PREVIEW: Youthful MNT Set for Tough Test vs. Paraguay | FS1, UniMas, UDN

The U.S. Men's National Team closes its early spring training camp with a friendly against Paraguay on Tuesday, March 27 in Cary, N.C. (7:30 p.m. ET; FS1, UniMas & UDN)

CHICAGO (March 25, 2018)—The future is now for the U.S. Men’s National Team as 23 players have gathered in Cary, N.C. to face Paraguay on Tuesday, March 27. Several exciting prospects will have the chance to earn valuable international experience against La Albirroja as the USA roster features five first-time call-ups and 17 players aged 24 or younger.

Coverage of USA-Paraguay kicks off from Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park at 7:30 p.m. ET on FS1, UniMas and UDN. Fans can also follow the game live on Twitter at @ussoccer_mnt and @ussoccer_esp.

“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 (9): 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) 

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.

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 call-ups for players in Belgium (Erik Palmer-Brown), England (Antonee Robinson), France (Tim Weah), the Netherlands (Andrija Novakovich) and Spain (Shaq Moore).   

A capacity crowd is expected to watch the MNT’s first match in Cary since 2006, a 1-1 draw against Jamaica. The nearby University of North Carolina Tar Heels welcome home one of their own, as defender Eric Lichaj spent his freshman year in Chapel Hill. The area is home to USL club North Carolina FC and the NWSL side North Carolina Courage.


  • It will be the seventh meeting all-time between the USA and Paraguay. The U.S. leads the overall series 3-2-2.
  • The two nations last played at the 2016 Copa America Centenario, where the USA’s 1-0 victory clinched Group A en route to the tournament semifinals.
  • MNT forward Bobby Wood and defender DeAndre Yedlin both played in the match.
  • Long-time MNT goalkeeper Kasey Keller made his 102nd and final appearance for the USA in the teams’ first Copa clash, a 3-1 defeat in 2007.
  • The U.S. and Paraguay faced off in the very first FIFA World Cup. Bert Patenaude scored the first hat trick in World Cup history to secure a 3-0 victory.
  • The USA is 3-1-2 all-time in North Carolina, though the MNT has only played in the Tar Heel State once since 2000.





U.S. Goal Scorers


July 17, 1930

3-0 W

Montevideo, Uruguay


FIFA World Cup

June 4, 1997

0-0 D

St. Louis, Mo.



March 14, 1998

2-2 D

San Diego, Calif.

Balboa, Deering


July 6, 2003

2-0 W

Columbus, Ohio

Donovan, Stewart


July 2, 2007

1-3 L

Barinas, Venezuela


Copa America

March 29, 2011

0-1 L

Nashville, Tenn.


June 11, 2016

1-0 W

Philadelphia, Penn.


Copa America Centenario


  • The average age of the roster on game day is 23 years, 93 days, while 17 players are age 24 and under.
  • The 23 players ply their trade in 10 different countries: USA (5), England (4), Mexico (3), Belgium (2), Germany (2), Canada (2), Netherlands (2), Denmark (1), France (1) and Spain (1). 
  • A total of 16 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.
  • Defender Matt Miazga has played in 34 of Dutch club Vitesse’s 36 competitive matches this season.
  • 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)

Paraguay Roster by Position (Club; Caps/Goals)
GOALKEEPERS (2): Roberto Fernandez (Botafogo/BRA; 0/0), Alfredo Aguilar (Olimpia; 0/0)
DEFENDERS (6): Junior Alonso (Lille/FRA; 16/1), Fabian Balbuena (Corinthians/BRA; 5/0), Luis de la Cruz (Guarani; 0/0), Gustavo Gomez (AC Milan/ITA; 27/2), Juan Patiño (Olimpia; 3/0), Bruno Valdez (Club America/MEX; 20/1)
MIDFIELDERS (10): Miguel Almiron (Atlanta United FC/USA; 12/0), Nestor Camacho (Olimpia; 8/1), Cecilio Dominguez (Club America/MEX; 9/0), Derlis Gonzalez (Dinamo Kiev/UKR; 28/4), Richard Ortiz (Olimpia; 29/5), Hernan Perez (Deportivo Alaves/ESP; 29/1), Cristian Riveros (Libertad; 101/16), Juan Rodrigo Rojas (Cerro Porteño; 15/0), Oscar Romero (Shanghai Shenhua/CHN; 34/2), Richard Sanchez (Olimpia; 0/0)
FORWARDS (3):Roberto Ovelar (Millonarios/COL; 0/0), Angel Romero (Corinthians/BRA; 12/2), Federico Santander (FC Copenhagen/DEN; 14/1)


  • Paraguay failed to advance to the World Cup out of hyper-competitive CONMEBOL World Cup qualification. After Brazil clinched qualification, seven teams entered the final international window with three World Cup spots and one inter-confederation playoff berth up for grabs.
  • On the final matchday, Paraguay fell to last-place Venezuela on an 84th-minute goal. La Albirroja finished seventh in CONMEBOL, just two points out of the inter-confederation playoff berth
  • This match is Paraguay’s first fixture since the end of its World Cup Qualifying campaign
  • Paraguay has won just five games since the start of 2016 (5-13-3)
  • In its last five friendlies, Paraguay has been outscored 12-3
  • Goalkeepers Roberto Fernandez and Alfredo Aguilar, defender Luis de la Cruz, midfielder Richard Sanchez and forward Roberto Ovelar all have the opportunity to earn their first caps against the USA
  • Paraguay’s 21-player roster competes in 11 countries across Asia, Europe, North America and South America. Full club/country distribution: Paraguay (8), Brazil (3), Mexico (2), China (1), Colombia (1), Denmark (1), France (1), Italy (1), Spain (1), Ukraine (1), USA (1)
  • Miguel Almirón is La Albirroja’s lone U.S.-based player. He has starred for M.L.S.-side Atlanta United FC under former Paraguay head coach Gerardo “Tata” Martino since joining the team in summer 2016. He earned league Best XI honors last season and has logged the second-most assists in M.L.S. since he joined Atlanta.
  • Almirón is one of five players to have appeared in the team’s last meeting with the U.S. during Copa America Centenario, joining defenders Fabian Balbuena and Gustavo Gomez and midfielders Derlis Gonzalez and Juan Rodrigo Rojas.

Go Deeper