FOOTBALL Preview: Renovation of the U.S. men’s National Team continues with friendly vs. Ecuador

U.S. midfield star Christian Pulisic (Photo: Reto Stauffer vai Wikimedia Commons)

The Gregg Berhalter Era continues after two shutout wins in January with two more friendlies, beginning tonight:

21 March/8:00 p.m.: USA vs. Ecuador in Orlando, Florida (ESPN2/UniMas/UDN)
26 March/7:55 p.m.: USA vs. Chile in Houston, Texas (ESPN2/UniMas/UDN)

Berhalter has been able to bring back some of the top U.S. players from Europe for these matches, notably including midfielders Tyler Adams, Christian Pulisic and Wes McKennie from Germany. In addition, veteran defenders Omar Gonzalez and Tim Ream rejoin the National Team.

Primary keeper Zack Steffen is out with a right knee injury, so Sean Johnson (six appearances) or Ethan Horvath (3) are the candidates to start in goal.

The U.S. has a 4-5-5 record all-time vs. Ecuador, but the sides haven’t met since 2016.

The initial focus for Berhalter is to get the U.S. ready for the Gold Cup, coming up in mid-June; no games are currently scheduled for the American men between Tuesday’s friendly with Chile and the Gold Cup opener on 18 June in St. Paul, Minnesota.