With the World Cup underway in Qatar, the United States Men’s National Team is preparing for its first game against Wales on Monday.
The 2 pm ET group stage match is being played at Ahmad bin Ali Stadium. The United State and Wales are in the global soccer tournament’s Group B, along with Iran and England.
The United States is being led by a New Jersey native, head coach Gregg Berhalter. The 49-year-old was born in Englewood and raised in Tenafly. Berhalter’s success at St. Benedict’s Prep in Newark served as the foundation for a collegiate and then professional playing career that spanned multiple countries before he transitioned to coaching.
Two of Berhalter’s USMNT players share Garden State roots with him. Goalkeeper Matt Turner hails from Park Ridge, while midfielder Brenden Aaronson is from Medford.
Turner attended Saint Joseph Regional High School in Montvale, where he only began playing soccer as a way to stay in shape for basketball and baseball. But the sport became Turner’s new focus, and he eventually played at Fairfield University in Connecticut before signing a professional contract with Major League Soccer’s New England Revolution.
Now a member of Arsenal F.C. in the English Premier League, Turner made his USMNT debut in 2021.
Aaronson, meanwhile, attended Shawnee High School in Medford before finishing his high school career at the Philadelphia Union’s YSC Academy in Wayne, Pennsylvania. Aaronson then played for the Union, another MLS club, before spending a year in Austria.
He now plays in the Premier League as well after signing with Leeds in May.Click here to leave a comment