Jul 1, 2014; Salvador, BRAZIL; United States head coach Jurgen Klinsmann prior to the match against Belgium during the round of sixteen match in the 2014 World Cup at Arena Fonte Nova. Belgium defeated USA 2-1 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
While Major League Soccer teams battle for playoff spots on Friday and over the weekend, the US Men’s National Team continue their 2018 World Cup cycle with a friendly against Ecuador. On Friday in Hartford, Connecticut a young core and some veteran players will take the field looking to impress Jurgen Klinsmann.
Friday’s friendly will also be Landon Donovan’s swan song. His illustrious national team career will come to an end. On the other hand, newcomers to the squad will be looking to make a name for themselves as the hope to be apart of the national team through the new World Cup cycle.
2015 and 2016 will be busy with a lot of international competition. In 2015 the US Men’s National team will look to win their second-straight Gold Cup. They will also be busy with preparing for qualifying for the 2016 Olympics. The Olympic squad will feature a younger side due rules limiting the number of older players allowed on the roster.
Additionally, Klinsmann will be looking out for his next star. For the US manager, this is his chance to build upon the 2014 World Cup and look to improve potentially at the 2018 World Cup. The match against Ecuador is a time for Klinsmann to put the 2014 World Cup behind and start scheming for the World Cup cycle ahead.
With the USMNT-Ecuador friendly one day away, take a look at four things to watch.