26 players called up for USMNT World Cup qualifying

U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Gregg Berhalter has called up a squad of 26 players for the upcoming round of World Cup qualifying, including Nashville SC defender Walker Zimmerman. The squad will report to camp in Nashville on Sunday, where they’ll train before traveling to El Salvador on Thursday.

The USMNT will return to Nashville ahead of their match against Canada at Nissan Stadium on September 5, and then travel to Honduras on September 8.

Roster (Club/Country; Caps/Goals):

GOALKEEPERS (3): Ethan Horvath (Nottingham Forest/ENG; 7/0), Zack Steffen (Manchester City/ENG; 23/0), Matt Turner (New England Revolution; 7/0)

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)

The core of the squad was involved in either the Nations League or Gold Cup campaigns, with only Konrad de la Fuente and Ricardo Pepi not on the roster for either competition. Pepi’s inclusion especially is an exciting proposition for the USMNT, as the 18-year-old FC Dallas striker is eligible for both the U.S. and Mexico, and hadn’t indicated either way which nation he’d represent. While playing in all three matches this window wouldn’t permanently cap tie him to the U.S., it would mean that he’d have to wait three years before playing for Mexico.

Walker Zimmerman started each of the USMNT’s group stage matches before coming off injured against Canada. He returned the Nashville SC squad just under a month after suffering a hamstring strain, citing an aggressive rehab process geared to make him available for this qualifying window.

Zimmerman will be available for Nashville’s road trip to Atlanta, before reporting to camp on Sunday. He’ll be unavailable for their September 3 home match against New York City FC, but should return in time to be involved in their trip to CF Montreal on September 11.

The youth movement continues with this camp, with an average age in the squad of just over 24 years old. 13 of the players are under 23 years old. and 10 are currently with clubs playing in this year’s UEFA Champions League.

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