Amid their other issues, the Americans have been fortunate to avoid the injury bug that is making life difficult for other nations. For example, France will be without two star midfielders, Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kanté; Germany will not have forward Timo Werner; England will be short at least two defenders, Ben Chilwell and Reece James; and Mexico will miss the presence of Jesús Corona.
The conditions of several other star players are being closely monitored, including the South Korean forward Heung-min Son, who had surgery last week to repair a fractured bone in his face and the Senegalese forward Sadio Mané, who injured his right knee this week.
Rather than major injuries, then, one of the big questions for the U.S. team will be whether some of the players are, essentially, too well rested.
There are the team’s players from M.L.S., for example, which concluded its regular season a month ago and had its championship game Saturday. Striker Jesús Ferreira, who plays for F.C. Dallas, played his last competitive match on Oct. 23. Yedlin last played on Oct. 17, with Inter Miami. Center back Walker Zimmerman last played on Oct. 15, with Nashville S.C.
Berhalter convened a training camp for the M.L.S.-based players last month to maintain their conditioning, but it remains to be seen how sharp these players will look when called upon in Qatar.
Some of the players based in Europe, meanwhile, have been struggling to procure regular minutes at their clubs. Matt Turner, the goalkeeper most likely to start for the Americans, has been a backup at Arsenal. Pulisic has been used mostly as a late-game substitute for Chelsea. Right back Sergiño Dest has been appearing inconsistently for A.C. Milan.
The roster size for this year’s tournament was increased to 26 from 23. Coaches will be allowed to make five substitutes per game, up from three.