Christian Pulisic suffered a hip injury Saturday. (FrontRowSoccer.com Photo)
CHICAGO – U.S. men’s national team head coach Gregg Berhalter Monday called in 23 players for this month’s must-win Concacaf Nations League matches against Canada in Orlando Nov. 15 and Cuba in George Town, Cayman Islands Nov. 19.
Conspiscously missing was one Christian Pulisic.
After being named to the roster last week, the midfielder’s availability remains uncertain after he suffered a hip injury during Chelsea’s victory over Crystal Palace in the English Premier League Saturday. He will continue to be evaluated and a decision on whether he will join the U.S. camp in Orlando is expected soon.
Without or without Pulisic, the Americans need six points in both matches.
“Advancing to the knockout phase is our priority, and that starts by getting a win against Canada,” Berhalter said. “We will be ready to play, the team is looking forward to competing in front of our fans. Orlando has been a great venue for the National Team, and the support of our fans makes a big difference.”
Midfielder Michael Bradley was also to be part of the squad, but was forced to withdraw after sustaining a right ankle injury during Toronto FC’s 3-1 loss to Seattle Sounders FC in Sunday’s MLS Cup final.
Seattl striker Jordan Morris and midfielder Cristian Roldan were added to the roster following Sunday’s 3-1 win against Toronto FC in the 2019 MLS Cup, while forward Corey Baird and defender Chase Gasper departed camp over the weekend.
Taking advantage of having many domestic-based players in the midst of their offseason, the USMNT summoned 20 players for a pre-camp that began on Nov. 2 in Bradenton, Fla., before the team’s European-based players were added to the roster last week.
In order to qualify for the knockout round of the inaugural 2019-20 Concacaf Nations League, the USMNT must win both of its matches this month and make up a three-goal differential on current Group A leaders Canada. The USA looks for revenge when it takes on Les Rouges on Friday, Oct. 15 at Exploria Stadium in Orlando (7 p.m. ET; ESPN2, UniMas, TUDN). The team will then close out group play with a neutral-site match against Cuba on Tuesday, Nov. 19 at Truman Bodden Sports Complex in George Town, Cayman Islands (7:30 p.m. ET; FS1, UniMas, TUDN).
The U.S. roster
GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Atlanta United FC; 62/0), Sean Johnson (New York City FC; 8/0), Matt Turner (New England Revolution; 0/0)
DEFENDERS (9): John Brooks (Wolfsburg/GER; 37/3), Reggie Cannon (FC Dallas; 9/0), Sergiño Dest (Ajax/NED; 2/0), Nick Lima (San Jose Earthquakes; 9/0), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls; 14/2), Daniel Lovitz (Montreal Impact/CAN; 12/0), Tim Ream (Fulham/ENG; 38/1), DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle United/ENG; 60/0), Walker Zimmerman (LAFC; 11/2)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy; 12/2), Weston McKennie (Schalke/GER; 17/6), Alfredo Morales (Fortuna Düsseldorf/GER; 14/0), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders FC; 18/0), Jackson Yueill (San Jose Earthquakes; 4/0), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew SC; 20/0)
FORWARDS (5): Paul Arriola (D.C. United; 30/5), Tyler Boyd (Besiktas/TUR; 8/2), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders FC; 37/7), Josh Sargent (Werder Bremen/GER; 11/3), Gyasi Zardes (Columbus Crew SC; 54/10)