International Friendly Preview: USA vs Argentina
The United States and Argentina will square off at New Meadowlands Stadium on Saturday.
By Luis Bueno
New Meadowlands Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J.
7 p.m. ET
7 p.m. ET
The United States and Argentina will do battle as the U.S. returns to New Meadowlands Stadium to play a world power once more.
The match will pit two nations who reached the second round of last summer's World Cup and two sides who have will use this as a springboard for their preparations ahead of this summer's important tournaments - for the U.S., the Gold Cup and for Argentina, Copa America.
The U.S. will have three friendly matches to prepare for the Gold Cup, and it would be tough to replicate the strength of the three nations.
Argentina will kick off the three friendlies, which also feature games against Paraguay and Spain. Argentina will give the U.S. a true power, a potent opponent that will expose whatever weaknesses the Americans have. Should the Americans lack focus or find themselves out of synch, Argentina's stable of world-class players will expose them.
The Americans have shown they can compete with the world's best in meaningful games, having beaten Spain and tied England over the last two summers. This match should serve as confidence if the U.S. can play toe-to-toe with Argentina.
Questions heading into the match are simple enough. How will Bob Bradley approach these next two matches? Does he field the top players against Argentina and come back with a mix of veterans and youngsters against Paraguay on Tuesday? Or does he give the players he feels will start in the Gold Cup the chance to log the most minutes?
It's likely the stand-bys will play their fair share of minutes, but what the formation looks like remains to be seen. Perhaps the biggest question mark is up front. With just three players listed as forwards in the roster, does Bradley play with one lone striker? Or does Landon Donovan or Clint Dempsey, each listed as a midfielder, play higher? It's not likely for Bradley to deviate too much with what got the U.S. through to the second round in the World Cup.
Probable Starting XI: Howard; Bocanegra, Ream, Onyewu, Lichaj; Donovan, Edu, Bradley, Dempsey; Agudelo, Altidore.
What's the best part of this match for Argentina? Is it that the team will prepare for Copa America against a strong opponent from the Western Hemisphere? Are the players excited to play in a new mammoth venue that is New Meadowlands Stadium? Perhaps the chance for camaraderie with their countrymen?
Perhaps, but the players are excited to be average.
"I would tell that to the guys whenever we talked," Lionel Messi told Argentine daily Ole. "The possibility to go out in New York, to walk peacefully, to cross the street without anybody running behind us... Truth is, it was beautiful to be an average guy on the street."
Messi and his Argentina teammates are hugely popular across the globe but apparently blended into the background in the Big Apple. Messi, though, was not exactly complaining.
"To be in a place where nobody stares at you, where nobody recognizes you, it gives you freedom," he said.
Once the match starts, though, he will not be able to blend into the background. Messi will provide headaches for the American backline and how they handle him could determine the outcome of the match.
Probable Starting XI: Andujar; Zanetti, Burdisso, Milito, Rojo; Banega, Mascherano, Cambiasso; Lavezzi, Messi, Di Maria.
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Top 3 Predictions
USA 1-3 Argentina
- 20.57 %
USA 0-3 Argentina
- 16.91 %
USA 0-2 Argentina
- 11.86 %
|International Friendlies (FR)||Mar 26, 2011||USA 1 - Argentina 1|
|International Friendlies (FR)||Jun 9, 2008||USA 0 - Argentina 0|
|Copa America (CA)||Jun 28, 2007||Argentina 4 - USA 1|
|Mar 26, 2013||Mexico 0 - USA 0||WCQN|
|Mar 22, 2013||USA 1 - Costa Rica 0||WCQN|
|Feb 6, 2013||Honduras 2 - USA 1||WCQN|
|Jan 29, 2013||USA 0 - Canada 0||FR|
|Nov 14, 2012||Russia 2 - USA 2||FR|
Times In EST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed