AC Milan’s Christian Pulisic applauds supporters prior to the start of a Serie A soccer match (Image: AP)
Midfielder Gio Reyna remains sidelined with a calf injury, putting off a return to the U.S. team under Gregg Berhalter when he resumes coaching next week ahead of exhibitions against Uzbekistan and Oman. Reyna, a 20-year-old midfielder and a son of former U.S. captain Claudio Reyna, was hurt in the CONCACAF Nations League final against Canada in June and hasn’t played a competitive match since.
Captain Tyler Adams, Walker Zimmerman, Josh Sargent, Zack Steffen, Sean Johnson, Cameron Carter-Vickers and Taylor Booth also are hurt and were not included in the 24-man roster announced Wednesday. Adams hasn’t played since injuring a hamstring in March. Forward Ricardo Pepi returns after Berhalter surprisingly left him off the World Cup roster.
Four players who could make national team debuts were picked: defenders Kristoffer Lund and Kevin Paredes, midfielder Ben Cremaschi and No. 3 goalkeeper Drake Callender. Lund, a 21-year-old left back with Palermo, played for Denmark’s youth national teams and has applied to FIFA for a change of affiliation. Twelve players were on the World Cup roster and just three are from Major League Soccer. The average age as of the start of training Monday is 23 years, 302 days. The U.S. plays Uzbekistan on Sept. 9 in St. Louis and faces Oman three days later in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Reyna was limited to 53 minutes by Berhalter at last year’s World Cup. Berhalter revealed at a management forum in December he nearly sent a player home from Qatar because of a lack of hustle in training, a player media identified as Reyna. Berhalter was replaced with an interim coach after Claudio Reyna and wife Danielle Egan Reyna, a former women’s national team player, notified the U.S. Soccer Federation of a three-decade-old domestic violence allegation involving Berhalter and the woman who later became his wife. Berhalter was rehired on June 16 after a law firm retained by the USSF said while Berhalter’s conduct “likely constituted the misdemeanor crime of assault on a female,” he did not improperly withhold information when he was hired. Berhalter admitted to the incident and called it “a shameful moment and one that I regret to this day.”
Gio Reyna returned to the national team for CONCACAF Nations League matches in March and June under interim coaches. Berhalter initially was hired in December 2018 after the U.S. failed to qualify for that year’s World Cup. He led the Americans to the second round last year before a 3-1 loss to the Netherlands.
Goalkeepers: Drake Callender (Miami), Ethan Horvath (Nottingham Forest, England), Matt Turner (Nottingham Forest, England)
Defenders: Sergiño Dest (PSV Eindhoven, Netherlands), Kristoffer Lund (Palermo, Italy), Mark McKenzie (Genk, Belgium), Kevin Paredes (Wolfsburg, Germany), Tim Ream (Fulham, England), Chris Richards (Crystal Palace, England), Antonee Robinson (Fulham, England), Miles Robinson (Atlanta), Joe Scally (Borussia Mönchengladbach, Germany)
Midfielders: Johnny Cardoso (Internacional, Brazil), Ben Cremaschi (Miami), Luca de la Torre (Celta Vigo. Spain), Weston McKennie (Juventus, Italy), Yunus Musah (AC Milan, Italy), Malik Tillman (PSV Eindhoven, Netherlands)
Forwards: Brenden Aaronson (Union Berlin, Germany), Folarin Balogun (Arsenal, England), Cade Cowell (San Jose), Ricardo Pepi (PSV Eindhoven, Netherlands), Christian Pulisic (AC Milan, Italy), Tim Weah (Juventus, Italy).
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