New York Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles (pictured) is expected to start for the USA in its international friendly against Jamaica on February 3, 2017. (Photo: Mexsport)
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. -- With the United States' top two goalkeepers currently idle, head coach Bruce Arena is searching for potential starters for next month's World Cup qualifiers.
He started Nick Rimando in the scoreless draw with Serbia this past Sunday and the Real Salt Lake custodian acquitted himself well.
On Friday night, the New York Red Bulls’ Luis Robles will get the nod against Jamaica.
"We wanted to look at a couple of goalies out of this camp," Arena said. "Rimando played well last game and Nick has demonstrated that his experience and his ability is still there. That was encouraging, and we'll see how Luis does tomorrow night."
Robles, the iron man of Major League Soccer goalkeepers, has started and finished a league-record 140 games over the past four seasons. He has three international caps under his belt, backstopping a 2-2 draw with Haiti in the 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup and a 3-2 win over Iceland on January 31, 2016.
The regulars are not on the current roster. Tim Howard is recovering from an adductor injury he suffered in a 2-1 qualifying loss to Mexico on November 11, while Brad Guzan is expected to be a reserve for Middlesborough in its English Premier League game at Tottenham on Saturday.
FC Dallas center back Walker Zimmerman will make his international debut, Arena noted. LA Galaxy midfielder Sebastian Lletget, who played in the second half against Serbia, could get another look as well.
"We'll have a different look in the midfield, with a number of different players," commented Arena.
The former LA Galaxy manager wants his side to show improvement in several areas.
"I'd like to see everything just a little bit better," Arena remarked. "Our speed of play, our defending rock solid -- I thought it was pretty good the other day -- a little bit more balance in the attack and obviously creating a few good chances. A victory would be nice, too."
The friendly will be the USA’s final match prior to the resumption of the final round of World Cup Qualifying on March 24, when Honduras visits San Jose, California.