Gregg Berhalter and his U.S. Men’s National Team side will look to make it three for three tonight as the U.S. takes on Ecuador at Orlando City Stadium. Three Columbus Crew SC players — goalkeeper Zack Steffen, midfielder Wil Trapp and forward Gyasi Zardes — were originally called up to the side but that number has been reduced with Steffen being held back due to a minor knee injury.
Steffen’s departure opens a huge opportunity for the three goalkeepers on the roster. While Steffen has shown to be worthy of the starting position for the national team, the backup slot is still very much up for grabs.
Jesse Gonzalez, Ethan Hortvath and Sean Johnson have less than 10 combined appearances for the national team. These matches ahead of the Gold Cup are a huge opportunity for them to prove that they deserve a spot on that Gold Cup roster.
Trapp and Zardes once again are part of Berhalter’s side as he continues to try to establish his system with the national team. As expected, this side has an international presence with nine of the 24 players plying their trade abroad.
The roster has a mix of veteran presence with players such as Michael Bradley, John Brooks, Omar Gonzalez, DeAndre Yedlin and Zardes leading the way in caps for USMNT.
The next generation of stars is also well represented with Tyler Adams, Matt Miazga, Weston McKennie and Christian Pulisic all making their first appearances for the national team under Berhalter.
Aside from that, the roster does still have a strong MLS presence which has come with mixed reactions from fans and pundits alike.
There are eight players on the roster who have less than five caps for the national team. With these call-ups, Berhalter is giving opportunities to inexperienced players to show their worth and show whether they deserve a shot for the Gold Cup this summer.
Ecuador heads into this match with a 4-1-1 record in its last six matches. The return of Hernan Dario Gomez to Ecuador has given this side a spark as they look to build momentum for this summer’s Copa America.
How to Watch
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET
Venue: Orlando City Stadium; Orlando, FL
TV: ESPN2, UniMas and UDN
This will be your game thread as well to discuss the match with other USMNT fans in the comment section below. What do you expect from the U.S. in these March matches? Who do you think has the most to prove before the Gold Cup? How do you think we will line up? All that discussion and plenty more once the game kicks off.