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Slonina Called Up to US National Team for World Cup Qualifiers

Fire keeper Gaga Slonina has been called up yet again to the U.S. Men's National Team, this time for World Cup Qualifiers.
Gabriel Gaga Slonina USMNT Call Up

Photo: 90Min.com

The young man just keeps on achieving and improving. Gabriel "Gaga" Slonina has been called up yet again to the U.S. Men's National Team. Unlike his first call-up, this one is for games that matter: World Cup Qualifying.

Slonina's first call-up to the Senior National Team occurred in December. Head coach Gregg Berhalter included the 17-year old goalkeeper in the squad that faced Bosnia and Herzegovina in a friendly on Dec. 18. Slonina did not play in that match.

Massive Step in Gaga's Career

The other goalkeepers Berhalter selected in this latest round of call-ups are: Manchester City's Zack Steffen, former Fire keeper and MLS Cup Champion Sean Johnson, and Matt Turner. The latter has started many games for the U.S. team within the past year, including past qualifiers and Gold Cup matches.

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Although Slonina is low on the depth chart, getting called up for games that mean the most to this U.S. side outside of the World Cup itself is yet another massive step in this young man's career.

The U.S. is currently second in the final CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying group with all eight teams having played eight of 14 matches. The top three automatically make the 2022 FIFA World Cup while fourth place must play in an inter-continental playoff.

The Americans are just one point ahead of fourth-place Panama but do have a six-point cushion over fifth-place Costa Rica.

The U.S. will kick off the next series of qualifying matches against El Salvador at 6:30 PM CT on Thursday, Jan. 27 at Lower.com Field in Columbus, Ohio. The team will then travel to face Canada atn 2:00 PM CT on Sunday, Jan. 30 at Tim Horton Field in Hamilton, Canada. The USMNT will then face off against Honduras at 6:30 PM CT on Wednesday, Feb. 2 at Allianz Field in St. Paul, Minn.