Thursday, January 20, 2011
First off, probably the most important part of this game for the casual fan, is that it isn't on a major network (ESPN, FSC, etc.) The game is going to be broadcast on ESPN3.com and for those who are willing to listening to the game in Spanish (and get the channel for that matter) it will be on Telefutura. So this poses a bit of problem, but for the ones who are committed, its viewable. Also there's only been a bit over 9,000 tickets sold for this game. In a stadium that seats 27,000 it might end up looking like a ghost town, but hopefully we'll get a look at the future of the US team.
This will be an interesting match as the teams are not bringing out the veteran players. This is not a recognised FIFA date, which doesn't allow players such as Dempsey, Howard, etc. to play, due to commitments to their clubs, but the same will go for Chile. The US will bring out a lineup similar to the match against South Africa on 11/17/10 (without Guzan.) Chile is bringing a team that is highly inexperienced, somewhat like what the US is bringing. Chile's team for this match has a couple of players from their World Cup team, including forward Esteban Parades. But for the most part, this is basically Chile's B-team. Chile is currently ranked 15th in the FIFA World Rankings.
Since Chile is also bringing their "second team", the US should be competitive, and there's no reason that they shouldn't pull out a win in the match. Nick Rimando will most likely get the nod for the start in goal. Juan Agudelo also should get the start up top for the US. Agudelo scored the only goal for the US in the match against South Africa in the Nelson Mandela Challenge. He scored the goal at age 17, becoming the youngest player to score in a game for the senior team. But there is some talk of Teal Bunbury starting the game over Agudelo. Breakout possibilities are endless for the US team, with Brek Shea being my favorite for a man of the match like performance, for the sole reason of his hair. On a serious note he should play well. He was called up for the friendly with Colombia in October.
The match is set for a 7:00 p.m. PST, and 10:00 p.m. for us here on the East Coast. US Soccer has been posting videos of training on their Youtube page and the 18-man match day roster is set for release on Saturday.