The U.S. Men’s National Team has a pair of friendlies coming up, beginning with an Oct. 11 clash with Colombia, followed by a game against Peru on Oct. 16. Much of the roster includes players that people following the national team in recent months would be familiar with, as the trend of selecting players not involved in the recent World Cup qualifying failure continued (for the most part). However, there are three players that have never received an international cap at the highest level, so here is a quick, far-from-comprehensive guide to the aforementioned three.
Ben Sweat, Left Back (New York City FC)
Sweat is easily the oldest of the three new players, but his inclusion is an important one for reasons other than his age. As a left back, Sweat plays a position that the USMNT has had a notoriously difficult time filling in recent years, even resorting to using the 35-year-old DaMarcus Beasley at times during the last cycle of 2018 qualifying. Sweat is a talented left back who has earned over 50 appearances with NYCFC over the last two seasons and is the club’s starter on the left side of defense. Unlike the other two names to follow him on this list, Sweat has no previous experience as part of the national team setup but he certainly deserves a look and may eventually be the long(ish)-term answer at left back that the U.S. has been searching for.
Reggie Cannon, Right Back (FC Dallas)
Along with Sweat, Cannon is probably more well known than the last player on the list. Plying his trade in MLS with FC Dallas, Cannon has played in every single one of the team’s 2018 regular season games, an impressive feat considering he’s only 20 years of age. He was recently listed seventh on the MLS 22 Under 22 list. Cannon has even bagged a goal this year, a curling rocket against Vancouver. He’s also been part of the U-17 and U-19 teams and is eligible for the upcoming 2020 Olympics. While DeAndre Yedlin currently has the right back spot more or less locked down, competition breeds excellence. You can never have too many players pushing each other forward, especially when those players are as talented as Cannon.
Jonathan Amon, Midfielder (FC Nordsjælland)
Of the three new faces on this roster, Amon is the only one who plays abroad. At 19 years old, he is also the youngest of the newcomers. Amon cut his teeth at South Carolina United Battery of the U.S. Development Academy. He then moved to a boarding school in Copenhagen, Denmark, and was eventually signed by Nordsjælland. Since then, the winger has bagged four goals in nine games to start this season after beginning to get time with the first team last season. Amon brings some speed down the wing of this U.S. roster and it will be interesting to see what sort of part he plays against two very difficult opponents.
It will certainly be interesting to see the approach to the upcoming games. Colombia and Peru are no jokes and have both named strong squads for the games. As mentioned above, the first of those games is next Thursday, Oct. 11, against Colombia in Tampa at 7:30 p.m. ET and can be watched on FS1. Then on Tuesday, Oct. 16, the Yanks face Peru at 7:30 p.m. ET in East Hartford, CT, in a game that will be shown on ESPN2. Meanwhile, Orlando City SC is in action tomorrow against Cannon’s FC Dallas side at 8 p.m. ET from Toyota Stadium.