USMNT roster: Which MLS players are in BJ Callaghan’s squad for the Concacaf Nations League?
Just as we reach the halfway point in the MLS regular season, four US-based players have been called up to represent the national side.
Ahead of an important summer of fixtures for the USMNT, interim head coach BJ Callaghan admitted that he was surprised to get the nod to take over the national team.
“It was Friday morning on the Memorial Day holiday. I was basically packing up my kids, I had to take my daughter to a lacrosse tournament in North Carolina,” Callaghan told reporters earlier this month.
“And [sporting director] Matt Crocker called, told me the news, and asked me if I was willing to step up.”
Now Callaghan, who has never previously led a professional side, will take charge of the USMNT in a series of crucial games over the next month and a half. Despite the recent upheaval the team will be aiming to secure silverware in both the Concacaf Nations League and the upcoming 2023 Gold Cup, which is taking place on home soil.
Callaghan’s roster for the Nations League fixtures includes a number of top level stars playing in Europe, such as Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie and Gio Reyna, as well as four players from MLS:
- Sean Johnson, Toronto FC
- Drake Callender, Inter Miami
- Miles Robinson, Atlanta United
- Walker Zimmerman, Nashville SC
USMNT calls up two players from Liga MX
The 24-man squad includes many names selected by Gregg Berhalter during his time in the national set up, with 13 remaining from the 2023 World Cup. Many who have missed out this time do so due to injury: Tyler Adams, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Tim Ream and Josh Sargent.
“One common theme that we continue to talk about, we continue to build upon, is the foundation of the culture that we’ve been building over the last four years,” said Callaghan. “It’s really something special that we have. It’s something that we built intentionally about being all about the collective, having ownership.
However there are also some new call-ups for the squad to take part in the Nations League finals. Two of them are currently plying their trade in Liga MX:
- Alejandro Zendejas, CF América
- Alan Soñora, FC Juárez
Also called up to the squad for the first time, forward Folarin Balogun who has taken Ligue 1 by storm this year. The on-loan Arsenal striker scored 21 goals in the French top flight and is eligible to play for the US due to the fact that he was born in Brooklyn, New York.
Callaghan may not remain in his current role for too long, but he could play a key part in the future of the USMNT by giving Balogun his first taste of international football later this month.