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USA have world’s youngest squad for World Cup Qualifiers

The second international break of the season is upon us and the USMNT are gearing up to contest two crucial World Cup qualification tussles against Jamaica and Panama later this week.

Remarkably, the USA will take the youngest national team squad in the world into the October international programme with the average age of the players in their roster standing at just 24.6.

Incredibly, nine of Greg Berhalter’s squad are aged 21 or under and soccer fans across the country are giddy at the prospect of watching their young hotshots in action.

Gregg Berhalter’s charges have collected a modest five points from three fixtures in the CONCACAF Qualification section so far and the United States will go on the hunt for their second victory in the group when they take on the Jamaicans in Texas on Thursday.

USMNT’s youthful squad

Regularly labelled a “Golden Generation”, the current crop of USMNT players is arguably the most talented group the country has ever produced and the country’s squad is heavily dusted with world-beating potential.

With an average age of only 24.6, the roster has a fresh-faced hue, however, that number would have been even lower had national team squad regulars like 23-year-old Christian Pulisic, 21-year-old Josh Sargent, 20-year-old Konrad de la Fuente, 18-year-old Giovani Reyna been available for selection.

A glance at the average age of some of the other nation’s squads from October’s World Cup Qualifiers pushes home just how young the USMNT’s pool is in comparison.

In Europe, the Netherlands’ squad has an average age of 26.0, while England’s and Germany’s are 26.1 each, and Portugal’s 27.7.

In South America, the average age of traditional powerhouses Brazil and Argentina’s squads are 27.3, while the US’s cross-border rivals Canada have a clutch of players with an average age of 26.1.

Youngest players in the USMNT squad

Ricardo Pepi

Age: 18

Date of Birth: Jan 9, 2003

International appearances: 1

FC Dallas starlet Ricardo Pepi made a huge splash when he debuted in the last international break for the USMNT, when the teenager scored the USA’s crucial second goal in their 4-1 win over Honduras. Pepi has scored 13 times in 27 MLS appearances for his club this term.

Yunus Mensah

Age: 18

Date of Birth: Nov 29, 2002

International appearances: 6

Yunus Musah was the subject of an intense battle between England and the United States over the past 12 months, as both nations attempted to secure his commitment. However, in March earlier this year, the Valencia winger declared for the USA and Musah has been a fixture in the squad ever since.

Gianluca Busio

Age: 19

Date of Birth: May 28, 2002

International appearances: 6

Talented Venezia midfielder Gianluca Busio only made his international debut against Haiti in July, though the 19-year-old has been a key component for Greg Berhalter since. In a whirlwind start to the campaign, Busio move to Serie A in Italy just a month after turning out for his country for the first time.

George Bello

Age: 19

Date of Birth: Jan 22, 2002

International appearances: 4

Atalanta United left-back George Bello looks set to be a national team staple for the next decade. The 19-year-old has been involved in the international setup since U15 level and Bello achieved senior honors for the first time in January when he was introduced as a substitute against Trinidad & Tobago.

Matthew Hoppe

Age: 20

Date of Birth: Mar 13, 2001

International appearances: 5

Attacker Matthew Hoppe was drafted into the USMNT squad for the first time in May earlier this year and the 20-year-old has collected five caps since. The forward left Germany club Schalke 04 in the summer after they were relegated from the Bundesliga, though Hoppe’s career with new employers Mallorca in Spain has started tentatively.








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