Today, the United States will face as big a challenge as you can take on in international soccer these days: Germany, the defending World Cup champions, on the road. Sure, it's only a friendly, but it's scheduling matches like this that make this international window useful for teams that aren't qualifying for something. Playing the best national team on the planet in front of their home crowd may be asking for trouble, but it's also a tremendous learning experience (particularly for this very young USMNT squad).
USMNT projected starting XI: I see little reason to mix things up after last week's positives in Amsterdam. I'd make one change to the starting group that faced the Dutch. That means a lineup of Brad Guzan in goal; a back four of Timmy Chandler, Ventura Alvarado, John Brooks, and Fabian Johnson; a midfield trio of Kyle Beckerman, Michael Bradley, and Alfredo Morales; DeAndre Yedlin and Gyasi Zardes on the flanks; and Aron Johansson up front.
Match previews: Here's ours, which focuses on Bradley and fun. USsoccer.com has all sorts of USA vs. Germany facts in their preview, while Stars and Stripes FC points out that picking one key player for Germany is kind of pointless when they're all so good.
Prediction: I hope the USMNT doesn't just end up hanging on for dear life like the last time Germany was the opponent. I certainly don't expect a win, but I'm hoping for some good moments and an improvement in the team's defensive structure after the Dutch pulled them apart regularly. Still, that comes out to a 3-1 loss when I imagine this game's outcome. Focus on the process here rather than the score.
What are you drinking? At the time of writing, I have chocolate milk. During the game, it'll probably be water. Weekday afternoon games = no fun.
As always, this is your place for pre-game, in-game, and post game chatter.
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