The US Men’s National Team are scheduled for a couple games at the end of this month, taking on Serbia and Colombia in a pair of random international friendlies. Among the players called-up is Chelsea youngster Gabriel Slonina, who joined us from the Chicago Fire recently.
This is not a FIFA-mandated break, so all teams involved will be fielding B- or C-sides. For example, Serbia have called up just three players with at least one cap to their name — all three play in MLS, not uncoincidentally — filling the rest of the squad with players from the Serbian SuperLiga, which is currently still on winter break. Colombia are also going with a squad full of debutants, with just two Europe-based players.
In the US’s case, Slonina is one of just six players based in Europe and one the thirteen without a senior cap to their name. Slonina’s also the youngest at still just 18, but may yet play ahead of fellow youngster Roman Celentano (22, FC Cincinnati) and the veteran Sean Johnson, who’s currently a free agent.
Given the royal mess around the national team right now, the team will be led by assistant coach Anthony Hudson as caretaker with head coach Gregg Berhalter on administrative leave and everything else in limbo. The USA will be co-hosting the 2026 World Cup with Canada and Mexico, so they won’t need to actually qualify.
Gaga had been training with the Chelsea first-team recently while also playing for the U23 Development Squad. But with him busy on international duty for the next couple weeks however, a loan move before the end of the transfer window may not be in the offing either. Recently returned-from-loan Lucas Bergström should help make up numbers at training in the meantime.
Honored ❤️ @USMNT pic.twitter.com/MPGNr3vVyu— GAGA (@GabrielSlonina) January 18, 2023