BRIAN SCIARETTA - Tuesday, August 13, 2013
The United States will take on talented Bosnian team on Wednesday in Sarajevo and the game will give Jurgen Klinsmann a chance to observe several new players.
The U.S team is coming on the heels of a fantastic summer where it defeated Germany in a friendly to celebrate US Soccer's centennial, it surged to first place in CONCACAF's Hexagonal World Cup qualifying tournament, and it won the 2013 Gold Cup. It is currently in a record 11 game winning streak.
The U.S roster contained a mix of first team regulars along with several new faces. The most intriguing newcomer is highly touted Hertha Berlin central defender John Anthony Brooks. With yesterday's news that Michael Orozco was forced to withdraw from the team with hamstring injury, it makes it very likely that the 20 year old Brooks could start in his first national team callup.
The rest of the backline will also be tested. Geoff Cameron has spent most of the past year playing fullback at Stoke City but central defense still remains his best position and he may start alongside Brooks. At right back, Brad Evans or Michael Parkhurst will be likely to start while left back could either feture Edgar Castillo or Fabian Johnson.
In the midfield, Michael Bradley and Jermaine Jones are likely to start as both players appear likely to be starting in Brazil next year at the World Cup. The rest of the midfield is a bit more unpredictable but Mikkel Diskerud, Joe Corona, and Alejandro Bedoya should all likely play a part.
At forward Jozy Altidroe is likely to start with newcomer Bobby Wood likely to see minutes in his first callup. The 1860 Munich forward was a rising star with the US U20 team in 2011 before a series of injuries set him back.
Highly touted forward Aron Johannsson is not expected to make his debut for the US since his one-time switch with FIFA is still awaiting final approval.
Missing from the U.S team is regulars Clint Dempsey, Landon Donovan, Clarence Goodson, Omar Gonzalez, and Matt Besler who all remained with their MLS clubs during this international window. All should be expected to make the roster for the September World Cup qualifiers.
Bosnia will be a tough test for the surging American team. Currently ranked 13th in the FIFA World Rankings, Bosnia will be led by Manchester City forward Edin Dezko. Joining Dezko up top could be Stuttgart and former University of St. Louis striker Vedad Ibisevic.
Also of note, the game will serve as a homecoming for U.S midfielder Sacha Kljestan whose father is from the Sarajevo area and played for Zeljeznicar, one of the strongest teams in the country.