USMNT: November's projected roster

The U.S. national team roster for World Cup 2022 qualifiers against Mexico and Jamaica should be released later this week.

All the attention will be on the Mexico game, but in the big picture of the Octagonal getting three points at Jamaica -- where the USA has one win and two ties in previous Hexagonal matches -- will be just as important.

For each of the first two windows, U.S. coach Gregg Berhalter called up 28 players and used just about everyone: 22 of the 26 players who dressed in September and 25 of the 26 players who dressed in October.

The November window will be very different:

-- There are only two games -- against Mexico on Nov. 12 in Cincinnati and at Jamaica on Nov. 16 -- not three.
-- The first game is on a Friday night, not Thursday night, so there will be an extra day for preparations.
-- The second game is four days later, not three, so again there will be an extra day for preparations.
-- The second game is on a Tuesday night, not Wednesday night, so players will, depending on flight schedules, get back to their clubs a day earlier.

The bottom line: rotation will not be the issue it was in the previous two windows -- and will be in the two 2022 Octagonal windows -- because there will be only two games to worry about and an extra day to prepare for both games.

Berhalter has already used 33 players -- 25 of whom made their World Cup qualifying debuts -- and those numbers could rise in November.

At least three players without previous qualifying experience might get called up and if they do it is with the intention that they will contribute.

"The guys aren't here to be passengers,” Berhalter has said several times about how he views his reserves.

Here is what we project to be the USMNT roster for the November qualifiers -- a 24-player squad.

Note: In parentheses are ages as of Nov. 12, the date of the USA-Mexico game.
*Played in World Cup 2022 qualifying.

Goalkeepers (3):
*Matt Turner (New England Revolution, 27)
Sean Johnson (New York City FC, 32)
*Zack Steffen (Man. City/ENG, 26)
---------------------------------------------------------------
Previous call-ups: Ethan Horvath (Nott. Forest/ENG D2, 26)

Only questions: Who will start against Mexico? And will the same keeper then get the nod in Kingston?

Outside Backs (4):
*Sergino Dest (Barcelona/ESP, 21)
*Antonee Robinson (Fulham/ENG D2, 24)
Joe Scally (Bor. M'Gladbach/GER, 18)
*DeAndre Yedlin (Galatasaray/TUR, 28)
-----------------------------
Previous call-ups:  *George Bello (Atlanta United, 19), *Shaq Moore (Tenerife/ESP D2, 25).

There appears to be no slowing Scally, who ranks fifth in the Bundesliga in distance covered through 10 games. He is still only 18 -- one day too old to be eligible for the 2023 U-20 World Cup -- but his versatility -- he has started on both the right and left sides at Gladbach -- makes his call-up a no-brainer. Question mark: Reggie Cannon finally returned to the Boavista lineup but he was injured early in Saturday's game at Porto. If he is cleared by Boavista to play against Famalicao on Friday, that would be the signal he could get his first qualifying call-up.



Center Backs (4):
*John Brooks (Wolfsburg/GER, 28)
*Chris Richards (Hoffenheim/GER, 21),
*Miles Robinson (Atlanta United, 24)
*Walker Zimmerman (Nashville SC, 28).
---------------------------------------------------------------
Previous call-ups: *Mark McKenzie (Genk/BEL, 22), *Tim Ream (Fulham/ENG D2, 34), *James Sands (New York City FC, 21).

Brooks withdrew from the October qualifiers because of back problems, but he is back in the lineup at Wolfsburg, starting in its first game under head coach Florian Kohfeldt, a 2-0 win at Bayer Leverkusen, and projected to start Tuesday against visiting Red Bull Salzburg in the UEFA Champions League.

Midfielders (6):
*Kellyn Acosta (Colorado Rapids, 26)
*Tyler Adams (RB Leipzig/GER, 22)
*Gianluca Busio (Venezia/ITA, 19)
*Weston McKennie (Juventus/ITA, 23)
*Yunus Musah (Valencia/ESP, 18)
*Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders, 26)
Previous call-ups: *Luca de la Torre (Heracles/NED, 23), *Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy, 29), Jackson Yueill (San Jose Earthquakes, 24).

Adams, Musah and McKennie are the USA's starting trio though Musah has played only 45 minutes and Adams 26 minutes in league play since their return from the October qualifiers. The player to watch: Busio, who continues to excel for promoted Venezia.



Wingers (4):
*Brenden Aaronson (Red Bull Salzburg/AUT, 21)
*Paul Arriola (D.C. United, 26)
*Christian Pulisic (Chelsea/ENG, 23)
*Tim Weah (Lille/FRA, 21)
Previous call-ups: *Konrad de la Fuente (Marseille/FRA, 20), *Matthew Hoppe (Real Mallorca/ESP, 20), *Gio Reyna (Bor. Dortmund/GER, 18).

Good news: Pulisic is in the Chelsea squad for Tuesday's UEFA Champions League match at Malmo. Aaronson and Weah are both projected to start in their Champions League matches, giving the national team as many as seven players who could play on Tuesday. The only toss-up: Arriola or de la Fuente. Hoppe hasn't played for Mallorca since his return from the October qualifiers. Reyna (hamstring injury) hasn't played since the El Salvador-USA game on Sept. 2.

Strikers (3):
Daryl Dike (Orlando City, 21)
Jesus Ferreira (FC Dallas, 20)
*Ricardo Pepi (FC Dallas, 18)
Previous call-ups: *Jordan Pefok (Young Boys/SUI, 25), *Josh Sargent (Norwich City/ENG, 21), *Gyasi Zardes (Columbus Crew, 30).



With three goals and two assists in three starts, Pepi is a lock. After that? Nothing but question marks. Zardes is injured again (MCL knee sprain). Pefok hasn't scored in his last seven games for Young Boys. Sargent hasn't scored since his move to Norwich City. Neither player was called up for the October window. Nothing has happened to indicate that will change in November. Berhalter's best options are in MLS, though Dike and Ferreira are very different players and players who struggled in their last call-ups. Dike (who wasn't a factor in the latter stages of the Gold Cup) has scored in six of Orlando City's last eight games, and Ferreira (who didn't score after the opener in Olympic qualifying in March) has two goals and two assists in his last four FC Dallas games (and eight goals and eight assists in 26 MLS games).

17 comments about "USMNT: November's projected roster".
  1. Bob Ashpole, November 2, 2021 at 2:41 a.m.

    Thank you, Paul. 

    We really need to clean up CONCACAF qualifying play for the sake of the players and their clubs.

  2. John Sabala replied, November 2, 2021 at 4:59 p.m.

      Bob, I have been saying this for years.  It is just shameful the difference of quality in all areas: play of teams, facilities (No VAR ability), officating, and the list goes on.  We have to pray to not only win the match, but to come out without a bunch of wounded players from being fouled all the time on the pitch.

  3. Santiago 1314 replied, November 3, 2021 at 12:09 p.m.

    This will be the only Opportunity for a "Real" Test of our "Future" team before the Next World Cup... "Good Field", "Good Opponent"....After this, It's Typical CONcacaCrApF games, followed by "Friendlies" until Qatar....The PepHalterKloop System that Ggg has wanted to get the USA into.... As much as he wants to "Talk" about "Verticality", what he Really wants is a USA Tiki-Taka Team;
    1. GegenPress like Kloop, all over the Field, Especially Up Front, Leading to Quick Transition on Attack and Less Need for Build Up Play.
    2. Tiki-Taka out of the Back, like Pep, Leading to;
    A. Play between the Opponents 2 Defensive Lines, For Slip/Split Passes to Players making Diagonal Runs into 18 yard box
    B. Wing Combos for Penetration out wide, followed by Driven Crosses along the 6 yard box

    Nothing wrong with the ideas, does he have the Juevos to "Do It".!?!?!?

  4. Bob Ashpole replied, November 4, 2021 at 1:25 a.m.

    Santi, I concluded over a year ago that GB talks the talk, but doesn't walk the walk. In Texas, they would describe him as all hat and no cattle. 

    In the past year I haven't seen anything to make me reconsider.

    Even if GB wanted to play a better style, he doesn't have control over style of play. That is dictated to him by USSF management.

  5. Andrew Megas, November 2, 2021 at 9:04 a.m.

    4 strikers please. Add Pefok and Sargent. They will need big target options up top. Mexico and Jamaica will hack Pepi on every touch.

  6. Santiago 1314 replied, November 4, 2021 at 6:49 a.m.

    Only 2 Different picks I would make are; LDLT for Roldan and Sargent for Ferreira ... I would bring Lletget as 25th player

  7. Curt Wiley, November 2, 2021 at 9:55 a.m.

    Let Pulisic stay at Chelsea and don't call up...needs to get established.  

  8. John Sabala replied, November 2, 2021 at 5:07 p.m.

      Curt have to disagree. We will need his presence, especially against Mexico.  He may not have to play against Jamaica to manage his minutes and not over expose him to injury.  Pulisic will get back into form at Chlesea and will get more playing time staying healthy.  We need to come out with minmum 4 points from these two matches.

  9. Paul Krieg replied, November 2, 2021 at 9:33 p.m.

    Agree.  But not going to happen, makes too much sense

  10. Ted Morehouse, November 2, 2021 at 12:45 p.m.

    Another factor Gregg must consider is the number of yellow cards standing against the projected starting line-up.  Any additional yellows to those players will keep them out of the Jamaica game.  He may need extra depth on hand to protect the team against the potential unavailability if several key players 

  11. John Sabala replied, November 2, 2021 at 5:02 p.m.

      Ted, 
    I understand what you are saying, but it is much better to play your best squad against Mexico and risk losing a player(s) due to yellows than to not play or start your best XI.  The team is deep enough to get a win versus Jamaica away without all of our best XI.  GB has not brought in enough players into the pool for either window, so don't expect that to change this go around.

  12. Seth Vieux, November 2, 2021 at 2:09 p.m.

    If Scally doesn't get the call up GGG needs his head examined. He is having the best individual season of any American and it's shameful he wasn't called up in October.

    if Luca Dela Torre gets left off for Roldan (or more likely Lletget), that will be almost as disappointing as leaving Scally out would be. Scally deserves a shot to claim first alternate fullback (on either side) at an absolute minimum, if not challenge Antonee Robinson for a starting spot.

    Luca isn't likely to seize a starting spot, but should absolutely be getting more minutes in the overall rotation of the 8s.

  13. John Sabala replied, November 2, 2021 at 5:17 p.m.

      Seth,
    GB should have had his head examined a long time ago.  His whole hiring is just so suspicious given his previous relationships with Stewart, not to mentio the high ranking position his brother holds in USSF.  His credentials just did not warrant his hiring in the first place.  He could not hack coaching in Europe, had success at SC Columbus, and then oh, you are our guy?!?!?  Makes no sense.  Don't be suprised if Scally is left off again. I concur he should be in the starting XI at LB and Dest at RB if we play a back 4.

    GB will go with his MLS comfort zone favorites of Roldan and Lleget instead of bringing in Luca, Holmes, Green, Otasowie or Tesserman at midfield with Adams, Musah, McKennie and Aaronson.  He will reason they have the experience needed for CONCACAF games.  The skills of the players listed is well beyond Roldan and Llegett.    

  14. Anthony Petgrave, November 2, 2021 at 7:22 p.m.

    I like the picks, but will GGG be so bold as to step out of his comfort zone and call up both Jesus Ferreira & Daryl Dike? I would!!!

  15. R2 Dad, November 2, 2021 at 11:41 p.m.

    GB is home against MX, he needs at least a point out of this. I'd be surprised if his lineup and subs are up to par if we go by previous matches. If he doesn't get a point, there will be tremendous pressure to get 3 points away in Jamaica. Remember how bad it looked at halftime with Costa Rica at 1-1 just a month ago?

  16. Santiago 1314, November 3, 2021 at 8:37 a.m.

    vs Mexico: (I would like to see if Tiki-Taka can work with USA)

    CP---Pepi---Aaronson
           McKenNie
         LDLT---Busio
    Vines.             Dest
      Brooks--Richards
          *Steffen*

    I'm Pretty sure 9, of these Players will Start;
    Why not "Go for Broke".???
    The Biggest Difference is LDLT for Adams,
    Adams seems to be Out of Favor, even with Marsch
    All these "Field"  Players are Going 90 minutes on their teams.
    (Except CP, Dest.??? None of the others are)
    LDLT and Busio play a lot on their teams as DMs,(Deep Lying Schemers)
    that's certainly where they have most of their Ball Possession.
    They really try to play a Rhythm based Possession game, not too much on the "Verticality"(So Ggg will probably Not go with my Line-Up)
    Brooks is a Little Shaky, but playing better lately,(could go with M.Rob)
    Reyna would play for Aaronson if he where Healthy.
    No excuse here for Bad Field, Bad Team... Only chance we will get to see if this Crop of "Next Gen" players are REALLY as Good as we Think(Hope)
    We can bring in "The Mashers" in the 2nd Half if we are getting "Spanked"

  17. John Sabala replied, November 4, 2021 at 4:30 a.m.

     Santi,
    I like and agree with most of your choices.  I would change Pepi for Sargeant, better hold up play and passing for tiki taka.  I would still go with Adams as we have seen how poorly the team fair defensively in the midfield when he is off.  Not sure if he is out of March's good graces, or managing the minutes with all of the matches being played with Pokal, UEFA and league.   I would go with Musah.  He is strong on the ball and will hold up well to the physical play expected in the midfield.  At left back, I think we have to go with Scally just based on his overall performances the last months.  No one is playing LB better in any league than him.

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