The U.S. came to compete last week against 14th ranked Colombia in what was a wild and entertaining match, ultimately losing 4-2. With that game behind us, we look to the second of the two friendlies this international window with 22nd ranked USA taking on 21st ranked Peru in what should be a fairly even and exciting match.
Let’s breakdown what you need to know heading into this matchup.
When: Tuesday, October 16th at 5:30 p.m. MT
Where: Pratt & Whitney Stadium in East Hartford, Connecticut
How to watch: ESPN2, UniMas, or UDN
About the two nations:
Peru are coming off a historical moment for their nation. They qualified for the 2018 World Cup for the first time in 36 years after edging out perennial powerhouses Chile in Conmebol qualification. Although their World Cup didn’t end how they had hoped, losing the first and second match, they proved themselves worthy opponents on the world stage by finally winning their third and final match of the cup by beating Australia 2-0. .
Despite a rich history of soccer for both nations, both participated in the first ever World Cup in 1930, the two had never faced off until 1989. In the 29 years since then the two countries have played against each other 6 times, with the US holding a slight edge with 3 wins, 2 losses and a draw.
The US will most likely be playing their final match under interim head coach Dave Sarchan, rumors have seeped out of the USSF that by November 1st a head coach will be announced. This will bring a conclusion to the interim period of US soccer since the nation was eliminated from the World Cup and began rebuilding around youth despite the lack of a head coach. The US should be motivated to send Sarachan off with a win and will be up for this one.
Players to watch:
Keep an eye on Christian Cueva for Peru. He is a fast, dynamic midfielder for Peru that can cause a lot of problems for a defense. Whether that is taking opponents on 1 v 1 or unlocking a defense through pinpoint passing. If he goes unmarked it could spell disaster for the US team.
On the US side of things, I really hope we get to see Josh Sargent get the start at center forward. He was a bright spot for the US team off the bench last Thursday against Colombia. We know what we have with Bobby Wood, and it isn’t bad, but it also won’t ever be elite. He had a goal against Colombia and normally I would support the idea of playing the hot hand, but this is all about rebuilding and seeing what pieces we have for the next World Cup run. Sargent is young, and he could very well become elite or at least better than Wood, so play him and let’s find out!
Our prediction: The US wins this one 2-1.