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Who will the USMNT call up for the September friendlies?


As summer winds to a close, and the memories of June’s Concacaf Gold Cup fade further away, U.S. Men’s National Team fans can start thinking about what lies ahead in the fall, and the challenges awaiting Gregg Berhalter’s squad.

The USMNT returns to action in a week, with friendlies against Mexico and Uruguay, a pair of tough challenges before the Americans take part in Concacaf Nations League in October.

Berhalter will unveil his team on Wednesday and is likely to turn to a largely European-based contingent of players, with MLS playing a total of nine matches during the September international break. That includes New York City FC and Toronto FC, which will play two matches each during that time, which could lead Berhalter to let some MLS-based players stay with their clubs.

Don’t expect a fully experimental roster, not with Nations League looming. Berhalter absolutely should bring in some new faces who are emerging as promising prospects, but he will also be looking to bring the nucleus of what he considers his first-choice starting lineup.

Berhalter will be dealing with some player injuries as well, with Tyler Adams, DeAndre Yedlin and Duane Holmes working their way back from injuries that will likely keep them out of the September friendlies. Tim Weah suffered an injury on Monday that will also keep him out of action for the September window.

Something else to consider about the upcoming international break is that the U.S. Under-23 national team will be holding a camp at the same time, which could lead to some players joining Jason Kreis’ U-23 camp rather than the USMNT camp.

What will the USMNT roster look like for the September friendlies? Here is a look at the squad we could see Berhalter bring in:

Goalkeepers (3)

Zack Steffen, Bill Hamid, Ethan Horvath

Steffen is off to a strong start on his loan to Fortuna Dusseldorf, and comes into camp as the clear-cut starter. If Berhalter doesn’t factor in the MLS schedule, then Sean Johnson and Tyler Miller would be the next two goalkeepers included, but with NYCFC playing twice in the September window, and LAFC also playing, it would be a good time to bring in Hamid, who is in the midst of a standout season.

Horvath has been relegated to the bench at Club Brugge, but this would be a good camp to bring him into the fold.

Defenders (8)

Reggie Cannon, Sergino Dest, John Brooks, Aaron Long, Miles Robinson, Matt Miazga, Antonee Robinson, Daniel Lovitz

John Brooks returns after having missed the Gold Cup with an injury. The Brooks-Long tandem should get at least one game together. Miles Robinson took part in the May preparation camp, but will have his chance to make his USMNT debut in September. It would be a well-deserved nod for a young player in the midst of a breakout season.

At right back, Cannon is back after his impressive Gold Cup while Dest should get his first senior team call-up after breaking in with the Ajax first team. Berhalter could choose to let Dest join the U.S. Under-23 camp, which would allow him to bring in Nick Lima, though Lima’s San Jose Earthquakes have a match on September 11. Berhalter could play Lima against Mexico, and release him for the friendly against Uruguay in order to rejoin the Earthquakes.

At left back, Robinson returns after failing to make the Gold Cup squad, though Berhalter could choose Tim Ream for some leadership and experience on the squad.

The MLS schedule could keep some players from getting the call, including Walker Zimmerman and Nick Lima, who have club matches in and around the FIFA window.

Midfielders (6)

Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie, Darlington Nagbe, Wil Trapp, Emerson Hyndman, Sebastian Lletget

Those hoping to finally see the Pulisic-McKennie-Adams triangle in central midfield will have to wait a bit longer, but Pulisic and McKennie should lead the midfield in September if healthy. The real question is who will serve as the defensive midfield anchor?

TFC has two games during the September window, so it’s tough to see Berhalter calling in Michael Bradley. That leaves Wil Trapp, who has enjoyed a good run of form in recent months, which has coincided with his Columbus Crew starting to turn things around.

Atlanta United midfielders Darlington Nagbe and Emerson Hyndman are both worthy of looks, especially if Berhalter passes on calling in Cristian Roldan so he can play in Seattle’s September 7th match against the Colorado Rapids). Nagbe is in outstanding form, and seeing him deployed in a deep-lying midfield role is something Berhalter should consider looking at.

Sebastian Lletget has played well for the LA Galaxy, and should merit a call, even if it winds up being just for the Mexico friendly due to the Galaxy’s September 11 match against the Colorado Rapids.

Pomykal is in the midst of a standout season with FC Dallas, and was stellar at the Under-20 World Cup, but he is also a good candidate to take part in the U.S. Under-23 camp.

Forwards (5)

Gyasi Zardes,  Paul Arriola, Tyler Boyd, Josh Sargent, Romain Gall, Jeremy Ebobisse

If Berhalter lets Jozy Altidore stay with TFC, then that will free up the lead striker role for Gyasi Zardes, who should face some competition from Josh Sargent, who has looked good early on for Werder Bremen after an impressive preseason.

On the wings, Paul Arriola and Tyler Boyd reprise their starting roles, but Weah should see his first call-up from Berhalter, who should have a look at the speedy forward as a left wing option.

Tim Weah’s injury should free up a spot for Portland’s Jeremy Ebobisse, who has gained more experience playing in wide positions with the Timbers lately, and whom Berhalter deployed on the wing during the training camp at the start of 2019.

If Berhalter leaves Jordan Morris with the Seattle Sounders, that could free up a spot for Romain Gall to receive a look as a potential wing option. Joe Gyau is another option (FC Cincinnati has a match during the September window,  but is out of the playoff race).


What do you think of this squad? Who would you like to see get a call that wasn’t included on this list? Who are you most excited to see be a part of the September USMNT roster?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. I really dislike sending players to U23’s because they are age eligible. If they are worthy of the senior team then they should be there.

  2. I know these will probably still be called but please no will trap Christian roldan lovitz Zardez. Add Altidore and cap tie Soto. These are serious games they count towards fifa hex qualifications and Mexico called up a very strong serious squad.

    • One it’s a friendly you can’t cap tie Soto. Two both and Mexico have already qualified it’s mathematically impossible for us to drop that far at this stage.

  3. At least this writer gets right no Bradley (slug that creates a sieve of passing lanes) and no Jozy (slug that clogs all offense creativity with comedic “hold up play” from a guy who can’t finish). But sadly it’s done more for the cop out that they should remain with their MLS teams instead of the fact they make the USMNT worse when they are on the pitch and prevent any progress moving forward. And of course then destroys all credibility with laughably even suggesting Zardes should be anywhere near an international roster.

  4. GK- Steffen, Miller (guys actually good, not just on a good team”, hamid
    D- Brooks, Long, Miazga, Zimmerman, Ream (still our best LB option), Robinson, Cannon, Dest
    M-Bradley, Yueill (something different than trap), McKennie, Roldan (thought he actually played very well at the GC), Pulisic, Pomykal
    F- Arriola, Weah,, Boyd? (if not green or sabbi), morris, altidore, sargent

    • Arriola should be called. He reminds me of Heydude. Limited, but works his rear off, can always be counted on to do what’s asked, and on the right day can contribute offensively. He is everything a coach respects and wants in a player. Will always get him a spot until we have enough talented players who have close to the same traits with clearly more ability. We don’t have those right now. Only in fan projection of youth, fantasy land do we. Even if a couple youngsters like Weah and Uly L come through quickly, you will still see him called for what he brings. Teams need guys like him.

      • Arriola and Zardes both, it’s like, in a fair world, you reward the work rate and occasional production with a bench slot. That Pulisic has to line up behind Arriola is absurd. If anything it should be the opposite. And if you go back and watch the GC goals when Pulisic is involved it’s usually from the left wing, not storming down the middle.

    • I thought Pulisic and Arriola were good together, and most pundits dd also. Arriola worked his ass off to open up space, make runs and work on D to help Puli have more room. Look, Arriola is what he is, so was Heydude, but he brings a lot considering the options. Tyler Boyd gets a lot of love because he is new, but against that island team in the GC the guy didn’t help at all, he was a cone who didn’t press, come to the ball or help defensively, and the whole side of the field suffered for it. I get why he was benched, though he should have been subbed in at the end versus Mexico. Hell, the guy couldn’t make it in lower tier Portugal and it remains to be seen if he can cut it at Besiktas. All I am saying is that Arriola brings something tangible for every second he is on the field. All good managers love players like that. We just need more polished ones. Let’s hope we get them. It’s possible this cycle, but he is gonna keep getting called, and I get it. Back in the day Heydude got so much of the same abuse Paul gets now, but in hindsight he is a legend. At the 2002 WC folks were dreading that he was a fullback. it was gonna be a horror show. Sometimes professionalism, determination and hard work can be enough….but yeah, we want more. I just won’t project youth fantasies and lower level mediocrities over someone like Paul….just because.

  5. Wouldn’t this be an excellent time to look at younger players you haven’t seen yet? You know the value of players you have seen , leave them be, get new blood in for this meaningless exercise.

    • Of course, but can’t do it wholesale. Need to do it in the structure of the team to give them a proper chance to fit in. Unless JK’s FIFA video game style of play anywhere, who needs cohesion, direction and a plan is your style. Express yourself! If Paxton, Dest (fingers crossed he accepts), Sargent and Weah are integrated that is a solid step forward. Yedlin and Brooks are still out there and need to be brought in. These five alone will raise the teams depth and ability. A healthy Adams, IMO the most important player on the squad ( a pox on Leipzig for rushing him back to play tin he Pokal final when it was clear he wasn’t ready) is another huge piece. That is a pretty good squad and a big upgrade over the GC. Then it’s a matter of someone stepping up….Uly Lanez, who I thought was our best player at the U20’s, looks great early on for Wolfsburg. That would be another winger. If you look at the whole picture you can see a real solid foundation being built this next several mhs. Up to the young ones to keep progressing. Fingers crosssed. We all want Trapp (who should be gone already IMO, and GB deserves stick if he calls him in at this point, he has shown over the last 18 mths he will never be good enough, even for upper CCAF), and Zardes gone. All the kids have to do is push a little. Those are not tough obstacles to over come, but over projecting on youth never works either. That is fan desperation, delsuion, someone else has to be better frustration, who needs team cohesion toss them all in insanity. The next 6 to 9 mths will telll us all we need to know about Greg.

      • Lanez only played 99 mins in the U20 tournament through 5 games. I thought he showed a lot in limited time but to say he was the best player is a little bit of a stretch.

    • i see no value in proving and reproving a set of players who couldn’t win GC. some definitely deserve it/are core. quite a few should be on a bubble and we should be bringing in their competition. the ones we know should be “in” don’t teach you new information. the margins are where could find some new holmes/boyd type players. i also wish that we fast tracked the best U20s for a look-see rather than basing our selections on club form all the time.

      • I just named Sargent, Yedlin, Brooks, Weah, Paxton, Adams and Dest. Four 20 and under. That is six players. That’s a lot. If you can’t understand why you need to bring in groups and teach and integrate, or if you don’t think four under 20 is a lot than that’s on u. Means u have never run anything in your life and don’t know how. If u take offense at that it wasn’t my intention. Sorry. That is a fact….that is how good managers work, no matter what business.
        Considering what a structural disater Gulati and JK turned our prgigram into it is a relief to see. Fans/kids on the internet of course don’t get that, but that why they post in the internet.
        The next 9 months will be telling, but there is material to work with.

      • If Pulisic and Jozy make their shots on goal, we’re not even continuing to have this conversation……some have tried to fault Greg for not winning it, blaming the roster which is comical considering they breezed through the group stages and the knockouts to be honest……at the end of the day you need your best players making plays and we didn’t have that in the final, period!

  6. Tim Ream is going to be called in the Uruguay match is in his home town. Remember in March GGG talked about Euro teams not wanting their guys traveling to the US if they weren’t going to start, however as Ives points out MLS teams have matches during the break so he may be asked to leave some players. ATL has had a brutal schedule with league and cup games so Nagbe and Hyndman may need rest. Unlike other Berhalter windows we have had some interviews leading up but this time Gregg has been quiet. We don’t really know if he’s looking to bring in new or build on GC. Will he look for the dual 10 from March or the dual 6 we saw against Jamaica and Mexico. I feel like we have more questions this time than we did in June.

  7. I think this would be a good time to bring in multiple new players. Leave vets of MLS at home and bring in younger up in comers with something to prove. Emo reportedly impressed GGG in june and I think that’s why he made his move to atl so he could get playing time and back in the usmnt. Weah and sargent getting mins so they should be called in as well. Dest playing for a good team and can play both outside back spots is something needed. Just hope Mckennie plays more DM than a dual 10, put Emo there. PP hasn’t impressed me like he has other people, not saying he isn’t good just don’t see it yet. Green should be in the mix and he’s playing deeper this year in the middle so something to think about.

  8. Don’t expect to see Hyndman or Gall for this camp. Wouldn’t be too surprised to see Yueill with this group as he did earn that first cap right before the gold cup. I personally would like to see Morales called in but don’t see that happening unfortunately.

    • Yueill has 2G 3A all season as an AM. It’s like Mihailovic, Roldan, Trapp. It’s a theory in GB’s head that doesn’t correlate with reality.

      • it would be typical of the recent regimes to elevate a merely ok guy who got cut from the U20s over the current high performers from the last U20 cycle. and the game y’all play is to push mediocre DMs at their primary task of defending by saying they can pass. 3 assists isn’t offering much.

      • N’golo Kante widely held as the best DM in football has never had more than 4 goals or 5 assists in a season. A DM isn’t going to have big offensive stats so judging Yueill on his offensive stats doesn’t make sense. Either does using his play as an U20 when that was a couple years ago. He plays in the same league as Durkin and Cerrillo (the current U20 #6s) and has better numbers and having watched all of them over the last 6 months Yueill is better. As for his year of U20s he didn’t beat out Tyler Adams and Derrick Jones. Adams is one of five best players and Jones hasn’t developed at The Union and is in the USL for Nashville. Safe to say Tab missed on Jones and then lost JGon also at that position.

    • Yueil wss thrash in that Gold Cup friendly game against Jamaica. He would be dragged by his shinny chin chin by Mexico and Uruguay. No aggression could not pass he was jogging. I would not call him up until he goes to Europe to strength an his game.

  9. I’d like to see them add Gooch, he’s is on fire, In three matches she’s scored two game tying goals, had 2 MoM awards and an 8 grade in the other. Sure its League One (about par with MLS), but if a player has confidence and is making it happen, give them a shot.

  10. I would still give Nova a look. A 6’4″ holdup player who scores goals in bunches would be nice to have coming off the bench late

  11. Diego Chara has just become a naturalized US citizen. Not sure there is a more well rounded 6 in the player pool. His resume is not based on potential but production
    Although, he is Colombian to the core and the USMNT might need to wait for his twin boys to work through the ranks.

    • Awesome insight about Chara (never knew he was American)!!!!
      “INTERNATIONAL: Chara has been capped twice for the Colombian national team.” Secondly, why would he waste time hoping for a call up (at 33 he is still one of the best DM in MLS) only to be passed over for average MLS talent like Bradley and Trap….just like Nagbe or Morales?

      • What was your source for your league rankings from earlier in the week. Euro teams were different from UEFAs official rankings.

    • Chara represented Colombia in WC qualifying he is not eligible for a switch despite his new naturalization.
      I did find the naturalization rule that rules him out as well.
      Article 8.1a, the player must be eligible for both countries at the time of the first international match. Since, Chara was not eligible for the US in 2010 when he was capped against Peru, he would not be eligible for a switch if he had never played in the qualifier.
      An aside Julian Gressell would bar himself from the NT if he represents Germany in the next three years before he can become a US citizen and eligible for the US.

  12. Still too many MLS based players on this squad for my liking. Julian Green has already scored twice, how do you not bring him in, but bring in someone like Pomykal? And will Atlanta want to see both Nagbe and Hyndman leave? I can’t imagine he will take 2 midfielders from the same team . Poor Alfredo Morales. He has probably played more first team minutes in a top 4 European league and yet had fewer chances with the USMNT than any player in history. Why not bring him in and leave Trapp in Columbus? I have seen Morales play the 6. Finally, in defense, I’d like to see either CCV or Alvarado instead of one of the MLS youngsters.

    • USSF invested millions of dollars in MLS in the 90s, and continues to support a sports marketing firm that sells MLS players to American consumers. Guys like Green, Morales and FJ are going to have to stand on their head to have any chance of playing time with the USMNT. They were Jurgen’s boys. And USSF is an old boys club. I would also be surprised if Nagbe gets a call — he has probably been the most in form midfielder currently in the American pool for a year, so Gregg turning to him now would be odd.

    • I agree, he also could have played for Peru and he def would have been called up every time they had a game, and he would have made their World Cup team too.

  13. No Lovitz nor Trapp. I would rather see Durken from DC United over Trapp. Also why no Jordan Sebastiu( I know I spelled name wrong ) who plays in Ligue 1 in France.

    • 100% agree. Lovitz should not be in consideration. He’s proved time and time again he cannot compete at the international level. Trapp is another who shouldn’t be near this team. His club performances have dropped, and when he has seen the file for the US he has not impressed. It’s time to look for a different option…maybe Morales…but there has to be someone we can try at the CDM role.
      Would love to see a surprise call-up or 2 even if they’re just called into camp for a look see. Maybe someone like Senora, Scott, or another U-23 possibility that may not be ready for the Sr. USMNT, but who we don’t want to potentially loose out on for the future because we haven’t shown any interest.

    • Durkin doesn’t make the field for DC if Moreno or Canouse are available. He was also arguably the worst starter for the U20s.

      • Goalkeeper is one spot. Where did I say Dos Santos should be a starter? In midfield depending on the formation that is 2-3 spots he is competing for not one like Goalkeeper. Thanks for comparing apple to oranges.

      • Durkin is better you have your opinion and I have mine. Because Morales is better offensively and defensively better than Trapp. Dos Santos is better than Brad Butterfingers Guzan. Wow you all will go on and on over a opinion. Again you fail to mention Durkin is younger than Trapp and Parks. Also morales is a central midfielder he can play CAM or CDM. He has versatility over Trapp.

    • Durkin has no futire at a high level. Way to slow. If he had played at the U20’s against France we would have never won. Midfield would have been run over. Traffic cone. The youth shine makes the desperate fan ignore realiy.

      • Stop posting high on drugs TK you make no sense! Durkin is better than Trapp he also is younger than Parks by three years. 19 vs 22! Like I said you all comparing apples to oranges. Alfredo Morales is also way better than Trapp.

      • Durkin is not better than Trapp, he has a good chance to be but not today. Parks plays in the same league as Durkin and is better in those league matches.
        Not sure why you brought up Morales when no one had discussed him since we were weighing the merits of young DM in MLS.
        I never said you wanted a Dos Santos to be a starter, I said “called in”.

      • Why don’t u? Surely there r obvious answers out there that only someone like u can see. Some obscure MLSer, some lower level Euro, some unproven youth player not even lighting it up on their acadamy team in Europe. Those types surely will be the answer and they r right there! Sigh. You r truly tedious. Time to leave internet genius world for another few mths until I get bored.

      • Clearly not talking about LB, Mysterious wanted Durkin over Trapp (apparently not knowing he is out with a severe ankle sprain). I said Parks is better than Durkin in the same league. No one mentioned replacement for Lovitz although I think everyone agrees there should be one.

      • Chile was asking about the Olympics so if Soto wants to switch for a youth tournament he didn’t really want to play that badly for US.

    • Dest was not selected by the Netherlands for these upcoming friendlies. They could have invited him for their U23 friendlies but didn’t either. Hopefully, USA will invite him. I rate him higher than Yedlin.

    • If they go young in general I don’t mind them including Dest as well. But based on U20s and the goals he allowed I wouldn’t be in a hurry.

      • Based on the fact that he is being trusted with the keys to the car at his club, I think the US would be remiss not to do everything to secure his services.

      • Dest had one poor game at the WC against Ukraine. Byrdman he hasn’t been asked to defend much for Ajax, they’ve dominated possession and their opponents have had little ability to get behind the backline. Some of that is Dest but most of that is his teammates. Against the likes of Uruguay and Mexico he would not have that same luxury.

      • if you were going to call a U20 back on performance (and also club team) it would be richards. dest was a mixed bag. i could understand preemptively capping him to tie him down. but he would be down the list in terms of manifest performance. he right now is headed back down the Yedlin road of offense but not defense.

      • Well Dest is playing every week in Eredivisie and Richards is learning to play RB in the German 3rd Division. At his normal CB spot Richards is behind at least 5 or 6 guys, if he can transition to RB at the same ability level then he would be a lot closer to NT. Dest could transition to the NT as a Winger with his ability to get forward and play in crosses. If you notice in my comment I said Dest has some improvement to do defensively. But would I rather he play RW than Jordan Morris, yes, yes I would.

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