The Bruce Arena re-return is officially upon us, and his first meaningful match in his second tenure is tonight, as the United States Men’s National Team takes on Honduras in San Jose, CA. Through the first two games of the Hex, both Honduras and the U.S. are looking up at the rest of the table with three and zero points, respectively.
Honduras started the World Cup qualifying six-team group stage with a narrow 1-0 home loss against Panama. Four days later Los Catrachos got back into qualifying contention with a 3-1 win at Trinidad and Tobago.
For the Americans, the story is completely different. After an embarrassing 2-1 loss against rival Mexico, then-head coach Jurgen Klinsmann led his team into a 4-0 massacre in Costa Rica. Klinsmann was then fired and Arena was brought in to bring life back into the USMNT.
Arena has called in a veteran, experienced team to get the U.S. six points from the next two games. Only six players called up have never appeared in a World Cup qualifier, including Nick Rimando and Chris Wondolowski, whom combine for 58 total caps. Other players with no qualifier experience are David Bingham, Jorge Villafaña, Walker Zimmerman, Sebastian Lletget, and Dax McCarty, all of whom have experience with the national team and Bruce Arena.
The biggest question going into the game is what lineup Arena will use. There have been reports of a three-back system, a 4-4-2, and a 4-2-3-1, but I think Arena will stick with his 4-4-2, which will put players in positions where they can best succeed.
Tim Howard will be in goal, Jozy Altidore and Clint Dempsey together again up top. The midfield will feature Christian Pulisic, Darlington Nagbe, and Michael Bradley. On the USMNT back line, John Brooks and Geoff Cameron are practically locks.
With the injury to DeAndre Yedlin, who would likely have played right back, question marks fill the fullback positions. The easy solution would be slotting Cameron over to right back, and sticking Omar Gonzalez in the center, but the Brooks-Cameron pairing is too good to break up. The better option is keeping Brooks and Cameron in the center and inserting Graham Zusi into right back, who showed promise in the January camp.
Jermaine Jones is unavailable for this match because of yellow card accumulation. Altidore, Bradley, and Brooks are on thin ice, as they are each one yellow card away from a suspension as well.
So what should you expect from this match? A U.S. team that looks completely different from four months ago. They will be energized and hungry for the win. While it will not be pretty at times, the U.S. will come out with the three points.
Defenders: DaMarcus Beasley (Houston Dynamo), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin) Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Omar Gonzalez (Pachuca), Michael Orozco (Club Tijuana), Tim Ream (Fulham), Jorge Villafaña (Santos Laguna), Walker Zimmerman (FC Dallas), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City).
Midfielders: Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas), Alejandro Bedoya (Philadelphia Union), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Jermaine Jones (LA Galaxy), Sacha Kljestan (New York Red Bulls), Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy), Dax McCarty (Chicago Fire), Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers), Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund).
Forwards: Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders FC), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes).
Goalkeepers: Ricardo Canales (Vida), Donis Escober (Olimpia), Luis Lopez (Real España).
Defenders: Ever Alvarado (Olimpia), Brayan Beckeles (Necaxa),Felix Crisianto (Motagua), Henry Figueroa (Motagua), Maynor Figueroa (FC Dallas), Emilio Izaguirre (Celtic), Cesar Oseguera (Real España), Allans Vargas (Real España).
Midfielders: Brayan Acosta (Real España), Erick Andino (Motagua), Jorge Claros (Real España), Carlos Disuca (Motagua), Roger Espinoza (Sporting Kansas City), Óscar Boniek Garcia (Houston Dynamo), Mario Martinez (ENPPI), Oliver Morazan (Juticalpa FC), Andy Najar (Anderlecht), Romell Quioto (Houston Dynamo).
Forwards: Rubilio Castillo (Motagua), Michael Chirinos (Olimpia), Alberth Elis (Houston Dynamo), Eddie Hernandez (Tolima), Anthony Lozano (Tenerife).
How to Watch:
Match Time: 10:55pm ET.
Venue: Avaya Stadium — San Jose, CA.
TV: FOX Sports 1, UniMas.
Streaming: FOXSports Go.
Match Thread Rules
This is your live thread for posting comments on the match. So use our comments section below to talk about the game in real time with other supporters. If you're new, welcome to our happy home! While you're here, please observe a few basic rules:
- Absolutely no links to illegal streams. They can get us in trouble, and no one wants that.
- Try not to be "that guy" who spews nothing but venom and hate for the team. It's OK to be critical, and, let's face it, sometimes even the best teams can be frustrating to watch, but being overly negative relentlessly can sap the enjoyment for others.
- Keep it somewhat clean and fair when criticizing players / officials. You never know who might be reading.
- Do unto others in the match thread, the way you would have others do unto you. We are a fun community and want to keep it this way. We have a moderator, but we'd rather let him enjoy the game instead of having to play babysitter.
Enjoy the match!