McKennie, Sargent join U.S. Soccer veterans for friendly vs. Portugal

U.S. YNT stars Tyler Adams, Josh Sargent and Weston McKennie join veterans like John Brooks and DeAndre Yedlin on the 21-man roster.

U.S. Soccer fans clamoring for new blood in the squad got their wish with the roster reveal for the team’s coming friendly against Portugal on Nov. 14.

Tyler Adams, Weston McKennie and Josh Sargent all received their first senior team call-up by U.S. Men’s National Team interim head coach Dave Sarachan, while F.C. Dallas goalkeeper Jesse Gonzalez and Tottenham center back Cameron Carter-Vickers (on loan at Sheffield United) will both be looking for their first cap. 

Sarachan had the following to say in a statement released on the federation’s official website:

“The one word that I would use in reference to all of this is opportunity,” Sarachan said. “It’s an opportunity for many players who haven’t been in the picture that we feel have a bright future with the National Team to get to measure themselves in a game against a quality opponent. It’s an opportunity for our National Team to finish out 2017 in a positive way. It’s also just an opportunity to move on. As much as we’re still gutted from how things turned out with qualifying, we have to look ahead and finish out the year the right way.”

It was no surprise that with an eye forward toward future Gold Cups and the 2022 World Cup qualifying cycle that a roster featuring some of the bright stars of USA’s youth national teams would be called in for next Tuesday’s match. Twelve of the 21-man roster set to face Portugal are 24 years old or younger.

Still, as expected, some veterans will be present to take on a side that will include talents like Manchester City’s Bernardo Silva and in-form AC Milan forward André Silva. Alejandro Bedoya, one of eight Major League Soccer players named to the team, is the most experienced, followed by Newcastle right back DeAndre Yedlin (48 caps) and Wolfsburg center back John Brooks (32).

Dom Dwyer, who performed well up front for the U.S. National Team this summer, received a call-up for the upcoming friendly against Portugal.

With other notable names like Bobby Wood and Jordan Morris out with injuries, looking to provide the goalscoring along with potential debutante Sargent will be the trio of Juan Agudelo, C.J. Sapong and Dom Dwyer. Sargent, who starred earlier this year at the FIFA U-17 World Cup with a four-goal tournament, now becomes the first U.S. player to appear in a U-17, U-20 and MNT camp within the same calendar year.

Notably absent from the roster is Bundesliga phenom Christian Pulisic. The do-everything attacker that was a bright spot in an otherwise dark ending to World Cup qualifying is reportedly getting some time off to rest during the international break after a busy year for club and country.

Sarachan had this to say about Pulisic:

“Christian has had a very long year,” said Dave Sarachan, the U.S. assistant coach who is overseeing the team in the wake of Bruce Arena’s dismissal last month. “He has probably played more total games than almost anyone in our pool this year, and in doing that, Christian has really pushed the limits mentally and physically. With those things in mind, this was an opportunity for Christian to get a break and recharge for the rest of an important campaign with Dortmund.”

A look at the complete roster (club; caps/goals included):

GOALKEEPERS (3): Jesse Gonzalez (FC Dallas; 0/0), Bill Hamid (Midtjylland/DEN; 3/0), Ethan Horvath (Club Brugge/BEL; 1/0)

DEFENDERS (7): John Brooks (Wolfsburg/GER; 32/3), Cameron Carter-Vickers (Sheffield United/ENG; 0/0), Eric Lichaj (Nottingham Forest/ENG; 13/1), Matt Miazga (Vitesse/NED; 3/1), Tim Ream (Fulham/ENG; 26/1), Jorge Villafaña (Santos Laguna/MEX; 14/0), DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle United/ENG; 48/0)

MIDFIELDERS (7): Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas; 16/1), Tyler Adams (New York Red Bulls; 0/0), Alejandro Bedoya (Philadelphia Union; 65/2), Lynden Gooch (Sunderland/ENG; 2/0), Weston McKennie (Schalke/GER; 0/0), Kelyn Rowe (New England Revolution; 3/1), Danny Williams (Huddersfield Town/ENG; 22/2)

FORWARDS (4): Juan Agudelo (New England Revolution; 26/3), Dom Dwyer (Orlando City SC; 3/2), C.J. Sapong (Philadelphia Union; 2/0), Josh Sargent (St. Louis Scott Gallagher; 0/0)

The U.S. takes on Portugal sans Cristiano Ronaldo in Leiria at the Estádio Dr.Magalhães Pessoa at 3:45 p.m. ET next Tuesday (FS1, UniMas). 

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