Midfielders Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie and Tyler Adams are among nine foreign-based players who will join the U.S. national team for the first time under new coach Gregg Berhalter next week in Orlando, Fla., ahead of friendlies with Ecuador and Chile.
Also named to the 24-man team were Galaxy midfielder Sebastian Lletget, LAFC forward Christian Ramirez and former Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez. Lletget and Ramirez both were called into the January camp by Berhalter and scored goals, Ramirez in a win over Panama and Lletget in a victory against Costa Rica. Gonzalez hasn’t played for the U.S. since the failed World Cup qualifying campaign in 2017.
“This camp represents Step 2 in our evaluation process,” Berhalter said. “Our goal is to keep this group moving forward as we continue to build on our style of player and building a team culture.”
Others returning from the January camp include midfielder Michael Bradley, whose 143 caps with the national team are more than double the international appearances of the other six midfielders combined, and goalkeeper Zach Steffen. Bradley, Gonzalez and defender Tim Ream are the other players older than 30 on the roster.
Among the notable exclusions were forwards Bobby Wood and Josh Sargent, and midfielder Tim Weah. All played at least six times for the U.S. last year but are not starting regularly for their clubs in Europe this season.
Sargent and Weah are expected to be called into training this month with the U-23 national team.
“When we looked at players that were U-23 eligible and weren’t necessarily going to be in our starting group, we had to weigh it as more beneficial for them to try to play full international games at a level where they can gain confidence and potentially bring that back to their club and then get a boost of confidence with their club,” Berhalter said.
Berhalter said he intends to play Pulisic, one of three 20-year-old midfielders on the roster, in a play-making role.
“We want to find a spot where he can affect the game, where he can get more out of his teammates and also put him in a position to score goals and make assists,” the coach said.
The March camp and the two friendlies will be Berhalter’s last opportunity to work with the team before having to choose a roster for June’s Gold Cup, his first competitive event as coach of the national team as the U.S. begins to build for the 2022 World Cup.
“It’s really too early to tell what the actual Gold Cup roster will be like,” Berhalter said. “This is a great opportunity for us to see some other new faces and evaluate them in our system of play.”
Goalkeepers: Ethan Horvath (Club Brugge), Sean Johnson (New York City
FC), Zack Steffen (Columbus Crew)
Defenders: John Brooks (Wolfsburg), Omar Gonzalez (Atlas), Nick Lima (San Jose Earthquakes), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls), Daniel Lovitz
(Montreal Impact), Matt Miazga (Reading), Tim Ream (Fulham),
DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle United)
Midfielders: Tyler Adams (RB Leipzig), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Sebastian Lletget (Galaxy), Weston McKennie (Schalke), Christian
Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders), Wil Trapp
Forwards: Paul Arriola (D.C. United), Corey Baird (Real Salt Lake), Jonathan
Lewis (New York City FC), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders), Christian Ramirez (LAFC), Gyasi Zardes (Columbus Crew)