The U.S. Men’s National Team (USMNT) kicks off its 2019 season of play against Concacaf foe and FIFA 71st-ranked Panama in Glendale, Arizona, tonight. For new Colorado Rapids rightback Keegan Rosenberry, the game will offer him the opportunity to earn his first cap for the U.S. Men’s senior team. Newly hired USMNT Head Coach Gregg Berhalter called up both Rosenberry and midfielder Kellyn Acosta to the U.S. January camp.
This past Tuesday, Berhalter announced his 23-man traveling roster ahead of tonight’s friendly and their next match versus Costa Rica in San Jose, California, scheduled for February 2nd. Keegan Rosenberry made the roster, however, much to the astonishment of many U.S. Soccer and Rapids fans, Acosta was released.
The 23-year-old Acosta made the most of his recent play with the Yanks, often demonstrating flashes of greatness. Many believed he was a genuine catalyst on the pitch and offered the evolving men’s program considerable talent. Interim U.S. Head Coach Dave Saranchan, Acosta played in five matches, scoring one goal.
Soon after Berhalter announced his 23-player roster, he commented: “We’ve had a great two weeks in Chula Vista focusing on building team culture, style of play and competing every day. The entire group has worked hard and brought an excellent mindset, and we thank them for the consistent effort thus far. We look forward to continuing to build on these ideas in Phoenix and measure our progress in the game against Panama.” His statement has left room for plenty of speculation.
For the 25-year-old and equally hard-working Keegan Rosenberry, it is now his turn to make a positive impression on the U.S. coaching staff and earn his first minutes with the team. Rosenberry had been called into camp by former Men’s coach Bruce Arena in 2017. The 2016 MLS Rookie of the Year runner-up to Seattle Sounder Jordon Morris, spoke with told MLSoccer.com this past week.
“I’m very honored to get called in again, for me, after the way my second [MLS] year went after that first camp, it was almost like starting from square one, in terms of building a resume to get called back in,” he said. “I think this one’s a little special, being Gregg’s first camp, and obviously a starting point for him and this group as well.”
Berhalter likes Rosenberry’s versatility and his reputation of being capable of carrying the ball up the right side of the pitch to join in on the attack. Berhalter likes his skill set.
“I see him as an outside back primarily, but I knew he can work in the midfield position, and he has been doing so in this camp at times,” Berhalter said to MLSoccer. “The versatility to play a number of positions, we like. We like to be able to change formations during a game, and when you have a player who can play two positions, it helps.
Panama and the U.S. have met a total of 19 times. The Yanks hold a 12-1-6 all-time advantage over The Red Tide. The teams last met in 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying when the U.S. won 4-0 on October 6, 2017, in Orlando, Florida. Midfielders Paul Arriola and Michael Bradley played in the last meeting and are expected to start tonight.
How to Watch
Match Date/Time: Sunday, January 27th at 6 p.m. MT
Venue: State Farm Stadium, Glendale, Arizona
Coverage: ESPN2, UniMás, and UDN
Fans can also follow along via SBNation’s Star and Stripes FC twitter account: @StarsStripesFC
Check for local Colorado viewing events hosted by American Outlaws chapters: