The United States men’s national team will play the March CONCACAF Nations League matches without injured Leeds United midfielder Tyler Adams but with Borussia Dortmund winger Giovanni Reyna, along with 12 other players from European club rosters, U.S. Soccer said on Wednesday.
The matches at Grenada on March 24 and against El Salvador three days later at Orlando, Florida, are the first in the FIFA international window for the USMNT post-World Cup.
This will also be the first inclusion post-World Cup for Reyna, who was the subject of recent U.S. Soccer controversy between his parents, Danielle and Claudio Reyna, and out-of-contract coach Gregg Berhalter. Reyna was not included in the 24-player January camp roster.
Interim manager Anthony Hudson said the decision to include Reyna was a decision to “move forward.”
“It became a bit more complex in the months since the World Cup, but as far as we’re concerned Gio is a part of our program,” Hudson said. “He’s a good guy and a top talent, and he is evaluated like any other player. We made the roster decisions based on what gives the team the best opportunity to win these games, and we brought him in because we think he can help us do that.”
U.S. Soccer said on Monday that Berhalter can contend for the open USMNT coaching job after an investigation into allegations of domestic violence against him made by Reyna’s parents.
The investigation also found a need for U.S. Soccer to “revisit U.S. Soccer’s policies concerning appropriate parental conduct and communications.”
Adams picked up a hamstring injury, a USMNT spokesperson said. Adams played 90 minutes in Leeds’ 2-2 draw last weekend against Brighton & Hove Albion, and the club confirmed the injury in a statement, saying: “The midfielder will remain at Thorp Arch for further assessment.”
Hudson said the decision about injured players was made “in the best interest of the player and to do our best to ensure they are available for us this summer.”
Chelsea‘s Christian Pulisic leads all players on the roster with 56 caps and is among the 13 World Cup returnees from European clubs. The roster also includes Fulham players Tim Ream and Antonee Robinson as well as Leeds’ Brenden Aaronson and Weston McKennie. Luca de la Torre, Sergiño Dest, Ethan Horvath, Yunus Musah, Joe Scally and Matt Turner were also included.
Dual national Alejandro Zendejas was added to the roster one day after committing to the USMNT over Mexico.
The 25-year-old forward made his U.S. debut in a Jan. 25 exhibition against Serbia but remained eligible to ask FIFA for a one-time switch of affiliation to Mexico.
“I think it’s great for the team,” Hudson said of the inclusion of Zendejas. “Alex certainly adds more quality and depth to the squad. He’s someone that really impressed us all in January, and we’ve obviously seen a lot of him playing for his club. We are really pleased he has agreed to join us. We see it as being a great addition to the team going forward.”
Atlanta United center back Miles Robinson is returning to the USMNT for the first time after recovering from a torn Achilles tendon suffered last May.
USMNT ROSTER BY POSITION (CLUB/COUNTRY; CAPS/GOALS)
GOALKEEPERS (3): Ethan Horvath (Luton Town/ENG; 8/0), Zack Steffen (Middlesbrough/ENG; 29/0), Matt Turner (Arsenal/ENG; 24/0)
DEFENDERS (8): Sergiño Dest (AC Milan/ITA; 23/2), Mark McKenzie (Genk/BEL; 10/0), Tim Ream (Fulham/ENG; 50/1), Bryan Reynolds (Westerlo/BEL; 2/0), Antonee Robinson (Fulham; 33/2), Miles Robinson (Atlanta United; 20/3), Joe Scally (Borussia Mönchengladbach/GER; 3/0), Auston Trusty (Birmingham City/ENG; 0/0)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Brenden Aaronson (Leeds United/ENG; 28/6), Johnny Cardoso (Internacional/BRA; 4/0), Luca de la Torre (Celta Vigo/ESP; 12/0), Weston McKennie (Leeds United/ENG; 41/9), Yunus Musah (Valencia/ESP; 23/0), Alan Soñora (Juárez/MEX; 2/0)
FORWARDS (7): Taylor Booth (Utrecht/NED; 0/0), Daryl Dike (West Bromwich Albion/ENG; 8/3), Ricardo Pepi (Groningen/NED; 12/3), Christian Pulisic (Chelsea/ENG; 56/22), Gio Reyna (Borussia Dortmund/GER; 16/4), Tim Weah (Lille/FRA; 29/4), Alex Zendejas (Club América/MEX; 1/0)