Welcome to your live thread for tonight's United States Men's National Team friendly against Ecuador. With the full Copa América squad together, this is the first real chance U.S. fans will have to possibly see what lineup Jurgen Klinsmann will trot out on June 3.
This match will also bring a step up in competition from Sunday's opponent, Puerto Rico. Ecuador is a speedy and skilled team that resembles the U.S.'s group opponent Colombia. The South Americans will certainly test the back line of the Yanks, which is a quartet worth paying attention to tonight. Everyone knows Klinsmann has tinkered with the back four his entire time at the helm of the U.S., but with only two games left before things get serious, Klinsmann needs to figure it out. DeAndre Yedlin has fully established himself as a solid choice at right back and with Fabian Johnson also dealing with a minor injury and Tim Ream not making the final roster, it looks like Timmy Chandler is poised to resume his role at left back. Geoff Cameron has been dealing with a minor hamstring injury and if the decision is to keep him on the bench tonight, look for the duo of John Brooks and Steve Birnbaum to get a chance to work together. Brooks struggled at times against Puerto Rico, but Klinsmann has constantly given the Hertha Berlin man second chances. As for Birnbaum, the D.C. United man has played well in his few appearances with the national team and if he gets the start tonight and plays well, he could work his way into a starting role in the Copa.
Seeing Bobby Wood score on Sunday is a great sign for U.S. fans and with the return of Clint Dempsey to the lineup -- along with the nine other MLSers on the roster who had to miss Sunday's match -- there should be less attention and more chances for Wood. This will also be a chance for Dempsey to get some reps and round into form himself, as this season with the Sounders has been underwhelming so far to say the least.
In the midfield, pay attention to where Michael Bradley lines up and whether or not there's room for Jermaine Jones in the starting XI. With Klinsmann opting to play Bradley in a more attacking role starting after this past World Cup, the manager has tried to play Jones in a couple different positions with none really fitting the Colorado Rapids man. If Klinsmann plays Jones in an attacking midfield role and drops Bradley to the base of the now classic diamond midfield, there will be no excuses for both players to excel.
On Sunday, Brad Guzan gave up the lone goal the Puerto Ricans scored during his half of playing time, though there wasn't much he could do on the sensational strike from FIU's Luis Betancur. Yet Klinsmann has selected the Aston Villa shot stopper as the No. 1 keeper heading into the tournament. A poor showing against Ecuador certainly wouldn't see Klinsmann back track on his decision and put Howard in going forward, but a clean sheet would help Guzan's confidence heading into a group where he will be kept busy.
The Ecuadorians will pose a great warm-up test for the U.S. and tied the Yanks when these two teams met up last time in Landon Donovan's final game in a U.S. jersey.
How to Watch:
Match Time: 8 p.m. ET
Venue: Toyota Stadium - Frisco, Texas
TV: ESPN2, UniMas, UDN
Live Stream: WatchESPN
Match Thread Rules:
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Enjoy the game. Go USA!