USMNT players' progress report ahead of World Cup qualifiers
Several United States internationals are in top form for their respective clubs ahead of the first international window of the year in CONCACAF.
The World Cup qualifiers in CONCACAF are set to resume this week with the United States men’s national team looking to secure their spot at Qatar 2022. The USMNT head coach, Gregg Berhalter, confirmed the 28-man roster for three crucial games with six fixtures left in the final round-robin tournament.
The USMNT players are eager to resume the qualifiers
The first game of the winter international window for the United States will be on 27 January against El Salvador in Columbus, Ohio. The second game will take place three days later on the road against Canada and on 2 February they will end the international window by hosting Honduras with the hope they have obtained all nine points.
Zack Steffen vs Matt Turner
The Manchester City goalkeeper has only played six games across all competitions because he serves as the second option for Ederson. With the national team Steffen has always been the starting goalkeeper under Berhalter, but Matt Turner has been making a case to become the No 1 option.
Turner was key for the United States in their victorious 2021 Gold Cup campaign and had a breakout season with the New England Revolution last year. His performances for club and country have been so impressive that he has been linked with a move to Arsenal during this transfer window.
Sergiño Dest finally saw more minutes this year
The 22-year-old has been struggling with injuries, covid-19 and gaining the trust of FC Barcelona’s head coach Xavi since last November, when he was appointed. But he finally saw more game time right before the first international window of the year and he played a total of 114 minutes in two games last week, one as a starter, and is slowly reaching top form.
Midfielders arrive in Columbus on a high
The midfield is crucial for the aspirations of the USMNT to win all three games during the international window of January and obtain their ticket to the upcoming World Cup. Weston McKennie of Juventus, Yunus Musah of Valencia and Tyler Adamas of RB Leipzig are in top shape with their teams and have become key players.
McKennie has scored two goals in his last four games and is a regular starter for Juventus under manager Massimiliano Allegri. Musah scored his first goal of the LaLiga season this weekend in Valencia’s 3-2 defeat to Atlético Madrid and Adams has helped Leipzig win four consecutive games.
The best available strikers
It will be very difficult to contain the strikers from the United States during the upcoming qualifying matches. Ricardo Pepi arrived in Columbus having played three games with Augsburg in the Bundesliga, two as a starter, while Christian Pulisic is slowly reaching top form. He has made 11 league appearances since recovering from his ankle injury last year and has scored twice. Last but not least is Brendan Aaronson, who is on the radar of Leeds United after a year and a half with Red Bull Salzburg.