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USA vs. Slovenia, 2024 Friendly: What to watch for

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United States Training Session Photo by Roy K Miller/ISI Photos/USSF/Getty Images

The United States Men’s National Team begin their 2024 slate when they take on Slovenia tomorrow afternoon in San Antonio. The USMNT enter this year with the Concacaf Nations League Finals and 2024 Copa América, while the U-23s will compete in the 2024 Olympics. As this January Camp is comprised of several Olympic-eligible players, the theme has been getting them integrated into the national team system while they compete for a chance to be on the squad that heads to Paris.

January Camp also marks the start of a new year, a fresh reboot for the program as they get ready for another busy 12 months. They take on Slovenia, the 54th ranked team in the world that is bringing squad mostly based in their domestic league. However, Slovenia has been a formidable opponent for the USMNT the other times they have played. The USMNT hope to earn a win to set the tone for the year.

Latest Form

USA

L (1-2) - Trinidad & Tobago - Concacaf Nations League Quarterfinals

W (3-0) - Trinidad & Tobago - Concacaf Nations League Quarterfinals

W (4-0) - Ghana - Friendly

L (1-3) - Germany - Friendly

W (4-0) - Oman - Friendly

Slovenia

W (2-1) - Kazakhstan - Euro 2024 Qualifying

L (1-2) - Denmark - Euro 2024 Qualifying

W (1-0) - Northern Ireland - Euro 2024 Qualifying

W (3-0) - Finland - Euro 2024 Qualifying

W (4-0) - San Marino - Euro 2024 Qualifying

What To Watch For

Set the tone. The team doesn’t need to do everything right, and there will be some nerves. But, they have the task of setting the tone for the year. They should come out with fight and bring the game to Slovenia instead of playing on their heels.

Lead by example. There are some veterans in this camp that have seen action before, like Miles Robinson and Shaq Moore. They both have experience in major tournaments, with Shaq Moore playing in a couple of World Cup matches. They need to lead by example in a match with a group that largely is in their first national team camp.

Don’t try to do too much. For much of this roster, it’s the first chance to leave a lasting impression upon Gregg Berhalter and the rest of the coaching staff. However, while it’s important to stand out, they need to do that while not trying to do too much. They should remember what got them to this point and lean on that training and get into the flow of the match.

Lineup Prediction

The USMNT have a ton of new faces, but we’ll see some familiar ones in the starting XI:

Drake Callender gets the start in goal, while the back line is DeJuan Jones, Miles Robinson, Ian Murphy, and Shaq Moore. James Sands slots in at defensive midfielder, with Aidan Morris and Timmy Tillman in central midfield.

Diego Luna will operate as an attacking midfielder, with Duncan McGuire and Esmir Bajraktarević starting as the forwards.

Prediction

The USMNT get a late goal to win their first match of 2024 by a 1-0 score.