Gaga Slonina included in US pre-World Cup training camp
CHICAGO (AP) — Chelsea-bound goalkeeper Gaga Slonina is among nine players from eliminated teams in Major League Soccer invited to fitness training by the U.S. Soccer Federation ahead of the national team’s World Cup roster announcement on Nov. 9.
Defenders Aaron Long, Shaq Moore, DeAndre Yedlin and Walker Zimmerman also were invited to the training camp that started Tuesday in Frisco, Texas, along with midfielder Cristian Roldan and forwards Paul Arriola, Jesús Ferreira and Jordan Morris
The players’ inclusion does not indicate they have earned spots on coach Gregg Berhalter’s 26-man roster. The majority of the roster is expected to be from European clubs, which have matches through Nov. 13.
Slonina has never played for the national team. Matt Turner of Arsenal, Zack Steffen of Middlesbrough, Ethan Horvath of Luton and Sean Johnson of New York City have been the top four goalkeepers in the U.S. player pool. Johnson and Los Angeles midfielder Kellyn Acosta are on teams that have reached this Sunday’s MLS conference finals and hope to be in the championship game on Nov. 5.
Cincinnati forward Brandon Vazquez was not included.
Slonina, 18, debuted for the Chicago Fire in August 2021 and agreed this past August to a contract with Chelsea under which he was loaned to the Fire for the rest of the 2022 MLS season. Slonina missed Chicago’s last two MLS games because of a head injury and has not played a competitive match since Sept. 17.
Morris and Roldan last played on Oct. 9, Long, Moore and Zimmerman on Oct. 15, Yedlin on Oct. 17 and Arriola and Ferreira on Sunday.
Back in the World Cup after missing the 2018 tournament, the U.S. opens against Wales on Nov. 21, plays England in a Black Friday matchup four days later and closes group play on Nov. 29 against Iran.
The training camp roster:
Goalkeepers: Gaga Slonina (Chicago)
Defenders: Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls), Shaq Moore (Nashville), DeAndre Yedlin (Miami), Walker Zimmerman (Nashville)
Midfielder: Cristian Roldan (Seattle)
Forwards: Paul Arriola (Dallas), Jesús Ferreira (Dallas), Jordan Morris (Seattle)
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