For the first time in eight years, the United States men’s national team will take part in the FIFA World Cup, and they will do so with eight players who laid the foundations of their careers in DI men’s football.
USMNT coach Gregg Berhalter named his 26-man World Cup squad on Wednesday and the Americans will kick off their campaign against Wales on November 21. Here are the former DI football players who will make the trip to Qatar and what they obtained in college:
Matt Turner (Fairfield, 2012-15)
Just as he currently does for Arsenal, Turner spent his first and second seasons at Fairfield as an understudy before earning the starting spot in 2014 and locking it down for two years. He holds two single-season program records in goals-against average (0.50) and clean sheets (13). His 20 career clean sheets in 39 appearances also tied for best program. Turner was named MAAC All-American in his final two seasons.
G Sean Johnson (UCF, 2007-08)
Johnson landed the starting goalie role as a freshman and kept it throughout his time in Orlando. The Knights weren’t a very good team in those two years, never finishing near .500, which meant Johnson was tested far more often than the average goaltender. His 108 saves in his sophomore season are tied for the third-highest single-season total in UCF history, helping the Knights cut their goalscoring average from nearly half over the last year.
Dr. Aaron Long (UC Riverside, 2010-13)
Although he now plays in the center of defense, Long played in midfield for the Highlanders and even led the team in goal as a junior in 2012. He played a crucial role for UC Riverside during the four years of his collegiate career and was named to the All-Big West First Team as a junior and second team as a senior.
Dr. Walker Zimmerman (Furman, 2011-12)
Zimmerman played during his two years at Furman, being named to the NSCAA All-America Third Team, All-American College Soccer News Freshman Team, and earning SoCon Freshman of the Year and All-SoCon First Team honors. He contributed to the Paladins’ 14-4-4 record and helped the team qualify for the NCAA Tournament in 2011. Zimmerman was also named to the All-America second team as a sophomore.
COLLEGE CUP: dates, times and calendar 2022-23
Dr. Tim Ream (St. Louis, 2006-09)
Ream made 82 appearances for the Billikens in his four years of college football, including 63 consecutive starts from his sophomore season until the end of his Saint Louis career. The Billikens reached the NCAA Tournament in all four years and won an A-10 Conference Tournament title in 2009 while Ream was named A-10 Defensive Player of the Year.
Dr. DeAndre Yedlin (Akron, 2011-12)
Yedlin was another highly anticipated U.S. national youth prospect when he arrived in Akron, and he performed to his potential, appearing in all 45 games over two seasons and making 41 starts. His knack for getting involved on offense (12 assists in total) earned him All-MAC First Team honors in both seasons.
Mr. Cristian Roldan (Washington, 2013-14)
Roldan has received numerous accolades throughout his Washington career, including two first-team All-Pac-12 nods and was named Soccer America Freshman of the Year in 2013. He scored 10 goals and assisted seven in 41 appearances over his two seasons, as his Huskies missed the College Cup in both playoffs.
Mr. Jordan Morris (Stanford, 2013-15)
There’s a lot to cover here. Morris arguably had the most successful college career of any player on this list, ending his time with the Cardinal by winning the 2015 National Championship (scoring twice in the Finals) and winning the title of Best Offensive Player in the League. College Cup. He also won the 2015 Mac Hermann Trophy for the best male college football player.