Gonzalez, Ream back with US national team under Berhalter

CHICAGO (AP) — Omar Gonzalez and Tim Ream are back with the U.S. national team for the first time since 2017, and new coach Gregg Berhalter omitted Brad Guzan, Jorge Villafana and Bobby Wood from his first roster with the full player pool.

Berhalter also left off young players Josh Sargent, Tim Weah and Cameron Carter-Vickers for the exhibitions against Ecuador and Houston. Berhalter said Tuesday the under-23 team will play a pair of games this month, its first since failing to qualify for the 2016 Olympics, and they appear headed for that group.

He did select a trio of 20-year-olds who form the core of the rebuilt U.S. midfield: Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie and Tyler Adams.

Jordan Morris, a 24-year-old forward, is back for the first time since tearing his right anterior cruciate ligament in February 2018.

Kellyn Acosta and Darlington Nagbe are among those left off the 24-man roster.

Berhalter was hired in December, 14 months after the U.S. lost at Trinidad and Tobago, ending a streak of seven straight World Cup appearances. The first American coach who played for the U.S. at the World Cup, Berhalter used a roster entirely from Major League Soccer for his first two matches, a 3-0 win over Panama and 2-0 victory over Costa Rica. His new roster has 15 players from MLS and nine based in Europe.

The U.S. plays Ecuador on March 21 at Orlando, Florida, and Chile five days later at Houston.

Michael Bradley is the senior player with 143 appearances. Thirteen players have fewer than 10, and the roster averages 25 years, 265 days.

Gonzalez had not played for the U.S. since the loss at Trinidad and Ream since a September 2017 home defeat to Costa Rica, arguably the most significant defeat that led to the qualification failure.

Berhalter’s trio of goalkeepers is led by Zack Steffen, who has agreed to transfer from Columbus to Manchester City in July. Sean Johnson and Ethan Horvath were picked, and Bill Hamid was left off.

Right back Nick Lima, left back Daniel Lovitz, central defender Aaron Long were selected after impressing during the January camp. Lovitz and Ream appear to be the most likely left backs, and John Brooks the leading center back.

Forwards include young MLS players Corey Baird, Jonathan Lewis and Christian Ramirez along with Gyasi Zardes and Paul Arriola. Jozy Altidore is still recovering from ankle surgery.

The roster:

Goalkeepers: Ethan Horvath (Club Brugge, Belgium), Sean Johnson (New York City), Zack Steffen (Columbus).

Defenders: John Brooks (Wolfsburg, Germany), Omar Gonzalez (Atlas, Mexico), Nick Lima (San Jose), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls), Daniel Lovitz (Montreal), Matt Miazga (Reading, England), Tim Ream (Fulham, England), DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle, England).

Midfielders: Tyler Adams (RB Leipzig, Germany), Michael Bradley (Toronto), Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy), Weston McKennie (Schalke, Germany), Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund, Germany), Cristian Roldan (Seattle), Wil Trapp (Columbus)

Forwards: Paul Arriola (D.C.), Corey Baird (Salt Lake), Jonathan Lewis (New York City), Jordan Morris (Seattle), Christian Ramirez (Los Angeles), Gyasi Zardes (Columbus).