The United States announced the 26-man squad for the FIFA World Cup in Qatar

The United States announced the 26-man squad for the FIFA World Cup in Qatar

NEW YORK (AP) — The U.S. World Cup team is truly a video generation. Players who received FaceTime from coach Greg Berhalter went to Qatar and those who were given audio calls missed the cut.

“I think the best part of the last couple of days was seeing the guys really smile when I told them, and that’s priceless,” Berhalter said Wednesday night after his televised 26-man roster announcement.

Tim Ream, Haji Wright, Joe Scully and Sean Johnson made it.

Ricardo Pepi, Zach Stephan, Paul Arreola and Jordan Peacock were short.

Norwich’s Josh Sergeant and Antalyaspor’s Wright beat 19-year-old Pepe, whose three goals in qualifying were second only to Christian Plessic’s five. Berhalter rated Sergeant’s performance in England’s second-tier league matches higher than Pepe’s in the Dutch Eredivisie, particularly with the United States opening the tournament against Wales on November 21 and four days later in November. England face 29 before finishing against Iran.

The Dutch League is a great league, but it doesn't bring the same physicality that the Premier League brings and the Championship brings,'' Berhalter said. “Ricardo Pepi can have a big reason why he should be there, and I can understand that reason.”

Players started getting texts from Berhalter on Sunday afternoon: “Are you available?” He spent three days going through the list, then only went down a dozen to deal with the devastation of the decline.

According to figures from the 32 teams in terms of average age, 29-year-old right-back De Ander Yedlin is the only keeper at the 2014 World Cup. Yedlin, Plessic, Kellyanne Acosta and Ream are the remaining players from the infamous defeat in Trinidad that prevented the Americans from reaching the 2018 tournament.

This could be a little bit of a redemption or revenge tour if you want to call it that,'' Yedlin said.“It’s our time to really — I don’t want to apologize for it, but to show how much we want it.”

With central defenders Miles Robinson and Chris Richards sidelined through injuries, the 35-year-old Reem returns to the national team for the first time since the start of qualifying in September 2021. Berhalter chose more mobile options, then chose Mark McKenzie and Eric Palmer-Brown.

“He’s playing in the best league in the world and he’s playing at a very high level,” Berhalter said.

Cameron Carter-Vickers, son of former NBA player Howard Carter, was also selected as a center back. Carter Vickers, Johnson, goalkeeper Ethan Horvath, Scully and Wright were none of the 14 qualifiers.

Shaq Moore was selected as the backup ahead of Malik Tillman between Reggie Cannon and Christian Roldan, with Berhalter calling Arreola the “odd man out.” The 33-year-old Johnson was a surprising choice over Stephan, who started six qualifiers. He was sitting on the couch in his home in Hoboken, New Jersey.

I wasn't going to move very far away from my phone, just waiting for the call,'' Johnson said.“The first thing he said, I think, was, why are you wearing the same shirt from (training) camp. Then we talked about yoga and doing yoga that morning. Yeah, I was a little sweaty. But eventually we got to that point in the conversation and the weight just lifted and it was just pure joy.

Nine players are from Major League Soccer; Eight are with English clubs; two each based in Germany, Italy and Spain; And one game each in France, Scotland and Turkey.

Scully and midfielder Younes Musa is only 19 years old. Winger Gio Reyna, son of former United States captain Claudio Reyna, turned 20 on Sunday. The average age of 25 years, 175 days as an opener is the second youngest at a World Cup after 24 years, 24 days for the United States in 1990.

Plessic, United’s biggest star, has started just five games for Chelsea this season. The returning Sergio Aguero has made just two starts for AC Milan and has not played since October 30 due to a groin injury. Midfielder Weston McKinney has been sidelined at Juventus since October 29 with a thigh problem.

Reina has been dealing with recurring ankle problems and has only played 90 minutes for Borussia Dortmund since April 2021. Matt Turner, the potential No.1 goalkeeper, has so far made his Premier League debut with Arsenal and has been limited to four Europa League appearances. Tournament for this season’s bowlers, October 20.

Midfielder Luca de la Torre has not played for Spain’s Celta Vigo since October 24 because of a torn muscle in his left leg and may not be fit for 90 minutes. Sargent returned to Norwich in England’s second-tier Championship on Saturday after missing two games with a calf injury.

Berhalter, the first former U.S. player to coach the Americans at a World Cup, reminded those who were left off the roster in 2006. On vacation when he learned he was replacing Corey Gibbs, who injured a knee.

“I want to acknowledge that it’s unpleasant news that they’re getting, but there’s also this lack of hope,” Berhalter said.

Even players considered locks, such as McKinney, Taylor Adams and Anthony Robinson, were waiting for Berhalter’s call.

It's still a relief and still a weight off your shoulders,'' McKennie said, “When you actually hear those words you’re on the last list.”

Full list

Goalkeeper: Ethan Horvat (Luton, England), Sean Johnson (New York City), Matt Turner (Arsenal, England).

Defenders: Cameron Carter-Vickers (Glasgow Celtic, Scotland), Sergino Dist (AC Milan, Italy), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls), Shaq Moore (Nashville), Tim Ream (Fulham, England), Anthony Robinson (Fulham, England), Joe Scally (Borussia Monchengladbach, Germany), DeAndre Yedlin (Miami), Walker Zimmerman (Nashville).

Intermediate players: Brendan Aaronson (Leeds, England), Kellyn Acosta (Los Angeles), Taylor Adams (Leeds, England), Luca de la Torre (Salta Vigo, Spain), Weston McKinney (Juventus, Italy), Younes Moses (Valencia, Spain) Christian Rolland (Seattle).

next to Jesus Ferreira (Dallas), Jordan Morris (Seattle), Christian Polsek (Chelsea, England), Gio Reina (Borussia Dortmund, Germany), Josh Sargent (Norwich, England), Tim Weh (Lille, France), Haji Wright (Intalaspor ) , Turkey).

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