Preview: USA vs. Azerbaijan

Photo: Erik Drost

The USMNT take on Azerbaijan tonight in the first of their World Cup warm-up friendlies, and we take a look at the things we expect to see.

First of all, reports coming out of the camp are that Fabian Johnson has been almost exclusively training as a right-back. This comes as a surprise that the left-footed Johnson will assumingly be preferred to natural right-sided fullbacks in Deandre Yedlin and Timothy Chandler.

Another surprise is that Jurgen Klinsmann believes that Geoff Cameron’s (another player who can operate at full back) best position is centre-half.

Due to a recent injury to Omar Gonzalez, it’s no surprise that Klinsmann would want to see who could fill in. But Cameron has only played once there for Stoke City this term, and all his other appearances were at right-back.

In a squad that boasts the talents of both Matt Besler and John Anthony Brooks, it seems strange that Geoff Cameron is being thrust into centre back at such a late stage.

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With only 16 days until the world cup, we should assume that Klinsmann knows his team, but trying players out in obscure positions at such a late date, is something the fans will be concerned about.

They should however comfortably beat an Azerbaijan team that is ranked 85th in the world, and should use this game to gel players together.

Expect a comfortable win for the USMNT, whichever team is put out, and with the next warm-up game against Turkey on the 1st June, we can assume that Klinsmann may be saving his ‘best’ team for then.

Prediction: 4-0 – USA to win at least 3 – Expect a very aggressive approach, as well as domination of the possession stats.

One to Watch: Jozy Altidore – Following a poor season with Sunderland, the powerful striker will be looking to get on the score sheet tonight, and prove why he has made the squad.

About Jamie Ives (324 Articles)
MLS expert and writer for All views are my own

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