For the first time in eight years, the United States men's national team will play in the FIFA World Cup, and it will be doing so with eight players who set the foundation for their careers in DI men's soccer.
Here are the former DI men's soccer players making the trip to Qatar on USMNT coach Gregg Berhalter's 26-man squad for the World Cup.
G Matt Turner (Fairfield, 2012-15)
Much like he currently does for Arsenal, Turner spent his freshman and sophomore 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 are also tied for program best. Turner was named a MAAC All-American in both his final two seasons.
G Sean Johnson (UCF, 2007-08)
Johnson grabbed the starting goalkeeper role as a freshman and kept it through his entire stint in Orlando. The Knights weren’t a very good team during those two years, never finishing close to .500, which meant Johnson was being tested a lot more often than the average keeper. His 108 saves in his sophomore season is tied for the third-highest single-season total in UCF history, helping the Knights lower their goals against average nearly in half from the year before.
D Aaron Long (UC Riverside, 2010-13)
Though he now plays in the center of defense, Long played in midfield for the Highlanders and even led the team in goals as a junior in 2012. He played a crucial role for UC Riverside all four years of his collegiate career and was named to the All-Big West First Team as a junior and to the Second Team as a senior.
D Walker Zimmerman (Furman, 2011-12)
Zimmerman starred in his two years at Furman, being named to the NSCAA All-America third team, the College Soccer News Freshman All-American team and earned SoCon Freshman of the Year and All-SoCon First Team honors. He contributed to the Paladins’ 14-4-4 record and helped the team earn an NCAA tournament berth in 2011. Zimmerman was also named to the All-America second team as a sophomore.
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D Tim Ream (Saint Louis, 2006-09)
Ream made 82 appearances for the Billikens over his four years of collegiate soccer, including 63 consecutive starts beginning his sophomore season through the end of his Saint Louis career. The Billikens reached the NCAA tournament in all four years and captured an A-10 Conference Tournament title in 2009 while Ream was named A-10 Defensive Player of the Year.
D DeAndre Yedlin (Akron, 2011-12)
Yedlin was another highly anticipated U.S. youth national prospect when he arrived in Akron, and he played to his potential, appearing in all 45 games across two seasons and making 41 starts. His knack for getting involved in the attack (12 total assists) earned him All-MAC First Team honors in both seasons.
M Cristian Roldan (Washington, 2013-14)
Roldan earned plenty of praise throughout his Washington career, including two All-Pac-12 First Team nods and being named the Soccer America National Freshman of the Year in 2013. He scored 10 goals and assisted seven in 41 appearances over his two seasons, as his Huskies came just short of the College Cup in both postseasons.
M Jordan Morris (Stanford, 2013-15)
There is a lot to cover here. Morris undoubtedly had the most successful college career of any player on this list, capping his time with the Cardinal by winning the 2015 national championship (scoring twice in the final) and earning College Cup Offensive Most Outstanding Player. He also won the 2015 Mac Hermann Trophy for the best player in men's college soccer.