USMNT vs. Ecuador
Date: Wednesday, May 25, 2016
Location: Toyota Stadium (Frisco, Texas)
Time: 7pm CT
NOW IT’S REAL FOLKS. We had that nice, little kick-a-bout with some rando US players (congrats Paul Arriola on your first cap, assist and goal!) and our Puerto Rican cousins, but now it’s like for real, for real on the Copa America Centenario preparations.
MLS players have been released from their clubs. The band is back together training. Christian Pulisic has arrived. And in just 10, TEN days the whole Copa thing kicks off.
So in the span of four days we face two solid South American sides in Ecuador and Bolivia in preparation for our matches against Colombia (6/3), Costa Rica (6/7), and Paraguay (6/11).
First up La Tricolor (because well… their flag has three colors, DUH). Ecuador currently sit in second place in CONMEBOL World Cup Qualifying defeating Argentina and Uruguay last year and drawing 2-2 with and losing 2-1 to our Copa group mates Paraguay and Colombia, respectively so far in 2016. They also dispatched Mexico in the 2015 edition of Copa.
Our roster is chalk full of experience with 15 of the 23 roster additions having travelled to Brazil for Jurgen Klinsmann. Coach JK made it known that Brad Guzan will man the pipes during this tournament. Polar Bear is 10-4-4 wearing the crest.
Old standbys like Clint Dempsey, Michael Bradley, Jermaine Jones (who’s having an electric season for the league-leading Colorado Rapids) will be asked to guide the youngsters that hopefully will pay a pivotal role not only this summer, but in World Cup Qualifying between this fall and Russia.
The time for experimentation is over and starting tomorrow night and through this summer we’ll see where U.S. Soccer stands with the heavy-weights of North and South America.
U.S. Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (3): 1-Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), 12-Tim Howard (Colorado Rapids), 22-Ethan Horvath (Molde IK)
DEFENDERS (8): 5-Matt Besler (Sporting KC), 3-Steve Birnbaum (D.C. United), 6-John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), 20-Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), 21-Timmy Chandler (Eintracht Frankfurt), 23-Fabian Johnson (Borussia Moenchengladbach), 14-Michael Orozco (Club Tijuana), 2-DeAndre Yedlin (Tottenham Hotspur) - Kellyn Accosta (FC Dallas)*
MIDFIELDERS/FORWARDS (12): 15-Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), 11-Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), 4-Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), 8-Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), 13-Jermaine Jones (Colorado Rapids), 16-Perry Kitchen (Heart of Midlothian), 10-Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers), 17-Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund), 18-Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes), 7-Bobby Wood (Hamburg SV), 20-Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy), 19-Graham Zusi (Sporting KC)
*Added to roster for Ecuador game…. is not (yet) apart of the official Copa roster.
This is a soccer nation. Pack the stadiums, pack your AO bars, pack your living rooms. Time to show the rest of the world what American soccer fans can do.