Garza 20170129 USMNT

Greg Garza in Starting XI for U.S. Men’s National Team for first time since 2015

25-year-old defender becomes first active Atlanta United player to be capped for USMNT

Today, the United States Men’s National Team faced Serbia in an international friendly in San Diego, Calif. Head Coach Bruce Arena lined up his side in a 4-2-3-1 formation. His first choice at the left back position? Atlanta United’s own Greg Garza.

While the match ended in a scoreless draw, Garza clocked 69 minutes and with his unrelenting tenacity, helped secure a shutout for a U.S. side that has struggled on defense as of late. The 25-year-old proved to be effective moving forward as well. He and his left wing partner for the day, Darlington Nagbe, garnered most of team’s threatening attacks.

This was Garza’s first start for the USMNT since 2015. He showed a lot of promise and looked like the favorite for the left back spot until he was sadly sidelined with a hip impingement, an injury that marked him inactive for a while. Now back healthy, strong, and driven as ever, Garza has earned his way back into his nation’s starting XI and will continue to work in order to make that a permanent situation.

Garza will report to Atlanta for Atlanta United’s preseason training on Feb. 6 following his stint with the USMNT.

(Photo Credit: Jake Roth, USA TODAY Sports)