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Updated January 6th, 2024 at 09:30 IST

Miles Robinson, Shaq Moore & James Sands only veterans on US roster for exhibition against Slovenia

The only veterans chosen were defenders Miles Robinson, Shaq Moore, and James Sands, while goalkeeper Zack Steffen and defender Walker Zimmerman were left out of the United States' training camp ahead of a Jan. 20 exhibition against Slovenia in San Antonio.

Miles Robinson
Atlanta United's Miles Robinson (12) runs during the first half of an MLS soccer match against DC United | Image: AP
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Defenders Miles Robinson, Shaq Moore and James Sands were the only veterans selected while goalkeeper Zack Steffen and defender Walker Zimmerman were omitted Friday for the United States’ training camp ahead of a Jan. 20 exhibition against Slovenia at San Antonio.

Seventeen of the 25 players picked by coach Gregg Berhalter have never appeared for the national team: goalkeepers Drake Callender, Roman Celentano and Patrick Schulte; defenders Nathan Harriel, Ian Murphy, Jackson Ragen and Nkosi Tafari; midfielders Joshua Atencio, Aziel Jackson, Jack McGlynn, Timmy Tillman and Sean Zawadzki; and forwards Esmir Bajraktarevic, Bernard Kamungo, Diego Luna, Duncan McGuire and Brian White.

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All players are with Major League Soccer teams. Berhalter used just two of 66 starting spots on MLS players in six games last fall with the full player pool, starting Robinson in exhibitions against Oman and Ghana.

The match is not on a FIFA fixture date, so clubs do not have to release players. Europe-based players will return for the CONCACAF Nations League semifinals against Jamaica on March 21.

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Steffen transferred Thursday to Colorado from Manchester City but had knee surgery last summer and has not played a competitive match since mid-May. He has not played for the U.S. since March 2022 and was left off the World Cup roster by Berhalter . He was on the roster as an unused substitute under interim coach Anthony Hudson last March.

Zimmerman is injured, the U.S. Soccer Federation said.

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Robinson, who transferred to Cincinnati from Atlanta on Wednesday , has the most U.S. appearances of players on the roster with 27, followed by Moore (17), Sands (13), forward Cade Cowell (eight), left back DeJuan Jones (seven), midfielder Aidan Morris (four), left back John Tolkin (three) and left back Caleb Wiley (one).

Thirteen players are under 23 and age eligible for the Olympics, which start July 24 in France: Atencio, Bajraktarevic, Cowell, Harriel, Jackson, Kamungo, Luna, McGlynn, McGuire, Morris, Schulte, Tolkin and Wiley. The U.S. qualified for the tournament for the first time since 2008. Each team can select three wild-card players over the age limit.

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Cowell, Luna, McGlynn and Wiley were with the U.S. at last year’s Under-20 World Cup.

Tillman is the older brother of American midfielder Malik Tillman, and they could be the 10th set of brothers to play for the U.S.

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Players will train in Orlando, Florida, from Monday through Jan. 16. The roster will average 23 years, 323 days when training starts.

The roster:

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Goalkeepers: Drake Callender (Miami), Roman Celentano (Cincinnati), Patrick Schulte (Columbus)

Defenders: Nathan Harriel (Philadelphia), DeJuan Jones (New England), Shaq Moore (Nashville), Ian Murphy (Cincinnati), Jackson Ragen (Seattle), Miles Robinson (Cincinnati), James Sands (New York City), Nkosi Tafari (Dallas), John Tolkin (New York Red Bulls), Caleb Wiley (Atlanta)

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Midfielders: Joshua Atencio (Seattle), Aziel Jackson (St. Louis), Jack McGlynn (Philadelphia), Aidan Morris (Columbus), Timmy Tillman (LAFC), Sean Zawadzki (Columbus)

Forwards: Esmir Bajraktarevic (New England), Cade Cowell (San Jose), Bernard Kamungo (Dallas), Diego Luna (Salt Lake), Duncan McGuire (Orlando), Brian White (Vancouver)

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Published January 6th, 2024 at 09:30 IST

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