Why isn’t Christian Pulisic playing for USMNT?
The AC Milan forward was not the only big name absence from Gregg Berhalter’s United States team to take on Trinidad and Tobago.
USMNT are looking to book a place in the 2024 Copa América on Monday evening but will have to do it without talisman Christian Pulisic.
The AC Milan forward is one of the most important members of Gregg Berhalter’s squad and wears the Number 10 jersey for the United States. However the 25-year-old was ruled out of the November international break due to injury.
Pulisic suffered a reoccurrence of a hamstring strain in Milan’s 2-1 victory over Pairs Saint-Germain last week. It is not the first time that he has been ruled out with muscular injuries, an issue that blighted his spell at Chelsea.
Why isn’t Weston McKennie playing for USMNT?
Unfortunately for Berhalter, Pulisic is not the only attacking star ruled out of the November internationals. Midfielder Weston McKennie was one of the team’s best performers in last week’s first leg win but he picked up an injury in the final stages at Q2 Stadium. He is suffering from a knee issue and is not in the squad for Monday’s game.
Juventus winger Timothy Weah has also fallen victim to a hamstring injury and has not travelled with the squad.
“We see them on track to get back to play soon,” Berhalter said of Pulisic and Weah before the first leg. “But it’s too short of a deadline, so they won’t be involved.”
The absences of Pulisic, McKennie and Weah will be a frustration for Berhalter, who has led the team to some impressive results since returning to the helm. However the omissions could give opportunities for the likes of Brenden Aaronson, Alex Zendejas and Ricardo Pepi.
How can USMNT qualify for Copa América?
As part of their preparations to co-host the 2026 World Cup, the United States will host the 2024 Copa América. The CONMEBOL tournament is usually restricted to South American teams, but in 2024 six CONCACAF teams will be added.
The six North and Central American teams will be decided by their placing in the CONCACAF Nations League. The four semi-finalists will qualify automatically; the four losing quarter-finalists will go head-to-head to decide the final two qualifiers.
The United States are taking on Trinidad and Tobago in their two-legged quarter-final. The aggregate winner across the two games will secure guaranteed qualification.