The United States make the leap across the pond to Dublin to take on Ireland tomorrow (3:00pm ET, ESPN2), and they bring a squad that has quite a few changes from the one that beat Bolivia Monday night. The last time the USMNT was in Dublin was in November 2014, where they were smoked by the Irish 4-1. This time, they meet an Ireland side that has some experienced players playing along some newcomers. It will be on the young USMNT squad to get a result at Aviva Stadium and avenge the demons of 2014.
W (3-0) - Bolivia - Friendly
W (1-0) - Paraguay - Friendly
D (0-0) - Bosnia and Herzegovina- Friendly
D (1-1) - Portugal - Friendly
L (1-2) - Trinidad and Tobago - WCQ
L (0-2) - France - Friendly
L (0-1) - Turkey - Friendly
L (1-5) - Denmark - WCQ
D (0-0) - Denmark - WCQ
W (1-0) - Wales - WCQ
What To Watch For
Withstand the pressure: The Irish are going to bring it. Can the Yanks respond and weather the storm? It will be crucial to not get discouraged or panic against this team because even though Ireland will not be at the World Cup, they are still a tough team.
Be aggressive: It worked on Monday, so why not continue it? I loved how aggressive the team was against Bolivia, as it caused turnovers and scoring chances. Take advantage of mistakes and we could have some great opportunities to score.
Use the speed: With the young legs of the USMNT contains a lot of speed. Up and down the roster, we have guys that can go. Use that. It’s going to be a cooler night in Dublin, so the team can get out running and not be bogged down by warm, muggy conditions. This is where we can beat the Irish.
With several changes, I think interim American manager Dave Sarachan starts mostly guys who didn’t start against Bolivia with the exception of some of the guys who performed the best Monday night:
Between the posts, Bill Hamid wants revenge. His only loss as a MNT starter was that 2014 match in Dublin and he wants to show that he can be the starter. He gets the nod. In the back, Antonee Robinson returns to the starting lineup after a terrific performance against Bolivia. I think Matt Miazga and Cameron Carter-Vickers will form the centerback duo, while Jorge Villafana will also get a start.
In the middle, could it be a glimpse at the future? It’s a pairing of Tyler Adams and Weston McKennie towards the back, while Kenny Saief and Tim Weah flank them on the wings.
Up front, I think Bobby Wood makes his return to the lineup, with Josh Sargent joining him after scoring against Bolivia.
This will be a struggle for the Americans to get a lot of quality production against the Irish, but I think we will get the result. Call it a 1-1 draw, which would be a great result for this young squad and give them a ton of confidence heading to Lyon.
What’s your expectations for tomorrow?