Who will be on the USMNT roster for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar?

USMNT celebrate 2021
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GOAL breaks down the 23 players that look most likely to be named in Gregg Berhalter's squad after qualification was secured on Wednesday

The countdown is officially on and the World Cup will kick off in Qatar before you even know it.

The U.S. men's national team will be there after sealing a ticket to Qatar after navigating the rough waters of CONCACAF with 38 players joining the squad on the road back to the World Cup.

A few more have joined up since for a series of summer matches, with the player pool expanding just a bit more before cuts are made this fall.

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Throughout the USMNT's World Cup qualifying run, Gregg Berhalter has routinely pointed to depth, however as the World Cup edges closer there is only so much room on the plane, and there are only so many players that can be brought on the USMNT's final journey.

There's still room for late risers, especially at a few positions. One only has to look at DeAndre Yedlin's rapid rise in 2014 to show just how important a good run of form could be for a young player come World Cup time.

By and large though, we have a pretty good idea of who will and won't be on the plane to Qatar.

What will the USMNT's World Cup roster likely look like? Who are the 23 (or, if FIFA confirms, 26) players that are most likely to head to Qatar?

Here's a look at what the U.S. could look like by the time the tournament kicks off later this year:

Goalkeepers

Steffen USMNT 2022

Zack Steffen, Matt Turner, Sean Johnson

In consideration: Ethan Horvath, Gabriel Slonina

The top two goalkeepers stay the same, although we still haven't moved much closer to deciding which will actually start when the U.S. finally kicks off their World Cup against Wales.

Steffen and Turner are still set to battle it out to be the USMNT's No. in the coming months, even if both could head into their club seasons as their respective team's No 2.

The result of their race may very well come down to the last moment, as Turner moves to Arsenal this summer hoping to take his game to a different level in the Premier League.

Rightly or wrongly, Berhalter has preferred Steffen throughout this process so, for now, we can assume he's No 1, but with both potentially being backups on the club level by the time Qatar rolls around, Berhalter will have a tough choice to make if it gets that far.

That's where Sean Johnson comes in. The NYCFC goalkeeper has been spectacular for his club and, against Uruguay this summer, he showed he can shine on the international level too.

He's likely a bit too far out of the race to seal a starting spot but there's a chance he could prove necessary if neither Turner not Steffen are in good form.

If not Johnson, who definitely is in pole position, the U.S. could bring Slonina, the Chicago Fire wonderkid.

For that third goalkeeper spot, teams traditionally turn to either an experienced veteran or a rising up-and-comer to be rewarded with a first taste of a World Cup. That up-and-comer is certainly Slonina, likely the USMNT's goalkeeper of the future.

However Johnson is that veteran and, given the current goalkeeping situation, the U.S. may not be able to afford to leave him at home.

Defenders

Sergino Dest USMNT Honduras 2021

Cameron Carter-Vickers, Sergino Dest, Aaron Long, Chris Richards, Antonee Robinson, Joe Scally, DeAndre Yedlin, Walker Zimmerman.

In consideration: John Brooks, George Bello, Reggie Cannon, Shaq Moore, Erik Palmer-Brown, Mark McKenzie, Matt Miazga, Miles Robinson, James Sands

A big change in this category when it comes to the center-back position.

Miles Robinson's Achilles injury is absolutely devastating for both the Atlanta United star and the USMNT. Prior to that injury, Robinson was a pencilled-in starter next to Zimmerman.

Now that position is in a bit of flux. Barring a miraculous recovery, Robinson won't be ready by the time the tournament kicks off and, if he is, he certainly won't be in form.

That leaves Long, Carter-Vickers and Richards as the three battling it out to start alongside Zimmerman. As things stand, Long may be the favorite, but much can change in the next few months.

As for full-back, more of the same really. Dest and Robinson are locks to start, while Yedlin and Cannon are both quality right-backs. Cannon, unfortunately for him, may be the odd man out right now.

The question is at left-back. Can the U.S. rely on Dest as both a starter and a backup?

If not, look at Bello or Scally to get the nod. After the latter struggled against Uruguay, Scally probably has the edge given his versatility, but a strong start to the Bundesliga season would certainly be a big help.

Midfielders

Musah Costa Rica 2022 USMNT

Kellyn Acosta, Tyler Adams, Gianluca Busio, Luca de la Torre, Weston McKennie, Yunus Musah

In consideration: Cristian Roldan, Sebastian Lletget, Djordje Mihailovic, Malik Tillman

Mostly straightforward at this point.

Adams, McKennie and Musah are the starters and will be in Qatar most likely. Acosta backs up Adams while De la Torre is the like-for-like replacement for Musah.

The question is what to do with that other spot, the one that's meant to back up McKennie.

Busio offers creativity and can play in either an advanced or defensive role. Roldan is vital for the team's culture and works hard, while Mihailovic is someone that may well be higher on the list if injuries didn't rob him of a spot in camp.

Tillman is the wild card. He made the switch this summer, and the reasons behind that switch are between him and the USMNT's leadership. Was he promised a spot like Julian Green? Who knows?

Given his pedigree and his versatility, he could be an effective bench player in Qatar.

Forwards

Ferreira USMNT 2022 Aaronson Roldan

Brenden Aaronson, Jesus Ferreira, Christian Pulisic, Ricardo Pepi, Gio Reyna, Tim Weah

In consideration: Paul Arriola, Jordan Morris, Josh Sargent, Jordan Pefok, Matthew Hoppe, Daryl Dike, Konrad de la Fuente, Haji Wright, Gyasi Zardes

Congratulations to Ferreira, who has joined Aaronson, Pulisic, Reyna and Weah among the locks. Following the summer matches, he's leading the race for that No 9 spot, even if that race is far from over.

Ferreira is the best fit to get the most out of a talented group of wingers, with those wingers remaining the USMNT's strengths. Many teams would be glad to have a pool featuring Pulisic, Reyna, Weah and Aaronson, and all four will have a part to play in Qatar.

The big question, as always with this team, is the striker.

Pepi remains a candidate, although he'll have to find the back of the net a few times to re-announce himself. Wright is likely the one right behind him, even if Berhalter expected a lot more from him this summer.

Don't write off someone like Dike either, as a strong start to his season in England could vault him right back up the rankings. The USMNT striker race is fickle, and it'll probably stay that way right up until the very end.

Those final three spots

Wright USMNT 2022

Should FIFA confirm that rosters will be expanded to 26, there are several players that Berhalter could turn to.

He'd likely bring one of Roldan as a veteran or Tillman as an up-and-comer since both can help out in several positions. That leaves room for one winger and one striker.

Arriola brings energy and Morris brings pace, and both have plenty of pros and cons next to their name. For now, we'll lean Arriola as his skillset could be useful in certain World Cup situations, even if this spot is "break in case of emergency" level.

At striker, we'll go with Wright for now, but who knows what that forward pool will look like come November.

How will the USMNT line up at the World Cup?

If Berhalter was to pick his team today for the team's opening game in Qatar, this is what he would most likely go for:

USMNT WC Projected XI

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