Weston McKennie, Zack Steffen & Antonee Robinson to miss USMNT qualifier vs Panama

Lizzy Becherano
McKennie is one of three absentees
McKennie is one of three absentees / John Todd/ISI Photos/GettyImages

U.S. men’s national team players Weston McKennie, Zack Steffen and Antonee Robinson are not traveling to Panama for Sunday’s World Cup qualifier, U.S. Soccer confirmed on Friday. 

Instead, all three players will be flying from Austin, Texas, where the American side defeated Jamaica 2-0, to Columbus, Ohio ahead of the last October qualifiers against Costa Rica on Wednesday. 

Manchester City goalkeeper Steffen and Fulham defender Robinson will not travel to Panama to avoid quarantine upon returning to their respective clubs in the U.K. 

Panama continues to be on the United Kingdom’s 'red-list', meaning any individual traveling there must isolate themselves in a bubble for 10 days when returning to the country. Players would be unable to train and participate in any club activity during that period. 

USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter made it clear that he agrees with leaving behind Steffen and Robinson, adding “we don’t think it makes sense for Zack or Antonee to travel there if they have to quarantine for 10 days on the back end."

New England Revolution goalkeeper Matt Turner will sub in for Steffen. 

Weston McKennie, on the other hand, is missing the match due to soreness in his right quad. The Juventus midfielder played the entirety of Thursday’s match against Jamaica but walked away with an injury concern. The MRI taken on Friday showed no tear or strain, but the severity of the pain proved enough to sit out the Panama game. 

U.S. Soccer confirmed all other 23 players on the USMNT will be traveling to Panama on Friday. They also revealed that any potential issues regarding entry to the country for fully or partially unvaccinated members of the team traveling party were 'resolved'.

The comments come after Berhalter told reporters that one player had received only one dose of his Covid-19 vaccine, while another player was not vaccinated at all.