Teenagers Getting Their Chance with the MNT in 2018

With the many debuts that have come this year, 2018 also marks a new milestone for the most teenagers to appear for the MNT in a calendar year.
By: Jeff Crandall

One of the main points of emphasis for the U.S. Men’s National Team in 2018 has been to offer the next generation of players a taste of the senior international level.

In doing so, MNT head coach Dave Sarachan has already given 16 players debuts in 2018, a number that could go as high as 19 should Jonathan Amon, Reggie Cannon and Aaron Long take part in Tuesday night’s Kickoff Series match against Peru (7:30 p.m. ET; ESPN2, UniMas, UDN). 

The chances of at least one more debut seems high after Sarachan said Monday that he planned numerous changes to the lineup from Thursday's match against Colombia. 

For those interested, the year 2018 already comes in at third most debuts during the modern era (1990-present), ranking behind only 1992 (21) and 2007 (20). Of those that have taken their first step with the MNT this year, 11 have been age 22 or under and nine are age-eligible for the 2020 Summer Olympics.

Perhaps most notable is the record number of teenagers that have represented the MNT in 2018. Five players – Tyler Adams, Josh Sargent and Tim Weah, as well as recently turned 20-year-olds Weston McKennie and Christian Pulisic – have run out for the MNT while teenagers this year.

That total beats out the modern era record of four set just last year, and could increase to six if Amon steps on the field Tuesday night.

MNT Most Teenage Minutes by Calendar Year (1990-present)






Tyler Adams, Weston McKennie, Christian Pulisic, Josh Sargent, Tim Weah



Tyler Adams, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Weston McKennie, Christian Pulisic



Julian Green, Emerson Hyndman, Rubio Rubin



Freddy Adu, Jozy Altidore, Michael Bradley

2002 and 2001


DaMarcus Beasley, Bobby Convey, Landon Donovan



Ramiro Corrales, Jorge Flores, Jovan Kirovski

All caps accounted for were earned while player was a teenager
^Number could increase to six if Jonathan Amon plays Tuesday against Peru.

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