Twenty-six elite senior U.S. Men’s National Team (USMNT) players will arrive in Nashville, Tennessee on Sunday ahead of the team’s effort to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup tournament. Included on Head Coach Gregg Berhalter’s 26-player roster are Colorado Rapids midfielder Kellyn Acosta and Real Colorado alumni and current Nottingham Forest Football Club goalkeeper, Ethan Horvath.
Both are coming off of stellar play in recent Concacaf tournaments. During the United States vs. Mexico Nations League Final in Denver, Horvath came in as a substitute for the injured Zack Steffen. In the second overtime, the reserved keeper stood tall against Andrés Guardado and extinguished his penalty shot kick to give the Yanks’ a thrilling victory in front of 37,648 raging fans at Empower Field at Mile High Stadium.
Acosta has been an admirable workhorse for Team USA throughout the squad’s summer games. He owned the midfield and was a menace in the Nation’s Cup finale. Two months later, he was a key factor in the Gold Cup tournament that the U.S. ultimately won over El Tri in sold-out Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. Acosta brings 37 caps to this team and six previous appearances in World Cup qualification play. He made his World Cup qualifying debut in 2016 as a leftback against Saint Vincent.
In conjunction with the releases of the names of the 26 called-up players, U.S. Soccer shared this statement from Gregg Berhalter, “We have spent the last two years building the foundation and culture of the team for this moment. World Cup Qualifying is a grueling challenge that demands a complete group effort in order to be successful. We are confident in our ability to respond to the challenges that are presented along the way.”
Canada, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Jamaica, Panama, Mexico, and the United States will represent Concacaf as the eight teams in the final round of qualifying for the World Cup. The round-robin style, home-and-away format will include 14 matches for each side during a condensed seven-month timeframe (rather than the normal 18 months).
The U.S. will kick off the tournament with three matches that be played during a narrow international window. FIFA’s 10th-ranked Yanks will first face-off with 64th-ranked El Salvador on Thursday, September 2 in San Salvador, then will host Team Canada (#59) at Nissan Stadium in Nashville. The USMNT will conclude their first set of qualifiers against Honduras (#63) in San Pedro Sula on September 8.
Gameday rosters for World Cup qualification games will be reduced to 23 players.
USMNT 26-Player Roster by Position (Club/Country; Caps/Goals):
DEFENDERS (10): George Bello (Atlanta United; 3/0), John Brooks (Wolfsburg/GER; 43/3), Sergiño Dest (Barcelona/ESP; 11/1), Mark McKenzie (Genk/BEL; 6/0), Tim Ream (Fulham/ENG; 45/1), Antonee Robinson (Fulham/ENG; 12/0), Miles Robinson (Atlanta United; 9/3), James Sands (New York City FC; 6/0), DeAndre Yedlin (Galatasaray/TUR; 64/0), Walker Zimmerman (Nashville SC; 17/2)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Kellyn Acosta (Colorado Rapids; 37/2), Tyler Adams (RB Leipzig/GER; 14/1), Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy; 29/7), Weston McKennie (Juventus/ITA; 24/7), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders; 25/0)
FORWARDS (8): Brenden Aaronson (RB Salzburg/AUT; 7/3), Konrad de la Fuente (Olympique Marseille/FRA; 1/0), Jordan Pefok (BSC Young Boys/SUI; 6/1), Ricardo Pepi (FC Dallas; 0/0), Christian Pulisic (Chelsea/ENG; 38/16), Gio Reyna (Borussia Dortmund/GER; 8/4), Josh Sargent (Norwich City/ENG; 16/5), Tim Weah (Lille/FRA; 13/1)