CHICAGO (Dec. 16, 2021) – The U.S. Men’s National Team seeks to close out a banner year in record-setting fashion when it hosts USA-Bosnia and Herzegovina on Dec. 18 at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. Kickoff for the USA’s final match of 2021 is set for 5:15 p.m. PT (8:15 p.m. ET), and the match will be broadcast on FS1, UniMás and TUDN. Fans will be able to follow via Twitter @USMNT, Instagram @USMNT, Facebook, and the official U.S. Soccer App.
With 16 wins, the USMNT has already tied the team record for the most victories in a calendar year previously set in 2013. A win on Saturday would be the 17th and set a new high mark.
- READ MORE: USMNT REFLECTIONS ON A MEMORABLE 2021
With an eye towards the World Cup Qualifiers next month and MLS-based players now in the off-season, the almost-exclusively domestic-based roster comprises core national team players as well as younger players who have earned opportunities for a look with the senior team.
The match against Bosnia and Herzegovina falls outside of a FIFA international fixture date, leaving players who are still in-season largely unavailable.
DETAILED ROSTED BY POSITION (Club; Caps/Goals):
GOALKEEPERS (3): John Pulskamp (Sporting Kansas City; 0/0), Gabriel Slonina (Chicago Fire; 0/0), Matt Turner (New England Revolution; 12/0)
DEFENDERS (10): George Bello (Atlanta United; 5/0), Justin Che (FC Dallas; 0/0), Jonathan Gomez (Louisville City; 0/0), Kobi Henry (Orange County SC; 0/0), Henry Kessler (New England Revolution; 1/0), Brooks Lennon (Atlanta United; 0/0), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls; 21/3), Bryan Reynolds (Roma/ITA; 1/0), Auston Trusty (Colorado Rapids; 0/0), Walker Zimmerman (Nashville SC; 22/2)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Kellyn Acosta (Colorado Rapids; 44/2), Cole Bassett (Colorado Rapids; 0/0), Johnny Cardoso (Internacional/BRA; 2/0), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders; 29/0), Jackson Yueill (San Jose Earthquakes; 15/0)
FORWARDS (7): Taylor Booth (Bayern Munich II/GER; 0/0), Caden Clark (New York Red Bulls; 0/0), Cade Cowell (San Jose Earthquakes; 0/0), Jesús Ferreira (FC Dallas; 4/2), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders; 39/10), Ricardo Pepi (FC Dallas; 6/3), Gyasi Zardes (Columbus Crew; 65/14)
D.C. United defender Kevin Paredes suffered a mild left ankle injury in training and returned to his club after the medical staff determined he would not be fully fit by Saturday. No replacement was added to the training camp roster.
SIMPLY THE BEST (XI)
A pair of players earned a spot on the 2021 MLS Best XI, led by the back-to-back Defender of the Year and Nashville SC center back Walker Zimmerman. He’s joined by the Goalkeeper of the Year and New England netminder Matt Turner, who also took home the Golden Glove as the best goalkeeper in the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup.
A host of veterans will lead the effort to secure the USA’s 17th win of 2021. With 65 appearances, forward Gyasi Zardes heads the list of eight players with double-digit caps. He’s followed by Kellyn Acosta (44), Jordan Morris (39), Cristian Roldan (29), Walker Zimmerman (22), Aaron Long (21), Jackson Yueill (15) and Matt Turner (12)
After a nearly two-year absence, midfielder Kellyn Acosta made his USMNT return during last year’s December camp and went on to amass a team-leading 20 appearances in 2021, tying Landon Donovan for the most caps in a calendar year since 2002. The December camp also marks the return of winger Jordan Morris who last took part in the USMNT’s January camp before joining Swansea City on loan. The forward’s stay with the EFL Championship club was cut short after he tore his left ACL in a match on Feb. 20, but he recovered in time to make two regular season appearances and one MLS Cup playoff appearance for the Seattle Sounders.
ON THE HORIZON
The winter camps have always presented a window for those playing their way into an opportunity with the national team programs, for now and in the future. In this go around, a total of six players completed their first camp as rostered senior USMNT players: Taylor Booth, Caden Clark, Jonathan Gomez, Kobi Henry, John Pulskamp, and Gabriel Slonina. All told, 11 players will have a shot at earning their first cap for the United States on Saturday.
AGAINST BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
This will be the third meeting since the Football Association of Bosnia and Herzegovina was formed in 1992. A hat trick by Jozy Altidore and the debut appearances of John Brooks, Aron Johannsson and Bobby Wood highlighted the USA’s 4-3 victory on Aug. 14, 2013, in Sarajevo. Most recently, the teams took the field in this same venue to open the USA’s 2018 schedule, with goalkeeper Zack Steffen earning his first cap and contributing to the shutout in a spirited 0-0 draw.
AT THE DIG
Dignity Health Sports Park has been a frequent host for USMNT matches at the end of the annual January camp, with the test against Bosnia and Herzegovina marking the 11th time these games have been played in Carson since 2004. It’s also the return for the United States to the stadium after nearly two years, with the team last earning a 1-0 win against Costa Rica on Feb. 1, 2020. Overall, the USMNT holds an 12-2-3 record at the venue, including 10 shutouts.
WORLD CUP QUALIFYING – WINTER EDITION
The United States will play a trio of critical World Cup Qualifiers during the winter window, beginning with a home match on Jan. 27 against El Salvador. Three days later, the U.S. will cross the northern border to take on Canada, then back home for the conclusion of the three-game set against Honduras.
Through eight matches of the Concacaf 14-game final round Octagonal, the team is traveling the right road. Compiling a 4-1-3 record, the USA holds second place in the standings. The top three teams earn an automatic berth to Qatar in November 2022.
Remarkably, the USMNT has achieved this place utilizing a group largely inexperienced in World Cup Qualifying. In addition to 27 players already earning their first appearance in a World Cup Qualifier, Berhalter has twice sent out starting lineups that were the youngest ever for the United States in a qualifier.
- The 25-player roster holds an average age of 22 years, 176 days.
- The roster averages 11 caps and six in official competition.
- Twenty-one of the 25 players come from 11 different MLS clubs. The Colorado Rapids lead the way with four selections followed by FC Dallas (3), Atlanta United (2), New England Revolution (2), New York Red Bulls (2), San Jose Earthquakes (2), Seattle Sounders (2), Chicago Fire (1), Columbus Crew (1), Nashville SC (1), Sporting Kansas City (1)
- USL defenders Jonathan Gomez (Louisville City) and Kobi Henry (Orange County SC) round out the domestic contingent.
- Three players join USMNT camp from foreign clubs: defender Bryan Reynolds (Roma), midfielder Johnny Cardoso (Internacional), forward Taylor Booth (Bayern Munich II)
- With 65 appearances, veteran forward Gyasi Zardes leads the list of eight players with double-digit caps. He’s followed by Kellyn Acosta (44), Jordan Morris (39), Cristian Roldan (29), Walker Zimmerman (22), Aaron Long (21), Jackson Yueill (15) and Matt Turner (12)
- The December camp marks the return of winger Jordan Morris, who last took part in the USMNT’s January camp before joining Swansea City on loan. The forward’s stay with the EFL Championship club was cut short after he tore his left ACL in a match on Feb. 20, but he recovered in time to make two regular season appearances and one MLS Cup playoff appearance for the Seattle Sounders.
- Twenty-year-old, Brazil-based midfielder Johnny Cardoso returns to USMNT camp for the first time since earning his first two caps in the team’s November 2020 friendlies at Wales and against Panama.
- Six players were part of the USMNT’s November WCQ roster: Kellyn Acosta, Jesús Ferreira, Ricardo Pepi, Cristian Roldan, Matt Turner and Walker Zimmerman, while George Bello and Gyasi Zardes featured for the team in October and Jackson Yueill was an unused sub during the team’s 4-1 WCQ win at Honduras in September.
- Six players completed their first camp as rostered USMNT players: Taylor Booth, Caden Clark, Jonathan Gomez, Kobi Henry, John Pulskamp, Gabriel Slonina.
- Goalkeeper Matt Turner comes off a stellar year for club and country, one which he earned 12 caps for the USMNT, backstopping the team to the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup where he won the tournament’s Golden Glove as best goalkeeper. Similarly, Turner helped the New England Revolution claim the club’s first Supporters Shield, while also earning 2021 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year and Best XI honors.
- Defender Walker Zimmerman comes to USMNT camp on the back of winning his second consecutive MLS Defender of the Year award. The center back appeared in 25 matches, helping Nashville SC to another appearance in the MLS postseason.
- After a nearly two-year absence, midfielder Kellyn Acosta made his USMNT return during last year’s December camp and went on to amass a team-leading 20 appearances in 2021, tying Landon Donovan for the most caps in a calendar year since 2002.
- Eleven players will seek their first caps in the Dec. 18 friendly against Bosnia and Herzegovina: Cole Bassett, Taylor Booth, Justin Che, Caden Clark, Cade Cowell, Jonathan Gomez, Kobi Henry, Brooks Lennon, John Pulskamp, Gabriel Slonina, Auston Trusty
- After last appearing in the 2018 January camp, Atlanta United full back Brooks Lennon earns his first USMNT call-up under Gregg Berhalter.
- Similarly, Colorado Rapids center back Auston Trusty gains his first camp summons since the 2019 January Camp.
- Midfielder Cole Bassett and forward Cade Cowell both took part in this year’s January camp, while Justin Che was part of the roster for the USMNT’s May camp in Switzerland.
BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA ROSTER BY POSITION:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Nikola Ćetković (FK Borac; 0/0), Belmin Dizdarević (FK Sarajevo; 0/0)
DEFENDERS (7): Hrvoje Barišić (HSK Zrinjski; 0/0), Josip Ćorluka (HSK Zrinjski; 2/0), Numan Kurdić (FK Sarajevo; 0/0), Ajdin Nukić (Tuzla City; 2/0), Selmir Pidro (FK Sarajevo; 1/0), Aleksandar Vojnović (FK Borac; 0/0), Vedran Vrhovac (FK Željezničar; 0/0)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Amar Begić (FK Borac; 0/0), Marljan Ćavar (NK Siroki Brijeg; 2/0), Mehmed Ćosić (FK Velež; 0/0), Andrej Dokanović (FK Sarajevo; 1/0), Saša Maksimović (FK Sloboda; 0/0), Haris Ovčina (FK Velež; 0/0), Igor Savić (HSK Zrinjski; 0/0), Almedin Ziljkić (NK Olimpija; 2/0)
FORWARDS (2): Sulejman Krpić (Tuzla City; 0/0), Jovo Lukić (FK Borac; 0/0)
IN FOCUS: Bosnia and Herzegovina
- The 19 players on Bosnia’s roster all compete in the domestic league which has just entered its winter break.
- With an average age of 23 years, 310 days, the youthful team is relatively new to the international stage, with a combined eight caps between them.
- Defenders Josip Ćorluka and Ajdin Nukić and midfielder Marijan Ćavar have competed in two international matches apiece and defender Selmir Pidro and Andrej Đokanović have played one game each.
- FK Borac and FK Sarajevo have four players apiece represented on the squad. Goalkeeper Nikola Ćetković, defender Aleksandar Vojnović, midfielder Amar Begić and forward Jovo Lukić play for Borac. Goalkeeper Belmin Dizdarević, defenders Selmir Pidro and Numan Kurdić and midfielder Andrej Đokanović perform for Sarajevo.
- Forward Sulejman Krpić is second in the Bosnian league’s scoring race, tallying 11 goals in 18 matches for Tuzia City.
- Bosnia and Herzegovina did not qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, going 1-3-4 in their eight qualification matches in UEFA’s Group D.
- The team will now put its focus to the 2022-23 UEFA Nations League B which begins in June.
- Bosnia are coached by Bulgarian manager Ivaylo Petev, who is now focused on leading the team in UEFA Nations League B play starting in June.
- The Dragons qualified for their first and only FIFA World Cup in 2014. They went 1-2-0 in Brazil, defeating Iran 3-1 in the group stage finale.