CHICAGO (Nov. 6, 2018) – U.S. Men's National Team head coach Dave Sarachan will gather a group largely comprised of the MNT’s next generation for the final time this year, calling 28 players to London to prepare for the final Kickoff Series matches against 2018 World Cup Semifinalist England and four-time world champion Italy.
The U.S. first faces the fifth-ranked Three Lions at historic Wembley Stadium on Nov. 15 in London, with ESPN2 and UniMás broadcasting live at 3 p.m. ET. Five days later, the MNT takes on Italy at a rare neutral-site venue, with Luminus Arena in Genk, Belgium hosting the teams’ final match of 2018. Kickoff is set for 2:45 p.m. ET, and the match will be broadcast on FS1 and UniMás.
“These last two matches provide a fantastic set of challenges and experiences, so we’re excited to bring in this group of players for another huge opportunity,” said Sarachan. “We continue to build with a core group that has developed throughout the last year, while including some players who we haven’t seen in some time. Overall, this is a great way to end the Kickoff Series and what has been a very productive 2018.”
All six of the MNT opponents in the Kickoff Series have been in the Top 25 of the FIFA World Rankings. Having fallen to Brazil (3) before shutting out Mexico (15), the U.S. will close out the series away to England (5) and Italy (19). The six-match Kickoff Series is providing the aspiring young U.S. side with top-level competition at the start of their four-year journey toward the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
CONSISTENT APPROACH AND THE BIG 5-0
Sarachan began 2018 by saying this would be a year of opportunity and experience for players, and with the final matches approaching he has lived up to that promise. A total of 50 players have earned at least one cap in the nine matches so far, including 19 first-timers. Remarkably, 34 of those players have accumulated 10 caps or less. Along the way, a total of 12 players have appeared in five or more matches. With all that, the MNT has still posted a more than respectable 3-3-3 record, including a tie against eventual World Cup champion France and a win against regional rival Mexico.
CLOSING OUT IN STYLE
What better way to close a year of fantastic experiences than a visit to the birthplace of football and then take on one of the world’s storied national teams. The U.S. gets its third invitation to famed Wembley Stadium, where it will face England for the first time since the 1-1 draw in the opening match of Group C at the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Gareth Southgate’s side were one of the darlings of this summer’s tournament in Russia, reaching the Semifinal before falling in heartbreaking fashion to Croatia in extra time. For the fifth time in their history, Italy and the United States will meet on neutral territory. The Azzurri host Portugal – the USA’s first opponent under Sarachan this past November – on Nov. 17 in Milan in a match Italy must win in to keep their hopes alive to win Group C in the UEFA Nations League.
HOME AWAY FROM HOME
For the 15 players who make Europe their home for professional soccer, it’s going to be a much shorter plane ride than normal for the USA’s gathering of internationals. The trip will be particularly sweet for England-born Cameron Carter-Vickers and Antonee Robinson, who also play in the top tiers of English football along with DeAndre Yedlin. Meantime, goalkeeper Ethan Horvath (Club Brugge) and Kenny Saief (Anderlecht) play their club ball in Belgium.
THE FUTURE IS US
With the 2022 cycle officially underway and with 2026 FIFA World Cup as a guidepost, the MNT has embarked on a new campaign to unite all the voices of soccer in the United States behind a renewed mission to reach the sport’s summit. Together, The Future is US.
The process of elevating a rising crop of internationals is already in motion. ussoccer.com has profiled 11 of these hopefuls in the new video series RISING: Emerging Faces of the U.S. Men’s National Team, which chronicles 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.
DETAILED ROSTER BY POSITION (Club; Caps/Goals):
GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Atlanta United FC; 59/0), Ethan Horvath (Club Brugge/BEL; 2/0), Zack Steffen (Columbus Crew; 6/0)
DEFENDERS (10): John Brooks (Wolfsburg/GER; 35/3), Reggie Cannon (FC Dallas; 1/0), Cameron Carter-Vickers (Swansea City/WAL; 6/0), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls; 1/0), Matt Miazga (Nantes/FRA; 10/1), Shaq Moore (Reus Deportiu/ESP; 3/0), Antonee Robinson (Wigan Athletic/ENG; 6/0), Jorge Villafaña (Portland Timbers; 19/0), DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle United/ENG; 56/0), Walker Zimmerman (LAFC; 3/1)
MIDFIELDERS (13): Kellyn Acosta (Colorado Rapids; 21/2), Tyler Adams (New York Red Bulls; 7/1), Luca de la Torre (Fulham/ENG; 1/0), Marky Delgado (Toronto FC/CAN; 5/0), Romain Gall (Malmö/SWE; 0/0), Julian Green (Greuther Fürth/GER; 14/4), Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy; 3/1), Weston McKennie (Schalke/GER; 6/1), Darlington Nagbe (Atlanta United FC; 25/1), Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund/GER; 21/9), Kenny Saief (Anderlecht/BEL; 3/0), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew SC; 9/0), Tim Weah (Paris Saint-Germain/FRA; 7/1)
FORWARDS (2): Josh Sargent (Werder Bremen/GER; 5/2), Bobby Wood (Hannover 96/GER; 43/13)
- The rostered players have an average age of 23 years, 241 days and 13 caps.
- Seventeen players are 23 years or younger, while 18 players have earned 10 caps or fewer.
- Nine players are age-eligible for the 2020 Summer Olympics: Tyler Adams, Reggie Cannon, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Luca de la Torre, Weston McKennie, Christian Pulisic, Antonee Robinson, Josh Sargent and Tim Weah.
- The 28 players on the roster ply their trade in nine different countries: USA (11), Germany (6), Belgium, England and France (2 each); Canada, Spain, Sweden and Wales (1 each)
- Brad Guzan (59 caps), DeAndre Yedlin (56) and Bobby Wood (43) are the senior-most players on the roster.
- All but one of the 28 players have been in camp with the MNT in 2018, with goalkeeper Ethan Horvath and midfielder Sebastian Lletget the lone players who have yet to appear this year.
- Seventeen players return from the MNT’s October camp.
- Seven players are with teams currently involved in the MLS Cup Playoffs: Tyler Adams and Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls); Brad Guzan and Darlington Nagbe (Atlanta United FC); Wil Trapp and Zack Steffen (Columbus Crew SC) and Jorge Villafaña (Portland Timbers).
- After missing out on October’s matches due to injury, the duo of Tyler Adams and Weston McKennie returns for the team’s year-end friendlies.
- Christian Pulisic will make his second appearance of 2018 in an MNT camp, having played in the 3-0 win against Bolivia on May 28 in Chester, Pa.
- Midfielder Romain Gall is the sole player making his MNT camp debut. The 23-year-old attacker has recorded 14 goals in 30 matches across all competitions for Swedish sides Sundsvall and his current club, Malmö in 2018.
- The MNT’s opening match of the window against England at historic Wembley Stadium will be a special moment for English-born defenders Cameron Carter-Vickers and Antonee Robinson.
- A product of the Everton academy, Robinson currently plays on loan with Wigan Athletic.
- Carter-Vickers came up through the Tottenham Hotspur setup and is currently with Swansea City.
- Two more players on the roster are based in the English league system, with DeAndre Yedlin currently lining up for Newcastle United, while Luca de la Torre is part of the Fulham setup.
- Christian Pulisic also lived in England for a year, when his mother was granted a Fulbright scholarship for a teaching exchange near Oxford. The young Pulisic turned out for Brackley Town, an experience that is said to have contributed to his love of the game.
- Fifteen players have represented the U.S. at a Youth World Cup: Kellyn Acosta, Tyler Adams, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Luca de la Torre, Marky Delgado, Ethan Horvath, Matt Miazga, Shaq Moore, Christian Pulisic, Josh Sargent, Zack Steffen, Wil Trapp, Jorge Villafaña and DeAndre Yedlin.