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USA vs. Uruguay, 2019 Friendly: Scouting Uruguay

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A Uruguay side missing many of its stars could still pose problems for the USMNT

Uruguay v Peru: Quarterfinal - Copa America Brazil 2019 Photo by Wagner Meier/Getty Images

The United States Men’s National Team looks to bounce back from a humiliating 3-0 loss to Mexico as it takes on Uruguay on September 10, in St. Louis. Uruguay comes into the match having defeated Costa Rica 2-1 on Friday and with a 3-1-1 record in its last five matches. The only loss during this stretch was a penalty shootout defeat to Peru in the Copa America quarterfinals. La Celeste has a 2-2-2 all-time record against the USMNT, and the two sides last met in 2002.

This Uruguay side is missing several star players including Luis Suarez, Edinson Cavani, and Diego Godin. However, it still possesses enough talent to defeat the USMNT.

Uruguay Roster:

Goalkeepers (2): Fernando Muslera (Galatasaray/TUR), Martin Campana (Independiente/ARG)

Defenders (8): Jose Gimenez (Atlético Madrid/ESP), Matias Vina (Nacional), Giovanni Gonzalez (Peñarol), Gaston Silva (Independiente/ARG), Diego Laxalt (Torino/ITA), Sebastian Coates (Sporting Club de Portugal/POR), Marcelo Saracchi (RB Leipzig/GER), Martin Caceres (Fiorentina/ITA)

Midfielders (7): Matias Vecino (Inter Milan/ITA), Rodrigo Betancur (Juventus/ITA), Brian Lozano (Santos Laguna/MEX), Nahitan Nandez (Cagliari/ITA), Giorgian De Arrascaeta (Flamengo/BRA), Lucas Torreira (Arsenal/ENG), Federico Valverde (Real Madrid/ESP)

Forwards (4): Darwin Nunez (Almeria/ESP), Brian Rodriguez (Laos Angeles Football Club/USA), Maxi Gomez (Valencia/ESP), Jonathan Rodriguez (Cruz Azul/MEX)

Look for head coach Oscar Tabarez to deploy a 4-5-1. His team should be able to control possession, but it lacks the stars necessary to turn this game into a rout. With Uruguay team having played Friday against Costa Rica, expect significant changes to the starting lineup.

Projected Lineup:

Captain Fernando Muslera should get the nod in goal. Muslera is an above-average shot-stopper, who distributes the ball well.

Any number of players could feature at center back; however, I believe Jose Gimenez and Gaston Silva have excellent chances of starting.

Gimenez is a top-class centerback who dominates in the air and excels at tackling, as well as man-marking. His only major flaw is that his passing is rather poor.

Silva, who typically features as a left back, is quite strong and is a skilled passer and crosser. However, his tackling leaves much to be desired.

Left back Marcelo Saracchi is very fast and a solid one v. one defender. However, he offers little in attack and is caught of position too frequently.

Right back Giovanni Gonzalez also possesses great pace and is a good dribbler, but he needs to improve upon his decision-making.

Defensive midfielder Lucas Torreira is one of the best players on this roster. He is an elite tackler, short-passer, and man-marker. His only real weakness is his lack of physical strength.

Central midfielder Nahitan Nandez is a box-to-box midfielder who excels at helping his side keep possession with smart, simple passes. However, his finishing is poor.

Central midfielder Federico Valverde has an impressive passing range and intercepts numerous passes, but he commits far too man fouls.

Right midfielder Giorgian De Arrascaeta is a dynamic dribbler, good set-piece taker, and elite crosser. He frequently looks to cut inside from the wing and is just as likely to create chances as he is to score. His primary flaw is that he offers little defensively.

Left midfielder Brian Lozano is a talented dribbler, who is nearly two-footed and creates many chances with his passing in the final third. While Lozano is talented, he does not score as often as he should and receives too many cards.

Striker Jonathan Rodriguez is very quick, seemingly never stops running, and can be lethal inside the eighteen. However, he is wildly inconsistent and frequently strays offside.

This Uruguay team is arguably less talented than the Mexico side the USMNT faced on Friday, but I still expect La Celeste to defeat the USMNT 1-0.