USMNT: 4 Things to Watch against Ecuador

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Photo via Minnesota United FC’s website.

2. Miguel Ibarra’s USMNT Debut

In addition to watch the goalies and the USMNT’s formation, fans should keep their eyes peeled for Miguel Ibarra. Ibarra who? Ibarra plays with NASL side Minnesota United, who are currently leading the league. Ibarra was Klinsmann’s surprise call-up for this match. Before the call-up, most people never heard of him, but that does not mean he isn’t deserving of the call-up.

He was drafted by the Portland Timbers in the 2012 Supplemental Draft but was not signed. Now it seems like MLS teams like the NY Red Bulls are interested his services. However, the team would have to convince  and compensate Minnesota to let Ibarra go.

On the national level, debuts are always worth watching. It would be foolish to judge his ability and potential internationally on one friendly. However, eyes will still be on him to see how he compares to his counterparts. It is likely he will surprise many people with his ability on Friday, but it would be premature to say how exactly he will play.

Nonetheless, Ibarra’s play and insertion into the game will draw a lot of attention on Twitter and the media circles. Ibarra’s call-up is showing that Klinsmann isn’t limiting his scouting and searching to on in the top leagues around the country for the next great American star.

Ibarra may be the diamond in the rough; he may be a bust. However, it is wise of Klinsmann to give him a shot and see what he brings to the USMNT.