The second Camp (don't call it a Cupcake) Strudel has come and gone, and tonight we get to judge the results as the U.S. Men's National Team takes on Canada. The USMNT will be playing mostly fringe players looking for an in to next week's opening of the final round of CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying (¡Viva la Hex!), while Canada is auditioning a mostly young squad for this summer's Gold Cup and the next World Cup cycle.
Bill Hamid could be between the sticks for the Yanks tonight - or he might not be in the 18, we just don't know yet - and Dwayne De Rosario is likely to start for Canada. Here's hoping they both start and both have solid games, even if as a striker-'keeper matchup that it seems a bit contradictory.
Time: 9 p.m. EST
TV: ESPN2, WatchESPN, Univision Deportes
Venue: BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston, TX
Projected USA Lineup: This is actually a really tough call. So consider this more of a "wild guess at a lineup" rather than any kind of informed prediction. Tally Hall impressed early in camp, and the game is in the Houston Dynamo's home stadium, so we should probably expect him to get the nod in goal. In defense, I expect Omar Gonzalez and Matt Besler to pair centrally, with Tony Beltran and Justin Morrow at fullback. Kyle Beckerman will be the #6 for the U.S. and should share the central midfield with the likes of Sporting Kansas City duo Benny Feilhaber and Graham Zusi. I figure Will Bruin will be the man up top, with Josh Gatt running the right wing and Eddie Johnson playing Klinsy's favorite left-sided free role.
Prediction: After watching Canada get kicked around by Denmark, you can't feel too good about Les Rouges' odds. That said, I expect they'll try and stay compact and limit the number and quality of any U.S. chances. Give me a rather uninspiring 2-0 win for the Red, White & Blue.
What Are You Drinking?: It's unseasonably warm today, and I have a bunch of limes I need to use. If you know me, it's a bit of a no brainer that I'll be drinking a Rickey of some kind - probably whiskey.
Consider this your place for pre-game, in-game and post-game discussion.