Gregg Berhalter brings back Morales, Brooks in 26-man USMNT September roster

WASHINGTON, DC — JUNE 05: Damion Lowe #17 of Jamaica dribbles the ball against Josh Sargent #19 of the United States in the first half during an International Friendly at Audi Field on June 5, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images).

Chicago, Illinois — Gregg Berhalter is bringing back some familiar faces to the U.S. Men’s National Team. He’s also bringing in some new faces, too. Berhalter’s roster dropped this morning, featuring 26 players from Major League Soccer and abroad.

There’s a few hometown players making the trip back to their native states. This includes Werder Bremen forward Josh Sargent and Fulham defender Tim Ream. The two are natives of St. Louis, where the USMNT will host Uruguay on Sept. 10. However, before Uruguay, the men will reignite their rivalry with Mexico.

That match will be held at MetLife Stadium on Sept. 6.

Sargent’s call up comes after he was left off the national team roster for the CONCACAF Gold Cup. The men made it to the final, but fell to Mexico in a tight contest. Now, there’s a chance to enact revenge on home soil. Sargent has been getting minutes with Werder Bremen in Germany.

Meanwhile, Ream has been featuring as a third-centerback or left back for the national team. He plays centerback for his club, Fulham. Last year, Ream featured in the Premier League. However, Fulham was relegated and now are competing in the English Championship, in hopes to get back to the top league.

Another player in England is Christian Pulisic.

Everyone knows his story by now. Raised in Hershey, Pennsylvania, Pulisic went off to Borussia Dortmund. There, he made waves as a teenager and caught the eye of former USMNT manager Jürgen Klinsmann. He made appearances under Klinsmann, Bruce Arena and former interim coach Dave Sarachan. Now, he features with Chelsea and has earned some Premier League minutes, tallying a couple assists, too.

“Along the lines of progress, the starting point for the roster is we are able to maintain a core group of main players from the Gold Cup and continue building. We are also bringing some new players into the fold that we feel have the potential to make an impact with this team,” Gregg Berhalter said.

Making his long-awaited USMNT return

Alfredo Morales isn’t a player like Pulisic.

He isn’t constantly in the spotlight or being talked about. Last year, he helped Fortuna Düsseldorf make it back to the Bundesliga. This year, he’s playing with USMNT goalkeeper Zack Steffen. The two have made a good partnership in Germany. Morales has been called back into camp. Almost like Ream, he’s been an on-again, off-again, player with the national team. This is Morales’ first call up since May 2016, when he featured in a friendly against Puerto Rico.

Making his return to the USMNT roster is Brad Guzan.

There’s no doubt that Steffen will start. He is the goalkeeper of the present and future for the United States. However, Guzan has been playing out of his mind with Atlanta United this season. After a slow start, Atlanta is contending for the top spot in the Eastern Conference. Last night, Guzan and Atlanta lifted the U.S. Open Cup trophy.

Guzan and Steffen are on the roster with two other goalkeepers. Sean Johnson was called in for the Gold Cup. However, Jesse González hasn’t been in the national team picture since March. He is still looking for his first national team appearance.

The Wall of Brooks is back in action

John Brooks is a huge presence on defense — literally.

The tall defender is back on the roster, after missing the Gold Cup. Brooks is looking to add to his 37 appearances with the national team. Brooks will come in handy to teach younger players like first-time call up Sergiño Dest, who plays his club football for Ajax in the Netherlands. Miles Robinson from Atlanta United is also making his first national team roster.

Back to Brooks, the German-American has been part of the national team since about 2013. Fans can certainly remember when he scored the game-winning goal against Ghana in the 2014 World Cup. A former member of Hertha Berlin, he now plays for VFL Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga.

Paxton Pomykal of FC Dallas is also making a first-time national team appearance. However, unlike the defenders listed, Pomykal is a midfielder.

Where are Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore? 

Two veterans are missing on the roster.

Michael Bradley might seem like a scapegoat to fans, but he’s been a solid presence for the national team. Jozy Altidore is also back to having one of his healthier seasons for Toronto FC. So, why aren’t they on the roster?

Toronto FC and FC Cincinnati — with the help of bad scheduling from MLS — will not lose players to international duty. They have a match on Sept. 7, which is during the FIFA regulated international break. Bradley and Altidore will stay home with Toronto FC, looking for an easy win against Cincinnati.

The USMNT Full Roster

Goalkeepers: Jesse Gonzalez, Brad Guzan, Sean Johnson, Zack Steffen

DefendersJohn Brooks, Reggie Cannon, Sergiño Dest, Nick Lima, Aaron Long, Daniel Lovitz, Tim Ream, Miles Robinson, Walker Zimmerman

Midfielders: Sebastian Lletget, Weston McKennie, Alfredo Morales, Paxton Pomykal, Cristian Roldan, Wil Trapp, Jackson Yueill

Forwards: Corey Baird, Tyler Boyd, Jordan Morris, Christian Pulisic, Josh Sargent, Gyasi Zardes

What’s Next?

According to the USMNT, players will start reporting on Sunday.

The team will take on Mexico first, on Sept. 6 at MetLife Stadium. The match will air on Fox Sports 1 and begins at 8:30 p.m. EST. Meanwhile, four days later at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, the group will air on Fox Sports one at 8 p.m. St. Louis earns the USMNT match in time, as the city was recently awarded MLS expansion.


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