Players to watch in the 2022 World Cup


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Following an embarrassing failure to qualify in 2018, the United States men’s national team underwent a major roster overhaul, moving away from longtime veteran staples in favor of younger, promising talents breaking out across Europe.

The USMNT has the youngest roster at the World Cup and one of the most-talented teams in U.S. history. This new core won the CONCACAF Gold Cup and CONCACAF Nations League in 2021 in its first major tournaments together.

U.S. manager Gregg Berhalter made several controversial selections on his 26-man roster — notably excluding striker Ricardo Pepi and goalkeeper Zack Steffen — and now faces even more important lineup decisions as the tournament progresses. Here is a look at the USMNT roster (*projected starter):


Matt Turner*

Age: 28 | Caps: 20

Hometown: Park Ridge, N.J.

Club team: Arsenal

Turner’s standout play for the MLS’ New England Revolution and USMNT earned him a move overseas to Premier League-leading Arsenal, where he’s a backup. After splitting starts with Zack Steffen during World Cup qualifying, he now enters as the first-choice goalie.

USMNT goalie Matt Turner
FIFA via Getty Images

Ethan Horvath

Age: 27 | Caps: 8

Hometown: Highlands Ranch, Colo.

Club team: Luton Town

With his play in the English Championship (England’s second division), Horvath earned the spot over Steffen.

Sean Johnson

Age: 33 | Caps: 10

Hometown: Lilburn, Ga.

Club team: NYCFC

A staple in the MLS, Johnson provides a veteran presence on this extremely young squad.


Antonee Robinson*

Age: 25 | Caps: 29

Hometown: Liverpool, England

Club team: Fulham

Possessing familiarity with Tim Ream, the two are big reasons Fulham have enjoyed a bright start to their Premier League season. Robinson has become a mainstay in the USMNT lineup while providing an attacking threat from the back, scoring two goals and providing three assists in qualifying.

Sergiño Dest*

Age: 22 | Caps: 19

Hometown: Almere, Netherlands

Club team: AC Milan

Dest already has showcased his ability at the highest levels for Spanish giant Barcelona and Italian giant AC Milan. His experience on big stages will be relied on heavily.

USMNT defender Sergino Dest
USMNT defender Sergino Dest
FIFA via Getty Images

Walker Zimmerman*

Age: 29 | Caps: 33

Hometown: Lawrenceville, Ga.

Club team: Nashville SC

A two-time MLS Defender of the Year and one of the league’s highest-paid players. Zimmerman played a key role in qualifying, and has served as captain at times with his steady aura.

Tim Ream*

Age: 35 | Caps: 46

Hometown: St. Louis

Club team: Fulham

After not even being on the roster in qualifying, the unsung hero for surprising Premier League team Fulham now gets called into key duty after injuries to center backs Chris Richards and Miles Robinson.

Aaron Long

Age: 30 | Caps: 29

Hometown: Oak Hills, Calif.

Club team: New York Red Bulls

The Red Bulls captain moves up the depth chart — including potential starts at center back — due to injuries.

Cameron Carter-Vickers

Age: 24 | Caps: 11

Hometown: Southend-on-Sea, England

Club team: Celtic

Has become a regular in Scottish team Celtic’s lineup, likely to be given bigger responsibilities after the team’s center-back injuries.

USMNT defender Cameron Carter-Vickers
USMNT defender Cameron Carter-Vickers
FIFA via Getty Images

DeAndre Yedlin

Age: 29 | Caps: 75

Hometown: Seattle

Club team: Inter Miami

Now back in America after playing overseas for years, Yedlin is the only player on the roster with World Cup experience — he had a crucial role on the 2014 team that reached the Round of 16.

Shaq Moore

Age: 26 | Caps: 15

Hometown: Powder Springs, Ga.

Club team: Nashville SC

Played an integral role in the Gold Cup-winning team and just completed his first season in the MLS after spending time overseas.

Joe Scally

Age: 19 | Caps: 3

Hometown: Lake Grove, N.Y.

Club team: Borussia Monchengladbach

The teenaged Long Island native has started every game this season for his German team. Did not log a minute in qualifying, though.


Tyler Adams*

Age: 23 | Caps: 32

Hometown: Wappingers Falls, N.Y.

Club team: Leeds United

Already having played at the highest levels in Germany and England and the Champions League, the relentless former Red Bulls academy product will be relied on to provide a defensive anchor and spark attacks.

Weston McKennie*

Age: 24 | Caps: 37

Hometown: Little Elm, Texas

Club team: Juventus

The Juventus star pulls all the strings in the middle of the field, helping drive attacks and provide cover while defending. He’s stood out against the best competition with four goals in the Champions League, and was voted 2020 U.S. Player of the Year and 2021 CONCACAF Nations League Player of the Tournament. Health is a bit of a question.

USMNT midfielder Weston McKennie
USMNT midfielder Weston McKennie
FIFA via Getty Images

Yunus Musah*

Age: 19 | Caps: 19

Hometown: London

Club team: Valencia

The teenager has broken out in Spain while emerging on the radar of top clubs in Europe. Possessing scintillating potential and game-changing technical ability, Musah is perhaps the biggest X-factor to take the U.S. attack to another level.

Brenden Aaronson

Age: 22 | Caps: 24

Hometown: Medford, N.J.

Club team: Leeds United

Emerging at Leeds United — so much so that fans have created a new chant in his name — Aaronson can play as an attacking midfielder or as a forward. Lightning-fast with the ball, he provides a dynamic element as a goal-scorer and creator.

Kellyn Acosta

Age: 27 | Caps: 53

Hometown: Plano, Texas

Club team: LAFC

Acosta provides a calming, defensive-minded veteran midfield option. Enters the tournament directly after powering LAFC to the MLS title.

Christian Roldan

Age: 27 | Caps: 32

Hometown: Pico Rivera, Calif.

Club team: Seattle Sounders

A regular starter for the Sounders, Roldan carries familiarity with the U.S. system.

Luca de la Torre

Age: 24 | Caps: 12

Hometown: San Diego

Club team: Celta Vigo

Has barely seen any action with Celta Vigo since his move to Spain, but can provide an attacking change off the bench if needed.


Christian Pulisic*

Age: 24 | Caps: 52

Hometown: Hershey, Pa.

Club team: Chelsea

The face of the USMNT since he erupted onto the world scene as a teenager, the United States attack predictably revolves around Pulisic’s star power. The same will be true of opponents’ game plans, and how Pulisic handles the attention and elevates his teammates will dictate the Americans’ fate. Demoted to a backup role on a turbulent Chelsea team, he will enter the tournament fresh (or is it rusty?) after not playing much of late.

USMNT forward Christian Pulisic
USMNT forward Christian Pulisic
FIFA via Getty Images

Giovanni Reyna*

Age: 19 | Caps: 14

Hometown: Bedford, N.Y.

Club team: Borussia Dortmund

When healthy, Reyna has cemented himself as one of the most exciting players at Dortmund and one of the most promising youngsters in Europe. Able to play in various positions, the son of U.S. great Claudio Reyna seems on the precipice of stardom.

Jesus Ferreira*

Age: 21 | Caps: 15

Hometown: McKinney, Texas

Club team : FC Dallas

Following a strong 18-goal season for FC Dallas in MLS, Ferreira likely will get the first crack to lead the front three as the starting striker.

Timothy Weah*

Age: 22 | Caps: 25

Hometown: Rosedale, N.Y.

Club team: Lille

The son of soccer legend and current Liberian president George Weah has found his groove with Lille after a much-anticipated move overseas to France. Perhaps the most athletically gifted player on the team, Weah is a traditional winger, but don’t be surprised to see him get a chance at striker if Ferreira struggles.

Jordan Morris

Age: 28 | Caps: 49

Hometown: Mercer Island, Wash.

Club team: Seattle Sounders

With a career defined and plagued by injuries, Morris’ World Cup inclusion is heartwarming but also questionable, particularly with Pepi left at home. The workhorse Morris has long been a trusted favorite of Berhalter.

Josh Sargent

Age: 22 | Caps: 20

Hometown: O’Fallon, Mo.

Club team: Norwich City

A bounce-back season in the English Championship — he scored nine goals and provided two assists in 19 games before the break — earned him a roster spot.

Haji Wright

Age: 24 | Caps: 3

Hometown: Los Angeles

Club team: Antalyaspor

A surprise late addition to the roster. Berhalter pointed to Wright’s recent form in Turkey — nine goals in 12 games — as to why he got the nod.

Projected XI (4-3-3)

Goalkeeper: Matt Turner

Defenders: Sergiño Dest—Tim Ream—Walker Zimmerman—Antonee Robinson

Midfielders: Tyler Adams

Weston McKennie—Yunus Musah

Forwards: Giovanni Reyna—Christian Pulisic

Jesus Ferreira

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