The 24-man squad for the United States men’s national team’s upcoming Concacaf Nations League Finals was revealed on Thursday and pleased most American fans. The list comprises four players from MLS, two from Liga MX, 16 from Europe and one from South America.
Here’s new interim manager B.J. Callaghan’s first USMNT roster.
USMNT Concacaf Nations League roster
LET'S GO TO CAMP ⛺️B.J. Callaghan selects 24-man training camp roster ahead of Concacaf Nations League title defense » https://t.co/DPWifxxo9t pic.twitter.com/sYC2kbcxR6
— U.S. Men's National Soccer Team (@USMNT) June 1, 2023
Some notable names missing due to injury include Tyler Adams, Tim Ream, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Ethan Horvath, Zack Steffen and Malik Tillman.
Let’s start with the positive news and look at three players fans are excited to see.
3 players we’re excited to watch
All eyes are going to be on Balogun for the upcoming game vs. Mexico and either the final or third-place game. The Reims striker announced his one-time nationality switch to represent the U.S. instead of England on May 16.
During the 2022-23 season he scored 21 goals in 38 games. Fans will want to see if his goal-scoring prowess continues for the USMNT.
Trusty just finished his first season in Europe with Birmingham City in the EFL Championship. The 24-year-old center back was named as Birmingham’s Player of the Season and made his national team debut against Grenada in March.
With Ream and Carter-Vickers injured, this will be a great chance for him to make an impression with the national team.
Like Tusty, Booth also made his debut in March against Grenada. Booth turned 22 on Wednesday and the youngster has shown flashes of promise with FC Utrecht in the Eredivisie.
It’s been reported that big clubs like Manchester United are keeping an eye on Booth. He’s one to watch for the future.
Honorable mention: Josh Cohen
It’s unlikely that Cohen gets any minutes in these upcoming USMNT games, but it’s great to see the 30-year-old get his first call-up to the national team. In 2019 he was playing in the USL with Sacramento FC before he made the big move to Maccabi Haifa in Israel.
He went toe-to-toe with the likes of Kylian Mbappé, Lionel Messi and Neymar in the Champions League this season and has earned himself this call-up. Congratulations, Cohen!
There were still a couple players fans had hoped to see that didn’t make the cut. Let’s get into who was snubbed from the USMNT Concacaf Nations League roster.
3 players we wanted to see
It’s coming up on two years since we’ve seen Brooks play for the USMNT. He’s only 30 years old and was included on the 60-man shortlist for this roster. He had a rocky start to the 2022-23 season but finished strong after a move from Benfica to Hoffenheim. He helped the club avoid relegation and was named player of the month for May.
It was a long shot, but fans were keeping their fingers crossed that he would return.
Sargent hasn’t made an appearance for the U.S. since he suffered that ankle injury vs. Iran at the 2022 World Cup. He looked like a striker reborn in Qatar and was sorely missed in the Round of 16 vs. the Dutch.
He had himself a decent season with Norwich, scoring 13 goals. With the arrival of Balogun players like Sargent, Haji Wright and Jordan Pefok will have a much harder time making the cut.
McKenzie is in amazing form for Belgian club Genk as they try to win the Belgian Pro League this weekend. The American defender has been a bubble player for the USMNT, but many thought that he would make this roster due to how well he’s played in Belgium.
He also seems to have found himself an oasis of goals as he has scored four in Genk’s last six games. He hadn’t scored all season before April 23 and now he’s done it four times in the span of a month!
It’s worth noting that the Concacaf Gold Cup takes place directly after the Nations League and will have a completely different roster. It’s likely that the players who were “snubbed” will compete in that tournament.
One more point worth mentioning is how much depth the USMNT has at center back. The top two candidates, Ream and Carter-Vickers, are injured and here I am saying that two more center backs got snubbed.
The USMNT faces Mexico in the Concacaf Nations League semifinal at 10 p.m. ET on Thursday, June 15. The final or third-place game with be on June 18 against either Canada or Panama.