All the talk, speculation, and debate is finally over. Gregg Berhalter finally announced the final 26-player roster he has decided to bring to Qatar to represent the United States at this summer’s FIFA World Cup. As is the case with most of the roster releases under Berhalter’s reign, there are very few surprises, however with one notable exception in the goalkeeper position.
Goalkeepers: Sean Johnson, Matt Turner, Ethan Horvath
About 18 months ago Zack Steffen seemed the lock to be that USMNT’s starter in net, after a spell of injury and poor form, the stalwart has found himself out of the roster entirely. Supplanted as the starter by Matt Turner, it seems as if Steffen was passed up by Sean Johnson and Ethan Horvath as backup options.
Defenders: Cameron Carter-Vickers, Sergiño Dest, Aaron Long, Shaq Moore, Tim Ream, Antonee Robinson, Joe Scally, Deandre Yedlin, Walker Zimmerman
For the most part, the 26 chosen is pretty straightforward with the vast majority having represented the team many times throughout the last few years. One player who seemed destined to fall into the snub category but was handed a last-minute reprieve is defender Tim Ream. Despite missing out on several camps in the build-up to this tournament, he was deemed too experienced and in too good of form to leave out. The defenders who weren’t as lucky and were left out include Mark McKenzie and Reggie Cannon.
Midfielders: Brenden Aaronson, Kellyn Acosta, Tyler Adams, Luca Dela Torre, Weston McKennie, Yunus Musah, Cristian Roldan
The midfield bunch is about what you’d expect as well, with the usual suspects all earning their spot. Gio Reyna was lucky enough to stave of countless injuries to make it safely onto the list, as was Weston McKennie who is just now recovering from a thigh injury picked up in late October.
Forwards: Jesus Ferreira, Jordan Morris, Christian Pulisic, Gio Reyna, Josh Sargent, Timothy Weah, Haji Wright
Perhaps the most controversial “snub” of the announcement is Union Berlin’s Jordan Pefok. Despite having a great start to the Bundesliga season and contributing some key moments to the USA’s route to Qatar, Berhalter opted for other options over the 26-year-old. Another somewhat surprising omission from the strikers is Ricardo Pepi who has been in great form in the Eredivisie. Haji Wright, Jesus Ferreira, and Josh Sargent were preferred over the pair.