The United States will walk in to Kuban Stadium to have a friendly encounter with Russia on November 14th. The match in Krasnodar, Russia will take place at 10 a.m. ET on ESPN2.
Head coach Jurgen Klinsmann called up 20 players for the friendly matches, and with league play in full swing, the notable names of Clint Dempsey and Landon Donovan are not on the roster.
Their omission from the roster will open up opportunities for the other members of Team USA. However, the ninth ranked Russians will be no pushover at home.
The cast of 20 will give fans a new look on the pitch, and here are five things USA fans want to see in the morning.
What do American fans want more than anything? Offense.
In a friendly, on the road with nothing to lose, it is a good chance for the U.S. to be exciting and go on the offensive.
After the previous round of World Cup qualifying, the fans have let their expectations simmer. There is not a lot buzz around this early morning matchup, and the U.S. can add a little spice to it by going wild in Russia.
This match is also a good time for Herculez Gomez, Jozy Altidore and others to show their skills—especially Altidore.
This is the time for the U.S. offense to let loose and go for it.
The importance of Michael Bradley for the USMNT cannot be overstated. That is why fans want to see him continue his outstanding play in Russia.
Without the big names on the pitch for U.S. soccer, he will have to step up his game even more.
Fans want to see Bradley dominate the midfield with possession, precision passing and creating scoring chances for whomever takes over the forward positions. They want to see Bradley control the game for the U.S.
He is capable of doing just that, and showing it on the pitch will add to his value. The face of American soccer has been Donovan, and now Dempsey is there as well, but Bradley could make a case for being its most important member with another stellar performance.
Timmy Chandler says he is finally ready to make the commitment to the national team, and that is exciting news for fans of U.S. soccer (via usscoccer.com).
With the news of his commitment to the squad, the fans want to see him back out on the pitch for U.S. soccer.
I understand that a lot of people in the USA may be unsure because they think I have said [I’m committed] in the past. All I can say is that I am clear in my head about the commitment moving forward. This was about me being ready to accept the responsibility of being a part of the National Team and everything that goes with it, and now I am ready. I hope I will get chances in the future. I am in 1,000 percent.
If Chandler is in 1,000 percent, then so are the fans who will support him. It will be nice to see Chandler don the crest once again.
Fans will want to see the United States get creative as they have nothing to lose in this battle with Russia.
Klinsmann has certainly mixed things up in his time at the helm, and he can continue to be creative with the athletes that have made the trip for this friendly.
Which players will start the match? What formation will Klinsmann go with?
Regardless of who will get the call, this is a young group that is still gaining experience under the U.S. banner. Klinsmann will be afforded the opportunity to be creative in this friendly. He should use it to help excite the U.S. fans.
The single biggest thing the U.S. fans want to see is hope for the future. That may sound over-dramatic, but it is not.
The young guns of U.S. soccer have yet to make their mark. Names such as Jozy Altidore have failed to break through to that next level and show that they are ready to compete in every match against the best in the world.
The fans want to see that these young players are ready to lead the U.S. up the FIFA ranks in the future.
When Klinsmann was announced as the next head coach, a wave of optimism rushed in. It was a slow beginning, and a roller coaster of qualifying performances followed.
The United States cannot rely on Donovan and Dempsey forever. The youngsters have to step up and challenge them for playing time.
They will have a good chance to show what they bring to the table against a solid Russian team early on November 14th.