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Ricardo Pepi, Bryan Reynolds and Jonathan Gomez headline USMNT December camp squad

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The U.S. men’s national team squad for December’s training camp features the return of some veterans making their returns after lengthy absences due to injury as well as a wave of promising youngsters ready to stake their own claims in the USMNT setup.

Jordan Morris and Aaron Long join current USMNT regulars Ricardo Pepi, Matt Turner and Walker Zimmerman and young standouts Bryan Reynolds and Jonathan Gomez in headlining the 26-player squad Gregg Berhalter has called into camp ahead of the December 18 friendly vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina in Carson, California.

“It’s been a great year for the group and our objective is to finish the year with a strong performance against Bosnia and Herzegovina,” Berhalter said. “As we look towards 2022, this camp gives us the opportunity to see some new faces and allows our core domestic players to maintain their fitness levels.” 

The group also features several top young prospects, most notably Chicago Fire goalkeeper Gabriel Slonina, FC Dallas defender Justin Che and left back Jonathan Gomez, an 18-year-old dual national who is eligible to play for Mexico and was recently named the USL Championship’s Young Player of the Year ahead of a transfer to La Liga side Real Sociedad.

The squad also features several foreign-based prospects, including Bryan Reynolds, who has struggled for playing time with Serie A side AS Roma, Brazilian-based midfielder Johnny Cardoso and Bayern Munich prospect Taylor Booth.

Here is the full 26-player squad for the USMNT December camp:


USMNT December camp squad


GOALKEEPERS : John Pulskamp (Sporting Kansas City; 0/0), Gabriel Slonina (Chicago Fire; 0/0), Matt Turner (New England Revolution; 12/0) 

DEFENDERS : George Bello (Atlanta United; 5/0), Justin Che (FC Dallas; 0/0), Jonathan Gomez (Louisville City; 0/0), Kobi Henry (Orange County SC; 0/0), Henry Kessler (New England Revolution; 1/0), Brooks Lennon (Atlanta United; 0/0), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls; 21/3), Kevin Paredes (D.C. United; 0/0), Bryan Reynolds (Roma/ITA; 1/0), Auston Trusty (Colorado Rapids; 0/0), Walker Zimmerman (Nashville SC; 22/2) 
 
MIDFIELDERS Kellyn Acosta (Colorado Rapids; 44/2), Cole Bassett (Colorado Rapids; 0/0), Johnny Cardoso (Internacional/BRA; 2/0), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders; 29/0), Jackson Yueill (San Jose Earthquakes; 15/0) 

FORWARDS Taylor Booth (Bayern Munich II/GER; 0/0), Caden Clark (New York Red Bulls; 0/0), Cade Cowell (San Jose Earthquakes; 0/0), Jesús Ferreira (FC Dallas; 4/2), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders; 39/10), Ricardo Pepi (FC Dallas; 6/3), Gyasi Zardes (Columbus Crew; 65/14) 

Comments

  1. While Pomykal has not really been a dominant force for Dallas, he has shown improvement this year since his injury woes. I am surprised GB didn’t bring him in to the camp just to see him in training personally and assess his progress even if he had no intention of actually playing him. He does have a higher ceiling than Roldan.

    Another player with a higher ceiling, Caden Clark, has not looked as good since his appendectomy and seems to have not been improving since, then yet he was brought in.

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  2. While there are reports that Chris Mueller is already in Scotland, his contract does not start until January. This group is a bit light on quality wingers and he has shown he can be effective there. Since he was not called in for Dec. he is really unlikely to be part of the USMNT in the next several months.

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    • He’s tweeted pictures of himself in the UK. I don’t know if that is why he won’t be in camp but he is in the UK. He wants to hit the ground running so he can start training and be able to play ASAP in January.

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  3. Pretty decent call up all things considered… timing, goals, availability. The midfield is impotent- lots of the same kind of player with little technical prowess/creativity- but that is a function of lack of options rather than better available options being left out. MLS isn’t exactly flush w/ creative midfielders to begin with and what I understand – Mihailovic, Sonora, Aaronson aren’t available. Would have loved to see what Sonora is all about. Was kind of hoping to see Leone as well… not sure how possible that would be.

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    • Ooops. Read the article- then commented. Guess I’ll read all the comments before adding my 2 cents as most of what I said was a retread. Lol meant it though.

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  4. Friendly reminder- Mihailovic is on a tryout in Italy (Bologna). *Bologna also was the 1st Serie A club reported to inquire about Pepi this time last year.* Lil’ bro Sonora wasn’t released by his club. He’s majority of his club’s offense. Dike and Miles Robinson are being rested. Dike played in 2 leagues this year and Miles has played the most minutes for the US in his soccer life. Saucedo, Flach, Pax Aaronson, Glad, Herrera, Rubin are in their playoffs, or finals. Only player I haven’t learned about is Kobi Henry. I hope he’s a CB. That would be great for that age group.

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  5. It’s official, we have become this arrogant(and without reason I might add)and whiny fanbase that I thought I would never see outside of european fanbases. I find it really bizarre that people could complain about this roster, I mean, it’s silly at this point that everything is griped about with regards to the NT.

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    • It’s funny to me Ronni, that we have technology in a palm, to research things, and people can be so clueless. I was going to mention everything I learned earlier today about why certain players were/weren’t included but you already did. I got a drop a reminder for people, who didn’t catch your posts.

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    • Well yeah… kinda…I totally get your take, but then again… the level of vitriol is pretty minor league compared to Euro, Brits or South American fans. With heightened interest in the national team coupled with increased the internet access to publicly complain- it is inevitable. Whether it’s on twitter or a bar stool- there is an ancient rich tradition of slagging players, coachs, teams, leagues, refs… etc etc. The very fabric of sports fanatics is woven with irrational passion, rampant knowitallismo and… incessant whining. LoL… Haven’t seen nothin’ yet- wait til we actually get good.

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  6. Stoked to see Kobi Henry Called in, great kid with great potential. Outside of the roster most articles I’ve read don’t even mention the 17yr old.

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  7. If it was a general first team fitness maintenance camp the roster would be dominated by all the best MLS NT players eliminated from the playoffs. This feels more like when GB did a Camp Cupcake with a sprinkling of first choice leadership but mostly U23 candidates, who were then portioned off into senior and U23 camps closer to game day. There are too few serious senior team types to act like we are trying to keep all the US players in MLS busy. Why? Because denying them all rest would be nuts. The ones he has in are either his favorites he recently had to cut, or injury rehabs, or a corps of late emerging players (Pepi, Zimmerman, etc.) who broke in at Gold Cup or even later than that. I assume he justifies that as they are new to the team and in that sense low mileage, except they just played a full season of MLS plus internationals once chosen.

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  8. This camp is primarily about keeping MLS players match fit in the event they are involved in the January world cup triple header. Berhalter appears to have complemented these with young players who are getting an early intro to the process. Nothing too controversial here.

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    • Then they would have called more regular players. Nonsense. And if you wanna call a bunch of U20s schedule a U20 game. This was his one chance to call some experiments for about a year during qualification.

      Also, re the timing, they are likely to call MLS players again for a long camp in January, joined at the window by the Euros. All this does is get rid of any rest between last March and next September for the few regulars he picked. Take your rest when you can get it.

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  9. Roster seems to be very schizophrenic….
    1) There are Established players who belong in the A-Team (Turner, Zimmerman, Pepi), but other established guys are missing (M. Robinson).
    2) There are a couple returning regulars (Morris & Long) that probably need to be tested to see if they’re ready to return and are able to contribute to the USMNT.
    3) There are young worthy prospects (Che, Reynolds, Gomez, Booth, Cardoso, Bassett, & Cowell), but others appear to be ignored (Mihailovic, Flach, Senora, Saucedo, Dike).
    4) There are retreads who’ve been given numerous opportunities and have failed to show their ability to contribute (Yueill, Roldan, & Zardes), yet some of Gregg’s other favorite failed retreads aren’t present (Lletget & Arriola).
    This is why I’m confused. Wasn’t the purpose of this camp & match suppose to be a fitness in order to keep our MLS contributors fit during the off season for the January WCQ? Unless some of our players are going out on loan or training stents in Europe Gregg has failed to meet this objective.
    If this is now a Discovery camp than Gregg has way too many regulars & failed retreads, and not enough new faces.
    I get the need to have a mix of players….Vets & Experienced….but the ratios don’t make any since and seems to be all over the board.

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    • If people would research some of these things, they aren’t hard to find, but Greg has given responses to some of the inquiries by fans in his post roster release about players. All players who are involved in the playoffs weren’t called in, and will not be called in if/when they lose, so that includes Flach. Sonora wasn’t released by his club, and Mihailovic is training over in europe with Bologna, for a possible transfer. Dike is bein rested after playing non stop in europe and then in MLS, and Saucedo, no, he’s just not good enough for this level and I think Olympic qualifying verified that!

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    • The general consensus from the fanbase is this is a god to great roster, considering the youth and uncapped players called in, so why is it exactly Greg sucks?

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      • the results produced by the talent pool flatter his abilities. which, the team usually looks stuttering and his selection is suboptimal. we win in spite of him. i had a HS coach like this. awful coach handed most of the best 2 club teams in our part of the state. that would make anyone look good. this should be the best team in the quali table. if it’s not, the coach is missing something.

        if you have to think about it at all, just watch how we look most of the time. does it look well-oiled? does it look like the XI/23 you’d pick? exactly. it’s a mess that wins because the mess is that talented.

  10. Booth could be a sleeper pick. Ferreira should have something to prove. Morris this would be his pre-quali trial since he’s been hurt. Pepi feet up in a recliner. Zardes, cut. Cowell and Clark, meh. They got first team minutes and moderate production. I assume those are justified as U20 effort but this is the one window to trial senior first choice players before qualifying. Another position where it’s like, this is your one shot to try marginal roster players and this is your idea of who to pick?

    I don’t understand scheduling a senior game in offseason only to trial mostly U20s. There aren’t a lot of actual marginal roster players in this camp. It’s mostly regulars, a few disappointing GB favorites, and then U20s. For this game I would want to see more of the sort of player who could push the back end of the NT roster for a quali spot. Someone you could actually call in January and not be perseverating about Yeuill.

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    • “I don’t understand scheduling a senior game in offseason only to trial mostly U20s….”

      Dear Lord IV… This is Camp Cupcake. January 2022 is all about qualifiers.

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      • yeah well my point is if i am holding a game without most of the first team, i can bring in the people right at the margins fighting for the 2022 team (within the limits of availability) or i can bring in no hoper U20s whose general value is 2026 cycle. a camp cupcake of U20s is little value this cycle. beyond the few regulars and the U20s, the few other options were like long and morris off injury, and then his disappointing favorites. long and morris are two of the few players from this who could be useful next month. i don’t understand playing a senior game where so many players should have been either cut or sent to a U20 game instead. and lest we forget but he did the same thing a couple years back with the U23s and they didn’t qualify.

  11. I like Johnny and Bassett in midfield. The rest is a trainwreck. How many assists does Mihailovic need to earn his way back?

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  12. Zimmerman should be feet up in a recliner. Bello should be cut on performance, you don’t wobble on that. Gomez is probably a good dual national play and there should be more of that nature. I like the Reynolds pick, get over the club form stuff and see what we have. Practice and a game might do him some good. This is also probably Long’s one chance to get back in before quali. Only place we could try that. Trusty, Lennon, ok. A lot of the rest reads like a U20 team. This is your one chance to tinker with the first choice group. I wouldn’t be wasting it on U20 crossover spots who aren’t ready to help.

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  13. At keeper, Turner should be rested and we should play serious candidates at the margin of the 23, and I’d prefer to see fresh faces. Personally I’d have called some mix of Frei Miller Melia Yarbrough Johnson. I am underwhelmed by Slonina but you could maybe justify that as 3rd keeper ticketed to U20. I don’t get Pulskamp at all. Not YNT fodder — too old — played mostly USL and was poor there. I assume the coach justifies the crap 2 and 3 choices because 1 will play most of the minutes. 1 should be sitting in a barcalounger. What should Turner have to prove at this point? Circle back to start.

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    • “I’m underwhelmed by Slonina.” #1 rated 2004 GK in the World but sure if IV doesn’t like him we should probably just let him go to Poland.

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      • he may have a future — although keeper is a long career position and even at his age group odunze may have something to say about that — but his numbers put in question present readiness to help a senior team. he is good for a U18 GK thrown out with seniors. we need the best 5 or so senior keepers, regardless of age. the year before qatar is the time to be sorting out who makes that team and not using games to scout U20s of no use this cycle.

  14. No one who got regular time this year should be playing. Give MLS regulars a break since they might be playing through winter next year. Give players who played but sucked a break and try someone else. This should be for rehab players like Morris, or experiments or people who couldn’t get many caps this year, who need a window to make a case, traded off for rest because this is their “shot.”

    We do not need to see Bello Yeuill Roldan Zardes. Only an idiot gives problem players second chances to fool him back onto the roster. Spend this time on players who don’t already frustrate. Worst possible outcome is using this tournament to rehabilitate players who cost the first choice team when played with it.

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      • Dike needs are rest before the January camp? His position is more taxing than keeper or center D? Just riffing here..

      • “Zimmerman” earned a “rest.” He played several NT games and you know what you’re getting. You don’t need another game. You need rest. Dike got cut. Dike is not guaranteed anything. Dike to me is more like Long and Morris, or experimental kids, where he needs to show something or he doesn’t make the team. He could probably also use “rest,” true, but in terms of the NT, he hasn’t earned that luxury, at least not without staying on the “cut” list. He is precisely the sort who should trade off an opportunity to impress for the missed rest. There is no opportunity value in playing either the good regulars or the bad ones — we should already know what we have, and rest is more valuable now, as the combination of international winter games and MLS season will run all the way through Qatar.

        We seem to call players on a Donovan template of high usage without acknowledging he was a special fitness freak who burned out earlier than he should have. We don’t have many players who look good on low rest or playing a few games in a row. Pulisic and Aaronson look awful tired.

      • Everyone looks worse when they are tired. It is not limited to Pulisic or Aaronson.

        George S. Patton Jr.: “Fatigue makes cowards of us all.”

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