On Wednesday morning, USMNT manager Gregg Berhalter announced the roster for a pair of friendlies in late September.
The United States has two fixtures set later this month, both coming against World Cup sides. On Sep. 23, the USMNT battles Japan in Düsseldorf, Germany. Then, four days later, the United States travels to Murcia, Spain, to play against Saudi Arabia.
This pair of games has significance for different reasons, both in regards to the players and manager. For Gregg Berhalter, it is his chance to see what tactics or players work best against strong opposition. While Japan and Saudi Arabia are not World Cup favorites, they present an opportunity for play styles unfamiliar to what the Americans traditionally play against. The unpredictability of the World Cup requires tests to have success. This American side is unproven at the World Cup with so little experience after missing out on 2018.
The September USMNT roster has just one player with World Cup experience, Deandre Yedlin. He made three substitute appearances in the U.S.’s four games in Brazil.
USMNT roster for September friendlies
For those players, some see these upcoming two games as a chance to get on the final squad list for the World Cup itself. Earlier in September, Berhalter said his World Cup squad is around 85% complete.
The big focus here is on the striker position. Gregg Berhalter called up four true strikers as there is no clear frontrunner for the position. Ricardo Pepi, Josh Sargent, Jesús Ferreira and Jordan Morris are the four names looking to get on the plane to Qatar. The upcoming friendlies are perhaps their last chance to make an impression.
Also, there are some names not included due to injury that are expected to be on the final World Cup roster. For example, Tim Weah is still out, opening up the door for another forward. Same applies to Fulham’s Antonee Robinson, who picked up an injury earlier in the month.
Ethan Horvath (Luton Town), Sean Johnson (New York City FC), Matt Turner (Arsenal).
Reggie Cannon (Boavista), Cameron Carter-Vickers (Celtic), Sergiño Dest (AC Milan, Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls, Chris Richards (Crystal Palace), Joe Scally (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Sam Vines (Royal Antwerp), DeAndre Yedlin (Inter Miami), Walker Zimmerman (Nashville SC).
Kellyn Acosta (LAFC), Tyler Adams (Leeds United), Luca de la Torre (Celta Vigo), Weston McKennie (Juventus), Yunus Musah (Valencia), Malik Tillman (Rangers).
Brenden Aaronson (Leeds United), Paul Arriola (FC Dallas), Jesús Ferreira (FC Dallas), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders), Ricardo Pepi (Groningen), Christian Pulisic (Chelsea), Gio Reyna (Borussia Dortmund), Josh Sargent (Norwich City).
PHOTO: IMAGO / Icon Sportswire
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