New USMNT coach Gregg Berhalter gets to test drive his top squad for the first time on Thursday in an international friendly against Ecuador.
Given the success of young American talent in Europe (and their midfield depth), this is an exciting time for US soccer. The match should see European regulars Christian Pulisic, Tyler Adams, Weston McKennie, Timothy Weah, and DeAndre Yedlin get game action as the squad tries to right the ship in prepping for 2022 World Cup qualifying.
USA vs. Ecuador Odds
|USA +125||Draw +230||Ecuador +220|
With the match in Orlando, and a full arsenal of the US’ best options available, it’s interesting to not see the US in the -150 area. Oddsmakers are still stinging from their 2018 World Cup qualifying collapse.
USA Projected Line-Up vs. Ecuador
A lot will be determined by how Berhalter decides to deploy Pulisic. Will he be a 10? A wing? Either way, here’s the XI we expect to see in the line-up.
|Tyler Adams||Aaron Long||John Brooks||Antonee Robinson|
|DeAndre Yedlin||Michael Bradley||Weston McKennie|
|Christian Pulisic||Jozy Altidore||Timothy Weah|
Insert eyeroll over Bradley and Altidore, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see Berhalter look for some veteran presence. Both Bradley and Altidore in this line-up would be flanked by the most promising players in the US system (although Yedlin would be in a different, more forward role). Note that Zack Steffan would normally get the goalkeeper start, but injury gives Ethan Horvath the shot.
Where to Watch
The friendly airs on ESPN2 at 8pm ET.
Why to Watch
Lots of reasons! As noted, this is the first time Berhalter fields (more or less) all of his top European club players. How this squad gels is hugely important to the future of US soccer.
Players like Weston McKennie, Tyler Adams, and Timothy Weah are seeing great early success in Europe. Do they bring that new level of confidence to the pitch for the US?
And while Pulisic has seen his role diminish with Borussia Dortmund since Jadon Sancho emerged, he was still the best player on the US squad through their failed 2018 World Cup qualifying run. Will he still be?