The U.S. men's national team's Nov. 12 date with Mexico in a FIFA 2022 World Cup qualifier at TQL Stadium will be going to be right up there with some of the most memorable and unique nights in Cincinnati sports history.
Part of that is due to the star power USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter is calling into his November camp ahead of two upcoming qualifiers, the first of which will take place at FC Cincinnati's first-year venue.
Four days later, the USMNT will face Jamaica.
U.S. Soccer unveiled the 25-player roster Thursday, and it's complete with players representing some of the biggest clubs and league in the world.
Included in the roster are Christian Pulisic of Chelsea FC from England's Premier League, Tim Weah of defending French champions Lille, and Weston McKennie of traditional Italian power, Juventus.
The biggest exclusions from the roster for this window included FC Barcelona's Sergiño Dest due to injury and defender John Brooks, who has been out of form for his club, VFL Wolfsburg.
FC Cincinnati supporters should be plenty familiar with players and staff that will represent America against Mexico at TQL Stadium.
The roster features 10 active MLS players and all 10 have faced FC Cincinnati over the club's three seasons in the league.
Berhalter's roster includes former MLS players that have effectively graduated to European competition including former Philadelphia Union players Brenden Aaronson (Red Bull Salzburg in Austria) and Mark McKenzie (Genk in Belgium), FC Dallas' McKennie and Reggie Cannon (Boavista in Portugal), Sporting Kansas City's Gianluca Busio (Venezia in Italy), and others.
Aaronson, McKenzie and Busio all previously played against FC Cincinnati at Nippert Stadium, with Busio scoring a goal in his lone appearance at the famed, century-old American college football venue.
For Berhalter, the match in Cincinnati will be his third competitive competition within the city limits. His USMNT lost to Venezuela in 2019 while his Columbus Crew side was eliminated from the U.S. Open Cup by FC Cincinnati, then of the second-division United Soccer League, during the 2017 season.
USMNT roster —
(club/country; nat'l team appearances/goals):
Goalkeepers: Sean Johnson (New York City FC; 9/0), Zack Steffen (Manchester City/ENG; 24/0), Matt Turner (New England Revolution; 12/0).
Defenders: Reggie Cannon (Boavista/POR; 22/1), Mark McKenzie (Genk/BEL; 8/0), Chris Richards (Hoffenheim/GER; 4/0), Antonee Robinson (Fulham/ENG; 17/1), Miles Robinson (Atlanta United; 14/3), Joe Scally (Borussia Mönchengladbach/GER; 0/0), Sam Vines (Royal Antwerp/BEL; 8/1), DeAndre Yedlin (Galatasaray/TUR; 69/0), Walker Zimmerman (Nashville SC; 20/2).
Midfielders: Kellyn Acosta (Colorado Rapids; 42/2), Tyler Adams (RB Leipzig/GER; 20/1), Gianluca Busio (Venezia/ITA; 7/0), Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy; 33/8), Weston McKennie (Juventus/ITA; 27/7), Yunus Musah (Valencia/ESP; 9/0), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders; 29/0).
Forwards: Brenden Aaronson (Red Bull Salzburg/AUT; 13/5), Paul Arriola (D.C. United; 41/8), Jesús Ferreira (FC Dallas; 2/2), Ricardo Pepi (FC Dallas; 4/3), Christian Pulisic (Chelsea/ENG; 40/16), Tim Weah (Lille/FRA; 16/1).
With the match in Cincinnati kicking off the upcoming two-match window of qualifiers, the city and its soccer infrastructure will serve a critical role for the national team.
Players are set to begin arriving in the Queen City on Sunday, U.S. Soccer officials said, and will train locally leading up to the Nov. 12 game against Mexico.
USMNT enters this round of matches in World Cup qualifying for the Concacaf region, which features eight nations, in second place on a (3-1-2, 11 points). Mexico (4-0-2, 14 points) is leading the group.
USMNT don't have to win the eight-team group to reach the FIFA 2022 World Cup finals in Qatar. The aim is a top-three finish in what some soccer journalists are calling "the Octagonal."
A top-three finish guarantees an automatic spot in the group stage of the Qatar World Cup. The fourth place finisher in the group of eight advances to a two-leg intercontinental playoff against a nation from another FIFA region in the world.
This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: Inside the USMNT roster that will take on Mexico at TQL Stadium