Aaronson, Alvarez and McKenzie headline USMNT squad for El Salvador friendly

Aaronson 2020 Union

Brenden Aaronson, Efrain Alvarez and Mark McKenzie headline the U.S. men’s national team roster for an upcoming match against El Salvador.

It will mark the team’s third game in a month, having previously been out of action since January as a result of the pandemic.

The U.S. recently battled Wales in a 0-0 draw in Swansea before then smashing Panama 6-2 in a friendly held in Austria.

Those games were played by an almost-entirely European-based squad, with Sebastian Lletget the only player from that camp set to join up with the team as the upcoming clash with El Salvador will feature a young, domestic-based side.

The match falls outside of a FIFA international window, which means players still in season have been excluded, although additional players may be added following the completion of the MLS Western Conference semifinals.

“Since returning to the field, the focus has been on continuing to build on our foundation and preparing the team for important competitions in 2021,” head coach Gregg Berhalter said. “We have utilized these opportunities to work with our core group while evaluating young talent in an effort to strengthen our overall player pool.”

Berhalter’s squad features fifteen players are eligible for the 2021 Summer Olympics, with nine under the age of 20.

A total of 11 players could earn their first cap, with nine playersattending their first USMNT camp.

Among those players is Alvarez, whohas spent time with both the U.S. and Mexico youth national teams. The LA Galaxy youngsterwould need to file a one-time switch in order to be able to play for the United States after featuring for El Tri at the U-17 World Cup in 2019.

Fellow newcomers include Orlando City attackers Daryl Dike and Chris Mueller, Toronto FC striker Ayo Akinola, FC Cincinnati midfielder Frankie Amaya, Colorado Rapids midfielder Cole Bassett, Real Salt Lake goalkeeper David Ochoa and defendersJulian Araujo, Kyle Duncan andMarco Farfan of the LA Galaxy, New York Red Bulls and Portland Timbers, respectively.

Benfica goalkeeper CJ Dos Santos is the only European-based player called into camp, while Aaronson is set to join up with RB Salzburg in January after sealing a move this summer.

In total,the roster holds an average age of 22 years, 201 days with Paul Arriola, Aaron Long and Walker Zimmerman headlining the list of veterans in camp.

Here’s a look at the full squad:

GOALKEEPERS:CJ Dos Santos(Benfica),Bill Hamid(D.C. United),David Ochoa(Real Salt Lake)

DEFENDERS:Julian Araujo(LA Galaxy),Kyle Duncan(New York Red Bulls),Marco Farfan(Portland Timbers),Aaron Long(New York Red Bulls),Mark McKenzie(Philadelphia Union),Mauricio Pineda(Chicago Fire),Sam Vines(Colorado Rapids),Walker Zimmerman(Nashville SC)

MIDFIELDERS:Brenden Aaronson(Philadelphia Union),Kellyn Acosta(Colorado Rapids),Frankie Amaya(FC Cincinnati),Cole Bassett(Colorado Rapids),Sebastian Lletget(LA Galaxy)


Source : goal.com