2023-01-24 21:36:45

The 13 U.S. debutants you need to know in January friendlies

By Bill Connelly

There's no such thing as a meaningless, consequence-free national team match. It remains an honor for the players involved, there are a few FIFA ratings points on the line and have you seen Twitter during a U.S. men's national team match? The existential dread gets all over the furniture even in the most mundane of settings.

That said, the coming friendlies for the men's national team -- against Serbia in Los Angeles on Wednesday night, and Colombia in Carson, California, on Saturday evening -- are as close to consequence-free as it gets.

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It's a long time until the next World Cup, only two players on the 24-man roster belong to a club in Europe's major leagues (Gabriel "Gaga" Slonina and Paxten Aaronson, whose respective journeys with Chelsea and Eintracht Frankfurt are only beginning), and only five players were on the U.S. roster in the recent World Cup in Qatar. The roster is made up primarily of players with MLS and Scandinavian clubs, and neither Serbia nor Colombia are bringing their respective A-teams to town either. Oh yeah, and the U.S. doesn't have a manager at the moment. Maybe you've heard?

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