Berhalter Calls 20 Players for Pre-Camp Ahead of Nations League Group FinaleMLS Players Who Have Completed Seasons Will Get Head Start on Preparation for Must-Win Matches Against Canada and Cuba
CHICAGO (Oct. 31, 2019) – U.S. Men's National Team head coach Gregg Berhalter will begin preparation for the conclusion of Concacaf Nations League Group A play by holding a pre-camp from Nov. 2-9 at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. for 19 MLS players who have already completed their seasons.
With the pre-camp falling outside the FIFA international window, the European-based players that will be part of the USMNT roster will arrive in Orlando beginning Nov. 10, when the formal camp opens. That list will be revealed Nov. 6 on ussoccer.com.
Facing must-win situations against Canada and Cuba in order to have a chance to advance to the knockout round, the U.S. will look for payback against the Canadians on Nov. 15 at Exploria Stadium in Orlando (7 p.m. ET; ESPN2, UniMas, TUDN). Four days later, the USA meets Cuba in George Town, Cayman Islands. Kickoff at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex is set for 7:30 p.m. ET, and the match will be broadcast live on FS1, UniMas and TUDN.
Fans can follow both matches via U.S. Soccer’s official Facebook, Twitter (@USMNT) and Instagram (@USMNT) accounts.“We have the opportunity to take advantage of the MLS post-season window to start preparations for the matches against Canada and Cuba,” Berhalter said. “It’s another week to keep progressing as a group as we focus on getting the results we need to advance to the knockout phase of the Nations League.”
USA DETAILED ROSTER BY POSITION (Club; Caps/Goals):
GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Atlanta United FC; 62/0), Sean Johnson (New York City FC; 8/0), Matt Turner (New England Revolution; 0/0)
DEFENDERS (7): Reggie Cannon (FC Dallas; 9/0), Chase Gasper (Minnesota United FC; 0/0), Nick Lima (San Jose Earthquakes; 9/0), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls; 14/2), Daniel Lovitz (Montreal Impact/CAN; 12/0), Mark McKenzie (Philadelphia Union; 0/0), Walker Zimmerman (LAFC; 11/2)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Brenden Aaronson (Philadelphia Union; 0/0), Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy; 12/2), Djordje Mihailovic (Chicago Fire; 5/1), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew SC; 20/0), Jackson Yueill (San Jose Earthquakes; 4/0)
FORWARDS (5): Paul Arriola (D.C. United; 30/5), Corey Baird (Real Salt Lake; 4/0), Jeremy Ebobisse (Portland Timbers; 1/0), Jonathan Lewis (Colorado Rapids; 5/0), Gyasi Zardes (Columbus Crew SC; 54/10)
WIN TO GET IN
Holding its destiny in its own hands, the path for the United States to advance to the knockout stage of the inaugural Nations League is clear: win both remaining matches and achieve a superior goal differential. Canada is on top of the group with nine points and a plus-nine goal differential, largely on the strength of scoring seven times in two games against Cuba. The U.S. notched seven of their own the first time around against Cuba and will need to keep their foot on the gas. First up, however, is a massive rematch against the Canadian team that ignited their home crowd and support across the nation with a 2-0 win on Oct. 15 in Toronto, their first against the United States in more than three decades.
BEEN HERE BEFORE
While this pool of players continues to gain international experience – seven of them played their first away match in Concacaf official competition last month in Toronto - the USMNT is no stranger to the away-home scenario in group play. In the semifinal round of qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, the U.S. played and lost in Jamaica before returning home four days later and collecting a 1-0 win in Columbus. Four years later, it was the same circumstance and the same outcome against Guatemala, only this time the Columbus faithful witnessed a 4-0 shutout victory for the USA.
While the Nations League isn’t exactly the same as the old semifinal round of World Cup qualifying, it does offer some insight into how teams deal with defeats at this stage of the process and their prospect of advancement. Going back to the 1998 World Cup Qualifying cycle, 14 of the 18 Concacaf teams that qualified for the World Cup lost at least one away game during the semifinal round, demonstrating that these are common bumps in the road on the way to earning a place at the FIFA World Cup.
This will be the USA’s sixth visit to Orlando and the third since the opening of Exploria Stadium. A near 20-year gap began following a 1-0 win against Sweden in 1998. Then in 2017, the United States returned to overwhelm Panama in a 4-0 World Cup Qualifying win in front of a sellout crowd of 25,303 fans. Most recently, an 81st minute strike from Gyasi Zardes earned the United States a 1-0 shutout victory against Ecuador on March 21. With the win, Gregg Berhalter became the second USMNT head coach to begin his tenure with three straight victories.
The Pre-Camp roster has an average age of 25 years, 33 days and 13 caps.
Thirteen players were part of the USMNT’s October Concacaf Nations League camp.
The 20 players represent 17 different MLS clubs, with Columbus Crew SC, Philadelphia Union and San Jose Earthquakes each featuring two players on the roster.
Portland Timbers forward Jeremy Ebobisse and Philadelphia Union defender Mark McKenzie return to USMNT camp for the first time since January 2019.
Having featured for the U-23 MNT this fall, winger Jonathan Lewis and midfielder Djordje Mihailovic return to senior camp for the first time since this summer’s Gold Cup.
Minnesota United FC defender Chase Gasper and New England Revolution goalkeeper Matt Turner are the two first-time invitees to USMNT camp.