Gregg Berhalter will open training camp Monday in Annapolis to begin preparations for his first major competition as U.S. men’s national soccer team coach.
The highly anticipated roster, however, is a complicated matter.
With MLS players in-season and European-based players recovering from long campaigns, Berhalter will gather a mix of senior figures from abroad and under-23 prospects for the first week of camp at the Naval Academy.
A fresh wave of players will begin arriving June 1, four days before a friendly against Jamaica at Audi Field in Washington and two weeks before the Concacaf Gold Cup begins.
As an officially sanctioned tournament, the Gold Cup allows national team coaches to summon anyone they choose. Rest assured, Berhalter will call on Chelsea-bound Christian Pulisic, German-based Weston McKennie and several others central to the rebuilding efforts.
For now, however, he will work with nine Gold Cup-eligible players from European clubs, including Werder Bremen forward Josh Sargent and English-based defenders Tim Ream, Matt Miazga, Cameron Carter-Vickers and Antonee Robinson.
Others reporting to camp right away are Joe Gyau, the Silver Spring winger who plays in Germany and will return to the national team after a 4½-year absence caused in large part by injuries; Mexican-based defender Omar Gonzalez; Danish-based forward Jonathan Amon; English-based Duane Holmes and Marlon Fossey; and Andrew Gutman, who is on loan in the U.S. second division from Scottish champion Celtic.
Emerson Hyndman, a midfielder for Premier League club Bournemouth, will train with the squad but is not eligible for Gold Cup selection because Berhalter did not include him on his 40-man provisional roster.
The 23-player Gold Cup squad will be submitted after the June 5 friendly.
Besides Pulisic and McKennie, players expected to arrive in camp late include goalkeepers Zack Steffen (Columbus Crew) and midfielders Michael Bradley (Toronto FC) and Paul Arriola (D.C. United).
It’s unclear whether German-based defender-midfielder Tyler Adams, who recently returned from injury, will arrive before the friendlies against Jamaica and Venezuela (June 9 in Cincinnati) or wait until the last stage of Gold Cup preparations.
MLS players chosen by Berhalter will be allowed to remain with their clubs for league matches June 1-2. Berhalter will unveil a roster of 26 or 27 players for the Jamaica match next Friday.
The under-23 team players invited to camp include former Georgetown goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski (San Jose Earthquakes) and ex-Maryland attacker Eryk Williamson, a D.C. United academy graduate now with the Portland Timbers. That group will depart camp when the rest of the senior players arrive next weekend.
A full U-23 squad will have a separate camp June 10-16 in the Salt Lake City area, but by inviting some to the early senior gathering, Berhalter aims to start integrating them into his system.
Here is the initial roster for the Annapolis training camp, with an asterisk indicating players in the mix for the two friendlies and the Gold Cup:
Goalkeepers: JT Marcinkowski (San Jose Earthquakes), Andrew Thomas (Stanford University), Justin Vom Steeg (L.A. Galaxy).
Defenders: Kyle Duncan (New York Red Bulls), Cameron Carter-Vickers* (Tottenham Hotspur), Marlon Fossey* (Fulham), Omar Gonzalez* (Atlas), Andrew Gutman* (Charlotte Independence), Matt Miazga* (Chelsea), Tim Ream* (Fulham), Antonee Robinson* (Everton).
Midfielders: Duane Holmes* (Derby County), Emerson Hyndman (Bournemouth), Keaton Parks (New York City FC), Eryk Williamson (Portland Timbers).
Forwards: Jonathan Amon* (Nordsjaelland), Luca de la Torre (Fulham), Joe Gyau* (Duisburg), Josh Perez (Los Angeles FC), Josh Sargent* (Werder Bremen), Haji Wright (Schalke).