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USMNT World Cup squad prediction 5.0: Questions loom ahead of Wednesday’s Qatar 2022 roster announcement

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The final 26-player U.S. Men’s National Team for the World Championship will be announced Wednesday in New York. Gregg Berhalter has some tough decisions to make before we hear names from his list. He has major form issues and lack of playing time for critical team members such as Christian Pulisic and Sergino Dest, but other members such as Gio Reina and Tim Weah are returning to their best form at an important moment.

This is a huge year for the Reds, Whites and Blues to prove their ability on a global scale after missing the 2018 season. Back in the world spotlight, this World Cup will be the biggest pressure some of these players have ever faced.

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So what would the team line-up look like? Let’s try:

USMNT registry lock

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Note: We locked Zack Steffen here, but Roger Gonzalez of CBS Sports broke the stunning news Tuesday night. that Ethan Horvath and Shawn Johnson received the other two goaltending spots along with Matt Turner.

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When it comes to choosing who will go to Qatar, short of injury or a situation where they are no longer starting for their team, and for some players, even losing the starting places in their clubs will not stop them. going to the World Cup – the players below will almost certainly be on the trip:

  • Zach Steffen (goalkeeper)
  • Sergino Dest (Defender)
  • Weston McKenny (midfielder)
  • Christian Pulisic (forward)
  • Gio Reina (forward)
  • Tyler Adams (linebacker)
  • Anthony Robinson (defender)
  • Matt Turner (goalkeeper)
  • DeAndre Yedlin (defender)
  • Kellin Acosta (midfielder)
  • Brenden Aaronson (forward)
  • Yunus Musah (midfielder)
  • Walker Zimmerman (defender)
  • Tim Weah (forward)
  • Aaron Long (defender)
  • Jesus Ferreira (forward)

Aaron Long returned to blocking not because of how well he played, but because of a lack of confidence in the central defenders behind him. There is a good core in midfield, but there are serious problems when it comes to some important players. The team has already seen how important Robinson is to the team after they lost to Japan and drew with Saudi Arabia in his absence in September, but now that he is back, Berhalter may want to call Marco Silva to sign him with Fulham. “. Reina is also picking up form at the right time with Dortmund. Continuing the good, Weah is getting fitter with Lille, while Aaronson and Adams are turning their attention to Leeds United.

Dest and Pulisic are crucial to the national team but don’t always play for their clubs. While Pulisic has found a glimpse of form playing as a Chelsea pseudo-defender, Dest can’t look at Milan. His defensive problems were well known, but Dest’s failure to attack in Italy came as a surprise after leaving Barcelona on loan. If any of them fail to get back into shape during the World Cup, it may be difficult for Berhalter to make the decision to change one of the main players.

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on the bubble

  • Luca De La Torre (midfielder): This is where the lack of depth in midfield shows up as a glaring problem. De La Torre only played 50 minutes in La Liga this season before suffering an injury in late October. While it’s not serious enough to keep him out of the World Cup, this is a season where his lack of form doesn’t show he deserves a trip to Qatar. But as the most suitable replacement for Muse, Berhalter can’t name anyone else instead of De La Torre.
  • Tim Rome (defender): Chris Richards is injured and out of sight opened the door to Rome. While Berhalter has spoken out about Rome falling short of the high line the national team uses, it’s hard to ignore the centre-back who has seen it all and led Fulham to the top half of the Premier League table. If anything goes wrong with Long, Berhalter should have a short detour, and Rome’s club connection to Robinson makes it easy to find.
  • Malik Tillman (midfielder): His time at USMNT was short, but Tillman has made a big impression since leaving Bayern Munich and the German youth team. With and outside the Rangers, Tillman scored three goals and provided three assists in all competitions, popping up all over the field. Tillman is someone who can come off the bench for the USMNT to make this tournament a long-term breakthrough.
  • Paul Arriola (forward) Playing comfortably on the wing or in an advanced midfield position, Arriola is another sticky guy who can help make the list. His vision and work speed are essential to the team, and his leadership qualities and intangibles make him as close to being the lock on the final roster as can be. Arriola’s work on the national stage is ugly but effective enough to keep him on this list.
  • Ethan Horvath (Guardian): The best goalkeeper on the team, it’s disconcerting that Horvat didn’t get a chance to start without injury, but everything he did was done every step of the way. Currently on loan to Luton Town, Horvath is a better player on the pitch than Steffen, but he may have to find other ways to stand out as he is not very good with his feet.
  • Ricardo Pepi (forward) All Pepi needed was a loan, and the guy who earned the move to Germany starts showing up again. In all competitions with Groningen, Pepi has scored six goals and provided three more assists, showing that when given space, he is not afraid to shoot. Eredivise is a striker’s paradise, but can he find the same place in the group stage if given the opportunity? Even against stronger opposition like PSV, Pepi has performed well, raising confidence that he can play his part despite his struggles for the national team last year.
  • Joe Scully (guard): It took Scully a while to get into the picture, but he’s here now and will probably stay here if there’s no injury. Able to replace on either flank of the USMNT, Scully is a great insurance in case someone goes down with an injury in Qatar. If Dest doesn’t impress, Scully even has a chance to start in the group stage.
  • Josh Sargent (forward) Back and more confident than ever, Sargent could be the number one option for the national team by the end of the World Cup. Sargent is critical of everything Norwich City does and finds himself at the top of the Golden Boot race for the title as the team race for promotion. Not afraid to try different things, Sargent is one of the best forwards out there with the ability to make something out of nothing a team will need against teams like England.
  • Cameron Carter-Vickers (defender): Now a permanent member of the Celtic team, Carter-Vickers excelled and also assumed the role of leader with the captain’s armband. Carter-Vickers is a great insurance policy if something goes wrong with Zimmerman as the number one defense option.
  • James Sands (defender): Sands had a difficult season in Scotland, starting consistently in central defence, until the club lost 4-0 to Celtic in the Old Firm. But now back as a defensive midfielder, Sands is showing his versatility and why he should be in the squad. Players like Sands who can play at centre-back, defensive midfield and even full-back are critical to success in knockout tournaments.

Squad Forecast 5.0

Goalkeepers (3): Zach Steffen (Middlesbrough)Matt Turner (Arsenal), Ethan Horvath (Luton Town).

Defenders (9): Sergino Dest (Barcelona), Anthony Robinson (Fulham), DeAndre Yedlin (Inter Miami), Walker Zimmerman (Nashville), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls), Tim Rome (Fulham) “), Joe Scully (Borussia Monchengladbach), Cameron Carter-Vickers (Celtic), James Sands (Rangers).

Midfielders (6): Weston McKenny (Juventus), Tyler Adams (Leeds United), Yunus Musa (Valencia), Kellin Acosta (Los Angeles), Luca de la Torre (Celta Vigo), Malik Tillman ( “Rangers”).

Forwards (8): Christian Pulisic (Chelsea), Gio Reina (Borussia Dortmund), Brenden Aaronsohn (Leeds United), Ricardo Pepi (Augsburg), Tim Weah (Lille), Paul Arriola (Dallas) Jesus Ferreira (Dallas), Josh Sargent (Norwich City).

From the outside looking in

This is a moving group. Anything from a summer transfer to a slight rescheduling of playing time could land them in the World Cup. This group includes an interesting mix of players from the MLS and beyond.

  • Sean Johnson (goalkeeper): Loan transfers of Steffen and Horvath could have killed Johnson’s chances of going to Qatar if one of the three experienced players hadn’t been injured before November. He was considered the next player due to his calmness under pressure and being the best goalkeeper in the pool with the ball at his feet. Johnson has already been called up to a training camp for MLS players and with Turner missing Arsenal’s last few matches, Johnson certainly has a chance to do so as he has Berhalter’s confidence.
  • Jordan Morris (forward) Reyna and Weah’s health recovery could push Morris out of the roster. While the Seattle forward is Berhalter’s player through and through, it doesn’t look like he could be included in Arriola’s place, especially when he’s usually used as a late-game defenseman.
  • Gabriel Slonina (goalkeeper): After a good season at the Chicago Fire, it remains to be seen whether Slonina will stay at Chelsea as a third goalkeeper or go on loan in January. It would be logical for Slonina to become the third custodian of experience before the 2026 World Cup. The biggest disadvantage of taking Slonina instead of Horvath is that most of the goalkeepers in front of him suffered…


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