With its Concacaf Nations League title defense resuming next month, the U.S. Men’s National Team technical staff is heading back to Europe to watch matches in person and meet with players as the evaluation process continues ahead of the matches against Grenada and El Salvador. The Group D games in Saint George and Orlando at the end of March fall during a FIFA window, providing the first opportunity to have access to the entire player pool since the USMNT’s promising run in the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
This weekend, Anthony Hudson takes up England duties and will observe Daryl Dike and Auston Trusty when Birmingham City hosts West Bromwich Albion on Friday at St. Andrew’s Stadium. From there it’s a train ride north to Leeds, where the trio of Brenden Aaronson, Tyler Adams and Weston McKennie face Manchester United for the second time this week on Sunday.
Just across the North Sea, USMNT Scout Eric Laurie has a weekend of activity in the Netherlands. On Saturday, Ricardo Pepi and Groningen face a big test away to Richy Ledezma and PSV Eindhoven. The following day it’s a chance to see Taylor Booth in action when Utrecht travel to face Vitesse.
Hudson heads to the capital to meet up with Christian Pulisic as he continues his recovery from a knee injury, as well as several other London-based players. He’s then off to Germany for the Champions League Round of 16 first leg to see Gio Reyna and Dortmund host Chelsea.
Next week is another packed schedule in the United Kingdom. Assistant coach B.J. Callaghan gets three chances to see U.S. internationals square off. First up is Josh Sargent and Norwich hosting Trusty and Birmingham midweek, then it’s off to Craven Cottage where Fulham hosts Wolves with Tim Ream and Antonee Robinson partnering in defense.
Callaghan will then head north to West Brom where Dike will face off against Middlesbrough and goalkeeper Zack Steffen. Finally, it’s a trip up north to Glasgow for a classic Old Firm clash. Malik Tillman, James Sands and Rangers host Celtic and their stodgy central defender Cameron Carter-Vickers.
After a thrilling 3-2 defeat of Mexico in extra time of the inaugural championship match in 2021, the USMNT continues its title defense with two matches to close out Group D. Currently in second place with four points and one behind El Salvador, the USA opens the window away to Grenada on March 24 at Kirani James Athletic Stadium in Saint George. In their first meeting, a four-goal bonanza from Jesús Ferreira propelled the United States to a 5-0 shutout win on June 10 in Austin. Along with boosting the USA’s chances at earning the Group D title, a win or draw against Grenada will also clinch the side’s place in this summer’s Concacaf Gold Cup.
The USA then returns home for the Group D finale against El Salvador on March 27 at Exploria Stadium in Orlando. In the first encounter last June, Jordan Morris’ stoppage time header helped the USA secure a 1-1 draw, ensuring the USMNT left San Salvador with an important road point.
Results in both remaining matches would guarantee the USA a place in the Nations League Final Four, which will be held in June.