The US Men’s National Team plays two friendlies over the next five days. Both games come against high-profile opponents. Tonight USMNT take on Brazil tonight in New Jersey, then on September 11th, USA takes on Mexico down in Nashville. These friendlies are the first of many tests to come at the end of 2018.
The State of US Soccer:
The US Men’s National team has been in limbo for some time. With a new overhaul imminent, and high-profile friendlies throughout the end of 2018, you’d think there would be a plan in place for the Men’s National team. That is not the case at the present moment.
The hiring of ex-Philadelphia Union Sporting Director Earnie Stewart as the USMNT GM has been the only change in this rebuild. Now, US Soccer host high-profile nations without the head coach of the future (the future national team coach is rumored to be hired in November/December), and no visible path to a sustainable, consistent, national team roster.
With that, let’s look at how interim coach Dave Sarachan has built this USMNT roster that will take on Brazil, and Mexico.
USMNT’s roster has a lot of lot of up-and-comers, and players looking to prove they are a part of the next wave of national team-ers. Here’s a look at the full roster.
Goalkeepers: Alex Bono (Toronto FC), Ethan Horvath (Club Brugge), Zack Steffen (Columbus Crew SC).
Defenders: John Brooks (Wolfsburg), Cameron Carter-Vickers (Swansea City), Eric Lichaj (Hull City), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls), Matt Miazga (Nantes), Shaq Moore (Reus Deportiu), Tim Parker (New York Red Bulls), Antonee Robinson (Wigan Athletic), DeAndre Yedlin (Newcastle United).
Midfielders: Kellyn Acosta (Colorado Rapids), Tyler Adams (New York Red Bulls), Paul Arriola (D.C. United), Marky Delgado (Toronto FC), Julian Green (Greuther Fürth), Weston McKennie (Schalke), Cristian Roldan (Seattle Sounders FC), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew SC), Tim Weah (Paris Saint-Germain).
Forwards: Andrija Novakovich (Fortuna Sittard), Bobby Wood (Hannover 96), Gyasi Zardes (Columbus Crew SC).
An Inexperienced group:
Looking at this squad, one can see the lack of experience, but that could be a good thing as these players play against the likes of Brazil.
When it comes to the USA’s keeper it should be Zack Steffan who starts. He as been the best American keeper this year. He should be given the opportunity to go up against Brazil.
Look for DeAndre Yedlin to captain the side from the right back spot. Antonee Robinson should be the starter at left back as he is able to bomb up the field and also defend one-on-one.
A center back pairing of John Brooks and Matt Miazga should be seen agaisnt Brazil as it will be Brooks’ only game in this international window.
In Midfield, Tyler Adams and Weston Mckennie should be given some time to play next to each other; however Wil Trapp has been called on in past international windows a the defensive midfielder of choice for Dave Sarachan. Kellyn Acosta will be trust into a play-making role, while Paul Arriola and Tim Weah play on the wings.
Up top, Bobby Wood should be the lone striker from the start, but gyasi Zardes has impressed as of late, so he may feature at the striker position.
This rag-tag team of players who have very little chemistry, will have the opportunity to take on Brazil. Brazil have brought their stars to the States to take on USMNT. Here’s Brazil’s stacked roster.
Goalkeepers: Alisson (Liverpool), Hugo (Flamengo), Neto (Valencia).
Defenders: Alex Sandro (Juventus), Dede (Cruzeiro), Fabinho (Liverpool), Fagner (Corinthians), Felipe (Porto), Filipe Luis (Atletico Madrid), Marquinhos (Paris Saint-Germain), Thiago Silva (Paris Saint-Germain).
Midfielders: Andreas Pereira (Manchester United), Arthur (Barcelona), Casemiro (Real Madrid), Fred (Manchester United), Lucas Paqueta (Flamengo), Philippe Coutinho (Barcelona), Renato Augusto (Beijing Gouan), Willian (Chelsea).
Forwards: Douglas Costa (Juventus), Everton (Gremio), Roberto Firmino (Liverpool), Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain), Pedro (Fluminense).
Stars of the new Brazil:
Brazil have brought their stars, and will showcase those stars. Looking, at the roster you can see high-class players at almost every position. The vast majority of them are the new wave of Brazil.
Neymar is the leader of this squad, but players like Coutinho and Firminho are poised to help make these giants back towards the top over the next four years. All of these players are established in some of Europe’s biggest leagues.
Obviously Brazil are spoiled for choice on the offensive end, but looking at their defense and goalkeeper one can see that they are the spot where Brazil are more vulnerable. Four of the eight players on the back line are returners from Brazil’s World Cup 2018 side, while the other four defenders on this roster are looking for their break with this national team. A mixture of them is likely in this match.
World Cup back up keeper Alisson is relishing his role with new Club Liverpool. While he did have a blunder recently, he has been given the opportunity to show that he can be Brazil’s number one moving forward!
A strong Brazil side who made it to the quarterfinals of the World Cup will take on a rag-tag USMNT side!
USA take on Brazil tonight at 7:30. Catch all the action tonight on FS1:
I think it’s silly to predict the result of friendly match, so I wont. I will, however conclude by saying that this match is one where the US can make a huge splash in World Football. This young American side are vastly overlooked. Their federation is in a rebuild process and no one takes USMNT seriously after they failed to make the 2018 World Cup.
This is something that most of this young squad could use to carry them in front of their home fans. While many fans will fill the stadium tonight in New Jersey to see Brazil’s world stars, this young US side is hungry to show this nation that they can compete with the best. I expect them to do so tonight.
— The American Outlaws (@AmericanOutlaws) September 7, 2018
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Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports