In the world of international soccer, there is little rest for the weary. The United States Men's National Team will play Poland on October 9 and rumors of a potential fixture with Colombia appear closer and closer to truth. The matches aren't of vital importance -- the team has nothing to play for except pride until the 2011 Gold Cup kicks off -- but the Americans can still accomplish a few goals during what will likely be a double fixture date. Goal.com previews at four things the Red, White, and Blue should look to achieve.
Find A Coach
This, obviously, should happen before the two matches; hopefully at least a couple weeks prior so Bob Bradley or the new man in charge has a little time to get settled. (Latest on the BB watch: Landon Donovan saying "my gut says probably no" on Kyle Martino's Fox Soccer Channel show.) Figuring out the manager situation is priority one, two, and three for the United States Soccer Federation, especially since FIFA plans to vote on the location of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups on December 2. The U.S. needs a head installed to help with the lobbying effort, although the Bid Committee certainly has everything under control. But still, this is a vital cycle for American soccer and it needs to get started sooner rather than later. Sunil Galati et al: make the right choice, but make it soon.
Call In The Europeans
While European clubs will break, Major League Soccer won't. The majority of players in the domestic league have a match on the 9th or 10th, with the Los Angeles Galaxy and the Philadelphia Union battling on the 7th. MLS clubs will be in the thick of the playoff race and will be at loathe to give up players to national team duty. That's okay since many of those candidates are younger guys who are potential call ups for the January camp (or the November break when most MLS sides will be eliminated). That spells an opportunity for newer guys from Europe. Think Eric Lichaj, Jermaine Jones, and a resurgent Sacha Kljestan in addition to the usual suspects.
Call In The Youngsters
The friendly against Brazil was an exhibition in every sense of the word. Both the roster choices and the scoreline reflected that fact. The results of the matches against Poland and Colombia aren't of the utmost importance, but the chance to bring players in for a short training camp is. It's an opportunity to give Omar Gonzalez another cup of coffee on the national team level and perhaps get Edgar Castillo involved as well (although San Luis has a match on October 9). Jose Torres, whose Pachuca club plays that day as well, would still be a good candidate for an appearance or dos. It's a new cycle and the time for new blood is now.
Sure, a victory means next to nothing, but after the pasting at the hands of Brazil, the U.S. would do well to right the ship. They are currently 4-5-2 in 2010, not a great stat line for a side that hasn't posted a losing record since 1997. More importantly, a pair of victories against sides ranked 56th and 36th in the world, respectively, will be a nice start to either Bradley's second four years or the beginning of a new coach's career. Will anyone remember these games 18 months from now? Of course not, but that doesn't mean a pair of Ws won't ease any transition.
Noah Davis (@noahedavis) covers the United States Men's National Team for Goal.com.
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