Before the U.S. Men’s National Team visits Cincinnati for the first time on Sunday afternoon, they’ll first play Wednesday against Jamaica at Audi Field
Here’s some basic background into the midweek friendly and why it matters.
The match is Head Coach Gregg Berhalter’s last chance to see players before submitting his 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup roster later that night.
Yes, there’s a good chance Berhalter has his mind made up on who he wants to bring to the Gold Cup, but the friendly requires him to take a 28-man roster and chop it down to 23 players for the country’s first major international tournament since failing to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
Here are the 28 Americans available against the Reggae Boyz:
Goalkeeper: Sean Johnson (New York City FC), Tyler Miller (LAFC), Zack Steffen (Manchester City)
Defenders: Cameron Carter-Vickers (Tottenham Hotspur), Omar Gonzalez (Toronto FC), Nick Lima (San Jose Earthquakes), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls), Daniel Lovitz (Montreal Impact), Matt Miazga (Chelsea), Tim Ream (Fulham), Antonee Robinson (Everton), Walker Zimmerman (LAFC)
Midfielders: Duane Holmes (Derby County), Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy), Weston McKennie (Schalke 04), Djordje Milhailovic (Chicago Fire), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders FC), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew SC), Jackson Yueill (San Jose Earthquakes)
Forwards: Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Jonathan Amon (FC Nordsjælland), Paul Arriola (D.C. United), Tyler Boyd (Vitoria Guimares), Joe Gyau (MSV Duisburg), Josh Sargent (Werder Bremen), Gyasi Zardes (Columbus Crew SC)
Notice Christian Pulisic (Chelsea) and Tyler Adams (RB Leipzig) aren’t with the team yet. They’re expected to join once the Gold Cup roster is announced.
So, Berhalter will essentially cut seven players from this group of 28 and add Pulisic and Adams to form his 23-man roster at the Gold Cup.
Thus, spots are up for grabs, and the friendly against Jamaica is the last chance for someone to prove they belong in the tournament.
Many of these names should sound familiar. After all, they’ve played against FC Cincinnati.
Of the 28 players on Berhalter’s squad, eight have started against the Orange and Blue through the expansion club’s first 15 games in MLS. They are: Miller, Lima, Long, Lovitz, Zimmerman, Roldan, Yueill and Morris.
In addition, Trapp played and lost against Cincinnati during the 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. FCC also played against Trapp, Steffen, Zardes, Arriola and Mihailovic in the 2019 preseason.
Oh, and some FCC players will play against the USMNT, too.
Right back Alvas Powell and forward Darren Mattocks were both called into Jamaica’s squad for the match and will likely play for the Caribbean country during the Gold Cup.
If Powell and Mattocks play Wednesday night, it’ll mark the second occasion when a Cincinnati player has played against the USMNT. Midfielder Allan Cruz and Costa Rica played the U.S. in a friendly this past February.