Nashville SC USMNT

Walker Zimmerman named to US roster for Jan-Feb World Cup Qualifying window

#asexpected. From USSF release:

GOALKEEPERS (4): Sean Johnson (New York City FC; 9/0), Gabriel Slonina (Chicago Fire; 0/0), Zack Steffen (Manchester City/ENG; 26/0), Matt Turner (New England Revolution; 13/0)

DEFENDERS (9): Reggie Cannon (Boavista/POR; 22/1), Sergiño Dest (Barcelona/ESP; 15/2), Brooks Lennon (Atlanta United; 1/0), Mark McKenzie (Genk/BEL; 8/0), Chris Richards (Hoffenheim/GER; 6/0), Antonee Robinson (Fulham/ENG; 19/1), Miles Robinson (Atlanta United; 15/3), DeAndre Yedlin (Galatasaray/TUR; 71/0), Walker Zimmerman (Nashville SC; 23/2)

MIDFIELDERS (7): Kellyn Acosta (LAFC; 45/2), Tyler Adams (RB Leipzig/GER; 22/1), Luca de la Torre (Heracles/NED; 4/0), Sebastian Lletget (New England Revolution; 33/8), Weston McKennie (Juventus/ITA; 28/8), Yunus Musah (Valencia/ESP; 11/0), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders; 30/0)

FORWARDS (8): Brenden Aaronson (Red Bull Salzburg/AUT; 15/5), Paul Arriola (D.C. United; 42/8), Jesús Ferreira (FC Dallas; 5/2), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders; 40/10), Ricardo Pepi (Augsburg/GER; 7/3), Christian Pulisic (Chelsea/ENG; 42/17), Tim Weah (Lille/FRA; 18/2), Gyasi Zardes (Columbus Crew; 66/14)

US Soccer release

Zimmerman continues to benefit from having made the most of his opportunity when called in as an injury replacement in the October window. He’s captained the Americans three times this year (twice in the Gold Cup, and again for the December friendly against Bosnia and Herzegovina). With John Brooks not called, it’s likely that Zimmerman continues to play a large role as a like-for-like replacement in some aspects – namely as an aerial threat attacking and defending – while complemented by a player who can be a little more impactful in the passing game.

In non-Zimmerman notes, the return of Luca de la Torre to the squad will provide a creative option in the middle that’s been lacking at times when the Americans can’t run out their best midfield (though all three members of that best midfield, Tyler Adams, Weston McKennie, and Yunus Musah are all in the squad). Former FC Dallas teammates Jesús Ferreira and Ricardo Pepi are joined by Gyasi Zardes in the strike corps – with winger Tim Weah among those who can slot in if necessary.

Chicago Fire’s 17-year old Gabriel Slonina seems poised to be set onto a star track – even though he’s likely to be the fourth option throughout this three-game qualifying window.

The Americans take on El Salvador in Columbus, Canada in Hamilton, Ont., and Honduras in St. Paul from Jan. 27-Feb. 2. A nine-point window would, for obvious reasons, be ideal, and would leave the US atop the Octagonal with two qualifying windows remaining. Pending results on the out-of-town scoreboard, it could even seal a top-four finish (and at worst a berth in the intercontinental playoff) for the Americans en route to Qatar 2022.

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