Welcome to your live thread of the United States Men's National Team's match against Iceland!
Today's game marks the end of the annual January camp, playfully known as Camp Cupcake, and this year, just like many other years, is a chance for some young guns to get some quality minutes against a very good side and show what they've got.
With 2015 being such an up and down year for the squad, a win to begin 2016 would do quite a bit of good not just for the new kids on the block, but the program as a whole.
Going into this one, these two teams are dead even with a 2-2-2 record all-time, according to 11v11.com.
Look for Columbus' Ethan Finlay to get some time in this one to show what he can do, as well as MLS champion Darlington Nagbe. Jurgen Klinsmann has always preached that he wants a progressive, attacking style of soccer from his squad. Finlay and Nagbe could be two factors in making that a reality going forward, if they produce in friendlies like today and Feb. 5th against Canada.
The squad is not all youngsters however, free agent Jermaine Jones, Jozy Altidore and captain Michael Bradley are all in town to add some veteran stability to the team. Today's game is also important for these players on an individual basis, as well. Being 34 and a free agent are not the best characteristics to have when trying make your national team. For Jones to ensure that he stays in the fold through the Copa America this summer, finding a team and playing well in friendlies is very important. While he may not be able to take care of the free agent issue today, Jones can show Klinsmann that he still has something to offer the team by controlling the midfield in a game against an opponent who will not be looking to sit back and absorb pressure.
While Altidore's first season back in the MLS was definitely not bad, many U.S. fans are looking for the forward to rediscover the form that made him the hottest player on the team back in 2013. With youngsters like Bobby Wood, Gyasi Zardes, Jordan Morris and Aron Johannsson all vying for time up top, a goal against Iceland would be huge for Altidore.
For Bradley, the Iceland match-up offers a chance to prove that he is the right man to lead this team into battle. There will be a number of new faces on the field at the StubHub Center and jitters are expected. It will be up to Bradley to keep his squad composed and organized. The most telling part of the game in terms of Bradley's leadership will be if the U.S. find themselves down early in the match. How will Bradley rally the troops, should he need to?
Iceland is a strong team that's preparing to make a splash on the Euro 2016 stage this Summer. This game will be a great test for the U.S. team and a chance for U.S. fans to see some new faces who may be around for quite some time. For USMNT fans, 2016 is finally here!
How to Watch:
Match Time: 3:45 p.m. ET
Venue: StubHub Center -- Carson, California
TV: ESPN2, UniMas, UDN
Twitter: For rapid reaction and live updates, follow along @StarsStripesFC or via @ussoccer
Match Thread Rules:
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