Sounders FC midfielder Cristian Roldan and forward Jordan Morris were called up for the U.S. men’s national team that will compete in the FIFA World Cup later this month in Qatar. Both players were part of the nationally televised USMNT’s 26-player roster reveal Wednesday at Brooklyn Steel music venue in New York City.

Those who made the cut were told Sunday via FaceTime from USMNT coach Gregg Berhalter. Clips from the calls shared during the unveiling showed Morris tearing up and Roldan smiling wider than the Columbia River.

The team is expected to touchdown Thursday in Qatar. Morris said he was responsible for packing playing cards while Roldan made sure to pack the iPad so the team can watch NFL RedZone. The USMNT has its own fantasy football league.

“When we got the call, it was amazing,” Morris said. “This is something that you dream about since you’re a little kid and you work for your whole career. In the back of our head this whole year, this was kind of on our mind. To be able to know that we’re part of the group is amazing. It’s an incredibly special group so we’re just excited to get to Qatar.”

Former Sounder defender DeAndre Yedlin, who graduated from O’Dea High, was also named to the USMNT roster and is the only player with World Cup experience. He subbed on in the 32nd minute of Belgium’s 2-1 win against the U.S. to eliminate the side in the Round of 16 in the 2014 Brazil World Cup.

“[Yedlin] is a glue guy,” Berhalter said. “He’s a guy that has been to a World Cup before, can share his experiences, but more importantly just continue to do what he’s been doing for us. He’s there for the team, creates atmosphere for the team. Sometimes he’s a shoulder to cry on or talk to, other times he’s a motivator. … He’s been doing a good job for us.”


Roldan, 27, has been part of the USMNT through all qualifying matches the past year but missed the past two friendlies due to undergoing groin surgery in August. The Californian was concerned about his chances to remain in contention to be named, even discussing options with Berhalter, but ultimately the pain hindered his ability to even kick a ball, Roldan said.

Fully rehabilitated by late September, Roldan’s performance in the final three Sounders matches and through a recent training camp in Texas with the USMNT proved he could contribute in Qatar. Roldan earned his first call-up in 2017 and has started 14 of his 32 international caps, including five during the USMNT’s World Cup qualifying slate.

“My role has been cemented for me over the last couple of years,” Roldan said of seeing minimal playing time but being responsible for leadership in the locker room and elevating competition in training. “That’s been my mindset going into each and every camp, and I’m really thankful that now I get to enjoy being part of the squad, still continuing to have that same role.”

Morris, 28, played his first full MLS season after tearing his ACL in February 2021 — his second in four years, the first causing him to miss the USMNT’s qualifying for the 2018 World Cup. The Mercer Island native has started 20 of his 49 USMNT appearances, including seven during the run to Qatar.

Morris made his debut with the U.S. team in 2014 and has bagged 11 goals with eight assists.

The 32-team World Cup begins Nov. 20 with the championship match set for Dec. 18. This is the USMNT’s first appearance since 2014. The U.S. team has never won the title and begins its campaign Nov. 21 against Wales. The USMNT continues the group stage against England on Nov. 25 and finishes the round against Iran on Nov. 29.


Seattle will also be represented by Sounders defender Nouhou, who was named to Cameroon’s national team Wednesday. The Indomitable Lions play Switzerland (Nov. 24), Serbia (Nov. 28) and Brazil (Dec. 2) in the group stage.

Fox is broadcasting all 64 World Cup matches across its platforms, the U.S. matches airing on the main channel at 11 a.m. PT. The Sounders are hosting watch parties for each USMNT match at the Armory at the Seattle Center.

But rosters aren’t official until submitted to FIFA. Berhalter said in conversations Sunday with USMNT players not picked, they were told to standby in case of injuries. World Cup rosters must be finalized for all nations by Monday.

Roldan and Morris are among the older players on the USMNT roster, which overall is projected to be the youngest in the tournament. But they are the more decorated in being two-time MLS champions, league All-Stars and Roldan propelling the Sounders to become the first MLS team to win the CONCACAF Champions League title in May.

The former University of Washington star had a CCL-leading five assists during the historic run. Roldan totaled four goals, five assists and logged 2,102 minutes in MLS competitions this season.

Morris tallied seven goals, four assists and 2,329 minutes for the Sounders this year.

“This is going to be a new experience for most of us,” Morris said. “Leadership is going to be so important, and it’s going to have to come from a lot of different places. … We’re both really excited, just looking forward to being there and getting the whole experience started.”