The USMNT was looking as a serious contender for the Gold Cup 2021 trophy after proving their strength in the Concacaf Nations League finals with a team full of talents. However, coach Gregg Berhalter has surprised with his submitted roster, which omitted Weston McKennie.
The 22-year-old has had an impressive first season at Juventus, where he arrived on loan before the club exercised the buy-option to sign him until 2025. The American midfielder has taken part in 46 games in the 2020/21 campaign and scored six goals.
Therefore, it became even clearer that the US national team had a gifted player on its hands. McKennie, however, was surprisingly left out of the 2021 Gold Cup squad despite his great season and solid performance in the CNL finals.
Weston McKennie left out of the USMNT's roster for the 2021 Gold Cup
When the USMNT defeated Mexico in a thrilling Nations League final to claim the title, its Gold Cup championship hopes automatically increased and it seemed like it was going to be the team to beat in the competition. However, Berhalter's list may have decreased those expectations.
The USMNT coach decided that Weston McKennie, like his fellow European-based teammates, deserved a break and that's why he wasn't selected for the 2021 Gold Cup squad. Berhalter previously advised, though, that he was considering making such a decision.
Following a long Serie A season that included Champions League soccer and other major tournaments, for the US national team manager, McKennie would need time to rest at some point before the club pre-season begins. Therefore, he would have to play either the Nations League or the Gold Cup, but not both competitions.
Besides, Berhalter has apparently taken the upcoming contest as an opportunity to try new players and see where everyone stands ahead of the Final Round of the World Cup Qualification for Qatar 2022.