CHICAGO (June 9, 2022)– The U.S. Men’s National Team begins defense of its inaugural Concacaf Nations League title on Friday against Grenada at Q2 Stadium in Austin, Texas (10 p.m. ET; ESPN+, UniMás, TUDN). The 2022-23 CNL opener will be the USMNT’s final match on home soil before the 2022 FIFA World Cup as the USA will look to extend its 25-match home undefeated streak, which is one shy of the team record of 26 set from 2013-2015.
After a thrilling 3-2 defeat of Mexico in extra time of the inaugural championship match in June 2021, the USA was drawn into the 2022-23 Nations League A, Group D in April alongside Grenada and El Salvador, where the teams will play a round-robin, home-and-away schedule. The USA will travel to El Salvador on Tuesday, June 14 (10 p.m. ET; FS1, Univision, TUDN).
USMNT ROSTER BY POSITION - JUNE TRAINING CAMP
GOALKEEPERS (3):Ethan Horvath (Nottingham Forest/ENG; 7/0), Sean Johnson (New York City FC; 10/0), Matt Turner (New England Revolution; 17/0)
DEFENDERS (9):George Bello (Arminia Bielefeld/GER; 6/0), Reggie Cannon (Boavista/POR; 25/1), Cameron Carter-Vickers (Celtic/SCO; 9/0), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls; 25/3), Erik Palmer-Brown (Troyes/FRA; 4/0), Antonee Robinson (Fulham/ENG; 27/2), Joe Scally (Borussia Mönchengladbach/GER; 2/0), DeAndre Yedlin (Inter Miami; 74/0), Walker Zimmerman (Nashville SC; 30/3)
FORWARDS (7):Brenden Aaronson (Leeds United/ENG; 20/6), Paul Arriola (FC Dallas; 45/9), Jesús Ferreira (FC Dallas; 11/3), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders; 46/10), Christian Pulisic (Chelsea/ENG; 50/21), Tim Weah (Lille/FRA; 24/3), Haji Wright (Antalyaspor/TUR; 2/1)
USA SCHEDULE - JUNE INTERNATIONAL WINDOW
Wednesday, June 11
TQL Stadium; Cincinnati, Ohio
Sunday, June 5
Children's Mercy Park; Kansas City, Kan.
Friday, June 10
Grenada - Concacaf Nations League
Q2 Stadium; Austin, Texas
10 p.m. ET
ESPN+, UniMás, TUDN
Tuesday, June 14
El Salvador - Concacaf Nations League
Estadio Cuscatlan; San Salvador, El Salvador
10 p.m. ET
FS1, Univision, TUDN
ABOUT THE CONCACAF NATIONS LEAGUE
Created to maximize the quality, quantity and frequency of competitive matches for all of Concacaf’s 41 Member Associations, the 2022-23 CNL Group Stage will continue to be played in a three League format (League A, League B and League C). League A consists of 12 national teams divided in four groups; League B features 16 teams split into four groups; and League C has 13 teams in four groups.
Each League plays home and away round-robin matches during the FIFA international dates of June 2022 and March 2023. The winners of the League A groups will advance to the Concacaf Nations League Finals in June 2023, which will consist of semifinals, a third place match, and championship match. The League A and B teams which finish last in their groups will be relegated to the lower league, while the group winners in Leagues B and C will be promoted to the higher league for the next edition of the CNL tournament.
Grenada, Curuçao, Martinique and Suriname won their respective groups in League B in 2019/21 and were promoted to League A this year. The U.S. was drawn to Group D.
2022/23 LEAGUE A:
Group A: Mexico, Jamaica, Suriname Group B: Costa Rica, Panama, Martinique Group C: Canada, Honduras, Curaçao Group D: USA, El Salvador, Grenada
Additionally, the tournament will again serve as qualification for the 2023 Concacaf Gold Cup, with the top two finishers in each League A groups, as well as the group winners in League B qualifying directly for next summer’s confederation championship. Twelve other teams will have an opportunity to qualify for the tournament via the Gold Cup Prelims.
RECAPPING THE USMNT’S RUN TO THE 2021 CNL TROPHY
The inaugural Concacaf Nations League had the USA, Costa Rica, Honduras, Mexico, Panama and Trinidad and Tobago pre-seeded into League A by virtue of advancing to the Hexagonal of the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying stage. There they were joined by the top six seeds following the 68-match, one-off qualifying phase in which the 34 teams were ranked 1-34 based on points earned, goal differential and additional tie-breaker criteria.
The U.S. was drawn to Group A with Canada and Cuba and advanced to the CNL Finals by winning the group on goal differential over Canada after both nations finished with nine points.
2019-21 Concacaf Nations League Results
Oct. 11, 2019*
McKennie (3), Morris, Sargent, Pulisic, OG
Oct. 15, 2019*
Nov. 15, 2019*
Zardes (2), Morris, Long
Nov. 19, 2019*
Sargent (2), Morris (2)
Truman Bodden Stadium;
George Town, Cayman Islands
June 3, 2021^
Empower Field at Mile High; Denver, Colo.
June 6, 2021^
3-2 W (AET)
Reyna, McKennie, Pulisic
Empower Field at Mile High; Denver, Colo.
*-Denotes Group Stage / Denotes Semifinals/Finals
The 2020 CNL Finals were postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic and re-scheduled for June 2021 in Denver, Colorado. On June 3, the USA defeated Honduras 1-0 in the semifinals on an 89th-minute diving header from second-half substitute Jordan Pefok.
The USMNT kicked off the June international window with a convincing 3-0 victory against African powerhouse Morocco. Some skillful play from forward Christian Pulisic teed up forward Brenden Aaronson for the opening goal, while forward Tim Weah ripped a shot from distance to put the USA up 2-0 before the break. Debutant forward Haji Wright finished the scoring with a second-half penalty to put the game away and secure the USA’s first win vs. Morocco after three losses in its first three games against the Atlas Lions.
Four days later, the USMNT extended its home unbeaten streak to 25 games with a scoreless draw against 13th-ranked Uruguay. While the USA had the better of possession and was aggressive on offense, three key defensive plays were critical in preserving the draw: a goal line clearance from right back DeAndre Yedlin, a point-blank save by goalkeeper Sean Johnson on the goalmouth and a sliding block from center back Walker Zimmerman inside the box. The draw against fellow World Cup participant Uruguay brought the all-time series record between the nations to 2-2-4.
USMNT IN AUSTIN
This marks the USMNT’s third match in three different official competitions at Q2 Stadium, with the previous two visits ending in shutout victories in front of sold-out crowds. Last July, Gyasi Zardes bagged an 86th minute winner in the 1-0 win against Qatar in the semifinal of team’s run to the 2021 Gold Cup title. Three months later, eighteen-year-old forward Ricardo Pepi scored twice to spark the USA to a 2-0 shutout win against Jamaica in World Cup Qualifying.
USA ROSTER NOTES:
The roster is composed of 16 players from Europe and 10 players from Major League Soccer.
Fourteen players featured during the team’s run to the 2019-21 CNL title, with Matt Turner, Sean Johnson and Yunus Musah also available as substitutes for select games.
Forward Jordan Morris and midfielder Weston McKennie tied for the inaugural League A lead with four goals each.
The two international friendlies also included a number of players returning to the USMNT after spells away.
○ McKennie returned to the starting XI against Uruguay for the first time since the 3-0 World Cup qualifying win against Honduras on Feb. 2, 2022. He suffered a broken foot while with Juventus in a 1-1 draw against Villarreal on Feb. 22 in the UEFA Champions League. He made his first substitute appearance for the USA against Morocco, snapping his streak of 31 consecutive starts – the longest since Eddie Pope made 82 consecutive starts from 1996-2006 - and seventh-longest in team history.
○ Like McKennie, winger Brenden Aaronson and goalkeeper Matt Turner also missed the March qualifiers due to injury. Aaronson’s 26th-minute goal against Morocco was the sixth of his international career and first since the 4-1 World Cup qualifying win at Honduras on Sept. 8, 2021. Turner made eight saves against Morocco to keep his 12th career clean sheet in 17 games. He now sits in sole possession of sixth on the USMNT’s all-time shutout list, eight back of Brad Guzan (20 shutouts in 64 caps).
○ Defender Aaron Long earned his first start against Morocco since the 2-1 win at Northern Ireland on March 28, 2021. After recovering from a ruptured Achilles suffered in May 2021, Long returned to the team during the March international window, making two substitute appearances in the 0-0 draw at Mexico and 5-1 win against Panama.
○ Defender Cameron Carter-Vickers earned his first cap since June 1, 2019 vs. Jamaica when he replaced Walker Zimmerman at the start of the second half against Morocco.
○ Sean Johnson earned his 10th cap - and first since Feb. 2, 2020 against Costa Rica - when he started against Uruguay, becoming the 14th goalkeeper in USMNT history to reach double-digit appearances. Playing the full 90 minutes for the fifth time, Johnson made three saves to keep the fifth clean sheet of his international career. The veteran goalkeeper has conceded just one goal while playing for the USA.
Three players made their USMNT debut during this June window, all as second half substitutes against Morocco on June 1: defender Joe Scally, midfielder Malik Tillman and forward Haji Wright. Scally was called into the USA’s November training camp, and Wright was previously called in a camp in May 2019, but neither had seen action until last week. Tillman earned his first cap after being approved by FIFA for a change of association from Germany on May 31.
In total, 56 players have now made their first appearance for the U.S. during head coach Gregg Berthalter’s 52 matches in charge.
With his goal against Morocco, Haji Wright became the 56th player to score in his first cap.
Christian Pulisic earned his 50th appearance for the USMNT on Sunday. With 21 goals and 10 assists, Pulisic leads all USMNT players with 31 goal contributions in 50 caps, besting Landon Donovan’s 15 goals and 10 assists at the half-century mark. Pulisic (23 years, 260 days) is also the seventh-youngest player to hit 50 appearances for the USMNT.
Pulisic and defender Antonee Robinson are the only players to appear all eight USMNT matches in 2022, each starting seven games.
Weston McKennie is the only player to have appeared in all six previous Concacaf Nations League matches. McKennie is also the team’s leading scorer in the competition with four goals.
Veteran defender DeAndre Yedlin is the most capped players with 74th international appearances, moving past Hugo Pérez into sole possession of 32nd on the USMNT’s all-time caps list.
Hector Said Martinez from Honduras will the referee. He was also the center referee in the 2021 CNL final in Denver.
WORLD CUP BOUND
The U.S. successfully completed the gauntlet of Concacaf qualifying in March, clinching its berth to the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar on the final matchday. In what promises to be one of the toughest groups in the tournament, the USMNT was drawn into Group B alongside the final UEFA play-off winner (one of Ukraine or Wales; to be determined on June 5), 2020 European Championship runner-up England, and IR Iran.
The USA will have six preparation matches before heading to Qatar in November - these four during the June international window plus two additional friendlies in September. The trio of June matches on U.S. soil represent the USMNT’s final home games before the World Cup, with the June 10 match vs. Grenada in Austin serving as the team’s final send-off before Qatar 2022.
A number of USMNT players abroad came into camp with new silverware as the European club season comes to a close. Forward Brenden Aaronson helped Red Bull Salzburg win the Austrian Bundesliga and Austrian Cup earlier this month, while defender Antonee Robinson and Fulham won the English Championship in convincing fashion, earning promotion to the Premier League for the 2022-23 season.
In Germany, Bayern Munich midfielder Malik Tillman won the Bundesliga title while Tyler Adams lifted the DFB Pokal with RB Leipzig. This weekend, goalkeeper Ethan Horvath and Nottingham Forest earned promotion to the Premier League with a tightly-contested victory in the Championship Playoff Final against Huddersfield Town.
Additionally, forward Jordan Morris and midfielder Cristian Roldan helped the Seattle Sounders become the first MLS club to capture the Concacaf Champions League title earlier this month, topping Liga MX’s Pumas 5-2 in the two-legged final.
The USMNT was by far the youngest team to qualify for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, garnering valuable experience going through the rigors of World Cup qualifying. Through 14 qualifiers, the team’s average age of players that appeared was 24.07. The next closest was Ecuador, whose average age of all players during their 18 qualifying matches came in at 25.81.
From the available data for the qualified teams, the USMNT played the 10 youngest lineups worldwide during the recently concluded cycle, with all 14 lineups falling in the 22 youngest Starting XIs in the world during qualifiers dating back to October 2020. After its successful qualifying campaign, each match is another opportunity for the young USMNT player pool to gain experience against top-flight competition.
The CNL opener marks the USA’s fourth all-time meeting with Grenada and first since 2009. The U.S. has won all three previous matches.
The teams first met during a two-leg preliminary round of qualifying for the 2006 FIFA World Cup in June 2004. Hosting the home leg, the USMNT utilized the first-career brace from DaMarcus Beasley, as well as a late goal from Greg Vanney to down the Spice Boys 3-0 in Columbus.
A week later, Beasley tallied what would stand as the game winner following goals from Landon Donovan and Josh Wolff as the USA took a 3-2 win in wild and rainy affair at Grenada’s National Stadium in St. George‘s.
The teams last met in the opening game of the Concacaf Gold Cup on July 4, 2009 in Seattle. Following Freddy Adu’s early opener, debutant Stu Holden – who would appear for the USA at the 2010 World Cup less than a year later – made it 2-0 prior to halftime, before Robbie Rogers and Charlie Davies rounded out the 4-0 win in the second half.
GRENADA ROSTER BY POSITION (CLUB; CAPS/GOALS)
GOALKEEPERS (3): Jason Belton (Paradise; 45/0); Reice Charles-Cook (Dartford/ENG; 6/0); Trishawn Thomas (Queens Park Rangers/ENG; 0/0)
DEFENDERS (8): Benjamin Ettienne (Charleston Battery/USA; 9/0), Kayden Harrack (Queens Park Rangers/ENG; 4/0), Christian James (Camerhogne; 1/0), Kraig Noel-McLeod (Enfield Town/ENG; 9/0), Lemoud Ogiste (Sunsetters FC; 0-0), A.J. Paterson (Charleston Battery/USA; 18/4), Kwesi Paul (Peachtree City/USA; 5/0), Tyrone Sterling (Dulwich Hamlet/ENG; 15/0)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Steffon Abraham (Paradise; 8/0), Leon Braveboy (Hard Rock FC; 7/0), Ashley Charles (Wealdstone/ENG; 2/0), Josh Gabriel (Westchester Flames/USA; 6/0), Shavon John-Brown (El Paso Locomotive/USA; 34/4), Alexander McQueen (Indy Eleven/USA; 15/1), Kwazim Theodore (unattached; 34/1)
FORWARDS (8): Lucas Akins (Mansfield Town/ENG; 0-0), Kharlton Belmar (Colorado Springs Switchbacks/USA; 8/0), Jacob Berkeley-Agyepong (Aldershot Town/ENG; 7/1), Jamal Charles (Real Sociedad/HON; 30/15), Romar Frank (Camerhogne; 19/1), Saydrel Lewis (Real Juventud/HON; 26/7), Kairo Mitchell (Notts County/ENG; 14/2), Dejon Noel-Williams (Braintree Town/ENG; 7/0)
IN FOCUS: GRENADA
Grenada earned promotion to League A of this year’s Nations League after going undefeated in the 2019/20 League B, winning Group A with 14 points (4-0-2). Jamal Charles scored six of the team’s eight goals, including late winners in each of the first two wins and a hat trick in the 3-2 win against Belize.
W 2-1 Saint Kitts and Nevis
W 2-1 Belize
T 0-0 French Guiana
W 1-0 French Guiana
T 0-0 Sant Kitts and Nevis
W 3-2 Belize
In its 2022-23 CNL opener on June 4, the Caribbean side lost at El Salvador, 3-1. After the hosts' Nelson Bonilla scored the first of his two goals in the second minute, Alexander McQueen equalized two minutes later. Bonilla struck for the go-ahead tally in the 43rd minute and Grenada's A. J. Paterson scored a 55th-minute own goal to close out the scoring.
The team drew 2-2 in the return leg on June 7. Grenada took the lead at the half hour mark on a goal from Jacob Berkeley-Agyenpong but El Salvador’s Alexander Larin tied it on a penalty kick five minutes later. Grenada went ahead again in the 54th through Charles’ 15th career goal - and seventh in the CNL – and once again El Salvador leveled, this time in the 88th on a goal by Cristian Gil.
Prior to the two CNL games, Grenada played only twice since the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup. During a short European tour, they played Gibraltar to a scoreless draw on March 23 and lost at Andorra, 1-0, on March 28.
It has participated in three Concacaf Gold Cups, finishing 12th in 2009, 11th in 2011 and 16th in 2021, dropping three matches in group play: 4-0 to Honduras and Qatar, and 3-1 to Panama.
The squad has enjoyed greater success in the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Cup, finishing as runners- up in 2008 and in fourth place in 1997 and 2010.
To many U.S. soccer fans, former MLS standout Shalrie Joseph has been the face of the Grenada team. Joseph, who played for the New England Revolution, Chivas USA and Seattle Sounders, earned 20 caps from 2002-08.
Grenada has never qualified for the FIFA World Cup, making its competition debut in 1998.
The Spice Boyz brought in a relatively young 25-man roster into its Concacaf Nations League matches. Slightly more than half the players are below the age of 25, including four teenagers: goalkeeper Trishawn Thomas, 19, defenders Benjamin Ettienne, 19, Kayden Harrack, 18, and Lemoud Ogiste, 18.
Three players are over the age of 30: goalkeeper Jason Belfon, 31, who has a team-high 44 caps, and defender Tyrone Sterling, 34, and Lucas Akins, 33.
Jamal Charles and Lucas Akins, who plays for Real Sociedad of Honduras, are the side's leading scorers with 15 goals each.
Seven players perform in the United States - defenders Kwesi Paul (Peachtree City, USL League Two) and A.J. Peterson and Ettiene (both Charleston Battery, USL Championship), midfielders Alexander McQueen (Indy Eleven, USL Championship), Shavon John-Brown (EL Paso Locomotive, USL Championship) and Josh Gabriel (Westchester Flames, USL League Two) and forward Kharlton Belmar (Colorado Springs Switchbacks).
Canadian-born Michael Findlay has guided the Caribbean side to a 1-8-1 record since taking over as head coach on Jan. 21, 2021. After playing in the Canadian Professional Soccer League, the 58-year-old Findlay eventually entered coaching as he started with the British Columbia Soccer Center as an assistant coach before he was appointed as a staff coach of the British Columbia Soccer Association and then as director of football development. He worked as an assistant with several Canadian Men's National Teams, including the Under-17, U-20 and U-23 squads.