Jeff Carlisle, U.S. soccer correspondentAug 30, 2023, 02:09 PM ET
CloseJeff Carlisle covers MLS and the U.S. national team for ESPN FC.
The reconciliation between U.S. men’s national team manager Gregg Berhalter and Gio Reyna will have to wait, as the Borussia Dortmund forward was left off the 24-player roster named for upcoming friendlies against Uzbekistan on Sept. 9 in St. Louis, and Oman in St. Paul, Minnesota, three days later.
Reyna, one of eight expected players to miss the upcoming matches due to illness or injury, is still in the process of returning to full fitness after sustaining a leg fracture at the Concacaf Nations League final against Canada last June. He just returned to training with Borussia Dortmund last week.
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The player and manager haven’t communicated since a feud involving Berhalter on one side, and Reyna and his parents, Claudio and Danielle on the other, spilled into public view eight months ago. It included the revelation by Berhalter that he nearly sent an unnamed player — later identified as Reyna — home from the World Cup.
In response, Danielle Reyna revealed to U.S. Soccer a 1992 domestic violence incident involving Berhalter and his wife, Rosalind. U.S. Soccer allowed Gregg Berhalter’s contract to expire while it investigated. The USSF was ultimately satisfied with the Berhalters’ explanation of the incident and rehired Gregg Berhalter as manager last June. Anthony Hudson and later B.J. Callaghan managed the team on an interim basis prior to Berhalter’s rehiring.
Berhalter hasn’t spoken with Gio Reyna since the feud became public but said team staff had been in contact. His conversation with Gio Reyna will take place at an unspecified time.
“He’s been responding, and for us, it’s understanding the sensitivity around the issues, understanding the right time, in the right way.” Berhalter said during a conference call Wednesday.
“It’s just being a little bit more thoughtful, a little bit more sensitive to the past. And I look forward to having conversations with him. I look forward to watching his progress and hopefully him getting back on the field and then for us, hopefully being able to include him in the October camp.”
The roster still includes plenty of familiar names, including the AC Milan duo of Christian Pulisic and Yunus Musah, newly signed AS Monaco forward Folarin Balogun, as well as Juventus midfielder Weston McKennie. Overall, the roster includes 12 players who helped the U.S. reach the round of 16 at the World Cup, and 16 who were part of the U.S.’s Concacaf Nations League-winning team this summer.
Gio Reyna has yet to feature for Borussia Dortmund this season as he recovers from injury. Elsa/Getty Images
“We want to basically acknowledge that, OK, there’s been good work, but now we can take it to a different level and here’s how we’re going to take it to a different level,” Berhalter said. “And part of that is a player-ownership model, where they have more ownership in what’s happening.”
The other injured players include usual captain Tyler Adams of Bournemouth, Utrecht attacker Taylor Booth, Celtic defender Cameron Carter-Vickers, Toronto FC goalkeeper Sean Johnson, Norwich City forward Josh Sargent, Manchester City goalkeeper Zack Steffen and Nashville SC defender Walker Zimmerman.
One new face is Palermo defender Kristoffer Lund. Lund, a 21-year-old left back, has played internationally for Denmark at the youth level, and he has applied for a one-time change of association with FIFA. He is eligible to represent the U.S. through his mother.
Other uncapped players include Inter Miami goalkeeper Drake Callender, Wolfsburg defender Kevin Paredes and Inter Miami midfielder Ben Cremaschi.
Fulham defender Tim Ream returns to the U.S. after missing out on the Nations League due to a broken arm.
International teams from Europe, Africa and South America are all involved in qualifying for various competitions, thus rendering them unavailable. That left U.S. Soccer to schedule Uzbekistan and Oman. Both teams are preparing to compete in the 2023 AFC Asian Cup to be held in Qatar next January.
“We have a long-term strategic approach, with two of the principles being strong rosters and maintaining continuity,” Berhalter said in a U.S. Soccer release. “We are thrilled to have a number of core players in this group while also being able to introduce some new faces to the senior team. Uzbekistan and Oman are types of teams we could face in the World Cup, so it’s an important opportunity to gain that experience.”
DETAILED ROSTER BY POSITION (Club/Country; Caps/Goals)
GOALKEEPERS (3): Drake Callender (Inter Miami; 0/0), Ethan Horvath (Nottingham Forest/ENG; 8/0), Matt Turner (Nottingham Forest/ENG; 32/0)
DEFENDERS (9): Sergiño Dest (PSV Eindhoven/NED; 26/2), Kristoffer Lund (Palermo/ITA; 0/0), Mark McKenzie (Genk/BEL; 11/0), Kevin Paredes (Wolfsburg/GER; 0/0), Tim Ream (Fulham/ENG; 51/1), Chris Richards (Crystal Palace/ENG; 10/1), Antonee Robinson (Fulham/ENG; 36/2), Miles Robinson (Atlanta United; 25/3), Joe Scally (Borussia Mönchengladbach/GER; 6/0)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Johnny Cardoso (Internacional/BRA; 7/0), Ben Cremaschi (Inter Miami; 0/0), Luca de la Torre (Celta Vigo/ESP; 16/0), Weston McKennie (Juventus/ITA; 44/11), Yunus Musah (AC Milan/ITA; 27/0), Malik Tillman (PSV Eindhoven/NED; 4/0)
FORWARDS (6): Brenden Aaronson (Union Berlin/GER; 32/7), Folarin Balogun (Arsenal/ENG; 2/1), Cade Cowell (San Jose Earthquakes; 8/1), Ricardo Pepi (PSV Eindhoven/NED; 16/7), Christian Pulisic (AC Milan/ITA; 60/25), Tim Weah (Juventus/ITA; 31/4)
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.