The United States Mens’ National Team’s return to home soil is less than two months away. According to U.S. Soccer, the team will welcome fellow World Cup qualifiers Ecuador to Hartford, Conn., on Oct. 10, the team’s first home game since reaching the Round of 16 at Brazil 2014.
The friendly, scheduled for a 7 p.m. Eastern kick off at Rentschler Field, will be the U.S.’s second match of the new World Cup cycle, with the team scheduled to meet the Czech Republic in Prague on Sept. 3.
“We are really excited to get our first chance to play at home after the World Cup,” head coach Jurgen Klinsmann said, via an announcement from U.S. Soccer. “The support from our fans in the United States and everyone that traveled to Brazil was awesome, and we want to build on that energy.”
Ecuador’s roster will likely include Manchester United winger Antonio Valencia, who captained his team to a 1-1-1 record at this summer’s World Cup. Swansea City’s Jefferson Montero and West Ham United’s Enner Valencia are also prominent players in new head coach Sixto Vizuete’s squad, one that’s ranked 21st in the world.
For the U.S., the match will be part of the process of forming a team for next summer’s Gold Cup, a springboard to the 2017 Confederations Cup.
“We have an exciting four years ahead of us, and this is just the beginning,” Klinsmann said. “The U.S. team has a great history at Rentschler Field, so we are hoping for another big crowd against Ecuador.”
Despite sitting at the top of the table in the Premier League, things are not going well for Manchester City.
Star striker and leading goalscorer Sergio Aguero suffered a torn hamstring while playing for Argentina, and now he is joined by David Silva on the injured list.
Silva lasted nine minutes in Spain’s EURO qualifying match against Luxembourg, forced off after taking a bad challenge from behind. Silva went down in pain and tried to play on, but asked for a substitution just minutes later.
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Spanish news outlet AS is reporting that Silva has suffered “lateral internal ligament damage in his right ankle,” and could face 2-3 weeks on the sidelines.
With Aguero set to miss at least a month, Silva’s injury could leave Manchester City without two of their top players in the coming weeks.
Silva has arguably been the best player in the Premier League this season, the quarterback of the City attack, which has scored a league-leading 19 goals through eight matches.
City travels to Old Trafford for the Manchester derby on October 25, which falls into that 2-3 week range for Silva’s recovery. In a match that could decide who sits top of the table, Manuel Pellegrini would be very shorthanded without Silva and Aguero.
Alejandro Bedoya will not feature for the United States in the CONCACAF playoff against Mexico on Saturday, and has been replaced on the roster by Bobby Wood.
Bedoya traveled to Los Angeles from his club team Nantes in France, but Jurgen Klinsmann has announced he will be unable to play after falling ill.
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Without Bedoya, Union Berlin midfielder Bobby Wood has been added to the USMNT side. Wood scored the first two goals of his international career this summer in wins over the Netherlands and Germany, and has scored four goals in ten matches for Union Berlin this season. Wood has been training with the U.S. camp throughout the week for the upcoming friendly against Costa Rica.
Bedoya has played well for the USMNT, discounting his short performance against Brazil in September. In that match, Klinsmann played Bedoya out of position against a potent Brazil attack, and he was substituted before halftime. However, playing in his more natural role as a winger or attacking midfielder, many believed Bedoya could be in line for a start against Mexico.