Preview: USMNT Takes on No. 13-ranked Switzerland Ahead of Concacaf Nations League Final FourWatch USA-Switzerland on Sunday, May 30 at 2 p.m. ET on ESPN, UniMás and TUDN
CHICAGO (May 28, 2021) —The USMNT will take on No. 13-ranked Switzerland on May 30 in St. Gallen as the USA prepares for its final match ahead of the Concacaf Nations League Final Four. ESPN, UniMás and TUDN will broadcast from kybunpark at 2 p.m. ET.
The match against Switzerland represents the sixth time the USMNT will face a Top 20 opponent since head coach Gregg Berhalter took charge of the team in 2019. Led by Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka and Liverpool midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri, the Swiss are gearing up for the European Championship where they have been drawn into Group A with four-time World Cup champion Italy, Turkey and Wales.
The Switzerland encounter, combined with the Concacaf Nations League Final Four and the USMNT’s June 9 match in Salt Lake City against Costa Rica, presented by Allstate, will simulate a match cadence similar to what many players coming from Europe will experience during the upcoming three-match window as part of the World Cup Qualifying campaign that kicks off in September. Similar to European-based players in the pool during World Cup qualifying, the U.S. team will travel from Europe to North America for three matches, two for the Nations League in Denver and then Costa Rica in Utah.
Detailed Roster by Position (Club/Country; Caps/Goals):
GOALKEEPERS (3): Ethan Horvath (Club Brugge/BEL; 4/0), Chituru Odunze (Leicester City/ENG; 0/0), David Ochoa (Real Salt Lake; 0/0)
DEFENDERS (10): John Brooks (Wolfsburg/GER; 40/3), Reggie Cannon (Boavista/POR; 14/0), Justin Che (Bayern Munich/GER; 0/0), Sergiño Dest (Barcelona/ESP; 7/1), Mark McKenzie (Genk/BEL; 2/0), Matt Miazga (Anderlecht/BEL; 21/1), Tim Ream (Fulham/ENG; 42/1), Bryan Reynolds (Roma/ITA; 1/0), Antonee Robinson (Fulham/ENG; 10/0), DeAndre Yedlin (Galatasaray/TUR; 62/0)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Kellyn Acosta (Colorado Rapids; 27/2), Tyler Adams (RB Leipzig/GER; 12/1), Julian Green (Greuther Fürth/GER; 15/4), Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy; 20/6), Weston McKennie (Juventus/ITA; 21/6), Yunus Musah (Valencia/ESP; 4/0), Jackson Yueill (San Jose Earthquakes; 9/0)
FORWARDS: (7): Brenden Aaronson (Red Bull Salzburg/AUT; 4/2), Daryl Dike (Barnsley/ENG; 2/0), Matthew Hoppe (Schalke/GER; 0/0), Gio Reyna (Borussia Dortmund/GER; 4/2), Josh Sargent (Werder Bremen/GER; 13/5), Jordan Siebatcheu (Young Boys/SUI; 2/0), Tim Weah (Lille/FRA; 10/1)
DeAndre Yedlin returns to the USMNT fold for the first time since November 2019. The veteran right back made the move to Galatasaray from Newcastle United earlier this year, where his team finished second in the Turkish Süper Lig and secured a place in UEFA Champions League qualifying.
He is joined by fellow 2014 FIFA World Cup veteran Julian Green, who earns his first call-up under Berhalter. The midfielder will seek his first cap since Nov. 15, 2018 against England. Green has registered nine goals and three assists in 32 matches this season to help Greuther Fürth achieve automatic promotion to the Bundesliga.
COMPETITION COMING UP
The May 30 encounter vs. Switzerland is a lead-in to three significant competitions in 2021, beginning with the Concacaf Nations League Final Four. Winners of League A’s Group A, the USMNT takes on Honduras in one semifinal, while Mexico and Costa Rica will square off in the other, with the winners competing for the inaugural Nations League title.
The USA will meet one of its most-frequent Concacaf foes on June 9 for a friendly against Costa Rica in Salt Lake City. Heading into this summer, the USMNT holds a narrow 17-16-5 edge in the series through a rich history of 38 matches played since 1975.
The following month, the U.S. will compete in the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup in search of its seventh confederation championship. The USMNT has been drawn into Group A with Canada, Martinique and a third team to be determined through pre-tournament qualifying. The United States last lifted the trophy in 2017, when Jordan Morris netted the game-winner against Jamaica in the 2-1 victory.
Those games serve as a prelude to the start of 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying, which will feature an eight-team final round and commence in Sept. 2021.
With the USMNT competing for a pair of trophies this summer - the Concacaf Nations League and Gold Cup – several players have already earned silverware with their clubs. A total of nine players on the roster entered training camp with a championship under their belt. Brenden Aaronson did the double, winning the Austrian Bundesliga and Austrian Cup. Zack Steffen also won two trophies with Manchester City, backstopping the club to the English League Cup and becoming the first USMNT player to win the Premier League. Sergiño Dest (Barcelona) lifted the Copa del Rey in Spain, while Weston McKennie (Juventus) in Italy along with Gio Reyna (Dortmund) in Germany and Mark McKenzie (Genk) in Belgium also won their respective domestic cup competitions. Tim Weah is a French league champion with Lille, his club winning the title for the first time since the 2010-11 campaign, Ethan Horvath and Club Brugge are league winners for the second season running and Jordan Siebatcheu helped Young Boys to the top of the Swiss league table for the fourth consecutive year.
And still, one big title remains. The USMNT will gather around the screen the evening of May 29 to watch a teammate lift the Champions League trophy, as Christian Pulisic and Steffen square off when Chelsea takes on Manchester City in the final.
TOP FOUR IN BIG FIVE
Members of the USMNT finished in the top four in each of the five biggest leagues in Europe, starting with the league title winners in England (Steffen, Manchester City) and France (Weah, Lille). In Germany, U.S. internationals populate three of the top four with Tyler Adams (RB Leipzing, second), Gio Reyna (Borussia Dortmund, third), and John Brooks (Wolfsburg, fourth). Sergiño Dest completed his first season at Barcelona with a third-place La Liga finish. Christian Pulisic and Chelsea secured the fourth spot in the Premier League on the final matchday, a feat and position matched by Weston McKennie and Juventus.
All eight players will be a part of next year’s Champions League.
In another sign of U.S. internationals staking their claim at prominent clubs abroad, nine players on the roster just completed seasons where they made 30 or more appearances in a top-flight European league: Weston McKennie (34 GP; Juventus), Yunus Musah (32 GP; Valencia), Jordan Siebatcheu (32 GP; Young Boys), Gio Reyna (31 GP; Borussia Dortmund), Josh Sargent (31 GP; Werder Bremen), John Brooks (31 GP; Wolfsburg), Reggie Cannon (31 GP; Boavista), Sergiño Dest (30 GP; FC Barcelona) and Matt Miazga (30 GP; Anderlecht).
Berhalter has given more opportunities to new players than any other USMNT head coach in the modern era at this point in their tenure. To this point, 44 players have made their international debut during his first 25 matches at the helm of the program.
Four players have the opportunity to earn their first caps in the match against Switzerland: goalkeepers Chituru Odunze and David Ochoa, defender Justin Che and forward Matthew Hoppe.
This week’s friendly marks just the third time in the last 25 years the USA has faced Switzerland. In the last match, a Brek Shea free kick helped steer the USA to a 1-1 draw on March 31, 2015 in Zurich.
Another free-kick finish remains the iconic moment of history between the teams. In the USA’s opening match of the 1994 FIFA World Cup, a crowd of 77,000 fans at the Pontiac Silverdome in Michigan witnessed an Eric Wynalda wonder strike that led to a 1-1 draw and the USMNT’s first point in a World Cup since 1950.
The May match will come nearly 31 years to the day of the USMNT’s first match in St. Gallen. Bruce Murray scored the U.S. goal in a 2-1 defeat to the Swiss on June 2, 1990 in the team’s final match before taking part in the 1990 FIFA World Cup.
Overall, the U.S. is 1-3-4 all-time against Switzerland and unbeaten in its last four.
LAST TIME OUT
A goal in the first half from Gio Reyna and a penalty kick in the second from Christian Pulisic helped lift the USA to a solid 2-1 victory against Northern Ireland on March 28 at the National Stadium at Windsor Park.
The goal marked the eighteen-year-old Reyna’s second in four career senior international matches while Pulisic became the 13th USMNT player to reach 15 career goals. The goal was Pulisic’s first for the U.S. since 2019.
The win – which extends the USA’s unbeaten streak to nine games (8-0-1) - was the USMNT’s first against a European opponent on the road since June 10, 2015, when the red, white and blue defeated defending World Cup champion Germany. It also snapped an 11-game away winless streak dating back to a victory against Cuba on Oct. 7, 2016.
USA Line-up vs. Northern Ireland
1-Zack Steffen; 3-Aaron Long (15-Chris Richards, 63), 4-Matt Miazga, 13-Tim Ream; 2-Sergiño Dest (19-Bryan Reynolds, 46), 23-Kellyn Acosta (12-Luca de la Torre, 74), 8-Yunus Musah (17-Sebastian Lletget, 46), 5-Antonee Robinson; 7-Gio Reyna (11-Brenden Aaronson, 63), 16-Jordan Siebatcheu (21-Daryl Dike, 63), 10-Christian Pulisic (Capt.)
USA ROSTER NOTES
On first day of training, May 25, the roster held an average age of 23 years, 37 days.
Seventeen players are age 23 or younger.
The 27-player squad averages 13 caps.
Players ply their trade in 11 different countries: Germany (7), England (4), USA (4), Belgium (3), Italy (2), Spain (2), Austria (1), France (1), Portugal (1), Switzerland (1) and Turkey (1).
Seven players have 20 or more caps: DeAndre Yedlin (62), Tim Ream (42), John Brooks (40), Kellyn Acosta (27), Weston McKennie (21), Matt Miazga (20) and Sebastian Lletget (20).
Seventeen players took part in the USMNT’s last training camp in March.
Right back DeAndre Yedlin will take part in his first camp since November 2019 when he played in the 4-0 win against Cuba in the Concacaf Nations League group stage finale. Yedlin just finished his first season with Galatasaray in Turkey.
Two of the four uncapped players will take part in their first USMNT camp: defender Justin Che and forward Matthew Hoppe.
Hoppe burst onto the scene for Schalke this season, becoming the first American to record a hat trick in the Bundesliga during the club’s 4-0 win against Hoffenheim on January 9. The Yorba Linda, Calif. Native registered six goals in 21 league appearances during the 2020-21 campaign.
David Ochoa, 21, was the USA’s goalkeeper during March’s Concacaf Olympic Qualifying Championship and has started four matches for Real Salt Lake this season.
A product of the FC Dallas Academy, 17-year-old defender Justin Che has made seven appearances for Bayern Munich II since joining the side on loan in January.
GOALKEEPERS (4): Gregor Gobel (Stuttgart/GER; 0/0), Yvon Mvogo (PSV Eindhoven/NED 3/0), Jonas Omlin (Montpellier/FRA; 2/0), Yann Sommer (Borussia Mönchengladbach/GER; 60/0)
DEFENDERS (10): Manuel Akanji (Borussia Dortmund/GER; 28/0), Loris Benito (Bordeaux/FRA; 11/1), Eray Cömert (Basel; 4/0), Nico Elvedi (Borussia Mönchengladbach/GER; 25/1), Jordan Lotomba (Nice/FRA; 1/0), Kevin Mbabu (Wolfsburg/GER; 11/0), Bećir Omeragić (FC Zürich; 3/0), Ricardo Rodriguez (Torino/ITA; 79/8), Fabian Schär (Newcastle United/ENG; 58/8) Silvvan Widmer (Basel; 15/1)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Edimilson Fernandes (Mainz/GER; 21/1), Remo Freuler (Atalanta/ITA; 27/3), Xherdan Shaqiri (Liverpool/ENG; 89/23), Djibril Sow (Eintracht Frankfurt/GER; 15/0), Granit Zhaka (Arsenal/ENG; 92/12), Denis Zakaria (Borussia Mönchengladbach/GER; 31/3), Steven Zuber (Eintracht Frankfurt/GER; 35/7)
FORWARDS (8): Breel Embolo (Borussia Mönchengladbach/GER; 42/5), Christian Fassnacht (Young Boys; 6/1), Mario Gavranović (Dinamo Zagreb/CRO; 29/11), Admir Mehmedi (Wolfsburg/GER; 72/10), Dan Ndoye (Nice/FRA; 0/0), Haris Severović (Benfica/POR; 73/21), Ruben Vargas (Augsburg/GER; 11/2), Andi Zeqiri (Brighton/ENG; 0/0)
IN FOCUS: SWITZERLAND
Switzerland head coach Vladimir Petković has been on the job since taking over the squad after the 2014 FIFA World Cup. In that time, he’s ensured the team’s qualification and advancement to the knockout stage of both Euro 2016 and the 2018 World Cup. He also led the team back to this summer’s European Championship.
Switzerland qualified for Euro 2020 back in November 2019, finishing on top of a group which also featured Denmark and Ireland. Delayed by the global pandemic, Switzerland will hold warm-up friendlies against the USMNT on May 30 and Liechtenstein on June 3 before facing Wales, Italy and Turkey in Group A.
The Swiss began qualification for the 2022 FIFA World Cup during the last FIFA window and will come into Sunday’s match against the USMNT in good form after earning a 3-1 away win against Bulgaria on March 25 before a 1-0 home victory against Lithuania three days later. With six points from two matches, the Swiss sit second in UEFA World Cup Qualifying Group C behind only Italy, who has won all three of its matches thus far.
The 29-man provisional roster for this summer’s European Championship features the Premier League midfield duo of Xherdan Shaqiri (Liverpool) and captain Granit Xhaka (Arsenal), who also leads the team with 92 caps.
Three players on the USMNT roster are club teammates with Swiss players: Gio Reyna and Swiss defender Manuel Akanji line up for Borussia Dortmund, John Brooks plays on the back line with Kevin Mbabu and is teammates with Admir Mehmedi at Wolfsburg, while Jordan Siebatcheu and Christian Fassnacht both feature up top for Swiss champion BSC Young Boys.
Bundesliga side Borussia Mönchengladbach has four players on the roster: goalkeeper Yann Sommer, defender Nico Elvedi, midfielder Denis Zakaria and forward Breel Emobol.