By Alberto Urueta

To open up the week Greg Berhalter, USMNT head coach, released the 27-man roster for the training camp to be held by the team in preparation for Copa America this summer. The team will face Colombia on June 8 in Washington D.C. and then travel to Orlando where they face five-time world champion just four days later.

To no surprise, the training camp list did not feature any of the two prominent USMNT strikers who currently torment defenses throughout Liga MX.

Brandon Vasquez from Monterrey was just recently bounced from the playoff run by Cruz Azul. Vazquez had 6 goals in 15 appearances and 7 starts. He totaled 747 minutes in the 2024 Clausura tournament that saw his Rayados squad fall to Cruz Azul on Away goals in the semi-final.

On the other side, Zendejas started 11 games with 15 total appearances and totaled four goals with an America Squad competing for the league title against Cruz Azul. Zendejas has been a mainstay in the America offense since his acquisition in 2021. He has played 102 caps for the team and has 30 goals, 12 assists and won the 2023-24 Apertura Tournament with Club America.

Both players are 26 years old this year and both have less than 10 USMNT games under their belts, Zendejas with just one goal in three Nations League appearances (2022-23) and Vazquez has eight total appearances and 4 goals to show for it. Vazquez had a stellar 2023 CONCACAF Gold Cup which saw him finish tied for 3rd on the top scorers list.

Unfortunately for Vazquez, the move from FC Cincinnati to Monterrey seemed to come with a hefty price as he was left off the initial list and all signs point to him being left off the final list to be released before the June 15th tournament deadline. From the 27-man roster released Monday, only four players play outside of the European Continent.

Goalkeeper Sean Johnson from Toronto FC, Defenders Shaq Moore and Miles Robinson from Nashville SC and FC Cincinnati, and Midfielder Timmy Tillman from LAFC all made the list. Unfortunately for Vazquez and Zendejas, the list of seven forwards (both listed as Forwards on the USMNT site) featured no players playing outside of Europe.

In fact, coach Berhalter chose to go with not one but two players from the English Football League Championship. The Championship is the “second division’ in English Football, sitting right below the mythical Premier League. Haji Wright from Coventry City and Josh Sargent from Norwich City both get the call-up over the Forwards from Liga MX. Making it clear what leagues this and most likely future USMNT head coaches would like to pull their rosters from.

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