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Brenden Aaronson says Yunus Musah’s absence at USMNT camp is felt after youngster’s injury

Brenden Aaronson says Yunus Musah’s absence in USMNT camp is being felt after the in-form Valencia youngster was ruled out of their Japan and Saudi Arabia friendlies in preparation for the World Cup.

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Yunus Musah’s absence from USMNT camp has been called ‘a shame’ by teammate Brenden Aaronson as the midfielder was forced to pull out of the team’s friendlies against Japan and Saudi Arabia due to a left groin problem.

Musah is an expected starter for this autumn’s World Cup and has played a key role for Valencia to start the La Liga season, but the Stars and Stripes will be without him for their September tune-up as he recovers from a knock.

“It’s a shame he couldn’t come into camp, I know we all miss him,” midfielder Aaronson told reporters on Monday.

Yunus Musah is missing the USMNT's final friendlies before the World Cup due to injury
Yunus Musah is missing the USMNT's final friendlies before the World Cup due to injury

Yunus Musah is missing the USMNT’s final friendlies before the World Cup due to injury

Brenden Aaronson has adapted well to life in the Premier League with Leeds United
Brenden Aaronson has adapted well to life in the Premier League with Leeds United

Brenden Aaronson has adapted well to life in the Premier League with Leeds United

“He’s a great character to have around the team and it’s hard not to have him here.”

The 19-year-old, who plays at center for the USMNT, had been used frequently on the right wing over the past two seasons for the Spanish club, and was a more peripheral figure with just 13 league starts last season.

However, that has changed with the signing of Gennaro Gattuso this summer, as Musah has started five of the club’s first six league games (one missed with his current strike) in his favored central role, with two assists so far.

“When I first arrived here, during the first days, the first week, I think about 20 clubs called me to ask about Musah,” Gattuso said earlier this summer.

Musah is likely to start alongside Tyler Adams and Weston McKennie in Qatar if he is healthy
Musah is likely to start alongside Tyler Adams and Weston McKennie in Qatar if he is healthy

Musah is likely to start alongside Tyler Adams and Weston McKennie in Qatar if he is healthy

“He has to continue to work, but he is a player that many teams in the world want.”

The list of teams includes the USMNT, of course, and Musah’s latest injury marks another occasion when Gregg Berhalter will be without his first-choice midfield trio.

Musah, Tyler Adams and Weston McKennie have only started seven times together due to a host of injuries affecting the trio, and have now been denied another chance to build chemistry together before the tournament.

“The way the World Cup is, you don’t want more than a couple of weeks to come together and bond and connect and assimilate new personalities and faces into the group,” goalkeeper Matt Turner said on Monday.

“I think this will be a great camp for us to click into what it’s going to be like.”

Musah is part of an unfortunately large group of players missing this USMNT camp due to injury, as Tim Weah, Antonee Robinson, Zack Steffen, Cameron-Carter Vickers and Chris Richards are also out.

And while Berhalter wants a clean bill of health in Qarar, he noted on ESPN on Sunday that those currently out of the squad could benefit from roster injuries.

“There’s probably going to be an opportunity for guys that aren’t in this camp just because of attrition,” he said.

‘It is something we expect will happen, we hope not. But it’s probably based on the past that it will.’

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