US Looks To Impress With September Friendlies

US Looks To Impress With September Friendlies

  • Posted by Drew Epperley
  • On September 2, 2011
  • Costa Rica, Features, Jurgen Klinsmann, Landon Donovan, USMNT

Jurgen Klinsmann and the USMNT take on Costa Rica tonight. (Getty Images)

In a way, the future is really now.

The Mexico friendly for the US National Team a few weeks ago was merely a money grab for the parties involved. Sure it was Jurgen Klinsmann’s first match with the US but he barely got anytime to really build the team he wanted before hand.

This time things are different. With a week or so of training under their belts, not the day or so they had before Mexico, Klinsmann has had a little more time to devote to seeing his roster play out.

Tonight the US takes on Costa Rica and will then travel to Europe to face Belgium next week. Two big friendlies that should show us all where Klinsmann is taking us.

The roster call ups showed that Klinsmann is trying new things out. FC Dallas midfielder Brek Shea is likely going to get more playing time on the wings, and as will Jose Francisco Torres. Injuries and club team issues for guys like Michael Bradley, Jermaine Jones and Ricardo Clark helped pave the path for some fresher faces in the US camp.

I’d expect to see Tim Chandler back in the line up tonight as well, his height will be an advantage in the back for the US and will help counter Real Salt Lake striker Alvaro Saborio.

Clint Dempsey won’t be available for this match with Costa Rica but he will be with the team in Belgium. Not having him will create another opening in the midfield.

For Costa Rica, things aren’t easy to figure out. The team is in a state of flux as they are about to get a new manager next week. They’ll be without Bryan Ruiz for this one too which weakens their attack. Not seeing players like Ruiz in the lineup for the Ticos means the pressure on the US to get a convincing win.

This is a game the US can and should win. The big deal will be to see if Klinsmann can lead this squad in a more convincing and positive manner than what Bob Bradley would have done in this situation. Klinsmann wants to push the US to a new level and for me it really does begin tonight against Costa Rica.