This is going to be weird. Just over a month since the USA’s World Cup dreams were dashed, they take the field with an experimental roster under a temporary manger. If you’re still around and interested in this match, you’ve earned the right to call yourself a hardcore fan. The casual fans are likely long gone by now, leaving us to pick up the pieces.
There’s really no point in “previewing” this friendly with Portugal. They are far superior to us and should crush us into smithereens. So, the the question here is: Why should you even waste your time watching this match?
For me, I’m still depressed over last month’s events, but I have a glimmer of excitement thanks to this youthful roster. Players like Tyler Adams, Weston McKennie, and Josh Sargent (even though he’s unlikely to play) getting their first chances to impress are enough for me to care about this match somewhat.
Part of the fun of supporting a mediocre national team is finding those young up-and-coming players that will be the future of the team. I remember watching Christian Pulisic with the United States U-17’s and being convinced he’d be a star. You know how that story ends. I feel like that’s what being an American soccer fan is all about. That chase to find those new star players that will shape the team for many years to come.
We were lucky to find one in Pulisic, now it’s about finding two or three more that can help him next cycle plus identifying the role players who will get the USMNT back on track to being respectable.
Whether it’s an MLS standout like Adams or a Bundesliga prospect like McKennie, it’s exciting to see them make that transition to the national team. Even if our World Cup hopes weren’t dead and the USMNT wasn’t a complete embarrassment right now, these types of experimental matches were always fun for me.
If you’re still too mad or depressed to care about this match, it’s completely understandable. But, if you’re ready to move on and look forward, this is a good opportunity to do that.
United States Lineup:
Portugal Lineup (aka 11 guys not named Ronaldo):
How to Watch
Kickoff Time: 3:45 p.m. ET, 12:45 p.m. PT
Available TV: FOX Sports 1, UniMas, Univision Deportes
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