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Who am I rooting for? — A newcomer’s guide to the USMNT

A look at the players representing the USA at this year’s World Cup.

United States v Mexico: Championship - CONCACAF Nations League Finals Photo by Omar Vega/Getty Images

So you’re relatively new to the US Men’s National Team (USMNT) or even the World Cup? Welcome to the party, whether this is your first time or you’re a regular we’re not doing any gatekeeping around here, the more the merrier. We can’t exactly blame you for showing up late either, the USMNT hasn’t played on the world’s largest stage in over eight years, having missed out on the tournament four years ago in embarrassing fashion. But we aren’t here to dwell on the past either, we’re here to look forward and celebrate the players that are representing the U.S. of A in Qatar in 2022.

The information below probably isn’t going to make you sound any smarter if you’re discussing the team or players with your soccer-head friends but hopefully it will help give you a good introduction to the team - it’s always more fun to feel like you can connect with the players representing your colors. What you’ll see below is that we have an incredibly youthful, but also diverse, melting pot of a team. Players from around the world, whose paths to get to this point have been incredibly varied, some of whom play at historic clubs across the globe, and some who have taken a harder path. Here’s an introduction to who you are cheering for in Qatar.


Ethan Shea Horvath, 27, Luton Town – 27-year-old Ethan Horvath who was born and raised on the Denver suburb of Highlands Ranch, Colorado. As a teenager Horvath had interest from European sides but in order to meet visa requirements and sign with Norwegian side Molde his parents were required to move to Norway where they took jobs as janitors for the club. After Norway Horvath spent time in Belgium and most recently in England where he currently starts for Luton Town, a team in the English Championship (one step below the English Premier League). Horvath seems to be the perfect second goalkeeper as he has shown the willingness, as well as the ability to come off the bench mid-match and put in an outstanding performance. The most recent example of this was his substitute appearance against Mexico (our biggest soccer rival) in the National League Final in June of 2021. Horvath, put in an outstanding performance, leading the US to victory, including stopping a game tying penalty.

Sean Everet Johnson, 33, New York City FC – At 33 years old Sean Johnson is one of the senior most members of this year’s USMNT. Born in Georgia to parents of Jamaican descent, Johnson is one of the many players who is considered a dual national, that is he had opportunities to play for two (or in some cases three) national teams but has chosen to represent the USA. Johnson has played his entire career in MLS, first with the Chicago fire and for the past five years with New York City FC where he led the team to the MLS Cup in 2021.

USA Portraits - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Photo by Patrick Smith - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images

Matt Charles Turner, 28, Arsenal – Growing up soccer was an afterthought to Matt Turner, who picked up the sport to stay in shape for basketball and baseball and had dreams of being a professional pitcher. However, Turner ended up in goal due to an injury to his high school teammate but though didn’t immediately vault him to success either. Tuner was initially a walk on at Fairfield University in Connecticut before going undrafted in the MLS Super Draft and signing a contract with the New England Revolution. It would take Turner two more years to make his MLS debut for the Revolution in 2018. In 2021 he was named the MLS Goalkeeper of the year and in June of this year he moved to English Premier League side Arsenal where he is the backup keeper at one of London’s most historic clubs.


Cameron Carter-Vickers, 24, Celtic – Born in England, playing in Scotland, but eligible to represent the US as he is the son of an American, Cameron Carter-Vickers (CCV) is one of four center backs to make the 2022 World Cup squad. Carter-Vickers father Howard was a professional basketball player who played two years in the NBA before a long career overseas that included meeting CCV’s English mother while playing in Greece. Carter-Vickers grew up primarily with his mother in England with visits to his father, who he remains close with, in Louisiana. CCV grew up playing soccer in the Tottenham Hotspurs academy and went out on a series of loans to clubs in the English Championship before being loaned to Scottish side Celtic who made the loan permanent this summer signing Carter-Vickers to a long term contract.

USA Portraits - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Photo by Patrick Smith - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images

Sergiño Gianni Dest, 22, AC Milan – The son of a Surinamese-American father and a Dutch mother, Sergiño Dest surprised many when he spurned pursuit from the Dutch national team and committed to representing the USMNT. Dest is the type of modern defender who believes the best defense is a good offense and will unleash some random skill just for the fun of it. He might also be the most chill player on the team, he nearly missed Lionel Messi’s farewell press conference at Barcelona and showed up in a fake Chicago Bulls jersey because he was playing soccer on the beach with a bunch of kids. Dest came up through the Ajax system in the Netherlands, spent two years with Barcelona, and moved to Italy’s AC Milan in September.

Aaron Ray Long, 30, New York Red Bulls – A coast-to-coast American and late bloomer, Aaron Long was born in California, he took the college route and graduated from UC Riverside before being drafted by the Portland Timbers. However, it wasn’t until he was transferred to the New York Red Bulls in 2016 that Long started to break through. Long ruptured his Achilles tendon in 2021 but has worked his way back from the injury in time to be included in the World Cup squad.

Japan v United States - International Friendly Photo by Daniela Porcelli/ISI Photos/Getty Images

Shaquell Kwame Moore, 26, Nashville SC – A native of Powder Spring, Georgia, Shaq Moore moved to Spain ahead of his 18th birthday and spent the next seven seasons playing in several divisions, including a season with Levante in La Liga, at the time becoming just the fourth American to play in Spain’s top division. Moore also spent three years in the Canary Islands with CD Tenerife who play in Spain’s second division. In June of this year Moore move back stateside, taking a role at right-back with Nashville SC.

USA Portraits - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Photo by Maddie Meyer - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images

Timothy Michael Ream, 35, Fulham – The elder statesman of this year’s team is Tim Ream who hadn’t been called up for a national team game in over a year and at 35 had made peace with saying goodbye to the dream of playing World Cup soccer. However, a hot start to the season with Fulham in the English Premier League was apparently enough to catch the eye of Gregg Berhalter who called Ream up. Fulham are a “yo-yo club” that typically see themselves relegated straight back to the Championship on the occasions that they’ve been promoted to the EPL for a season. The 2022-23 season has had a bit of a different feel thus far though as the side, captained by Ream, currently sit in 9th place in the standings. Ream is in his eighth season with Fulham, after four years spent with the Bolton Wanderers.

USA Portraits - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Photo by Patrick Smith - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images

Antonee Robinson, 25, Fulham – Arguably the best Left-back in USMNT history, Antonee Robinson (or Jedi as he prefers) is an Englishman whose father was also English but gained US Citizenship while being raised in White Plains, New York. USMNT eligible through his father’s citizenship Robinson elected to represent the US and there’s been no looking back as he started eleven of the fourteen qualifying matches for the team. Robinson is a speedster who seems to come flying out of nowhere to make his presence felt for club and country. Robinson pairs with Tim Ream on the left side of defense for Fulham so is likewise contributing to a surprising start for the club this Fall. If that weren’t enough he’s also a bit of a magician and back flip expert.

Joseph Michael Scally, 19, Borussia Monchengladbach – Just 19 years old, Joe Scally is already in his second season in the Bundesliga, Germany’s topflight of football, where he’s regularly matching up against the likes of Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund. Scally is a native of Lake Grove, New York who became the second youngest professional soccer player in United States history when he signed with New York City FC just a few months after his 15th birthday. After just seven appearances with NYCFC across three years Scally moved to Germany late in 2020 and would make his first appearance for Gladbach last Fall. Scally appeared in thirty matches for Gladbach last season, including twenty starts, and has started every match for his team this year. Scally is also close friends with Giovanni Reyna as the two spent time together in the NYCFC system.

DeAndre Roselle Yedlin, 29, Inter Miami – The only member of the 2022 World Cup squad with previous World Cup experience is DeAndre Yedlin who eight years ago was a 20-year-old backup right back making his ascent. Yedlin appeared in three matches off the bench and following the tournament would make a move from his hometown Seattle Sounders to Tottenham in the EPL. Yedlin made just one appearance for Tottenham and played the following season on loan with Sunderland before transferring to Newcastle United and playing five seasons with the Magpies. In 2020 Yedlin moved to Turkey and spent two seasons playing with Galatasaray before coming back to MLS in 2022 to play for Inter Miami. Most importantly Yedlin’s middle name, Roselle, is presumably a nod to the Women’s National Team’s Rose Lavelle and thus Yedlin is a very, very good human being. Seriously though, in addition to providing some much-needed World Cup experience, Yedlin has been described as a “vibes” guy who is close friends with Timothy Weah.

USA Portraits - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Photo by Patrick Smith - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images

Walker Dwain Zimmerman, 29, Nashville SC – Perhaps the most surprising revelation of the 2022 World Cup qualifying cycle has been Walker Zimmerman who was a bit of an afterthought as the cycle started but has become one of the first names written down on the team sheet. Zimmerman is a native of Georgia, who started his professional career with FC Dallas, before a move to LAFC, and now he plays for Nashville SC with teammate Shaq Moore. While “Captain America” is the most overused nickname for the US team, Zimmerman looks to have laid sole claim to the American Thor throne.


Brenden Russell Aaronson, 22, Leeds United – Hailing from Medford, New Jersey and a product of the Philadelphia Union academy, Brenden Aaronson joined RB Salzburg in January 2021 at the age of 20. Aaronson played a year and a half with RB Salzburg, scoring nine goals in 46 appearances before moving to Leeds United in the English Premier League this summer where he joined forces with Tyler Adams (more on him below) and American manager Jesse Marsch. Aaronson is a little buzzing, bundle of energy, who channels that energy into causing chaos for the opponent.

Japan v United States - International Friendly Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

Kellyn Kai Perry-Acosta, 27, Los Angeles FC – The USMNT is filled with dual nationals but one that might fly under the radar is Kellyn Acosta whose father was born in Japan making Acosta (whose surname comes from his Mexican step-grandfather) eligible to represent Japan or the USA. Acosta will be the first Japanese-American to represent the US at a men’s World Cup. Acosta started his career in the FC Dallas system before being traded to the Colorado Rapids. This year he was traded to LAFC where he would help the club to finish the regular season in first place and capture their first MLS Cup title, including scoring the opening goal in the Final.

Tyler Shaan Adams, 23, Leeds United – There are approximately fifty-seven “Captain America” nicknamed players on this roster but the one that seems most likely to actually be the captain is Tyler Adams whose demeanor, intelligence, and communication make him a natural for the role, whether he is wearing the armband or not. A native of Wappinger Falls, New York, Adams grew up in the Red Bulls Academy which he joined at the age of 12. Adams would make his senior team debut shortly after his 17th birthday and would go on to play three years with NY Red Bulls before moving to RB Leipzig early in 2019. Adams moved to Leeds United this summer where he reunited with his former coach Jesse Marsch and fellow USMNT teammate Brenden Aaronson. Adams has been at his best this season against the EPL heavyweights such as Liverpool and Chelsea where he has been a menace all over the field, shutting down attacks.

Luca Daniel de la Torre, 23, Celta Vigo – Born and raised in San Diego, Luca de la Torre moved to London shortly after his freshman year of highschool to join the Fulham academy. Luca spent seven years in the Fulham system, seeing little playing time at the senior level before moving to the Netherlands in 2020 to join Heracles Almelo. de la Torre spent two years at the club and made enough of an impression to start seeing callups to the senior US side and make a move to his father’s home country of Spain and join La Liga side Celta Vigo this past summer.

USA Portraits - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Photo by Patrick Smith - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images

Weston James Earl McKennie, 24, Juventus – A youth product of the FC Dallas system, Weston McKennie chose to bet on himself, declining a homegrown contract with the club to make a move to the German Bundesliga and join FC Schalke in 2016 shortly after his eighteenth birthday. McKennie played with Schalke for four years in the Bundesliga, showing himself to be a versatile piece as he was played all over the pitch. Then in 2020 as Schalke was being relegated and experiencing extreme financial issues McKennie joined the Italian giants Juventus. Now in his third season with the club McKennie is a clear favorite of manager Massimiliano Allegri though rumors of a move to the EPL continue to swirl. McKennie is a real set piece threat with an ability to get his head through a ball to smash it home. If you see the Harry Potter fan whip out his magic wand celebration than something has gone well for the USMNT.

Yunus Dimoara Musah, 19, Valencia – It’s possible that no one represents the melting pot of America better than Yunus Musah whose nationality options are outpaced only by his enormous smile. Musah is the son of Ghanian parents, who were living in Italy but visiting family in New York City when he was born, thus making him eligible to represent the US. In addition to Ghana, Italy and the US Musah was also eligible to represent England after his family moved there when he was nine. In fact, Musah came up through England’s national team system and it wasn’t until March of 2021 that he committed to playing for the US. Musah joined the Arsenal academy when he was nine and his family moved to England but he made the move to Spain and La Liga to join Valencia when he was 16, making his debut a year later. Don’t take your eyes off of Musah, who can change the game in a moment.

Cristian Roldan, 27, Seattle Sounders – Speaking of dual national experiences Cristian Roldan has had the unique experience of suiting up against his brother in international competition. Cristian and his brother Alex were both born in the US and play together for the Seattle Sounders but were both eligible to represent the United States, El Salvador, or Guatemala in International competition. The Roldan’s father is Guatemalan while their mother is from El Salvador. While the younger brother Alex chose to represent El Salvador, Cristian has chosen to represent the United States. While he has not seen much playing time in qualifying Cristian is lauded by teammates as being an exemplary teammate and he has been known to pull out the occasional banger for his club.


Jesus David Ferreira Castro, 21, FC Dallas – Born in Colombia, Jesus Ferreira moved to Texas when he was 10 and his father signed a contract with FC Dallas. Fast forward 11 years and it’s Jesus who is scoring goals for club and country. Ferreira led FC Dallas with 18 goals in the 2022 season, ironically this was made possible in part by Ricardo Pepi moving to Germany in January which led to Dallas signing Ferreira to a long-term contract. Ferrira was named the 2022 MLS Young Player of the Year and named to the MLS Best Eleven.

USA Portraits - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Photo by Patrick Smith - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images

Jordan Perry Morris, 28, Seattle Sounders – Born and raised in Seattle, Jordan Morris has found himself living the dream of playing for his hometown Sounders where his father is also employed as the team’s Chief Medical Director. Still a student at Stanford University when he was first called up to the USMNT in 2014, Morris became the rare type of player to be called up to the senior team while still playing at the collegiate level. Morris is also a rarity in that he was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of nine and has become one of the few professional athletes to play through the condition. The challenges don’t stop there, Morris has recovered from two separate ACL tears, the most recent occurring while on loan with Swansea City in the Championship League in February of 2021.

Christian Mate Pulisic, 24, Chelsea FC - If you’ve heard of just one USMNT player it’s probably Christian Pulisic. Pulisic, a native of Hershey, Pennsylvania was able to acquire a European passport at the age of 16 thanks to his Grandfathers Croatian citizenship. Pulisic signed for perennial Bundesliga contenders Borussia Dortmund at 16 and made his debut for their first team when he was 17. After four seasons with Dortmund Pulisic moved to Chelsea FC in the English Premier League in 2019 for the largest fee ever paid for an American soccer player. In 2021 Pulisic would help Chelsea to win the Champions League, in the process becoming the first American to score in the tournaments semi-final with a goal against Real Madrid, and the first American to play in the final.

Mexico v United States: 2022 World Cup Qualifying Photo by John Dorton/ISI Photos/Getty Images

Giovanni Alejandro Reyna, 20, Borussia Dortmund – If this name rings a bell, it could be because Giovanni Reyna is US Soccer royalty. The son of USMNT legend Claudio Reyna and Danielle Egan, who played for the US Women’s national team, Reyna’s ascent to the USMNT has seemed like a foregone conclusion. Reyna is a part of the U.S. crew that was actually born in England, Reyna while his father was playing for Sutherland. Giovanni was raised in New York City and played for the New York City FC academy until 2019 when he moved to Borussia Dortmund as a 16-year-old in 2019. In early 2020 Reyna would become the youngest American to make their Bundesliga, just two months after turning 17. While he certainly has the pedigree the path hasn’t always been easy for Reyna, who’s story includes tragic family loss, and more recently a series of highly frustrating injuries that have kept him out of action. When he’s on the field Reyna shows the ball control and finishing skills to be a true difference maker for the US.

Joshua Thomas Sargent, 22, Norwich City – A native of O’Fallon, Missouri, Josh Sargent joined Bundesliga side Werder Bremen on his eighteenth birthday in 2018. He would play in Germany for three season before moving to EPL side Norwich City in 2021. It was a rough season for player and club as Sargent scored just two goals in twenty-six appearances and Norwich were relegated to the English Championship. Sargent stuck with the club and things have gotten back on track this fall as Sargent has banged in nine goals already in nineteen appearances for his club.

USA Portraits - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Photo by Patrick Smith - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images

Timothy Tarpeh Weah, 22, Lille – Actual soccer royalty, Timothy Weah is the son of the President of Liberia who also happens to be former Ballon d’Or winner George Weah (the award given annually to the best soccer player on the globe). Tim was born in Brooklyn in 2020 and was actually eligible to represent four different countries: Jamaica, Liberia, France, and the U.S. Weah has represented the US through various Youth Levels, starting at the age of 12 on the Under 14 team and has said the decision to represent the U.S. at the senior level was an easy one based on his love of the country and his teammates. Weah’s professional career has been based in France where he started with Paris Saint-Germain and has now spent the past four seasons with Lille.

Haji Amir Wright, 24, Antalyaspor – Another product of the U.S. youth national teams Haji Wright played for the youth sides beginning at the U-15 level and continuing throughout to the U23 level where he has developed friendships with a number of his senior side teammates including Christian Pulisic who reportedly argued for Wright to get his first callup to the senior side in May of this year. Wright’s professional career has been a bit more unconventional and has included stops in Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, and most recently in Turkey where he signed a three-year deal with Antalyaspor in July.

Uruguay v USMNT Photo by Robin Alam/ISI Photos/Getty Images