Even though this is a friendly match between two sides with differing outlooks, both the USA and Scotland will be paying close attention to the game. In particular, both managers will be keeping an eye on a number of players to see how they fit in the national squads.
USA has its sights set on an impressive showing in next year’s World Cup, and coach Jurgen Klinsmann will be looking for players that fit into his rotation and can give the team a spark in the coming months.
Likewise, Gordon Strachan will be watching the game with an eye on the future.
Scotland didn’t qualify for the upcoming World Cup, so Strachan will be playing a number of young players to see who is in a position to help the side in the qualifying stages for Euro 2016.
Here are some of the players that the coaches will be watching closely in this friendly match.
Aron Johannson, USA
Aron Johannson has been playing tremendous soccer for AZ Alkmaar. According to ESPN FC, he is the third-leading scorer in the Eredivisie with nine goals, and he also ranks in the top 20 for assists.
He carried that form to his most recent match for the US Men’s National team, scoring in their last outing against Panama.
Despite his phenomenal play, his role for the national squad is a little uncertain. He doesn’t bring the same size or physicality that Jozy Altidore and Eddie Johnson do, so he is best suited as an underneath forward.
Unfortunately for him, that’s the same role occupied by Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey.
In this friendly, neither Donovan nor Dempsey are playing due to injury, so this is Johannson’s chance to show Klinsmann what he can do.
Robert Snodgrass, Scotland
Robert Snodgrass has been a major part of Scotland’s recent success to end the qualifying stages of the World Cup. He scored in each of their last two games and is coming off a goal just last weekend for his club, Norwich City.
He’ll be matched up against DaMarcus Beasley, who made the switch to left-back during the summer. Beasley has played well in this role, but he’ll have his hands full with Snodgrass.
Snodgrass is on a hot streak and will be a key part of Scotland’s attack, so keep an eye on him in this match. He's bound to have a number of opportunities to make plays.
Eric Lichaj, USA
Eric Lichaj has been called up for the first time in Jurgen Klinsmann’s tenure after a two-year exile from the national side. With a scarcity of full-back options after the injury to Fabian Johnson, Lichaj will have a fantastic opportunity to impress Klinsmann and make a push for inclusion on the World Cup squad.
He brings a unique ability as an attacking right-back and has been impressive for Nottingham Forest in the attacking third of the field.
Lichaj will need to be solid defensively, but an impressive performance against Scotland and in the upcoming match against Austria could vault him into the conversation as the starting right-back because he adds a dimension that the other fullbacks can’t provide.
Steven Fletcher, Scotland
Steven Fletcher has struggled with injuries as of late, but he’ll play in this game and give the Scottish side a big lift.
Gordon Strachan had some big praise for Fletcher, according to The Daily Mail:
Fletcher hasn’t played for Scotland since March, but Strachan had no hesitation about starting him at striker for the friendly clash, according to The Scotsman.
Fletcher is a very talented player, and he’s the biggest scoring threat on the Scottish roster.
He will no doubt have some scoring opportunities, so the result of game will come down to whether or not he can capitalize on them.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!