McKennie, Carter-Vickers could make US soccer debuts
CHICAGO — Midfielders Weston McKennie and Tyler Adams, 17-old forward Josh Sargent, defender Cameron Carter-Vickers and goalkeeper Jesse Gonzalez could make their U.S. national team debuts in a Nov. 14 exhibition at Portugal.
Defender Matt Miazga, midfielder Lynden Gooch and goalkeepers Ethan Horvath and Bill Hamid also are part of a young 21-man roster announced Tuesday by interim coach Dave Sarachan, who took over when Bruce Arena quit last month after the U.S. failed to qualify for next year’s World Cup. Half the players are 24 and under.
Christian Pulisic, the Americans’ star 19-year-old midfielder, is being given the game off. After missing the World Cup for the first time since 1986, the U.S. likely will not play a competitive match until the summer of 2019 and has more than five years to prepare for the 2022 World Cup.
“Christian has had a very long year,” Sarachan said in a statement. “Christian has really pushed the limits mentally and physically. With those things in mind, we felt this was an opportunity for Christian to get a break and recharge.”
Forward Jordan Morris is still recovering from a right hamstring injury suffered Sept. 10, forward Bobby Wood is out with a knee problem and winger Paul Arriola is recovering from an unspecified medical procedure. Players were not picked from the four teams remaining in Major League Soccer’s playoffs, ruling out Toronto forward Jozy Altidore and midfielder Michael Bradley.
Defender John Brooks returns from a torn thigh muscle suffered Aug. 12 that caused him to miss qualifiers in September and October. The oldest player on the roster is 30-year-old midfielder Alejandro Bedoya.
McKennie, 19, made his Bundesliga debut last May with Schalke and has appeared in seven league and two cup matches this season.
Sargent agreed in September to sign a professional contract with Werder Bremen when he turns 18 on Feb. 20. He could become the first player to appear for the Under-17, Under-20 and national team in the same year.
“He’s in good form coming off his time with the U-17s and is someone who will be able to handle the fitness level we’re looking for in this camp,” Sarachan said. “This camp gives us a chance to give a first look to a young player we think will have a bright future in the national team program.”
The 19-year-old Carter-Vickers, a son of former NBA guard Howard Carter, made his Tottenham debut last season and appeared in a pair of FA Cup matches. On loan this season to second-tier Sheffield United, he has one goal in eight matches.
Adams, 18, played with Sargent and Carter-Vickers at this year’s Under-20 World Cup and became a regular this season with the New York Red Bulls.
The 22-year-old Gonzalez was on the U.S. roster for this year’s CONCACAF Gold Cup but did not appear in a match. A former member of Mexican youth teams, he has become a starter for Dallas.
European champion Portugal qualified for next year’s World Cup and is using a roster with three players over 30 and two who played against the U.S. during the 2-2 group-stage draw at the 2014 World Cup: goalkeeper Beto and forward Eder. FIFA Player of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo was left off for the game.
Goalkeeprs: Jesse Gonzalez (Dallas), Bill Hamid (Midtjylland, Denmark), Ethan Horvath (Club Brugge, Belgium)
Defenders: John Brooks (Wolfsburg, Germany), Cameron Carter-Vickers (Sheffield United, England), Eric Lichaj (Nottingham Forest, England), Matt Miazga (Vitesse, Netherlands), Tim Ream (Fulham, England), Jorge Villafana (Santos Laguna, Mexico), DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle, England)
Midfielders: Kellyn Acosta (Dallas), Tyler Adams (New York Red Bulls), Alejandro Bedoya (Philadelphia), Lynden Gooch (Sunderland, England), Weston McKennie (Schalke, Germany), Kelyn Rowe (New England), Danny Williams (Huddersfield, England)
Forwards: Juan Agudelo (New England), Dom Dwyer (Orlando), C.J. Sapong (Philadelphia), Josh Sargent (St. Louis Scott Gallagher)