Friday’s friendly brings a familiar foe to a fresh setting for the U.S. Men’s National Team.
Following a solid but unspectacular 2017 debut vs. Serbia Sunday, the squad headed east to Chattanooga, Tenn., where on Friday it will host Jamaica in the first-ever USMNT match in the emerging soccer market located nearly equidistant between Nashville and Atlanta, Ga. The game kicks off at 6 p.m. CT and airs live on FS1, UniMas and UDN.
Bruce Arena’s starting side will feature at least a few changes from Sunday after midfielders Jermaine Jones (LA Galaxy) and Sacha Kljestan (New York Red Bulls) were released back to the clubs. After not featuring vs. Serbia, Chicago’s Dax McCarty is a candidate to replace Jones in the center of the field, as is LA Galaxy’s Sebastian Lletget after a positive second-half performance off the bench in San Diego.
The MLS-based USMNT group may also see squad rotation farther up the field, where Jordan Morris and Juan Agudelo are available for Arena to possibly pair with Jozy Altidore. Sporting KC playmaker Benny Feilhaber, who played the final 13 minutes of Sunday’s draw, seems the likely choice to step in for the since-departed Kljestan underneath the forward line.
Defensively, Luis Robles (New York Red Bulls) is poised to step into the starting goalkeeping spot, while Walker Zimmerman (FC Dallas) and Jorge Villafaña (Santos Laguna) have also been tapped as newcomers to the starting back line by Arena.
While the U.S. holds a decisive advantage in the all-time series with Jamaica, Friday’s clash marks the first meeting for the two sides since Jamaica’s 2-1 win over the U.S. in the semifinals of the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup. That memory, coupled with the looming World Cup qualifying contests vs. Honduras (March 24, San Jose, Calif.) and at Panama (March 28), provides Arena’s side with plenty of motivation to show well in front of a sure-to-be eager crowd at Finley Stadium.
U.S. ROSTER BY POSITION:
GOALKEEPERS (3): David Bingham (San Jose Earthquakes), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake), Luis Robles (New York Red Bulls)
DEFENDERS (8): DaMarcus Beasley (Unattached), Steve Birnbaum (D.C. United), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders FC), Greg Garza (Atlanta United FC), Chad Marshall (Seattle Sounders FC), Jorge Villafaña (Santos Laguna) Walker Zimmerman (FC Dallas), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
MIDFIELDERS (9): Alejandro Bedoya (Philadelphia Union), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Benny Feilhaber (Sporting Kansas City), Sebastian Lletget (LA Galaxy), Dax McCarty (Chicago Fire), Darlington Nagbe (Portland Timbers), Chris Pontius (Philadelphia Union)
FORWARDS (3): Juan Agudelo (New England Revolution), Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders FC)
GOALKEEPERS (2): Andre Blake (Philadelphia Union, USA), Ryan Thompson (unattached)
DEFENDERS (8): Dwayne Ambusley (Montego Bay United), Sergio Campbell (unattached), Oniel Fisher (Seattle Sounders FC, USA), Rosario Harriott (Harbour View), Kevon Lambert (Montego Bay United), Kemar Lawrence (New York Red Bulls, USA), Damion Lowe (Tampa Bay Rowdies, USA), Ladale Ritchie (Montego Bay United)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Michael Binns (Portmore United), Omar Gordon (Montego Bay United), Ewan Grandison (Portmore United), Omar Holness (Real Salt Lake, USA), Andrew Vanzie (Portmore United)
FORWARDS (5): Cory Burke (Bethlehem Steel, USA), Jourdaine Fletcher (Montego Bay United), Shamar Nicolson (Boys’ Town FC), Allan Ottey (Montego Bay United), Romario Williams (Atlanta United FC, USA)