The United States vs Switzerland match will take place this Tuesday, 31st March, 2015 (9:00 AM Pacific) at the Stadion Letzigrund in Zurich, Switzerland.
The match is the second of the international period for the United States, who held a 2-1 lead late against Denmark last Wednesday before falling 3-2 thanks to a hat trick from Niklas Bendtner. Switzerland, who sit in in 3rd place in Group E of qualifying for Euro 2016 are coming off of an easy 3-0 victory over Estonia.
UNITED STATES TEAM NEWS:
The USMNT have shown that they can play with the best teams in CONCACAF, but have yet to show that they are on the same level as the top teams in UEFA.
Head coach Jürgen Klinsmann has created an upcoming schedule consisting of Mexico, the Netherlands, and Germany.
The upside of scheduling this way is that the USMNT will have every chance to show that they can play with the top teams in the world. However, that is something the they have yet to do. While the scoreline was a favorable 3-2 against Denmark last week, the truth was that the United States were dominated by a Denmark side that is average at best within UEFA.
The major problem for the USA is the defense. John Brooks and Michael Orozco struggled to contain the strikers for Denmark, and gave up numerous opportunities. Ventura Alvarado wasn’t much better in his short stint, leaving many questions for the USA’s defense. Klinsmann didn’t call back line regulars Geoff Cameron and Matt Besler into the roster for this international period, in an attempt to see what other players could do, but the fact remains that the USA’s defense has struggled and help doesn’t seem to be on the way.
Further up the pitch however, the United States was successful against Denmark. Jozy Altidore played a fantastic match, scoring once, and setting up a tough finish by Aron Johannsson to give the US a 2-1 lead. Altidore’s move to Toronto FC seems to have helped him regain his form, and he should be set to continue scoring goals for the USMNT.
In the midfield, captain Michael Bradley played well as usual against Denmark, while others, including Alfredo Morales struggled. It was surprising that Klinsmann didn’t use Julian Green who has failed to gain much playing time at the club level on loan with Hamburg. As this is one of the few chances for Green to see the pitch, expect him to be in the lineup against Switzerland.
Projected USA lineup: GK: Rimando
DEF: Brek Shea, John Brooks, Michael Orozco, DeAndre Yedlin.
MID: Julian Green, Michael Bradley, Alejandro Bedoya, Fabian Johnson
A-TT: Jozy Altidore, Miguel Ibarra
Klinsmann looks dead-set on continuing the Brek Shea defensive experiment, suggesting he might start for Chandler at left back. Yedlin isn’t getting club matches either since his move to Tottenham Hotspur, meaning Klinsmann is also looking to get the young right back onto the pitch. Green comes into the midfield rather than fellow youngster Gyasi Zardes. Johannsson is out due to an infection, and was replaced on the roster by Jordan Morris the collegiate player at Stanford.
Rubio Rubin captained the USA u-20 against England on Sunday, playing 75 minutes, which could limit his availability against Switzerland. Klinsmann has a number of options at second striker, none of which are particularly appealing. Perhaps Klinsmann leave Altidore as a lone striker. If he opts to go with a second striker, it could be Miguel Ibarra, who plays his football for Minnesota Untied of the NASL.
SWITZERLAND TEAM NEWS:
Switzerland started the action against Estonia early, with Fabian Schar scoring off of a corner taken short in the 16th minute. Granit Xhaka and Haris Seferovic also scored for the Swiss in their 3-0 victory. The key was Xherdan Shaqiri, who assisted on all 3 goals. Despite the impressive result however, the Swiss stand just 3rd in their Euro 2016 qualifying group, with a match day coming in June, when they will travel to Lithuania needing to take the 3 points.
For the Swiss, this match is a chance to gather momentum before that match day against a solid USA side. Shaqiri will once again be the key for the Swiss, if he is creating chances and setting up his teammates, the attack for Switzerland will once again be successful.
Seferovic leads the attack with 3 goals so far in European qualifying, tied with Shaqiri for the team lead. Look for Shaqiri to constantly ask questions of the United States defense that has struggled recently, looking to set up both Seferovic and Xhaka.
In the defense, Fabian Lustenberger and Silvan Widmer returned to the side from injury, giving the Swiss a number of experienced choices in the defense.
GK: Yann Sommer
D: Stephan Lichsteiner, Ricardo Rodriguez, Johan, Djourou, Fabian Schar
MID: Gokhan Inler, Granit Xhaka, Fabian Frei, Xherdan Shaqiri
F: Haris Seferovic, Josip Drmic
With such an easy result against Estonia, expect the Swiss lineup to stay essentially the same, featuring Shaqiri in a playmaking role, looking to find Seferovic and Drmic in front of the USA goal.
United States vs Switzerland Prediction
Xherdan Shaqiri is the key to this match, and he will be difficult for the USA to defend. He will constantly ask questions of the United States defense, I expect that at times they will fail to find an answer.
Altidore has played well recently, and it wouldn’t be surprising for him to find the back of the net, but at the end of the day, the US will struggle with Shaqiri. The United State have yet to show that they can play with top-level competition, that won’t change against Switzerland on Tuesday. Switzerland win 3-1.
United States vs Switzerland TV Schedule
The United States vs. Switzerland match will be televised in the United States on FOX Sports 1 at 9 AM Pacific with John Strong and Alexi Lalas on the call.