UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Tuesday, November 18 2014; 19:30 GMT
Aviva Stadium, Dublin, Ireland
Both the Republic of Ireland and the USA look to end 2014 on a winning note, as the two sides face each other in a friendly that serves to provide opportunities to fringe players in the form of game time. The Irish are looking to get back to qualifying for major tournaments on a regular basis – starting with an expanded Euro 2016, while the Americans aim to build on a strong performance at the World Cup earlier this year.
Team News and Tactical Brief
Republic of Ireland
Given that the Major League Soccer (MLS) does not keep international friendly dates free from league games, one may be forgiven for believing that it would be the primary contributor to Martin O’neill’s Ireland squad entering this game at an advantage. The latter is probably true, but Robbie Keane will be busy preparing to wear his LA Galaxy colours instead of the Ireland jersey on Tuesday.
Despite Keane’s absence, however, the squad will not be short of big name talent. John O’Shea boasts of an impressive resume at the club level, while right back Seamus Coleman has proved himself to be among the top 2-3 full backs in the Barclays Premier League over the last 18 months. Expect Southampton’s GBP 12m man to line up alongside Anthony Stokes; and despite Roy Keane casting doubt on the fitness of Coleman and midfielder James McCarthy, the Everton contingent should be present in full strength.
(Correction: Darron Gibson is currently injured an unavailable against the USA)
Probable Starting Lineup: Shay Given; Seamus Coleman, John O’Shea, Ciaran Clark; Stephen Ward; Stephen Quinn, Darron Gibson, Aiden McGeady, Robbie Brady; Anthony Stokes, Shane Long
United States of America
Aston Villa’s Brad Guzan will get the rare opportunity to show what he is capable of, thanks to Tim Howard not being present in the squad to occupy his position between the sticks. The US has been known to produce good goalkeepers over the last 10-15 years, and hence the absence of Tim Howard will not be felt as keenly as one might have expected, despite his heorics at the World Cup. The USA will also miss a few players thanks to the ongoing MLS playoffs – right back DeAndre Yedlin has linked up with Seattle Sounders, while Lee Nguyen has joined the rest of the New England Revolution in preparation for Conference title clashes. The biggest miss could well be midfielder Jermaine Jones, who has also returned to the US to link up with the New England Revolution.
The Americans will look to respond to a 3-1 defeat they just suffered against Colombia on Friday. Timmy Chandler is back from the wilderness, it seems, while Fabian Johnson, who was proved to be dependable at the World Cup earlier this year, will likely switch to the left. Sunderland striker Jozy Altidore has had things rough at the club level, but will be expected to captain his country in Dublin on Tuesday. The squad that travels to Ireland is highly experimental, and hence the likes of Julian Green will fancy a chance.
Probable Starting Lineup: Brad Guzan; Timothy Chandler, John Brooks, Matt Besler, Fabian Johnson; Kyle Beckerman, Mix Diskerud, Alejandro Bedoya, Julian Green; Jozy Altidore, Chris Wondolowski
- Republic of Ireland and the USA have only met 8 times in international football, for all time.
- The USA are winless in their last three matches, including a 2-1 defeat to Colombia on November 14.
- If John O’Shea plays, he will win his 102nd international cap for Ireland.
Players to watch out for
Seamus Coleman (Ireland)
The right back has been a standout performer in his position within the Premier League over the last 18 months, and has hence rightfully earned a place for himself as a regular for the Men in Green.
Julian Green (USA)
Julian Green has been a controversial inclusion into the US national team ever since he took the place of Landon Donovan for the FIFA World Cup earlier this year. Green, however, is now one of the main beneficiaries of manager Jurgen Klinsmann’s willingness to experiment with his lineups. Should he be given the chance to gather some game time on Tuesday, one could see him grabbing the opportunity with both hands.
Republic of Ireland 1-1 USA
Blast from the Past
Ireland last played the USA more than 10 years ago, where the game between the two sides was the last before (then) USA manager Bruce Arena named his squad that reached the quarterfinals of the 2002 FIFA World Cup.