Berhalter Calls 28 Players To Columbus For January World Cup Qualifying Training CampUSMNT Sits in Second Place of Octagonal with USA-El Salvador, Presented by Volkswagen, First Up on Jan. 27 at Sold-Out Lower.com Field
CHICAGO (Jan. 21, 2022) – As 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifying begins the home stretch, U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Gregg Berhalter has called 28 players to Columbus to prepare for the trio of games. The BioSteel USMNT Training Camp roster will begin reporting to camp this weekend.
The USMNT will kick off the important three-match window with USA-El Salvador, presented by Volkswagen, on Jan. 27 at Lower.com Field in Columbus (7 p.m. ET; ESPN2, UniMás, TUDN). Three days later, the USMNT travels to take on group leaders Canada in Hamilton, Ontario (3 p.m. ET; Paramount+, Telemundo, Universo). The United States then heads home for a Feb. 2 encounter with Honduras at Allianz Field in St. Paul, Minn. (7:30 p.m. ET; FS1, Univision, TUDN).A limited amount of tickets for that match are available here.
With six matches remaining, the USMNT sits in second place in the Octagonal standings with 15 points and a 4-1-3 record. The top three teams in the group earn automatic qualification for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
Detailed Roster by Position (Club/Country; Caps/Goals)
GOALKEEPERS (4): Sean Johnson (New York City FC; 9/0), Gabriel Slonina (Chicago Fire; 0/0), Zack Steffen (Manchester City/ENG; 26/0), Matt Turner (New England Revolution; 13/0)
DEFENDERS (9): Reggie Cannon (Boavista/POR; 22/1), Sergiño Dest (Barcelona/ESP; 15/2), Brooks Lennon (Atlanta United; 1/0), Mark McKenzie (Genk/BEL; 8/0), Chris Richards (Hoffenheim/GER; 6/0), Antonee Robinson (Fulham/ENG; 19/1), Miles Robinson (Atlanta United; 15/3), DeAndre Yedlin (Galatasaray/TUR; 71/0), Walker Zimmerman (Nashville SC; 23/2)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Kellyn Acosta (LAFC; 45/2), Tyler Adams (RB Leipzig/GER; 22/1), Luca de la Torre (Heracles/NED; 4/0), Sebastian Lletget (New England Revolution; 33/8), Weston McKennie (Juventus/ITA; 28/8), Yunus Musah (Valencia/ESP; 11/0), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders; 30/0)
FORWARDS (8): Brenden Aaronson (Red Bull Salzburg/AUT; 15/5), Paul Arriola (D.C. United; 42/8), Jesús Ferreira (FC Dallas; 5/2), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders; 40/10), Ricardo Pepi (Augsburg/GER; 7/3), Christian Pulisic (Chelsea/ENG; 42/17), Tim Weah (Lille/FRA; 18/2), Gyasi Zardes (Columbus Crew; 66/14)
The matches are scheduled during a FIFA international window, making all players available for selection. While teams can summon a larger group, the game day roster for World Cup Qualifiers may only include 23 players.
(BACK) IN THE MIX
Of the 28 players, 23 were part of the USMNT’s November World Cup Qualifying roster.
Veteran defender DeAndre Yedlin (71) is the leading cap winner on the roster, followed by Gyasi Zardes (66), Kellyn Acosta (45), Paul Arriola and Christian Pulisic (42 each).
Weston McKennie (yellow card accumulation) and Miles Robinson (red card) return to the qualifying roster after missing out on the Nov. 16 match at Jamaica due to suspension.
McKennie returns to the USMNT fold after scoring two goals in his last two matches for Juventus. The 23-year-old also became the youngest U.S. international to achieve 50 Serie A appearances during the club’s 2-0 win against Udinese.
After missing out on the November camp through injury, Sergiño Dest returns to the USMNT roster as it convenes in Columbus. In the team’s last visit to Lower.com Field, the full back scored what ended up being the team’s Goal of the Year, leading the comeback in the USA’s 2-1 win against Costa Rica on Oct. 13, 2021.
Meantime, Jordan Morris receives his first World Cup Qualifying summons since September 2017. The veteran forward made his first USMNT appearance in more than two years during last month’s 1-0 win against Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The USMNT player pool for World Cup Qualifying is arguably the youngest in the world, but the age and experience continue to grow. In addition to 26 players already earning their first appearance in a World Cup Qualifier through the first eight matches, Berhalter has twice sent out starting lineups that were the youngest ever for the United States in a qualifier.
For this trio of matches, a total of 16 players have appeared in at least four contests this cycle. Red Bull Salzburg forward Brenden Aaronson and RB Leipzig midfielder Tyler Adams are the only two to have appeared in all eight thus far.
WINTER IS COMING
Rare is the time that World Cup Qualifying matches in Concacaf are played in wintertime. Even then, it was typically only one match. Scheduling changes due to the global pandemic have introduced a unique three-game window at this time of year. With Canada choosing to host the middle of the three games on the artificial turf in Hamilton, Ontario, the United States has doubled down on cold weather conditions and will welcome El Salvador and Honduras to the frigid and friendly confines of Columbus and Minneapolis.
Fans of the USMNT will recall the iconic victories in World Cup Qualifying against Mexico in 2001 – the birth of Dos a Cero – and the win in the Snowclasico in 2013 against Costa Rica in Denver. On both days, temperature at kickoff was 29 degrees. In Columbus, the Mexican team didn’t leave the locker room for warmups.
Said defender Walker Zimmerman:
“You know what? I want it to be freezing. I want it to be cold. I want the snow. I want to be a part of something so iconic that I saw and I really remember growing up. And that’s exciting to me. So I think the guys are ready to embrace it, and it will be a really good environment for us fan-wise as well.”
FINAL ROUND QUALIFYING – THE OCTAGONAL
For the first time, Concacaf has included eight teams in the final round of qualifying for the World Cup. The teams will play a round-robin, home and away format which includes 14 matches each. Due to the global health pandemic, a process which normally takes place during the course of 18 months has been reduced to seven. Additionally, the condensed schedule includes four ‘triple dates’ consisting of three matches during a seven-day window. The following teams have reached the final round: Canada, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Jamaica, Panama, Mexico and the United States.
ONLY FORWARD/SOLO PA’LANTE
U.S. Soccer kicked off its “Countdown to World Cup Qualifying” promotion with the launch of “Only Forward,” / “Solo Pa’lante,” U.S. Soccer’s new creative campaign focused on uniting fans and the MNT in a collective journey to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
Developed in conjunction with the players, coaches and staff, “Only Forward / Solo Pa’lante” highlights a young, diverse and global-minded Men’s National Team that is humble yet resilient as it looks to tackle the challenge of World Cup Qualifying during the next eight months. After an action-packed summer in which the deep U.S. player pool responded to adversity on and off the field and proved itself with two regional championship trophies, the USMNT is ready to show the world that they are prepared to change the way the world views American soccer.
- After spending the last two weeks training in Phoenix, 13 domestic players will join up with 15 European-based players in Columbus to form the qualifying roster.
- The average age of the January WCQ roster will be 24 years, 294 days as of the first day of training on Jan. 24.
- Seventeen players are age 24 and younger.
- The roster averages 21 caps, with 11 in official competition.
- Players represent clubs in 11 different countries: USA (13), England (3), Germany (3), Spain (2), Belgium (1), Austria (1), France (1), Italy (1), Netherlands (1), Portugal (1), and Turkey (1).
- Of the 28 players, 23 were part of the USMNT’s November World Cup Qualifying roster.
- Veteran defender DeAndre Yedlin (71) is the leading cap winner on the roster, followed by Gyasi Zardes (66), Kellyn Acosta (45), Paul Arriola and Christian Pulisic (42 each).
- Tyler Adams, Zack Steffen and DeAndre Yedlin are all carrying cautions. Another yellow card for any will result in a one-match suspension.
- Jordan Morris receives his first World Cup Qualifying summons since September 2017. The veteran forward made his first USMNT appearance in more than two years during last month’s friendly against Bosnia and Herzegovina.
- Four players are seeking their WCQ debuts: Reggie Cannon, Sean Johnson, Brooks Lennon and Gabriel Slonina.
- Seventeen players were part of the USMNT’s September qualifying roster when the team played El Salvador, Canada and Honduras.
- Forward Brenden Aaronson and midfielder Tyler Adams are the only two players to appear in all eight World Cup Qualifiers thus far.
- Midfielder Weston McKennie (yellow card accumulation) and defender Miles Robinson (red card) return to the qualifying roster after missing out on the Nov. 16 match at Jamaica due to suspension.
- McKennie returns to the USMNT fold after scoring two goals in his last two matches for Juventus. The 23-year-old also became the youngest U.S. international to achieve 50 Serie A appearances during the club’s 2-0 win against Udinese.
- Full back Antonee Robinson bagged his third goal across all competitions and registered his second assist in Fulham’s 6-2 win against Birmingham City on Tuesday. Robinson has appeared in 21 of 26 league matches for the EFL Championship leaders this season.
- After suffering a quad injury at the beginning of December, attacker Tim Weah returned to the lineup for Lille on Wednesday, coming on in the 68th minute of the Ligue 1 side’s 3-1 win against Lorient.
- Sixteen players have appeared in at four or more qualifying matches during this cycle: Aaronson, Acosta, Adams, Dest, Lletget, McKennie, Musah, Pepi, Pulisic, Antonee Robinson, Miles Robinson, Roldan, Turner, Weah, Yedlin and Zimmerman.
- Brenden Aaronson, Paul Arriola and Sebastian Lletget each previously tallied against El Salvador in the 6-0 friendly win on Dec. 9, 2020 in Fort Lauderdale.
- Gyasi Zardes scored two goals and Jordan Morris tallied another in the USA’s 4-1 win against Canada in Concacaf Nations League group play on Nov. 15, 2019 in Orlando.
- Five players have tallied WCQ goals against Honduras. Sebastian Lletget (2), followed by Brenden Aaaronson, Ricardo Pepi, Christian Pulisic and Antonee Robinson (1 each).
- After missing out on the November camp through injury, Sergiño Dest returns to the USMNT roster as it convenes in Columbus. In the team’s last visit to Lower.com Field, the full back scored what ended up being the team’s Goal of the Year, leading the comeback in the USA’s 2-1 win against Costa Rica on Oct. 13, 2021.
- Paul Arriola and Gyasi Zardes each provided goals in the USMNT’s last visit to St. Paul’s Allianz Field, tallying in the 4-0 win against Guyana to open Gold Cup play on June 18, 2019.