After failing to qualify for the World Cup, the United States men soccer team heads to Portugal to play in a friendly on Nov. 14. Can they get their act together by the 3:45 PM ET kickoff?
The Americans are still stinging from the embarrassment of failing to qualify for the World Cup. After firing Bruce Arena, 66, and giving the reigns temporarily to Dave Sarachan, 63, the USMNT’s road to redemption begins not on American soil, but in Leiria. The United States takes on Portugal in an international friendly. While there’s nothing on the line but pride, the US needs to step up their game because pride is in short supply for the Yanks. American soccer fans who still want to see their men in action can catch all the action from Estádio Dr.Magalhães Pessoa via Fox Sports 1 coverage.
“The one word that I would use in reference to all of this is opportunity,” Interim coach Dave Sarachan said, according to US Soccer. “It’s an opportunity for many players who haven’t been in the picture that we feel have a bright future with the National Team to get to measure themselves in a game against a quality opponent. It’s an opportunity for our National Team to finish out 2017 in a positive way. It’s also just an opportunity to move on. As much as we’re still gutted from how things turned out with qualifying, we have to look ahead and finish out the year the right way.”
More than half of the 21 players picked for this friendly are under the age of 24, according to CBS Sports. Josh Sargent, 17, is making his first call up to the main roster and might get his first cap in this match. Thankfully, the Portugal team is without Cristiano Ronaldo, 32, which is great news for the Americans. However, the USA goes into this battle without Christian Pulisic, 19, as the teenage sensation is busy playing with Borussia Dortmund. Veterans like Jozy Altidore and Michael Bradley are also busy, as they’re knee-deep into the MLS Playoffs. So, it seems that both sides are coming to this game without their bigger stars. This could be what the USA needs in building up its next generation of players. Or, it could blow up in their faces and they end the year with another disappointment.
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