The U.S. men’s national team kicked off October’s World Cup Qualifying schedule with a win on Thursday night over Jamaica, but now heads to Panama this weekend without three players due to separate reasons.
Weston McKennie, Antonee Robinson, and Zack Steffen will not travel with Gregg Berhalter’s side to Panama City on Sunday and instead will head straight to Columbus, Ohio for next week’s clash with Costa Rica. McKennie experienced soreness in his right quadriceps following the Jamaica win, while Robinson and Steffen will not travel to Panama due to the quarantine requirements for those returning to the United Kingdom.
McKennie and Robinson both played 90 minutes apiece in Thursday’s 2-0 victory over Jamaica, which moved the USMNT up to first place in the octagonal round standings. Steffen watched from the sidelines as Matt Turner retained the current No. 1 spot in goal.
With Robinson unavailable for Sunday’s date with Panama, Berhalter could start Atlanta United’s George Bello at the left back position. Sergino Dest is also an option at left back, while DeAndre Yedlin and Shaq Moore are options at right back.
McKennie’s absence could see Berhalter go with several different options in midfield. Tyler Adams and Yunus Musah both started alongside McKennie on Thursday while Sebastian Lletget, Cristian Roldan, and Gianluca Busio were all unused substitutes in Austin, Texas.
The USMNT will face off with Panama in World Cup Qualifying for the first time since 2017. Panama has only defeated the Americans twice in 23 all-time meetings, both of which came in the Concacaf Gold Cup.