The United States Men's National Team travels to Kansas City to play in their final tune-up match before Copa America kicks off on Friday against Colombia in Santa Clara, California. This is the second tune-up match with the full Copa America squad following Wednesday's 1-0 win over Ecuador in Frisco, Texas.
What To Watch For:
- Will the kids start? The first half against Ecuador was a tepid affair. Neither team created many chances, Gyasi Zardes extended his run of USMNT matches with a horrendous touch being a major talking point and it went to halftime 0-0. At half Darlington Nagbe came in for Kyle Beckerman and Bobby Wood came on for Zardes and they immediately provided a spark. At the 63rd minute Christian Pulisic came on for Clint Dempsey and Alejandro Bedoya came on for Jermaine Jones. The USMNT dominated possession and started making chances. Nagbe was the best player on the field and 17 year old Christian Pulisic looked a decade older in his composure on the ball. Was that the moment that the kids wrested playing time away from the veterans? Time will tell, but it looked like a pivotal moment.
- Is Geoff Cameron fit and will he start? Cameron has been nursing a hamstring injury and has yet to appear in the Copa America warmups. As the presumptive starter, I think manager Jurgen Klinsmann would like to get him a full 90 minutes partnering John Brooks before they take on Colombia. If Steve Birnbaum gets a second consecutive start then maybe Cameron will not be ready and Klinsmann has decided to partner Birnbaum and Brooks together for the all important Colombia match.
- Michael Bradley and Jermaine Jones, do they ever work it out? The USMNT odd couple, separate they are undoubtedly two of the USMNT better players of this generation. But together their partnership always seems forced. As the Captain, it will be next to impossible to unseat Bradley and Klinsmann has been fiercely loyal to Jones but even the manager had to admit that once Bradley slotted into the traditional #6 role and partnered Nagbe in the second half it looked like things clicked for the USMNT.
- The Sounders imprint is strong on this team even with Jordan Morris in New England today. DeAndre Yedlin has taken the right back spot and been the first player to truly make it his own since the retirement of Steve Cherundolo, while Clint Dempsey is still a creative force in attack. Dempsey and Wood's partnership looks to benefit both players, Wood's tenacity creates dangerous spaces that Dempsey is apt to float into.
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