USA vs. Trinidad & Tobago – Preview, Schedule, TV Channels & Start Time – U.S. Soccer

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CHICAGO (Jan. 29, 2021)—The U.S. Men’s National Team will open its busy 2021 schedule against Concacaf opponent Trinidad & Tobago in Orlando, Fla. on Sunday, Jan. 31. Coverage from Exploria Stadium begins at 7 p.m. ET on FS1, UniMas and TUDN. Fans will also be able to follow via Twitter @USMNT, Instagram @USMNTFacebook, and the official U.S. Soccer App.

The match against Trinidad & Tobago will serve as an important preparation opportunity for players to stake their claim to represent the USA during an action-packed year of programming.

At the start of the month, head coach Gregg Berhalter called 12 USMNT players and Under-23 USMNT head coach Jason Kreis called 26 players to train alongside each other in Bradenton, Fla. as the U-23 USMNT prepares for March’s Concacaf Men’s Olympic Qualifying Championship. Berhalter’s final game roster consists of nine players initially named to the senior team and 16 U-23-eligible players, including 10 who will seek their international debut. Falling outside of a FIFA international window, all 25 players come from Major League Soccer.

Due to the current conditions related to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the match will be conducted under U.S. Soccer’s comprehensive Return to Play Protocols, with a stadium capacity limited to 4,500 fans.


USMNT DETAILED ROSTED BY POSITION (CLUB; CAPS/GOALS):


GOALKEEPERS (3)
Matt Freese (Philadelphia Union; 0/0), JT Marcinkowski (San Jose Earthquakes; 0/0), Matt Turner (New England Revolution; 0/0)


DEFENDERS (9)
:
 Julian Araujo (LA Galaxy; 1/0), George Bello (Atlanta United FC; 0/0), Kyle Duncan (New York Red Bulls; 1/0), Aaron Herrera (Real Salt Lake; 0/0), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls; 18/3), Mauricio Pineda (Chicago Fire FC; 0/0), Miles Robinson (Atlanta United FC; 2/0), Sam Vines (Colorado Rapids; 2/0), Walker Zimmerman (Nashville SC; 13/2)


MIDFIELDERS (7)
Kellyn Acosta (Colorado Rapids; 24/2), Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy; 17/4), Benji Michel (Orlando City SC; 0/0), Andrés Perea (Orlando City SC; 0/0), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders FC; 19/0), Tanner Tessmann (FC Dallas; 0/0), Jackson Yueill (San Jose Earthquakes; 8/0)


FORWARDS (6)
Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC/CAN; 115/42), Paul Arriola (D.C. United; 34/6), Daryl Dike (Orlando City SC; 0/0), Jesús Ferreira (FC Dallas; 1/0), Jonathan Lewis (Colorado Rapids; 6/0), Chris Mueller (Orlando City SC; 1/2)

 


ACTION-PACKED 2021 FOR USMNT PROGRAMS

Sunday’s match vs. Trinidad is just the start of a loaded year for the USMNT and U-23 USMNT. The first major tournament comes in March, when the U-23s head to Mexico for the Concacaf Men’s Olympic Qualifying Championship. There, the team will look to qualify the USA for its first Olympic appearance since 2008.

Following a friendly window in March, the USMNT will play in the Final Four of the inaugural Concacaf Nations League in June, its first opportunity of the year to lift a trophy. Shortly after, the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup kicks off in July, the second edition of the expanded 16-team tournament format. In September, the USA will embark on the new World Cup qualification process for Concacaf, an eight-team round robin competition that will send three teams to the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

 


MATT TURNER EYES FIRST CAP

Following a long and winding road to the National Team, New England Revolution goalkeeper Matt Turner has a chance to make his international debut on Sunday. With the USA’s run at the 2010 FIFA World Cup serving as the spark for him to concentrate on soccer, the 26-year-old went undrafted and spent two seasons in the USL Championship before establishing himself in New England. Now in his second January training camp, Turner has made massive strides and is eager to earn his first USMNT cap.

Additionally, with fellow goalkeepers Matt Freese and JT Marcinkowski also seeking their debuts, Sunday’s match will mark the first time in nearly 15 years that all goalkeepers dressing for a U.S. match held zero caps. The last instance came on Feb. 19, 2006 when debutants Brad Guzan and Zach Wells combined for the clean sheet in a 4-0 win against Guatemala in Frisco, Texas.


KELLYN ACOSTA RELISHES RETURN


Midfielder Kellyn Acosta
made his first USMNT appearance in more than two years during December’s friendly victory vs. El Salvador. Now back in camp with the USA, Acosta aims to once again become a National Team stalwart. After playing an important role in the qualifying campaign for the 2018 World Cup, a number of changes and nagging injuries plagued Acosta. Now, he’s focused on winning the day and staking his claim for a role with the USMNT during its busy 2021. 

 


ANDRES PERERA CHOOSES USMNT

While Andres Perea was called to the USMNT’s December training camp, the Orlando City SC midfielder wasn’t eligible to play for the USA after representing Colombia at the FIFA U-17 and U-20 World Cups. Born in Tampa, Fla., Perea moved to South America at age five and played in Colombia before impressing on loan with Orlando last season. After December camp, Perea submitted a one-time change of association request to FIFA to represent the U.S. It was granted just before the USMNT kicked off January camp and now the 20-year-old will look to make his debut vs. Trinidad and Tobago.

 


POTENTIAL DEBUTS

USMNT head coach Berhalter has given more opportunities to new players than any other modern era USMNT head coach at this point in their tenure. To this point, 34 players have made their international debut during his first 22 matches at the helm of the program.

Head Coach

Debuts Through 22 Matches

Years

Gregg Berhalter

34

2019-2020

Bob Bradley

25

2007-2008

Dave Sarachan*

23

2017-2018

Bruce Arena

18

1998-2000

Bora Milutinovic

17

1991-1992

Steve Sampson

5

1995-1996

*Dave Sarachan managed 12 matches as USMNT head coach

Ten more players have the opportunity to earn their first caps vs. Trinidad & Tobago: George Bello, Daryl Dike, Matt Freese, Aaron Herrera, JT Marcinkowski, Benji Michel, Andres Perea, Mauricio Pineda, Tanner Tessmann and Matt Turner.

January camp friendlies have also provided plenty of opportunity for USMNT players in the past. Six players on the current roster made their first appearance for the USA at the close of a January training camp: Kellyn Acosta (Jan. 31, 2016 vs. Iceland), Jesús Ferreira (Feb. 1, 2020 vs. Costa Rica), Jonathan Lewis (Jan. 27, 2019 vs. Panama), Sebastian Lletget (Jan. 29, 2017 vs. Serbia), Sam Vines (Feb. 1, 2020 vs. Costa Rica) and Walker Zimmerman (Feb. 3, 2017 vs. Jamaica).


LAST TIME OUT

While 2020 turned international soccer on its head, the USMNT finished on a high note in its first December friendly since 2001, defeating El Salvador 6-0 with a similarly youthful roster. Ten players from that match return for the game vs. El Salvador, including Paul Arriola, Sebastian Lletget and Chris Mueller, who scored four of the USA’s goals. The night marked Mueller’s international debut, becoming just the sixth player to bag a brace in his first USMNT appearance. Current USMNT outside backs Julian Araujo and Kyle Duncan also earned their first caps.

REGIONAL RIVALS 

Sunday will mark the 27th meeting between Trinidad & Tobago and the USA. It’s their first friendly match-up since 1994 and just the fifth all-time. As a frequent foe in World Cup qualifying, the two nations have some memorable history, with each denying the other a place in the World Cup on the final day of qualifying. U.S. midfielder Paul Caligiuri’s legendary “shot heard ‘round the world” barred the Soca Warriors from the 1990 tournament and sent the USA to its first World Cup in 40 years, while Trinidad came out on top 2-1 in 2017 to keep the USMNT from the 2018 World Cup.

The frequent foes last met at the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup, a 6-0 win for the United States that marked its largest margin of victory vs. Trinidad and tied its largest margin of victory at the Gold Cup. Defender Aaron Long bagged a brace, the first two goals of his international career, and made history as the first USMNT defender to score twice in a match.

ROSTER CHANGES




A number of players initially called to the USMNT roster are not available for the gameday roster. Goalkeeper Sean Johnson departed camp due to a minor knee strain, defender Tristan Blackmon suffered a concussion and left camp last weekend and forward Jordan Morris departed early with Berhalter’s permission to join English Championship club Swansea City on loan for the remainder of the 2020-2021 season.

 


USA ROSTER NOTES

  • As of Jan. 31, the average age of the roster will be 23 years, 302 days

  • The roster also averages 10 caps.

  • A total of 15 MLS clubs are represented and Sunday’s match hosts Orlando City SC lead the way with four selections: Daryl Dike, Benji Michel, Chris Mueller, Andrés Perea

  • MLS club representation: Orlando City SC (4), Colorado Rapids (3), Atlanta United FC, FC Dallas, LA Galaxy, New York Red Bulls, San Jose Earthquakes (2 each), Chicago Fire FC, D.C. United, Nashville SC, New England Revolution, Philadelphia Union, Real Salt Lake, Seattle Sounders FC, Toronto FC (1 each).

  • Sixteen players are age-eligible for the 2021 Concacaf Olympic Qualifying Championship to be played from March 18-30 in Guadalajara, Mexico.

  • Forward Jozy Altidore (115 caps) is the most senior player, followed by Paul Arriola (34), Kellyn Acosta (24), Cristian Roldan (19), Aaron Long (18) and Sebastian Lletget (17). Twenty players hold 10 or fewer caps

  • A total of 10 players took part in the USMNT’s 6-0 win against El Salvador last month: Julian Araujo, Paul Arriola, Sebastian Lletget, Aaron Long, Chris Mueller, Sam Vines, and Jackson Yueill started the match, while Kellyn Acosta, Kyle Duncan and Walker Zimmerman entered as substitutes.

  • Arriola opened the scoring against El Salvador with his sixth international goal, while Lletget found the back of the net for the fourth time and his second consecutive USMNT match.

  • Lletget was also the lone USMNT player to appear in all four matches in 2020.

  • Though he took part in some of last year’s January Camp, Seattle Sounders FC midfielder Cristian Roldan will seek his first cap since the 4-0 win against Cuba in Concacaf Nations League group stage play on Nov. 19, 2019.

 

TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO ROSTER BY POSITION (CLUB; CAPS/GOALS)


GOALKEEPERS (2)
: Marvin Phillip (Unattached; 80/0), Adrian Foncette (Police FC; 15/0)


DEFENDERS (7)
: Leland Archer (Charleston Battery/USA; 0/0), Justin Garcia (Defence Force; 1/0), Neveal Hackshaw (Indy Eleven/USA; 12/0), Jamal Jack (Unattached; 2/0), Alvin Jones (Unattached; 25/0), Noah Powder (Real Salt Lake/USA; 0/0), Josiah Trimmingham (Forward Madison/USA; 1/0), Jesse Williams (Coleraine FC/NIR; 0/0)


MIDFIELDERS (7)
: Ajani Fortune (Atlanta United FC/USA; 0/0), Andre Fortune (North Carolina FC/USA; 2/0), Jonathan Jimenez (Rio Grande Valley FC Toros/USA; 0/0), Jabari Mitchell (Police FC; 0/0), Duane Muckette (Memphis 901 FC/USA; 5/0), Michel Poon-Angeron (Club Banfield/ARG; 0/0), Matthew Woo Ling (AC Port of Spain; 2/0)


FORWARDS (6)
: Hashim Arcia (Defence Force; 13/1), Sean Bonval (Unattached; 0/0), Gary Griffith III (Coleraine FC/NIR; 0/0), Shackiel Henry (Unattached; 0/0), Federico Pena (Valour FC/CAN; 0/0), Ryan Telfer (York United FC/CAN; 6/3)

IN FOCUS: TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

  • The USMNT is 19-3-4 all-time against Trinidad and Tobago and has never lost to the island nation at home, going 14-0-1 in the U.S. The lone draw came in May 1989.

  • Sunday marks Trinidad’s first international action since November 2019, a 4-0 defeat to Honduras in Concacaf Nations League play.

  • It will also be head coach Terry Fenwick’s first match in charge of the Soca Warriors. The Englishman took over in December 2019 after managing club teams in England, Belgium and Trinidad.

  • Seeded as the top team in Group F, Trinidad and Tobago will kick off the first round of 2022 World Cup qualifying during the March international window. The Soca Warriors will face Saint Kitt’s and Nevis, Guyana, Puerto Rico and Bahamas in round-robin play, with the group-winner advancing to a two-leg playoff to reach the eight-team final round.

  • Fenwick has called a young Trinidad squad to Orlando, with an average of just seven caps. Eleven players will look to make their international debut vs. the USA, while seven have just six or less caps.

  • Eight players on the Trinidad roster are based in the U.S., mostly seeing time in the USL Championship.

  • Defender Noah Powder is a teammate of USMNT defender Aaron Herrera at Real Salt Lake.

  • Midfielder Ajani Fortune is rising through the ranks of the Atlanta United FC academy, where U.S. left back George Bello developed.

  • Goalkeeper Marvin Phillip is the most-experienced player on the roster with 80 caps. 

  • Defender Alvin Jones scored the game-winning goal in Trinidad’s 2-1 defeat of the USA during qualifying for the 2018 World Cup.


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