U.S. Men's National Team

Acosta, Hedges, Manneh depart USMNT January camp

Photo by Jerome Miron/USA Today Sports

Photo by Jerome Miron/USA Today Sports


Two players left U.S. Men’s National Team camp due to injury while a third is set to join his MLS club team ahead of preseason.

Kellyn Acosta, Matt Hedges and Kekuta Manneh departed USMNT camp, leaving the roster at 28 players ahead of the team’s two scheduled friendlies. Acosta’s departure was caused by a mild left ankle sprain, according to U.S. Soccer, whileS Hedges is dealing with a mild sprain in his right knee.

Manneh, meanwhile, joins the Vancouver Whitecaps for preseason in Wales. The Whitecaps forward recently received his citizenship but is not yet eligible to represent the USMNT as paperwork is finalized.

The U.S. is set to take on Serbia on Sunday in the first of two friendlies scheduled for the camp, which ends on Feb. 2 with a clash against Jamaica.

Here’s a closer look at the full U.S. roster following the departures:

GOALKEEPERS: David Bingham (San Jose Earthquakes), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake), Luis Robles (New York Red Bulls), Brian Rowe (LA Galaxy)

DEFENDERS: DaMarcus Beasley (Unattached), Steve Birnbaum (D.C. United), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders FC), Greg Garza (Atlanta United FC), Taylor Kemp (D.C. United), Chad Marshall (Seattle Sounders FC), Keegan Rosenberry (Philadelphia Union), Walker Zimmerman (FC Dallas), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)

MIDFIELDERS:  Alejandro Bedoya (Philadelphia Union), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Benny Feilhaber (Sporting Kansas City), Jermaine Jones (Unattached), Sacha Kljestan (New York Red Bulls), Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy), Dax McCarty (New York Red Bulls), Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers), Chris Pontius (Philadelphia Union), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew SC)

FORWARDS: Juan Agudelo (New England Revolution), Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders FC), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)


  • Benjamin C.

    Really wanted to see some extended minutes for Hedges in central defense, so that is disappointing. However, for his club teammate, Mr. Zimmerman, opportunity knocks.


  • downintexas

    NOOOOOOOO! These better be minor injuries.

    +1 Benjamin C. Hedges should be able to handle the international pace. As well as Acosta


  • Ronniet

    A terrible time to injured, with the friendlies just under a week away! The problem, or misfortune, with these injuries at this time is if someone else from this camp or other veterans ball out, you become forgotten men. Not saying that that Hedges or Acosta won’t merit more call ups(i’m sure they will)but there positions are littered with bodies that can play. Manneh, on the other hand plays a position the NT seriously needs with his speed and 1v1 ability from the wings, thus a better opportunity for more looks! I definitely wanted to see Hedges, especially considering he was due for a call up for the longest time, but all things considered the back line seems to be in good hands!


  • Old School

    I’ve been out of the loop. Has there been any credible speculation on what formation Arena is leaning towards?

    I recall him even referencing a 3-man back line to the media weeks ago.


    • Lost in Space

      Bruce is going to line us up in either a 4-4-2 or a 4-2-3-1.
      The mention of a 3 man back-line was in reference to JK’s last 2 games. His statement was along the lines that “while I won’t discount going with a 3 man backline at some point in the future, it would be something that we’d work on in multiple camps before deploying it in an actual game”.


    • Gary Page

      I wonder if there will be as much controversy about our formation and where players play under Arena as with Klinsmann. At the Galaxy he moved players around a bit, but I don’t recall him tinkering much with the formation. I’m sure someone will correct me on that if I’m wrong, or even if I’m not.


      • Johnnyrazor

        A little different moving guys around at the club level with much more training time. I hope we can move on and criticize the tinkering if it hurts the team and cheer on if it benefits.


  • Hunky Dory

    Bruce Arena is unlikely to every switch to a 4-3-3. He’s run a 4-4-2 or some variation for thirty years. Not once in his six years at the Galaxy did he ever run a 4-3-3. Highly unlikely he’d get a wild hair now to do so, when his task is “install a system that gets immediate results and advance.”

    What Arena does like to do is utilize overlapping fullbacks, almost constantly, so be prepared for what often looks like a three-man back line as one or other of the fullbacks pushes way up into the attack.

    Arena also likes his midfielders to play a lot of offense, to agressively fill channels, so if you see three guys sprinting forward on the counter, that’s not a 4-3-3, that’s just Arena telling Zardes/Nagbe/Pontius/Trapp to go go go.

    BTW SBI Jermaine Jones is no longer “unattached.”


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