Reyna, Pepi and Sargent headline USMNT roster for September friendlies


The U.S. men’s national team roster for the final friendlies before the World Cup is now set, and features a few players who have pushed themselves back into the World Cup roster conversation. Josh Sargent and Ricardo Pepi are among the 26 players called up by Gregg Berhalter for the USMNT’s upcoming friendlies in Europe against Japan and Saudi Arabia. Gio Reyna is also back in the mix after making his successful return to action with Borussia Dortmund, while stars Christian Pulisic and Weston McKennie are set to lead the team through its final camp before the 26-man World Cup roster is finalized in November. Injuries have kept some regulars out of the mix, with Zack Steffen, Antonee Robinson and Tim Weah set to miss the September friendlies after both being sidelined in recent weeks. Cristian Roldan is another squad candidate who is set to miss out due to injury. Sargent returns to the USMNT for the first time in a year, with his last stint coming during the opening matches of the Concacaf World Cup qualifying cycle. Sargent has scored five goals in his past five matches for English League Championship side Norwich City, recapturing his top form just in time to state his case for a place as one of the strikers on Berhalter’s World Cup squad. While Sargent’s return didn’t come as a surprise given his recent form, Pepi’s inclusion was a bit more surprising given his struggles for playing time in Germany prior to his loan move to Dutch side Groningen. Pepi returns for the first time since the March World Cup qualifiers and his game-winning assist in his debut for Groningen bodes well for the kind of successful loan stint that could propel him back onto the World Cup roster. Among the notable absences are Jordan Pefok, who has settled in as a regular starter with current German Bundesliga leaders Union Berlin, Mark McKenzie, who is off to a strong start with Belgian side Genk, and FC Cincinnati striker Brandon Vazquez, who has the fifth-most goals in MLS with 16. Robinson’s absence has opened the door for Sam Vines to earn a return to the national team for the first time since the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup. Vines is in the midst of an outstanding start to the season with Belgian side Royal Antwerp. The USMNT will face Japan on September 23rd in Dusseldorf, Germany before traveling to Murcia, Spain to take on Saudi Arabia on September 27th. Here is the 26-player USMNT roster for the September friendlies: USMNT roster for the September friendlies GOALKEEPERS: Ethan Horvath (Luton Town/ENG; 8/0), Sean Johnson (New York City FC; 10/0), Matt Turner (Arsenal/ENG; 18/0) DEFENDERS: Reggie Cannon (Boavista/POR; 27/1), Cameron Carter-Vickers (Celtic/SCO; 11/0), Sergiño Dest (AC Milan/ITA; 17/2), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls; 27/3), Chris Richards (Crystal Palace/ENG; 8/0), Joe Scally (Borussia Mönchengladbach/GER; 2/0), Sam Vines (Royal Antwerp/BEL; 8/1), DeAndre Yedlin (Inter Miami; 74/0), Walker Zimmerman (Nashville SC; 31/3) MIDFIELDERS: Kellyn Acosta (LAFC; 52/2), Tyler Adams (Leeds United/ENG; 30/1), Luca de la Torre (Celta Vigo/ESP; 11/0), Weston McKennie (Juventus/ITA; 35/9), Yunus Musah (Valencia/ESP; 19/0), Malik Tillman (Rangers/SCO; 2/0) FORWARDS: Brenden Aaronson (Leeds United/ENG; 22/6), Paul Arriola (FC Dallas; 47/10), Jesús Ferreira (FC Dallas; 13/7), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders; 48/11), Ricardo Pepi (Groningen/NED; 11/3), Christian Pulisic (Chelsea/ENG; 51/21), Gio Reyna (Borussia Dortmund/GER; 12/4), Josh Sargent (Norwich City/ENG; 19/3)