EAST HARTFORD, October 10 – The United States men’s national soccer team returns to East Hartford’s Rentschler Field on Tuesday, October 16, to face Peru as part of the team’s six-game fall Kickoff Series.
No. 20 Peru will be the fifth team in the FIFA top 20 to face the Americans in the Kickoff Series. No. 3 Brazil beat the Americans, 2-0 in the first game of the series on Sept. 7 in the Meadowlands while the U.S. beat No. 16 Mexico, 1-0 just four days later on Sept. 11.
The U.S. faces No. 14 Columbia on Thursday (October 11) in Tampa – the first of two games in less than a week for Team USA.
The series will provide an aspiring U.S. team with top-level competition as the Americans rebuild with an eye on the 2022 World Cup championships. Both Columbia and Peru played in this summer’s World Cup tournament in Russia.
In the past year, a total of 18 players have made their debut with the U.S. national team and 17 players have been under the age of 24 when they’ve made their first cap (appearance).
Another three players will be looking to make their national team debut in the games against Peru and Columbia this month — Jonathan Amon, Reggie Cannon and Ben Sweat.
Amon, who is just 19, has made waves scoring and setting up goals as part of a young roster with Danish Superliga side Nordsjælland. Meanwhile, Cannon (right back) and Sweat (left back) are defenders that are in the midst of stellar seasons in Major League Soccer (MLS). Cannon has appeared in every match for Western Conference leaders FC Dallas this season, while Sweat has been a near constant in the New York City FC lineup.
Team USA (3-2-2 in 2018) isn’t forgetting their veterans, either. American head coach Dave Sarachan is tapping midfielder Michael Bradley and goalkeeper Brad Guzan to return to the squad this month.
“When you are building a team, at some point there has to be the proper blend of youth and experience,” Sarachan told ussoccer.com last week. “As we head into these last four friendlies of the year, I felt the timing was right to begin that transition. I think it’s important to do it earlier than a week before the Gold Cup or a World Cup qualifier. Bringing in players like Michael and Brad, who have a vast amount of experience and can be a great resource for our younger players – both on and off the field – is an important step for us at this point in time.”
The duo returns after a year-long absence. Bradley ranks fourth all-time in appearances for the men’s national team and is tied for second with assists (22). Guzan ranks in the top five among national team goalies with 58 caps (fifth), 30 wins (fourth) and 18 shutouts (fifth), and is currently minding the nets for Atlanta United FC.
The U.S. men’s national team is 4-1-1 in East Hartford, the stadium having hosted matches in both World Cup qualifying and the Gold Cup, as well as the farewell to Landon Donovan against Ecuador in 2014. Most recently, a Kellyn Acosta free kick lifted the USA to a 2-1 win against Ghana in the final tune-up match before the march to the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup title.
The United States and Peru will face off for only the third time since 2000 when they step on the field in October. The USA holds a 3-2-1 edge in the all-time series which began in 1989 in East Rutherford, N.J.
Five of six previous meetings have taken place in the United States. In 2015, a pair of goals from Jozy Altidore paced the Americans to a 2-1 win on Sept, 4, 2015, at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. The previous encounter took place more than 15 years prior, when the U.S. defeated Peru 1-0 in Miami in the group stage of the 2000 Gold Cup, with Cobi Jones scoring the game-winner.
Tickets are on sale for Tuesday’s game in East Hartford through ussoccer.com, by phone at 1-877-522-8499 (8 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET) and at the XL Center ticket office (open Monday-Friday, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.). Tickets will not be sold at Pratt & Whitney Stadium except on the day of the event. Groups of 20 or more can order at ussoccer.com.