Christian Pulisic, Ricardo Pepi Headline USMNT Roster for 2022 World Cup Qualifiers

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVAugust 26, 2021

DENVER, CO - JUNE 06: Christian Pulisic #10 and Weston McKennie #8 of United States celebrates after scores during the CONCACAF Nations League Championship Final between United States and Mexico at Empower Field At Mile High on June 6, 2021 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Omar Vega/Getty Images)
Omar Vega/Getty Images

The United States men's national team announced its roster Thursday for its first World Cup qualifiers beginning in September:

U.S. Soccer MNT @USMNT

The πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ squad that will open the 2022 <a href="https://twitter.com/FIFAWorldCup?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@FIFAWorldCup</a> Qualifying campaign. <br><br>Sept. 2 at πŸ‡ΈπŸ‡»<br>Sept. 5 vs. πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦ <br>Sept. 8 at πŸ‡­πŸ‡³<br><br>More on our <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WCQ?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WCQ</a> Roster Β» <a href="https://t.co/OEOSBLGIyt">https://t.co/OEOSBLGIyt</a> <a href="https://t.co/NvJW52LSAF">pic.twitter.com/NvJW52LSAF</a>

The Americans will travel to face El Salvador in the first match on Sept. 2, followed by a home game against Canada on Sept. 5 and a road game against Honduras on Sept. 8.

The roster features the team's biggest stars, including Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie and Tyler Adams. 

FC Dallas forward Ricardo Pepi also joins the roster and could make his first appearance for the senior national team after the dual-national was deciding between USA and Mexico. 

Pepi, 18, has been one of the biggest stories leading up to World Cup qualifying thanks to his potential impact for either of the two CONCACAF rivals. The El Paso, Texas, native has scored nine goals in 20 MLS matches so far this season.

"It’s so hard – it's actually very hard," Pepi said about his decision earlier this week. "I don't know, I've spent about three, four months thinking about this decision. And I feel like I'm in the same place every day. I can't lean one way or I can't lean the other way. I'm just stuck in the middle."

He can now appear in a competitive match for the United States and become cap-tied to the squad.

The roster is also loaded with other promising young talents, including Konrad de la Fuente, Gio Reyna, Brenden Aaronson and George Bello, all under the age of 21.

Pulisic, 22, remains a key part of the squad but was a question mark for this international break after testing positive for COVID-19. It appears the Chelsea player will be cleared in time to compete for the national team.

Matthew Hoppe and Reggie Cannon are among the notable snubs after competing for the team during the Gold Cup, while defenders Chris Richards and Matt Miazga were also left off the list.