The U.S Men's National Team head coach Gregg Berhalter has completed his 23-man roster for the team's upcoming matches against Canada (11/15) and Cuba (11/19) in Concacaf Nations League and while see see the inclusion of Jordan Morris and Christian Roldan fresh from winning MLS Cup with Seattle Sounders, there are also key absences including Toronto FC captain and veteran Michael Bradley, who dealt with a right ankle injury in Sunday's final.
Jozy Altidore, who clearly didn't look 100% in the same game, is also not part of the squad. Goalkeeper Zack Steffen was already ruled out after he withdrew last week with a knee injury.
The biggest talking point is clearly the team's best player Christian Pulisic, who suffered a hip injury during Chelsea's 2-0 win against Crystal Palace this past weekend. At first, U.S Soccer's official website said the attacker would continue to be evaluated, but ahead of training and shortly after the release, Berhalter confirmed he will miss these two matches.
"Christian is officially at this stage ruled out. We just got that information. This was a collaborative decision with the club. looking after the best interest of the player," he said speaking on Monday. "These decisions are always difficult because this group and the coaching staff want nothing more than to have Christian here, but it was a risk we weren’t willing to take at this time."
It's obviously a big loss as the 21-year-old star has been in fantastic form for his club and the hope was that he could replicate some of the same performances for the national team.
It's been a disappointing campaign for the USMNT and in order to qualify for the knockout stage in this tournament, Berhalter's side must win both matches and make up a three-goal differential on current Group A leader Canada.
Pulisic or not, this team based on talent has enough to achieve this goal as it still has strong candidates who could make the difference. Josh Sargent is slowly growing in reputation for Werder Bremen and the aforementioned Morris has been in fantastic form for Seattle and now arrives with plenty of confidence. But judging from what the team produced last month, more is needed in order to reach the knockout group.
Here is the 23-man roster:
USMNT's match against Canada takes place on November 15 in Orlando before heading to George Town, Cayman Islands for its November 19 game against Cuba.