Preview and Prediction: USA vs Colombia

The USMNT face up against Colombia on Friday in their penultimate fixture of what has been a very successful 2014 for US soccer.

Jurgen Klinsmann‘s side will face the World Cup quarter-finalists at Craven Cottage on Friday night before travelling to Dublin to face the Republic of Ireland on Tuesday.

Klinsmann has once again picked a squad with a mixture of experience and youth and he is looking to the older players to help the youngsters settle in.

“They have to help to get these youngsters to another level, it’s really their job and that’s what we ask them,” he said.

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“In a transition phase after a World Cup we need these older players. They have to show the youngsters what it takes to become consistent, not only on the field but off it as well.”

Two 1-1 draws against Ecuador and Honduras last time weren’t bad results but the test of playing the no.3 ranked side in the world will be a step up.

Colombia last played the USA in 2010, in a friendly at PPL Park that ended goalless but we’re expecting plenty of goalmouth action on Friday in what should be an exciting game.

Stars such as James Rodriguez, Juan Cuadrado, Jackson Martinez and Adrian Ramos will all be involved for Los Cafeteros and the USA will need to be at their best to get a result.

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It’s a friendly so in theory the result doesn’t matter, but this is a great chance to prove once again how far US soccer has come and Klinsmann will want his side to be competitive throughout.

The game against Ireland should see more of an experimental lineup but Friday’s game should see a strong starting XI take to the field.

Predicted USA starting XI: Guzan, Johnson, Jones, Besler, Beasley, Yedlin, Beckerman, Diskerud, Green, Nguyen, Altidore

Young attackers such as Jordan Morris, Rubio Rubin and Bobby Wood will hope to feature but they may be rested for the Ireland game.

Key Stat: 2,688 – The number of days between Lee Nguyen‘s last appearance for the USMNT – the second most for an outfield player.

Key player: Jermaine Jones – If Jones is deployed at centre-back once again as expected, he will be up against an incredibly talented Colombian forward line. His performance at the back could go a long way to deciding this one.

Prediction: USA 2-2 Colombia – An entertaining affair expected and the USA to impress by picking up a hard-fought draw.


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