Gregg Berhalter explained the decision to exclude Yunus Musah from the US Men’s National Team’s two wins in the CONCACAF Nations League, while providing an update on the injury suffered by goaltender Zack Steffen.
Musah was the only available USMNT outfield not featured in the team’s wins over Honduras and Mexico, two games that would have officially tied the midfielder against the United States.
Now he will almost certainly have to wait until fall to be tied, but Berhalter has said the Valencia starlet is taking the lead and is set to play Costa Rica on Wednesday.
What did Berhalter have to say?
“It was a tactical decision,” USWNT boss Berhalter said of Musah’s omission. “That’s a big part of what we do. He’s a young player, 18, and in these particular games we’ve gone for something different. I don’t think that means he doesn’t. not part of the band. He’s a guy who we rely on and we rely on for the future.
“We wanted to bring him into these games the right way, to see the speed of the game, to get used to what CONCACAF is and to see him from the sideline, but he is ready to go. [Wednesday] and we can’t wait for him to play a big game. “
“He’s ready to go,” Berhalter added. “He understands they’re a team. He’s dealt with Valencia enough this year to understand that sometimes you can’t play, but it’s been a lot of communication from us and he’s good to go. It’s never easy for young players not to enter the pitch but he is patient and he has bought into the team concept and he is good to go [Wednesday]. “
Steffen for the friendly against Costa Rica
Heading into Wednesday’s friendly, the last game for most of this group before qualifying for the World Cup this fall, the United States will be without a starting goalie in Steffen, who was injured against Mexico.
The Manchester City goalkeeper was sent off in the second half, with Ethan Horvath becoming the USMNT hero with a late save from Andres Guardado’s penalty.
On Tuesday, Berhalter revealed that Steffen and defender Bryan Reynolds would miss the game against Costa Rica with identical injuries.
“They both have bone bruises on their knees, and it’s about a 10-day injury,” Berhalter said. “They are recovering and improving but will not be able to play the game.”
Berhalter also revealed that defenseman Matt Miazga has left the camp to celebrate his wedding and has been replaced by Nashville SC defenseman Walker Zimmerman.