This is starting to become a trend…
On Tuesday morning, Gregg Berhalter announced his 24-man squad for the United States national team’s upcoming Friendlies against Ecuador and Chile. Included in the list are 15 MLS players, including New York Red Bulls center back, Aaron Long and former teammate, Tyler Adams. Some notable changes to recent call-ups are the addition of Omar Gonzalez (Atlas) and omissions of Tim Weah (Celtic) and Josh Sargent (Werder Bremen).
Our buildup to the Gold Cup marches on.
— U.S. Soccer MNT (@USMNT) March 12, 2019
Long has become a permanent fixture for the US as of late. His first call up earned was in September, but he did not feature in either the Brazil or Mexico matches. He also didn’t play against Colombia, but made his debut in a 1-1 draw against Peru in October. Long did not play against England, but played all 90 minutes against Italy in another 1-1 affair to close out 2018.
Berhalter called Long to January camp and he must have impressed the former Columbus Crew skipper, being awarded the Captain’s armband for the team’s 3-0 victory against Panama and 2-0 triumph over Costa Rica. Long currently sits at four caps to his name, tied for 331st all-time with 54 other players, including Dom Dwyer, Kenny Saief, Shaq Moore and Lynden Gooch, to name a few.
With this summer’s CONCACAF Gold Cup looming, Berhalter will turn up the heat on the squad, being able to bring in his internationally-based players into the mix. Actuality may have Long listed as the third center back in the depth chart behind John Brooks and Matt Miazga, but the reigning MLS Defender of the Year will make the push for time during the March friendlies along with Gonzalez and Tim Ream.
The US will first face Ecuador in Orlando on March 21st before turning their attention to Chile on March 26th in Houston. The call up means Long will miss the Orlando away match (even though he’ll be in town two days before) and hopefully return for the team’s match in Chicago on March 30th.
Photo by Bill Twomey Photography