We are only 66 days away from the first-ever winter Men’s World Cup! Qatar 2022 will be a spectacle for sure, and with the final months of preparation ahead of the 32 nations that will fight for the title of World Champion. The USMNT is readying themselves with a final two friendlies next week!
USMNT releases roster for final friendlies ahead of World Cup
With just two more tune-up matches to get ready for the World Cup, USMNT coach Gregg Berhalter chose 26 players to take on Japan and Saudi Arabia (two other nations who will be at Qatar 2022). The World Cup roster will be chosen in the coming months, so this final tune-up may just show some of the players that Gregg and his staff want to bring to Qatar and others who might not join the 26 that will make the World Cup roster.
Here’s a look at the roster for the last two friendlies before the World Cup:
- GOALKEEPERS (3): Ethan Horvath (Luton Town), Sean Johnson (New York City FC), Matt Turner (Arsenal)
- DEFENDERS (9): Reggie Cannon (Boavista), Cameron Carter-Vickers (Celtic), Sergiño Dest (AC Milan), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls), Chris Richards (Crystal Palace), Joe Scally (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Sam Vines (Royal Antwerp), DeAndre Yedlin (Inter Miami), Walker Zimmerman (Nashville SC)
- MIDFIELDERS (6): Kellyn Acosta (LAFC), Tyler Adams (Leeds United), Luca de la Torre (Celta Vigo), Weston McKennie (Juventus), Yunus Musah (Valencia), Malik Tillman (Rangers)
- FORWARDS (8): Brenden Aaronson (Leeds United), Paul Arriola (FC Dallas, Jesús Ferreira (FC Dallas), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders), Ricardo Pepi (Groningen), Christian Pulisic (Chelsea), Gio Reyna (Borussia Dortmund), Josh Sargent (Norwich City)
Those on the roster that you’d expect to be there are there; Pulisic, Aaronson, Reyna, McKennie, Adams, Musah, Dest, Zimmerman, and Turner that are all locks to be on the plane to Qatar. The rest are fighting to become locks. One of those names is Josh Sargent who looks to be given a chance to play for the striker position; whereas, Jordan Pefok was not included in the roster. Some other surprise inclusions are left-back Sam Vines and striker Ricardo Pepi. If they can impress Gregg, could they possibly play their way to Qatar?
This roster should be good enough to compete against their World Cup foes in these friendlies, we’ll have to wait and see how these final two matches go. While the roster release was some news on the USMNT, it wasn’t the only news about the team dropping.
Shirts to be worn at World Cup unveiled
The rumors were true USMNT fans… The USA kits for the World Cup dropped in the middle of the night, and they are what we thought they were. The White home kit looks clean, and the blue socks make it more than just a whitewash kit, but the absence of numbers on the kit makes it a little hard to truly love the jersey. If the number layout turns out to be a throwback to the numbers inside of a circle on the white kit, it will make it 10,000% better in my opinion.
As for the blue away kit, it’s yet another one done by these big companies that have some kind of design that will be hard to distinguish when seen on the field. In a high-resolution photo, the different shades do look cool, but we’ve seen in the past that this doesn’t translate to real life all that much. Again, once we see the number layout on the kits it might make the shirt more than just a blue one with the crest on it, but until then it just seems lack luster.
All right, enough with the kits, on to looking to the final friendlies ahead of Qatar!
Final Friendlies next week!
The USMNT takes on Japan next Friday, and Saudi Arabia the following Tuesday. The quick three-day turnaround mimics what teams will have at the World Cup. Will this team be able to come together and get the right preparation to be ready for Qatar in two months?
Gregg Berhalter and his squad will use this time to set goals for their Qatar-bound players, as well as, assess those on the fringes who were brought in to show what they can do. It’s an exciting time for the USMNT; things are ramping up to their first World Cup appearance since 2014. Who knows, maybe this team can surprise the World and make a knockout stage run come November!
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Mandatory Credit: Andrew Bershaw/Icon Sportswire