CHICAGO (Sept. 2, 2018) – As the six-game Kickoff Series gets underway, U.S. Men's National Team head coach Dave Sarachan will once again focus on the prospects of the MNT’s next generation, calling 24 players to the New York area for matches against five-time World Champion Brazil and regional rival Mexico.
USA-Brazil, presented by Liberty Mutual Insurance, opens the two-game set on Sept. 7 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. Coverage on FS1, UniMas and UDN begins at 7:30 p.m. ET. Four days later, the next edition of the one of region’s greatest rivalries will be contested at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tenn. USA-Mexico, presented by AT&T, begins at 7:30 p.m. CT, with ESPN, UniMas and UDN broadcasting the action. [KICKOFF SERIES TICKETS]
- READ: Marky Delgado Added to U.S. Roster
- READ: Sarachan Discusses Roster to Face Brazil, Mexico
- READ: Five Things to Know About the MNT's September Roster
“For these matches against Brazil and Mexico, the theme remains the same in that we are using the opportunity against these high-powered opponents to continue building on the foundation that we’ve laid,” Sarachan said. “We felt it was right to continue allowing this group to get valuable experience for the big picture that includes competitive matches in the future with the Gold Cup, Olympic Qualifying and World Cup Qualifying.”
The U.S. is currently scheduled to face four teams ranked in the FIFA Top 20 as part of the Kickoff Series, including Brazil (3), England (6), Colombia (14) and Mexico (16). With the final match expected to be announced later this week, the six-game set will provide the aspiring young U.S. side with top-level competition in this phase of the journey towards 2022.
With the 2022 cycle officially underway, the process of elevating a rising crop of internationals is already in motion. Since November of last year, a total of 18 players have been given debuts for the senior MNT. Seventeen of them came in under 24 years old at the time of their first caps, while 10 will be age-eligible to represent the U-23 MNT in the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying tournament and 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo. ussoccer.com has profiled 11 of these hopefuls at the start of the new video series RISING: Emerging Faces of the U.S. Men’s National Team, which chronicle the route of players on their quest to become a part of the National Team by going behind the scenes with family, youth, coaches, teammates and professional club managers from across the world. [WATCH SERIES]
SPREADING THE WEALTH
Youth is certainly well served on the roster, with 14 players age 23 and under. A total of 13 players on the roster ply their trade in Europe, while 11 represent MLS clubs. Teams from nine different countries are sending players to the New York area, with Columbus Crew SC and New York Red Bulls each contributing a trio to the squad. There’s also a big range in fitness and form, with European seasons just underway while the domestic players are in full stride towards the push to the playoffs.
BRAZIL SENDS SHINING STARS …
Some of the most recognizable names in the sport will wear the traditional shirt of Brazil in New Jersey, led by 13 players from Brazil’s 2018 FIFA World Cup squad. Attackers Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain), Philippe Coutinho (Barcelona) and Roberto Firmino (Liverpool), midfielders Casemiro (Real Madrid) and Willian (Chelsea), defenders Thiago Silva (Paris Saint-Germain) and Filipe Luís (Atlético Madrid), and goalkeeper Alisson (Liverpool) are a part of group of 11 players on the roster that combined for a total of 21 trophies won across domestic and European club competitions this past season.
MEXICO BLENDS EXPERIENCE WITH FACES OF THE FUTURE
The Mexico squad features seven players that took part in this summer’s FIFA World Cup, including long-time goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa, defender Carlos Salcedo, LA Galaxy midfielder Jonathan dos Santos, and attackers Hirving Lozano and Raúl Jiménez. With his squad’s average age coming in at 24 years, 204 days, Mexico interim head coach Ricardo Ferretti has balanced that experience by summoning 16 players aged 24 and under.
DEVELOPMENT PATHWAY PAYING DIVIDENDS
While youngsters are getting their opportunity with the MNT, many of them are rising to the senior team after advancing through U.S. Soccer's development pathway. Eleven players have been on the final roster at a Youth World Cup, while a total of 15 players have come through the U.S. Soccer Development Academy.
DETAILED ROSTER BY POSITION (Club; Caps/Goals)
GOALKEEPERS (3): Alex Bono (Toronto FC/CAN; 1/0), Ethan Horvath (Club Brugge/BEL; 2/0), Zack Steffen (Columbus Crew SC; 3/0)
DEFENDERS (9): John Brooks (Wolfsburg/GER; 33/3), Cameron Carter-Vickers (Swansea City/WAL; 4/0), Eric Lichaj (Hull City/ENG; 15/1), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls), Matt Miazga (Nantes/FRA; 7/1), Shaq Moore (Reus Deportiu/ESP; 2/0), Tim Parker (New York Red Bulls; 2/0), Antonee Robinson (Wigan Athletic/ENG; 2/0), DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle United/ENG; 52/0)
MIDFIELDERS (10): Kellyn Acosta (Colorado Rapids; 17/1), Tyler Adams (New York Red Bulls; 5/0), Paul Arriola (D.C. United; 16/2), Marky Delgado (Toronto FC/CAN; 1/0)^, Julian Green (Greuther Fürth/GER; 10/4), Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy; 3/1), Weston McKennie (Schalke/GER; 4/1), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders FC; 3/0), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew SC; 6/0), Tim Weah (Paris Saint-Germain; 3/1)
FORWARDS (3): Andrija Novakovich (Fortuna Sittard/NED; 2/0), Bobby Wood (Hannover 96/GER; 39/12), Gyasi Zardes (37/6; Columbus Crew SC)
^ NOTE: Marky Delgado added to the roster on Monday, Sept. 3
- As of Sept. 2, 2018, the roster carries an average age of 23 years, 241 days, while 14 players are 23 years and under.
- This roster averages 11 caps, with DeAndre Yedlin (52), Bobby Wood (39), Gyasi Zardes (37) and John Brooks (33) leading the way.
- On the flip side, 16 players have seven or fewer MNT appearances.
- The roster features players that ply their trade in nine different countries: USA (10), Germany (4), England (3), France (2), Belgium, Canada, Netherlands, Spain and Wales (1 each).
- Twelve players contributed in the team’s 1-1 draw with eventual World Cup champion France on June 9 in Lyon: Tyler Adams, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Julian Green, Weston McKennie, Matt Miazga, Shaq Moore, Tim Parker, Antonee Robinson, Zack Steffen, Wil Trapp, Bobby Wood and DeAndre Yedlin.
- Sebastian Lletget returns to MNT camp for the first time in 16 months. The midfielder scored the opening goal, but then suffered a lisfrac injury during the MNT’s 6-0 World Cup Qualifying win against Honduras on March 28, 2017 in San Jose.
- Midfielder Kellyn Acosta and defender John Brooks make their first MNT camp appearances of 2018, with the pair last taking part in the USA’s 1-1 draw at Portugal on Nov. 14, 2017.
- Defender Aaron Long is the sole player earning his first MNT call-up. A 2018 MLS All-Star selection, the 25-year-old has appeared in all 28 MLS matches for New York Red Bulls this season and comes to camp having helped the club to the top of the league’s Supporter Shield standings.
- Long’s center back partner with the Red Bulls Tim Parker joins him in MNT camp after earning his first two caps against Ireland and France in June. The pair have helped New York to a defensive record of 28 goal against this season – second best in Major League Soccer
- In the midst of his first season with Columbus Crew SC, forward Gyasi Zardes leads all U.S.-eligible MLS players with 15 goals this season.
- Zardes joins D.C. United winger Paul Arriola in making their first MNT camp appearances since January 2018.
- Right back DeAndre Yedlin comes to camp on the heels of his first goal in the English Premier League in Newcastle United’s 2-1 loss at Manchester City on Saturday.
- Having joined Dutch club Fortuna Sittard on loan this summer, Andrija Novakovich already has two goals for the Dutch Eredivisie side this season, most recently tallying in Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Utrecht.
- John Brooks has helped Wolfsburg to wins in its first two Bundesliga matches this eason The center back tallied in the club’s 2-1 win against Schalke on Aug. 25 and went the full 90 in Saturday’s 3-1 win at Bayer Leverkusen.
- The youngest player on the September roster, Tim Weah tallied in PSG’s 4-0 win against Monaco in the French Super Cup on Aug. 4 and the club’s 3-0 win against Caen in their Ligue 1 opener on Aug. 12. while John Brooks also tallied his first for Wolfsburg in a 2-1 win against Schalke on Aug. 25.
- Three players took part in the MNT’s last meeting against Brazil on Sept. 8, 2015 in Foxborough, Mass.: Bobby Wood, DeAndre Yedlin and Gyasi Zardes
- Eight players have previously represented the MNT against Mexico: Yedlin (5 games), Wood (3), Zardes (2), Acosta, Arriola, Brooks, Green and Lichaj (1 each)
- Bobby Wood has scored twice in his three appearances against Mexico, with goals coming on Oct. 10, 2015 and Nov. 11, 2016.
- With goals against Paraguay and Ireland, Wood is one of three players on the roster to find the back of the net for the MNT in 2018, joined by Julian Green (France) and Tim Weah (Bolivia).
- Julian Green made his MNT debut in a game against Mexico, coming on as a 59th minute substitute in a 2-2 draw on April 2, 2014 in Glendale, Ariz.
- Midfielders Tyler Adams and Wil Trapp lead all players on the roster with four MNT appearances in 2018. The pair has only missed out on the 3-0 win against Bolivia on May 28 in Chester, Pa.
- Whether through loan, trade or transfer, eight players have taken up residence at new clubs over the summer: Acosta (Colorado Rapids; Trade), Carter-Vickers (Swansea City; Loan), Eric Lichaj (Hull City; Transfer), Matt Miazga (Nantes; Loan), Shaq Moore (Reus Deportiu; Loan) Andrija Novakovich (Fortuna Sittard; Loan), Antonee Robinson (Wigan Athletic; Loan), Bobby Wood (Hannover 96; Loan)
- Eleven players have been part of a final U.S. roster at a youth World Cup: Kellyn Acosta, Tyler Adams, Paul Arriola, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Ethan Horvath, Matt Miazga, Shaq Moore, Zack Steffen, Wil Trapp, Tim Weah, DeAndre Yedlin.
- Fifteen players are products of U.S. Soccer Development Academy clubs: Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas), Tyler Adams (New York Red Bulls), Paul Arriola (LA Galaxy), Alex Bono (Empire United), Ethan Horvath (Real Colorado), Aaron Long (Arsenal FC), Weston McKennie (FC Dallas), Matt Miazga (New York Red Bulls), Shaq Moore (FC Dallas), Andrija Novakovich (Chicago Magic), Zack Steffen (Continental FC DELCO), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew SC), Tim Weah (BW Gotschee/New York Red Bulls), DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders FC/Crossfire Premier), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy).