Gio Reyna returns to the USMNT for the first time since Gregg Berhalter was rehired as manager when the USA hosts Germany in a friendly. The furor surrounding the two needs no reiterating. But questions continue to swirl about whether the rift has truly started to mend. There is a game to be played, however.
Also, the United States has a limited number of competitive games before hosting the World Cup in 2026. Therefore, the Berhalter’s boys will want to perform well in this friendly against Germany.
USA brings Gio Reyna back for Germany clash
Reyna’s return deservedly garnered all the headlines. Still, the rest of the group is about as strong as could be. Only two of the players on the roster call Major League Soccer home. Miles Robinson of Atlanta United and DeJuan Jones of the New England Revolution are back in the squad. Everybody else comes from a European club, save for midfielder Johnny Cardoso. He plies his trade for Internacional in Brazil.
Matt Turner and Ethan Horvath are the two goalkeepers. Tim Ream, Sergiño Dest, Cameron Carter-Vickers and Joe Scally are the top defenders. The midfield is as loaded as it has ever been. Weston McKennie, Yunus Musah, Reyna and promising dual national Lennard Maloney of the German club Heidenheim make up a dynamic and young middle of the park. Up front are Christian Pulisic, Ricardo Pepi, Tim Weah, Brenden Aaronson and Folarin Balogun.
Pivotal games without qualifying
Because they are hosting the 2026 World Cup, the US will not get the opportunity to play in any World Cup Qualifying games over the next few years. That leaves them in the awkward spot of not having many competitive games to play in. That is why they need to make the most of this international window. With games against Germany and Ghana, this is likely to be the toughest competition the US faces until the Copa America next summer. That is also happening in the United States.
A rebuilding German side
Germany is a team in utter free fall. Things have not gone super well for them for the last five years. They were eliminated in the group stage of the 2018 World Cup in Russia and again at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Since that World Cup, Germany has been a complete disaster with a record of two wins, four losses, and one draw in 2023. Six of those seven games were at home as well.
That poor run-of-form cost manager Hansi Flick his job. For his replacement, Die Mannschaft turned to former Hoffenheim, Red Bull Leipzig, and Bayern Munich boss Julian Nagelsmann. For this two-game tour of the US (Germany also plays Mexico in Philadelphia), Nagelsmann has called up a roster that features the bulk of Germany’s best players, despite some grumbling from their clubs in Germany.
Marc-Andre ter Stegen figures to be the guy in goal. Several of the defenders, Antonio Rudiger, Mats Hummels, and Niklas Sule have plenty of international appearances. Germany owns a stacked midfield. Joshua Kimmich, Leon Goretzka, Leroy Sane and captain Ilkay Gundogan all have at least 50 caps. Up top, the man for the US to watch is none other than Thomas Muller, who has 45 goals in 123 caps for the Germans, including seven at the World Cup.
- The US game against Germany kicks off at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 14. The game will air on TNT in English and on Telemundo in Spanish.
- Saturday’s game against Germany is at Pratt & Whitney Stadium in East Hartford, Connecticut. It will be the eighth USMNT appearance there and the first USMNT game in this venue since a friendly against Peru in October of 2018.
- The next US game is against Ghana on Tuesday, Oct. 17, at Geodis Park in Nashville at 7:30 p.m.
PHOTO: IMAGO / ZUMA Wire
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