US men's national team announces youthful MLS-heavy roster for December camp

UPDATE (Dec. 5): Forward Sebastian Soto has been called in for the USMNT's December camp, bringing the total number of players on the roster up to 24 ahead of its upcoming friendly with El Salvador in Miami. Soto, 20, currently plays in the Dutch second division with Telstar and is coming off a splashy debut for the Yanks last month, when he scored two goas after coming on as a second-half substitute against Panama.

UPDATE (Dec. 3): San Jose Earthquakes goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski has been called into camp to replace Real Salt Lake backstop David Ochoa, who has been diagnosed with a right quad strain. Marcinkowski started 11 games for San Jose in 2020 and has previously featured on the US youth circuit, with seven appearances for the Under-20 side and another five appearances for the U-23s.

UPDATE (Dec. 2): USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter added San Jose Earthquakes midfielder Jackson Yueill to the roster, and the squad now stands at 23 players. Yueill already has seven caps for the national team.

UPDATE (Dec. 1): US Soccer announced Tuesday that FC Cincinnati midfielder Frankie Amaya has withdrawn from the US men's national team's December camp after a positive COVID-19 test. Amaya is currently isolated as part of quarantine protocol and will be replaced by Orlando City SC's Andrés Perea.

ORIGINAL (Nov. 30): US men's national team head coach Gregg Berhalter has called in 22 players for December camp in South Florida ahead of the friendly with El Salvador at Inter Miami CF Stadium on Dec. 9, with a total of 12 uncapped players on the roster.

All the players currently represent MLS clubs, with the exception of former Philadelphia Union academy and now Benfica goalkeeper CJ Dos Santos. The average age of the call-ups is 22.

D.C. United winger Paul Arriola is one of the elder statesmen of the group, leading the way with 33 career senior caps. The 25-year-old will look to get back in the international mix after missing all but one game in 2020 with a torn ACL he suffered in preseason.

Philadelphia Union prodigy Brenden Aaronson and teammate Mark McKenzie are among the Homegrown products to get the call, joined by Portland's Marco Farfan, the LA Galaxy's Efrain Alvarez, Chicago Fire FC's Mauricio Pineda and Djordje Mihailovic, Toronto FC's Ayo Akinola and Colorado's Cole Bassett and Sam Vines.

Alvarez has represented Mexico at youth level and so would need to file a one-time change with FIFA in order to play against El Salvador. Galaxy teammate Julian Araujo and FC Cincinnati's Frankie Amaya are two other Mexico-eligible players to have been included, though both represented the U.S. at youth level.

Akinola, who has enjoyed a breakthrough season for Toronto, gets a first call despite also being eligible for Canada and Nigeria. Fellow first-time inclusion Daryl Dike is similarly also eligible to represent Nigeria.

Additional players may be added following the completion of the MLS Western Conference Semifinals.

“Since returning to the field, the focus has been on continuing to build on our foundation and preparing the team for important competitions in 2021,” Berhalter said in a US Soccer release. “We have utilized these opportunities to work with our core group while evaluating young talent in an effort to strengthen our overall player pool.”

USA roster for December 2020 camp

Pos. Player Club
GK Dos Santos, CJ Benfica
GK Hamid, Bill D.C. United
GK Marcinkowski, JT  San Jose Earthquakes
D Araujo, Julian LA Galaxy
D Duncan, Kyle NY Red Bulls
D Farfan, Marco Portland TimbersPortland
D Long, Aaron NY Red Bulls
D McKenzie, Mark Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia
D Pineda, Mauricio Chicago FireChicago
D Zimmerman, Walker Nashville SCNashville
M Aaronson, Brenden Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia
M Acosta, Kellyn Colorado RapidsColorado
M Perea, Andres Orlando City SC
M Bassett, Cole Colorado RapidsColorado
M Lletget, Sebastian LA Galaxy
M Yueill, Jackson San Jose Earthquakes
F Akinola, Ayo Toronto FC
F Alvarez, Efrain LA Galaxy
F Arriola, Paul D.C. United
F Dike, Daryl Orlando City SCOrlando
F Mihailovic, Djordje Chicago FireChicago
F Mueller, Chris Orlando City SCOrlando
F Soto, Sebastian SC Telstar