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FOLLOW LIVE: USMNT takes on Panama in Berhalter’s debut

United States Training Session

CHULA VISTA, CA - JANUARY 11: Head coach Gregg Berhalter of the United States Men’s National Soccer Team overseas training at the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Training Site on January 11, 2019 in Chula Vista, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

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Gregg Berhalter will take the field for the first time as USMNT manager, ending January camp with a friendly against Panama at 8:00 p.m. ET.

And of course, in his first match in charge, there’s already a curious decision even before kickoff. Berhalter named New York Red Bulls defender Aaron Long as captain, despite the presence of longtime USMNT veteran Michael Bradley in the starting lineup. Bradley has 142 caps for the United States, having captained the side regularly since 2015. According to ESPN reporter Jeff Carlisle, Berhalter will address his captaincy choice after the match.

[ FOLLOW: USMNT vs. Panama ]

Five players in the USMNT starting lineup are earning their first senior team appearance. The attack is led by 21-year-old Portland Timbers striker Jeremy Ebobisse who scored four goals in 31 MLS appearances this season, helping Portland to an appearance in the MLS Cup finals. Chicago Fire youngster Djordje Mihailovic also earns his first cap, joining Bradley in central midfield.

Long is in the heart of the U.S. defense, earning his third cap, while Walker Zimmerman returns to the USMNT fold for his fifth national team appearance. The full-backs are both brand new to the lineup, with Nick Lima and Daniel Lovitz both earning their debuts.

January camp is often almost entirely MLS-made, and that is the case again this year. With the European leagues still in full swing, the camp is designed for domestic players to take advantage of the offseason. This year, it happens to coincide with Berhalter’s hiring, so this is a great opportunity for fans to see what the new boss is looking to bring to the table.


United States: Steffen; Lima, Long, Zimmerman, Lovitz; Baird, Bradley, Mihailovic, Roldan; Zardes, Ebobisse.

Panama: Roberts; Espinosa, Escobar, Gondola, Palacios; Carrasquilla, Walker, Canate, Browne, Sinclair; Arroyo.

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