United States men’s national team head coach Gregg Berhalter finally released the 23-man roster for the CONCACAF Nations League.
His decision was not an easy one this year as this tournament stands as the last opportunity for the players to unite before 2022 World Cup qualifiers begin.
Though other nations will use the CONCACAF Gold Cup as preparations for World Cup-related matches, the United States won’t enjoy that luxury. Berhalter explained that since the core of the US national team plays in Europe, individuals will not be called up and instead enjoy a much needed break.
Before explaining the significance of Nations League, this is the 23-man roster:
Goalkeepers: Ethan Horvath (Club Brugge), David Ochoa (Real Salt Lake), Zack Steffen (Manchester City)
Defenders: John Brooks (Wolfsburg), Reggie Cannon (Boavista), Sergiño Dest (Barcelona), Mark McKenzie (Genk), Matt Miazga (Anderlecht), Tim Ream (Fulham), Antonee Robinson (Fulham), DeAndre Yedlin (Galatasaray)
Midfielders: Kellyn Acosta (Colorado Rapids), Tyler Adams (RB Leipzig), Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy), Weston McKennie (Juventus), Yunus Musah (Valencia), Jackson Yueill (San Jose Earthquakes)
Forwards: Brenden Aaronson (Red Bull Salzburg), Christian Pulisic (Chelsea), Gio Reyna (Borussia Dortmund), Josh Sargent (Werder Bremen), Jordan Siebatcheu (Young Boys), Tim Weah (Lille)
The CONCACAF Nations League can be compared to UEFA's equivalent in terms of relevance and importance. The trophy might not be valuable or displayed on the highest shelf, but the timing of the tournament enables much needed practice by all participating members.
With the United States particularly, any player wishing to make the World Cup roster will first have to impress Berhalter here.
“Now is the time. When you go into a summer where you have two trophies, and then you have World Cup qualifying and then the World Cup, we're talking about in a year and a half's time, one cycle is going to be done, basically," Berhalter said.
"This group is going to define itself based on how we do in this year and a half. And so for us, I think this group is highly talented. I think this group has a ton of potential. But now it's about going out and showing it. I think we laid the groundwork and the guys are comfortable with who we are as a group, and now it’s about performing.”