Yunus Musah Among The Surprise Callups

The United States men’s national team’s roster for the Nov. 12 friendly against Wales was released on Tuesday and it came with some surprising names.

Nine players who haven’t been capped cracked the roster, including Borussia Dortmund’s Gio Reyna, Bayern Munich’s Chris Richards and Valencia winger Yunus Musah, who scored his first La Liga goal over the weekend. Chelsea star Christian Pulisic, who is dealing with a hamstring injury, is also in the squad.

Here is the official roster which is filled with youth.

Goalkeepers: Ethan Horvath (Club Brugge), Chituru Odunze (Leicester City), Zack Steffen (Manchester City)

Defenders: John Brooks (Wolfsburg), Reggie Cannon (Boavista), Sergino Dest (FC Barcelona), Matt Miazga (Anderlecht), Tim Ream (Fulham), Chris Richards (Bayern Munich), Antonee Robinson (Fulham)

Midfielders: Tyler Adams (RB Leipzig), Johnny Cardoso (Internacional), Richard Ledezma (PSV), Weston McKennie (Juventus), Yunus Musah (Valencia), Owen Otasowie (Wolves)

Forwards: Konrad de la Fuente (FC Barcelona), Nicholas Gioacchini (Caen), Christian Pulisic (Chelsea), Uly Llanez (Heerenveen), Gio Reyna (Dortmund), Josh Sargent (Werder Bremen), Sebastian Soto (Telstar), Tim Weah (Lille).

That’s a surprising roster for sure. Setting this match in Europe probably played a factor since Gregg Berhalter wouldn’t want to deal with any logistical nightmares with the ongoing pandemic and lockdowns in Europe.

Not to mention, the MLS season is still in progress, with Decision Day coming this weekend. It’s great to see so many young players get their chance. Going after guys like Ledezma and Musah and getting them into the camp is great for the chances of cap-tying them down the road. Ledezma could, in theory, represent Mexico, and Musah, born in New York, is a former England youth player.

It should be noted that Musah has not appeared for England in any official FIFA competitions. Getting Musah’s reported approval for this friendly is a great sign as the United States continues to work on eventually getting him cap-tied for an official FIFA match.

He’s an intriguing player with a lot of potential that’s seen more minutes than expected at Valencia this season. Thrown into Javi Gracia’s plans thanks to a firesale and no recruitment, Musah has been a regular starter on the right wing for the La Liga club, showing off his speed and technical ability. He scored the opener in the 2-2 draw with Getafe this past weekend. Take a look:

Now, fans would be wise to see him as a prospect with some serious quality, but it is hard to see him being a big factor during important matches over the next year. His minutes at Valencia should remain consistent with very little competition around him, especially with Gracia playing former right midfielder Carlos Soler at center mid, which is his natural position.

Another interesting player is Ledezma, who just made his PSV debut last weekend and got an assist. He’s a technical player with great vision and certainly has a bright future at a bigger club than PSV.

All in all, it’s a youthful team filled with the very best prospects and potentially a bunch of players who could factor into the World Cup qualifying cycle for 2022.

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