Big names missing from USMNT World Cup qualifying roster

Big names missing from USMNT World Cup qualifying roster
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Forwards Christian Pulisic and Gio Reyna were left off the 27-man U.S. roster called up Wednesday for October’s three CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers but midfielder Weston McKennie made the cut after missing the last two games to suspension.

Pulisic and Reyna were both injured in this month’s qualifiers, Pulisic twisting an ankle in Honduras and Reyna tweaking a hamstring in El Salvador. In their place, U.S. coach Gregg Berhalter called up former Galaxy forward Gyasi Zardes and D.C. United’s Paul Arriola.

McKennie, meanwhile, returns after being suspended for multiple violations of the national team’s COVID-19 protocols before the second game in Nashville. Also back is defender Sergiño Dest of Barcelona, who came out of the game in Nashville with an injury.

The U.S., unbeaten at 1-0-2 three games into the 14-game qualifying tournament, will play winless Jamaica on Oct. 7 in Austin, Texas., before traveling to Central America to face unbeaten Panama on Oct. 10. The Americans will close the second round of qualifiers in Columbus, Ohio, against once-beaten Costa Rica on Oct. 13.

The top three teams in the eight-team competition, which ends next spring, will qualify automatically for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. The U.S. enters the second qualifying window tied with Canada and Panama for second place, two points behind Mexico.

The team will begin gathering in Austin on Monday for a brief training camp.

In addition to Zardes and Arriola, midfielder Gianlunca Busio of Italy’s Venezia, returnees include forward Matthew Hoppe of Spain’s Mallorca and defender Shaq Moore from Tenerife in Spain who are all back for the first time since playing for the Gold Cup-winning team last summer while midfielder Yunus Musah (Valencia) and forward Tim Weah (Lille) return from injury.

Also summoned was Galaxy midfielder Sebastian Lletget, who scored the final U.S. goal in the first three-game qualifying window in Honduras. He has appeared in 15 of the national team’s 16 matches this year and is tied with Brenden Aaronson for the team lead with four goals,

The roster includes 10 players off MLS rosters and 17 from Europe. Nine players have never played in a World Cup qualifier. The roster will be trimmed to 23 players ahead of each of the three October games.

The roster:

Goalkeepers: Sean Johnson (New York City FC), Zack Steffen (Manchester City), Matt Turner (New England Revolution)

Defenders: George Bello (Atlanta United), John Brooks (Wolfsburg), Sergiño Dest (Barcelona), Mark McKenzie (Genk), Shaq Moore (Tenerife), Tim Ream (Fulham), Chris Richards (Hoffenheim), Antonee Robinson (Fulham), Miles Robinson (Atlanta United), DeAndre Yedlin (Galatasaray)

Midfielders: Kellyn Acosta (Colorado Rapids), Tyler Adams (RB Leipzig), Gianluca Busio (Venezia), Luca de la Torre (Heracles), Sebastian Lletget (Galaxy), Weston McKennie (Juventus), Yunus Musah (Valencia), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders)

Forwards: Brenden Aaronson (RB Salzburg), Paul Arriola (DC United), Matthew Hoppe (Mallorca), Ricardo Pepi (FC Dallas), Tim Weah (Lille), Gyasi Zardes (Columbus)

CONCACAF World Cup qualifying table

Pts. W L T

Mexico 7 2 0 1

Canada 5 1 0 2

U.S. 5 1 0 2

Panama 5 1 0 2

Costa Rica 2 0 1 2

Honduras 2 0 1 2

El Salvador 2 0 1 2

Jamaica 1 0 2 1

Next games

Oct. 7

U.S. vs Jamaica, Austin, Texas

Honduras vs. Costa Rica

Mexico vs. Canada

El Salvador vs. Panama

Oct. 10

Panama vs. U.S., Panama City

Jamaica vs. Canada

Costa Rica vs. El Salvador

Mexico vs. Honduras

Oct. 13

U.S. vs. Costa Rica, Columbus, Ohio

Canada vs. Panama

Honduras vs. Jamaica

El Salvador vs. Mexico

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