Berhalter picks Altidore and Arriola in 25-man USA squad to face Soca Warriors

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United States Men’s National Senior Team football coach Gregg Berhalter, as expected, named a young, largely inexperienced 25-man roster to face Trinidad and Tobago in a friendly international at the Exploria Stadium, Orlando on 31 January.

The outing, which will be Terry Fenwick’s first international as Soca Warriors head coach, comes at the end of a three week camp for the Americans, in which Berhalter looked at 12 senior and 26 under-23 players. The game itself falls outside the Fifa international match window and both nations can only use players willingly released by their respective clubs.

Photo: United States forward Jozy Altidore (right) runs at the Trinidad and Tobago defence during 2018 World Cup qualifying action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/Wired868)

The Warriors will need to keep their eyes on 31-year-old forward Jozy Altidore and 25-year-old winger Paul Arriola, though. 

Altidore, who has an international tally of 42 goals from 115 caps, is USA’s third highest scorer of all time—15 items shy of Clint Dempsey and Landon Donovan. He has scored five times in eight appearances against the twin island republic, although he failed to hit the target in his last three of those contests.

Arriola has six goals from 35 international appearances. Two of those items came against Trinidad and Tobago, including one in USA’s 6-0 mauling of the Warriors at the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup.

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Central defender Aaron Long, left back Walker Zimmerman and midfielder Kellyn Acosta also faced T&T before, while midfielder Christian Roldan and Jonathan Lewis were unused substitutes when the two nations met at the last Gold Cup.

Otherwise, Berhalter named 10 uncapped players in his roster—which includes all three goalkeepers—and another eight players who have less than 10 international caps.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago stand-in captain Daneil Cyrus (far right) has some choice words for USA midfielder Weston McKennie while goal scorer Paul Arriola (centre) is jostled by T&T players during their Gold Cup contest in Cleveland on 22 June 2019.
USA won 6-0.
(Courtesy TTFA Media)

The USA coach said the Trinidad and Tobago match gives his players the chance to stake their claim for competitive playing time, with the Concacaf Nations League semifinal round, the 2021 Gold Cup and the Qatar 2022 World Cup qualifying series all stuffed into this calendar year.

USA will also be involved in the Concacaf Olympic qualifying championship this March—a competition that Trinidad and Tobago withdrew from during the David John-Williams-led administration.

“These last two weeks have been an absolute pleasure,” Berhalter told the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) media office. “The hard work and determination demonstrated by the entire group confirms that the player pool is [heading] in the right direction. As we transition to Orlando, we switch gears and focus on competing as we prepare to face Trinidad and Tobago.”

Fenwick has not yet selected his final squad for the USA contest, although he has a 23-man squad in training at present.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago National Senior Team head coach Terry Fenwick (centre) guides his team during practice at the Police Barracks in St James on 3 July 2020.
(Copyright Allan V Crane/CA-Images/Wired868)

United States (caps/goals):

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

Defenders: 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: 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: Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC/CAN; 115/42), Paul Arriola (DC 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).

Photo: USA defender Aaron Long (centre) is congratulated by teammate Walker Zimmerman after scoring the first of his two goals against Trinidad and Tobago in their Gold Cup contest in Cleveland on 22 June 2019.
(Copyright AP Photo/David Dermer)

Trinidad and Tobago (provisional squad):

Goalkeepers: Marvin Phillip (Unattached; 80/0), Adrian Foncette (Police FC; 15/0), Denzil Smith (W Connection; 0/0);

Defenders: Alvin Jones (Unattached; 25/0), Shannon Gomez (Sacramento FC—US; 2/0), Justin Garcia (Defence Force; 1/0), Jamal Jack (Unattached; 2/0), Daniel Cyrus (Unattached; 91/0), Jesse Williams (Coleraine FC—Northern Ireland; 0/0), Josiah Trimmingham (Forward Madison—US; 1/0), Jelani Peters (Unattached; 0/0), Triston Hodge (Memphis 901 FC—US; 17/0);

Midfielders: Michel Poon-Angeron (Club Banfield—Argentina; 0/0), Matthew Woo Ling (AC Port of Spain; 2/0), Duane Muckette (Memphis 901 FC—US; 5/0), Justin Sadoo (Point Fortin Civic; 0/0), Jabari Mitchell (Police FC; 0/0);

Attackers: Hashim Arcia (Defence Force; 13/1), Gary Griffith III (Coleraine FC—Northern Ireland 0/0), Sean Bonval (Unattached; 0/0), Shackiel Henry (Unattached; 0/0), Brent Sam (Defence Force; 0/0), Marcus ‘Lobo’ Joseph (Unattached; 20/6).

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