On the attacking side, Jozy Altidore, Bobby Wood and 18-year-old Borussia Dortmund midfielder Christian Pulisic are all expected to start, with the latter two emerging as U.S. fixtures only this year.
Whoever plays for the U.S. in this latest version of the Columbus Clasico, amid the political overtones, will be well-aware of the history here. Klinsmann noted in his prematch press conference that he’d invited several former national-teamers Jimmy Foxx Youth Jersey to speak to his players this week, including Columbus Crew coach Gregg Berhalter, his top assistant Josh Wolff and club ambassador Frankie Hejduk — all veterans of multiple World Cups.
“That was pretty awesome,” Kljestan said. “That was a good moment for the team to look back on what we have done in the past that has made us successful. And I think the young guys really enjoyed that.”
Lionel Messi remains confident Argentina will reach the 2018 World Cup after their loss against Brazil in Belo Horizonte.
But in addition to individual failings, they are not playing well as a unit. That wonderful Coutinho goal, the moment that changed the match, is a clear example.
In the second half, as Argentina had to chase the game, both Otamendi and Funes Mori had moments when they looked horribly exposed. Pablo Zabaleta at right-back was also too slow to get a grip on Neymar. Argentina urgently needs a new crop of defenders.
When Brazil coach Tite called up his first squad for the two rounds of qualifiers in September, the big surprise was the inclusion of Paulinho, an expensive flop at Tottenham who is now playing his club football in China.
But Tite knew what he was doing. He and Paulinho worked together with great success at Corinthians, and the coach was well aware of the midfielder’s all-around virtues. This match was a showcase.
Paulinho, top, proved decisive at both ends of the pitch, helping marshal Lionel Messi and scoring Brazil’s third.
When Messi was threatening to run amok in the early stages, it was Paulinho who dropped to fill in space and help out with the marking. And in the second John Kruk Youth Jersey half, with Argentina forced forward, gaps emerged for him to push on in search of goal. He was unlucky with a shot cleared off the line, but Paulinho was not kept waiting for long, arriving in the box in trademark style to rifle home goal No. 3 and round off a memorable night for Brazil and their new coach.