2018 U.S. Men's National Team
2018 U.S. Men's National Team

PREVIEW: USA-Brazil, Presented by Liberty Mutual Insurance, Provides Stern First Kickoff Series Test for Youthful MNT | 7:30pm ET | FS1, Univision, UDN

CHICAGO (Sept. 5, 2018) – Building off some strong performances since last November, the U.S. Men’s National Team begins its ambitious six-match Kickoff Series against five-time World Cup champions Brazil on Friday, Sept. 7. Ranked No. 3 in the world, a star-studded Brazil roster led by Neymar, Philippe Coutinho and Casemiro will test an MNT roster that averages just over 23 years with one of its toughest tests to date at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.

Coverage of USA-Brazil, presented by Liberty Mutual Insurance, begins at 7:30 p.m. ET on FS1, Univision and UDN. Fans can also follow along via U.S. Soccer’s official Facebook, Twitter (@ussoccer_MNT) and Instagram (@ussoccer_MNT) accounts.

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 (Fotuna Sittard/NED; 2/0), Bobby Wood (Hannover 96/GER; 39/12), Gyasi Zardes (38/6; Columbus Crew SC)

STORYLINES

RESTART UNDERWAY
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. Fifteen of the 25 players assembled for September’s friendlies against Brazil and Mexico are 23 and under, while five are 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 15 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.

A FLAVOR OF NEW YORK RED BULLS
The MNT spent much of the week preparing at the New York Red Bulls Training Facility in Whippany, N.J. It’s a familiar place for a number of players on the roster. Tyler Adams, Tim Parker and first-time MNT call-up Aaron Long all currently play for the top-of-the-table MLS side. French-based players Matt Miazga (Nantes) and Tim Weah (Paris Saint-Germain) also developed with the Red Bulls, with Miazga rising through the Academy system to begin his professional career at Red Bull Arena, while Weah spent two years in the youth development setup at the club.

USA-BRAZIL NOTES

  • The USA meets Brazil for the 19th time on Friday, with the MNT holding a 1-17-0 all-time record against the five-time World Cup champions.
  • The USA’s lone victory came on the back of heroic performances from Kasey Keller and Preki, a memorable 1-0 win in the 1998 Concacaf Gold Cup Semifinals. The MNT has come up just short in a few more matches.
  • The teams last played on Sept. 8, 2015, a 4-1 MNT loss in Foxborough, Mass.
  • Three MNT players appeared in the last meeting: Bobby Wood, DeAndre Yedlin and Gyasi Zardes.
  • Neymar’s tallied a brace in that meeting and was one of six players on the current Brazil roster to play, joined by Fabinho, Willian, Douglas Costa and Roberto Firmino.
  • The USA is 2-1-2 in 2018, most recently coming off an impressive 1-1 draw against France on June 9 in Lyon, the last match before Les Bleus departed for their World Cup-winning conquest in Russia.
  • Brazil is 7-1-1 in 2018, with the only defeat coming in their last match, a 2-1 loss to Belgium in the FIFA World Cup Quarterfinals on July 6 in Kazan Russia.
  • The 25-player USA roster averages 23 years, 231 days, while Brazil’s 24-man squad comes in at 26 years, 208 days.
  • MNT attacker Tim Weah is club teammates with Neymar, Thiago Silva and Marquinhos at Paris Saint-Germain.

USA ROSTER NOTES

  • With the addition of Marky Delgado, the MNT’s average age is 23 years, 231 days
  • Fifteen players are age 23 or under, with only one player born before 1990.
  • This roster averages 11 caps, with DeAndre Yedlin (52), Bobby Wood (39), Gyasi Zardes (37) and John Brooks (33) leading the way.
  • The roster features players that ply their trade in nine different countries: USA (10), Germany (4), England (3), Canada (2), France (2), Belgium, 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 Lisfranc 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 season. 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).

BRAZIL ROSTER BY POSITION:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Alisson (Liverpool/ENG), Hugo (Flamengo), Neto (Valencia)

DEFENDERS (7): Alex Sandro (Juventus/ITA), Dedé (Cruzeiro), Fabinho (Liverpool/ENG), Fagner (Corinthians), Felipe (Porto/POR), Filipe Luís (Atlético Madrid/ESP), Marquinhos (Paris Saint-Germain/FRA), Thiago Silva (Paris Saint-Germain/FRA)

MIDFIELDERS (8): Andreas Pereira (Manchester United/ENG), Arthur Melo (Barcelona/ESP), Casemiro (Real Madrid/ESP), Fred (Manchester United/ENG), Lucas Paquetá (Flamengo), Philippe Coutinho (Barcelona/ESP), Renato Augusto (Beijing Gouan/CHN), Willian (Chelsea/ENG)

FORWARDS (5): Douglas Costa (Juventus/ITA), Éverton (Grêmio), Roberto Firmino (Liverpool/ENG), Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain/FRA), Pedro (Fluminense)

BRAZIL NOTES

  • Friday’s match marks Brazil’s first since their run to the Quarterfinals of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
  • The 2-1 Quarterfinal defeat to Belgium is Brazil’s only loss of 2018. The five-time World Cup champions are 7-1-1 in nine matches this year.  
  • Thirteen players on the Brazil roster were part of their 2018 World Cup squad: goalkeeper Alisson; defenders Fagner, Filipe Luis, Marquinhos and Thiago Silva; midfielders Casemiro, Fred, Philippe Coutinho, Renato Augusto and Willian; forwards Douglas Costa, Roberto Firmino and Neymar.
  • Eleven players on the roster combined for a total of 21 trophies won across domestic and European club competitions this past season.
  • Seventeen players are European-based and six play in Brazil, while Renato Augosto plies his trade with Beijing Gouan in China.