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Three players leave USMNT’s January Camp

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Two injuries and one ineligible.

MLS: FC Dallas at Colorado Rapids Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

U.S. Soccer announced on Monday that three players have departed the USMNT’s January camp. Kekuta Manneh, Matt Hedges, and Kellyn Acosta are the three players who have left the training camp ahead of the two upcoming friendlies.

According to a press release, Hedges sustained a mild right knee sprain leading to his dismissal from camp, while his FC Dallas teammate Acosta has picked up a mild left ankle sprain. Both have returned to their club to receive treatment.

On the other hand, Manneh’s departure was for no other reason than he’s not yet eligible to play per FIFA rules. He has returned to the Vancouver Whitecaps to join their preseason training camp.

Manneh, who is now a U.S. Citizen, is working with U.S. Soccer to submit a waiver for his eligibility. It’s unknown when exactly he’ll be deemed eligible. According to FIFA rules, a naturalized citizen must maintain residence in a country for five years after turning 18 before they can play international soccer. In this case, Manneh might not be eligible until he turns 23 in December.

There’s always a chance that FIFA could clear him early like they did Gedion Zelalem, but it’s not known if that will happen.