The U.S. men’s team are in desperate need of a win after an abysmal run of form that included two disappointing defeats to El Tri
The U.S. men’s national team will begin their inaugural Nations League campaign when they welcome Cuba at Audi Field in Washington D.C. on Friday night.
It will be a must-win game for Gregg Berhalter’s side as they have now registered three games without a win, a streak that includes two defeats to rivals Mexico.
The U.S. will head into the game as favorites against Cuba, and a victory for Berhalter will come as immense relief as he began his reign as head coach to a less-than-dream start.
|Game||USMNT vs Cuba|
|Date||Friday, October 11|
|Time||12am BST / 7pm ET|
TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch
In the United States (US), the game will be shown on Fox Sports 1 and livestreamed on Fox Sports GO.
|US TV channel||Online stream|
|Fox Sports 1||Fox Sports GO|
In the UK, the match will not be shown live on television or livestreamed.
|UK TV channel||Online stream|
Squads & Team News
|Goalkeepers||Guzan, Johnson, Steffen|
|Defenders||Cannon, Lima, Long, Lovitz, Miazga, Ream, Yedlin|
|Midfielders||Aaronson, Bradley, Lletget, McKennie, Pulisic, Roldan, Trapp, Yueill|
|Forwards||Arriola, Baird, Boyd, Morris, Sargent, Zardes|
Both Jozy Altidore and Walker Zimmerman had to withdraw from the squad after sustaining injuries with their MLS clubs.
USMNT XI: Guzan; Cannon, Miazga, Ream, Lovitz; McKennie, Roldan, Yueill; Morris, Sargent, Pulisic
|Goalkeepers||Johnson, Pozo, Sanchez|
|Defenders||Armelo, Espino, Garcia, Hurtado, Morejon, Piedra, Ramos, Rizo|
|Midfielders||Abreu, Hernandez, La Perea, Monzon, Paradela, Perez, Reve, Rodriguez|
Raul Mederos has no major injury issues ahead of the USMNT clash.
Cuba XI: Johnson; Cruz, Rizo, Morejon, Ramos; Hernandez, Espino, Abreu, Rodriguez; Paradela, Reyes
Betting & Match Odds
The USMNT are 8/13 to win with bet365 . Cuba are considered a 5/1 bet to come out on top and a draw is available at 16/5.
Much like the UEFA Nations League, Concacaf’s version of the competiton was designed to increase the quality and competitiveness of international matches for the association.
The new competition is set to offer higher-quality matches for the regional teams, and will also serve as qualification for the 2021 Gold Cup.
Berhalter confirmed that Werder Bremen striker Josh Sargent will start in the game against Cuba, stating in his pre-match conference on Tuesday: “Josh will start the game tomorrow so he has a great opportunity.
“It will be nice to see how he can perform tomorrow in the context of the team performance.”
Though some have dismissed the value of the Nations League, Berhalter has reiterated the importance of the competition, stating his belief that Friday’s game against Cuba and Tuesdays match against Canada will provide his side with crucial preparation ahead of World Cup qualification.
“It’s important to mix in friendlies against high caliber opponents but it’s also important for us to play our part in Concacaf and understand that this is a competition,” he said. “It’s an opportunity for us to go out on the road and compete. And there’s a trophy up for grabs. In general, I think this is good preparation for World Cup qualifying. And good experience for the group at this stage of its development.
“For us, it’s important in a way that we get to compete against Concacaf teams. We get to play away games. We get to prepare our group for the rhythm of what World Cup qualifying looks like. For us, these games are important.”
The U.S. failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup when they fell to a 2-1 defeat to Trinidad & Tobago in October 2017 – the first time they failed to qualify for such a tournament since 1986.