180 minutes of friendlies, against Japan and Saudi Arabia this week, is all the time Gregg Berhalter will have with the USMNT players before the team reports to the 2022 World Cup camp in November.
[ MORE: Five questions for the USMNT | Japan vs USMNT preview ]
Serious questions remain over at least two starting points for the USMNT, with the 2022 tournament in Qatar now less than two months away. Center back and center forward are, worryingly, total unknowns at the moment. They were at the start of World Cup qualification last October, and they still are today.
The left-back will be a sticking point for Berhalter in this international window, with Antonee Robinson injuring her ankle while playing for Fulham on September 3, but the 25-year-old is not expected to miss much time and remains on track. starting against Wales on November 21.
Join our live Q&A session on the NBC Sports YouTube channel after the Japan vs USMNT game on Friday, September 23, as we will be live from 10:30am ET to answer your questions!
PST’s Joe Prince-Wright expertly broke down the situation at each position this week (below), and then we’ll look at some of the potential (and likely) options for Berhalter when the Yanks take on Japan in Dusseldorf, Germany.
Surprisingly, with red-hot Jordan Pefok off this list despite his incredible start to the season for Bundesliga leaders Union Berlin, the duo of Ricardo Pepi and Josh Sargent have had one last chance to prove themselves against Berhalter. Gio Reyna is back in the squad, which is a huge boost, and gives Berhalter plenty of options in the attacking midfield areas. How will he get Brenden Aaronson, Christian Pulisic and Reyna into the same starting lineup? Can the?
In the center of defence, things have been complicated by injuries to Cameron Carter-Vickers and Chris Richards, who were set to battle it out to see who starts alongside Walker Zimmerman in the World Cup. The likes of Aaron Long, Mark McKenzie and Erik Palmer-Brown will see this as a great opportunity to make the roster as Miles Robinson seems unlikely to make the squad following his Achilles tendon injury. Yunus Musah’s absence through injury is a blow, as he would likely start alongside Tyler Adams and Weston McKennie in midfield. In goal, Zack Steffen is out after being injured and just returned, so Ethan Horvath and Sean Johnson will be battling it out for that third and final goalkeeping spot with Matt Turner now the starter.
COMPLETE SCHEDULE FOR THE 2022 WORLD CUP
Best Possible/Highest USMNT Alignment Up
Adams—De la Torre
Latest news USMNT
Japan vs USMNT: How to Watch Live, Team News, Updates Five Questions for USMNT in September Camp, Friendlies World Cup 2022 Group B: England, USA, Iran, Wales Schedule, Matches, Standings
USMNT lineup in shape
Yedlin, Zimmerman, Palmer-Brown, Scally
Most likely alignment of USMNT
Yedlin — Zimmerman — Largo — Destiny
USMNT’s starting lineup options for the pre-World Cup friendly against Japan originally appeared on NBCSports.com