“Why is Pulisic not playing?” will be a question frequently asked in the coming weeks as the USMNT prepares for the second window of World Cup qualifying.
On Wednesday, head coach Gregg Berhalter released the 27-man roster that will represent the United States in October’s qualifying games against Jamaica, Panama and Costa Rica. Christian Pulisic and Gio Reyna’s names weren’t on the list.
Why Is Pulisic Not Playing?
The Chelsea forward has been out of action for his club since he suffered an ankle injury against Honduras on Sept. 8. The injury didn’t appear to be too severe as Blues manager Thomas Tuchel said Pulisic would only miss 10 days.
The 10 days Tuchel foretold have long passed and Pulisic has yet to make an appearance or even sit on Chelsea’s bench. The ankle is clearly not back to 100 percent, and because of this Berhalter left America’s best player off the roster.
If you don’t get too queasy seeing injuries, here was the moment against Honduras where Pulisic’s ankle was tweaked.
Here's a video of Pulisic's injury. Watch the left ankle. pic.twitter.com/fJGLMf38ne— Joseph (Joe) Davis (@joedavis4) September 9, 2021
Reyna is also missing due to injury. He picked up a hamstring injury during World Cup qualifying and hasn’t played a game for Borussia Dortmund since.
Full USMNT Roster
Here’s the detailed personnel for our October business trip.Oct. 7 vs. in Austin
Oct. 10 at in Panama City
Oct. 13 vs. in Columbus
— U.S. Soccer MNT (@USMNT) September 29, 2021
- Sean Johnson (New York City FC)
- Zack Steffen (Manchester City)
- Matt Turner (New England Revolution)
- George Bello (Atlanta United)
- Sergiño Dest (Barcelona)
- Mark McKenzie (Gent)
- Walker Zimmerman (Nashville SC)
- Antonee Robinson (Fulham)
- Miles Robinson (Atlanta United)
- DeAndre Yedlin (Galatasaray)
- Chris Richards (Hoffenheim)
- Shaq Moore (CD Tenerife)
- Kellyn Acosta (Colorado Rapids)
- Tyler Adams (RB Leipzig)
- Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy)
- Weston McKennie (Juventus)
- Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders)
- Gianluca Busio (Venezia)
- Yunus Musah (Valencia)
- Luca de la Torre (Hercales)
- Brenden Aaronson (Red Bull Salzburg)
- Paul Arriola (D.C. United)
- Matthew Hoppe (Mallorca)
- Ricardo Pepi (FC Dallas)
- Tim Weah (Lille)
- Gyasi Zardes (Columbus Crew)
Nine players — including Pulisic and Reyna — were left out of this latest roster that were on Berhalter’s previous list. Walker Zimmerman was a late addition as he replaced Tim Ream who withdrew for personal reasons.
NEWS: Defender Walker Zimmerman has been added to the #USMNT’s October World Cup Qualifying roster.He replaces Tim Ream who has withdrawn for family reasons.
— U.S. Soccer MNT (@USMNT) October 1, 2021
The USMNT had another defender pull out of qualifying late as John Brooks is out with a back injury.
NEWS: Defender John Brooks has withdrawn from the USMNT's October World Cup Qualifying roster due to back issues.No replacement will be named ahead of #USAvJAM.
— U.S. Soccer MNT (@USMNT) October 4, 2021
Players Who Were On The First Window Roster That Aren’t On The Latest Roster
- Christian Pulisic
- Gio Reyna
- Josh Sargent
- Konrad de la Fuente
- Jordan Pefok
- James Sands
- Ethan Horvath
- Tim Ream
- John Brooks
Players Who WEREN'T On The First Window Roster That ARE On The Latest Roster
- Sean Johnson
- Shaq Moore
- Chris Richards
- Gianluca Busio
- Luca de la Torre
- Yunus Musah
- Paul Arriola
- Matthew Hoppe
- Gyasi Zardes
This latest Berhalter roster is an interesting group. The lack of firepower from Pulisic and Reyna will certainly be a factor, but thankfully a team is made of 11 guys not two.
The biggest snub in my opinion is the absence of Konrad. He’s looked exciting in Ligue 1 with Marseille and put in some solid performances for the USMNT in the first window. I guess 26-year-old Arriola will have to do.
My Dream USMNT Starting XI With This Roster
GK: Matt Turner
LB: Antonee Robinson
CB: Miles Robinson
CB: John Brooks
RB: Sergiño Dest
CDM: Tyler Adams
CM: Weston McKennie
CM: Sebastian Lletget
LW: Brenden Aaronson
ST: Ricardo Pepi
RW: Tim Weah
USMNT World Cup Qualifying Schedule
Oct. 6 vs. Jamaica, 5:30 p.m. ET — ESPN2, Univision, TUDN
Oct. 10 at Panama, 6 p.m. ET — Paramount+
Oct. 13 vs. Costa Rica, 7 p.m. ET — ESPN, Univision, TUDN
USMNT vs. Jamaica: Win 3-1
USMNT vs. Panama: Lose 2-1
USMNT vs. Costa Rica: Win 1-0