CHICAGO (AP) — Sergiño Dest will miss the United States’ last three World Cup qualifiers after straining his left thigh and was replaced on the roster Friday by left back George Bello.
Dest, the top American choice at right back, was hurt Thursday during Barcelona’s Europa League win at Turkey’s Galatasary.
His injury left DeAndre Yedlin and Reggie Cannon as the top picks to start at right back in next Thursday’s match at Mexico. The U.S. then hosts Panama on March 27 and finishes qualifying at Costa Rica three days later.
Bello transferred in January from Atlanta to Germany’s Arminia Bielefeld, debuted on Feb. 7 and made his first start Sunday. He likely will be a backup to Fulham’s Antonee Robinson, the probable left back starter for the U.S. Dest was Robinson’s cover.
“We also see Kellyn Acosta potentially being able to play left back, but with him having minutes in midfield, it may not be ideal,” U.S. coach Gregg Berhalter said.
Bello has made six international appearances, including a start against Mexico in last summer’s CONCACAF Gold Cup final. Berhalter said Thursday that he also was considering Joe Scally, Shaq Moore and Sam Vines.
Seeking to return to the World Cup after missing the 2018 tournament, the U.S. is at Mexico on March 24, hosts Panama three days later at Orlando, Florida, and closes at Costa Rica on March 30. Training starts Monday in Houston.
Canada leads North and Central America and the Caribbean with 25 points and the U.S. is second with 21, ahead of Mexico on goal difference. Panama is fourth with 17 points, followed by Costa Rica with 16 and El Salvador with nine.
The revised roster:
Goalkeepers: Ethan Horvath (Nottingham Forest, England), Sean Johnson (New York City), and Zack Steffen (Manchester City, England).
Defenders: George Bello (Arminia Bielefeld, Germany), Reggie Cannon (Boavista, Portugal), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls), Erik Palmer-Brown (Troyes, France), Antonee Robinson (Fulham, England), Miles Robinson (Atlanta), James Sands (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland), DeAndre Yedlin (Miami), and Walker Zimmerman (Nashville).
Midfielders: Kellyn Acosta (Los Angeles), Tyler Adams (RB Leipzig, Germany), Gianluca Busio (Venezia, Italy), Luca de la Torre (Heracles, Netherlands), Yunus Musah (Valencia, Spain), and Cristian Roldan (Seattle).
Forwards: Brenden Aaronson (Red Bull Salzburg, Austria), Paul Arriola (Dallas), Jesús Ferreira (Dallas), Jordan Morris (Seattle), Jordan Pefok (Young Boys, Switzerland), Ricardo Pepi (Augsburg, Germany), Christian Pulisic (Chelsea, England), Gio Reyna (Borussia Dortmund, Germany), Tim Weah (Lille, France)