The United States Men’s National Team begin their defense of the Concacaf Nations League when they open up the group stage against Grenada tomorrow night in Austin. The USMNT will look to get out of the gates firing on what will be a scorching hot night at Q2 Stadium, while Grenada will look to play spoilers against the defending champions.
The USMNT should be playing with confidence after a 3-0 win over Morocco and a 0-0 draw against Uruguay last week, 2 teams that will be at the World Cup this fall. Grenada, one of the minnows of Concacaf, is in League A after earning promotion by winning their League B group in the first edition of the tournament. They want to show that they belong, but are already in a deep hole after drawing and losing to El Salvador in group play.
D (0-0) - Uruguay - Friendly
W (3-0) - Morocco - Friendly
L (0-2) - Costa Rica - World Cup Qualifying
D (0-0) - Mexico - World Cup Qualifying
W (3-0) - Honduras - World Cup Qualifying
D (2-2) - El Salvador - Concacaf Nations League
L (1-3) - El Salvador - Concacaf Nations League
L (0-1) - Andorra - Friendly
D (0-0) - Gibraltar - Friendly
L (1-3) - Panama - Gold Cup Group D
What To Watch For
Get out of the blocks fast. The USMNT has to come out of the gates quickly and get on the board to take any perceived momentum away from Grenada. The longer it’s a scoreless match, the more confidence Grenada will build. A fast time will end any dreams of an upset.
Don’t give Grenada an inch. The Spice Boyz will be looking to take any chances they can get. The USMNT should make sure every hole is covered quickly before Grenada has a chance to power through. If the United States can get an early lead, they can’t let up.
Find time to rotate and rest. The thermostat will be high, even at night in Austin. USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter should be ready to provide some rotation and some subs to keep everyone fresh for the second match in 4 days time.
While there is going to be some rotation, Gregg Berhalter hasn’t let the opportunity pass to see how some of his core players gel together on the field. Since this is the start of another mini window of matches, Berhalter will likely put this lineup on the field to start the match:
Matt Turner will be back in goal, while Joe Scally will earn his first start and join Walker Zimmerman, Aaron Long, and DeAndre Yedlin on the back line. The MMA midfield of Weston McKennie, Yunus Musah, and Tyler Adams will be out there as well, with Brenden Aaronson coming in at some point in the 2nd half. Up front, Christian Pulisic, Tim Weah, and Jesus Ferreira will once again be the attacking 3, with other players expected to also enter at some point to keep guys fresh.
This will be over fairly quickly for the USMNT. They’re efficient in putting the Spice Boyz back on the shelf with a 6-0 victory.