The USMNT is in action later today at Portugal (3:45pm ET - FS1). The pressure on this transitional group of USMNT players may be as much internal as external. All involved know the stakes as the program pushes forward after failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. Interim coach Dave Sarachan has made it clear that he understands his situation, looking at this window as an opportunity to put some space between the qualifying campaign and what happens next.
It's a tough job for all involved against this version of Portugal in a friendly setting. Scouting Portugal is tough. They're not going with a first choice lineup and their focus is on positional players showing that they belong.
A week ago when announcing his roster, Sarachan said, "They are the No. 3 ranked team in the world, and so any time you have the opportunity to play such a high-quality opponent, it’s very important for the program. Sure it’s a profile game, but more importantly it’s a great opportunity for these players to measure up a little bit and see where they’re at in their development. Any chance to play a team of such high quality is a real bonus for the players and our National Team program."
Portugal beat Saudi Arabia 3-0 on Friday, adding that third goal in the 90th minute. They took 26 shots in that game, putting eight on goal. Saudi Arabia took five, with none of them on goal.
American Soccer Now's Brian Sciaretta talks to USMNT player Weston McKennie. MLSsoccer.com's Joao Pedro Barros interviews Alejandro Bedoya. The NY Post's Kyle Schnitzer talks to Tyler Adams. SBI Soccer's Ryan Tomlich on the competition for USMNT goalkeeper. FourFourTwo's Sam Stejskal asks about young American MLS players opting for Europe.
ESPN FC's Ben Gladwell looks at the media response to Italy not qualifying for the World Cup. Keir Radnedge looks at the fallout for Italy. BBC Sport's James Horncastle explains what happened to Italy during their World Cup qualifying campaign. The Guardian's Paolo Bandini questions how Italy used their bench in the second-leg against Sweden.
Back Page Football's Alexis Monteith has what Manchester City is doing right and wrong at the top of the Premier League table. Bundesliga Fanatic's Brook Genene on the issues facing Borussia Dortmund. The NY Times' Rebecca R Ruiz reports from the FIFA corruption trial.
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