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The Daily Dirt, October 11: American Boy

USMNT hosts New Zealand tonight

United States v Cuba Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The U.S. men’s national team faces New Zealand tonight (8:00 p.m., ESPN) in an international friendly at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. This will be the last friendly before they host Mexico in the opening game of the final round of World Cup qualifying one month from today.

These two friendlies, tonight and Friday’s game in Cuba, have been an opportunity to take a look certain players before deciding on who to bring in for qualifying against Mexico at home and Costa Rica away. Jurgen Klinsmann made wholesale changes after the Cuba game, so we will not see any continuity tonight. Outside of Julian Green’s strong performance in Cuba, we will have to see if anyone emerges as an option for a new addition to the expected squad in November.

It has been a wasted opportunity with the selection of these two opponents. Neither plays a style that could be remotely compared to Mexico or Costa Rica. Tonight’s game should be more competitive than Friday’s, but that one stayed close as much due the USMNT’s struggles with the quality of the field than Cuba’s strong play.

Things I am hoping for tonight:

  • Perry Kitchen to get the start and an extended run of play: reviews of his performances in Scotland have been good and he could be useful in the national team moving forward.
  • Juan Agudelo to continue his recent good run of form: he could be an impact sub off the bench in qualifying.
  • Lynden Gooch to get his USMNT debut: let’s see how he can handle the international stage.

At the least, getting the players into a camp is always a good thing for the national team manager. Hopefully, Klinsmann has learned a few things that could help him in both squad selection and game management in November.


Alex Crognale could be joining Columbus as a Homegrown Player after the college season (Columbus Dispatch)

John Wolyniec’s rise as a manager with New York Red Bulls II (Once a Metro)

What to watch for in tonight’s U.S. vs. New Zealand match (Stars and Stripes FC)

Klinsmann not a fan of CONCACAF’s proposed changes (MLS)

Abby Wambach reflects on her addiction (New York Times)


Great read on Arielle Castillo’s trip to Cuba for last week’s match against the U.S. (MLS)

England’s FA will investigate four transfer deals involving Sam Allardyce (Independent)

Fancy penalty taken in the Singapore FA Cup: