CHICAGO (OCT 1, 2018) – U.S Men’s National Team head coach Dave Sarachan has added some potent experience to the group of prospects in the MNT’s next generation, calling 24 players to Tampa to prepare for the kickoff Series matches against tow top-25 opponents Columbia and Peru.
Sales have been going well for the next stop on the of the Kickoff tour, with 23,000 tickets sold for the match pitting the United States vs number 14 Columbia match on Oct. 11th at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, FL.
Fans can follow both matches on U.S. Soccer’s official Facebook, Twitter (@ussoccer_MNT) and Instagram (@ussoccer_MNT) accounts.
“I’m excited about the upcoming games and I’m excited about the group of players that we have selected’ Sarachan said. “There is a consistent group of younger players that we’ve had over the past friendlies and added some new faces I’m looking forward to seeing up close. We will have Christian Pulisic back, and there is also the addition of a couple veteran players in Michael Bradley and Brad Guzan, so there is a lot to look forward to in these next Kickoff Series matches.”
All six of the MNT opponents in the Kickoff Series are in the Top 25 of the FIFA World Rankings. Having fallen to Brazil (3) before shutting out Mexico (15), the U.S. will close out the series away to England (6) and Italy (20). The six-match set will provide the aspiring young U.S. side with top-level competition at the start of their four-year journey toward the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
The MNT welcomes Christian Pulisic into the fold for the first time as a 20-year-old, the 2017 U.S. Soccer Male Athlete of the Year having missed out on the September camp through injury. Joining him are a pair of 12-year veterans in Michael Bradley and Brad Guzan, both returning after a year-long absence. Bradley ranks fourth all-time in appearances for the Men’s National Team and is tied for second with assists (22). Guzan ranks in the top five among MNT goalkeepers with 58 caps (fifth), 30 wins (fourth) and 18 clean sheets (fifth), and is currently minding the nets for MLS Supporters Shield leaders Atlanta United FC. This will also be the second camp in 2018 for John Brooks, who last year moved to VfL Wolfsburg on a record transfer fee for a U.S. international.
COLOMBIA, PERU BRING STRONG ROSTERS FOR KICKOFF SERIES
After strong tests against Brazil and Mexico in September, the USA will face two more challenges against Colombia and Peru this month. Both took part in the 2018 FIFA World Cup and will bring at least half of the squads that went to Russia for their matches against the MNT.
Highlighting Colombia’s squad are 12 World Cup players, including midfielders James Rodríguez (Bayern Munich) and Juan Cuadrado (Juventus), forwards Radamel Falcao (Monaco) and Carlos Bacca (Villarreal) as well as Atlético Madrid defender Santiago Arias and Napoli goalkeeper David Ospina.
Meanwhile, Peru brings 16 World Cup veterans, including long-time forward Jefferson Farfán and MLS-based players of Andy Polo (Portland Timbers), Raul Ruidiaz (Seattle Sounders FC) and Yosimar Yotún (Orlando City SC)