Countdown to Qatar: Analyzing all 26 USA World Cup players

Quick Hits
  • United States men’s national team manager Gregg Berhalter announced his World Cup roster on Wednesday

  • Now that the roster has been released, we’re analyzing each USMNT World Cup player in rapid-fire fashion

The United States’ World Cup roster is here!

Today, we’re running through what you need to know about each player in Gregg Berhalter’s 26-man World Cup squad as it was announced on live TV on Wednesday. There’s a twist, though. On the latest episode of The Backheeled Show – our new USMNT and American soccer podcast – Joe Lowery analyzed each player in 10 seconds (or less).

You’ll find a written version of his rapid-fire analysis down below.

Goalkeepers

Matt Turner, Arsenal

Turner is the best shot-stopper in the U.S. men’s national team pool. He’s a brilliant player between the goalposts –  he’s not as good with his feet, but he could be an X-Factor for the U.S. at this tournament.

Sean Johnson, New York City FC

Johnson played really well back in June for the USMNT when he was in that camp over the summer. I think he’s a decent shot-stopper and he’s better with his feet than Matt Turner. He’s a good veteran presence as well.

Ethan Horvath, Luton Town

Horvath can be a useful player for this U.S. team if they need him. Ideally for Gregg Berhalter, he doesn’t end up needing to turn to Horvath.

Center backs

Walker Zimmerman, Nashville SC

Zimmerman has great hair. He’s willing to bring the ball forward out of the back occasionally. He’s not the best passer but he’s capable on the ball and he’s good in the air. He’s been a rock for this U.S. team.

Aaron Long, New York Red Bulls

Long isn’t great with the ball at his feet. He’s not someone you want to try to break down a low block. He does have some have some recovery speed and he can help you defend in behind a high line.


Cameron Carter-Vickers, Celtic

Carter Vickers has an improved passing range. With Celtic, he’s improved that work on the ball. He’s aggressive and physical. CCV isn’t the quickest, but he has a lot of qualities that I like.

Tim Ream, Fulham

He’s a veteran. He’s great on the ball for Fulham and he’s been playing in the Premier League. Ream wasn’t involved towards the end of World Cup qualifying, but I think he brings a lot to this group. I’m glad he’s here.

Fullbacks

Sergiño Dest, AC Milan

He’s full of sauce. He’s one of the most entertaining players to watch, I would wager, not just on this U.S. team but at the entire World Cup. Dest has a great right foot, great left foot and is going to be on the right side for the United States.


Shaq Moore, Nashville SC

This one was a surprise to me! I did not expect to see Nashville SC’s Moore in this squad. He’s defensively solid, but I don’t expect him to play much.

DeAndre Yedlin, Inter Miami

Yedlin is a World Cup player. He’s been at the World Cup before. I don’t think he can do a ton at this point to really to help this team on the field. But for the locker room, I think you have to bring someone like Yedlin into this group.

Antonee Robinson, Fulham

Robinson gets up and down the left side of the field like nobody else in the U.S.’s player pool. He’s the only true left back on this squad. Ideally for Berhalter, he’d play every single minute at this competition.

Joe Scally, Borussia Monchengladbach

Scally is playing in the Bundesliga for Borussia Monchengladbach. He brings a lot to the table. He’s good on the ball, if not the fastest player. Scally isn’t someone you want trapped in one-v-one defensive situations.

Central midfielders

Tyler Adams, Leeds United

Adams is everywhere all the time. He is this team’s anchor defensively. He’s a great counter presser, but not someone you want to have to break a lot of lines with the ball. He can keep things moving in possession, though, and is valuable to this team.

Kellyn Acosta, Los Angeles FC

Acosta is the backup to Tyler Adams. Ideally he’s not going to do a lot more than that, but Acosta can also pick up in spot minutes at the No. 8. He’s not the most mobile guy, but he can do the job.

Yunus Musah, Valencia

Musah is so smooth on the ball. He might be my favorite player to watch for the U.S. He plays with Valencia in La Liga and could be primed for a big money move after this tournament.


Weston McKennie, Juventus

McKennie is a set piece threat. If you need to know one thing about McKennie, it’s that he is very dangerous in those dead ball moments. He also shows some flashes in possession and is useful in the press. 

Luca de la Torre, Celta Vigo

Luca de la Torre is dealing with an injury for Celta Vigo in La Liga, but his status on this roster is an encouraging sign about his recovery. Hopefully he can be involved in pick up spot minutes at the No. 8.

Cristian Roldan, Seattle Sounders

I think this is a locker room selection. I don’t think you can make a great argument for Roldan getting in over Djordje Mihailovic or Eryk Williamson or maybe even a couple of other players. But he’s liked in the locker room based on everything I know.

Wingers

Brenden Aaronson, Leeds United

He’s a really quick, aggressive presser. He’s everywhere all the time, just like Tyler Adams. There’s a reason that both Adams and Aronson are at Leeds under Jesse Marsch.

Tim Weah, Lille

Weah is a true winger. He’s great at getting behind and going both north-south and east-west. He’s a real asset to the team.

Christian Pulisic, Chelsea

Pulisic is the USMNT’s talisman. In so many ways, he is the face of this U.S. men’s national team. You can also point to him as someone who helped start the U.S.’s exodus from youth academies to high-level European clubs.

Gio Reyna, Borussia Dortmund

Reyna might just be the best player in this entire pool. He’s a generational talent. If he wasn’t so injury prone, everybody around the world would already know Reyna’s name. Maybe after this World Cup, they will.

Jordan Morris, Seattle Sounders
Morris brings a bit of quality to the USMNT’s attack. He could help the U.S. in certain situations off the bench.

Stikers

Jesus Ferreira, FC Dallas

He’s been a Berhalter favorite since 2020. Ferreira is a great presser and is good at linking play. He’s not a threat on set pieces and needs other to create shots for him, but so does everybody else in the USMNT’s striker pool.

Josh Sargent, Norwich City

Sargent has been playing well in the English Championship. He’s a physical presence – he’s not super tall, but he can bang around in the box. Sargent can also drop in, help link play, and be physical. He’s a good presser. 

Haji Wright, Antalyaspor

Wright is lanky. He reminds me of Pepi. They’re both kind of gallop-y, run-in-behind options up top. He’s playing in Turkey right now and has done well there. We’ll see what he brings to this group.