Balogun, Pulisic headline USMNT’s injury-ridden Nations League roster

Among those not able to participate due to injury were defender Tim Ream, striker Josh Sargent, and influential captain Tyler Adams. Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie, and Gio Reyna, along with 13 others, are part of the U.S. Squad that made it to the second round in last year’s World Cup. However, several starters for the Qatar 2022 team were also present.

The champion will compete against either Canada or Panama for the championship three days later. The United States will confront their main rival Mexico, whom they defeated in the first-ever Nations League final in 2021, in this year’s semi-finals on June 15. The individuals who were chosen will assemble in Los Angeles starting this weekend for the training camp, which commences on Monday.

A simple example would be the adjustment for the players, he also emphasized that Callaghan, a USMNT assistant coach since 2019, recognized the unique circumstances that resulted in his promotion on a Zoom call with journalists shortly after the roster declaration.

In recent times, Callaghan expressed that during his discussions with team members, “I can guarantee you that there was absolutely no sense of alarm within the group, and that reflects the strong values and environment that we have established over the past four years.” “There is a feeling of consistency,” the players are acquainted with me and I am acquainted with the players.

Here is the complete roster of the United States followed by three brief observations.

  • Goalkeepers: Drake Callender, Inter Miami; Josh Cohen, Maccabi Haifa (Israel); Sean Johnson, Toronto (MLS); Matt Turner, Arsenal (England).
  • Sergiño Dest plays for AC Milan in Italy, while Chris Richards is with Crystal Palace in England. Antonee Robinson and Miles Robinson are both defenders for Fulham in England and Atlanta United in the MLS respectively. Joe Scally represents Borussia Mönchengladbach in Germany, Auston Trusty is part of Birmingham City in England, and Walker Zimmerman plays for Nashville in the MLS.
  • Johnny Cardoso, who plays for Internacional in Brazil, Luca de la Torre, who represents Celta Vigo in Spain, Weston McKennie, who is part of Leeds in England, Yunus Musah, who is a player for Valencia in Spain, Gio Reyna, who plays for Borussia Dortmund in Germany, and Alan Soñora, who represents Juárez in Mexico, are all midfielders.
  • Leeds, Brenden Aaronson; Reims (France), Folarin Balogun; Utrecht (Netherlands), Taylor Booth; Groningen (Netherlands), Ricardo Pepi; Chelsea (England), Christian Pulisic; Lille (France), Tim Weah; Club América (Mexico), Alex Zendejas.Output: Leeds, Brenden Aaronson; Reims (France), Folarin Balogun; Utrecht (Netherlands), Taylor Booth; Groningen (Netherlands), Ricardo Pepi; Chelsea (England), Christian Pulisic; Lille (France), Tim Weah; Club América (Mexico), Alex Zendejas.
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    The absence of Tyler Adams is a concern.

    Adams, who was absent for the final two months of Leeds’ unsuccessful Premier League season due to hamstring surgery, is a rare find in the U.S. Player pool. No one else can consistently regain possession or cover as much territory as the 24-year-old Adams. While the Americans will certainly feel the absence of Adams’ passion and vocal guidance in central midfield, they will feel his unwavering defensive efforts even more.

    This isn’t also Kellyn Acosta’s roster, making matters worse. Acosta hasn’t played since limping out of the LAFC match on May 13, but he has just returned from an injury and served as the deep-lying deputy for Adams over the last few years. He didn’t play in Wednesday’s CONCACAF Champions League loss against Leon in the MLS Cup, but he should be fit to play in the Gold Cup.

    “Due to a surplus of caution, it’s not a chance to hastily include him in this team,” Callaghan expressed regarding Acosta. “Therefore, we simply considered, as we are aware, he’s coping with a minor injury while playing for LAFC. We will maintain ongoing communication with LAFC and with Kellyn as we anticipate expanding that Gold Cup lineup.”

    For the Nations League, McKennie and Musah are expected to be the starting midfielders, along with one of Cardoso, De la Torre, Reyna, or Soñora. In this role, they will be required to handle more of the unpleasant tasks since Adams and Acosta will not be available.

    Matt Turner is the unquestionable first-choice goalkeeper.

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    Preventing injuries also provides inclusion for veteran Horvath and Steffen Zack. Throughout the season, both keepers were regulars in England’s second-tier Championship, while Turner spent the final 10 weeks of Arsenal’s season on the bench.

    Earlier this season, Benfica, Juventus, and Paris Saint-Germain were opponents in the group stage of the UEFA Champions League. Callender and Cohen, who are two inexperienced goalkeepers, were positioned behind them. However, the role of the longtime backup, Sean Johnson, will now be reclaimed. In the upcoming month, Turner, who is currently the number one goalkeeper in the World Cup, will undoubtedly remain in the goal. He had already secured this position in the middle of 2022.

    All attention is on Folarin Balogun.

    This month, Balogun, the highly-valued striker born in New York and raised in London, who has chosen to represent the United States internationally instead of England and Nigeria, will receive a significant amount of attention.

    Balogun or Pepi will step into the starting position against Mexico, as Sargent and Daryl Dike are injured and World Cup roster players Jesus Ferreira and Haji Wright were not considered.

    Facing El Tri, it might prove challenging for Callaghan to resist the urge to immediately involve Balogun — who recently achieved the feat of being the inaugural American player to score 20 goals in one of Europe’s top five leagues — in the intense competition. Pepi, having scored in both of the Americans’ victories during the group stage of the Nations League in late March, currently holds the position.

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    Callaghan mentioned on Thursday that Balogun was “one of the initial individuals I contacted when I received the information” that he would be in charge of the team this summer.

    “We had a wonderful discussion,” Callaghan stated. “I can assure you that his dedication to the United States is steadfast.”

    “Callaghan said that Ricardo Pepi, a 21-year-old, is someone who had a fantastic season and has already scored significant goals for us. The coach did not provide any assurances when questioned about the timeframe in which the newcomer could be trusted.”

    He exclaimed, “It’s going to be enjoyable to observe these individuals compete.” “I anticipate this to be an excellent training session for both of them, and you desire rivalry.”

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