USA vs. Bolivia
May 28, 2018
Talen Energy Stadium; Chester, Pa.
Live Broadcast: 6:30 p.m. ET on FS1, UniMas and UDN
Tonight’s U.S. MNT Starting XI vs. Bolivia: 22-Alex Bono; 15-Eric Lichaj (capt.), 4-Walker Zimmerman, 14-Erik Palmer-Brown, 17-Antonee Robinson; 6-Weston McKennie; 11-Tim Weah, 8-Joe Corona, 10-Christian Pulisic, 23-Rubio Rubin; 13-Josh Sargent
Substitutes: 1-Bill Hamid, 2-Matt Olosunde, 3-Matt Miazga, 5-Cameron Carter-Vickers, 9-Andrija Novakovich, 16-Julian Green, 19-Jorge Villafaña, 20-Lynden Gooch, 25-Keaton Parks
- U.S. MNT Starting XI Cap Numbers (including this match): Joe Corona (21), Christian Pulisic (21), Eric Lichaj (15), Rubio Rubin (6) Walker Zimmerman (3), Weston McKennie (2), Tim Weah (2), Alex Bono (1), Erik Palmer-Brown (1), Antonee Robinson (1), Josh Sargent (1)
- Seven of the starting XI are products of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy: Alex Bono (Empire United), Erik Palmer-Brown (Sporting Kansas City), Weston McKennie (FC Dallas), Rubio Rubin (Portland Timbers), Christian Pulisic (PA Classics), Tim Weah (New York Red Bulls/BW Gottschee), Josh Sargent (St. Louis Scott Gallagher-Missouri)
- The Starting XI’s average cap number (including this match): 6.7 caps
- The Starting XI’s average age: 22 years, 160 days
- Eight starters are 24 and younger: Bono (24); Rubin (22), Palmer-Brown (21), Robinson (20), McKennie, Pulisic (19), Sargent, Weah (18)
- Continuing his rich history in the Philadelphia area, veteran defender Eric Lichaj captains the MNT for the first time tonight. Lichaj made his MNT debut in a 0-0 draw with Colombia at Talen Energy Stadium on Oct. 12, 2010 and scored his first international goal in last year’s 2-0 Gold Cup quarterfinal win against El Salvador on July 19, 2017 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.
- Pennsylvania native and 2017 U.S. Soccer Male Player of the Year Christian Pulisic makes his first MNT appearance since last October.
- Four players make their MNT debuts tonight: Alex Bono, Erik Palmer-Brown, Antonee Robinson and Josh Sargent
- Five players have represented the USA at a Youth World Cup: Palmer-Brown (2015, 2017 U-20), Pulisic (2015 U-17), Rubin (2015 U-20), Sargent (2017 U-17, U-20), Weah (2017 U-17).
- Born just two days apart, Sargent (Feb. 20) and Weah (Feb. 22) jointly become the first players born in 2000 to earn a start for the MNT. Weah became the first player born in the 2000s to gain a cap for the MNT during the 1-0 win against Paraguay on March 27.
- Walker Zimmerman is the lone player to earn have previously started a match for the MNT in 2018, going the full 90 minutes in the 0-0 draw with Bosnia and Herzegovina on Jan. 28.
- Two more players starting on the bench have the chance to make their MNT debuts tonight: defender Matt Olosunde and midfielder Keaton Parks
- Teams are allowed six substitutions in tonight’s match.
- With both teams dressing 20 players, the scratches from tonight’s squad are: Alejandro Guido (right groin strain) and Ethan Horvath.
- The MNT is 1-2-4 all-time against Bolivia. The teams last met two years ago today, a 4-0 win in Kansas City, Kan., in which Christian Pulisic (17 years, 253 days) became the youngest player to score a goal in the MNT’s modern era.
The 22 players called to this month’s Men’s National Team camp in Philadelphia make up one of the USA’s freshest-faced rosters in recent memory. With many players getting their first opportunities to represent the USA at the senior level, here are five things to know about the young talent that represents the future of the program.
While 17 of the 22 players called to Philadelphia have earned five or fewer caps, 21 of 22 have represented the USA internationally as part of the Youth National Team program. Ten players have made a final USA roster for a Youth World Cup at the Under-17 or Under-20 levels, while two more have participated in Concacaf World Cup Qualifying.
This time a year ago, three members of the current roster were in Korea Republic for the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup. Cameron Carter-Vickers, Erik Palmer-Brown and Josh Sargent all played key roles in the U-20s’ run to the quarterfinals. Palmer-Brown captained the squad and played every single minute in Korea, Sargent won the Silver Boot with four goals while Carter-Vickers anchored the U.S. defense. Later in 2017, Sargent teamed with Tim Weah at the FIFA U-17 World Cup in India. Sargent captained the team through that tournament, while Weah scored the first hat trick for the USA in the knockout round of a men’s World Cup.
Defender Matt Miazga partnered with Carter-Vickers on the U.S. back line at the 2015 U-20 World Cup, while Rubio Rubin also figured in the USA’s quarterfinal run. Lynden Gooch aided the young Americans in their qualifying campaign. At the U-17 level that year, Christian Pulisic played in Chile at the U-17 World Cup alongside current first-time MNT call-up Matthew Olosunde.
DEVELOPMENT ACADEMY TIES
More than half of the MNT roster are alumni of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy, currently wrapping up the 11th season of its efforts to create world-class environments that produce world-class players.
Miazga, Olosunde and Weah all spent time at the New York Red Bulls academy. Now a pro with Chelsea, Miazga led the Red Bulls U-15/16 team to the 2012 Academy championship. Sargent was a part of St. Louis Scott Gallagher-Missouri before leading the USA at the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup.The entire goalkeeping corps called to Philly spent time in the Academy: Alex Bono with New York’s Empire United, Bill Hamid at D.C. United and Ethan Horvath with Real Colorado. Weston McKennie (FC Dallas), Palmer-Brown (Sporting KC) and Rubin (Portland Timbers) came up through M.L.S. Academy pipelines. Andrija Novakovich commuted two hours each way from the Milwaukee suburbs to play for the Chicago Magic, while Pulisic (PA Classics) and Gooch (Santa Cruz Breakers) also spent time in the Development Academy.
Almost the entire roster gathered to take on Bolivia plays professionally outside the USA. The recently-concluded international season featured MNT players raising trophies overseas, earning Champions League berths and breaking into the first team at some of the world’s biggest clubs.
- READ MORE: MNT Players Finish Strong in Club Campaigns
The players in Philadelphia spent their seasons in nine different countries. Eight currently ply their trades in the England, while four each come from Mexico and Germany. Hamid, Horvath, Jorge Villafaña and Weah took home titles this season in Denmark, Belgium, Mexico and France respectively.
AVERAGE AGEUpon the team’s arrival in Philadelphia on May 20, the roster had an average age of 22 years, 286 days. That’s an even more youthful team than the groups gathered in MNT camps since last November. In 2018, the average age has gotten lower and lower with each progressive camp. The 30 players brought together in January Camp had an average age of 24, while the March team that came to Cary, N.C. had an average of 23. Fifteen of the players that will face Bolivia are 22 or younger, and only two were born before 1990.
FIRST CAP OPPORTUNITIES
Seven players will look to make their senior team debut Monday night against Bolivia. Bono, Alejandro Guido, Olosunde, Palmer-Brown, Keaton Parks, Antonee Robinson and Sargent are yet to represent the USA at the full senior level. They’ve all earned their first MNT camp invites since November.
After a whirlwind 2017 with the U-17s and the U-20s, Sargent earned his first senior camp invite to Portugal in November. Bono joined the MNT for the first time at its annual January Camp following a historic treble-winning season with Toronto FC.
Palmer-Brown and Robinson got their first MNT camp invites in March, Palmer-Brown has climbed up the YNT ladder and was in the midst of his first season in Europe, while Robinson turned heads as a standout defensive starter on loan at Bolton. In Philadelphia, Guido, Olosunde and Parks are training with the MNT for the first time. Guido put together a strong full club season at Tijuana, Olosunde is rising through the ranks at Manchester United’s academy while Parks began to break into the Benfica first team in 2017-18.Read more