Player: Aaron Long
Age: 30Place of birth: Oak Hills, California
Along with Walker Zimmerman, Long, 30, is expected to start in the heart of the defense. Berhalter has been looking for a suitable replacement ever since Miles Robinson tore his Achilles tendon earlier this year, and at the moment, Long appears to be the top option.
The New York Red Bulls defender has experience with the USMNT, which is undoubtedly a benefit. He was previously named the MLS Defender of the Year and a part of the CONCACAF Gold Cup Best XI. He has three goals and two assists in 29 appearances.
Who is Aaron Long?
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Portugal team guides
Although Portugal and Uruguay are certain to advance, South Korea has the ability to shock everyone, as they proved when they defeated the defending champion Germany four years ago. There is no shortage of players in Group H, including Cristiano Ronaldo, Luis Suárez, Edinson Cavani, and Son Heung-min, making it a difficult matchup for Ghana.
Fernando Santos, head coach
Joo Cancelo, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Bernardo Silva are important players.
What excites us: As usual, Ronaldo will be the center of attention because he has the potential to become the first male player to score in five World Cups. Beyond No. 7, however, this is an intriguing team; with a roster stacked with starters at some of the top clubs in the league, Portugal’s supporting cast is unmatched.
What does success look like? Winning a championship match. Portugal hasn’t advanced past the round of 16 at the last three World Cups, despite finishing fourth in 2006.
Ronaldo’s weak point. He has been the center of the Portuguese assault for almost 20 years, and at 37, he is still deadly in front of the goal. However, his teammates frequently look to him for guidance and when his team doesn’t have the ball, his lack of defensive pressing makes him a liability.
Ronaldo, X-Factor. Ronaldo is constantly involved. The living great is made for the biggest occasions, despite his recent off-field controversy with Manchester United. He has something to prove when he returns to the protective cocoon of the national team. Has he got one?