Berhalter gives debuts to 5 newcomers in his first US national team lineup

Djordje Mihailovic - Chicago Fire - closeup

Gregg Berhalter opened his tenure in charge of the US national team with a fresh-faced starting XI for his first match, handing out senior international debuts to five MLS standouts in Sunday’s friendly vs. Panama in Glendale, Arizona.

Fullbacks Nick Lima and Daniel Lovitz (San Jose Earthquakes and Montreal Impact, respectively), midfielders Corey Baird (Real Salt Lake) and Djordje Mihailovic (Chicago Fire, pictured above) and striker Jeremy Ebobisse (Portland Timbers) are the quintet of newcomers given the nod for the game, the first of two matches in this year’s January camp.

Three of those five – Baird, Lima and Mihailovic – are Homegrown Players. New York Red Bulls center back Aaron Long, himself only slightly more experienced than that group, wears the captain’s armband for the first time in his fledgling international career:

It’s just the second time in USMNT history that so many newbies are in one starting XI:

Here’s how Panama line up, with Los Canaleros also fielding plenty of young and less-familiar faces, including former RBNY defender Fidel Escobar: