The United States men’s national team has selected an MLS-heavy roster for their April 19 clash against cross-border rivals Mexico in the inaugural Continental Classico at the State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.
The game falls outside of FIFA’s international window, thus European teams are not required to release players. The team consists of 20 players from MLS, one from Liga MX, one from the second division USL Championship, and one from Europe.
Sergiño Dest is the most notable addition to the roster as he will make the trip across the pond to play in the game. The right-back, who has struggled during his loan stint at AC Milan, was given permission by the Serie A club after talks with U.S. coaching staff.
In addition to Dest, Alan Sonora will make the trip across the border to join the team from FC Juarez in Liga MX. Surprisingly, Joshua Wynder, the 17-year-old defender for Louisville City, was included in the roster.
Among the rest of the team, 10 come in having played in the World Cup, while 10 others have fewer than 10 caps to their name. There are also several uncapped players such as Wynder, goalkeepers Drake Callender and Roman Celentano, and defender Caleb Wiley.
With finals of the Concacaf Nations League and Gold Cup approaching, this crop of players will hope to make an impression as they look to earn a spot on one of the rosters ahead of the tournaments this summer.
“We are delighted with the group we have put together. Anytime you get to play against your closest rivals it’s a special opportunity, and we have players who understand what this rivalry is all about and are ready to compete in the Allstate Continental Clásico,” USMNT head coach Anthony Hudson said. “It’s another chance to build on the progress we have made in the last four years and prepare for the defense of our two Concacaf titles this summer.”
The U.S. has had the upper hand against El Tri in recent years. In the summer of 2021, they came out on top to win Concacaf’s Nations League and Gold Cup. That success was followed up a few months later when the red, white, and blue secured a victory in World Cup qualifying with the familiar 2-0 scoreline.
GOALKEEPERS (3): Drake Callender (Inter Miami), Roman Celentano (FC Cincinnati), Sean Johnson (Toronto FC)
DEFENDERS (9): Sergiño Dest (AC Milan), Aaron Long (LAFC), Julian Gressel (Vancouver Whitecaps), Matt Miazga (FC Cincinnati), Shaq Moore (Nashville SC), Caleb Wiley (Atlanta United), Joshua Wynder (Louisville City), DeAndre Yedlin (Inter Miami), Walker Zimmerman (Nashville SC)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Kellyn Acosta (LAFC), Aidan Morris (Columbus Crew), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders), James Sands (New York City FC), Alan Sonora (FC Juarez), Jackson Yueill (San Jose Earthquakes)
FORWARDS (5): Paul Arriola (FC Dallas), Cade Cowell (San Jose Earthquakes), Jesús Ferreira (FC Dallas), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders), Brandon Vazquez (FC Cincinnati)