Last week's 1-1 draw with Ecuador was mostly a decent display from a rather experimental USMNT squad. Tonight, Jurgen Klinsmann will have a stronger roster to call on, including first-choice players like Michael Bradley and Clint Dempsey. This new squad will take on a more or less full-strength Honduras, a familiar foe from CONCACAF, in a game that is more or less a very, very early rehearsal for next year's Gold Cup. Most eyes will be on Nick Rimando, as this is his best shot to edge ahead of Brad Guzan in the battle to be the #1 during Tim Howard's sabbatical.
Kickoff Time: 8:00pm Eastern
Venue: Florida Atlantic University Stadium (Boca Raton, FL)
TV/Streaming: Regular ol' ESPN on TV. Online, you can stream it via ESPN3.com or the WatchESPN app. In Spanish, the game will be on Univision Deportes as well as UniMas, as well as the the Univision Deportes app.
Projected USMNT starting XI: We know that, barring injury, Nick Rimando will get the full 90 in goal. Ahead of him, I think we'll see Timmy Chandler, Michael Orozco, and Greg Garza maintain their spots in the back, with Matt Besler stepping into central defense to complete the back four. I imagine Jermaine Jones and Michael Bradley weren't called in just for funsies, so they'll play the two holding roles (not that I'm a fan of that set-up) with DeAndre Yedlin and Graham Zusi on the wings. Clint Dempsey will start in the "is he a #10 or a second forward?" role underneath Jozy Altidore in a formation that Klinsmann will call a 433, though it'll look more like a 4231 on paper, and in practice could end up being more like a 442 if Dempsey decides he wants to be a forward today.
Match previews: Let's start with the rosters for the USMNT and Honduras (including Andy Najar!). Moving on,we have Klinsmann more or less criticizing Bradley for returning to MLS while ignoring the very real circumstances (amazing amount of money + Roma chasing him out the door for no good reason) involved in that decision. Over at Stars and Stripes FC, our dude Ryan Rosenblatt has been busy. First, he notes the disappointing ticket sales for this game - for reference, playing in Boca Raton is a bit like playing in Towson, MD or somewhere out past Dulles - and addresses the new, possibly flimsy rumor linking Altidore with a move to Burnley. Over at Fox Sports, Kyle McCarthy points out that Jones might see some time at center back, which I've got to admit is a pretty intriguing idea if he can rein in his tendency to chase the ball down.
Prediction: Honduras has called in something closer to their A-team than the US has, but that doesn't matter to me. If you pooled these two rosters, Klinsmann would have at least 12 of the top 15 players available. This is a game the USMNT should win, and I think they will. Give me a 2-0 victory with goals from Dempsey and Bradley.
What are you drinking? I enjoyed some Eagle Rare 10 Year last night while recording Filibuster, and I might have to go back to that bottle again and make myself an old fashioned Old Fashioned (no fruit, basically).
This is your place to discuss the game. Who do you want to see get a real run-out tonight (aside from Bill Hamid, obviously)?