U.S. Men's National Team Hosts Jamaica At Audi Field In Gold Cup Tune-Up

Gregg Berhalter gets another chance to test his system tonight ahead of the upcoming Gold Cup, as the United States men's national team takes on Jamaica at Audi Field in Washington, D.C. 

The tilt is the last chance for Berhalter to evaluate options for his roster for the Gold Cup, as the final 23-man squads are due by midnight. 

The game starts at 7 PM and will be shown on FS1, UniMas, and UDN.

In meeting with the media after yesterday's practice at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, the new national team head coach said that most of the spots for the 23-man roster have been set but that final decisions on the last spots will be determined based on the game against Jamaica. 

"Most of the roster is set. There will be a few positions that are up for grabs," said Berhalter during Tuesday's press conference. "We will make a few decisions based on tomorrow's game."

Just about everyone who will be on the roster has been in Annapolis over the past few days, working to impress the new boss. The only two players missing are Christian Pulisic and Tyler Adams, neither of whom will be available against Jamaica.

Pulisic is set to join up with the squad on Friday, while Adams — after an excellent half season with RB Leipzig — will meet up with the squad on June 11, two days after the friendly against Venezuela in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Berhalter has had four games already this year to implement his style of play, after becoming the national team coach at the end of last year. Though this camp has been abbreviated for much of the group — who joined after the weekend's MLS games — the message has still been the same from the former Columbus Crew manager.

"We want to step on the field and be the team that is trying to push the game," said veteran midfielder Michael Bradley on Tuesday. "Clearly, the emphasis with Gregg is trying to have the ball, trying to put together passes, and trying to space ourselves in a good way, with how to play off of each other."

While there hasn't been much time for this group to work together before today's game, players spoke this week of the sharpness of the two training sessions at the Naval Academy.

"Guys are focused. It's been said that we have to get things moving quickly, because the game is on Wednesday," said center back Omar Gonzalez, who just moved from Mexico to Toronto FC. "And we need to get to work. Everyone is ready to get down to business. It's going to be a long month, from what I see, everyone is excited to be here."

The Gold Cup will be the first chance for some of the players on the squad to make their first competitive appearances at the senior national team level. With just a handful of holdovers from the previous World Cup cycle, the Gold Cup will give several players a chance to shine on an international stage.

Included in that group is goalkeeper Zack Steffen. Steffen, who said his farewells to the Columbus Crew on Saturday ahead of a summer move to Manchester City, is the presumed No. 1 for the U.S. Steffen has shone in friendlies for the U.S., but he is getting his first chance in an international tournament since playing for the USA U-20 squad at the 2015 U-20 World Cup.

"It's a big expectation, and a lot of pressure," Steffen said this week of his status as the No. 1. "It will make me better, it'll make the players around me better."

Opposite the U.S. tonight is a Jamaica team that has appeared in the previous two Gold Cup finals, which both ended in defeat for the Reggae Boyz. The squad will consist of five MLS players including forward Darren Mattocks, who played for D.C. United last year before moving to FC Cincinnati in the winter.

Jamaica will also have the services of winger Leon Bailey for the first time. Bailey has made waves in the past two years in Germany with Bayer Leverkusen. But the 21-year-old has declined call-ups in the past, potentially leaving options open to represent other nations. However, Bailey has finally accepted Jamaica's invitation and should be one of the standout performers at this month's Gold Cup.

Roma Defender Chris Smalling Has Been Stellar In Italy

As if he’d not made enough of an impression since joining AS Roma on loan from Manchester United in the summer, defender Chris Smalling really stood out as an exceptional talent on the week of his 30th birthday. 

Hofstra Coach Simon Riddiough Doesn't Need The Power 5 To Define Success

By Jerry Beach

Simon Riddiough, the head coach of the Hofstra women’s soccer team, spent about two minutes of a 21-minute interview Tuesday afternoon discussing why he’s content at the Long Island school and not planning to see if he can replicate his success with a higher-profile Power Five school that would offer the resources and opportunities to make a deep NCAA Tournament run that are generally lacking in the mid-major arena.

Carlo Ancelotti, Aurelio De Laurentiis & Napoli Are In Complete Chaos

It’s hard to believe that only as far back as April 22, 2018, Napoli beat Juventus 1-0 in Turin to move top of the table with only four games remaining. Maurizio Sarri — himself now in charge at Juve — had broken the club record points total in each of the previous two campaigns, and would do so again in 2017-18, but the Naples men ultimately finished second, albeit with yet another unseen total of 91 points.

Canada Has An Opportunity To Prove Their Standing On Friday Against USMNT

This is the moment of truth for Canada's men's national team. 

Concacaf Nations League Returns For Final Group State In November

After nearly a month of waiting for the Concacaf Nations League to kick back into gear, the tournament is finally back this week with the final two matchdays in group play. 

Seattle Sounders & Toronto FC Clash With The MLS Cup On The Line

Just over a week after the Seattle Sounders and Toronto FC went on the road and upset the favorites, MLS Cup 2019 is on the horizon as the 24th season in league history comes to a close. CenturyLink Field in Seattle will be the epicenter on Sunday at 3 PM when the two sides face off in the MLS Cup final for the third time in the past four years. 

Paulo Fonseca & The Unlikely Resurgence Of AS Roma In Serie A

It wasn’t supposed to be like this.

Potential USMNT Contributors From The Nations League Pre-Camp

November 15 could be a day of reckoning for Gregg Berhalter and the United States men's national team. After last month's 2-0 defeat to Canada — the first loss to their neighbors in 35 years — Berhalter needs a win in Orlando to help rectify the USA's position in the first-ever Concacaf Nations League. Anything other than a win would mean that Canada will advance to the semifinals, a shocking result for the U.S.

10 Things In Italy: Mario Balotelli, de Ligt Handballs & Conte's Inter

With the action in Italy heating up both on and off the field, it’s time to get you caught up with what’s been happening in the world of Serie A and, as always, “10 Things” is here to bring you right up to date.

Concaclusions, Ep. 9: Pulisic Strikes Again, Jiménez Haunts Arsenal

Another round of club play is in the books, and several of the region’s top players were in the headlines once again through clutch goals, quality performances, and even uncharacteristic errors.