A new era in United States soccer history begins tonight in Philadelphia as Jurgen Klinsmann begins his campaign as manager with a USA vs. Mexico friendly match. The TV schedule for the match starts at 9:00 PM on ESPN2, and 8:30 PM in Spanish on Univision.
Klinsmann has called in several new faces to the national team for tonight’s game who have been playing well either in MLS or overseas but hadn’t factored into Bob Bradley’s plans in the past. This includes D.C. United goalkeeper and local product Bill Hamid, who will be the reserve goalkeeper tonight behind established starter Tim Howard. Klinsmann’s USA roster vs. Mexico also includes fellow MLS players Heath Pearce, Tim Ream, Kyle Beckerman, Brek Shea, Juan Agudelo, and Landon Donovan, along with plenty of MLS alums, most notably and surprisingly Michael Orozco Fiscal, Ricardo Clark, Freddy Adu, and Edson Buddle.
This match will be our first chance to see how Klinsmann will use his collection of talented American players. Will he continue Bradley’s preference for the "bucket 4-4-2" with two attack-minded wingers? Or will he adapt his formation to meet the circumstances of his opponents?
Mexico poses a tough challenge, having just defeated the U.S. in the 2011 Gold Cup Final, Bradley’s final match in charge of the team. A win for the Americans would be fairly shocking to most of us, but this match is more about seeing progress. Its about having a chance to finally see something new. Hopefully we’ll see it tonight.