McKenzie, Palmer-Brown added to USA squad for friendlies

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Defenders Mark McKenzie and Erik Palmer-Brown have been added to the 26-strong US training squad prior to pre-World Cup friendlies against Japan and Saudi Arabia, USA Soccer said Sunday.

The pair replaces Cameron Carter-Vickers and Chris Richards, both of whom are sidelined with minor injuries.

The 23-year-old McKenzie, who plays for Genk in Belgium, has earned eight caps for the United States, including a start in the 3-2 championship victory against Mexico in the inaugural CONCACAF Nations League Final.

Palmer-Brown has appeared twice for the United States in 2022, helping seal the critical 0-0 draw at Mexico in World Cup qualifying.

The United States announced on Wednesday that Chelsea striker Christian Pulisic and Juventus midfielder Weston McKennie were among the 26 players named by coach Greg Berhalter for the final World Cup tune-ups.

The Americans will face World Cup-bound Japan on Friday in Dusseldorf, Germany, and meet Saudi Arabia on September 27 in Murcia, Spain.

The squad was gathering this weekend in Cologne, Germany.

The United States were drawn into Group B in Qatar against England, Wales and Iran.

United States roster

Goalkeepers: Ethan Horvath (Luton Town/ENG), Sean Johnson (New York City FC), Matt Turner (Arsenal/ENG)

Defenders: Reggie Cannon (Boavista/POR), Mark McKenzie (Genk/BEL), Sergino Dest (AC Milan/ITA), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls), Erik Palmer-Brown (Troyes/FRA), Joe Scally (Borussia Moenchengladbach/GER), Sam Vines (Royal Antwerp/BEL), DeAndre Yedlin (Inter Miami), Walker Zimmerman (Nashville)

Midfielders: Kellyn Acosta (LAFC), Tyler Adams (Leeds United/ENG), Luca de la Torre (Celta Vigo/ESP), Weston McKennie (Juventus/ITA), Yunus Musah (Valencia/ESP), Malik Tillman (Rangers/SCO)

Forwards: Brenden Aaronson (Leeds United/ENG), Paul Arriola (FC Dallas), Jesus Ferreira (FC Dallas), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders), Ricardo Pepi (Groningen/NED), Christian Pulisic (Chelsea/ENG), Gio Reyna (Borussia Dortmund/GER), Josh Sargent (Norwich City/ENG)