dallas), Sargent (St. Louis-Scott Gallagher), Steffen (FC Delco, Philadelphia Union), Weah (New York Red Bulls, BW Gottschee).
COMPETITION COMING UP
The March window is a lead-in to three significant competitions in 2021, beginning with the Concacaf Nations League final four. Winners of League A’s Group A, the USMNT takes on Honduras in one semifinal, while Mexico and Costa Rica will square off in the other, with the winners competing for the inaugural Nations League title. The matches are scheduled for the FIFA window in the first week of June, with the venues and times still to be determined.
The following month, the U.S. will compete in the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup in search of its seventh confederation championship title. The USMNT has been drawn into Group A with Canada, Martinique and a third team to be determined through a qualifying tournament. The United States last lifted the trophy in 2017, when Jordan Morris netted the game-winner against Jamaica in the 2-1 victory.
Those games serve as prelude to the start of 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying, which will feature an eight-team final round and commence in Sept. of 2021.
The roster will hold an average of 23 years, 27 days as of the start of camp on March 22.
The 26 players average 11 caps.
Veteran center backs Tim Ream (41 caps) and John Brooks (39 caps) are the most experienced international players on the roster, followed by Christian Pulisic (34), Kellyn Acosta (25) and Matt Miazga (20).
All other players hold less than 20 caps, with 14 appearing eight or fewer times for the USMNT.
Sixteen players are age 22 and younger.
Players ply their trade in 10 different countries. England leads the way with seven, followed by Germany (5), USA (3), Austria, Belgium, France and Spain (2 each) and Italy, Netherlands and Portugal
Eighteen players were part of the USMNT’s last camp during a FIFA fixture date, leading up to the 0-0 draw with Wales and 6-2 win against Panama last November.
Seven players will return to their clubs following the March 25 match against Jamaica due to mandatory quarantine restrictions in the countries where they play: Tyler Adams, John Brooks, Reggie Cannon, Chris Richards, Gio Reyna, Josh Sargent and Tim Weah
Fourteen players have been part of a final U.S. roster at a FIFA Youth World Cup: Acosta, Adams, de la Torre, Dest, Miazga, Odunze, Palmer-Brown, Pulisic, Reyna, Reynolds, Richards, Sargent, Steffen and Weah.
Christian Pulisic can make his first USMNT appearance since Oct. 15, 2019, against Canada. The match against Northern Ireland will come just a day shy of the five-year anniversary of Pulisic’s USMNT debut – a 4-0 World Cup qualifying win against Guatemala in Columbus, Ohio on March 29, 2016.
Josh Sargent will look for his first cap since recording a brace in the team’s 4-0 win against Cuba in the Concacaf Nations League group stage finale on Nov. 19, 2019, in George Town, Cayman Islands. The Werder Bremen striker was originally called to camp last November but unable to attend due to local COVID restrictions.
Eighteen-year-old midfielder Yunus Musah receives his second USMNT call-up days after declaring his commitment to the United States going forward. Still 17 last November, Musah became the first player to start two USMNT matches before their 18th birthday.
Brenden Aaronson earns his first USMNT call-up as a member of Red Bull Salzburg. Since joining the Austrian Bundesliga side in January, the Philadelphia Union product has amassed three goals and two assists in 13 matches across all competitions, helping keep the club atop the Austrian Bundesliga and reach the OFB Cup Final.
Chris Richards slotted into a regular role straight away after going on loan to Hoffenheim from Bayern Munich, starting in five of six matches
Erik Palmer-Brown earns his first USMNT call-up under Gregg Berhalter. The Austria Wien center back has two caps to his name, last appearing in the USMNT’s 1-1 draw with France on June 9, 2018, in Lyon.
Luca de la Torre also returns to USMNT camp for the first time since the May 2019 Gold Cup pre-camp in Annapolis, Md. Currently a regular with Heracles in the Netherlands, de la Torre earned his first cap in the 2-1 defeat to Ireland on June 2, 2018, in Dublin.
Fresh off his Italian Serie A debut this past Sunday, defender Bryan Reynolds receives his first senior-team call-up while a member of Roma.
Reynolds joins Leicester City goalkeeper Chituru Odunze as the two uncapped players on the roster.
Four players took part in this year’s January camp – the MLS based trio of Kellyn Acosta, Sebastian Lletget and Aaron Long, as well as Daryl Dike, who is currently playing on loan with Barnsley in the English Championship.
Dike has collected three goals in nine games since arriving in England, helping Barnsley to a 7-0-2 record in matches which he has appeared. Barnsley are currently sixth in the English League Championship table, occupying the last promotion playoff spot.