D.C. United midfielder Paul Arriola was called in to the U.S. Men's National Team by head coach Dave Sarachan for their upcoming friendlies against Brazil and Mexico. Arriola has been capped 16 times by the USMNT and scored twice. This season, Arriola leads MLS in assists for American players (8) and has scored four goals in 21 appearances
As the six-game Kickoff Series gets underway, U.S. Men's National Team head coach Dave Sarachan will once again focus on the prospects of the MNT’s next generation, calling 24 players to the New York area for matches against five-time World Champion Brazil and regional rival Mexico.
USA-Brazil, presented by Liberty Mutual Insurance, opens the two-game set on Sept. 7 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. Coverage on FS1, UniMas and UDN begins at 7:30 PM ET. Four days later, the next edition of the one of region’s greatest rivalries will be contested at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tenn. USA-Mexico, presented by AT&T, begins at 7:30 PM CT, with ESPN, UniMas and UDN broadcasting the action.
Fans can follow both matches on U.S. Soccer's official Facebook, Twitter (@ussoccer_MNT) and Instagram (@ussoccer_MNT) accounts.
“For these matches against Brazil and Mexico, the theme remains the same in that we are using the opportunity against these high-powered opponents to continue building on the foundation that we’ve laid,” Sarachan said. “We felt it was right to continue allowing this group to get valuable experience for the big picture that includes competitive matches in the future with the Gold Cup, Olympic Qualifying and World Cup Qualifying.”
The U.S. is currently scheduled to face four teams ranked in the FIFA Top 20 as part of the Kickoff Series, including Brazil (3), England (6), Colombia (14) and Mexico (16). With the final match expected to be announced later this week, the six-game set will provide the aspiring young U.S. side with top-level competition in this phase of the journey towards 2022.
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 been given debuts 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
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.
SPREADING THE WEALTH
Youth is certainly well served on the roster, with 14 players age 23 and under. A total of 13 players on the roster ply their trade in Europe, while 11 represent MLS clubs. Teams from nine different countries are sending players to the New York area, with Columbus Crew SC and New York Red Bulls each contributing a trio to the squad. There’s also a big range in fitness and form, with European seasons just underway while the domestic players are in full stride towards the push to the playoffs.
BRAZIL SENDS SHINING STARS
Some of the most recognizable names in the sport will wear the traditional shirt of Brazil in New Jersey, led by 13 players from Brazil’s 2018 FIFA World Cup squad. Attackers Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain), Philippe Coutinho (Barcelona) and Roberto Firmino (Liverpool), midfielders Casemiro (Real Madrid) and Willian (Chelsea), defenders Thiago Silva (Paris Saint-Germain) and Filipe Luís (Atlético Madrid), and goalkeeper Alisson (Liverpool) are a part of group of 11 players on the roster that combined for a total of 21 trophies won across domestic and European club competitions this past season.
MEXICO BLENDS EXPERIENCE WITH FACES OF THE FUTURE
The Mexico squad features seven players that took part in this summer’s FIFA World Cup, including longtime goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa, defender Carlos Salcedo, LA Galaxy midfielder Jonathan dos Santos, and attackers Hirving Lozano and Raúl Jiménez. With his squad’s average age coming in at 24 years, 204 days, Mexico interim head coach Ricardo Ferretti has balanced that experience by summoning 16 players aged 24 and under.
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. Eleven players have been on the final roster at a Youth World Cup, while a total of 15 players have come through the U.S. Soccer Development Academy.
DETAILED ROSTER BY POSITION (Club; Caps/Goals)
GOALKEEPERS (3): Alex Bono (Toronto FC/CAN; 1/0), Ethan Horvath (Club Brugge/BEL; 2/0), Zack Steffen (Columbus Crew SC; 3/0)
DEFENDERS (9): John Brooks (Wolfsburg/GER; 33/3), Cameron Carter-Vickers (Swansea City/WAL; 4/0), Eric Lichaj (Hull City/ENG; 15/1), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls), Matt Miazga (Nantes/FRA; 7/1), Shaq Moore (Reus Deportiu/ESP; 2/0), Tim Parker (New York Red Bulls; 2/0), Antonee Robinson (Wigan Athletic/ENG; 2/0), DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle United/ENG; 52/0)
MIDFIELDERS (9): Kellyn Acosta (Colorado Rapids; 17/1), Tyler Adams (New York Red Bulls; 5/0), Paul Arriola (D.C. United; 16/2), Julian Green (Greuther Fürth/GER; 10/4), Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy; 3/1), Weston McKennie (Schalke/GER; 4/1), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders FC; 3/0), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew SC; 6/0), Tim Weah (Paris Saint-Germain; 3/1)
FORWARDS (3): Andrija Novakovich (Fotuna Sittard/NED; 2/0), Bobby Wood (Hannover 96/GER; 39/12), Gyasi Zardes (37/6; Columbus Crew SC)