USMNT World Cup Prediction: Staff picks for 26-man roster

America males’s nationwide group’s opening sport of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar is Nov. 21 in opposition to Wales, however the roster reveal is even nearer. On Wednesday, Gregg Berhalter will identify his 26-man squad for the match, and there are positive to be snubs and surprises.

In anticipation of the total roster launch, we requested our workers of writers right here at FOX Sports activities — Laken Litman, Doug McIntyre and Martin Rogers — to make educated guesses as to who will probably be on the airplane to Qatar later this month. 

Whereas there we no disagreements on the prime with gamers suc as Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie and Tyler Adams, issues bought fascinating on the roster’s fringes, significantly on the striker place.

[USMNT World Cup roster prediction: Alexi Lalas picks his 26-man roster]

Let’s get into it.

CONSENSUS PICKS (22)

Goalkeepers (3): Sean Johnson, Zack Steffen, Matt Turner

Full backs (5): Reggie Cannon, Sergiño Dest, Antonee Robinson, Joe Scally, DeAndre Yedlin

Middle backs (4): Cameron Carter-Vickers, Aaron Lengthy, Mark McKenzie, Walker Zimmerman 

Midfielders (4): Kellyn Acosta, Tyler Adams, Weston McKennie, Yunus Musah 

Wingers (5): Paul Arriola, Brenden Aaronson, Christian Pulisic, Giovanni Reyna, Tim Weah

Strikers (1): Jesús Ferreira

LAKEN’S PICKS

Chris Richards (CB), Luca de la Torre (MF), Malik Tillman (MF), Josh Sargent (ST)

The striker spot is a difficult one. Berhalter was criticized for excluding Jordan Pefok previous to the final window that included friendlies in opposition to Japan and Saudi Arabia. Pefok gained the Golden Boot within the Swiss League final yr and had been a prime scorer for Union Berlin. However he hasn’t scored prior to now eight video games. 

Although Sargent lately injured his calf, he has been a strong contributor for Norwich Metropolis and scored eight targets in 17 video games this season, so he will get the nod right here.

DOUG’S PICKS

Malik Tillman (MF), Jordan Morris (RW), Ricardo Pepi (ST), Josh Sargent (ST)

The truth that Aaronson, Pulisic and Reyna will also be deployed as central attacking midfielders opens the door for 2 extra huge gamers: the defensively sound longtime nationwide teamers Arriola and Morris.

McKennie must be wholesome by the point camp opens in Qatar; solely an sudden setback will preserve the surefire starter dwelling. Injured Luca de la Torre could be right here if wholesome, however his restoration timeline takes him all the best way to the Individuals Nov. 21 opener vs. Wales. Tillman, taking part in usually in Scotland and within the Champions League, claims the ultimate spot forward of Cristian Roldan.

[USMNT Stock Watch: McKennie injury puts pressure on midfield reserves]

Pepi has been prolific since arriving within the Netherlands; he and Ferreira had been each regulars all through World Cup qualifying. Sargent is tied for second in scoring in England’s Championship and is predicted to be over his calf damage in time. 

Pefok wasn’t a lock for Berhalter even when he was knocking in targets in Germany. He is now mired in a scoring drought that seals his destiny. 

MARTIN’S PICKS

Luca de la Torre (MF), Jordan Morris (RW), Ricardo Pepi (ST), Jordan Pefok (ST)

With Sargent battling current damage, Pefok makes it regardless of patchy current kind. And de la Torre will get the nod from Berhalter regardless of his personal damage issues, the coach maybe reasoning that his energetic influence could possibly be helpful towards the tip of the group stage, or past.

Laken Litman covers faculty soccer, faculty basketball and soccer for FOX Sports activities. She beforehand wrote for Sports activities Illustrated, USA At the moment and The Indianapolis Star. She is the creator of “Strong Like a Woman,” revealed in spring 2022 to mark the fiftieth anniversary of Title IX. Comply with her on Twitter @LakenLitman.

Doug McIntyre is a soccer author for FOX Sports activities. Earlier than becoming a member of FOX Sports activities in 2021, he was a workers author with ESPN and Yahoo Sports activities and he has lined United States males’s and ladies’s nationwide groups at a number of FIFA World Cups. Comply with him on Twitter @ByDougMcIntyre.

Martin Rogers is a columnist for FOX Sports activities and the creator of the FOX Sports activities Insider e-newsletter. Comply with him on Twitter @MRogersFOX and subscribe to the each day newsletter. 


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