USMNT Preparing For Big Friendly Test Against Switzerland

by | May 28, 2021 | USMNT

Last Exhibition Match Before Nations League Should Reveal Some Future Starters For Gregg Berhalter

By Nick Robbins – LA Soccer Press /

The United States Men’s National Team faces off against Switzerland in St. Galen, CH on Sunday in a friendly match that Gregg Berhalter can use to help pick his team for the upcoming CONCACAF Nations League and Gold Cup.

There are some notable absences from this roster including Christian Pulisic, who’ll be playing in the UEFA Champions League Final on the same day.

Berhalter called up two separate squads, one for this friendly and one for the Nations League, and the match against Switzerland looks to be a tough one.

Playing on the road against the team ranked No. 15 in the FIFA World Rankings will not be easy. The game serves as a unique opportunity to train at high altitude before playing in the Nations League, which will be hosted in Denver at Empower Field at Mile High Stadium. The stadium is roughly a mile above sea level, and the USMNT has been training at a similar altitude in the Alps.

Switzerland will be using this game as a tune-up before it hops into Euro 2020 play in June. The Swiss have a favorable Euro 2020 group. They sit in group A with Wales, Turkey, and Italy. Head Coach Vladimir Petkovic should be picking his ‘A’ team to give them one last run-out before the tournament.

Yan Sommer will be between the sticks, and caps leader Granit Xhaka should lead the way in the midfield. Keep a look out for winger Xherdan Shaqiri, who looks to prove himself before the Euros following something of a down season at Liverpool.

For the United States, there is a strong opportunity for one of the three goalkeepers to stake a claim as the team’s No. 1. Zach Steffen will be backing up Ederson for Man City in the Champions League Final, so Ethan Horvath is the easy choice here. Don’t be surprised to see 20-year-old Real Salt Lake keeper David Ochoa in net. Horvath has four caps for the national team and had a strong season with Club Brugge, but Ochoa has made a name for himself with RSL – for good and bad reasons.

Some other notables include Julian Green, Matthew Hoppe and Daryl Dike.

Green, who became the USMNT’s youngest goal scorer at the 2014 World Cup but has been left out of the national team roster for some time while playing in the German Second Division. Green gets the call up following his club’s recent promotion.

Dike has been having a good time at Barnsley in England, and gets the call-up after looking like he’d miss out. Quickly becoming a fan favorite on both sides of the Atlantic, Dike had nine goals in 19 games for Barnsley.

Hoppe is uncapped but has seen his name flying around in rumors with links to Liverpool and Man United. The 20-year-old was relegated with Schalke and looks to get a move away this summer. Some USMNT gametime may help with that.

Projected Squad
Formation:
4-3-3
Goalkeeper: Ethan Horvath
Defenders: DeAndre Yedlin, John Brooks, Matt Miazga, Sergino Dest
Midfielders: Kellyn Acosta, Julien Green, Weston McKinnie
Forwards: Matthew Hoppe, Daryl Dike, Yunus Musah (pictured)

Nick Robbins is a native of New York City and a student at University of Alabama. He writes about Major League Soccer for L.A. Soccer Press.