Predicting USMNT World Cup roster

USMNT’s Gregg Berhalter imploring his team to do something, anything, against Saudi Arabia on Tuesday.

USMNT’s Gregg Berhalter imploring his group to do one factor, something, in direction of Saudi Arabia on Tuesday.
picture: Getty photos

america males’s nationwide group has zero minutes of recreation time remaining earlier than it strains up in direction of Wales on the FIFA World Cup, the nation’s first contest on soccer’s largest showcase in eight years. Tuesday’s scoreless draw in direction of Saudi Arabia gave us one ultimate have a look on the Yanks earlier than heading to Qatar, however didn’t even come shut to getting a needle-transferring second in an almost empty stadium. Let the rampant hypothesis start as to who the 26 males USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter will choose for the worldwide showcase; squads for the World Cup might even be made public on Nov. 9.

for the set off that start of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying 14 months in the past, sure Berhalter personnel decisions have been puzzling, as he prioritized loyalty over expertise, and there’s no set off to think about he’ll course-appropriate for the 270 assured minutes that’ll decide his future as a consequence of the American’s coach. I’ve executed my best to try to get into the massive skull of Greggy-poo, to get hold of out the double baker’s dozen of footy specialists that’ll put on the purple, white, and blue in Qatar. and since i do know Berhalter has me on pace dial, I’ll inform you the place his decisions can be unsuitable. that is all pending accidents if truth be advised, like Gio Reyna being subbed off after half-hour in direction of the Saudis.

the best place to undertaking out of Berhalter’s mind and my very personal ideas is at goalkeeper. It’d be a shock to not name in three — and solely 4 males seem in rivalry for these spots. New Arsenal signee Matt Turner is a lock and has the best case to start out. Berhalter’s affinity for Zack Steffen is clear and that i really feel he’s a extreme-three keeper inside the USMNT pool. The coin-flip different between Ethan Horvath and Sean Johnson might even be the place Gregg and that i differ. Johnson has extra expertise and his collective physique of labor — particularly his efficiency in direction of Uruguay — is stronger than Horvath’s. Take away the penalty save in direction of Andres Guardado final June. What has Horvath executed to stake his declare? He’s a safe keeper, however that alone shouldn’t have him on the plane to Qatar. Berhalter chooses to reward basically the most memorable second from his tenure.

Let’s leap throughout the formation a little bit of bit to the place Berhalter and that i would agree — inside the midfield. when it includes balancing out the USMNT best, I think about seven midfielders should be in Qatar. I see Gregg solely bringing six by prioritizing extra our bodies at much less-confirmed positions. Weston McKennie, Tyler Adams, Yunus Musah, Kellyn Acosta, and Luca de la Torre are the 5 locks. Musah, McKennie, and Adams as a consequence of the midfield starters is the relevant name and a protected guess. Bringing the Rangers teammates of Malik Tillman and James Sands, a wished backup to Adams in a defensive midfield position, should be on the plane to Qatar. I see Berhalter solely bringing Johnny Cardoso as a substitute.

I’ve chop up the protection into two teams: Fullback and coronary heart-again. Filling inside the fullback spots is extremely associated. The one distinction is that I’m bringing 5 exterior backs to Qatar, with the inclusion of Shaq Moore, and that i see Berhalter solely bringing 4. We each will give plane seats to Sergino Dest, Antonee Robinson, DeAndre Yedlin, and Reggie Cannon, with Jedi and Dest starting. the a quantity of for Moore to be inside the 26 is as a consequence of Cannon’s tendencies. Cannon is traditionally an out of doorways again, however likes to play inside as a variety of third coronary heart again. It’s thought of one of the best methods to maximise the roster.

The fixed exile of John Brooks has develop to be extra egregious with time. The USMNT isn’t blessed with coronary heart-again expertise, particularly with a protracted-time period damage that compelled Miles Robinson, the group’s best on the place, to be out of consideration for the World Cup. Brooks ought to start in Qatar, however I doubt Berhalter will even name him in. I additionally understand that Tim Ream’s earlier few appearances for the nationwide group haven’t gone properly, however the place else are you going to discover a captain from a extreme-5 European league?

Ream has worn the armband for Fulham this season and even in case you don’t play him in Qatar that a lot, his veteran presence is required for the Yanks. Walker Zimmerman and Aaron prolonged are the pair Berhalter and that i agree on, and he’s extra possible to start out that MLS duo in direction of Wales on Nov. 21. I see Chris Richards, Joe Scally, and Sam Vines rounding out Gregg’s coronary heart-again decisions.

the most important failure of Berhalter’s tenure up to now is discovering no true starting striker. in direction of Saudi Arabia, Gregg started Ricardo Pepi up extreme. He had thirteen complete touches inside the sport, the least for any American starter, collectively with Turner. It seems Jesus Ferreria has the current path to start out in Qatar with 5 goals for the Yanks in 2022, albeit 4 of these coming in direction of lowly Grenada. The FC Dallas striker should be on the plane however not start. I’d give the true No. 9 position to Jordan Pefok. How do you deny the starting striker for the best group inside the Bundesliga? the completely different striker to go well with up for the USA on the World Cup should be Josh Sargent, who’s been in good type at Norwich metropolis. I see Berhalter deciding on Pepi and Jordan Morris collectively with Ferreria at striker.

Rounding out the squad inside the non-striker forward slots are amongst the numerous best decisions on the group. The quartet of Reyna, Christian Pulisic, Tim Weah, and Brenden Aaronson all should be in Qatar with Gregg bringing an eighth forward in Paul Arriola. I gave the floor forward starting spots to Pulisic and Aaronson, with a hopefully healthful Reyna being a fixed large-sub. Reyna and Pulisic start in Berhalter’s lineup. It’s fifty five days till the start of the World Cup and forty three days till we be taught what quantity of (hopefully all of them) I obtained proper.

Eric’s picks:

GK (three): Matt Turner, Zack Steffen, Sean Johnson

LB/RB (5): Sergino Dest, Antonee Robinson, DeAndre Yedlin, Reggie Cannon, Shaq Moore

CB (4) Walker Zimmerman, John Brooks, Tim Ream, Aaron prolonged

MID (7): Weston McKennie, Tyler Adams, Yunus Musah, Kellyn Acosta, Luca de la Torre, Malik Tillman, James Sands

FWD (7): Christian Pulisic, Gio Reyna, Tim Weah, Brenden Aaronson, Jordan Pefok, Jesus Ferreria, Josh Sargent

starting XI
FWD: Pulisic-Pefok-Aaronson
MID: Musah-Adams-McKennie
DEF: Robinson-Zimmerman-Brooks-Dest
GK: Turner

Who Gregg will decide:

GK (three): Matt Turner, Zack Steffen, Ethan Horvath

LB/RB (4): Sergino Dest, Antonee Robinson, DeAndre Yedlin, Reggie Cannon

CB (5): Walker Zimmerman, Aaron prolonged, Chris Richards, Joe Scally, Sam Vines

MID (6): Weston McKennie, Tyler Adams, Yunus Musah, Kellyn Acosta, Luca de la Torre, Johnny Cardoso

FWD (eight): Christian Pulisic, Gio Reyna, Tim Weah, Brenden Aaronson, Jesus Ferreria, Ricardo Pepi, Jordan Morris, Paul Arriola

starting XI:
FWD: Pulisic-Ferreria-Reyna
MID: Musah-Adams-McKennie
DEF: Robinson–prolonged-Zimmerman-Dest
GK: Turner