As the 2022 World Cup nears, the focus shifts from qualifying and the group-stage draw to final preparations. With one more international break before the World Cup kicks off in November, the biggest remaining question for U.S. fans is who Gregg Berhalter picks to join him on the plane to Qatar. Here is our USMNT World Cup roster prediction.
The U.S. will play Japan (Sept. 23) and Saudi Arabia (Sept. 27) in its final World Cup preparation matches. Before Berhalter announces his squad for those friendlies, we make our first USMNT World Cup roster prediction of the 26 men who will represent the U.S. at the nation’s first men’s World Cup in eight years.
Keep in mind: This prediction isn’t based on who we want to see at the World Cup but a forecast of who we think Berhalter will pick (sorry Joe Scally stans).
For the first time, the men’s World Cup roster size has been increased by three to 26 players, including three who must be goalkeepers. This is in part because of the increased strain on professional footballers since the Covid-19 pandemic condensed schedules, not to mention the fact this World Cup is played in November and December, in the middle of most domestic club seasons.
Of the 26 players, we suspect only one will have World Cup experience, fullback DeAndre Yedlin. The only other player who might make the squad and has played at a World Cup is John Brooks, but he has fallen out of favor since playing poorly at the start of World Cup qualifying a year ago.
While Berhalter doesn’t have many experienced players to draw upon, there is no doubt this is potentially the most talented USMNT World Cup roster of all time based on the clubs represented. Whether it’s Christian Pulisic at Chelsea, Weston McKennie at Juventus or Yunus Musah at Valencia, Americans are playing at some of the best clubs in the world.
We’ve broken up our USMNT World Cup roster prediction into five categories. We start with First Class, players who will definitely be on the plane to Qatar unless they suffer ill-timed injuries. The next boarding group is Economy, players who are on the fringe and need to be playing well to ensure their ticket. Next is Standby, the players who could make it onto the plane if those in Economy struggle or there’s an injury. We also included a Nope category to show other footballers in the USMNT player pool but with no chance of making it to Qatar. Finally, there’s the Training Room, the poor folks on the injury table and thus unable to make the flight.
USMNT World Cup Roster Prediction
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- LW/CAM Christian Pulisic, Chelsea
- CDM/RB Tyler Adams, Leeds United
- CM/CDM/RM Weston McKennie, Juventus
- CM/RM/RW Yunus Musah, Valencia
- CAM/RW/RM Brenden Aaronson, Leeds
- RW/ST Timothy Weah, Lille
- RB/RM/RW Sergiño Dest, AC Milan
- LB Antonee Robinson, Fulham
- CB Walker Zimmerman, Nashville
- CAM/RW Gio Reyna, Borussia Dortmund
- GK Matt Turner, Arsenal
- GK Zack Steffen, Middlesbrough
- ST Jesús Ferreira, FC Dallas
- RB DeAndre Yedlin, Inter Miami
- RB Reggie Cannon, Boavista
- CDM Kellyn Acosta, LAFC
- CB Cameron Carter-Vickers, Celtic
- CB/LB Tim Ream, Fulham
- ST Jordan Pefok, Union Berlin
- CB/RB Chris Richards, Crystal Palace
- GK Sean Johnson, NYCFC
- CM Gianluca Busio, Venezia
- LW Jordan Morris, Seattle Sounders
- ST Josh Sargent, Norwich
- CB Aaron Long, New York Red Bulls
- CM Luca de la Torre, Celta Vigo
- RW Paul Arriola, FC Dallas
- CDM/CB James Sands, Rangers
- CAM Malik Tillman, Rangers
- CM Cristian Roldan, Seattle Sounders
- ST Ricardo Pepi, Groningen
- GK Ethan Horvath, Luton Town
- ST Haji Wright, Antalyaspor
- ST Brandon Vázquez, FC Cincinnati
- RB Joe Scally, Borussia Mönchengladbach
- LB George Bello, Arminia Bielefeld
- CB Erik Palmer-Brown, Troyes
- FB Shaq Moore, Nashville
- LB Sam Vines, Antwerp
- CB Mark McKenzie, Genk
- GK Gabriel Slonina, Chicago Fire
- RB Brooks Lennon, Atlanta United
- CM Sebastian Lletget, FC Dallas
- ST Gyasi Zardes, Colorado Rapids
- ST Matthew Hoppe, Middlesbrough
- ST Jozy Altidore, Puebla
- LW Konrad de la Fuente, Olympiacos
- ST Daryl Dike, West Brom
- CM Richy Ledezma, PSV Eindhoven
- FB Eryk Williamson, Portland Timbers
- CB John Brooks, Benfica
- ST Landon Donovan, San Diego Loyal
- CDM Jackson Yueill, San Jose Earthquakes
- RB Henry Wingo, Ferencvárosi
- CB Miles Robinson, Atlanta United
Check back later as we continue to update our USMNT World Cup roster prediction based on the upcoming friendly roster announcement, the friendlies themselves and the final matches as we head toward the World Cup in November.