US men’s team midfielder Weston McKennie, goalkeeper Zack Steffen and left-back Antonee Robinson will not travel for Sunday’s World Cup qualifier in Panama. US Soccer announced Friday.
All three players will travel from Austin, Texas, where the US defeated Jamaica 2-0 on Thursday night, to Columbus, Ohio for the US’s final game of the October international window against Costa Rica next Wednesday.
US Soccer said in a statement that McKennie is not traveling because of pain in his right quad. The midfielder played the full 90 minutes on Thursday, but felt pain in his quad and had an MRI on Friday. The MRI showed no tear or strain, but the pain was enough for US Soccer to rest McKennie before Sunday’s game and send him to Ohio for the Costa Rica game.
Steffen and Robinson are not traveling so neither of them have to quarantine when they return to their UK club teams
Panama is on the UK’s “red list” of COVID-19. Players leaving the UK and traveling to red-listed countries will be required to isolate themselves from all individuals outside their club bubble for 10 days when they return to their UK teams, although they will be allowed to train, play and play matches during that period. By not traveling to Panama, Steffen and Robinson avoid that quarantine.
USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter told reporters earlier this week that “we don’t think it makes sense for Zack or Antonee to travel there if they have to quarantine at the back for 10 days.”
Steffen supported starting goalkeeper Matt Turner and did not play on Thursday. Robinson started and played all 90 minutes at left back.
A US Soccer spokesperson confirmed that the other 23 players on the USMNT roster will travel to Panama on Friday. The spokesperson also said the potential problems regarding access to Panama for partially or fully unvaccinated members of the USMNT tour group had been “solved”.
Berhalter told reporters on Wednesday that one player on the roster had received one dose of his COVID-19 vaccine but was waiting for his second, while another player had not received a single dose of the vaccine.
(Photo: John Todd / ISI Photos/Getty Images)