“I know we’re all really excited and hungry to get together, finally put all the pieces together and see what we can do.” – Gio Reyna
Well, Outlaws, it’ll have been 285(!!!) days, but one of our beloved teams will finally see the pitch again. And then again four days later!
On Nov. 12, the U.S. Men’s National Team will take on Wales — and their talisman, Tottenham’s Gareth Bale — in Swansea.
Then, on Nov. 16, we’ll take on our old pals, the Panamanians. Where? Not Panama City. Not Orlando. Not even Kansas City, where we’ve faced them approximately 1,458 times.
Wiener Nuestadter Stadion in Wiener Neustadt, Austria, will host the matchup. We’re sure it’s lovely, and we wish we could be there — unfortunately, that’s not in the cards (Surely you know why by now).
By the way: Since we’ve decided not to host in-person watchparties this window, why not watch online with your fellow Outlaws? Learn more here.
Coach Berhalter’s callups include several familiar faces — and 10 players who have yet to earn their first cap with the senior team.
Here’s a rundown of who we’ve got this window. Some you definitely know by now; as for the new guys, here’s what you should know.
(Senior team caps/goals in parentheses)
Zack Steffen, Manchester City (17/0)
Ethan Horvath, Club Brugge (4/0)
Chituru Odunze, Leicester City, (0/0): Certainly one of the taller players ever to make a USMNT roster (6’7″), 18-year-old “Big C” has a decent amount of action with the U-17 team. Currently, he plies his trade with Leicester City’s U-18s. He’s seen much of the world already, and is also eligible to play for Canada, England and Nigeria.
Tim Ream, Fulham (40/1)
John Brooks, VfL Wolfsburg (38/3)
Matt Miazga, Anderlecht (18/1)
Reggie Cannon, Boavista (11/0)
Antonee Robinson, Fulham (7/0)
Sergino Dest, Barcelona (3/0)
Chris Richards, Bayern Munich (0/0): The Alabama native and FC Dallas product has gotten a few appearances with the storied club’s senior team; last month, he got his first start -and- assist. Primarily a centerback, he’s versatile enough to fill in at fullback, too.
Weston McKennie, Juventus (19/6)
Sebastian Lletget, LA Galaxy (14/2): The sole MLS representation on the roster. Why? The MLS playoffs, for one, but also COVID-related travel complications.
Tyler Adams, Red Bull Leipzig (10/1)
Johnny Cardoso, Internacional (0/0): It’s been a minute since we’ve had a player at a South American club, huh? Born in New Jersey, Johnny moved to Brazil with his parents at a young age. He’s a defensive mid — a position the MNT has been in short supply of in recent years.
Richie Ledezma, PSV Eindhoven (0/0): Count the Phoenix native among the ranks of long-awaited MNT callups. Previously part of the Real Salt Lake system, in 2018 he joined PSV — one of Holland’s most prestigious clubs — and made his debut earlier this month. He’s got a handful of USYNT appearances, too.
Yunus Musah, Valencia (0/0): Only the diehardiest of U.S. soccer fans was familiar with Yunus before this fall. Even though he’s got a handful of appearances with England’s youth teams, Gregg’s call was clearly enough to pique his interest. He opened his account with Valencia earlier this month, and even put one past Real Madrid’s Thibaut Courtois this past weekend before getting VAR’d. Born in NYC, he’s also eligible to play for Italy and Ghana. Is he just dipping his toes in the water with the USA? For now, we just want to see what he can do.
Owen Otasowie, Wolverhampton (0/0): Like Yunus, Owen was born in the Big Apple. He’s made the bench for Wolves a few times, but has yet to feature for the up-and-coming Premier League club outside of a few Europa League minutes last year. He’s also defensive minded and ready to prove his worth to the national team.
Christian Pulisic, Chelsea (34/14): He’s coming to camp, but due to his recent injury status, we’re not sure if he’ll dress for either game. Stay tuned.
Josh Sargent, Werder Bremen (12/5) Not released by club due to COVID. Yeah, we’re bummed.
Timothy Weah, Lille (8/1)
Uly Llanez, Heerenveen (1/1): The USMNT’s leading scorer through 10 months of 2020. Here’s to many more, this year or otherwise.
Konrad de la Fuente, Barcelona (0/0): He’s been with Barca longer than Sergino (since age 12, in fact), but he has yet to make his first appearance with the senior team. We think that day will come sooner than later, though.
Nicholas Gioacchini, Caen (0/0): Hey, speaking of Kansas City — that’s Niko’s birthplace. He’s also eligible to play for Italy (his father’s native country) and Jamaica (his mother’s). While he can play pretty much anywhere on the attacking side, he fancies himself as a #9 — another position of need for the MNT.
Giovanni Reyna, BVB Dortmund (0/0): It’s hard to believe Gio — the son of one of U.S. soccer’s most storied players and already well entrenched in Dortmund’s lineup — is only now getting his first senior team callup (blame COVID). We expect Gio to make himself right at home from the first minute of his first cap — and hopefully provide the same level of service that’s led Erling Haaland to dub him “the American Dream.”
Sebastian Soto, Telstar (0/0): Sebastian made a name for himself in the 2019 U-20 World Cup as the USYNT’s #9, finding the net four times (including a brace against France). His skills drew the attention of EFL Championship side Norwich City, who subsequently loaned him to another second-flight club — and he’s equally making a name for himself there, with five goals in six games.