The European soccer season has wound down to a close, and that means it’s now time for a summer full of international soccer. The European Championships are due to take place next month after being pushed back from last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The same is true for soccer at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo. It will also be a full summer for the USMNT with Concacaf Nations League, World Cup qualifying, Gold Cup, and a few friendlies sprinkled in. The ball gets rolling with a friendly as the US takes on Switzerland today.
Perhaps most surprising about the roster released by Gregg Berhalter for the US games in June (this friendly as well as two Nations League games) is that the bulk of the players called up are based in Europe, though it should be noted that some roster changes are expected between now and then with players such as Christian Pulisic and Zack Steffen join the camp following the Champions League Final on Saturday. But for the game against Switzerland, the roster is still impressive. The back line consists of stalwarts including DeAndre Yedlin, John Brooks, and Matt Miazga in addition to relative newcomers Mark McKenzie and Sergino Dest. In the midfield, the story is a little different: Julian Green makes his return to the MNT but also present are Kellyn Acosta, Weston McKennie, and Sebastian Lletget as well as recent US commits Jackson Yueill and Yunus Musah. Up front is an impressive array of young talent: Josh Sargent coming off a season with Werder Bremen where he was joint top scorer, Gio Reyna of Borussia Dortmund, Daryl Dike coming off a fantastic club season with Barnsley, and Tim Weah making his US return for the first time in what feels like forever.
With such a busy summer ahead, there are numerous opportunities for the USMNT to regain the faith of the fans that has been gone for so long. Results in games that matter are of the utmost importance. Yes the US is currently on a nine match unbeaten streak that extends back to November 2019 but the bulk of those games have been friendlies against CONCACAF opponents. Berhalter’s first shot at winning a trophy ended with a loss to Mexico in the Gold Cup Final in 2019. Winning either the Nations League or the Gold Cup is vital. Otherwise it will feel as if all of the promise, potential and talk of the last few months will have all been for naught.
Switzerland also has a busy and important summer ahead. First, they are in Group A at the European Championships with Turkey, Italy, and Wales. Following that, they resume World Cup qualifying. They currently sit second in Group C behind Italy but ahead of Northern Ireland, Bulgaria, and Lithuania. 2020 was mostly dreadful for the Swiss with their first three games of the year cancelled because of the pandemic. Things didn’t get any better when play resumed as they went winless in seven straight games. But things began to turn around when they awarded a 3-0 over Ukraine in November due to the Ukrainians being placed in quarantine. So far in 2021 it’s been three games and three wins: a 3-1 win in Bulgaria, a 1-0 home win over Lithuania, and a 1-0 home win over Finland. Their roster features plenty of experienced players: eight of their players have 40 ore mor caps. The players that the US will need to keep an eye on are the midfield duo of Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri.
1. The 1-0 win by the US in their last game over Northern Ireland was the first time the US had won a true road game since October 2016 against Cuba and the first time the US had beaten a European opponent on home soil since June 2015 against Germany.
When and where to watch the game on US TV and streaming
Sunday, May 30, 2021
St. Gallen, Switzerland
2:15pm ET kickoff
Live on ESPN, UniMas, TUDN, fuboTV, Sling Orange, Hulu + Live TV and Vidgo
USA trails 1-3-4
March 31, 2015
USA 1-1 Switzerland
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