USMNT: December roster mixes youth with sparse experience

USMNT (Photo by John Dorton/ISI Photos/Getty Images)
USMNT (Photo by John Dorton/ISI Photos/Getty Images) /
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USMNT. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports /

The roster for the USMNT’s friendly against El Salvador next week includes 12 uncapped players

The United States Men’s National Team will finish the year with one final friendly in Miami against fellow CONCACAF side El Salvador on Dec. 9. Coming off a draw in Wales and a win over Panama last month with mainly European-based players, the USMNT should cruise to their third and final victory of the year against El Salvador.

The 22-man roster for the 2020 finale includes just one European-based player and 21 MLS-based players holding the average age of the roster to 22 years, 201 days, with an average of five caps.

GOALKEEPERS: CJ Dos Santos (Benfica), Bill Hamid (D.C. United), David Ochoa (Real Salt Lake)

DEFENDERS: Julian Araujo (LA Galaxy), Kyle Duncan (New York Red Bulls), Marco Farfan (Portland Timbers), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls), Mark McKenzie (Philadelphia Union), Mauricio Pineda (Chicago Fire), Sam Vines (Colorado Rapids), Walker Zimmerman (Nashville SC)

MIDFIELDERS: Brenden Aaronson (Philadelphia Union), Kellyn Acosta (Colorado Rapids), Frankie Amaya (FC Cincinnati), Cole Bassett (Colorado Rapids), Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy)

FORWARDS: Ayo Akinola (Toronto FC), Efrain Alvarez (LA Galaxy), Paul Arriola (D.C. United), Daryl Dike (Orlando City SC), Djordje Mihailovic (Chicago Fire), Chris Mueller (Orlando City SC)

UPDATE: Andres Perea (Orlando City) has replaced Frankie Amaya following confirmation of Amaya testing positive for COVID-19.

Paul Arriola, USMNT (Photo by John Dorton/ISI Photos/Getty Images) /

‘Veterans’ Return

When you think of modern veterans in the USMNT, you think of Jozy Altidore and Michael Bradley. With the Toronto FC pair not selected, the veteran presence will be filled by Paul Arriola and Kellyn Acosta.

Arriola will bring the most experience, with 33 caps, after playing just 21 minutes this season in DC United’s finale against the Montreal Impact. Colorado Rapids midfielder Kellyn Acosta is also amongst the more experienced with 23 caps, but he is keen to get his first cap in nearly two years.

Assisting Arriola and Acosta in filling the veteran role with more than 10 appearances with the USMNT will be Aaron Long (17 caps), Sebastian Lletget (16 caps), and Walker Zimmerman (12 caps).