The last time that Aaron Long put on the red, white and blue kit for the United States Men’s National Team was March of 2021, just a couple of months before the Red Bulls’ Captain sustained an Achilles injury on May 15th, 2021.
Less than a year later, Long will once again represent the USA.
On Thursday, Long was one of nine defenders named to the 27-man roster for the United States’ final three World Cup Qualifying matches. Team USA will visit Mexico on March 24th, host Panama in Orlando on March 27th and they will go back on the road at Costa Rica on March 30th. Long, a native of Oak Hills, California, was with the national team for the November World Cup Qualifiers, but he wasn’t officially on the team’s roster.
(Photo Courtesy of New York Red Bulls)
Head Coach Gregg Berhalter is confident about the United States’ chances to advance to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
“We’re excited about the opportunity to achieve our goal of qualifying for the World Cup,” said Berhalter. “We have a group that’s ready to compete and deal with the challenges that come our way.
The United States is in good shape as they currently sit in second place in the Octagonal standings with a record of 6-2-3 for 21 points. The top three teams in the group will gain automatic qualification for the World Cup coming up this summer.
Long has not played in a game for the United States since suiting up against Jamaica on March 25th and Northern Ireland on March 28th. He has 21 career caps (appearances) for the national team and has three goals and two assists in 1,713 minutes as he helped Team USA rack up ten shutouts. Long has worn the Captain’s armband for the United States five times in his career and all of those matches resulted in Team USA shutouts.
Before Aaron Long departs for United States National Team duty, the Captain will lead the Red Bulls into Sunday’s 2pm match against Columbus at Red Bull Arena.