The United States gets one more friendly in before the end of 2014. This one isn't conveniently timed for...well for anyone really, but we might as well enjoy it rather than do work or whatever this afternoon. Jurgen Klinsmann's team didn't necessarily get steamrolled by Colombia last week, but the last half-hour looked an awful lot like that World Cup round of 16 shelling against Belgium.
Here's the good news: Ireland is no Colombia, and Klinsmann should demand that his players carry the game and dictate play against a squad that will be missing their most clever attacker after Robbie Keane returned to the LA Galaxy for this weekend's MLS Cup playoff game. That said, Ireland doesn't make it easy on anyone at home, and they'll work very hard to make the USMNT play their more physical game.
Kickoff Time: 2:45pm EST
Venue: Aviva Stadium (Dublin, Rep. of Ireland)
Confirmed USMNT starting XI: Bill Hamid; Fabian Johnson, Geoff Cameron, Matt Besler, Timmy Chandler; Kyle Beckerman; Alejandro Bedoya, Mix Diskerud, Alfredo Morales; Chris Wondolowski, Jozy Altidore
Confirmed Irish starting XI: Shay Given; Cyrus Christie, Alex Pearce, Ciaran Clark, David Meyler, Anthony Pilkington, Stephen Quinn, Robbie Brady, Daryl Murphy, David McGoldrick, Anthony Stokes
Match previews: We had a brief preview with the relevant TV and streaming info included up earlier today, while our friends at Stars and Stripes FC have noted that Rubio Rubin missed practice with an illness Monday.
Prediction: Let's change gears. I've been pessimistic about USMNT games for a while now. I can't bring myself to predict a 90 minute attacking, inventive display, but there will be spurts of good play here and there. Give me a 2-1 US win on goals from Bedoya and Altidore. More importantly, give me some actual minutes-long spells where the Irish are back on their heels rather than our normal routine.
What are you drinking? Most likely water or coffee. However, since this is a game in Dublin, I will wish from deep in my soul that I was drinking a pint of Guinness.
This is your place for pre-game, in-game, and post-game discussion (particularly if you're unable to stream the game at your desk and have nothing else to do).