TAMPA, Fla. — Marky Delgado’s inclusion in the 23-man roster for the United States men’s national team was a surprise.
Delgado, who has been capped three times, got the call while he was eating breakfast Sunday. A right adductor injury to Weston McKennie opened the door for Delgado to join the team in Tampa, and he arrived Monday afternoon, after the team’s first training session in Tampa.
Delgado made his last appearance during the 1-0 win against Mexico Sept. 11.
“I didn’t expect it, but I’m happy to be here and I’m ready to get to work,” Delgado said Tuesday.
Delgado, a starter for Toronto FC, participated in training Tuesday with the team. The six other players who were traveling Monday were with the team Tuesday as well, so the full 23-man roster practiced at the University of South Florida’s Corbett Stadium.
“It means a lot,” Delgado said. “It’s always an honor to represent your country and play at biggest stage. We have a couple veterans in the team and looking forward to gaining some experience with them and getting some pointers.”
Game 3 of the U.S. men’s national team’s six-game Kickoff Series represents another World Cup-sized challenge.
Colombia made it to the Round of 16 in the 2018 World Cup in Russia and is bringing 12 players from that squad to face the young USMNT. The match, which is at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday at Raymond James Stadium, will be broadcast on FS1, UniMas and UDN.
“They are a very good team in terms of individuals playing at some very big clubs around the world,” said goalkeeper Brad Guzan. “But then, as a team they’re very good. I’ve been fortunate – or unfortunate, depending on how you look at it – to be on the field against them a few times.
“Each time they step on the field, they have an idea of how they want to play and how they want to make it uncomfortable for us. When they have the world-class strikers that they do, it’s going to be a difficult game for 90 minutes, but a challenge I think we’ll be up for.”
U.S. Soccer monitors Hurricane Michael
As of Tuesday morning, there were no plans to reschedule training sessions before the national team’s match against Colombia, or the reschedule the match itself, due to Hurricane Michael, according to U.S. Soccer spokesman Michael Kammarman.
The storm is expected to make landfall in the Florida Panhandle as a Category 3 hurricane, according to the National Weather Service.
U.S. Soccer is monitoring the situation, Kammarman said.