USA roster for March 2023 CONCACAF Nations League games: Projected USMNT squad players vs Grenada, El Salvador
The U.S. men’s national team returns to its first official competitive action since the conclusion of the 2022 FIFA World Cup as the USMNT convenes for two CONCACAF Nations League games against Grenada and El Salvador.
The last time the U.S. took the field was in January 2023 when the Americans broke camp for friendlies against Serbia and Colombia. Those matches were played with a roster largely made up of domestic-based players since the games were not scheduled during an official FIFA international window and clubs around the world were not required to release players.
However, the matches in March 2023 do fall within a designated FIFA international window, with games on the road at Grenada on March 24 and then at home against El Salvador on March 27. The first-choice contingent of USMNT players should be summoned.
With the roster likely to be released on Wednesday, March 15 at 1 p.m. EDT. The Sporting News breaks down who could be involved in the Nations League games.
MORE: A way-too-early look at a USMNT roster for the 2026 FIFA World Cup
USMNT roster for March 2023 games (projected)
Below is a projected 27-man USMNT roster for the March 2023 international break.
One important note: there is no limit to the roster size for CONCACAF Nations League matches. The USA assembled a 23-man roster for their most recent CONCACAF Nations League games last summer, while they featured 24 players in the latest January camp and 26 players last September.
The projection below features 27 players, but the U.S. could give additional players a look, or cut it down to a tighter group.
MORE: USMNT schedule in 2023
|Gaga Slonina||GK||18||1||Chelsea (ENG)|
|Zack Steffen||GK||27||29||Middlesbrough (ENG)*|
|Matt Turner||GK||28||24||Arsenal (ENG)|
|Cameron Carter-Vickers||DEF||25||12||Celtic (SCO)|
|Tim Ream||DEF||35||50||Fulham (ENG)|
|Chris Richards||DEF||22||8||Crystal Palace (ENG)|
|Miles Robinson||DEF||26||21||Atlanta United (USA)|
|Walker Zimmerman||DEF||29||39||Nashville SC (USA)|
|Sergino Dest||DEF||22||23||AC Milan (ITA)*|
|Antonee Robinson||DEF||25||33||Fulham (ENG)|
|Joe Scally||DEF||20||3||Borussia M’gladbach (GER)|
|John Tolkin||DEF||20||1||New York Red Bulls (USA)|
|DeAndre Yedlin||DEF||29||77||Inter Miami (USA)|
|Kellyn Acosta||MID||27||57||LAFC (USA)|
|Tyler Adams||MID||24||36||Leeds United (ENG)|
|Weston McKennie||MID||24||41||Leeds United (ENG)*|
|Yunus Musah||MID||20||23||Valencia (ENG)|
|James Sands||MID||22||7||NYCFC (USA)|
|Malik Tillman||MID||20||4||Rangers (SCO)|
|Brenden Aaronson||FWD||22||28||Leeds United (ENG)|
|Jesus Ferreira||FWD||22||17||FC Dallas (USA)|
|Ricardo Pepi||FWD||20||12||FC Groningen (NED)*|
|Christian Pulisic||FWD||24||56||Chelsea (ENG)|
|Gio Reyna||FWD||20||16||Borussia Dortmund (GER)|
|Josh Sargent||FWD||23||23||Norwich City (ENG)|
|Tim Weah||FWD||23||29||LOSC Lille (FRA)|
|Alejandro Zendejas||FWD||25||1||Club America (MEX)|
* On loan
At goalkeeper, Gaga Slonina will get a chance to show he belongs in this squad. While Sean Johnson isn’t exactly out of the fold yet, it might be worth sacrificing the third-string veteran to bring Slonina aboard. Johnson, 33 years old, is now playing at Toronto FC, where he hasn’t kept a single clean sheet in six matches to start the MLS season, a potential reason to make way for a promising youngster.
In defense, Miles Robinson and Chris Richards were both expected to be World Cup participants before injuries ruined the plan. So with both now healthy, they should return to push for a 2026 spot. Richards has work to do at the club level, but for now he remains a top option for the USA. There is a fifth full-back spot that appears up for grabs, and New York Red Bulls left-back John Tolkin earned another look in January camp, with New England’s DeJuan Jones also a possible option.
At midfield, the “MMA” trio of Weston McKennie, Yunus Musah, and Tyler Adams are locks, as always. Alejandro Zendejas just committed to the USA and will reportedly be involved, able to play in midfield or out wide. James Sands had a rough go at Rangers, but remains a versatile option for the U.S. after returning home to NYCFC where he’s earning consistent minutes in both defense and midfield.
Up front, most of the places should be taken up by regulars like Christian Pulisic and Tim Weah. The situation around Gio Reyna is dicey given the recent publication of an investigation that saw his parents front and center. Daryl Dike has returned from injury and is in good form at West Brom, but there just may not be enough room for him to squeeze in.
Alejandro Zendejas commits to USA
The future of dual national Alejandro Zendejas was in the spotlight during January camp as the Club America winger featured for the USA and performed well in the friendly against Serbia. The interim U.S. coaching staff was highly complimentary of Zendejas both before and after the match, thankful to both the player and his club that he was able to participate.
While Zendejas was born in Mexico, he has participated for the United States at various youth levels, but recent speculation of a potential one-time switch to his birth nation (Mexico) fueled doubts over his international future.
MORE: Why Zendejas chose the USA over Mexico
That was put to bed on March 14 as Zendejas announced his commitment to the USMNT at the senior level. It was a major recruitment win for the U.S. to secure a promising player despite not currently having a sporting director or head coach to lead the team. There are reports that Zendejas will participate in the Nations League matches in March which would ensure he is cap-tied to the USA moving forward.
OFFICIAL: Alex Zendejas has committed to the USMNT 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/C4KTGoFTqi
— U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team (@USMNT) March 14, 2023
Will Gio Reyna get USMNT call-up?
In the immediate aftermath of the U.S. Soccer investigation into U.S. World Cup coach Gregg Berhalter which exposed questionable actions by Claudio and Danielle Reyna, parents of American star Gio Reyna, the USMNT coaching staff now has a decision to make which could prove awkward either way.
The report from third party law firm Alston & Bird did not reflect well on Gio’s parents, with evidence to suggest the two had been trying to “influence” Gio’s status with the U.S. national team as far back as 2016.
Their actions during and immediately following the 2022 World Cup came under the spotlight, choosing to report an instance of domestic violence involving out-of-contract head coach Berhalter that occurred 31 years ago. It triggered an investigation that ended in Berhalter being cleared to coach again, while bringing to light the Reynas’ behavior, communications, and interactions that has been widely criticized.
Gio Reyna is one of the more promising young players in the USMNT player pool and has been for a while, and holding him accountable for the actions of his parents would be unfair. Yet his presence in the squad could be awkward for other players and staff, and his season at Borussia Dortmund on the field has also taken a step back since the World Cup ended. He’s been forced to take a back seat to more in-form attackers like Julian Brandt and Karim Adeyemi.
Ultimately, Reyna is a talented enough player at a young enough age that this matter should be considered in the past, and he will likely be selected to the March roster. In fact, Steven Goff of the Washington Post has reported that Reyna will indeed be brought into the squad, largely to avoid turning the story into something bigger than it needs to be.
Still, it’s not inconceivable that the USMNT coaching staff could potentially opt to leave him out for this international break and instead choose to reintegrate him at a future camp.
USA vs Mexico in April
The U.S. national team announced an international match against rivals Mexico that will take place on April 19 in Glendale, Arizona.
The match is the first edition of the brand new Continental Clasico that will see the United States play various opponents from North, Central, and South America.
Since the match does not fall within a designated FIFA international window, it’s unlikely that top, European-based players will feature for either nation. Instead, the rosters will largely be made up of domestic-based players that are voluntarily released from their club.
— U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team (@USMNT) March 14, 2023