AC Milan winger Christian Pulisic and Juventus midfielder Timothy Weah have been left off the United States men’s national team roster that will take part in the quarterfinals of the Concacaf Nations League next week, with both players ruled out through injury.
Pulisic sustained a recurrence of a left hamstring injury in Tuesday’s 2-1 victory over Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League. Weah has been dealing with a similar injury the past two weeks.
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“We see them on track to get back to play soon,” U.S. coach Gregg Berhalter said Thursday. “But it’s too short of a deadline, so they won’t be involved.”
The roster, led by Monaco forward Folarin Balogun and Borussia Dortmund attacker Gio Reyna, still contains 20 of the 24 players who took part in matches against Germany and Ghana last month. Eintracht Frankfurt forward Paxten Aaronson, Fulham defender Antonee Robinson, KAS Eupen goalkeeper Gaga Slonina and PSV midfielder Malik Tillman all return to the squad.
Union Berlin forward Brenden Aaronson, brother of Paxten, is also in the team. Paxten’s USMNT debut against Colombia this year made the Aaronsons the ninth set of brothers to earn caps for the U.S. men’s national team.
Ken and Steve Snow are the youngest USMNT brothers to appear in a match together, featuring for about 15 minutes in the second half of a 1-0 friendly win against Costa Rica on June 14, 1988 in San Antonio. At the time they were 18 and 17, respectively.
The USMNT is set to play Trinidad & Tobago over two legs, with the winner progressing to the CNL semifinals, as well as clinching qualification for next summer’s Copa America, which the U.S. will host.
The first match against the Soca Warriors will take place on Nov. 16 at Q2 Stadium in Austin, Texas. The return leg will be contested four days later at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad. The USMNT has won the first two editions of the CNL.
“The objective ahead of us is clear. We want to compete for our third Nations League title and the chance to play in Copa America, and it’s going to take focus and determination to get past Trinidad & Tobago,” Berhalter said.
“We have had a core group together for the last two windows in preparation for this opportunity, and we want to finish the year on a strong note and position ourselves to compete in two important competitions next year.”
The U.S. was famously eliminated from qualification for the 2018 World Cup by T&T, losing to the Soca Warriors 2-1 on the final day of qualifying. The second leg will mark the first time the U.S. has played in Trinidad since that October night in 2017. The two teams have squared off three times since then, with the U.S. winning by scores of 6-0, 7-0 and 6-0, with two of those matches contested at the Concacaf Gold Cup.
The away leg in Trinidad will also be one day after the 34-year anniversary of one of the most significant goals in U.S. soccer history. On Nov. 19, 1989, Paul Caligiuri’s “Shot Heard ‘Round the World” gave the USMNT a 1-0 win on the final day of qualifying for the 1990 FIFA World Cup, sending the USA back to the tournament for the first time in 40 years. The USA holds a 21-3-4 all-time advantage against Trinidad and Tobago.
United States roster
GOALKEEPERS (3): Ethan Horvath (Nottingham Forest/ENG; 9/0), Gaga Slonina (KAS Eupen; 1/0), Matt Turner (Nottingham Forest/ENG; 35/0)
DEFENDERS (8): Cameron Carter-Vickers (Celtic/SCO; 14/0), Sergiño Dest (PSV Eindhoven/NED; 30/2), Kristoffer Lund (Palermo/ITA; 3/0), Tim Ream (Fulham/ENG; 53/1), Chris Richards (Crystal Palace/ENG; 14/1), Antonee Robinson (Fulham/ENG; 37/2), Miles Robinson (Atlanta United; 27/3), Joe Scally (Borussia Mönchengladbach/GER; 7/0)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Paxten Aaronson (Eintracht Frankfurt/GER; 1/0), Johnny Cardoso (Internacional/BRA; 9/0), Luca de la Torre (Celta Vigo/ESP; 19/0), Lennard Maloney (Heidenheim/GER; 1/0), Weston McKennie (Juventus/ITA; 48/11), Yunus Musah (AC Milan/ITA; 31/0), Gio Reyna (Borussia Dortmund/GER; 22/6), Malik Tillman (PSV Eindhoven/NED; 6/0)
FORWARDS (5): Brenden Aaronson (Union Berlin/GER; 36/8), Folarin Balogun (Monaco/FRA; 6/3), Kevin Paredes (Wolfsburg/GER; 2/0), Ricardo Pepi (PSV Eindhoven/NED; 20/9), Alex Zendejas (Club América/MEX; 7/1).