CONCACAF

Surprises in USMNT's 27-man roster for World Cup qualifiers

The coach of the United States men’s national team, Gregg Berhalter, has left Christian Pulisic and Gio Reyna out of the final 27-man roster.

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Surprises in USMNT's 27-man roster for World Cup qualifiers

The United States men’s national team are getting ready to return to action for the FIFA international break of October to continue with the second round of the World Cup qualifiers in CONCACAF. The USMNT has five points and a record of W1-D2-L0 in the round-robin tournament.

On Wednesday the coach of the USMNT, Gregg Berhalter, announced the 27-man roster that will hold camp in Austin and prepare for the qualifying game against Jamaica at the Q2 Stadium on 2 October. Three days later, they will go on the road to play against Panama at the Estadio Rommel Fernández and then return to Columbus to host Costa Rica on 13 October.

Christian Pulisic left out and McKennie returns

Chelsea’s No 10 has not recovered from the ankle injury he suffered back on 8 September when the USMNT defeated Honduras. Christian Pulisic has missed the last three league games with Chelsea because he has not fully recovered from his injury. Another player that will not be available because he hasn’t reached full fitness is Gio Reyna.

On the other hand, Weston McKennie will return to the USMNT after he was suspended for breaking covid-19 protocols. The Juventus midfielder missed the last two qualifiers in September against Canada and Honduras, but his suspension has been lifted by Berhalter.

"We stress the importance of us having a young team, people making mistakes, and people being held accountable for their mistakes. And that's exactly what it was and what it is," Berhalter said Wednesday. "I spoke to Weston.

"He was very forthcoming at the time, and as far as I'm concerned, this is something that's done. He's still going to be held accountable for his behavior. Everybody's going to be held accountable, but this isn't something that we hold on guys, and that's not the type of culture we have in the group, and it won't be moving forward. So Weston's back in, and we're in conversations with him, and he's focused on helping the team win.

"Like any player, you talk through it, and you work through it, and the player takes responsibility. I think there is part of it that you move forward and you say, 'Okay, it's a clean slate for you.' But there's a certain amount of trust that Weston needs to rebuild with the group, and he's willing to do that and I think that's the important thing.

"The one thing I didn't love in how this whole thing got spun, is just the lack of tolerance, the lack of understanding for a player's situation, for the fact that we have a young group, and this group needs to learn. I think we're way too quick to condemn people and not really understand a player's perspective.

"Listen, his behavior was unacceptable, he took responsibility for it, and we move on. We really do move on. But will he be held accountable in the future? Absolutely. That's going to be part of it, and he understands that. The group understands that. So, we move forward,” he concluded.

The 27-man roster

Goalkeepers: Sean Johnson (New York City FC), Zack Steffen (Manchester City), Matt Turner (New England Revolution)

Defenders: George Bello (Atlanta United), John Brooks (Wolfsburg), Sergiño Dest (Barcelona), Mark McKenzie (Genk), Shaq Moore (Tenerife), Tim Ream (Fulham), Chris Richards (Hoffenheim), Antonee Robinson (Fulham), Miles Robinson (Atlanta United), DeAndre Yedlin (Galatasaray)

Midfielders: Kellyn Acosta (Colorado Rapids), Tyler Adams (RB Leipzig), Gianluca Busio (Venezia), Luca de la Torre (Heracles), Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy), Weston McKennie (Juventus), Yunus Musah (Valencia), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders)

Forwards: Brenden Aaronson (Red Bull Salzburg), Paul Arriola (D.C. United), Matthew Hoppe (Mallorca), Ricardo Pepi (FC Dallas), Tim Weah (Lille OSC), Gyasi Zardes (Columbus Crew)