The USA will play their first international match since the 2014 World Cup in the Czech Republic on Wednesday, as Jurgen Klinsmann and a very young squad will travel to Prague to start their preparations for the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
The hosts will use this international friendly as a final test before they start their Euro 2016 qualification campaign against the Netherlands, but for the Yanks, no meaningful matches appear on the schedule anytime soon.
Instead, Klinsmann will have the chance to inject some new blood into his squad and see how they hold up against the World Cup veterans, as he slowly starts working his way toward the team's next great international challenge.
Date: Wednesday, September 3
Time: 7.15 p.m. BST/2:15 p.m. ET
Venue: Generali Arena, Prague
TV info and live stream: The match will be broadcast on NBCSN (for US viewers), with mobile coverage available via NBCSN's Live Extra.
With the Major League Soccer season in full swing, Klinsmann has understandably chosen a squad filled with foreign-based players, and plenty of youngsters will receive their first call-up to the senior squad.
Just one MLS player has been named to the squad: Real Salt Lake's Nick Rimando. As reported by Goal's Ives Galarcep, Klinsmann sees this friendly as the perfect opportunity for some of the new overseas players to shine:
It’s an especially good opportunity for us to look at the younger players based in Europe, which we don’t get to do very often because of their schedules. We can’t bring them into the January camp where we get to work with a lot of the up and coming talent, so for players like Joe Gyau, Emerson Hyndman, Rubio Rubin and Bobby Wood, it’s a great chance for them to experience our environment, and for us we get to know these guys better and see what they can do.
Much attention will go to Jordan Morris, a young forward for Stanford University who is yet to play his first professional match. Emerging from Seattle Sounders' academy, he has a chance to become the first collegiate player to earn a cap since 1995, when UCLA's Ante Razov made his debut.
Another player to watch out for is of course Julian Green, who will be spending the 2014-15 season out on loan with Bundesliga side Hamburg, per The Associated Press (for Fox Sports.com).
No single American player has received as much media attention as Green over the past 12 months (save perhaps Landon Donovan), and after an impressive start at the 2014 World Cup, the youngster will have to continue his ascent. Taking control of the proceedings in Prague could be a good start.
One player who won't be suiting up for the Stars and Stripes is Geoff Cameron, who was ruled out with an injury and won't be joining the group in Prague, per Mlssoccer.com's Greg Lalas.
The Czechs will be at their strongest, and unlike team USA, they'll take this friendly very seriously. Pavel Vrba and his squad will face the Netherlands just days after taking on the Yanks, their first match as they attempt to qualify for Euro 2016.
Petr Cech may no longer be Chelsea's No. 1 starter in goal, but he's still one of the best stoppers in the world. Unfortunately for the hosts, this isn't the same team that was a fixture at the top of European football five years ago.
Tomas Rosicky joins Cech as the only real stars still in the squad, which is mainly made up of youngsters and players from the Czech Republic's top division, the Gambrinus Liga. Neither team has played competitively since the summer, so as far as form goes, we'll find out when they face off on the pitch.
On quality alone, the USA should have no difficulty dealing with this Czech squad. But with so many youngsters making their debut, expect Klinsmann to spend more time analyzing players and less looking at the scoreboard.
Final score: Czech Republic 1-1 USA
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