Youthful USA squad to face Soca Warriors

United States Men’s National Soccer Team (USMNT) head coach Gregg Berhalter has chosen a 25-player roster in advance of USA – Trinidad and Tobago clash on January 31st in Orlando.

2021 marks an important year for both footballing countries with the CONCACAF Gold Cup and the start of the 2022 World Cup Qualifying on the calendar. The Soca Warriors are under a new head coach in fiery Englishman Terry Fenwick, while the USMNT is also on the rebuild making this match an interesting and intriguing one.

The final group of players for the game to represent the USA on January 31st was selected from a group of players who were in a camp at the IMG Academy in Brandenton, Florida. The final team travelled to Orlando on Sunday afternoon.

Coach Berhalter was quoted as saying, “These last two weeks have been an absolute pleasure, the hard work and determination demonstrated by the entire group confirms that the player pool is headed in the right direction. Berhalter said “As we transition to Orlando we switch gears and focus on competing as we prepare to face Trinidad and Tobago”.

A total of 15 MLS players are represented on the squad, with hometown Orlando City SC contributing a league high of four players. Sixteen players are age-eligible for the 2021 CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Championship to be played from March 18th-30th in Guadalajara, Mexico a tournament, the TTFA under the David John Williams administration decided not to participate in since 2019.

USMNT Detailed Roster by position ( Club : Caps / Goals )

Goalkeepers (3) : Matt Freese ( Philadelphia Union : 0 /0), J T Mancinkowshi ( San Jose Earthquakes : 0 /0) , Matt Turner ( New England Revolution 0 /0)

Defenders ( 9) : Julian Araujo (LA Galaxy 1/0), George Bello ( Atlanta United F.C 0/0), Kyle Duncan ( New York Red Bulls : 1 /0), Aaron Herrrera ( Real Salt Lake 0/0), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls  : 18/3), Maurino Pineda ( Chicago Fire F.C : 0/0), Miles Robinson ( Atlanta United F.C: 2/0), Sam Vines ( Colorado Rapids : 2/0), Walker Zimmerman ( Nashville SC: 13/2)

Midfielders (7): Kellyn Acosta ( Colorado Rapids: 24/2), Sebastian Lletget ( LA Galaxy : 17/4), Benji Michel ( Orlando City S C : 0/0), Cristian Roldon ( Seattle Sounders F.C : 19/0), Andres Perea ( Orlando City S C : 0/0) Tanner Tessmann ( FC Dallas: 0/0), Jackson Yireill ( San Jose  Earthquakes 8/0)

Forwards (6): Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC/ Can 115/42), Paul Arriola ( D.C United 34/6), Daryl Dike ( Orlando City S C 0/0), Jesus Ferreira ( F.C Dallas : 1/0), Jonathan Lewis ( Colorado Rapids : 6/0) Chris Mueller ( OrlandoCity S C 1/0)

USMNT Roster Notes

  • As of January 31st, the average age of the roster will be 23 years, 302 days
  • The roster also averages 10 caps
  • Sixteen players are age-eligible for the 2021 CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Championship
  • Forward Jozy Altidore   (115 caps) is the most senior player, followed by Paul Arriola (34), Kellyn Acosta (24), Cristian Roldon (19), Aaron Long (18) and Sebastian Lletget (17)
  • Twenty players hold 10 and few caps while 10 will seek their international debut
  • A total of 10 players took part in USMNT’s 6-0 win against El Salvador last month including three goal scorers
  • A total of 10 players took part in the USMNT’s 6-0 win against El Salvador last month: Julian Araujo, Paul Arriola, Sebastian Lletget, Aaron Long, Chris Mueller, Sam Vines, and Jackson Yueill started the match, while Kellyn Acosta, Kyle Duncan and Walker Zimmerman entered as substitutes.
  • Mueller debuted in the El Salvador match, becoming just the sixth player to score two goals in his first USMNT appearance. Mueller also provided an assist in the 6-0 win.
  • Arriola opened the scoring against El Salvador with his sixth international goal, while Lletget found the back of the net for the fourth time and his second consecutive USMNT match.
  • Lletget was also the lone USMNT player to appear in all four matches in 2020.
  • Though he took part in some of last year’s January Camp, Seattle Sounders FC midfielder Cristian Roldan will seek his first cap since the 4-0 win against Cuba in Concacaf Nations League group stage play on Nov. 19, 2019.

Soca Warriors Notes

  • Terry Fenwick is yet to name his final squad in what will be his first international game since being name Coach in early 2020
  • Two of Trinidad and Tobago most experienced and available players, MLS stars Kevin Molino and Jovin Jones are yet to join National team training
  • The Warriors have lost three of its last four encounters with the USMNT at aggregate of 12-0. At the 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup, they were whipped 6-0 in a record score line between the two nations.
  • Trinidad and Tobago can still celebrate famously ending the North American teams  Russia 2018 World Cup bid with a 2-1 win at the Ato Boldon stadium Couva on 10th October 2017 when right back Alvin Jones who is part of Fenwick’s training squad opened the scoring with a 30 yard screamer.