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The Daily Dirt, October 7: Sister Havana

The USMNT travels to Cuba for a friendly today

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

I really just wanted the opportunity to use an Urge Overkill song title in the headline...

The USMNT travels to Cuba today for an international friendly. What does this game really mean in the grand scheme of things?

It is an opportunity for the squad to figure a few things out ahead of opening the final round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying against Mexico and Costa Rica in November. These sorts of opportunities do not present themselves often, so I hope that the team takes advantage.

Yes, Cuba is not Mexico or Costa Rica. This game is not about the result, other than the U.S. has to win. It’s more about what can Jurgen Klinsmann and the squad learn today. The backline can improve their chemistry and understanding of one another. Combinations can be tested to see what players work together best in different parts of the field. Set pieces can be tweaked and refined.

Today is not a just a throwaway game, it can be quite useful for the USMNT if they take advantage of the opportunity to learn. Tuesday’s game might feature a better opponent in New Zealand, but today can be just as valuable for the squad as they prepare for the toughest opening two matches in the Hex that the program has ever faced.


Domestic

Megan Rapinoe explained why she kneels during the national anthem (The Players’ Tribune)

DaMarcus Beasley will be a free agent and might not return to Houston (MLS)

Could the New York Cosmos figure out a future that did not include the NASL? (This Is Cosmos Country)

FC Cincinnati standing out from the crowd of possible MLS expansion cities (Telegraph)

Bob Bradley spoke ahead of his first official Swansea City press conference (Stars and Stripes FC)

Remember the USMNT fans who risked everything to follow the national team to Cuba in 2008? (MLS)

Heavy NWSL presence in latest USWNT roster (Stars and Stripes FC)


International

Seattle’s Nicolas Lodeiro scored in Uruguay’s win:

Real Madrid made a lot of money in the last year (Managing Madrid)

Jurgen Klopp is making Liverpool believe again (Guardian)


Local

Florida defeated Georgia 3-1 in SEC women’s action in Gainesville.