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USMNT Jun 09, 2021

USMNT hosting Costa Rica tonight for friendly in Utah

CHICAGO – Following the thrilling 3-2 victory against Mexico that secured the inaugural Concacaf Nations League title, the U.S. Men’s National Team will take advantage of the first friendly opportunity on U.S. soil during a FIFA window since 2019 to host Concacaf rival Costa Rica on June 9 at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah.

USA-Costa Rica will be broadcast on ESPN2, UniMás and TUDN at 7 p.m. ET.

The Costa Rica match, combined with the friendly away to Switzerland (May 30) and the Concacaf Nations League Final Four (June 3 and 6), simulated a match cadence similar to what players will experience during the upcoming three-match window during the World Cup Qualifying campaign which kicks off in September.

USA Detailed Roster by Position (Club/Country; Caps/Goals):

GOALKEEPERS (3): Ethan Horvath (Club Brugge/BEL; 6/0), David Ochoa (Real Salt Lake; 0/0), Zack Steffen (Manchester City/ENG; 23/0)

DEFENDERS (8): John Brooks (Wolfsburg/GER; 43/3), Reggie Cannon (Boavista/POR; 17/0), Sergiño Dest (Barcelona/ESP; 10/1), Mark McKenzie (Genk/BEL; 5/0), Matt Miazga (Anderlecht/BEL; 22/1), Tim Ream (Fulham/ENG; 44/1), Antonee Robinson (Fulham/ENG; 11/0), DeAndre Yedlin (Galatasaray/TUR; 64/0)

MIDFIELDERS (6): Kellyn Acosta (Colorado Rapids; 30/2), Tyler Adams (RB Leipzig/GER; 13/1), Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy; 23/7), Weston McKennie (Juventus/ITA; 24/7), Yunus Musah (Valencia/ESP; 5/0), Jackson Yueill (San Jose Earthquakes; 11/0)

FORWARDS: (6): Brenden Aaronson (Red Bull Salzburg/AUT; 6/2), Christian Pulisic (Chelsea/ENG; 37/17), Gio Reyna (Borussia Dortmund/GER; 7/3), Josh Sargent (Werder Bremen/GER; 17/5), Jordan Siebatcheu (Young Boys/SUI; 5/1), Tim Weah (Lille/FRA; 12/1)

SI SE PUEDE
Heading into the inaugural Concacaf Nations League championship, the USMNT had only won once in seven finals against Mexico. Sporting its youngest lineup ever in a title match, the United States twice came from behind to capture a 3-2 win in overtime. Penalties at each end proved decisive, with team captain Christian Pulisic burying his opportunity past Guillermo Ochoa while Ethan Horvath denied Andres Guardado to secure the USA’s victory. Goals by Gio Reyna and Weston McKennie erased deficits on either side of halftime, while Horvath entered the match in the 67th as a replacement for the injured Zack Steffen and set the stage for the dramatic finish.

Weston McKennie earned The Best Player Award for the tournament. He deposited a total of four goals, including the second U.S. goal in the Final. McKennie memorably scored the fastest hat trick in USMNT history during the Nations League opener on Oct. 11 vs. Cuba, the midfielder recording his three goals within the first 13 minutes of the 7-0 victory in Washington, D.C.

In addition to McKennie, defender John Brooks and forward Christian Pulisic and Gio Reyna were named to the CNL Best XI.

ROSTER UPDATES
Following the win against Mexico, defender Matt Miazga departed camp in preparation for his upcoming wedding nuptials. Meantime, both goalkeeper Zack Steffen and defender Bryan Reynolds have been ruled out with bone bruises. Nashville SC defender Walker Zimmerman was added to the roster and arrives Tuesday evening into Salt Lake.

In addition, Daryl Dike is available for the match. In camp since the beginning, he stayed with the team as a non-rostered player during the CNL Final Four.

ONE UP ON THE TICOS
Heading into this summer, the USMNT have a narrow 17-16-5 edge in the series through a rich history of 38 matches played since 1975.

There have been numerous legendary moments in that time, with 29 of the encounters taking place across three different competitions: FIFA World Cup Qualifying, the Concacaf Gold Cup and Copa America Centenario. Perhaps the most memorable meeting was in the Snowclasico, a 1-0 win in snowy conditions during qualifying for the 2014 World Cup that reignited a sometimes-fiery rivalry. MLS has also served as a breeding ground of familiarity for these opponents, as more than 50 Costa Ricans have played in the league.

USMNT IN SLC
Salt Lake City has its own piece of USA-Costa Rica history, having hosted a World Cup qualifying encounter on the road to the 2006 tournament in Germany. Two goals from Landon Donovan, an insurance strike from current USMNT general manager Brian McBride and world-class saves from Kasey Keller led the USA to a 3-0 shutout before 40,586 boisterous fans on June 4, 2005, at Rice Eccles Stadium.

In total, Utah has hosted three World Cup Qualifiers. The USMNT has been successful in all, scoring six goals while surrendering only one through three matches. Overall, the USA is 4-0-1 in the Beehive State.

CONCUSSION SUBSTITUTIONS
As part of its continuing efforts as a leader in player safety, U.S. Soccer is implementing concussion substitutions in 2021. The new rule – approved by IFAB for trials – allows teams to make two concussion substitutes to replace players with head injuries, regardless of the number of substitutions already used.

U.S. Soccer already implemented the new concussion substitution rule for the first time during the 2021 SheBelieves Cup this past February in Orlando, Fla.

“Adopting this new rule is an important step as we continue to lead the way in player safety,” said U.S. Soccer Chief Medical Officer Dr. George Chiampas. “It was critical to come together as a sport with our professional leagues and proceed in this pilot program, prioritizing the well-being of our players above all. We’ve worked hard to raise awareness of head injuries in soccer over the last several years, and this change should go a long way in protecting players suspected of suffering a concussion.”

PRIDE MONTH
As part of its “One Nation” social responsibility efforts to promote diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging, U.S. Soccer will once again partner with the You Can Play Project to celebrate LGBTQ+ Pride Month during friendly matches this June. The You Can Play Project is an organization dedicated to ensuring equality, respect and safety for all athletes, coaches, and fans without regard for sexual orientation and/or gender identity.

The U.S. Men’s and Women’s National Teams will wear pride-inspired rainbow numbers during certain June friendlies.

The game-issued jerseys for each player on the roster for the USMNT match and one of the two USWNT matches in Houston will be put up for auction following the games from June 12-26, with proceeds donated to You Can Play. This will be the third time the USMNT and USWNT have worn pride-inspired rainbow numbers.

In addition to the jerseys, the USMNT and USWNT captains will wear game-specific rainbow arm bands and pride-inspired rainbow corner flags will be used during the matches. Fans can also purchase special pride-inspired U.S. Soccer rainbow merchandise, which will be available at the U.S. Soccer Store. Any money U.S. Soccer receives from the U.S. Soccer Store for the sale of these products goes directly to You Can Play.

FIRST CAPS IN OFFICIAL COMPETITION
With the USMNT playing its first non-friendlies since November 2019, a total of eight players earned their first appearances in official competition for the USMNT. In the semifinal against Honduras were starters Mark McKenzie, Gio Reyna and Antonee Robinson and second half substitutes Brenden Aaronson and Jordan Siebatcheu. In the championship match, substitutes

Tyler Adams, Ethan Horvath, and Tim Weah all made appearances.

By virtue of playing against Honduras, dual nationals Mark McKenzie, Gio Reyna, Antonee Robinson and Jordan Siebatcheu are now officially cap-tied to represent the United States in international competition. Tim Weah reached the same status against Mexico.

ALTITUDE ADJUSTMENT
With Concacaf choosing the “Mile High City” of Denver to host the Nations League Final Four, the USMNT shifted its camp base to Crans Montana in the Swiss Alps. Training for five days at an elevation of approximately 5,000 feet ahead of the friendly against No. 13-ranked Switzerland on May 30, the group went through efforts on and off the field to adjust to the conditions at altitude.

Christian Pulisic and Zack Steffen missed the camp due to the UEFA Champions League final and joined the group on May 31 in Denver.

TROPHY ROOM
With the USMNT collecting the first trophy on offer this summer – the Gold Cup still remains – several players have already earned silverware with their clubs. A total of 10 players on the roster enter the Nations League Final Four with a championship under their belt, including five league winners and perhaps the biggest club trophy of all.

Brenden Aaronson did the double, winning the Austrian Bundesliga and Austrian Cup. Zack Steffen also won two trophies with Manchester City, backstopping the club to the English League Cup and becoming the first USMNT player to win the Premier League. Sergiño Dest (Barcelona) lifted the Copa del Rey in Spain, while Weston McKennie (Juventus) in Italy along with Gio Reyna (Dortmund) in Germany and Mark McKenzie (Genk) in Belgium also won their respective domestic cup competitions. Tim Weah is a French league champion with Lille, his club winning the title for the first time since the 2010-11 campaign, Ethan Horvath and Club Brugge are league winners for the second season running and Jordan Siebatcheu helped Young Boys to the top of the Swiss league table for the fourth consecutive year.

And of course, the first U.S. international to play in and win a UEFA Champions League Final as Christian Pulisic added another massive milestone to an already impressive list of records when Chelsea defeated Manchester City on May 29 in Porto.

TOP FOUR IN BIG FIVE
Members of the USMNT finished in the top four in each of the five biggest leagues in Europe, starting with the league title winners in England (Steffen, Manchester City) and France (Weah, Lille). In Germany, U.S. internationals populate three of the top four with Tyler Adams (RB Leipzig, second), Gio Reyna (Borussia Dortmund, third), and John Brooks (Wolfsburg, fourth). Sergiño Dest completed his first season at Barcelona with a third-place La Liga finish. Christian Pulisic and Chelsea secured the fourth spot in the Premier League on the final matchday, a feat and position matched by Weston McKennie and Juventus.

All eight players will be a part of next year’s Champions League.

30-PLUS
In another sign of U.S. internationals staking their claim at prominent clubs abroad, nine players on the roster just completed seasons where they made 30 or more appearances in a top-flight European league: Weston McKennie (34 GP; Juventus), Yunus Musah (32 GP; Valencia), Jordan Siebatcheu (32 GP; Young Boys), Gio Reyna (31 GP; Borussia Dortmund), Josh Sargent (31 GP; Werder Bremen), John Brooks (31 GP; Wolfsburg), Reggie Cannon (31 GP; Boavista), Sergiño Dest (30 GP; FC Barcelona) and Matt Miazga (30 GP; Anderlecht).

USA ROSTER NOTES

  • A total of 21 of the 23 players on the Nations League roster appeared in the tournament.
  • The 23-player roster averages 17 caps.
  • Players ply their trade in 11 different countries: England, Germany and USA (4 each), Belgium (3), Spain (2), Austria, France, Italy, Portugal, Switzerland and Turkey (1 each).
  • With 64 caps, DeAndre Yedlin is the senior-most player on the roster, followed by Tim Ream (44), John Brooks (42), Christian Pulisic (37) and Kellyn Acosta (29).
  • Ten players won 12 different trophies with European clubs this past season: Brenden Aaronson (Austrian League and Cup), Sergiño Dest (Spanish Copa del Rey), Ethan Horvath (Belgian First Division A), Weston McKennie (Super Coppa Italiana, Coppa Italia), Mark McKenzie (Belgian Cup), Christian Pulisic (UEFA Champions League), Gio Reyna (German DFB-Pokal), Zack Steffen (English Premier League, English League Cup) and Tim Weah (French Ligue 1).
  • Nine players just completed seasons where they made 30 or more appearances in a European top-flight league: Weston McKennie (34 GP; Juventus), Yunus Musah (32 GP; Valencia), Jordan Siebatcheu (32 GP; Young Boys), Gio Reyna (31 GP; Borussia Dortmund), Josh Sargent (31 GP; Werder Bremen), John Brooks (31 GP; Wolfsburg), Reggie Cannon (31 GP; Boavista), Sergiño Dest (30 GP; FC Barcelona), Matt Miazga (30 GP; Anderlecht)

IN FOCUS: COSTA RICA

ROSTER BY POSITION (CLUB; CAPS/GOALS)

GOALKEEPERS (3): Esteban Alvarado (Limon FC; 19/0), Aaron Cruz (Saprissa; 0/0), Leonel Moreira (Alajuelense; 17/0)

DEFENDERS (8): Francisco Calvo (Chicago Fire/USA; 55/7), Oscar Duarte (Levante/ESP; 57/2), Keysher Fuller (Herediano; 12/1), Yael Lopez (Herediano; 0/0), Bryan Oviedo (FC Copenhagen/DEN; 59/2), Aaron Salazar (Herediano; 0/0), Kendall Waston (Saprissa; 45/7), Ronald Matarrita (FC Cincinnati/USA; 37/3)

MIDFIELDERS (8): Bernald Alfaro (Alajuelense; 3/0), Celso Borges (Deportivo La Coruña/ESP; 133/23), Allan Cruz (FC Cincinnati/USA; 21/2), Luis Diaz (Columbus Crew/USA; 4/0), Randall Leal (Nashville SC/USA; 19/0), Bryan Ruiz (Alajuelense; 129/26), Yeltsin Tejeda (Herediano; 58/0), Gerson Torres (Herediano; 3/0)

FORWARDS (4): Felicio Brown (Wisla Krakow/POL; 1/0), Joel Campbell (Club Leon; 98/19), Alonso Martinez (Alajuelense; 2/0), Johan Venegas (Alajuelense; 62/11)

IN THE CNL
Costa Rica twice went to penalties in the Final Four, stretching both Mexico and Honduras to the limit. In the semifinal, a closely contested match ended 0-0, with El Tri outlasting Costa Rica 5-4 in penalties. In the third place match, Costa Rica scored first and last in regulation, with teams ending level at 2-2 before the Ticos suffered a second straight 5-4 defeat in the penalty phase.

LOCALS AND EXTRAÑEROS
Costa Rica boasts a nearly full-strength roster with players plying their trade both domestically and abroad. Chicago Fire captain Francisco Calvo leads an MLS contingent of five players, including a pair from FC Cincinnati. Alajuelense midfielder Bryan Ruiz headlines the domestic contingent and is the leader in both caps (129) and goals (26).

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