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Analyzing the USMNT World Cup roster, plus why the Nets passed on hiring Ime Udoka

Analyzing the USMNT World Cup roster, plus why the Nets passed on hiring Ime Udoka


Good morning to everyone but especially to…

THE US MEN’S NATIONAL TEAM

More than eight years in the making, it’s finally here: The United States men’s national team released its 2022 World Cup roster Wednesday night, with under two weeks until its first match in Qatar, against Wales.

Here’s Gregg Berhalter’s 26-player squad:

And here’s what you need to know about each player.

There are plenty of names we knew years ago would be there — Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie and Tyler Adams — but just as big of a talking point is who didn’t make the squad. Among the biggest snubs are goalkeeper Zack Steffen, who started six qualifying matches, and striker Ricardo Pepi, whose three qualifying goals ranked second on the team.

Here’s our soccer expert Roger Gonzalez on the biggest names not making the trip:

  • Gonzalez: “Pepi was the biggest name at striker, the guy viewed as the problem solver for all of the woes at the position. He’s tall, he’s quick, he gets into dangerous spots. If you’re building a team that can pose a threat in 2026, wouldn’t you want him being involved in the 2022 setup to gain some experience? … [Steffen has] long been the No. 1 goalkeeper and goes way back to his Columbus Crew days with Berhalter. He’s been the guy for a few years now and has a ton of ability. How the hell does he get left off the roster?”

Given the massive questions at striker and goalkeeper, Berhalter is certainly taking risks, but at the roster reveal party, he insisted on talking about who is on the team. It’s important that we do, too. After all, if this team performs up to its capabilities, we’ll soon forget about the omissions.

With that, our soccer expert Chuck Booth has takeaways…

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