U.S. Men's National Team head coach Dave Sarachan has added some potent experience to the group of prospects in the MNT’s next generation, calling 24 players to Tampa Bay to prepare for the Kickoff Series matches against two more top-25 opponents in South American foes Colombia and Peru.
More than 20,000 tickets have been sold for the next stop of the Kickoff Series when the United States will host 14th-ranked Colombia on Oct. 11 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay. FS1, UniMas and UDN will broadcast the match beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET. [KICKOFF SERIES TICKETS]
The final home match of the Kickoff Series pits the MNT against 21st ranked Peru on Oct. 16 at Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Conn. ESPN2, UniMas and UDN will broadcast live beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET.
“I’m excited about the upcoming games and I’m excited about the group of players that we have selected’ Sarachan said. “There is a consistent group of younger players that we’ve had over the past friendlies and added some new faces I’m looking forward to seeing up close. We will have Christian Pulisic back, and there is also the addition of a couple veteran players in Michael Bradley and Brad Guzan, so there is a lot to look forward to in these next Kickoff Series matches.”
All six of the MNT opponents in the Kickoff Series are in the Top 25 of the FIFA World Rankings. Having fallen to Brazil (3) before shutting out Mexico (15), the U.S. will close out the series away to England (6) and Italy (20). The six-match set will provide the aspiring young U.S. side with top-level competition at the start of their four-year journey toward the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
With the 2022 cycle officially underway, the process of elevating a rising crop of internationals is already in motion. Since November of last year, a total of 18 players have debuted for the senior MNT. Seventeen of them came in under 24 years old at the time of their first caps, while 10 will be age-eligible to represent the U-23 MNT in the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying tournament and 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo. ussoccer.com has profiled 11 of these hopefuls at the start of the new video series RISING: Emerging Faces of the U.S. Men’s National Team, which chronicle the route of players on their quest to become a part of the National Team by going behind the scenes with family, youth, coaches, teammates and professional club managers from across the world. [WATCH SERIES]
The MNT welcomes Christian Pulisic into the fold for the first time as a 20-year-old, the 2017 U.S. Soccer Male Athlete of the Year having missed out on the September camp through injury. Joining him are a pair of 12-year veterans in Michael Bradley and Brad Guzan, both returning after a year-long absence. Bradley ranks fourth all-time in appearances for the Men’s National Team and is tied for second with assists (22). Guzan ranks in the top five among MNT goalkeepers with 58 caps (fifth), 30 wins (fourth) and 18 clean sheets (fifth), and is currently minding the nets for MLS Supporters Shield leaders Atlanta United FC. This will also be the second camp in 2018 for John Brooks, who last year moved to VfL Wolfsburg on a record transfer fee for a U.S. international.
COLOMBIA, PERU BRING STRONG ROSTERS FOR KICKOFF SERIES
After strong tests against Brazil and Mexico in September, the USA will face two more challenges against Colombia and Peru this month. Both took part in the 2018 FIFA World Cup and will bring at least half of the squads that went to Russia for their matches against the MNT.
Highlighting Colombia’s squad are 12 World Cup players, including midfielders James Rodríguez (Bayern Munich) and Juan Cuadrado (Juventus), forwards Radamel Falcao (Monaco) and Carlos Bacca (Villarreal) as well as Atlético Madrid defender Santiago Arias and Napoli goalkeeper David Ospina.
Meanwhile, Peru brings 16 World Cup veterans, including long-time forward Jefferson Farfán and MLS-based players of Andy Polo (Portland Timbers), Raul Ruidiaz (Seattle Sounders FC) and Yosimar Yotún (Orlando City SC)
DEVELOPMENT PATHWAY PAYING DIVIDENDS
While youngsters are getting their opportunity with the MNT, many of them are rising to the senior team after advancing through U.S. Soccer's development pathway. A total of 12 players have been on the final roster at a Youth World Cup, while 16 have come through the U.S. Soccer Development Academy.
DETAILED ROSTER BY POSITION (Club; Caps/Goals):
GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Atlanta United FC; 58/0), Ethan Horvath (Club Brugge/BEL; 2/0), Zack Steffen (Columbus Crew SC; 6/0)
DEFENDERS (8): John Brooks (Wolfsburg/GER; 34/3), Reggie Cannon (FC Dallas; 0/0), Cameron Carter-Vickers (Swansea City/WAL; 5/0), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls; 0/0), Matt Miazga (Nantes/FRA; 9/1), Antonee Robinson (Wigan Athletic/ENG; 4/0), Ben Sweat (New York City FC; 0/0), DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle United/ENG; 54/0)
MIDFIELDERS (10): Kellyn Acosta (Colorado Rapids; 19/1), Tyler Adams (New York Red Bulls; 7/1), Jonathan Amon (Nordsjælland/DEN; 0/0), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC/CAN; 140/17), Julian Green (Greuther Fürth/GER; 12/4), Weston McKennie (Schalke/GER; 6/1), Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund/GER; 21/9), Kenny Saief (Anderlecht/BEL; 2/0), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew SC; 8/0), Tim Weah (Paris Saint-Germain; 5/1)
FORWARDS (3): Andrija Novakovich (Fortuna Sittard/NED; 2/0), Josh Sargent (Werder Bremen/GER; 3/1), Bobby Wood (Hannover 96/GER; 41/12)
- As of Oct. 1, 2018, the roster carries an average age of 23 years, 168 days, while 15 players are 23 years and under.
- Nine players are age-eligible for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo (born 1997 or later): Tyler Adams, Jonathan Amon, Reggie Cannon, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Weston McKennie, Christian Pulisic, Antonee Robinson, Josh Sargent and Tim Weah
- The October MNT roster averages 18 caps, with 17 players holding less than 10 appearances.
- Having missed out on the MNT’s September camp due to injury, Christian Pulisic has returned to the field in fine form for Borussia Dortmund, recording two goals and two assists in the club’s last four matches across all competitions.
- The 24-player roster is punctuated by the returns of long-time MNT veterans Michael Bradley and Brad Guzan, who make their first camp appearances since October 2017.
- Having made his MNT debut in 2006, Bradley ranks inside the top 10 for all-time appearances (140; fourth), assists (22; second-tied) and goals (17; ninth-tied).
- Another 2006 debutante, Guzan ranks in the top five among MNT goalkeepers with 58 caps (fifth), 30 wins (fourth) and 18 clean sheets (fifth).
- Bradley (140) and Guzan (58) lead the way in caps, followed by DeAndre Yedlin (54), Bobby Wood (41) and John Brooks (34)
- Sixteen players return from the MNT’s September camp, while 12 took part in the USA’s 1-0 win against rivals Mexico on Sept. 11 in Nashville.
- The roster features players that ply their trade in nine different countries: USA (8), Germany (6), Belgium, England and France (2 each); Canada, Denmark, Netherlands and Wales (one each)
- Five players have found the back of the net for the MNT in 2018: Wood (2 goals), Adams, Green, Sargent and Weah (1 each)
- One of 15 players to make their senior-team debuts this year, Antonee Robinson leads the MNT with two assists, providing helpers to Tim Weah (May 28 vs. Bolivia) and Tyler Adams (Sept. 11 vs. Mexico).
- Midfielders Tyler Adams and Wil Trapp lead all players on the roster with six MNT appearances in 2018. The pair has only missed out on the 3-0 win against Bolivia on May 28 in Chester, Pa.
- Last seen during the MNT’s 1-1 draw with France back in June, 18-year-old Josh Sargent has had a strong start to his competitive tenure at Werder Bremen, leading the club’s reserve side with six goals in 10 matches.
- The Peru match will grant midfielder Kenny Saief a return to the site of his MNT debut, which came on July 1, 2017 in a 2-1 win against Ghana in East Hartford, Conn.
- Andrija Novakovich joins Amon in leading the MNT’s European contingent with four goals scored this season with Fortuna Sittard in the Dutch Eredivisie.
- Three players earn their first MNT call-ups: defenders Reggie Cannon and Ben Sweat and midfielder Jonathan Amon.
- The trio will join September camp returnee Aaron Long in looking for their first international caps during this month’s friendlies against Colombia and Peru.
- A right back in the midst of his second MLS season, Reggie Cannon has appeared in each of FC Dallas’ 30 matches, adding a goal and three assists for the Western Conference leaders.
- Similarly, left back Ben Sweat has been a stalwart for New York City FC in 2018, appearing in 27 of 32 matches to help the club clinch a third-consecutive postseason berth.
- Also in his second season with Nordsjælland, 19-year-old winger Jonathan Amon has recorded four goals in eight matches across all competitions for the Danish side this campaign.
- Seven players have previously appeared against Colombia: Brad Guzan (4 games); Michael Bradley (3), Bobby Wood and DeAndre Yedlin (3 each); John Brooks and Christian Pulisic (2 each); Julian Green (1)
- Four players took part in the MNT’s last meeting with Colombia, coming in the Third-Place Match of Copa America Centenario on June 25, 2016: Bradley, Pulisic, Wood and Yedlin.
- Four players have experience against Peru, coming in the MNT’s 2-1 win on Sept. 4, 2015: Brooks, Guzan, Wood and Yedlin
- Twelve players have been part of a final U.S. roster at a youth World Cup: Kellyn Acosta, Tyler Adams, Michael Bradley, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Ethan Horvath, Matt Miazga, Christian Pulisic, Josh Sargent, Zack Steffen, Wil Trapp, Tim Weah and DeAndre Yedlin.
- Sixteen players are products of U.S. Soccer Development Academy clubs: Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas), Tyler Adams (New York Red Bulls), Jonathan Amon (South Carolina Battery), Reggie Cannon (FC Dallas), Ethan Horvath (Real Colorado), Aaron Long (Arsenal FC), Weston McKennie (FC Dallas), Matt Miazga (New York Red Bulls), Andrija Novakovich (Chicago Magic), Christian Pulisic (PA Classics), Josh Sargent (St. Louis Scott Gallagher-Missouri), Zack Steffen (Continental FC DELCO), Ben Sweat (Chargers SC), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew SC), Tim Weah (BW Gotschee/New York Red Bulls), DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders FC/Crossfire Premier)