USMNT ready to play 1st competitive matches since last year’s World Cup

The USMNT is back in camp as they prepare for their first competitive matches since the 2022 World Cup, where the group lost to the Netherlands in the Round of 16. A lot has changed for the federation since the World Cup, such as the sporting director, the general manager, and the manager leaving.

While all are extremely important departures for the USMNT and the USSF, the most notable one at this time would be the manager Gregg Berhalter. Shortly after it was announced that Berhalter would no longer be the manager for the near future, Anthony Hudson was named the interim.

The main reason for this change was the fact that the USSF was investigating Berhlalter for allegations that came up once the World Cup was concluded. But even though Anthony Hudson is the interim, he still has some important matches to take part in, as the USMNT will be playing two Nations League matches on March 24 and March 27. 

What is CONCACAF Nations League?

ORLANDO, FL – MARCH 21: A detailed view of the United States Soccer Federation crest logo is seen in the player and team tunnel in game action during an International friendly match between the United States and the Ecuador men’s national teams on March 21, 2019 at Orlando City Stadium in Orlando, FL. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire)

The Concacaf Nations League is a newer international tournament that was first played in the year of 2019. It is very similar to the UEFA Nations League, but it only includes the 41 teams who make up Concacaf. The 41 teams are broken into three different leagues, with 12 teams making up League A, 16 teams making up League B, and 13 teams making up League C. Every team in each league will be separated into four groups.

The four winners of League A will go to participate in the Concacaf Nations League Final Four, while the four losers will be relegated to League B. The teams relegated would be replaced by those who won their group in League B. the same would occur with those with Group C and Group B. All in all, the Nations League is basically a tournament to add more meaningful matches for the clubs, so they are not just playing international friendlies every break.  

Who does the USMNT Play?

Qatar 2022 World Cup. USA team group, during the Qatar 2022 World Cup match, group B, date 1, between USA and Wales played at Al Rayyan Stadium on Nov 21, 2022 in Doha, Qatar. (Photo by Pressinphoto/Imago/Icon Sportswire)

The USMNT will be going up against Grenada and El Salvador in these two matches, with Grenada being on March 24 and El Salvador on March 27. The match against Grenada will be taking place at 8 PM EST on Friday, March 24 at the Kirani James National Stadium, while the USMNT will be taking on El Salvador at 7:30 PM EST on Monday, March 27 at the Exploria Stadium in Orlando. Both of these matches are must-wins for Anthony Hudson and the USMNT, as the team looks to win the group and advance to the Concacaf Nations League Final Four.

As stated prior, the loser of the group would be relegated to League B, along with the losers of the other three groups in League A. At the moment, the USMNT is placed second in the group, one point behind El Salvador and three points above Grenada. The club will be looking to win the group, so they could have a chance to repeat as Concacaf Nations League Champions. 

Who is on the USMNT Roster?

CINCINNATI, OH – NOVEMBER 12: United States midfielder Weston McKennie (8) talks to forward Christian Pulisic (10) during a CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying game between the United States and Mexico on November 12, 2021 at TQL Stadium in Cincinnati, OH. (Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire)

Anthony Hudson announced his 24-man roster who will be taking part in the Nations League matches, and it is the following:

Goalkeepers: Ethan Horvath (Luton Town), Zack Steffen (Middlesbrough), Matt Turner (Arsenal)

Defenders: Sergino Dest (AC Milan), Mark McKenzie (Genk), Tim Ream (Fulham), Bryan Reynolds (Westerlo), Antonee Robinson (Fulham), Miles Robinson (Atlanta United), Joe Scally (Borussia Monchengladbach), Auston Trusty (Birmingham City)

Midfielders: Brenden Aaronson (Leeds United), Johnny Cardoso (Internacional), Luca de la Torre (Celta Vigo), Weston McKennie (Leeds United), Yunus Musah (Valencia), Alan Sonora (Juarez)

Forwards: Taylor Booth (Utrecht), Daryl Dike (West Bromwich Albion), Djordje Mihailovic (AZ Alkmaar), Ricardo Pepi (Groningen), Christian Pulisic (Chelsea), Gio Reyna (Borussia Dortmund), Alex Zendejas (Club America)

It is a very exciting time for the USMNT as they will be taking the pitch in a competitive match for the first time since the World Cup concluded. There will be lots of eyes watching the team this upcoming weekend, as people will be interested to see how interim manager Anthony Hudson does in his first competitive match as manager.

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Mandatory Credit: Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire & Pressinphoto/Imago/Icon Sportswire