Welcome to your match thread as the Gregg Berhalter era begins. The United States Men’s National Team takes on Panama to kick off the new head coach’s campaign. The ex-Columbus Crew coach has had his group in training camp for the past three weeks and will look to be the first USMNT head coach since Bob Bradley in 2007 to win his first game in charge.
As can be seen in the video below, the new coach will look to create a new culture in the U.S., a defined style of play, and “build a cohesive unit.” Berhalter is constantly described as being detailed oriented, and the team will have a chance to showcase this today.
The camp has more at stake than just a new coach. January camps are famous for giving new players chances, and this year is no different. Some of the players to earn their first chance with the national team in January are Pablo Mastroeni, Tim Howard, Jozy Altidore, Sacha Kljestan, Geoff Cameron, Graham Zusi, DeAndre Yedlin, Gyasi Zardes, Kellyn Acosta, Tyler Adams, and Wil Trapp.
This year, 11 players are looking to make their first cap — Nick Lima, Daniel Lovitz, Mark McKenzie, Keegan Rosenberry, Auston Trusty, Corey Baird, Russell Canouse, Jonathan Lewis, Djordje Mihailovic, Jeremy Ebobisse, and Christian Ramirez.
The inexperience is most prominent among the defenders. Without the European players, there is little depth in the back line. The eight defenders have a total of just eight caps, and Gyasi Zardes is the only striker with an international cap.
Even with all this youth and inexperience, Berhalter has brought in veteran experience. Michael Bradley is the most capped player. In fact, the midfielder has more caps than the rest of the team combined.
Jozy Altidore is not involved because of an injury. However, he still stopped by camp and was impressed with what he saw.
“Everybody seems really excited and enjoying themselves,” Altidore said. “They really seem like they’re getting after it. Everything looks really organized and tailor-made to the players, which is awesome to see. I’m excited to have the chance to be out here around the group.”
Zack Steffen is the clear number one ‘keeper. He, along with his Columbus Crew teammates, Trapp and Zardes, will be critical members of this camp.
Berhalter will be relying on these experienced players to help defeat Panama. Historically, the U.S. has rarely ever had difficulty with Panama, but that trend can break pretty easily. The Yanks hold a 12-1-6 all-time record against Los Canaleros but four of the last five matches ended in a 1-1 draw.
The last time these two teams played was back in 2017 in Orlando. Christian Pulisic scored in the eighth minute, Altidore got a brace, and Bobby Wood finished after a quick turn-and-shoot. The Yanks dominated, winning 4-0, in World Cup qualifying at a sold-out Orlando City Stadium.
Defenders (8): Reggie Cannon (FC Dallas; 2/0), 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): 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), Jonathan Lewis (New York City FC; 0/0), 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).
Goalkeepers (2): Orlando Mosquera (Tauro; 0/0), Eddie Roberts (CAI La Chorrera; 0/0).
Defenders (6): Iván Anderson (Tauro; 0/0), Guillermo Benítez (Plaza Amador; 0/0), Fidel Escobar (unattached; 31/1), José Garibaldi (Árabe Unido; 0/0), Édgar Góndola (Costa del Este; 0/0), Francisco Palacios (San Francisco; 3/0).
Midfielders (8): Rolando Botello (Tauro; 2/0), Omar Browne (CAI La Chorrera; 2/0), Luis Cañate (Árabe Unido; 0/0), Adalberto Carrasquilla (Tauro; 3/0), Carlos Harvey (Tauro; 0/0), Ángel Orelién (Sporting San Miguelito; 1/0), Edson Samms (Costa del Este; 0/0), Ernesto Walker (Plaza Amador; 0/0).
Forwards (2): Abdiel Arroyo (unattached; 39/6), Ernesto Sinclair (Costa del Este; 0/0).
How to Watch
Match Time: 8 p.m. ET.
Venue: State Farm Stadium — Glendale, AZ.
TV: ESPN2, Univision.
Streaming: Fubo TV, Univision NOW, WatchESPN.
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Enjoy the match! Go America!