Get Recruited Faster with a Player Profile on

USMNT Oct 09, 2019

USMNT facing Cuba in Concacaf Nations League debut in Washington, D.C.

CHICAGO – The U.S. Men’s National Team takes its first steps in the inaugural Concacaf Nations League when it faces Caribbean foe Cuba on Friday, Oct. 11 at Audi Field in Washington, D.C.

Pre-game coverage of USA-Cuba begins at 6:30 p.m. ET on FS1, UniMás and TUDN, with kickoff to follow at 7 p.m.

Fans can also follow along via U.S. Soccer’s official Facebook, Twitter (@USMNT) and Instagram (@USMNT) accounts.


GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Atlanta United FC; 61/0), Sean Johnson (New York City FC; 8/0), Zack Steffen (Fortuna Düsseldorf/GER; 16/0)

DEFENDERS (8): Reggie Cannon (FC Dallas; 8/0), Nick Lima (San Jose Earthquakes; 8/0), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls; 13/2), Daniel Lovitz (Montreal Impact/CAN; 10/0), Matt Miazga (Reading/ENG; 17/1), Tim Ream (Fulham/ENG; 36/1), Miles Robinson (Atlanta United FC; 2/0), DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle United/ENG; 59/0)

MIDFIELDERS (8): Brenden Aaronson (Philadelphia Union; 0/0), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC/CAN; 150/17), Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy; 11/2), Weston McKennie (Schalke/GER; 15/3), Christian Pulisic (Chelsea/ENG; 32/13), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders FC; 16/0), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew SC; 20/0), Jackson Yueill (San Jose Earthquakes; 3/0)

FORWARDS (6): Paul Arriola (D.C. United; 28/5), Corey Baird (Real Salt Lake; 4/0), Tyler Boyd (Beşiktaş/TUR; 7/2), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders FC; 35/6), Josh Sargent (Werder Bremen/GER; 9/2), Gyasi Zardes (Columbus Crew SC; 53/10)


Following the completion of club matches last weekend, USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter has been working with a group of 25 players in preparation for the side’s Concacaf Nations League games against Cuba and at Canada this month. Seventeen players on the roster hail from clubs in Major League Soccer, while eight play abroad in England (4), Germany (3) and Turkey (1). Continuity continues to be a theme in this camp, as 24 of the 25 players have previously seen time with the USMNT this season, with 18-year-old Brenden Aaronson of the Philadelphia Union the only first-timer joining the group.


Part of the original 26-player roster announced last week, forward Jozy Altidore and defender Walker Zimmerman were forced to withdraw from the squad following injuries sustained in their respective clubs’ MLS regular season finales on Sunday. Zimmerman was replaced by Atlanta United FC defender Miles Robinson, while no replacement was named for Altidore, leaving the squad at 25 players.


Normally at this point of the cycle, the USMNT would still be playing friendlies in preparation for the semifinal round of World Cup qualifying. With the advent of the Concacaf Nations League, the team is now getting competitive matches in a home-and-away format that can replicates what the team will experience come the final round of qualifying for the 2022 FIFA World Cup which begins next September.

“This is competitive soccer,” USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter said about the new competition. “For us, it’s playing away games and playing home games that leads to a result in a tournament format which is important. World Cup qualifying is an absolutely crucial event, and these games will help prepare us. Anytime there is a trophy on the line is exciting, and in the inaugural Nations League tournament we want to put ourselves in a position to win the tournament.”


Drawn into Nations League A, Group A, the USMNT will close out the year with home and away matches against Canada and Cuba. Those countries faced off during the September window, with Canada earning a 7-0 win on Sept. 7 in Toronto before a 1-0 victory in Cuba’s “home” match on Sept. 10 in Georgetown, Grand Cayman. With those results, the USMNT will have the goal of equaling Canada’s six points by the end of the October window.

Check out the full League A, Group A standings and schedule below:

2019-20 Concacaf Nations League A, Group A Standings
Team GP W L D Pts. GF GA GD
Canada 2 2 0 0 6 7 0 7
USA 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Cuba 2 0 2 0 0 0 7 -7


Sept. 7            Canada 6-0 Cuba       Toronto, Canada
Sept. 10          Cuba 0-1 Canada       Georgetown, Cayman Islands
Oct. 11            USA vs. Cuba             Washington, D.C.
Oct. 15            Canada vs. USA         Toronto, Canada
Nov. 15           USA vs. Canada         Orlando, Fla.
Nov. 19           Cuba vs. USA             Georgetown, Cayman Islands


Similar to the recently launched UEFA Nations League, Concacaf’s version was created to maximize the quality, quantity and frequency of competitive matches for all of the confederation’s 41 Member Associations. Following a qualifying tournament that concluded earlier this year, teams were placed into one of three Leagues: A, B and C.

From there, teams were drawn into groups within their specific leagues, with each group providing a home-and-away format which runs during the course of the September, October and November FIFA international dates in 2019. At the end of the round-robin competition, the League A and B teams which finish last in their groups will be relegated to the lower league, while the group winners in Leagues B and C will be promoted to the higher league for the next edition of the competition.

Additionally, the four group winners from League A will advance to the Knockout Round where a semifinal and final will be played during the June FIFA international dates to crown the 2019-20 Concacaf Nations League champion. The semifinal matchups will place the No. 1 seed vs. No. 4 and No. 2 seed vs. No. 3.

The tournament has major implication on future competitions as well. With Concacaf changing its World Cup qualifying format for the 2022 cycle, the top six teams in the FIFA World Rankings come June 2020 will advance straight to the region’s final round of qualifying, while those outside will have to play a longer, drawn out format for the chance to go to Qatar in 2022. The Nations League also will serve as qualifying for the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup.


Date Opponent Result Location Goal Scorers
Jan. 27 vs. Panama 3-0 W Glendale, Ariz. Mihailovic, Zimmerman, Ramirez
Feb. 2 vs. Costa Rica 2-0 W San Jose, Calif. Lletget, Arriola
March 22 vs. Ecuador 1-0 W Orlando, Fla. Zardes
March 26 vs. Chile 1-1 D Houston, Texas Pulisic
June 5 vs. Jamaica 0-1 L Washington, D.C.
June 9 vs. Venezuela 0-3 L Cincinnati, Ohio
June 18 vs. Guyana^ 4-0 W St. Paul, Minn. Arriola, Boyd (2), Zardes
June 22 vs. Trinidad & Tobago^ 6-0 W Cleveland, Ohio Long (2), Zardes (2), Pulisic, Arriola
June 26 vs. Panama^ 1-0 W Kansas City, Kan. Altidore
June 30 vs. Curaçao^ 1-0 W Philadelphia, Pa. McKennie
July 3 vs. Jamaica^ 3-1 W Nashville, Tenn. McKennie, Pulisic (2)
July 7 vs. Mexico^ 0-1 L Chicago, Ill.
Sept. 6 vs. Mexico 0-3 L East Rutherford, N.J.
Sept. 10 vs. Uruguay 1-1 D St. Louis, Mo. Morris
Oct. 11 vs. Cuba Washington, D.C.
Oct. 15 at Canada# Toronto, Canada
Nov. 15 vs. Canada# Orlando, Fla.
Nov. 19 vs. Cuba# Georgetown, Cayman Island
^-indicates Concacaf Gold Cup; #-indicates Concacaf Nations League


  • The USA and Cuba meet for the 13th time on Friday, with the USMNT holding a dominant 10-1-1 all-time series lead.
  • The only two blemishes on the USA record came during the first two matches of the series – a 5-2 defeat to Cuba in the North American Football Championship on July 20, 1947 in Havana and 1-1 World Cup qualifying draw on Sept. 14, 1949 in Mexico City.
  • A week after that draw, the USMNT earned a 5-2 World Cup qualifying victory in Mexico City, beginning the current 10-game, 70-year winning streak which is the team’s longest against any international opponent all-time.
  • The teams last met on Oct. 7, 2016 in Havana, a 2-0 USMNT victory in the only friendly match played between the two nations.
  • Friday’s game comes 11 years to the day of the USMNT’s 6-1 World Cup Qualifying win against Cuba which was also played in Washington, D.C. at historic RFK Stadium.


  • The roster has an average age of 25 years, 168 days and 24 caps.
  • A total of 20 players return from the USMNT’s September camp.
  • Seventeen players represent 14 different Major League Soccer clubs, while eight hail from sides in Europe: England (4), Germany (3), Turkey (1).
  • Having last appeared for the side in March, defender DeAndre Yedlin returns after recovering from a groin injury which required surgery in May.
  • Defender Matt Miazga also returns to the USMNT fold after missing out on September camp with a hamstring injury.
  • D.C. United winger Paul Arriola also has the opportunity to play in familiar territory as the USMNT opens Nations League play at Audi Field in Washington, D.C.
  • Leading all Bundesliga goalkeepers with 34 saves this season, Zack Steffen also made his first save on a penalty kick in Fortuna Düsseldorf’s 2-1 defeat to Freiburg on Sunday.
  • Having registered three goals and two assists across 27 matches during his rookie season, 18-year-old midfielder Brenden Aaronson is the lone newbie on the USMNT roster.
  • Gyasi Zardes is only player on the roster with a goal against Cuba, having tallied in a 6-0 Gold Cup quarterfinal victory on July 18, 2015 in Baltimore.
  • Eight players on the roster have already collected double-digit caps in 2019: Zardes (13); Arriola, Long and Roldan (11 each); Lovitz, Morris, Ream and Steffen (10 each).
  • Fifteen players have the chance to collect their first competitive, non-confederation championship appearances for the USMNT: Aaronson, Baird, Boyd, Cannon, Johnson, Lima, Long, Lovitz, McKennie, Roldan, Sargent, Steffen, Trapp, Yueill and Zimmerman.
  • Seven players on the roster are age-eligible for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo: Aaronson, Cannon, McKennie, Pulisic, Robinson, Sargent, Yueill.


GOALKEEPERS (3): Nelson Johnson (Santiago de Cuba), Elier Pozo (Pinar del Rio), Sandy Sanchez (Don Bosco/DOM)

DEFENDERS (8): Jose Armelo (Pinar del Rio) Karel Espino (Artemisa), Yonaidis Garcia (Camaguey), Felipe Hurtado (Camaguey), Daniel Morejon (Villa Clara), Yosel Piedra (Universidad San Carlos/GUA), Dario Ramos (Artemisa), Erick Rizo (Santiago de Cuba),

MIDFIELDERS (8): Rolando Abreu (Santiago de Cuba), Aricheel Hernandez (Independiente; PAN), Anibal La Perea (Ciego de Avila), Lazaro Monzon (Villa Clara), Luis Paradela (Reno 1868/USA), Jose Perez (Ciudad Habana), Randys Reve (Santiago de Cuba), Jean Carlos Rodriguez (Pinar del Rio),

FORWARDS (2): Manuel Cruz (Camaguey), Maykel Reyes (Pinar del Rio)


  • Cuba sits 178th in the latest FIFA Coca-Cola World Ranking.
  • Pablo Elier Sánchez was appointed head coach of the team in July following the Gold Cup. He previously managed Pinar del Río in Cuba’s Campeanato Nacional.
  • Cuba is 1-6-0 and has been outscored by opponents 26-6 in 2019.
  • Los Leones del Caribe come into the match on a six-match losing streak and five-match scoreless streak. Cuba last took a 5-0 victory against Bermuda on Feb. 27, and last found the back of the net with via Luis Paradela’s 61st minute strike in a 2-1 Concacaf Nations League qualifying defeat to Haiti on March 24 in Port-au-Prince.
  • Seventeen players on the roster feature for clubs in Cuba, while four play abroad in the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Panama and the USA.
  • Currently on loan to USL Championship side Reno 1868 FC, midfielder Luis Paradela is the first Cuban player to secure a P-1A visa to play professional sports in the United States, meaning he maintains his Cuban citizenship and ability to compete with the Cuban National team.

Featured Players

See Commitment List