The good news for the U.S. Men’s National Team is that John Brooks and Sergino Dest have been called in to provide a big boost to the USMNT defense.
The bad news is that defense won’t be playing in front of first-choice USMNT goalkeeper.Zack Steffen.
The Fortuna Dusseldorf goalkeeper has been forced out of the upcoming USMNT Nations League squad with what ESPN is reporting as knee tendonitis, and was not among the nine foreign-based players called in for the upcoming matches against Canada and Cuba.
Steffen is fresh off posting a shutout in Fortuna Dusseldorf’s Rhein Derby victory over Cologne on Sunday, and after that win he discussed how much he was looking forward to the upcoming Nations League matches, and the opportunity to help the USMNT exact some revenge after October’s loss to Canada.
With Steffen out, Berhalter will turn to Brad Guzan and Sean Johnson to handle starting goalkeeper duties. Guzan has moved ahead of Johnson on the depth chart in recent months and is the frontrunner to start the crucial November 15 Nations League match against Canada in Orlando, Florida. New England Revolution goalkeeper Matt Turner looks set to be the third goalkeeper after recently taking part in the USMNT pre-camp.
The final 21-man USMNT squad will be finalized on Monday, with Gregg Berhalter choosing from the MLS contingent he brought in early for a pre-camp, and from the MLS Cup final participants, the Seattle Sounders and Toronto FC. Michael Bradley, Jordan Morris and Cristian Roldan are the safe bets to be included from the MLS Cup contingent, with Jozy Altidore also a possibility depending on his injury status.
Dest joins the team after sitting out October’s Nations League matches as he finalized his decision on his national team future. After considering playing for the Dutch National Team, the Dutch-born Dest ultimately decided to keep playing for the United States. He will become officially cap-tied to the USMNT if he plays in either of the upcoming Nations League matches.
Brooks is back with the national team after missing October’s matches with an injury that also forced him to miss the USMNT’s September friendlies. The Wolfsburg defender recently returned to action and is a frontrunner to start in central defense for the USMNT.
Here are the nine foreign-based players called in for the USMNT Nations League matches against Canada and Cuba:
John Brooks (Wolfsburg)
Sergiño Dest (Ajax)
Tim Ream (Fulham)
DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle United)
Weston McKennie (Schalke)
Alfredo Morales (Fortuna Düsseldorf)
Tyler Boyd (Besiktas)
Christian Pulisic (Chelsea)
Josh Sargent (Werder Bremen)
What do you think of the list? Who are you disappointed to see miss out? Who are you happiest to see called in?
Share your thoughts below.