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Matt Turner, Jordan Morris headline 19-player squad for USMNT January camp


The U.S. men’s national team’s next set of Concacaf World Cup qualifiers is less than a month away, and Gregg Berhalter has called in his MLS-based contingent of players to start early preparations.

Matt Turner, Jordan Morris and Sebastian Lletget headline the 19-player roster called in to a January camp ahead of the full USMNT squad convening in late January for World Cup qualifiers against El Salvador, Canada and Honduras.

Kellyn Acosta, Sean Johnson, Walker Zimmerman and Cristian Roldan are also in the squad, helping strike a balance between young talent and experience on the roster.

“Our focus for the next two weeks is to prepare the domestic-based players to be included in the World Cup qualifying training camp,” Berhalter said. “This upcoming window presents an opportunity to move closer to our ultimate goal of qualifying for the FIFA World Cup in Qatar.”

Cole Bassett and Brooks Lennon are back in the squad after impressing in December’s friendly win against Bosnia and Herzegovina. Djordje Mihailovic, who is coming off a career year with CF Montreal, is also back into the fold after missing out on the December USMNT while he was training with Serie A side Bologna.

Chicago Fire goalkeeper Gabriel Slonina is the youngest player on the roster at 17, and Jesus Ferreira joins the squad fresh off signing a new Designated Player deal for the club.

The January Training camp runs from Jan. 7-21 and will include several closed-door scrimmages before the full USMNT squad convenes ahead of the September 27 qualifier against El Salvador in Columbus, Ohio.

Here is the 19-player MLS-based squad for the January USMNT camp:

USMNT January Camp Roster

GOALKEEPERS: Sean Johnson (New York City FC; 9/0), Gabriel Slonina (Chicago Fire; 0/0), Matt Turner (New England Revolution; 13/0)

DEFENDERS: George Bello (Atlanta United; 6/0), DeJuan Jones (New England Revolution; 0/0), Brooks Lennon (Atlanta United; 1/0), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls; 21/3), Miles Robinson (Atlanta United; 15/3), Walker Zimmerman (Nashville SC; 23/2)

MIDFIELDERS: Kellyn Acosta (Colorado Rapids; 45/2), Cole Bassett (Colorado Rapids; 1/1), Djordje Mihailovic (CF Montrêal; 6/1), Sebastian Lletget (New England Revolution; 33/8), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders; 30/0), Jackson Yueill (San Jose Earthquakes; 16/0)

FORWARDS: Paul Arriola (D.C. United; 42/8), Jesús Ferreira (FC Dallas; 5/2), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders; 40/10), Gyasi Zardes (Columbus Crew; 66/14)


  1. re the comments below, i wouldn’t expect any formal games before quali. whole idea is get them fit for quali and not have them out of shape or injured end of the month. a friendly would be risk. i would expect practice scrimmages up to 11 aside to get them ready, and i wouldn’t even be surprised if they had in a few off-books camp bodies to make 19 get up to 22. i see the list as the people he thinks could make the team. this is why slonina is weird, is his numbers aren’t good enough for the senior team and you can always call in unannounced camp bodies to get you up to 2 full sided squads. bradley was in the 2006 pre world cup camp as a teen and even got some friendly minutes, but was there to make numbers and got cut.

    • Slonina has been named as one of the top U18 keepers in the world by international media sources (not just MLS). Transfermkt even lists him as the #1 ‘04 keeper in the world. He’s also a dual national so I’m surprised you aren’t beating the drum for his capping. He will likely be the #1 keeper for U20/Olympic qualifying this Summer, that is why he’s there. Take his stats with a grain of salt, Fire were awful and Slonina kept many matches closer than they should have been.

      • there is no way in heck we are using even 1 minute of either of the 2 remaining quali windows to cap tie a keeper. i like my experiments. i do not like them now. he can tinker at friendlies or after we’re done. that’s why december mattered to me — low stakes — but you wanted to call U20s then play usual suspects. you can keep quoting youth plaudits but as a senior player — and this is big boy camp — his stats are mediocre. why him and not melia, frei, or others. he’s pretty young and unproven to think he could use endgame quali as leverage.

      • He’s not going to make the qualifying roster. He’s there to get acclimated to the style of play so that he can lead the U20 group this Summer. Gregg has 4 keepers he’s comfortable with he doesn’t need to try Frei or Melia. If you look beyond the basic stat of goals allowed that is greatly influenced by the other 10 players Slonina compares favorably to those two as well. His save percentage is good, his distribution numbers are good, especially for a 17 year old. Gab’s goals against is poor because his defense is terrible and allow more shots than SKC or Chicago. That’s why big Euro clubs are coming for him. He’ll be in Europe this Summer if he chooses. He’s not ready for NT qualifiers but Gregg didn’t invite him here for that.

    • USSF sez: “The camp will include several closed-door scrimmages.” not sure if that’s talking about 11 v 11 within camp or literally inviting in outside opposition.

  2. Of the 19 called into this pre-camp I only see 5-6 transitioning to the actual WCQ camp later this month. Turner, Zimmerman, Robinson, Acosta, Morris, and maybe Johnson. The rest should be sent packing when the Euro players are released.
    WCQ Camp (27 total):
    GK: Steffen, Turner, Horvath/Johnson
    Def: Robinson, Zimmerman, Richards, Brooks, McKenzie, A. Robinson, Dest, Scally, Yedlin
    Mid: Adams, McKennie, Musah, Busio, Acosta, Luca DLT, Tesseman/Sands
    Attack: Pulisic, Weah, Reyna, Aaronson, Morris, Pepi, Dike, Sargent
    Absolutely zero reason for any of the others from MLS to be involved since most haven’t played a competitive match in over a month and even those who played in the December friendly were under whelming.

    • sargent isn’t getting called. so off this list zardes has a chance. pepi won’t be touched but he went cold. personally i would call pefok then nico then dike in that order but 9 is a mess and this coach can have a short memory who actually performs. he tends to circle back to trying to force the idea he had in his head. this is a really bad window to force your abstract theories onto reality — i would have the people who did the job out there.

      your mid subs are pretty wrong. i like tessemann but i doubt that. sands blew his chance. DLT is beige. it will be more of the MLS mids than you (or I) will be happy about.

      defense i think you have about right give or take long. i think he liked long and he will be given a chance to show fitness and make the travel roster, just like arriola got every chance in the world coming off his knee — he liked him too. i think the CBs make the team and the wingbacks are there as injury contingencies. to have them as contingencies they have to be whipped into fitness. jones may just be getting his tires kicked. that being said this coach loves bello, regardless how bad he’s looked, so that might be your surprise. he arguably needs another left side sub. he hasn’t given himself any other real options.

      i see johnson over horvath, because that’s what the coach originally wanted to happen, plus he looked good in the final. no, one of my complants on this is he picked this list 3 years ago and a handful actually belong there based on what we saw since. even on mihailovic, it’s like, based on the numbers, have him out there to trial, but he needed to be in december camp and play well to justify it. i have a feeling he would have foregone a training stint in italy to compete for a NT job.

  3. Hard to see anybody displacing Miles Robinson, Walker Zimmerman, Kellyn Acosta, or Matt Turner at this late date unless they get injured They’ve proven their value and then some.

    The rest? Bello’s going to have to beat out Vines. Over the long run…maybe, over the short term that’s tough. Aaron Long could fight his way in as the #4 CB…you have to feel Chris Richards is establishing himself along with Robinson/Zimmerman firmly in the top four, Long just has to bump Mark McKenzie (and John Brooks!) out of that fourth spot. Morris could make it as the fourth winger since only Pulisic, Aaronson, and Weah have really solidified their hold on spots. Jesus Ferreira has an outside chance of grabbing that second CF slot behind Pepi but he’s gotta stave off Zardes, Pefok, Dike, and Sargent. Lletget has to hold off Busio for that last 8-spot. Iffy.

    Other than that..kind of an uphill battle for the rest of them, unless Berhalter remains stubbornly in love with Arriola and Roldan.

    • bears remembering we’ll likely see an extended roster of 27-30 because 3 games/covid/MLS offseason. so some of the theorized “choices” may just be “take both.” i’d add bello brooks ferreira on the list of “stubbornly in love.” long i generally like but he hasn’t played a US game in years and this is not an ideal first time with what’s at stake and him off an achilles tear.

      • I’ve been asking for 27-30 players all qualification and Gregg has opted otherwise :-/ I wouldn’t be shocked if he stuck with the 25. While the 25 could very well handle the work load, I’ve been asking for more simply due to Yellow Card accumulation, injuries, sickness, etc… that might fall upon us during these 6 days

    • Robinson, Zimmerman, & Turner are solid and have performed consistently.
      Acosta is currently the best option to back-up Adams at CDM, but his performances have not been consistent. He’s had a couple of outstanding performances (Mexico GC final) but he’s had some absolute crap performances (Panama) as well.
      He’s ahead of the other CDM options (Sands, Cardoso, etc…) right now, but if someone gets into a run of good form I could see them overtaking him.

  4. This should underline my argument Dike left at the wrong time — he would have made this. A lot of my veteran complaints would be standard issue, Bello Yeuill Arriola Roldan. Why. But a lot of that was baked in the cake when they got to play in December, which shouldn’t have happened either. Conversely, if Mihailovic is back, why wasn’t he in the December team. Considering recent history of keeper attrition in covid camps I think Slonina is a dumb hubristic choice. You need an actual senior candidate as a contingency, not just a camp body. Considering this is domestic offseason you can’t just Dial a Keeper and get in someone fit. I assume the idea is probably Steffen and maybe Horvath, but take no chances. This is probably the most important window of them all — an easier schedule chunk and the need to max out as best we can on points before the last harder chunk — so I am going to be more cranky we didn’t experiment in December and come up with more than Bassett — than angry this isn’t so experimental. This is go to the mat time.

    • It was pretty widely reported and mentioned by Gregg in his Precamp press conference that Mihailovic was unavailable in December because he was training with Bologna in Italy.

      • you can bang that drum all you want but him doing a training stint in italy, leading to nothing in transfer, instead of being in NT camp, didn’t help either him or his country much. like the eurobased kids who did summer training for club you said mattered so much. GB rewarded him anyway but before key qualifiers i’d like for him to have played at least a friendly to sort out whether his club numbers mean he’s actually better now.

      • Mr. Voice,

        “instead of being in NT camp, didn’t help either him or his country much.”

        That’s more because he isn’t that good.

        The time for being pissed off at the manager player choices is long past. The damage is done.

        This is now bottom of the barrel time. The non-Teacher pet guys are not grasping at straws. They are grasping at air.

        The manager almost certainly has only one or two spots open and he’s just going through the motions.

        You all almost certainly can name at least the first 20 spots.

        A guy like Djorde is unlikely to be a USMNT stalwart or get to the World Cup barring extensive injury issues,

        So for him that Serie A training is a big deal and could mean a better contract and more money for him at some point.

        Securing a day job is more important than playing an uncertain likely miniscule bit part for your country who will probably not take you to the World Cup anyway. And if they did , he probably wouldn’t play a minute.

        Dike made the right move. He has a chance to make a big splash at WBA and maybe earn a bigger move. Had he stayed no way he could have competed with Pepi.

        Daryl is not an unknown quantity.

        The December and the January camps would be a waste of time for him. He needs to start bulldozing Championship defenses to show that he is healthy, fit and can compete with Pepi and the usual suspects. Not beat up on the cream puff competition he’ll find at those camps.

        Imagine if Pepi starts slow in Augsburg? There’s no way he gets cut from Qatar no matter how it goes but he could lose the starter position to Dike.

        This manager is not going to be taking care of Daryl like he takes care of Ariolla, Lletget and the rest of his “boys”.

        Daryl needs to take care of himself.

  5. *January* 27 qualifier against El Salvador in Columbus, Ohio
    I guess no big surprises except smaller than I was expecting. Do we know who the scrimmages will be?

    • This is not the full squad. This particular group has no games scheduled for them to play. The rest of the team arrives in a couple of weeks. This is a chance for these players to train. Then stick around when the other group arrives.


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