USMNT (FIFA Rank 31) v Ecuador (13)
What to Watch For:
- Who replaces Yedlin? DeAndre Yedlin experienced a moment of lunacy and earned two yellow cards in less than a minute against Paraguay and will miss this match. While the local fanbase would have loved to see the Seattle Sounders Home Grown Player starting in this huge match, we need to move on. The options are moving Fabian Johnson to right back and starting either Edgar Castillo at left back as a like for like option or Matt Besler in a more defensive posture. Besler did start at left back against Bolivia in the last Copa America warmup. The other option is keeping the backline intact and starting Michael Orozco at right back. Orozco came in for Clint Dempsey to move into right back immediately following Yedlin's red card against Paraguay. The center of the defense with John Brooks and Geoff Cameron have been rock solid in the tournament, Cameron is also a right back option but it seems unlikely to break up that duo.
- How does the USMNT 1-0 victory over Ecuador on May 25th preview this game? Darlington Nagbe provided the 90th minute goal, while Christian Pulisic was clearly a spark after being subbed on in the 63rd minute. But Ecuador was without Antonio Valencia and Walter Ayovi. Ayovi is their 36 year old captain and starting left back who wears the #10 shirt. Again a left back is their #10, he is pretty important. Adding those two and subtracting Yedlin will make Ecuador's wings much more potent and a particular concern for the USMNT.
- Yellow cards are a concern. The USMNT will not want to look ahead, but it has to be in the back of everyone's mind that if they win in Seattle then they play the winner of Argentina v Venezuela (so Argentina) next Tuesday in Houston. Players with one yellow that will be suspended if they get another: John Brooks, Fabian Johnson, Michael Orozco, Michael Bradley, Alejandro Bedoya, Jermaine Jones and Bobby Wood.
- FOX broadcast plans? FOX is going all out for this match. They have moved the studio show from LA to Seattle and will feature a 90 minute pregame. Rob Stone will host pre-match, halftime and post-match alongside Alexi Lalas, Fernando Fiore, Stu Holden and our very own Herculez Gomez while Aly Wagner and Grant Wahl will also contribute to the show. JP Dellacamera is on the call with Landon Donovan on color and Jenny Taft reporting from the sidelines.
How to Watch:
United States v Ecuador
Thursday, 6:30 PM
Location: CenturyLink Field, Seattle, Washington
TV: FS1, UniMás and Univision Deportes
Streaming: Fox Sports Go and Univision Deportes
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