An equally talented eight-man midfield group is comprised of six MLS players, including 2014 World Cup veterans Michael Bradley of Toronto FC, Kyle Beckerman of Real Salt Lake and Mix Diskerud of New York City FC. Breaking their way onto the national team roster as of late have been Portland Timbers star and 2015 MLS Cup winner Darlington Nagbe and Columbus Crew SC’s Ethan Finlay, each of whom made their international debuts last year. They will be joined by New England Revolution’s Lee Nguyen, a 2014 MLS Best XI selection.
Holding down the backline for the U.S. will be Sporting Kansas City defender and 2014 World Cup vet Matt Besler who anchors a Sporting KC defense that has allowed an MLS-best one goal on the season. Hoping to line up between the pipes will be San Jose Earthquakes goalkeeper David Bingham, who recorded a clean sheet in first national team appearance against Canada this past February and ranked third in MLS in shutouts last season. Newly signed Colorado Rapids goalkeeper Tim Howard rounds out the roster. Howard will return to MLS, where he began his career, this summer in a transfer from English Premier League side Everton FC.
Canada’s National Team will also feature some of MLS’ best with four players who hope to improve the nation’s already solid standing in group play when they face Mexico on March 25 and 29. Leading the group is 2015 MLS Rookie of the Year Cyle Larin, the 20-year-old Orlando City SC forward who set an MLS rookie record for goals scored last season and has showed no signs of slowing down with three tallies in 2016. Joining Larin in the attack is 23-year-old FC Dallas forward Tesho Akindele, who took home MLS Rookie of the Year honors in 2014.
New Toronto FC midfielder Will Johnson, who was crowned Canada’s 2013 Men’s Player of the Year, brings experience to the roster with 39 international caps to his name. Rounding out the MLS group for Canada is New York Red Bulls defender Karl Ouimette, who has excelled for a Red Bulls squad coming off a 2015 Supporters’ Shield win.