Here are some interesting factoids about the U.S. men’s national team as it prepares to meet El Salvador in its first game of the Concacaf Octagonal in World Cup qualifying Thursday night.
This information was compiled by U.S. Soccer.
As of the start of camp Aug. 30, the USMNT roster had an average age of 24 years, 43 days. Thirteen players were 23 and younger as of the first day of training.
The 26-player roster averages 18 caps overall and seven in official competition.
Players hail from clubs in 10 different countries: USA (9), England (6), Germany (3), France (2), Austria, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, and Turkey (1 each).
Having returned to the USMNT fold for the friendly against El Salvador last December, Acosta has appeared in all 13 matches in 2021 and 14 consecutive matches overall, which is the longest streak of appearances by a USMNT player since DaMarcus Beasley played in 16-straight matches in 2003-04.
Lletget sits second on the team with 12 appearances in 2021.
With seven goals from the 2018 cycle, 22-year-old forward Christian Pulisic enters the 2022 campaign tied with Michael Bradley for seventh on the USMNT’s all-time WCQ goal scoring list.
Pulisic also sits tied for fourth on the USMNT’s all-time World Cup Qualifying assists list with six.
The WCQ opener at El Salvador comes five years to the day that a 17-year-old Pulisic became the youngest USMNT player to score in qualifying, tallying twice in a 6-0 win at St. Vincent and the Grenadines on Sept. 2, 2016 in Kingstown.
The 2016 match in St. Vincent also marked the World Cup Qualifying debut for midfielder Kellyn Acosta, who deputized at left back in the 6-0 win.
Brenden Aaronson played a huge role in helping Red Bull Salzburg earn a Champions League berth, scoring in both legs of the club’s qualifying playoff with Brøndby on Aug. 17 and 25.
Now based in England, forward Josh Sargent scored his first two goals and registered an assist in Norwich City’s 6-0 win against Bournemouth in the Carabao Cup play on Aug. 24.
Defender Antonee Robinson also registered his first goal for Fulham, scoring in stoppage time to give the Cottagers a 2-0 win at Birmingham City in the Carabao Cup on Aug. 24.
Eight players were part of the MLS All-Star roster that faced the Liga MX All Stars on Wednesday, Aug. 25 in Los Angeles: George Bello, Sebastian Lletget, Ricardo Pepi, Miles Robinson, Cristian Roldan, James Sands, Matt Turner and Walker Zimmerman.
Matt Turner is the first USMNT goalkeeper to post wins in each of his first seven appearances. The 27-year-old has conceded just one goal – which came on a penalty kick – in that time. Turner has posted an 11-2-4 record for New England this season, helping the Revs to the top of the Supporters Shield standings.
Turner also saved two penalties and earned Man of the Match honors to help the MLS defeat their Liga MX counterparts in a shootout win in Wednesday’s All-Star Game.
The eighteen-year-old Pepi earns his first USMNT call-up. A member of the U.S. squad at the 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup along with George Bello and Gio Reyna, Pepi has registered 11 goals and two assists in 21 appearances for FC Dallas this season.
Konrad de la Fuente returns to USMNT camp for the first time since making his debut on Nov. 12, 2020 against Wales.
Tim Weah was forced to withdraw from the roster due to an injury suffered in training with his club prior to departure for camp.
USA vs. El Salvador through the years
Thursday marks the 25th meeting all-time between the USA and El Salvador. The USMNT holds a 18-1-5 advantage in the series, outscoring Los Cusatlecos 60-15 and enters the match on a 17-game unbeaten streak vs. the Salvadorans.
The USA is 6-0-2 vs. El Salvador all-time in World Cup qualifying, including a 2-0-2 mark on the road. The teams last played in qualifying in qualifying for the 2010 World Cup- both come-from behind results for the USMNT. The U.S. drew El Salvador 2-2 at Estadio Cuscatlan in March 2009 on late goals from Jozy Altidore and Frankie Hejduk and also came back for a 2-1 win in Sandy, Utah in September 2009.
The nations last met on Dec. 9, 2020 – a rare December match for the USMNT and a 6-0 victory. Chris Mueller bagged a brace in his U.S. debut, while current call-ups Sebastian Lletget and Brenden Aaronson also scored, Aaronson tallying his first international goal.
Five U.S. players appeared vs. El Salvador in December- Aaronson, Lletget, plus defenders Mark McKenzie and Walker Zimmerman and midfielder Kellyn Acosta.
A total of six El Salvador players logged minutes in the match: defender Roberto Dominguez, midfielder Darwin Ceren, Marvin Monterroza, Denis Pineda and Narciso Orellana plus forward Joaquin Rivas.
El Salvador is coached by former USMNT star midfielder and National Soccer Hall of Famer Hugo Pérez. Pérez scored a critical goal for the USA vs. El Salvador during its qualifying campaign for the 1990 FIFA World Cup, the USA’s first appearance on soccer’s biggest stage in 40 years.