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Berhalter calls in three Crew SC players for first U.S. National Team camp

There are plenty of familiar faces included in the young squad.

MLS: Columbus Crew at FC Dallas Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

There will be several familiar faces for new U.S. Men’s head coach Gregg Berhalter when the January training camp opens. Midfielder Wil Trapp, goalkeeper Zack Steffen, and forward Gyasi Zardes will join the national team for the camp that opens on Jan. 6. Berhalter, who was named the new national team coach in early December, announced his first team of call-ups on Thursday.

Steffen will look to build off his massive 2018 campaign after appearing six times for the national teal in his debut year. With a summer move to Manchester City already set, this is Steffen’s chance to lock down the starting goalkeeper spot ahead of this summer’s Gold Cup. A run of games with the national team will be required to open a path to getting his work permit.

Trapp became ever-present in the U.S. lineup last year. He played nine games and was the captain for much of the 2018 campaign. He’s been pivotal in how Columbus Crew SC played during Berhalter’s tenure as coach and was also the captain of the Black & Gold for much of Berhalter’s time in Columbus and will be a valuable on-field facilitator of how the new coach wants the team to play.

Zardes burst back onto the national team scene after his comeback year in 2018. He scored 19 goals in the Crew SC system after languishing with the Galaxy before the trade to Columbus this past January. He’s also one of the few veterans in the group, with 40 caps, which is second most on the team.

Berhalter is leaning heavily on youth with Michael Bradley the lone player over 30 years old. He has 142 caps in an international career that started in 2006 and saw him as part of the 2010 and 2014 World Cup squads. There are twelve uncapped players on the roster.

The camp is exclusively leveraging MLS talent with most European leagues currently in season and the camp falling outside an international window. The 27 players in camp come from 17 different MLS teams. An additional player will be added at a later date.

Berhalter will break from tradition of holding the January camp in Los Angeles and move to the San Diego area for this camp. Berhalter has a history of moving training camps around to break routine. Notably, Crew SC started the 2017 preseason in Brazil as a break from the sub-par 2016 season.

The U.S. team will finish with two friendlies, a Jan. 27 matchup against Panama at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. ET, and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN2 and Univision Networks. The team then heads back to California to face Costa Rica at the Earthquakes home, Avaya Stadium on Feb. 2. FOX and Univision Networks will carry the match at 3:30 p.m. ET.

Full January U.S. Roster by position (Club; Caps/Goals):

GOALKEEPERS (4): Alex Bono (Toronto FC/CAN; 1/0), Sean Johnson (New York City FC; 5/0), Tyler Miller (LAFC; 0/0),

Zack Steffen (Columbus Crew SC; 6/0)

DEFENDERS (10): Reggie Cannon (FC Dallas; 2/0), Greg Garza (FC Cincinnati; 10/0), Justen Glad (Real Salt Lake; 0/0), Nick Lima (San Jose Earthquakes; 0/0), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls; 2/0), Daniel Lovitz (Montreal Impact/CAN; 0/0), Mark McKenzie (Philadelphia Union; 0/0), Keegan Rosenberry (Colorado Rapids; 0/0), Auston Trusty (Philadelphia Union; 0/0), Walker Zimmerman (LAFC; 4/1)

MIDFIELDERS (10): Kellyn Acosta (Colorado Rapids; 23/2), Paul Arriola (D.C. United; 17/2), Corey Baird (Real Salt Lake; 0/0), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC/CAN; 142/17), Russell Canouse (D.C. United; 0/0), Marky Delgado (Toronto FC/CAN; 6/0), Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy; 5/1), Djordje Mihailovic (Chicago Fire; 0/0), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders FC; 5/0), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew SC; 11/0)

FORWARDS (3): Jeremy Ebobisse (Portland Timbers; 0/0), Christian Ramirez (LAFC; 0/0), Gyasi Zardes (Columbus Crew SC; 40/6)