The USA (Estados Unidos) vs Azerbaijan pre-World Cup friendly will take place this Tuesday, May 27, 2014 (7:00 PM Pacific) at the Candlestick Park in San Francisco. This match will highlight the first of four games in the important preparation for the USMNT prior to the start of the FIFA Brazil 2014 World Cup set to begin this June 12, 2014. With this game, Jurgen Klinsmann will obtain the chance to see his final list of 23 players play for the first time together.
These past two weeks, the USMNT camp was filled with practices, roster cuts, and some controversy. During the week, coach Kilnsmann exposed the final 23-man player list which will participate in Brazil, to the surprise that it did not include veteran and star Landon Donovan. With that news creating some fuzz in the USA camp, the ‘Stars and Stripes’ are ready to begin their full preparation for the significant tournament next month.
The USMNT is currently ranked #14 in the FIFA ranking and they host a much weaker side likeAzerbaijan who in ranked #85. With so much gap between them, it shows that this game will not be a difficult win for the USA, although the score will be the least of the matters. Klinsmann’s group is in the middle of an arduous World Cup preparation, therefore this game will allow them to obtain form, score goals, and raise confidence.
One of the main aspects to watch will be to analyze how the team reacts with the absence of Landon Donovan. This friendly will mark a new era in U.S. soccer, with younger players like Julian Green on John Brooks set to lead the team into a new direction for the long-run. In that sense, Green who has only played several minutes both as a professional with Bayern Munich and with the USMNT, will be a player to focus on as his roster addition over Donovan has been highly questioned.
The United States will play three other friendlies prior to the start of the World Cup: Turkey on June 1st at the Red Bull Arena in New Jersey, Nigeria on June 7th at the Everbank Arena in Jacksonville, and lastly against Belgium in a closed-door match on June 12th in Sao Paulo.
USA vs Azerbaijan Prediction
The United States should not have much of a challenge in this friendly as they play a much weaker team who is many years away from even reaching a World Cup. Klinsmann will use this match in order to elevate team form, as well as to have his players obtain much needed tactical awareness. The USMNT will undoubtedly win this game, although the score will be the least important matter come Tuesday night.
In a match dominated by the USA, Azerbaijan will be forced to play defensively and with many tactical mistakes. The home side will focus on offense, and will win this one by a good score margin. The USA vs Azerbaijan pre-World Cup friendly will end 4-0, in favor of the ‘Stars and Stripes’.
USA vs Azerbaijan TV Schedule
The USA vs Azerbaijan match will be televised on ESPN 2 and UniMas at 7:00 PM Pacific.
USA vs Azerbaijan Highlights
The USA vs Azerbaijan video highlights will be uploaded soon after the end of the match.