The U.S. men’s national team host Peru in their latest friendly game under interim head coach Dave Sarachan on Tuesday, with plenty of changes expected from the team which lost 4-2 to Colombia in Tampa on Friday.
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Speaking at his pre-game press conference on Monday in East Hartford, Connecticut, Sarachan said “there will be a lot of changes” and confirmed that Brad Guzan will start in goal for the USMNT after his 12-month spell away from the national team setup.
Sarachan also spoke about where the USMNT must improve most against Peru, and perhaps with one eye on their friendlies against England and Italy next month.
“Over the last year, I believe there has been a real process of bringing together a number of players we feel will be part of the program for years to come…we’ve pushed this program forward in identifying guys that will make it or some that won’t make it,” Sarachan said. “I wouldn’t say the US is afraid of Peru. The group I’ve worked with over the last year has no fear — they embrace the challenge. I’d like us to do better with the ball. The other night, it was a combination of impatience and making plays that weren’t quite there. To use a tennis phrase, a lot of unforced errors. That part has to get better.”
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Below is a look at how Sarachan could line up his team from the start against their South American opponents.
JPW’s starting lineup for USMNT vs. Peru – Option 1, Newbies galore (4-1-3-2)
—– Guzan —–
— Cannon — Carter-Vickers — Long — Sweat —
—- Trapp —-
— Picault — Delgado — Amon —
—– Sargent —– Novakovich —–
JPW’s starting lineup for USMNT vs. Peru – Option 2, Best of both (3-4-3)
—– Guzan —–
—- Carter-Vickers — Miazga — Long —
—- Yedlin —- Trapp —- Bradley —- Robinson —-
—- Weah —- Wood —- Amon —-
Well, Sarachan isn’t exactly keeping his cards close to his chest here, is he? The USMNT interim head coach said there will be “a lot of changes” for this game against Peru and it seems likely that anybody who didn’t start against Colombia (a stronger opponent, on paper, than Peru) would get a start in Connecticut. Cameron Carter-Vickers is due a full 90 minutes but if Sarachan does go with Option 1, the USMNT will be extremely inexperienced in defense with Aaron Long and Reggie Cannon yet to make their debuts. When has that stopped him throwing players into the mix in 2018 though, right? In midfield, Trapp didn’t feature against Colombia so we can expect him to play, while Picault, Amon and Delgado would be good bets to play in attacking midfield positions as they can interchange easily. Giving Josh Sargent and Andrija Novakovich a run-out up top would also be beneficial despite Tim Weah and Bobby Wood building a strong connection in recent games. Option 2 would be my selection, as I’d like to see the flexibility of this USMNT in a slightly more attack-minded 3-4-3 which allows the three center backs to possess the ball (something Sarachan wants to see more of) and have more options in front of them to pass to. Mixing in regulars Michael Bradley, DeAndre Yedlin and Bobby Wood would also give the U.S. a strong spine but still have plenty of youthfulness in the side.