CHICAGO (Nov. 15, 2023) – The U.S. Men’s National Team begins the quest for its third-consecutive Concacaf Nations League title with a pair of matches against Trinidad & Tobago in the Quarterfinal Round. The home leg will be hosted Nov. 16 in Austin, with kickoff from Q2 Stadium set for 9 p.m. ET (8 p.m. local). The away leg will be played Nov. 20 at 7 p.m. ET from Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain, Trinidad.
Both matches will be broadcast live on TNT, Universo, MAX and Peacock. Live Spanish-language audio for the match will be available on Fútbol de Primera radio. Fans will also be able to follow the matches via Facebook, Twitter @USMNT, Instagram @USMNT and the official U.S. Soccer App.
DETAILED ROSTER BY POSITION (Club/Country; Caps/Goals)
GOALKEEPERS (3): Ethan Horvath (Nottingham Forest/ENG; 9/0), Gaga Slonina (KAS Eupen/BEL; 1/0), Matt Turner (Nottingham Forest/ENG; 35/0)
DEFENDERS (8): Cameron Carter-Vickers (Celtic/SCO; 14/0), Sergiño Dest (PSV Eindhoven/NED; 30/2), Kristoffer Lund (Palermo/ITA; 3/0), Tim Ream (Fulham/ENG; 53/1), Chris Richards (Crystal Palace/ENG; 14/1), Antonee Robinson (Fulham/ENG; 37/2), Miles Robinson (Atlanta United; 27/3), Joe Scally (Borussia Mönchengladbach/GER; 7/0)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Paxten Aaronson (Eintracht Frankfurt/GER; 1/0), Luca de la Torre (Celta Vigo/ESP; 19/0), Lennard Maloney (Heidenheim/GER; 1/0), Weston McKennie (Juventus/ITA; 48/11), Yunus Musah (AC Milan/ITA; 31/0), Gio Reyna (Borussia Dortmund/GER; 22/6), Malik Tillman (PSV Eindhoven/NED; 6/0)
FORWARDS (5): Brenden Aaronson (Union Berlin/GER; 36/8), Folarin Balogun (Monaco/FRA; 6/3), Kevin Paredes (Wolfsburg/GER; 2/0), Ricardo Pepi (PSV Eindhoven/NED; 20/9), Alex Zendejas (Club América/MEX; 7/1)
The roster represents significant continuity, with a total of 19 of the 23 players heading to Austin that took part in camp last month, including goal scorers Folarin Balogun and Gio Reyna. The roster is made up of 12 players that were part of the USMNT side at the 2022 FIFA World Cup and 15 players helped the USA claim its second consecutive Concacaf Nations League title this past June.
EYES ON THE PRIZE
In addition to putting the USMNT in position to win its third-consecutive CNL championship, the Quarterfinal Round serves as qualification for the prestigious 2024 Copa America, South America’s preeminent international tournament, which will be hosted in the United States next summer. The 2024 edition of the event will include 10 CONMEBOL nations and six Concacaf guest nations, including defending World Cup and Copa America champion Argentina led by captain and Inter Miami attacker Lionel Messi.
LIGHTING THE LAMP
With 43 goals scored through 16 matches this year, U.S. goal scorers have been varied. Seven of the 13 players who have found the back of the net for the USMNT in 2023 are on this roster: Ricardo Pepi (6), Brenden Aaronson (2), Folarin Balogun (2), Weston McKennie (2), Gio Reyna (2), Chris Richards (1), Alex Zendejas (1)
THE BUDDY SYSTEM
The roster features four sets of club teammates, all of which come from European sides: Fulham (Ream, A. Robinson), PSV Eindhoven (Dest, Pepi, Tillman), and Nottingham Forest (Horvath, Turner).
The PSV trio all joined former U.S. Soccer Sporting Director Earnie Stewart in Eindhoven this summer. Tim Ream and Antonee Robinson are in the fourth season as teammates at Craven Cottage. Matt Turner moved from Arsenal to Nottingham Forest, meeting up with Ethan Horvath, who returned from a successful promotion campaign with Luton Town in the English Championship.
BROTHERS ON AND OFF THE PITCH
Already the ninth pair of brothers to have represented the USMNT, Brenden and Paxten Aaronson could become the eighth set to play in the same international match, with the first opportunities coming during the Concacaf Nations League quarterfinal series this month against Trinidad and Tobago.
Both are products of the Philadelphia Union’s YSC Academy and are plying their trade in Germany’s top division. Brenden is on a one-year loan to FC Union Berlin, while Paxten is enjoying his first year in the Bundesliga with Eintracht Frankfurt.
VS. THE SOCA WARRIORS
The USA and Trinidad & Tobago have met 28 times, making the Soca Warriors the fifth-most frequent opponent in USMNT history.
- The USA holds a 21-3-4 all-time advantage against Trinidad and Tobago. The 21 wins against Trinidad are the USMNT’s second most against any international opponent behind only Mexico (23 wins).
- The last competitive clash between the teams came during the 2023 Gold Cup group stage, the USMNT riding standout performance from forward Jesús Ferreira to a 6-0 win in the final match of group play on July 2 in Charlotte, N.C. Ferreira registered a first-half hat trick, while Cade Cowell, Gianluca Busio and Brandon Vazquez added second-half goals as the USA clinched the top spot in Group A.
- The USA-Trinidad and Tobago rivalry dates back to March 21, 1982, a 2-1 friendly win in the Trinidadian capital Port of Spain.
- The away leg in Trinidad will be one day after the 34-year anniversary of one of the most significant goals in U.S. Soccer history. On Nov. 19, 1989, Paul Caligiuri’s “Shot Heard ‘Round the World” gave the USMNT a 1-0 win on the final day of qualifying for the 1990 FIFA World Cup, sending the USA back to the tournament for the first time in 40 years.
USMNT IN TWO-LEG SERIES
While the November matches are officially classified as the 2023-24 Concacaf Nations League quarterfinals, the home-and-away series also serves as qualification for next year’s Copa America in the United States. Though two-leg series are more common in the knockout stages of competitions like the UEFA Champions League, this marks the seventh time the USMNT will navigate a two-leg series with another opponent, and the first instance outside of World Cup qualifying. The USMNT goes into this month’s series with the Soca Warriors holding a 4-2 record in two-leg series, winning each of the last four instances.
|USMNT in Two-Leg Series|
|Opponent (Competition)||First Leg||Second Leg||Aggregate|
(Los Angeles, Calif.)
(Mexico City, Mexico)
(San Diego, Calif.)
(St. Louis, Mo.)
(St. Louis, Mo.)
(St. Georges, Grenada)
AT Q2 STADIUM
Q2 Stadium has hosted USMNT matches in three different official competitions, with all three previous visits ending in shutout victories in front of sold-out crowds. Gyasi Zardes bagged an 86th minute winner in the 1-0 win against Qatar in the semifinal of the team’s run to the 2021 Gold Cup title. Three months later, 18-year-old forward Ricardo Pepi scored twice to spark the USA to a 2-0 shutout win against Jamaica in World Cup Qualifying.
In June of last year, Jesús Ferreira’s four goals propelled the USA to a 5-0 rout of Grenada as the team began its successful 2022-23 Concacaf Nations League campaign. Ferreira’s four goals tied a team record for most goals in a game, with the win extending the USMNT’s unbeaten streak on U.S. soil to 26 straight games, also tying the team’s record set from 2013-2015.
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 2023-24 Concacaf Nations League, which commenced in September, has a revamped format to include more direct elimination matches that will qualify teams to continental summer competitions.
The 2023-24 CNL will continue to be played in a three-League format (A, B, and C), with the region’s 41 men’s senior national teams distributed into the Leagues according to the results of the 2022-23 CNL.
The USA will compete in League A, which has been expanded to include 16 teams (up from 12) and a new quarterfinal round has been created to deliver more direct elimination matches.
- The roster averages 24 years, 7 days as of matchday on Nov. 16, with 14 players 24 and younger.
- The squad also averages 19 caps and 10 in official competition.
- The roster is made up of 12 players that were part of the USMNT side at the 2022 FIFA World Cup and 15 players helped the USA claim its second consecutive Concacaf Nations League title this past June.
- Nineteen players took part in the USMNT’s October camp.
- With 53 appearances, veteran defender Tim Ream is the leading cap winner, followed by Weston McKennie (48), Antonee Robinson (37), Brenden Aaronson (36), Matt Turner (35), Yunus Musah (31) and Sergiño Dest (30).
The 23 players ply their trade in 10 different countries: Germany (6), England (5), Italy (3), Netherlands (3), Belgium (1), France (1), Mexico (1), Scotland (1), Spain (1), USA (1). Twenty-three players represent clubs in their respective first divisions.
- Four players make their return to the squad: forward Paxten Aaronson, defender Antonee Robinson, goalkeeper Gaga Slonina and midfielder Malik Tillman, who was originally part of the October roster before having to withdraw due to injury.
The two youngest players on the November roster, both Paxten Aaronson (20) and Slonina (19) made their USMNT debuts during January camp this year. Still 18 at the time, Slonina became the youngest goalkeeper to appear for the USMNT when he started the match against Serbia on Jan. 25. Meanwhile, then 19-year-old Aaronson started the 0-0 draw with Colombia on Jan. 28.
With his start against Colombia, Paxten combined with his brother Brenden Aaronson to become the ninth set of brothers to earn appearances for the USMNT. They joined John and Pedro DeBrito, Otto and Rolf Decker, Angelo and Paul DiBernardo, Charlie and Henry McCully, George and Michael Nanchoff, Ken and Steve Snow, James and Russ Murphy, Archie and Tommy Stark.
Should he appear in both matches, 20-year-old midfielder Yunus Musah (31 caps) would set a new record for most appearances by a USMNT player before their 21st birthday. Jozy Altidore, Landon Donovan and Christian Pulisic jointly hold the record with 32 caps each. Musah (29 starts) already has the most starts by a USMNT player before their 21st birthday, and should he play 153 minutes, would surpass Landon Donovan (2,507 mins.), for most minutes before turning 21. Musah turns 21 on Nov. 29.
Should he appear in both matches this month, midfielder Weston McKennie would become the 61st player to reach their 50th cap and fifth youngest player to do it (25 years, 84 days).
Already with 11 appearances in 2023, goalkeeper Matt Turner is the fourth USMNT goalkeeper to earn double-digit caps in at least three calendar years, and the third to do so in consecutive years: Tim Howard (6; 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2017), Tony Meola (5; 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994), Turner (3; 2021, 2022, 2023), Kasey Keller (3; 1998, 2002, 2005).
Nineteen players have previous Concacaf Nations League experience, with nine players earning five or more CNL caps. Weston McKennie has appeared in 11 of the 12 CNL matches all-time, followed by Brenden Aaronson (7), Luca de la Torre (6), Tim Ream (6), Gio Reyna (6) Antonee Robinson (6), Sergiño Dest (5), Yunus Musah (5) and Matt Turner (5).
Six players have faced Trinidad and Tobago before: Tim Ream (2), Miles Robinson (2), Matt Turner (2), Brenden Aaronson (1), Weston McKennie (1), Alex Zendejas (1).
Miles Robinson, who scored his first goal against Trinidad on Jan. 31, 2021, joined Turner and Zendejas in helping the USA to a 6-0 win against the Soca Warriors in Concacaf Gold Cup play on July 2, 2023 in Charlotte.
Striker Ricardo Pepi scored his second and third international goals at Q2 Stadium, tallying both goals in the 2-0 win against Jamaica in World Cup qualifying on Oct. 7, 2021.
Defender Tim Ream is the only player on the roster to have appeared in a match at Trinindad and Tobago, starting and going the full 90 minutes in the 0-0 draw on Nov. 17, 2015 during semifinal round World Cup qualifying.
Five players seek their debut in official competition, as well as their first appearances against Concacaf opposition: Paxten Aaronson, Kristoffer Lund, Lennard Maloney, Kevin Paredes, and Gaga Slonina.
Six players made their USMNT debuts during previous November windows: Tim Ream (Nov. 17, 2010 at South Africa); Weston McKennie and Cameron Carter-Vickers (Nov. 14, 2017 at Portugal); Yunus Musah and Gio Reyna (Nov. 12, 2020 at Wales); and Chris Richards (Nov. 16, 2020 vs. Panama).
Forwards Christian Pulisic and Tim Weah were unavailable for the November roster due to hamstring injuries suffered in the past week.
- Seven players are on clubs currently taking part in the UEFA Champions League: Sergiño Dest, Ricardo Pepi and Malik Tillman (PSV Eindhoven); Yunus Musah (AC Milan); Brenden Aaronson (Union Berlin), Cameron Carter Vickers (Celtic), Gio Reyna (Borussia Dortmund).
Nine players have represented the USA in a FIFA Youth World Cup: Cameron Carter-Vickers (2015, 2017 U-20), Luca de la Torre (2015 U-17, 2017 U-20), Sergiño Dest (2017 U-17, 2019 U-20), Kevin Paredes (2023 U-20), Ricardo Pepi (2019 U-17), Gio Reyna (2019 U-17), Joe Scally (2019 U-17), Chris Richards (2019 U-20), Gaga Slonina (2023 U-20)
- Thirteen players are products of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy, with 10 coming from MLS Academies: Weston McKennie, Ricardo Pepi, Chris Richards, and Alex Zendejas (FC Dallas); Brenden Aaronson and Paxten Aaronson (Philadelphia Union); Gio Reyna and Joe Scally (New York City FC); Luca de la Torre (San Diego Nomads); Ethan Horvath (Real Colorado); Kevin Paredes (D.C. United); Miles Robinson (Boston Bolts); Gaga Slonina (Chicago Fire).
IN FOCUS: TRINIDAD & TOBAGO
THE ROAD TO THE CNL QUARTERS
Trinidad has competed in four CNL contests, posting a 3-1-0 record. The Caribbean side started with a 1-0 win over Curaçao, with Nathaniel James striking for a dramatic goal in the 87th minute in Port of Spain on Sept. 7. In a see-saw battle three days later, T&T beat El Salvador, 3-2, in San Salvador. Ryan Telfer, Malcolm Shaw and Justin Garcia (game-winner in the 72nd minute) paced the visitors.
The Soca Warriors overcame a two-goal deficit in the opening half to record a 3-2 win over Guatemala in Port of Spain. Alvin Jones started the rally with a 36th-minute penalty kick. Reon Moore equalized in the 54th minute and James put home another dramatic, late game-winner in the 89th minute.
Their streak was snapped in a 5-3 defeat at Curaçao on Oct. 17. For the second successive game, Trinidad fell behind, this time by a 4-0 deficit, before a second-second rally fell short. Moore (68th minute), Kristian Lee Him (74th minute) and Kareem Moses (86th minute) made it interesting.
DETAILED ROSTER BY POSITION
GOALKEEPERS (3): Denzil Smith (Club Sando; 5/0), Christopher Biggette (Defence Force; 0/0), Rushon Sandy (Yavapai College/USA; 0/0)
DEFENDERS (7): Alvin Jones (Club Sando; 48/4), Aubrey David CS Cartagines/CRC; 77/1), Justin Garcia (Defence Force; 15/1), Ross Russell (La Horquetta Rangers; 14/0), Jesse Williams (Central Valley Fuego/USA; 9/0), Andre Raymond (Vilar de Perdizes/POR; 4/0), Shannon Gomez (San Antonio FC/USA; 12/0)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Neveal Hackshaw (Oakland Roots/USA; 39/2), Noah Powder (Northern Colorado Hailstorm/USA; 17/2), Michel Poon-Angeron (AC Port of Spain; 11/0), Kristian Lee-Him (IFK Eskilstuna/SWE; 4/1), Kaile Auvray (Mount Pleasant/JAM; 9/0), Andre Rampersad (Halifax Wanderers/CAN; 9/1), Daniel Phillips (St. Johnstone FC/SCO; 8/0)
FORWARDS (6): Ryan Telfer (Miami FC; 26/9), Real Gill (Club Sando; 4/1), Reon Moore (Defence Force; 24/7), Nathaniel James (Mount Pleasant/JAM; 4/2), Levi Garcia (AEK Athens/GRE; 41/8), Malcolm Shaw (Atletico Ottawa/CAN; 5/1)
TRINIDAD & TOBAGO MANAGER
Angus Eve took over the reins as head coach and the Under-20 coach on Sept. 2, 2021. He replaced former England international Terry Fenwick, who failed to get the side past the first round of 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying.
His coaching experience includes stints as an assistant coach with San Juan Jabloteh and Ma Pau Stars in the TT Pro League and manager of the Trinidad Under-23 squad during qualifying for the 2012 Olympics.
Eve, 51, played 117 times as a midfielder for the Soca Warriors, scoring 34 goals. On the club level, he played for Joe Public, Defence Force, and San Juan Jabloteh in the TT League and one season for Chester City (England).
- Of the 23-player roster a total of 15 play overseas with eight performers domestically based.
- Club Sando and Defense Force have the most domestic players on the team, with three apiece.
- Six players perform in the United States at various levels. They include goalkeeper Rushon Sandy (Yavapai College), defenders Jesse Williams (Central Valley Fuego, USL League One) and Shannon Gomez (San Antonio FC, USL Championship), midfielders Neveal Hackshaw (Oakland Roots, USL Championship) and Noah Powder (Northern Colorado Hailstorm, USL League One) and forward Ryan Telfer (Miami FC, USL Championship).
- The Soca Warriors goalkeepers - Denzil Smith, Christopher Biggette and Sandy - have a combined total of six international matches under their belts.
- Forward Levi Garcia has returned to the squad after missing the four previous CNL matches due to an injury. Garcia, who tallied the opening goal for AEK Athens in the 11th minute of its 3-0 home win over Lamia in the Greek Super League on Sunday, Nov. 12, has scored eight international goals in 41 appearances.
- Forward Malcolm Shaw, who missed games against Guatemala and Curaçao, also is back on the team.
- Telfer leads all Trinidad players with nine goals in 26 matches.
- Defender Aubrey David, 33, who competes for CS Cartagines (Costa Rica), is the most capped player (77).
- Alvin Jones scored a goal the Soca Warriors 2-1 victory over the Americans in 2017, which eliminated the USA from contention for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Jones, who has four international goals in 48 matches, plays for Club Sando. He is the younger brother of former Trinidad international forward Joevin Jones, who performed for the Chicago Fire, Seattle Sounders and Inter Miami in Major League Soccer.