U.S. Men's National Team head coach Gregg Berhalter will continue the evaluation process of the MNT pool in his second camp in charge as 24 players have been called to gather beginning March 17 in Orlando. The team building process takes its next steps with challenges against Ecuador on March 21 at Orlando City Stadium (Click here for tickets), then five days later against defending South American champion Chile on March 26 at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston. Both matches will be shown live at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN2, UniMas and UDN.
“Our goal is to keep making progress. Building on the themes of last camp, building on the style of play of last camp, but also now evaluating a new group of players,” Berhalter said. “We made progress in the first camp and it’s now asking if we can take it to another level. When we are done with this camp, it’s important that we have a good idea of our strongest group of players heading into the Gold Cup.”
U.S. Roster by Position (Club; Caps/Goals):
GOALKEEPERS (3): Ethan Horvath (Club Brugge, BEL; 3/0), Sean Johnson (New York City FC; 6/0), Zack Steffen (Columbus Crew SC; 8/0)
DEFENDERS (8): John Brooks (Wolfsburg, GER; 36/3), Omar Gonzalez (Atlas, MEX; 48/3), Nick Lima (San Jose Earthquakes; 2/0), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls; 4/0), Daniel Lovitz (Montreal Impact; 2/0), Matt Miazga (Reading, ENG; 11/1), Tim Ream (Fulham, ENG; 26/1), DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle United, ENG; 57/0)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Tyler Adams (RB Leipzig, GER; 9/1), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC, CAN; 143/17), Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy; 7/2), Weston McKennie (Schalke, GER; 7/1), Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund, GER; 23/9), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders FC; 7/0), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew SC; 13/0)
FORWARDS (6): Paul Arriola (D.C. United; 19/3), Corey Baird (Real Salt Lake; 2/0), Jonathan Lewis (New York City FC; 2/0), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders FC; 25/5), Christian Ramirez (LAFC; 2/1), Gyasi Zardes (Columbus Crew SC; 42/6)
Fourteen players on the roster were part of the month-long January Camp, steeping themselves in the team culture and style of play. With a shorter window and two challenging opponents, familiarity equals opportunity when it comes to building on the foundation established against Panama and Costa Rica.
“We thought it was important to tie some of the themes of last camp into this next camp and to have some consistency in the personnel made a lot of sense,” Berhalter said. “Again, we still think we’re able to evaluate a new group of players and we think that is going to be valuable as we move into the Gold Cup.”
New 'Old' Faces
At the same time, Berhalter gets the opportunity to work in person with many veterans of the MNT who are based outside the United States. Having visited virtually all of those players in previous trips overseas, a total of 10 will now get their first experience in the new era. Of the 10, eight are based in Europe and one each in Mexico and MLS.
Preparing to Prepare
One of the challenges for any National Team coach is impacting their players during the long periods between matches. Now add in a new coach and a new game model, and addressing that gap becomes more important. The coaching staff has spent the last six weeks attempting to do just that.
“We have laid a lot of ground work in preparation for this camp,” Berhalter said. “It entailed meeting with the players, video conferences with the players, conversations with the players, evaluating their games … it’s a very important time period to keep working and be productive. We’ve used that time to meet the players and communicate what we’re looking to do in the next camp.”
- Fifteen players play domestically in Major League Soccer, while nine feature for clubs abroad in Germany (4), England (3), Belgium and Mexico (1 each).
- The roster holds an average age of 25 years, 265 days and 21 caps.
- Based on appearances, the senior-most players on the roster are Michael Bradley (143), DeAndre Yedlin (57), Omar Gonzalez (48), Gyasi Zardes (42) and John Brooks (36).
- On the flip side, 13 players hold nine or fewer caps.
- Having successfully recovered from a torn right ACL suffered last February with Seattle Sounders FC, forward Jordan Morris also returns to the team for the first time since January 2018. The 25-year-old striker tallied two goals in Seattle’s 4-1 season-opening win against FC Cincinnati on March 2.
- Veteran defenders Omar Gonzalez and Tim Ream make their first camp appearances since 2017.
- Fourteen players return from the MNT’s January Camp squad that earned back-to-back wins against Panama (3-0) and Costa Rica (2-0), while 10 players will take part in their first camp under MNT head coach Gregg Berhalter.
- Midfielder Tyler Adams will come to camp for the first time as a member of German club RB Leipzig. The 20-year-old has found consistent playing time with the Bundesliga side, helping the club to a 5-0-3 record in the eight competitive matches he has appeared in since his debut in late January.
- Christian Pulisic comes off a weekend where he registered the game-winning assist and insurance goal in Borussia Dortmund’s 3-1 win against Stuttgart.
- Also in Germany, Weston McKennie provided an assist in Schalke’s 4-2 defeat to Werder Bremen.
- Striker Gyasi Zardes registered his first brace of the season in Columbus Crew SC’s 2-0 win at New England Revolution on Saturday.
- Zack Steffen saved a penalty and kept his first clean sheet of the season for Columbus in that match. Steffen’s fellow goalkeepers Ethan Horvath (4-0 win vs. Eupen) and Sean Johnson (0-0 draw vs. D.C. United) also kept shutouts for their clubs this weekend.
- Christian Ramirez opened his 2019 account, tallying the game-winning goal in LAFC’s 4-1 win against Portland Timbers on Sunday.
- Having scored the second goal in February’s 2-0 win against Costa Rica, Paul Arriola began the season by finding the back of the net in a 2-0 win against Atlanta United FC on March 4.
- Three players on the roster have previously debuted against Chile. Goalkeeper Sean Johnson played the second half of the USA’s 1-1 draw against La Roja on Jan. 22, 2011, while Wil Trapp and Gyasi Zardes came off the bench in a 3-2 defeat in Rancagua on Jan. 28, 2015.
- Zardes is also the only player on the roster to score against either opponent, tallying in the USA’s 2-1 win against Ecuador in the quarterfinal of Copa America Centenario on June 16, 2016 in Seattle.