The United States squares off against Colombia in an international friendly at Craven Cottage in London on Friday afternoon. Colombia is ranked 3rd in the world and the USA is 23rd. The US will also play the Republic of Ireland, in Ireland, on Tuesday. The United States begins game two of the post Landon Donovan era. Manager Jurgen Klinsmann named a mix of veterans and youngsters, European based and American based players including:
Goalkeepers – Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Bill Hamid (DC United), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
Defenders – Damarcus Beasley (Houston Dynamo), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), John Brooks (Hertha BSC), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Timothy Chandler (Eintracht Frankfurt), Greg Garza (Tijuana), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Monchengladbach), Jermaine Jones (New England Revolution), DeAndre Yedlin Seattle Sounders)
Midfielders – Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Julian Green (Hamburger SV), Alfredo Morales (Ingolstadt 04), Lee Nguyen (New England Revolution)
Forwards – Jozy Altidore (Sunderland), Miguel Ibarra (Minnesota United), Jordan Morris (Stanford), Rubio Rubin (Utrecht), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes), Bobby Wood (1860 Munich)
Two omissions to the roster are Clint Dempsey and Michael Bradley. Dempsey misses out on going back to Craven Cottage after his five year run at Fulham. Bradley is enjoying his offseason after Toronto failed to make the playoffs. Both have been targeted by Klinsmann about players who go back to MLS instead of staying to play in Europe. There are many reasons why Klinsmann could’ve kept them off the national team this time and it would be insane to speculate because there can be so many reasons.
A couple players who I want to see play are Greg Garza and Miguel Ibarra. Garza hasn’t been flashy as a left back for the team but he has been a solid piece on the team. The role of a left back means that they largely go unnoticed unless they make a mistake and most of the time, they are one of the most important players on the field. NASL powerhouse, Miguel Ibarra, gets another shot on the team after his solid game against Honduras. He’s just starting out so it’s unknown if he can become a powerful force on the future of the US Mens National Team but the USMNT needs someone who can finish goals like this.
As it has been said before, these games are more of a test to see how the team plays as individuals and as a team and the final score is secondary. Yeah it’s important to win but progress is much more important. Whatever happens, don’t overreact if the US plays well and don’t get too upset if the US plays poorly. It’s still 43 months until the 2016 FIFA World Cup so there’s still time to see what the team has.