Berhalter Brings 19 Players to Phoenix for January Training CampDomestic-Based Players to Build Match Preparedness and Compete for Spots In World Cup Qualifying Camp Later this Month
CHICAGO (Jan. 6, 2022) – U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Gregg Berhalter has called 19 players to BioSteel Training Camp in Phoenix, Arizona. The domestic-based group will spend two weeks building match preparedness and competing for spots in the World Cup Qualifying training camp later this month.
The January Training camp runs from Jan. 7-21 and will include several closed-door scrimmages.
“Our focus for the next two weeks is to prepare the domestic-based players to be included in the World Cup qualifying training camp,” Berhalter said. “This upcoming window presents an opportunity to move closer to our ultimate goal of qualifying for the FIFA World Cup in Qatar.”
The team’s roster for the World Cup Qualifying camp in Columbus – which will include both domestic and European-based players - will be finalized at the end of the training camp.
ROSTER BY POSITION (Club/Country; Caps/Goals):
GOALKEEPERS (3): Sean Johnson (New York City FC; 9/0), Gabriel Slonina (Chicago Fire; 0/0), Matt Turner (New England Revolution; 13/0)
DEFENDERS (6): George Bello (Atlanta United; 6/0), DeJuan Jones (New England Revolution; 0/0), Brooks Lennon (Atlanta United; 1/0), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls; 21/3), Miles Robinson (Atlanta United; 15/3), Walker Zimmerman (Nashville SC; 23/2)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Kellyn Acosta (Colorado Rapids; 45/2), Cole Bassett (Colorado Rapids; 1/1), Djordje Mihailovic (CF Montrêal; 6/1), Sebastian Lletget (New England Revolution; 33/8), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders; 30/0), Jackson Yueill (San Jose Earthquakes; 16/0)
FORWARDS (4): Paul Arriola (D.C. United; 42/8), Jesús Ferreira (FC Dallas; 5/2), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders; 40/10), Gyasi Zardes (Columbus Crew; 66/14)
RAMPING BACK UP
With the triple date of World Cup Qualifiers on the horizon, the majority of this group took only a quick break for holiday festivities before getting back to business. A total of 13 players were part of the USMNT’s December camp, with 11 appearing in the USMNT’s 1-0 friendly win against Bosnia and Herzegovina on Dec. 18 in Los Angeles: Kellyn Acosta, Cole Bassett, George Bello, Jesús Ferreira, Brooks Lennon, Jordan Morris, Cristian Roldan, Matt Turner, Jackson Yueill, Gyasi Zardes and Walker Zimmerman.
Defender Aaron Long and goalkeeper Gabriel Slonina also took part in the camp but did not appear in the match.
With more than half of the 2022 qualifying campaign completed, this domestic contingent has built a solid resume. A total of 10 players on the roster have appeared during the team’s eight World Cup qualifying matches thus far: Kellyn Acosta (7), Miles Robinson (6), Matt Turner and Walker Zimmerman (5 each); Sebastian Lletget and Cristian Roldan (4 each); Paul Arriola and Gyasi Zardes (3 each); George Bello and Jesús Ferreira (2 each). These players account for 30 percent of the total minutes played during the USMNT’s current qualifying campaign.
Meantime, veterans Aaron Long and Jordan Morris are working towards their first action in this cycle following lengthy injuries.
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, presented by Volkswagen. Three days later, the U.S. will cross the northern border to take on Canada, then head back home for the conclusion of the three-game set against Honduras.
Through eight matches of the 14-game final round Concacaf Octagonal, the USA is on the right path. With a record of 4-1-3 so far, the USA is in second place in the standings. The top three teams earn an automatic berth to Qatar for the World Cup in November of 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.
- As of Jan. 7, the 19-player training camp roster will have an average age of 25 years, 205 days.
- The roster averages 20 caps and 11 in official competition.
- Thirteen MLS clubs are represented. Atlanta United and New England Revolution leading the way with three selections each, followed by Colorado Rapids and Seattle Sounders (2 each); CF Montreal, Chicago Fire, Columbus Crew, D.C. United, FC Dallas, Nashville, SC New York City FC, New York Red Bulls and San Jose Earthquakes (1 each).
- Thirteen players were part of the USMNT’s December camp, with 11 appearing in the USMNT’s 1-0 friendly win against Bosnia and Herzegovina last month: Kellyn Acosta, Cole Bassett, George Bello, Jesús Ferreira, Brooks Lennon, Jordan Morris, Cristian Roldan, Matt Turner, Jackson Yueill, Gyasi Zardes and Walker Zimmerman.
- Defender Aaron Long and goalkeeper Gabriel Slonina also took part in December camp but did not appear in the match.
- Ten players have appeared during the team’s eight World Cup qualifying matches thus far: Kellyn Acosta (7), Miles Robinson (6), Matt Turner and Walker Zimmerman (5 each); Sebastian Lletget and Cristian Roldan (4 each); Paul Arriola and Gyasi Zardes (3 each); George Bello and Jesús Ferreira (2 each)
- Those players account for 30 percent of the total minutes played during the USMNT’s current qualifying campaign.
- Djordje Mihailovic returns to USMNT camp for the first time since January 2021. The 23-year-old midfielder appeared in all 34 regular season matches in his first season with CF Montréal, finishing second in MLS with 16 assists to go with four goals.
- Making his USMNT debut on Jan. 27, 2019 against Panama, Mihailovic scored the team’s first goal under Gregg Berhalter, opening the scoring in the 3-0 win.
- Back-to-back MLS Defender of the Year winner Walker Zimmerman also scored the second goal in Berhalter’s first match on Jan. 27, 2019 in Phoenix.
- New England Revolution left back DeJuan Jones is the sole first-time call up to USMNT camp. The 23-year-old had a breakout year in 2021, starting 29 of 31 appearances while adding three goals and five assists to help the Revs to the MLS Supporters Shield.
- Three players that earned their first USMNT camp appearance last month return for the preparation camp. Midfielder Cole Bassett came off the bench to score the late winner against Bosnia and Herzegovina, right back Brooks Lennon went 90 minutes in his long-awaited USMNT debut, and 17-year-old goalkeeper Gabriel Slonina stood in reserve of Matt Turner for the match.
- Atlanta United full back Brooks Lennon hails from nearby Paradise Valley, Ariz., and spent three years in the Real Salt Lake-Arizona academy before signing with the first team in 2017.
- Matt Turner comes off a milestone year for country and club. He wrote his name into the team’s history books, setting a new mark with nine shutouts in 2021, while his 13 appearances were the most by a USMNT goalkeeper during their debut year. Backstopping the USA to the 2021 Gold Cup and New England Revolution to the Supporters Shield, Turner also earned top goalkeeping honors from both competitions, as well as MLS All-Star Game MVP.
- In recognition of their performances overall, three players – Turner, Acosta, and Robinson - were nominated for the 2021 U.S. Soccer BioSteel Male Player of the Year award, while George Bello and Jesús Ferreira were also nominated for the 2021 U.S. Soccer Chipotle Young Male Player of the Year.
- Veteran goalkeeper Sean Johnson returns to camp after helping New York City FC claim the club’s first MLS Cup last month. Following a 1-1 draw, Johnson earned MVP honors after making two saves during NYCFC’s shootout win at the Portland Timbers.
- Having made his USMNT debut back in January 2011, Johnson is one of nine players to earn their first cap during the annual January camp: George Bello and Matt Turner (2021), Jesús Ferreira (2020), Djordje Mihailovic (2019), Sebastian Lletget and Walker Zimmerman (2017); Kellyn Acosta (2016), Gyasi Zardes (2015), Johnson (2011).
- Jordan Morris made his first USMNT appearance in more than two years in last month’s friendly win against Bosnia and Herzegovina. The veteran USMNT winger returned from a torn ACL suffered last winter during a loan stint with Swansea last winter and missed out on matches during the COVID-shortened campaign in 2020.
- Veteran defender Aaron Long participates in third consecutive USMNT camp. Continuing his recovery from a ruptured Achilles suffered last May, the center back was invited to rehab alongside the USMNT during the team’s November camp before reintegrating back into full training during last month’s camp.