KENYA BROWN - Thursday, October 3, 2019
US national team head coach Gregg Berhalter unveiled on Wednesday a 26-man roster for their upcoming games against Cuba and Canada in the inagural CONCACAF Nations League.
The likes of Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie and Josh Sargent are in the team, but the name most people were looking for, Sergino Dest, was not on the roster as the Dutch-American full-back considers his international options. The 18-year-old, who has broken into the Ajax first team this season, has been in talks with the Dutch FA about his possible participation with Oranje.
If he had accepted a call-up to the US for this month's games and played in one game, he would be cap-tied.
There are a few notable returns to the national team setup, and the most interesting one is the return of DeAndre Yedlin. The veteran right back only made his return to the line-up for Newcastle United over the past weekend in their 5-0 loss to Leicester City, coming off the bench. It's uncertain whether he will play in either of the games, so this could just be a chance for Berhalter to see whether he has returned to full fitness.
Matt Miazga also makes his return to the team after recovering from injury as he played for Reading in their EFL Cup loss to Wolverhampton Wanderers last week.
Brenden Aaronson is also another notable inclusion in the team as the Philadelphia Union midfielder seems to have impressed the US coaching staff with his performances in Major League Soccer and with the Under-23 team.
While the Nations League provides and opportunity for national teams in the region to compete for a trophy, it has come in for some criticism. Former US head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has made his voice heard on the tournament as he deemed it as a "waste of time" for the US.
However, to the contrary, Berhalter sees this as another opportunity to bring in the younger players and try to integrate them into the style of play he wants them to perform on the field.
"This is competitive soccer. Anytime there is a trophy on the line is exciting, and in the inaugural Nations League we want to put ourselves in a position to win the tournament," he said. "One thing that's important is we continue to bring some of the younger guys along, integrate some new players into camp, but also have a familiar base. Most of the guys have been in camp before, understand how we want to play, and we think that continuity will help in our performance."
The invited players will report for camp on Oct. 6 before playing their first game against Cuba in Washington, DC on Oct. 11. They will then head north take on Canada in Toronto on Oct. 15.
Brad Guzan (Atlanta United), Sean Johnson (New York City FC), Zack Steffen (Fortuna Dusseldorf)
Reggie Cannon (FC Dallas), Nick Lima (San Jose Earthquakes), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls), Daniel Lovitz (Montreal Impac), Matt Miazga (Reading), Tim Ream (Fulham), DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle United), Walker Zimmerman (LAFC)
Brenden Aaronson (Philadelphia Union), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy), Weston McKennie (Schalke), Christian Pulisic (Chelsea), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew), Jackson Yueill (San Jose Earthquakes)
Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Paul Arriola (D.C. United), Corey Baird (Real Salt Lake), Tyler Boyd (Besiktas), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders), Josh Sargent (Werder Bremen), Gyasi Zardes (Columbus Crew)