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Pulisic, Yedlin and Aaronson headline USMNT squad for Nations League

The U.S. Men’s National Team is welcoming back one top fullback to the fold in October, while another is conspicuously absent.

DeAndre Yedlin is back with the USMNT, joining Christian Pulisic and Weston McKennie among the headlining names on the squad that will take part in Nations League matches against Cuba and Canada later this month.

Missing from the list of players called in by Gregg Berhalter is Sergino Dest, the Dutch-born Ajax defender who is reportedly being courted by the Dutch FA after his recent emergence as a regular for Ajax.

“I understand there is going to be a lot of attention surrounding the availability of Sergiño in this next camp,” Berhalter said. “I’ve had conversations with Sergiño, the conversations were positive, and the content of these conversations is going to remain private.”

Yedlin is back with the team for the first time since March after having been sidelined since May following groin surgery. He recently made his return to action with Newcastle, and will be expected to compete for the right back spot, even though he was used as a right winger back in March.

Matt Miazga is also back with the team after an injury kept him out of the September friendlies against Mexico and Uruguay. John Brooks remains sidelined by injury, leaving a starting spot up for grabs in central defense, with Aaron Long, Tim Ream and Walker Zimmerman also in contention to start.

Philadelphia Union teenager Brenden Aaronson is the lone newcomer on the USMNT roster, with the 18-year-old earning the call after a strong run with the Union that has seen him become a regular starter on one of the surprise teams in MLS.

The veteran tandem of Jozy Altidore and Michael Bradley is back with the USMNT after missing the September friendlies, and could wind up featuring against Canada at the stadium they call home for Toronto FC. The pair will be favorites to start in October’s matches, though Josh Sargent will look to challenge Altidore’s hold on the lead striker role.

Injuries have left several players out of contention for a call-up, including Brooks, Tim Weah and Tyler Adams, who has yet to return to the field for RB Leipzig despite recently returning to training after a prolonged absence due to a groin injury.

Here is the roster that will face Cuba on October 11 at Audi Field in Washington D.C., and Canada at BMO Field in Toronto on October 15:

GOALKEEPERS: Brad Guzan (Atlanta United FC; 61 caps), Sean Johnson (New York City FC; 8 caps), Zack Steffen (Fortuna Düsseldorf; 16 caps)

DEFENDERS: Reggie Cannon (FC Dallas; 8 caps), Nick Lima (San Jose Earthquakes; 8 caps), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls; 13 caps), Daniel Lovitz (Montreal Impact; 10 caps), Matt Miazga (Reading; 17 caps), Tim Ream (Fulham; 36 caps), DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle United; 59 caps), Walker Zimmerman (LAFC; 11 caps)

MIDFIELDERS: Brenden Aaronson (Philadelphia Union; 0 caps), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC; 150 caps), Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy; 11 caps), Weston McKennie (Schalke; 15 caps), Christian Pulisic (Chelsea; 32 caps), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders FC; 16 caps), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew SC; 20 caps), Jackson Yueill (San Jose Earthquakes; 3 caps)

FORWARDS: Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC; 115 caps), Paul Arriola (D.C. United; 28 caps), Corey Baird (Real Salt Lake; 4 caps), Tyler Boyd (Besiktas; 7 caps), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders FC; 35 caps), Josh
Sargent (Werder Bremen; 9 caps), Gyasi Zardes (Columbus Crew SC; 53 caps)


  1. With every passing international game, my interest in the USMNT diminishes. As long as the USSF keeps on hiring MLS coaches (average ones at best and with no international experience) for the national team, MLS players will comprise the majority of the call ups to the detriment of European-based players and to the chagrin of the US fans. Well, good luck anyway.

  2. I understand the frustration and disappointment, but this is pretty much the team for this cycle so we better get used to it. Hopefully we get Adams and Brooks back at some point. I would have brought Green and Alvarado, but honestly we’ve seen them, they are not substantially better than anyone called up, they are not going to change any games. And spare me the Berhalter complaints, if we hired Pep to manage our team he is not going to be able to conjure up any world class players, or even any players starting for a European 1st division team. The arguments on here are literally for 2nd division guys and youth players! This is the state of the US talent pool, go nuts on the system, on pay-to-play, on college rules, MLS scheduling, whatever, but complaining about the coach is a cop out. While I’m ranting unpopular opinions, my first and only comments about Wil Trapp. He is a much better player than he has shown in a US jersey. I don’t know why that is. Some of it is the speed, he lacks the elite athleticism of a younger Bradley to make up for mistakes. Most of it is, in my opinion, mental. He just isn’t comfortable out there. Maybe it’s all the love and support from the fanbase. At any rate, I have to concur that at this point its more than fair to start trying other players at the 6.

    • Trapp is at least a hard worker. Maybe he can work a little more this time on anticipating where he needs to be and where he needs to get the ball to. How do you teach that, as a coach? Zlatan, bless him, speaks of a kind of soccer intelligence. Where does it come from in a league like MLS, where there just isn’t as much emphasis on possession and stringing together longer sequences of passes?
      I agree that it’s childish to whine about the coach, or this or that other individual player, when the larger picture is the team as a whole. One reason to keep calling at least some of the same guys is that any national team has so little time just training together, much less playing games. The risk of burning out European-based players by making them take the long plane trip, miss time at their clubs, and then not play much, or get hurt, is real. But the advantage of at least having some of the same guys train and play with each other several times in succession, so that they can at least practice and improve, is also real. If that means using slightly more MLS players in games that are hopefully easier, then, duh.
      If some of those guys, even the ones who aren’t starters when everyone is healthy, are ever together often enough that they can make the whole even a little more than the sum of the parts, that’s the only way to make a so-so team into an energetic, competitive one, and to develop some depth for when guys aren’t healthy. Klinsmann is absolutely right that competing against many of the Concacaf teams should be little more than an exercise. (I hope Canada isn’t now a harder exercise than we expect.) But since it’s what the US has, they might as well perform the exercise to the best of their ability with the players who are willing and available.
      And if so many of you can’t say anything more supportive than to keep badmouthing the guys who _are_ called in, you can’t be surprised if they don’t show up looking more positive and energetic. I expect the team to get better the more the same guys play with each other under the same coach (finally), but it wouldn’t hurt to cheer them on a little, to talk up their good points for a change. I assume no one on this board could actually get hired tomorrow and go out and play a lot better, or else you would be playing, not fussing.
      Or if you are all international stars in disguise, you must know that if you were Sergiño Dest, or any other dual national, you would darn well think hard if you had the opportunity to choose between the USA and a significantly higher-ranked team. More minutes with less hope of winning, or fewer minutes with more internal competition, but more real hope for a trophy? The same dilemma applies with Pulisic, who took a calculated risk by signing for a major team like Chelsea.
      These young men have enough on their plates already. Let’s be gracious enough to acknowledge that they’re already achieving at a high level, and that the only thing we fans can actually do to make them better is to encourage them to work together, so that they in turn can practice with more energy and hopefully keep getting better as a group.

      • Kudos to both jb and Tejana for the only really decent takes I’ve heard in a while here. Our situation is what it is. I’m beyond tired of the self-congratulatory bitching about Berhalter and the selections that have come to define this site. Better to focus on the relative merits of what is actually happening than to say “well if they had done it *my way*”….. nobody cares

  3. This roster is disappointing to say the least. I get we’ve got injuries (Adams, Weah, Brooks, etc….), but why we continue to roll out the same retreads who have proven they can’t cut it at the International level I can’t comprehend.
    1) Lovitz is not worthy of a call-up during a FIFA Window. Clubs are required to release players call, so unless everyone (Robinson, Dest, Fabian, Alvarado, etc…) refused the call he shouldn’t be there.
    2) Trapp is another player who’s proven he’s not worthy to be called up during a FIFA Window. Every time I see his name on the call-up list I question what blackmail material he’s got on GB or USSF.
    3) Midfield once again has limited creativity. I see a number of 6’s & 8’s, but very few players who can unlock a bunker defense. Not saying their the solution, but would have liked to see Green or others who can play good combination passing.
    4) Baird once again is called up when he’s shown time & again he can’t cut it. This would have been a good chance to take a look at some of the U-23 stand-outs (Sabbi, Soto, etc…).
    Again they might not be the answer, but they can’t be worse than Baird.

    I’m expecting an uninspired performance based on these call-ups. We’ll struggle to break down Cuba’s bunker (but will win)….and we’ll get a meh performance against Canada (draw…or get up-set due to a quick counter).

  4. The cracks are really showing now, for the decision to wait a year to hire a permanent coach…
    Here we are in our 2nd official set of games and there’s so much talk of trying out this guy or that guy, and ignoring a few guys, that when you open the article for the first time you’re underwhelmed.
    Despite the injuries – which we’re always gonna have, this is just an uninspiring group.
    Sarachan was obviously not the long term answer but he did a good job of casting a wide net to take a look at new guys, but when you look at these rosters it just looks like we’re really back to square one..
    If they knew all along GB was the guy they should have just freakin hired him. I feel like we wasted a year that we couldn’t afford

    • The only silver lining to missing WC was the advantage of a complete reset and added time to try out new blood. They P’d away an entire year- completely screwed the pooch.

  5. I think we can safely say that the USMNT is just not very good at the moment. Hopefully some of the younger players will get first team minutes and turn down call ups with other countries.

  6. There are some confusing selections but I’m not worried that Baird will play. Seems Ream will be the LB so Lovitz likely won’t either. Trapp might start against Cuba but he’s more than good enough for that one.

    • I agree that it (almost) doesn’t matter who we start against Cuba. Even with the worst players from this selection, the US should be able to score a couple goals and assuming the keeper is alert, and the center backs (not Ream due to lack of speed) can manage to defend the occasional quick counter well the US should prevail. I don’t mind not playing key players vs Cuba, especially those who have been getting lots of minutes for their club teams. I think that means Pulicis and Sargent will see significant time in that game, but not Mckennie, Bradley, Long and Altidore.

      Against Canada, the midfield will matter more, McKennie, Bradley and Pulisic are the likely choices there.

  7. Just watched Red Bull Salzburg come back from 3 down to tie it before Liverpool finally prevailed 4-4. Marsch’s team made some adjustments after proving in the first 35 minutes that they could not win any 50-50 balls to one that managed to control things to minimize those 1v1 battles and orchestrated 3 well executed goals. In the end it was basically a scramble after a poor clearance that was nodded down for Mo Saleh to chip past the keeper.

    If you are one of those calling for GB’s time as USMNT coach to end, there is an obvious replacement.

    • I’m all for firing Berhalter. GB is one arrogant (most US fans think the most hated JK is arrogant), think he knows all, manager who is just a puppet of USSF and MLS investors. Why did GB keep calling in, even in MLS’ standards, not so good players such as Trapp, Lovitz and Baird to take away roster spots for young, more creative, inexperienced but full of potentials and more deserving players from overseas? It is because those 3 maybe more familiar with GB’s system. What system? Is GB’s system a world beater, innovative and only he can understand world best system? Pulisic was not even featured in Chelsea’s Champions League 18-man roster today. I’m praying Chelsea will sell Pulisic immediately, so our nation’s most gifted player can go to a lesser known team where Pulisic will be valued & appreciated and play day in day out. Why stay at a place where your boss doesn’t rate you and gives you a chance to perform at all?

    • Marsch would be foolish to even think of taking a national team job right now (let alone a second-tier gig in the wrong hemisphere). Not when he coaching in the CL and well on his way to being a head coach in a top 5 league. He might be USMNT coach one day, but it would be a total detour for him right now.

    • Marsch’s teams never could win big games. The finished 1st in the Eastern Conference in 2015 and 16 and couldn’t even make the final. He’ll win the league because it’s weak but they’ll have to settle for 3rd and Europa League I’m afraid and as stated above Jesse hasn’t been successful in bracket play.

  8. Pulisic hit me up for PR. You should have stfu up about your feelings now you not even on the team in he Champions league⚽??‍♂️??‍♂️. You know English coaches sensitive when you criticize them and especially packs an extra blow if not English. SMH!!!!

  9. It was revealed that 6 months before klinsman was fired USSF was already in talks with Bruce arena why didn’t they hire him sooner. Also Mayne they can start talking to another coach if the us looks bad vs canada which can happen they have good players remember they were holding up well vs mexico but Mexico is always the home team in the states.

  10. I agree with almost all the comments here.
    I wonder if Dest was not selected or just didn’t come. I could see both. Who could the US find to replace the nutmegs and getting blow by? Almost anyone.
    On the other hand, that is who the US plays at left back….almost anyone.
    If you include Morris in your outrage you will be burned.
    If you included the all but a fact, fact…..Bradley and Trapp will start centrally. You will be correct and us watching will be burned watching the US D get burned.
    No Adams. uh oh.

  11. So in other words, I’ll just mildly check in on the games as the ball is played slow with Will Trapp and Michael Bradley being average….I can see the Canada game being 0-0…Like others have mentioned, this roster is getting boring….Not saying crazy wholesale changes, but Berhalter is expecting different things with the same people each time, and it’s not happening….

  12. i’m not outraged.. i’m just bored with this roster.

    i’m mildly interested that there seems to be constant rotation with bringing a U23 player up each camp.

    i wish Holmes was in this group but more so reading the writing on the wall nobody wants to be cap tied to this program right now

  13. I don’t have my glasses, but I don’t see Holmes from Derby County on this list. He is far superior to Trapp, Morris, Arriola, or Baird

  14. Zardes will keep getting called even if other players start scoring goals abroad or start being starters abroad what a shame. Also berhalter failed to cap tie dest failed to convince him. I’m good with Zardes and trap on the bench but I feel berhalter will start them still.

    • Berhalter didn’t have the opportunity to cap tie Dest. The September games were friendlies. Dest was playing in the U20 World Cup during the Gold Cup. These October games were the first chance to play him in an official game and cap tie him.

  15. hahaha?, Any time a new US line-up comes out I scroll to key areas – midfield and forwards. Yup, with certain names STILL in the group, looks like we are STILL going to suck.

    “Failure is a bend in the road, not the end of the road. Learn from failure and keep moving forward.” ….yet the USMNT just can’t seem to learn from their mistakes and keep doing the same $hit!!!!!

  16. In addition to the strange choices others have mentioned, with the injuries to defenders, how do you not bring in a player who is playing consistently in a league better than MLS and probably better than the English Championship? I’m talking about Alvarado. Also, Aaronson, Baird, or Yueill, or any number of other players instead of Green? I just counted and 18 or the players are MLS, despite the fact that we have more Americans than ever before starting in Europe. Yes, johnnyrazor, Brooks and Weah are out because of injuries, (I don’t include Morales since GB has ignored him in the past) but that doesn’t excuse selections like Zimmerman over Alvarado and players like Lovitz and Baird who haven’t even distinguished themselves in MLS. The only good thing about this roster is that Cuba will be no problem no matter who we call in and we should be able to beat Canada even with the guys called by Berhalter.

    • Agreed 100% GP.

      Who was the last LigaMX player called in other than Omar? How can we be ignoring players starting and vitally part of their clubs in a league that directly drubs MLS each year in CCL and now in Leagues Cup or whatever they called the new tournament. We’re like the ostrich with our heads in the sand and only see MLS. We’re still making the same mistakes on rosters and player identification that I’ve been screaming about since BA took over. It is dooming our NT’s long term future. We need to be casting a wide net MLS, Europe, LigaMX, South Americar wherever if a player can play lets check him out. If we don’t give players a shot on the pitch with the senior team we will never know. Unfortunately GB basically wasted all the it doesn’t matter yet games to do this identification process and now and into end of next year we start meaningful games that will count towards qualification for either WC or next GC.

      Its bad y’all. The group think within USSoccer/SUM/MLS is strong.

    • Green is really for me the only reasonable complaint of missing players. Look back at Berhalter’s comments from March where he talked about clubs not wanting guys to go if they aren’t going to play much. Green isn’t going to beat out Pulisic for the Canada match so he’d fly across the Atlantic for 45-60 against Cuba. Green isn’t a winger especially the way Berhalter wants them to operate wide to create space. If you want to argue Baird, Sabbi or Ledesma would be a worthy discussion. I don’t think Baird will see the field anyway. As for Liga Mx Alvarado is literally the only American seeing anytime. I’ve watched two of his matches this month. He’s ok, he’s not better than Ream, Miazga or Long. Zimmerman, maybe but not clearly.
      Let’s wait and see what the U23 roster looks like. The Aaronson inclusion seems to indicate GGG wants to see youngsters be successful at each level unless the are starting in the CL like Dest. By all accounts Aaronson was one of our best players in the last two U23 camps better than guys like Mendez so we’ll see. Bottom line this similar squad made it to the final of the GC, and played a good 45 minutes in the final. They more than enough for Canada and Cuba. That would give new guys opportunities to break into their first team clubs before June’s semis and finals and a chance to shine in the U23 qualifiers in March.

      • Oops missed Holmes as well, that was a surprise. You could say recent return from injury but then why Yedlin and Miazga.

  17. Why are we anointing players like Lima, Lovitz, Zardes, Trapp, Morris, Arriola, and now Baird and Cannon as automatic callups. We need competition at these positions. We have a wide pool. Just read the post of Americans Abroad Weekend review each week SBI does its a mile long plus there’s other players in MLS too who deserve a shot.

    None those names I mentioned should be auto locks to be on 80% of our rosters. Should they get chances, yes and they have but what about all the other players in the pool? We need to looking under every rock and seeing who fits and encouraging competition for these roster spots. That can’t happen if GB keeps calling in the same cast of mediocre players. He has to cast a wider net.

    Didn’t most of these same players more or less confirm they couldn’t make his system work why is he still trying to hit round pegs into square holes with these players when our pool is plenty enough wide to give game time to others and see what may or may not work better with other players?

    As far as those other players just read the MLS data online or SBI list of American Abroad review each week to see there are plenty of other options besides Lima, Lovitz, Zardes, Trapp, Morris, Arriola, etc all getting callups each window.

    • I remember back to the 2009 GC the one where we lost 5-0 in Giants stadium and Vela and Dos Santos worked Goodsen and Marshall all day. But one great thing came out of that GC. Stu Holden had a breakout tournament. He was just a blip in the pool before that and no one really talked about him much with zero senior caps prior to that GC. He got his first senior cap the first game of that GC and never looked back.

      My point is sometimes you never know about a player until you throw them out there and give them a chance. What if BB never gave Stu that shot because he was repeating calling up the same mediocre players every window and every friendly and tournament. How many guys like Stu have we missed because they didn’t get shot? Not multiply that by all the youth levels and scouting issues our federation has and its mind numbing to me.

      If players are clearly baller types like Pulisic or Brooks and maybe McKennie, Adams, and Sargent they should be auto call ups, but others need to earn it and earn their starts and caps.

      • It helped that Stu had two MLS Cups, a goal in the Olympics, and the first team wasn’t playing after playing in the Fed Cup to get a chance.

  18. Wow. I’m underwhelmed. Trapp, Guzan, Lovitz, Miazga, Yedlin. Strange choices. The first two, why? Trapp has shown repeatedly he’s not up to the task. Guzan is fading and would prefer to see Horvath, even though he’s a backup to Mignolet. And I would prefer to see Antonee Robinson for Lovitz. I know he hadn’t shown great, but he’s getting consistent playing time in the championship and I doing he would be worse than Lovitz at this point.

    Miazga and Yedlin I don’t get. When they are got, they deserve a spot, but they have been injured and are just getting back. Why not bring in. Miles Robinson again?

    Zardes is a questionMarti, but perhaps he will play the wing? He can play that role although his crosses aren’t great. He did play it well against Argentina in the Copa disaster (only player that threatened Argentina). I know I might be reaching here, but I’m trying to understand the logic. I’m lost.

  19. Some guys on this team I just don’t get 1. Lima- not even the starting RB on his club team and hasn’t been great on the left. 2. Baird- Just better options elsewhere, would love to see Sabbi get a shot.

    Also don’t think Aaronsons gonna get any time here, just calling him in to see where he’s at, heard he was awesome with the U-23s the last few months

    Changes I would have made

    • Literally nothing while Emmanuel Sabbi has passports for two other countries*

      Don’t forget how easily we could lose him (see—->push him out the door).

      • Yes Italy is beating down Sabbi’s door! Ghana’s wingers all are on squads in much bigger leagues.

    • Completely agree LZ.

      So what has he done? Good question…

      He plays ‘sometimes’ in MLS, which apparently matters more to USSF and our manager than players getting time and minutes in more competitive leagues because USSF/MLS/SUM (yes I’m bringing it up again) can sell/profit more merch and tickets on a player they own, remember those Wheaties boxes with Jordan Morris on them a couple years back, lol when I saw that in my grocery store.

      I think we’re all sick of the MLS bias our manager and all of USSF has shown since the BA redo. Its taking our NT to new lows such as folks on another article telling it like it is by saying ‘we are on Canada’s level now’ and somehow I have to cry on the inside a little because that is no longer an outlandish statement.

      Corderio and Sunil sitting all chummy next to each other at the WWC. GB as manager and his brother soon to be CEO of USSF. And the Soccer Don who runs SUM grinning all the way to that fat bank account because we schmucks can’t figure out that they are playing our loyalties to buy tickets and watch games and buy merch on a NT and sport we love as fans and countrymen so that they can literally own soccer in this country and make 100s of millions.

      We should have thrown them all out at the USSF election and brought in outside/non US help who can see things without our local biases. The next chance is the USSF marketing rights deal which comes up in 2021 I think. Last three times there was no bidding process it was just a private negoiation between a captive client (USSF) and SUM. Guess what will most likely happen if Jay Berhalter become CEO later this year. We can kiss any thought of a true and open bidding process goodbye and the current state of business entanglement with SUM will remain thru sometime about 2028/29. I believe a better idea is for USSF to go fully independent and build its manpower in house so that it doesn’t have to hire and contract out its marketing rights to a third party anymore. When that relationship was started with SUM in the early 2000s that was a different era and soccer wasn’t as big a business scene as it is now, its worth the investment to get independence from SUM and its business interests.

      Agreed LZ, just getting my usual roster announcement rant out.

    • 13 goals in 2 MLS seasons, 8 as a winger in 24 appearances, a goal every three matches for a winger is pretty good. The most exciting thing for me about Baird on this roster is he isn’t likely to play. However to say there is no reason isn’t accurate either. He is a physical scrappy player so his style would fit against Cuna that will try to make it ugly. I doubt he dresses against Canada but most of their defense and midfield are MLS players and as the MLS Rookie of the Year he’s had success against that level of player. He’s also on a good run of form 4 goals in last 8.


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