Three Big Storylines
- It seems like just yesterday that the fast kid (okay, like REALLY FAST!!!) from O’Dea High School by way of the Akron Zips was first called into the United States Men’s National Team (USMNT) pre-World Cup camp. At the time it was thought that camp would be a great chance for DeAndre Yedlin to learn from veterans like Landon Donovan in preparation for the next World Cup cycle. Well, Jurgen Klinsmann left Donovan at home and took Yedlin to Brazil. Yedlin played more than anyone imagined in that World Cup and today he is in line to earn his 50th cap. How time flies. Yedlin is the most capped player on this young roster and will be the 53rd men’s player to earn 50 caps for the USMNT.
- Caretaker United States manager Dave Sarachan leads the USA in this match. It will be his third in charge as caretaker. New US Soccer president Carlos Cordeiro was elected on February 10. Instead of making rapid changes to the structure of the USMNT, practically nothing has been done, or at least publicly announced. The newly created role of USMNT General Manager is still unfilled and rumors are swirling that the position is not seen as attractive to many qualified candidates due to some limitations US Soccer is putting on the role. Sarachan seems committed to playing a young team in this game as only three traditional center backs are on the roster: Cameron Carter-Vickers (20 years old), Matt Miazga (22) and Erik Palmer-Brown (20).
- There are five first time call ups on the roster and 10 players without a cap looking to make their full national team debut including a couple intriguing stories and a third goalkeeper:
- Andrija Novakovich, Forward, Telstar. The 21-year-old born in Muskego, Wisconsin is currently the leading goalscorer in the Dutch second division with Telstar and is on loan from Reading in the English Championship.
- Timothy Weah, Midfielder, Paris Saint-Germain. The 18-year-old son of 1995 FIFA World Player of the Year and current Liberian president George Weah has been seeing sporadic minutes for PSG’s first team as they navigate the Neymar injury. Weah scored a hat trick for the USA in the 2017 U20 World Cup against Paraguay. With his father recently elected president, there have been some rumors of Weah switching allegiances to Liberia, but he seems committed to the USMNT. This friendly will not cap tie Weah.
- Antonee Robinson, Defender, Bolton Wanderers. 20-year-old Robinson is on loan to Bolton from Everton and is particularly interesting because the USMNT has struggled to find a long term starter in the left back position. If Robinson keeps up his current trajectory, there is a chance he could lock down the position for a decade.
- Alex Bono, Goalkeeper, Toronto FC. Bono is likely just being rewarded for a good MLS season and making out the numbers. The goalkeeper position looks to be either Zack Steffen’s or Bill Hamid’s for the next cycle.
From a Sounders Point of View
Dear Coach Sarachan,
Our elder Roldan, Cristian, seems like he could possibly use a break after starting the year in USMNT camp and transitioning directly to CONCACAF Champions League intermixed with MLS play. If you choose to play someone else, we will be understanding this time.
National TV Listings
USMNT v Paraguay
Date/Time: Tuesday, 4:30 PM PT
Location: WakeMed Soccer Park — Cary, North Carolina
TV: FS1, UniMas, Univision Deportes
DeAndre Yedlin gets his 50th USMNT cap, while Cristian Roldan will start the match on the bench
United States Roster (Club; Caps/Goals)
GOALKEEPERS (3): Alex Bono (Toronto FC/CAN; 0/0), Bill Hamid (Midtjylland/DEN; 5/0), Zack Steffen (Columbus Crew SC; 1/0)
DEFENDERS (8): Cameron Carter-Vickers (Ipswich Town/ENG; 1/0), Eric Lichaj (Nottingham Forest/ENG; 14/1), Matt Miazga (Vitesse/NED; 4/1), Shaq Moore (Levante/ESP; 0/0), Erik Palmer-Brown (Kortrijk/BEL; 0/0), Antonee Robinson (Bolton Wanderers/ENG; 0/0), Jorge Villafaña (Santos Laguna/MEX; 15/0), DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle United/ENG; 49/0)
MIDFIELDERS (9): Tyler Adams (New York Red Bulls; 2/0), Marky Delgado (Toronto FC/CAN; 0/0), Kekuta Manneh (Pachuca/MEX; 0/0), Weston McKennie (Schalke/GER; 1/1), Darlington Nagbe (Atlanta United FC; 24/1), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders FC; 2/0), Kenny Saief (Anderlecht/BEL; 1/0), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew SC; 3/0), Tim Weah (Paris Saint-Germain/FRA; 0/0)
FORWARDS (3): Andrija Novakovich (Telstar/NED; 0/0), Rubio Rubin (Club Tijuana/MEX; 4/0), Bobby Wood (Hamburg/GER; 36/10)
Paraguay Roster (Club; Caps/Goals)
GOALKEEPERS (2): Roberto Fernandez (Botafogo/BRA; 0/0), Alfredo Aguilar (Olimpia; 0/0)
DEFENDERS (6): Junior Alonso (Lille/FRA; 16/1), Fabian Balbuena (Corinthians/BRA; 5/0), Luis de la Cruz (Guarani; 0/0), Gustavo Gomez (AC Milan/ITA; 27/2), Juan Patiño (Olimpia; 3/0), Bruno Valdez (Club America/MEX; 20/1)
MIDFIELDERS (10): Miguel Almiron (Atlanta United FC/USA; 12/0), Nestor Camacho (Olimpia; 8/1), Cecilio Dominguez (Club America/MEX; 9/0), Derlis Gonzalez (Dinamo Kiev/UKR; 28/4), Richard Ortiz (Olimpia; 29/5), Hernan Perez (Deportivo Alaves/ESP; 29/1), Cristian Riveros (Libertad; 101/16), Juan Rodrigo Rojas (Cerro Porteño; 15/0), Oscar Romero (Shanghai Shenhua/CHN; 34/2), Richard Sanchez (Olimpia; 0/0)
FORWARDS (3):Roberto Ovelar (Millonarios/COL; 0/0), Angel Romero (Corinthians/BRA; 12/2), Federico Santander (FC Copenhagen/DEN; 14/1)
This is your Sounder at Heart USMNT versus Paraguay International Friendly gamethread. Watch with us.