The United States men’s national team’s very young roster features plenty of players hoping to earn their first caps this week, but a few of the players are especially lesser-known.
One is Valencia multi-national Yusuf Musah, who was off the radar of the vast majority of USMNT fans and has British media asking England boss Gareth Southgate about the Arsenal academy alumnus.
The other is Johnny Cardoso, a New Jersey-born Brazil dual national who will have “Johnny” on the back of his jersey.
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USMNT boss Gregg Berhalter was asked about both players on Wednesday.
We’ll begin with Johnny, the 19-year-old midfielder with 10 senior appearances and an assist for Brazilian side Internacional.
“Johnny is a street-smart player, any type of player he goes up against,” Berhalter said. “He’s quick on the ball and you can tell he’s in an environment where you have to take care of the ball.”
Then there’s Musah, who turns 18 on Nov. 29 and made his senior debut this season. He has started seven of his first eight La Liga appearances and scored a goal against Getafe.
It seems we’ll get to see the midfielder against Wales on Wednesday.
“He’s a special player,” Berhalter said. “You’ll get to see that tomorrow I’m sure.”
Below is what Southgate had to say when quizzed about Musah’s status with the Three Lions, saying England “would very much like” to keep a player with 32 youth international appearances in their shirt.
— Brian Sciaretta (@BrianSciaretta) November 11, 2020