CHICAGO (March 18, 2018) – U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Dave Sarachan will once again put the next generation of the MNT on display, calling 22 players to North Carolina in advance of the upcoming friendly against Paraguay on March 27 in Cary.
With an average of 23 years, 84 days, 17 players are age 24 or under, meaning prospects and potential will be joined with some veteran flavor. Limited tickets remain for USA-Paraguay, which will broadcast live from Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET on FS1 and UniMas. Fans can also follow U.S. Soccer’s official Facebook, Twitter (@ussoccer_mnt) and Instagram (@ussoccer_mnt) accounts. [TICKETS]
“This match once again represents an opportunity for some new faces. The roster has an average age under 24, so for the most part this is a group of younger players that we feel have a future with the National Team along with some familiar names,” Sarachan said. “The timing is right to give these guys international exposure, and they will certainly be tested against a strong and experienced Paraguayan team.”
U.S. ROSTER BY POSITION (Club; Caps/Goals):
GOALKEEPERS (3): Alex Bono (Toronto FC/CAN; 0/0), Bill Hamid (Midtjylland/DEN; 5/0), Zack Steffen (Columbus Crew SC; 1/0)
DEFENDERS (8): Cameron Carter-Vickers (Ipswich Town/ENG; 1/0), Eric Lichaj (Nottingham Forest/ENG; 14/1), Matt Miazga (Vitesse/NED; 4/1), Shaq Moore (Levante/ESP; 0/0), Erik Palmer-Brown (Kortrijk/BEL; 0/0), Antonee Robinson (Bolton Wanderers/ENG; 0/0), Jorge Villafaña (Santos Laguna/MEX; 15/0), DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle United/ENG; 49/0)
MIDFIELDERS (8): Tyler Adams (New York Red Bulls; 2/0), Marky Delgado (Toronto FC/CAN; 0/0), Kekuta Manneh (Pachuca/MEX; 0/0)*, Weston McKennie (Schalke/GER; 1/1), Darlington Nagbe (Atlanta United FC; 24/1), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders FC; 2/0), Kenny Saief (Anderlecht/BEL; 1/0), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew SC; 3/0), Tim Weah (Paris Saint-Germain/FRA; 0/0)
FORWARDS (3): Andrija Novakovich (Telstar/NED; 0/0), Rubio Rubin (Club Tijuana/MEX; 4/0), Bobby Wood (Hamburg/GER; 36/10)
* Kekuta Manneh was added to the roster on March 19
WATCH: 5 Things to Know About the March Roster, Presented by Thorne Research
TRACKING THE DEVELOPMENT PATHWAY
The group is heavily populated with players moving through the U.S. Soccer and professional club development pipelines, starting with Youth National Team experience. Twelve players have been included on the final U.S. roster at a FIFA Youth World Cup, from Tyler Adams to DeAndre Yedlin, and former U-20 World Cup captain Erik Palmer-Brown. In addition, 15 players have Development Academy ties.
PACKING THE PASSPORTS
Utilizing access to the global talent pool, the coaching staff has scouted and selected players plying their trade in 10 different countries and 12 different leagues in Europe and North America. The group includes first-time callups for players in Belgium (Erik Palmer-Brown), England (Antonee Robinson), France (Tim Weah), the Netherlands (Andrija Novakovich), and Spain (Shaq Moore).
GOING BACK TO CARY
A capacity crowd is expected to watch the MNT’s first match in Cary since 2006, a 1-1 draw against Jamaica. The nearby UNC Tarheels welcome home one of their own, as defender Eric Lichaj spent one year in Chapel Hill. The area is home to USL club North Carolina FC and the NWSL side North Carolina Courage.
- The average age of the roster is 23 years, 84 days, while 17 players are age 24 and under.
- The 22 players ply their trade in 10 different countries: USA (5), England (4), Belgium (2), Germany (2), Canada (2), Mexico (2), Netherlands (2), Denmark (1), France (1), Spain (1). A total of 15 are playing in Europe or Mexico, while seven represent M.L.S. clubs.
- With 49 caps, DeAndre Yedlin is the most seasoned international, followed by Bobby Wood (36) and Darlington Nagbe (24). With an appearance against Paraguay, Yedlin will become the 53rd player in MNT history to reach the 50-cap milestone.
- A trio of players on the roster have helped their M.L.S. clubs advance to the semifinals of the 2017-18 Concacaf Champions League. Midfielder Tyler Adams scored in the New York Red Bulls’ 3-1 win against Club Tijuana in their quarterfinal second leg tie on March 13, while both goalkeeper Alex Bono and midfielder Marky Delgado started for Toronto FC as they also advanced past reigning Liga MX champions Tigres on Wednesday.
- Currently on loan with Belgian giants Anderlecht, winger Kenny Saief returns to MNT camp for the first time since making his U.S. debut on July 1, 2017 vs. Ghana.
- Five players receive their first senior team call-ups: defenders Shaq Moore, Erik Palmer-Brown and Antonee Robinson, midfielder Tim Weah and forward Andrija Novakovich.
- Son of 1995 FIFA World Player of the Year and current Liberian president George Weah, the eighteen-year-old Weah joins his first MNT camp fresh off his first two appearances for Paris Saint-Germain in a 2-0 win at Troyes (March 3) and 5-0 win vs. Metz (March 10).
- The USA captain at the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup, Palmer-Brown recently signed with Manchester City and is currently on loan to Belgian side Kortrijk, where he debuted in a 2-1 loss at Club Brugge on March 3.
- Having previously played for the U-18 MNT in 2014, English-born left back Antonee Robinson has appeared in 29 competitive matches for League Championship side Bolton Wanderers this season.
- Levante right back Shaq Moore comes to his first MNT camp having made eight competitive appearances for the Spanish side this season.
- Forward Andrija Novakovich attends his first MNT camp on the back of strong form, racking up 18 goals in 29 league matches with Dutch Eerste Divisie side Telstar, where he has spent this season on loan from English League Championship club Reading.
- Veteran right back Eric Lichaj returns to North Carolina’s “Research Triangle”, where he played collegiately for UNC in 2006.
- Defender Jorge Villafaña has started each of the last nine matches for Liga MX leaders Santos Laguna.
- A total of 12 players have been part of the final U.S. roster at a Youth World Cup: Adams, Carter-Vickers, Delgado, Miazga, Moore, Palmer-Brown, Rubin, Steffen, Trapp, Villafaña, Weah and Yedlin.
- Fifteen players are alumni of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy: Adams (New York Red Bulls), Bono (Empire United), Delgado (Chivas USA), Hamid (D.C. United), McKennie (FC Dallas), Miazga (New York Red Bulls), Moore (FC Dallas), Nagbe (Internationals SC), Novakovich (Chicago Magic PSG), Palmer-Brown (Sporting KC), Rubin (Portland Timbers), Steffen (Philadelphia Union), Trapp (Columbus Crew SC), Weah (New York Red Bulls/BW Gottschee), Yedlin (Crossfire Premier/Seattle Sounders FC)