The up and coming "Friendly" schedule that the US Men's National Team is taking on before World Cup Qualifying is nothing short of Mission Impossible.
The US will face three top 10 world ranked teams, including two on the road. First, the US will take on a struggling England side wanting to make a statement after recent failures.
Next, the US will face a tough task in Spain, where the Spainards are preparing for the European Championships this summer.
Finally, but certainly not least is world ranked No. 1 Argentina in New York City.
The Americans first qualifying game is agents Barbados who's ranked 142 in FIFA's World Rankings.
So why the brutal schedule before qualifying? For starters, the US has recently dominated the CONCACAF region and during the 2006 World Cup showed it had only made it so far.
Second, the US has enjoyed a little dominance over rival Mexico only losing twice since 2000. Wanting to break out and show the world it's not just the dominate force of CONCACAF, but show the world that it's a new world power to be reckoned with.
If the US is to emerge this gauntlet with some success it needs to not just show it can get results, but it needs to come out and play the American style of game that has brought them so much success in CONCACAF. The style of speed and creativeness of the South American game, but the structure and discipline of the European game and finally the heart and scrapyness of the CONCACAF region.
For the US to brake away from its CONCACAF counter parts it needs to prove to other regions of the world that they are for real and not some second rate amatures that the world feels they are.
I feel that the US will beat England at Wembly and lose to Spain, but in a surprise draw with Argentina in front of the home fans. Sure the US will be over prepared for qualifying, but this may be just as important to the image of US soccer to the world than just qualifying each time for the World Cup.
As Americans, we don't just want to be successful; we want to be the best and this is a step in the right direction toward becoming one of the best.