With his first opportunity to set the tone and direction of the program, US men’s national team head coach Gregg Berhalter has called 27 players to Chula Vista, California, for the annual January Camp. The group will report January 6 to the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center, with one additional player to be added prior to the start of camp.
The camp and matches mark the first for Berhalter since being named head coach in December. The US opens the 2019 campaign against Panama on January 27 at State Farm Stadium in Glendale Arizona. Kickoff is set for 6 PM MT, and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN2 and Univision Networks. The MNT continues preparation for the 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup one week later when they welcome regional rival Costa Rica to Avaya Stadium in San Jose, California on February 2. FOX and Univision Networks will carry the match at 1:30 PM MT.
“In putting together this domestic-based roster, we started with a number of players who we think can be a core part of the group moving forward. We then looked at players that excelled this year in Major League Soccer, and finally chose players that can play a specific role in our game model,” Berhalter said. “We are very excited to start to implement our ideas about the style of play and the culture we want to develop in the national team.”
US ROSTER BY POSITION (Club; Caps/Goals):
GOALKEEPERS (4): Alex Bono (Toronto FC/CAN; 1/0), Sean Johnson (New York City FC; 5/0), Tyler Miller (LAFC; 0/0), Zack Steffen (Columbus Crew SC; 6/0)
DEFENDERS (10): Reggie Cannon (FC Dallas; 2/0), Greg Garza (FC Cincinnati; 10/0), Justen Glad (Real Salt Lake; 0/0), Nick Lima (San Jose Earthquakes; 0/0), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls; 2/0), Daniel Lovitz (Montreal Impact/CAN; 0/0),
Mark McKenzie (Philadelphia Union; 0/0), Keegan Rosenberry (Colorado Rapids; 0/0), Auston Trusty (Philadelphia Union; 0/0), Walker Zimmerman (LAFC; 4/1)
MIDFIELDERS (10): Kellyn Acosta (Colorado Rapids; 23/2), Paul Arriola (D.C. United; 17/2), Corey Baird (Real Salt Lake; 0/0), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC/CAN; 142/17), Russell Canouse (D.C. United; 0/0), Marky Delgado (Toronto FC/CAN; 6/0), Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy; 5/1), Djordje Mihailovic (Chicago Fire; 0/0), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders FC; 5/0), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew SC; 11/0)
FORWARDS (3): Jeremy Ebobisse (Portland Timbers; 0/0), Christian Ramirez (LAFC; 0/0), Gyasi Zardes (Columbus Crew SC; 40/6)
With the dates falling outside of the designated international calendar for national team competitions, the January Camp typically consists largely of MLS-based players who are not in season. This time around, Berhalter has selected a roster exclusively coming from the domestic league. Seventeen different MLS clubs are represented, with Columbus Crew SC, LAFC and Toronto FC leading the way with three selections each.
This year’s camp is being held at the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center – formerly the Olympic Training Center – near San Diego. Traditionally the January gathering has taken place at the StubHub Center in Los Angeles; however, Berhalter believed the facilities in Chula Vista provide a better and more concentrated environment as he seeks to install a new culture and style of play.
“Being in Chula Vista will help us create a team environment as we start to establish our culture and really be able to work on the details of our style of play. The facilities are outstanding and provide everything we need to accomplish our goals both on and off the field. They are accustomed to hosting elite athletes, so we believe this will be a great place for this group to get started.”
After two weeks of training camp, the US will get its first tests of the year against opponents they will likely see down the road in the Gold Cup and the newly established Concacaf Nations League. Berhalter’s debut will come in the 20th meeting between the United States and Panama, the teams having faced of three times in 2017 alone. Costa Rica is one of only two teams in CONCACAF to having a winning record against the MNT. The match will come on the 16-year anniversary of the USA’s 2-0 victory against Los Ticos in the 2002 Concacaf Gold Cup Final.
- The roster holds an average age of 24 years, 230 days and 10 caps.
- Veteran midfielder Michael Bradley leads the way with 142 caps, followed by Gyasi Zardes (40) and Kellyn Acosta (23).
- Thirteen players earned caps in 2018: Acosta, Arriola, Bono, Bradley, Cannon, Delgado, Lletget, Long, Roldan, Steffen, Trapp, Zardes and Zimmerman.
- The roster features a number of 2018 MLS Award winners. Along with being named to the MLS Best XI, Zack Steffen was voted Goalkeeper of the Year and Aaron Long chosen as Defender of the Year, while Corey Baird took Rookie of the Year honors and Gyasi Zardes won Comeback Player of the Year.
- Twelve players are uncapped: Corey Baird, Russell Canouse, Jeremy Ebobisse, Justen Glad, Nick Lima, Daniel Lovitz, Mark McKenzie, Djordje Mihailovic, Tyler Miller, Christian Ramirez, Keegan Rosenberry and Auston Trusty.
- The first FC Cincinnati player to earn an MNT summons, left back Greg Garza returns to camp for the first time since January 2017.
- Seven players earn their first invite to an MNT Camp: Baird, Ebobisse, Lovitz, McKenzie, Mihailovic, Miller and Trusty
- The youngest player on the roster, 19-year-old McKenzie captained the USA to the 2018 Concacaf U-20 Championship and qualification to the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup, earning tournament Best XI honors in the process.
- Six players are age-eligible for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo: Cannon, Ebobisse, Glad, McKenzie, Mihailovic and Trusty.
- Seventeen different MLS clubs are represented, with Columbus Crew SC, LAFC and Toronto FC leading the way with three selections each.