Club, country and state: Illinois’ presence in a busy summer for the United States national teams
This summer will be full of action for the different United States national teams across all levels, from the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup to the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup and the preparations for the 2019 FIFA U-17 men’s World Cup.
The “Stars and Stripes” will be donned by several players with links to Illinois soccer, currently or at some point in their careers.
Second City Soccer brings you a guide to the state’s presence at the national team level for an action-filled summer of national team action:
US Women’s National Team (World Cup)
Nine players currently donning the Chicago Red Stars colors or who did so at some point in their careers have been included in head coach Jill Ellis’s 23-woman squad for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, which is set to take place from June 7 to July 7 in France.
The current Red Stars set to represent the United States in France are goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher, rookie defender Tierna Davidson, midfielder Morgan Brian and captain Julie Ertz. Former Red Stars midfielders Carli Lloyd (2009) and Megan Rapinoe (2009-2010) and forward Jessica McDonald (2010, 2013) and Christen Press (2014-2017) will also feature in the World Cup.
US Men’s National Team (World Cup)
USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter submitted a list of 40 players who will vie for a spot in the final 23-man squad for the upcoming Gold Cup scheduled to start June 15 and end July 7 at Soldier Field in Chicago.
The list of 40 features nine players with connections to local soccer, including Evergreen Park native Brad Guzan (goalkeeper/Atlanta United), former Chicago Fire draft pick Sean Johnson (goalkeeper/NYCFC), Northwestern and Chicago Fire U-23 alum Tyler Miller (goalkeeper/LAFC), Chicago Fire Premier alum Tim Ream (defender/Fulham), Chicago native Reggie Cannon (defender/FC Dallas), Hinsdale native and Hinsdale Central High School, Chicago FC United and Chicago Fire Academy alum Andrew Gutman (defender/Charlotte Independence), Sockers FC alum Michael Bradley (midfielder/Toronto FC), Chicago Fire Academy alum Jonathan Lewis (forward/Colorado Rapids) and Chicago Fire midfielder and Lemont native Djordje Mihailovic.
US Men’s U-17 National Team (World Cup)
Recently-appointed men’s under-17 coach Raphael Wicky called a couple of Illinois natives up to the squad that finished as runner-up in the 2019 Concacaf U-17 Championship from May 1 to May 16 and qualified for the 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Brazil.
Norridge native and Chicago Fire Academy goalkeeper Damian Las and Chicago native and Chicago FC United center back Axel Alejandre featured regularly in Wicky’s starting XI throughout the tournament.