After a disappointing Gold Cup showing for the United States, Jürgen Klinsmann and the U.S. men’s national soccer team prepare to bounce back in a friendly against Peru. The last time these two clubs met was 2000 during the Gold Cup group stage, in which the United States picked up a 1-0 victory, and Klinsmann would love a similar result when the two countries do battle once again.
The venue for this Friday’s clash will be RFK Stadium, home of MLS side D.C. United. According to SeatSmart.com, plenty of tickets for United States soccer versus Peru are still available for purchase on the secondary market, with a current average of $82.50. In addition, the get-in price is only $29. Fans attending this anticipated match can also save on their Washington DC parking with ParkWhiz.com, which has affordable parking spots available all around the stadium.
Peru, who placed third at this summer’s Copa America, will be no pushover at all. Headlining the selected 23-man Peruvian squad are Jefferson Farfan, Juan Manuel Vargas and Copa America’s co-leading scorer, Paolo Guerrero, who finished the tournament netting a total of four goals, while making the Team of the Tournament.
Making his long-awaited return will be goalkeeper Tim Howard. Following his heroic performance in the 2014 World Cup, the three-time World Cup vet took a break from international football. Now, Howard will be given a chance to fight for his former starting role, which is currently held by Aston Villa keeper Brad Guzan, who is coming off of a stellar performance in his own right during the Gold Cup. He even was awarded Golden Glove honors, which commemorates the top goalkeeper of the tournament.
Another call-up hungry to make his mark upon returning to the squad is Geoff Cameron. The former University of Rhode Island standout now applies his trade for Stoke City. DeAndre Yedlin rounds out the English Premier League players to be included on the 24-man squad. For the USMNT, Yedlin has been a constant, yet he has failed to break into the Tottenham Hotspurs plans for this season, with all signs and rumors hinting at a possible loan. Tim Ream, Danny Williams and recently added Jonathan Spector, who all play in the English League Championship, all have bright opportunities to earn their keep moving forward.
Two players to watch are exciting youngsters Bobby Wood and Andrew Wooten. Wood who plays for Union Berlin, returns after scoring back-to-back game winning goals in friendlies against Netherlands and Germany, while Wooten makes his debut for the senior side in the midst of a great start for his club, SV Sandhausen. The pair of German Second Division forwards could benefit greatly from this match with Clint Dempsey and Michael Bradley absent, as well as the upcoming tangle with Brazil.
The biggest storyline to follow outside of Howard’s return is the central defenders. The recalled Matt Besler has formerly operated in this role, with Omar Gonzalez also in the running to challenge Ventura Alvarado and John Brooks for their starting spots. The latter pair held the starting jobs during the Gold Cup but it is apparent Klinsmann is not afraid to try new things. Also of note is the return of central midfielder Jermaine Jones, who, like Besler, has not appeared for the USMNT since February.