Pulisic, McKennie lead American World Cup ‘revenge tour’ squad

Pulisic, McKennie lead American World Cup 'revenge tour' squad

NEW YORK : Christian Pulisic headlines a young United States World Cup squad headed to Qatar and determined to show they belong on soccer’s biggest stage after failing to qualify for the 2018 tournament.

Juventus midfielder Weston McKennie made the cut despite lingering concerns over a thigh injury, along with goalkeeper Matt Turner, Lille forward Tim Weah and Inter Miami CF defender DeAndre Yedlin.

“This is the revenge tour, if you want to call it that,” said Yedlin.

Little has gone as hoped for the Americans ahead of their World Cup opener against Wales on Nov. 21, as injuries have plagued their squad and Pulisic got limited playing time in the Premier League for Chelsea.

They failed to record a shot on goal in their penultimate warm-up match, a 2-0 defeat by Japan in September. Days later, the far lower-ranked Saudi Arabia held them to a 0-0 draw.

“Final roster decisions are always difficult, and we appreciate everyone’s contributions who helped us get to this point,” said head coach Gregg Berhalter.

“We believe we have a talented group, a strong team spirit, and one that is ready to compete.”

Pulisic is the charismatic face of a nation eager to drum up enthusiasm for the sport among fans more interested in baseball and basketball four years from when the United States host the tournament along with Canada and Mexico.

But there was no lack of vigor among the American fans on Wednesday, where VIPs packed into a trendy Brooklyn concert hall for the squad announcement.

The U.S. also face England and Iran in Group B.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Ethan Horvath (Luton Town), Sean Johnson (New York City FC), Matt Turner (Arsenal)

Defenders: Cameron Carter-Vickers (Celtic), Sergiño Dest (AC Milan), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls), Shaq Moore (Nashville SC), Tim Ream (Fulham), Antonee Robinson (Fulham), Joe Scally (Borussia Mönchengladbach), DeAndre Yedlin (Inter Miami CF), Walker Zimmerman (Nashville SC)

Midfielder: Brenden Aaronson (Leeds), Kellyn Acosta (LAFC), Tyler Adams (Leeds), Luca de la Torre (Celta Vigo), Weston McKennie (Juventus), Yunus Musah (Valencia), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders FC)

Forwards: Jesús Ferreira (FC Dallas), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders), Christian Pulisic (Chelsea), Gio Reyna (Borussia Dortmund), Josh Sargent (Norwich City), Tim Weah (Lille), Haji Wright (Antalyaspor)

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