After a massive failure during the 2018 World Cup cycle that saw the United States Men’s National Team miss its first FIFA World Cup since 1990, the USMNT are back on the international stage as the world’s best head to Qatar in a few short days.
Gregg Berhalter announced his squad at an event in Brooklyn, NYC and it confirmed what most of us already knew, former New England Revolution keeper Matt Turner is going to the World Cup. A tremendous journey for Turner from undrafted rookie out of Fairfield University to Supporter’s Shield and Gold Cup trophies to go along with MLS and Gold Cup Keeper of the year awards in 2021 and a move to Arsenal of the EPL.
Matt Turner didn't start playing soccer until he was 16. Before playing in MLS for the New England Revolution, he played college soccer at Fairfield University.— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) November 9, 2022
Now, he's at Arsenal and set to become the starting USMNT goalkeeper at the World Cup.
His story is incredible pic.twitter.com/cd5wC7YV8s
Obviously, there is going to be debate on snubs and who should and shouldn’t be on the roster, but what’s important is the USA is back at the World Cup with an incredibly young and talented team that will be on home soil in four years. While this is a happy day for a many, it is incredibly bittersweet for a few that helped get the US to this point but won’t be on the plane to Qatar.
Below is the full roster:
Sean Johnson, Matt Turner, Ethan Horvath
It had been reported yesterday that Zack Steffen was going to be left off the roster entirely, which seemed to be a shocking turn of events given Steffen’s relationship with his former club head coach Gregg Berhalter.
But despite a recent uptick in form at Middlesbrough, Steffen has struggled with the USMNT and has missed time at the national team level due to injuries but it is still a big shock to not see him here.
This should all but solidify Matt Turner as the #1 going into the World Cup with solid options in Horvath and Johnson to back him up if needed. We saw Horvath come off the bench in a big spot in the Nations League Final last year and save a PK enroute to a US win over Mexico and Johnson had one of his best years in MLS so the netminders should have things covered.
Shaq Moore, Joe Scally, Aaron Long, Tim Ream, Antonee Robinson, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Walker Zimmerman, Sergino Dest, DeAndre Yedlin
This was the most volatile group to predict going into the World Cup with multiple injuries at centerback and no one really claiming the other starting spot next to Walker Zimmerman after Miles Robinson went down with an injury. Aaron Long featured in the fall and in the MLS mini-camp before the roster announcement and that is probably the front running pair to start with CCV in reserve.
It appears Tim Ream will be one of the centerbacks on this depth chart as Berhalter opted for an additional right back coverage with Joe Scally, Shaq Moore and DeAndre Yedlin behind Sergino Dest. Only Robinson will be a true left back on the roster but that isn’t a huge surprise given the USMNT’s struggles to find a backup to Jedi over the last year. Mark McKenzie and Reggie Cannon are the odd center back and right back out and Chris Richards unavailable for selection due to injury.
Cristian Roldan, Kellyn Acosta, Luca De La Torre, Yunus Musah, Tyler Adams, Weston McKennie, Brenden Aaronson
Luca De La Torre is fit to make the roster and while it’s interesting to see Aaronson listed as a midfielder, this was the group that was most secured in its selection. Berhalter opting for the veteran Roldan instead of Malik Tillman who impressed in September and surely will feature in the next cycle. A strong group for sure for the USA going into Qatar.
Jordan Morris, Josh Sargent, Haji Wright, Gio Reyna, Christian Pulisic, Jesus Ferreira, Tim Weah
Several big surprises here but we’ll start with Haji Wright who last played for the USA over the summer in El Salvador, starting and playing the first half in a 1-1 Nations League draw. He’s having a terrific season in Turkey with 9 goals, the most for any US striker so far this season, but so is Ricardo Pepi in the Netherlands and Pepi has been around the team a lot more over the last year so that’s the big shock in this grouping.
Personally I am ecstatic for Jordan Morris in particular who has come back from multiple serious injuries and worked hard to get back into top form at both club and international levels. Along with Josh Sargent who has hit his stride with Norwich this year and Jesus Ferreira in Dallas being very consistent in MLS, the US has a variety of options to work with both at the beginning and late in games up top.
The USA kicks off their World Cup on November 21st in Group B against Wales. Leave your thoughts on the roster below.