GK, Arsenal (England)
Hometown: Park Ridge, N.J.
Undrafted out of Fairfield University, overlooked by youth national teams and underappreciated for years in MLS, Turner is the ultimate late bloomer. He parlayed exceptional work with the New England Revolution into a U.S. debut in 2021 and, through performances for club and country, moved to the Premier League this past summer. Turner was the 2021 MLS goalkeeper of the year.
GK, New York City FC (United States)
Hometown: Lilburn, Ga.
Johnson has been among MLS’s top keepers for more than a decade, first with the Chicago Fire and, for the past six seasons, with NYCFC, the 2021 champion. He made his U.S. debut in 2011 but was always behind Tim Howard, Brad Guzan and, more recently, Steffen and Turner on the depth chart. His experience and camaraderie with the group, though, made him a prime choice for the No. 3 role.
GK, Luton Town (England)
Hometown: Highlands Ranch, Colo.
Horvath’s club path meandered through Norway and Belgium before taking him to England’s second flight with Nottingham Forest. Playing time in 2021-22 was limited, though, leading to a loan within the division to Luton Town. He didn’t appear in any World Cup qualifiers, but as a sub in the 2021 Concacaf Nations League final, he stopped a penalty kick in extra time against Mexico.
DF, Nashville SC (United States)
Hometown: Lawrenceville, Ga.
Like many others, the center back has risen to prominence under Gregg Berhalter in recent years. Unlike most others, he has been around a while. The MLS standout was initially a backup in World Cup qualifying, but by offering a physical presence, aerial superiority and leadership, he ended up starting nine of the final 11 qualifiers and wearing the captain’s armband multiple times.
DF, New York Red Bulls (United States)
Hometown: Oak Hills, Calif.
The late-blooming center back returned to the national team in June after he tore an Achilles’ tendon in May 2021. He missed the qualifying campaign but upon his return helped fill the void left by Miles Robinson, who, in May, also suffered an Achilles’ tendon injury. Long’s speed and finesse complements Zimmerman’s power on the backline. He was MLS’s defender of the year in 2018.
DF, Fulham (England)
Hometown: Liverpool, England
Known as “Jedi” for his love of "Star Wars," the English-born left back is the son of a former Duke soccer player who naturalized. The younger Robinson came through Everton’s youth system and played for Bolton and Wigan before landing at Fulham in 2020 and helping the Cottagers return to the Premier League in May. He appeared in 13 of 14 World Cup qualifiers, starting 11 and scoring twice.
DF, AC Milan (Italy)
Hometown: Almere, Netherlands
Born and raised in the Netherlands, Dest gained eligibility through his American father and began representing U.S. youth teams six years ago. In 2019, with the Dutch national team showing interest, he committed to the U.S. program. Few teammates can match his skill level, and though Dest is listed as a defender, his forte is pressing forward on the right flank and complementing the attack.
DF, Nashville SC (United States)
Hometown: Powder Springs, Ga.
Until his move to MLS this summer, Moore had spent his entire professional career in Spain, where he most recently played three seasons for Tenerife. The right back saw action in four World Cup qualifiers and in all six matches of the Americans’ Gold Cup run in the summer of 2021. During that tournament, he scored the fastest goal in U.S. team history, finding the net 20 seconds into a group-stage match against Canada.
DF, Inter Miami (United States)
The right back has logged the longest continuous service to the national team, beginning months before the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. He made three substitute appearances in Brazil, which helped spur a move to Tottenham from the Seattle Sounders and a 7½-year stay in Europe. His other clubs were Sunderland, Newcastle and Galatasaray. He returned stateside before the 2022 MLS season.
DF, Celtic (Scotland)
Hometown: Southend-on-Sea, England
The center back’s father, Howard Carter, was a star basketball player at LSU and in 1983 was drafted by the Denver Nuggets in the first round. Cameron, whose mother is English, spent part of his childhood in Louisiana. He came through Tottenham’s system and played on loan at seven clubs before sticking at Celtic. He wasn’t part of World Cup qualifying but reentered the scene in June.
DF, Borussia Mönchengladbach (Germany)
Hometown: Lake Grove, N.Y.
The New York City FC homegrown Scally signed a pro contract at age 15 and, before even appearing in an MLS regular season match, committed to the German club to move abroad when he turned 18. In his first full Bundesliga season in 2020-21, he made 30 appearances and started 20 times. Though not involved in World Cup qualifying, the right back offers the versatility of being able to play on the left.
DF, Fulham (England)
Hometown: St. Louis
In his eighth season with Fulham, the center back has been part of squads that have alternated promotion and relegation each year since 2018. His U.S. debut came in 2010, when many current teammates were in elementary school. Ream started the qualifying opener at El Salvador but didn't play again, leaving him out of the World Cup picture until final selections.
MF, Leeds United (England)
Hometown: Wappingers Falls, N.Y.
The defensive midfielder began his career in the New York Red Bulls academy, played three Bundesliga seasons with RB Leipzig, then moved to the Premier League this past summer on a $24 million transfer. Mature beyond his years, he sets the tone for the U.S. team and connects the defense with the attack. In the 14-game World Cup qualifying, he played in all but one and started all but two.
MF, Juventus (Italy)
Hometown: Little Elm, Tex.
Few Americans have ventured to Serie A, and fewer have thrived there. McKennie is in his third season with Italy’s most famous club following four with Schalke in the Bundesliga. A two-way central player, McKennie started seven qualifiers but missed time because of injuries and for violating team health protocols. He brings a big personality that has made him one of the program’s most popular figures.
MF, Valencia CF (Spain)
Born in New York to Ghanian parents, Musah grew up in Italy and England and rose through Arsenal’s academy while representing English youth national teams. Eligible for four countries, Musah chose the U.S. program in 2021. While thriving at Valencia, he quickly became a U.S. regular and ended up starting 10 World Cup qualifiers. His skill level and intelligence have made him invaluable to the cause.
Luca de la Torre
MF, Celta de Vigo (Spain)
Hometown: San Diego
With an EU passport thanks to a Spanish father, de la Torre moved to England after his freshman year of high school and spent seven years in Fulham’s system. The attacking midfielder's career took flight over two seasons at Dutch club Heracles before he jumped to La Liga this past summer. He didn't gain regular time in qualifiers until late and is recovering from a leg injury suffered in late October.
MF, Los Angeles FC (United States)
Hometown: Plano, Tex.
Although he’s not a full-time starter, Acosta led the U.S. team in matches played and minutes in 2021, appearing in all but one game. He also featured in all but one World Cup qualifier and started six times. Acosta’s strengths are his ability to disrupt attacks and serve precision long balls into dangerous areas. His U.S. career began in 2016 and he has played 10 MLS seasons for three clubs.
MF, Seattle Sounders (United States)
Hometown: Pico Rivera, Calif.
A Seattle starter for almost his entire eight-year pro career, Roldan has won two MLS Cups and helped the Sounders win the Concacaf Champions League last spring. He’s a U.S. roster regular but infrequent starter, providing central depth. Also eligible to represent El Salvador and Guatemala, he committed to the United States in 2017. His brother Alex, a Seattle teammate, plays for El Salvador.
MF, Leeds United (England)
Hometown: Medford, N.J.
Nicknamed the “Medford Messi,” Aaronson has, over 3½ years, gone from MLS (Philadelphia Union) to Austria (Red Bull Salzburg) and, in a $28 million transfer this past summer, to the Premier League, where he made an immediate impact. He packages high energy, speed and skill into a slight frame. McKennie calls him an “annoying gnat, like a fly that you can't get out of your face.”
FW, Chelsea (England)
Hometown: Hershey, Pa.
U.S. soccer has been exporting players to Europe for decades, but no one has accomplished so much in so little time: U.S.-record $73 million transfer, UEFA Champions League title, FIFA Club World Cup crown, UEFA Super Cup trophy. Pulisic's next big step is the World Cup. His ability to create and finish scoring opportunities will go a long way toward deciding whether the Americans advance far.
FW, Borussia Dortmund (Germany)
Hometown: Bedford, N.Y.
A series of hamstring injuries placed Reyna's promising career on hold and sidelined him for almost all the qualifiers. If fit and in form, though, he could play a large role in Qatar as a winger or central figure. He was, at 17, the youngest American to debut in the Bundesliga. Reyna’s father, Claudio, a Hall of Famer, was on four World Cup squads and his mother, Danielle, played one year for the women’s side.
FW, Lille (France)
Hometown: Rosedale, N.Y.
Weah’s father, George, is arguably the greatest player in African history, a Liberian striker who starred for AC Milan, among other clubs. (He’s now president of Liberia.) Tim Weah grew up in New York and Florida, joined Paris Saint-Germain’s academy at age 14 and, in 2020-21, helped Lille win the Ligue 1 championship. Primarily a winger for the U.S. team, Weah can play anywhere in the attack.
FW, FC Dallas (United States)
Hometown: McKinney, Tex.
In the U.S. team’s never-ending quest for a consistent striker, Ferreira made his mark in 2022 by earning a set of starts and scoring four goals in a Nations League match vs. Grenada. In MLS, he scored eight goals in both 2019 and ’21 and was among the league’s top producers with 18 in 2022. Born in Colombia, he moved to Texas at age 10 – his father, David, played for Dallas – and became a U.S. citizen in 2019.
FW, Seattle Sounders (United States)
Hometown: Mercer Island, Wash.
After missing most of 2021 with an ACL injury, Morris rejoined the U.S. squad in early 2022 for the last stretch of qualifiers. In June, he scored his first international goal in 2½ years, a late equalizer at El Salvador in the Nations League. Since leaving Stanford in 2016 to sign a homegrown contract, Morris has played a key role in Seattle’s two MLS Cups and the Concacaf Champions League title.
FW, Antalyaspor (Turkey)
Hometown: Los Angeles
A former youth national team star, Wright needed several years and clubs to finally find his stride at the club level. He parlayed an 11-goal campaign in Denmark in 2020-21 into a loan to the Turkish circuit, where he posted 14 goals last season. This past summer, Antalyaspor acquired him permanently. Wright made his long-awaited senior national team debut in June.
FW, Norwich City (England)
Hometown: O'Fallon, Mo.
Sargent was on the fast path, starring for youth national teams and signing with Werder Bremen in Germany upon turning 18. He began World Cup qualifying as the starting center forward but struggled with his form for both Norwich City and the U.S. team. This season, he has rediscovered his scoring touch.