Pulisic USMNT Saudi Arabia 2022Getty

Who will be on the USMNT roster for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar?

Eight years after their last appearance, the U.S. men's national team is headed back to the World Cup. And, after those eight long years, we're just days from knowing the 26 players that will make the trip to Qatar.

Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie and co. will be there after sealing a ticket to Qatar after navigating the rough waters of CONCACAF with a total of 38 players joining the squad on the road back to the World Cup.

A few more have joined up since for a series of friendlies, with the player pool expanding just a bit more before cuts are made this fall, but, by and large though, we have a pretty good idea of who will and won't be on the plane to Qatar.

Article continues below

What will the USMNT's World Cup roster likely look like? Who are the 26 players that are most likely to head to Qatar?

Here's a look at what the U.S. could look like by the time the tournament kicks off later this year:


Turner USMNT 2022Getty

Zack Steffen, Matt Turner, Sean Johnson

In consideration: Ethan Horvath, Gabriel Slonina

The top two goalkeepers are locks, although it remains to be seen which of the two starts the opener against Wales

Steffen and Turner are still set to battle it out to be the USMNT's No. 1 as the goalkeeper race continues on.

Turner should be the favorite given his performances for club and country over the last year. The former New England Revolution star moved to Arsenal this summer hoping to take his game to a different level in the Premier League. He didn't lose a step for his country during friendlies against Japan and Saudi Arabia, where he was one of the brighter performers. In the weeks since, he's featured for Arsenal in the Europa League, although he's currently dealing with a minor injury.

Steffen, though, has been preferred by Berhalter throughout much of the race. However, he too has dealt with injury issues that have limited him on the club level. He's been fit recently, though, having made 15 appearances so far for Middlesbrough on loan from Manchester City.

Either way, both will be in the squad if healthy, but there's still debate regarding that No. 3 goalkeeper spot.

That's where Sean Johnson comes in. The NYCFC goalkeeper has been spectacular for his club and, against Uruguay this summer, he showed he can shine on the international level too. He's the favorite for that third spot after leading NYCFC to the Eastern Conference final with some solid saves in the MLS playoffs.

If not Johnson, who definitely is in pole position, or Horvath, the U.S. could bring Slonina, the Chicago Fire wonderkid, in what would be a it of a surprise.

For that third goalkeeper spot, teams traditionally turn to either an experienced veteran or a rising up-and-comer to be rewarded with a first taste of a World Cup. That up-and-comer is certainly Slonina, likely the USMNT's goalkeeper of the future.

However Johnson is that veteran and, given the current goalkeeping situation, the U.S. may not be able to afford to leave him at home.


Zimmerman USMNT 2022Getty

Reggie Cannon, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Sergino Dest, Aaron Long, Mark McKenzie, Antonee Robinson, Joe Scally, DeAndre Yedlin, Walker Zimmerman.

In consideration: John Brooks, George Bello, Shaq Moore, Erik Palmer-Brown, Matt Miazga, Chris Richards, Miles Robinson, James Sands, Sam Vines

In terms of starters, we have a pretty good idea of what the U.S. defense will look like.

Dest and Antonee Robinson will start at the fullback position, while Zimmerman will occupy one of the centerback spots. But after that is where things get interesting.

Due to Miles Robinson's injury, we still aren't fully sure of who partners Zimmerman. The favorite is probably Aaron Long, but he's had some up-and-down performances of late. For a while, it looked like it would be Richards, but the Crystal Palace defender hasn't played in months, making him doubtful to make the squad overall.

Richards' injury issues have opened the door for someone like McKenzie or Erik Palmer-Brown to jump into the squad.

At fullback, Yedlin will almost certainly be the backup on the right, Scally will provide cover on both sides and Cannon will also help on the right or centrally as part of a back three. Vines, a player who had a slight chance to make the squad, will now miss out due to injury.


McKennie USMNT 2022Getty

Kellyn Acosta, Tyler Adams, Luca de la Torre, Weston McKennie, Yunus Musah, Malik Tillman

In consideration: Gianluca Busio, Jonny Cardoso, Cristian Roldan, Sebastian Lletget, Djordje Mihailovic, Eryk Williamson

The starting three remain the same: Adams, McKennie and Musah. You can lock those three in.

You can also lock in Acosta, who is fresh off a goal in the MLS Cup final. The LAFC star is Adams' best backup and provides a good boost on set pieces should the need arise.

One of the big question marks suddenly is De la Torre, who is currently dealing with a leg injury. The Celta Vigo midfielder wasn't great in his most recent USMNT call-up, but he still is likely the most like-for-like replacement for Musah. Should he not be ready, that opens the door for someone like Roldan, a vital veteran, to make the team.

The most interesting name in this group, though, is Tillman. The young Rangers star is versatile and, despite some ups and downs with his new club this year, has probably shown enough to make the squad.

As for some of those set to miss out, it appears Mihailovic and Williamson's chances are all but gone after neither was invited to join the camp for MLS players ahead of the tournament.


Pulisic USMNT 2022

Brenden Aaronson, Paul Arriola, Jesus Ferreira, Ricardo Pepi,Christian Pulisic , Gio Reyna, Josh Sargent, Tim Weah

In consideration: Jordan Morris, Matthew Hoppe, Daryl Dike, Konrad de la Fuente, Jordan Pefok, Brandon Vazquez, Haji Wright, Gyasi Zardes

The wing spots are easy. Some combination of Pulisic, Reyna, Aaronson and Weah will start, while Arriola is a valuable, veteran backup that can bring a change of pace.

So let's move right on from that and go to the striker spot.

Ferreira is likely still the starter as he remains the best fit. Pepi and Sargent sure have made things interesting, though, with both in good form for their clubs after struggling mightily last season. Pepi is scoring plenty while on loan with Groningen while Sargent is right near the top of the leaderboard for goals in the Championship with Norwich.

But then there's Pefok, who came out of the gates so hot in the Bundesliga. He's cooled off a bit and dealt with some injury issues, which means he may not be able to push his way in. It's unfortunate for him that an eight-game scoreless streak came at the worst possible time as he'll likely miss out despite being a good change-of-pace option.

Finally, Vazquez has been ruled out despite his incredible play in MLS, while Wright seems unlikely, despite his great form in Turkey.

How will the USMNT line up at the World Cup?

If Berhalter was to pick his team today for the team's opening game in Qatar, this is what he would most likely go for:

USMNT Projected XI November