Atlanta United’s Brooks Lennon pushing to improve in USMNT camp

Bosnia and Herzegovina midfielder Amar Begic, right, is fouled by United States defender Brooks Lennon during the first half of an international friendly soccer match, Saturday, Dec. 18, 2021, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
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Bosnia and Herzegovina midfielder Amar Begic, right, is fouled by United States defender Brooks Lennon during the first half of an international friendly soccer match, Saturday, Dec. 18, 2021, in Carson, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Credit: Marcio Jose Sanchez

Credit: Marcio Jose Sanchez

Getting invited to as many U.S. men’s national teams camps this year as possible is the goal of Atlanta United fullback Brooks Lennon.

Speaking Monday from the team’s camp in Arizona, Lennon said the players are working hard to put themselves into position to be selected by manager Gregg Berhalter for three coming World Cup qualifying games.

“All the focus is training here as hard as as we can to prepare as well as possible for us to go out there and get the three wins that we need,” he said.

The U.S. will play El Salvador on Jan. 27, Canada on Jan. 30 and Honduras on Feb. 2. The U.S. has 15 points and is second in the CONCACAF table. It trails Canada by one point and leads Mexico by one point with six games remaining. The top three nations will qualify for the World Cup in Qatar later this year.

Lennon said the current camp is very competitive because of what’s at stake with the qualifying games. Every player currently in Arizona is based in MLS. Players based in Europe and other continents will join later this month. This is the second consecutive camp in which Lennon was invited. He fulfilled a goal set last year when he was called into the December camp. He started in a friendly against Bosnia and Herzegovina to earn his first cap for the U.S. team.

“I was really happy to do that,” Lennon said of the appearance. “Now it’s just keeping my head down and pushing forward and doing everything I can to to stay involved in this group and understand Gregg and his tactics and what he wants out of me as a player. I know I can do that. I’ve taken his ideas with open arms and and he knows I’m a player that that’s going to give everything for the crest.”

Lennon said he appreciates Berhalter’s desire to let the fullbacks get involved with attacks. Lennon tied for seventh in MLS in key passes (70) last season. He finished with six assists, giving him nine in his first two seasons with the club.

Lennon said he needs to continue to work on his positioning, something that he said Berhalter has spoken to him about and they’ve discussed in film sessions.

“This is a huge season for me,” Lennon said. “Being being able to get into this camp, and I want to see how many how many camps I can get called into this this year, and hopefully have a great season.”

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Atlanta United’s 2022 MLS schedule

Feb. 27 vs. Sporting KC, 3 p.m., FS1

March 5 at Colorado, 6 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

March 13 vs. Charlotte, 4:30 p.m., FS1

March 19 vs. Montreal, 4 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

April 2 at D.C. United, 7:30 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

April 9 at Charlotte, 3 p.m., ESPN

April 16 vs. Cincinnati, 6 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

April 24 at Miami, 1 p.m., ESPN

April 30 at Montreal, 4 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

May 7 vs. Chicago, 6 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

May 15 vs. New England, 2 p.m., ESPN

May 21 at Nashville, 7:30 p.m. FOX

May 28 vs. Columbus Crew, 7 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

June 19 vs Miami, 4 p.m., ESPN2

June 25 at Toronto, 7:30 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

June 30 at New York Red Bulls, 8 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

July 3 at NYCFC, 5 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

July 9 vs. Austin, 7 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

July 13 vs. Real Salt Lake, 7:30 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

July 17 vs. Orlando, 3 p.m., ABC

July 24 at L.A. Galaxy, 9:30 p.m., FS1

July 30 at Chicago, 5 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

August 6 vs. Seattle, 3 p.m., ABC

August 13 at Cincinnati, 7:30 p.m. BSSO/BSSE

August 17 vs. New York Red Bulls, 7:30 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

August 21 at Columbus, 6 p.m., FS1

August 28 vs. D.C. United, 4 p.m., UNIV

August 31 at Philadelphia, 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 4 at Portland, 5:30 p.m., FOX

Sept. 10 vs. Toronto, 7:30 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

Sept. 14 at Orlando, 6 p.m., BSSO/BSSE

Sept 17 vs. Philadelphia, 3:30 p.m., UniMas

Oct. 1 at New England, 1 p.m., UniMas

Oct. 9 vs. NYCFC, TBD, BSSO/BSSE