United States vs Panama
State Farm Stadium — Glendale
January 27 — 6 PM MT
WATCH: ESPN2, UniMás, UDN
A month after being named coach of the US men’s national team, Gregg Berhalter will make his anticipated debut in the first international friendly of 2019 against Panama Sunday (6 PM MT | ESPN2, UniMás, UDN) from State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.
It is the first of two friendlies during the team’s January camp with the USMNT taking on Concacaf rival Honduras on February 2 from Avaya Stadium in San Jose. Matches against Ecuador and Chile follow in March.
“We’ve had a great two weeks in Chula Vista focusing on building team culture, style of play and competing every day,” Berhalter said. “The entire group has worked hard and brought an excellent mindset, and we thank them for the consistent effort thus far. We look forward to continuing to build on these ideas in Phoenix and measure our progress in the game against Panama.”
United States Outlook
After inviting 28 players into his first January camp, Berhalter on Tuesday announced his 23-man roster to take on Panama and Honduras.
Goalkeepers Alex Bono from Toronto FC and LAFC’s Tyler Miller, Real Salt Lake defender Justen Glad and Colorado Rapids midfielder Kellyn Acosta were the four left off the roster. FC Cincinnati defender Greg Garza also misses out after suffering a quadriceps injury during the camp.
Among those seeking their first senior national team cap are defenders Daniel Lovitz of the Montreal Impact, the Philadelphia Union duo of Mark McKenzie and Auston Trusty, Keegan Rosenberry of the Colorado Rapids, midfielders Russell Canouse of D.C. United, NYCFC’s Jonathan Lewis, Djordje Mihailovic from the Chicago Fire and forwards Jeremy Ebobisse from the Portland Timbers and LAFC’s Christian Ramirez.
Gary Stempel is back in charge of Panama, at least in the interim basis, as Los Canaleros get set for their first international friendly of 2019. The Panamanian-English manager previously guided Panama in 2008 and 2009, in addition to coaching youth national and club teams in Panama.
Stempel has called a youthful 18-man roster together for the friendly, exclusively comprised of domestic-based players. Only seven players have previously suited up for Panama, including Abdiel Arroyo and former New York Red Bulls defender Fidel Escobar, who were part of the 2018 FIFA World Cup squad.
The United States hold a 12-1-6 all-time advantage against Panama dating back to 1993. There were four consecutive 1-1 draws before the USMNT cruised to a 4-0 victory in World Cup qualifying on October 6, 2017 in Orlando.
Players to Watch
United States — Jonathan Lewis: It’s unclear if Lewis will be in Berhalter’s first starting XI or if he’ll even come off the bench, but it will be interesting to see what the speedy New York City FC winger can do on the international stage. NYCFC fans have been shouting from the rooftops to get the 21-year-old more MLS playing time. He had a goal and three assists in 14 appearances (219 total minutes) for the Cityzens last year.
Panama — Fidel Escobar: At 24, Escobar represents the present and the future of the Panamanian national team. He’s also searching for a new club after the Red Bulls declined his loan option a month ago. No doubt the center back will be highly motivated to put in a shift that could earn him a new club. While rarely stepping on the field for New York, Escobar’s best play has been with Panama, including some impressive performances in the World Cup.
United States Roster
|GK||Sean Johnson||New York City FC||5/0|
|GK||Zack Steffen||Columbus Crew SC||6/0|
|D||Reggie Cannon||FC Dallas||2/0|
|D||Nick Lima||San Jose Earthquakes||0/0|
|D||Aaron Long||New York Red Bulls||2/0|
|D||Daniel Lovitz||Montreal Impact||0/0|
|D||Mark McKenzie||Philadelphia Union||0/0|
|D||Keegan Rosenberry||Colorado Rapids||0/0|
|D||Auston Trusty||Philadelphia Union||0/0|
|M||Paul Arriola||D.C. United||17/2|
|M||Corey Baird||Real Salt Lake||0/0|
|M||Michael Bradley||Toronto FC||142/17|
|M||Russell Canouse||D.C. United||0/0|
|M||Marky Delgado||Toronto FC||6/0|
|M||Jonathan Lewis||New York City FC||0/0|
|M||Sebastian Lletget||LA Galaxy||5/1|
|M||Djordje Mihailovic||Chicago Fire||0/0|
|M||Cristian Roldan||Seattle Sounders FC||5/0|
|M||Wil Trapp||Columbus Crew SC||11[/0|
|F||Jeremy Ebobisse||Portland Timbers||0/0|
|F||Gyasi Zardes||Columbus Crew SC||40/6|
|GK||Eddie Roberts||CAI La Chorrera||0/0|
|D||Guillermo Benítez||Plaza Amador||0/0|
|D||José Garibaldi||Arabe Unido||0/0|
|D||Édgar Góndola||Costa del Este||0/0|
|D||Francisco Palacios||San Francisco FC||3/0|
|D||Omar Browne||CAI La Chorrera||2/0|
|D||Luis Cañate||Arabe Unido||0/0|
|M||Ángel Orelién||Sporting San Miguelito||1/0|
|M||Edson Samms||Costa del Este||0/0|
|M||Ernesto Walker||Plaza Amador||0/0|
|F||Ernesto Sinclair||Costa del Este||0/0|