Tim Ream leads this young USMNT squad with 40 caps. (Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)
It’s a strange place for a Concacaf match, but during these unusual times of the COVID-19 pandemic, it doesn’t matter where you play the game.
It’s that you’re playing one at all.
The U.S. men’s national team will close out the November international window against a familiar foe in an unfamiliar locale, facing regional rival Panama in Austria Monday.
After a scoreless draw with Wales in Swansea Thursday in which six players make their USMNT debuts, the Americans will look to end their first training camp since February on a high note.
“Anytime we’re together, we’re stressing on them is we want to compete to win games,” USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter said during a Sunday conference call with the media. “We’re on the field against the Concacaf opponent and we want to win the game. We want to end this experience with the group [European-based players] on a high note.”
Coverage of USA-Panama from from Wiener Neustadter Stadion in Wiener Neustadt, Austria begins at 2:30 p.m. ET on FS1, UniMás and TUDN.
The USMNT roster will have an average age of 22 years, 56 days and the average number of caps won is nine.
Four players are uncapped: Ricky Ledezma, Chituru Odunze, Chris Richards and Sebastian Soto.
Only five players have more than 18 caps. Defender Tim Ream is the senior-most player with 40 appearances, followed by defender John Brooks (39), midfielder Weston McKennie (20), defender Matt Miazga (19) and goalkeeper Zack Steffen (18).
Due to the current conditions related to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the match will be conducted under the UEFA Return to Play Protocol and be played without fans in the stadium.
In a perfect world, the USMNT would play Panama in a packed Estadio Rommel Fernandez tadium in Panama City, which certainly would give the team’s newcomers a taste of what it is like to play in the cauldron called Concacaf.
But as we all know, 2020 has been far from a perfect world.
“That is a challenging thing,” Berhalter said. “Even the games against Wales you would you would love to have the national stadium full and, and people there. Unfortunately, [they] don’t have that and you know we won’t have that again tomorrow. We may not even have that in qualifying. Aualifying may look completely different. And that’s just something you have to deal with.
“There is a different element to that as well. The motivation does change when it went into an empty stadium. So, these are things we’re taking into consideration. This game is important just to get the group playing together again to get the group competing and looking for a win.”
USA roster (club; caps/goals)
GOALKEEPERS (3): Ethan Horvath (Club Brugge/BEL; 4/0), Chituru Odunze (Leicester City/ENG; 0/0), Zack Steffen (Manchester City/ENG; 18/0)
DEFENDERS (7): John Brooks (Wolfsburg/GER; 39/3), Reggie Cannon (Boavista/POR; 11/0), Sergiño Dest (Barcelona/ESP; 4/0), Matt Miazga (Anderlecht/BEL; 19/1), Tim Ream (Fulham/ENG; 40/1), Chris Richards (Bayern Munich/GER; 0/0), Antonee Robinson (Fulham/ENG; 8/0)
MIDFIELDERS (6) : Tyler Adams (RB Leipzig/GER; 11/1), Johnny Cardoso (Internacional/BRA; 1/0), Richard Ledezma (PSV Eindhoven/NED; 0/0), Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy; 15/2), Weston McKennie (Juventus/ITA; 20/6), Yunus Musah (Valencia/ESP; 1/0), Owen Otasowie (Wolverhampton/ENG; 1/0)
FORWARDS (7) : Konrad de la Fuente (Barcelona/ESP; 1/0), Nicholas Gioacchini (Caen/FRA; 1/0), Uly Llanez (Heerenveen/NED; 2/1), Gio Reyna (Borussia Dortmund/GER; 1/0), Sebastian Soto (Telstar/NED; 0/0), Tim Weah (Lille/FRA; 9/1)
Panama roster (club; caps/goals)
GOALKEEPERS (3) : Marcos Allen (Atletico Sanluqueño/ESP; 0/0), Luis Mejia (Nacional/URU; 25/0), Orlando Mosquera (Boluspor/TUR; 0/0)
DEFENDERS (7) : Andres Andrade (LASK/AUT; 1/0), Cesar Blackman (Dunajska Streda/SVK; 3/0), Harold Cummings (Union Española/CHI; 67/1), Eric Davis (Dunajska Streda/SVK; 51/1), Fidel Escobar (Alcorcon/ESP; 42/1), Oscar Linton (Sliema Wanderers/MLT; 2/0), Michael Murillo (Anderlecht/BEL; 37/2)
MIDFIELDERS (10): Abdiel Ayarza (Cienciano/PER; 4/2), Edgar Barcenas (Girona/ESP; 42/1), Omar Browne (CAI La Chorrera; 8/0), Adalberto Carrasquilla (Cartagena/ESP; 8/1), Armando Cooper (Hapoel Tel Aviv/ISR; 112/8), Anibal Godoy (Nashville SC/USA; 100/1), Victor Griffith (Santos de Guapiles/CRC; 2/0), Irving Gudiño (Marbella/ESP; 2/0), Jose Luis Rodriguez (Lugo/ESP; 18/0), Juan Tejada (Tampa Bay Rowdies/USA; 0/0)
FORWARDS (4): Jorman Aguilar (San Carlos/CRC; 4/0), Jose Fajarado (CAI La Chorrera; 11/0), Eduardo Guerrero (Maccabi Tel Aviv/ISR; 1/0), Gabriel Torres (Independiente del Valle/ECU; 86/18)