The US MNT trained yesterday afternoon at BMO Field ahead of the Nations League meeting with Canada, with the two sides about to go head to head for top spot.
Canadians will see this as their best chance to gain a win over the old enemy since they last prevailed, 16 games ago in 1985.
US Coach Gregg Berhalter held a press conference following the training session where he confirmed former Columbus Crew goalkeeper Zack Steffan, now on loan at Fortuna Dusseldorf (from Manchester City) in the German Bundesliga would play. Brad Guzan had started the previous game against Cuba.
The American coach however gave little else away, and was non-committal when it came to how his attack would look tomorrow evening, refusing to be drawn on the possibility that 19 year-old Josh Sargent from Werder Bremen would retain the starting spot he claimed in the 7-0 victory over Cuba.
The youngster has an ankle knock. Should he be unable to prove his fitness, it’s likely that Gyasi Zardes will get the nod. Jozy Altidore is injured and not part of the squad.
Michael Bradley left on the bench against Cuba, is expected to get the starting role anchoring midfield, at his club stadium. Berhalter however made it clear that in a competitive match there was no room for sentimentality to play a role in his decision making: “I don’t think that’s what we’re trying to achieve here. We’re trying to put a team on the field that is going to win the game.”
The US line-up had a very experimental look about it in the comfortable win over Cuba, but they know tomorrow evening, a fired-up Canada will make life much more difficult.
Montreal Impact’s Daniel Lovitz played in his customary left-back role against Cuba and is in line to retain his place. Should he do so, he will face quite a few opponents he’s already very familiar with.
“I know that they’re very confident. I’ve shared locker rooms with [Canadian players] for six years now, with a lot of the guys. They’re confident in what they do, and I think it’s great. I think they’re excited about the direction they’re going in, as are we. And I think it’s an interesting time and a great time to be paired up against each other.”