Pulisic, Adams and Reyna lead the United States squad

Christian Pulisic, Tyler Adams and John Reyna they headline the 27-man United States squad for the deciding three World Cup qualifiers that will determine whether the team heads to Qatar later this year.

The United States team is scheduled to play Mexico at the famed Estadio Azteca on March 24, followed by a home game against Panama in Orlando three days later. The Americans wrap up CONCACAF qualifying with a match against Costa Rica in San José on March 30.

The team will report to training camp in Houston this weekend.

The United States currently sits second in the eight-team group, on the same points as third-place Mexico and four points ahead of fourth-place Panama. The top three teams will qualify automatically, with the fourth-placed team going into a play-off against a representative from Asia in Qatar in mid-June.

To guarantee automatic qualification, the United States would need to win five points from the three matches, with the match against Panama being the most important given the Canaleros’ place in the standings.

The last two times the United States played qualifiers at the Estadio Azteca ended in a draw, with the team achieving only one draw in qualifying matches in Costa Rica: a 1-1 draw in 1985. The announcement comes on the same day as winger Sergino Dest suffered a hamstring injury in Barcelona’s 2–1 Europa League win over Galatasaray. Dest’s name was included in the squad announcement, but a US Soccer spokesman said Berhalter was awaiting official word on the severity of Dest’s injury. The club said Dest was scheduled for scan tests and that he would not play in Barça’s Clasico against Real Madrid on Sunday.

Even with Dest on the roster, the left back position looks slim behind tentative starter Antonee Robinson. Dest’s knock adds to the absence of the Juventus midfielder, Weston McKenniewho broke two bones in his foot last month and will miss the rest of the Serie A season.

The Inter Miami CF defender, DeAndre Yedlinthe player with the most caps on the list with 71, and Boavista’s right-back, Reggie Cannonreplace if, as expected, Dest can’t play. Kellyn Acostaof LAFC, and Heracles midfielder, Luke of the Towerthey’ll probably get most of the minutes instead of McKennie.

On the plus side, Reyna returns to the team for the first time since injuring a hamstring with the United States in September. Since then, he has yet to play a full 90-minute match for Borussia Dortmund and had a minor setback in February before returning in March. Nottingham Forest goalkeeper, Ethan Horvathis also back in the team, replacing the injured Matt Turnerwho is out with a lower leg injury.

central defender John Brooks continues to be marginalized. Brooks hasn’t been called up since the September window, with center backs Walker Zimmerman, Miles Robinson, James Sands, Erik Palmer-Brown and Aaron Long filling the spot. Long and Palmer-Brown get their first calls for a World Cup qualifier, with a torn Achilles injury that had previously sidelined Long.

Questions abound as to who will start at striker, with Berhalter selecting Ricardo Pepi from Augsburg FC, to Jesus Ferreraof FC Dallas, and the forward of Young Boys, Jordan Pefok.

Adams, Zack Steffen, Tim Weah and Yedlin enter camp on preemptive alert. If any of them receive a yellow card during the next three games, he will be suspended for the next qualifying match.


Goalkeepers: Ethan Horvath (Nottingham Forest), Sean Johnson (New York City FC), Zack Steffen (Manchester City).

Defenders: Reggie Cannon (Boavista), Sergino Dest (Barcelona), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls), Erik Palmer-Brown (Troyes), Antonee Robinson (Fulham), Miles Robinson (Atlanta United), James Sands (Rangers), DeAndre Yedlin (Inter Miami), Walker Zimmerman (Nashville SC).

Midfielders: Kellyn Acosta (LAFC), Tyler Adams (RB Leipzig), Gianluca Busio (Venezia), Luca de la Torre (Heracles), Yunus Musah (Valencia), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders).

Forwards: Brenden Aaronson (Red Bull Salzburg), Paul Arriola (FC Dallas), Jesus Ferreira (FC Dallas), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders FC), Jordan Pefok (Young Boys), Ricardo Pepi (Augsburg), Christian Pulisic (Chelsea) , Gio Reyna (Borussia Dortmund), Tim Weah (Lille).

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Pulisic, Adams and Reyna lead the United States squad