Match day! In just under an hour the USMNT will kick off against Panama in another February friendly. Here's hoping they fair better than the ladies did this afternoon in their 0-2 loss to France.
Also, Ivory Coast vs Ghana is going on right now on BeIn, if you're into that. If I had BeIn I totally would be.
At any rate...
Who : The United States vs Panama. We just said that.
What : An international friendly against Panama, with Matt Besler and Jon Kempin from Kansas City featuring for the US.
Where : This match will kick off at the Stub Hub Center in Carson, California, and can be watched on ESPN or UniMas. Consider watching in UniMas, latino announcers are always enjoyable.
When : Today, at 3:00 central.
Why : Because it's friendly season and the US needs more fitness. Or more tactics. Or something. Mostly, it's important to get games in for these guys, especially bubble players, as the US builds up it's player pool again, first looking towards smaller tournaments like the Gold Cup and Olympics, but already with an eye on 2018 in Russia.
How : How do the US beat Panama? Simple. Score more goals. Will we do that in the 3-5-2? Tune in to find out. I'd also like to think we can do better on set pieces than we did against Chile, that used to be the US's bread and butter, and it'd be nice to find that part of the game again...
Here's the starting XI for the US.
I've seen rumors we might see Kempin get some minutes, and if so, I think that's great.
My prediction? Glad you asked! The US finally gets a positive result after a bit of a slump, but we see the beginnings of the end of the 3-5-2.
Let's say 3-1 to the good guys.