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Long, Lima Among Standouts In USMNT Friendlies

By Matt Reed -, 02/04/19, 3:00PM EST


Nine former USL League Two players earned minutes during January camp

Courtesy of US Soccer

TAMPA, Fla. - January camps can often be taken with a grain of salt given their nature, the lack of foreign-based club-competing players and for a number of other reasons. However, the Gregg Berhalter era has already showed a glimpse of what could be with the U.S. Men's National Team; and it's been great news thus far for several for USL League Two players.

In two recent friendlies, the USMNT earned 3-0 and 2-0 victories against Panama and Costa Rica, respectively. Again, the competition and caliber of players selected have to be factored in, but several former League Two talents did themselves a great service by performing well throughout January and early February.

New York Red Bulls defender Aaron Long -- who formerly played in League Two with FC Tucson -- started 180 minutes over the course of the two matches while serving as a captain for the young USMNT roster. His production for both club and country and overall meteoric rise over the last two seasons has earned him a regular place in the national team.

Meanwhile, up-and-coming players like Nick Lima (San Jose Earthquakes), Corey Baird (Real Salt Lake) and Djordje Mihailovic (Chicago Fire) each earned a place on Berhalter's radar with quality starts in both matches for the Americans.

Lima proved to be stout as a right back for the U.S., potentially giving Berhalter a viable option at the position outside of Newcastle United defender DeAndre Yedlin. Like Long, he started every minute against Panama and Costa Rica, giving him a solid chance of earning more time with the national team in the immediate future.

Baird and Mihailovic each earned consecutive starts for the U.S., giving the young MLS-based players quality experience against a pair of CONCACAF opponents. Baird helped set up Mihailovic's goal in the team's win over Panama, while the two overall displayed their creativity in the attack.

Below, check out all the former League Two players that suited up for the USMNT during January camp.




USL League Two Team

Corey Baird
M 145 Burlingame Dragons
Jeremy Ebobisse
F 24 D.C. United U23
Sean Johnson
GK 16 Atlanta Blackhawks
Nick Lima
D 180 Burlingame Dragons
Aaron Long
D 180 FC Tucson
Daniel Lovitz
D 180 Carolina Dynamo
Djordje Mihailovic
M 125 Chicago Fire PDL
Christian Ramirez
F 18 Orange County Blue Star
Gyasi Zardes
F 164 Ventura County Fusion

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