USA forward Jerome Kiesewetter (pictured) could earn his second cap on February 5, 2016, in an international friendly against visiting Canada in Carson, California, USA. (Photo: Mexsport)
CARSON, California -- The United States comes into its second friendly of the year on Friday against a Canada side that has made noticeable strides since they last met two years ago in a scoreless draw.
Although the Americans are unbeaten in 16 straight outings (8W-8D-0L) against their neighbor to the north, head coach Jurgen Klinsmann is expecting to come up against a squad that has been more than solid in going 1W-1D-0L to open fourth-round play in 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying.
“They’ve done well in their first two games in their qualifiers. They’re with four points,” the 51-year-old German said. “It will not be that simple. We have to be patient and hopefully we can create chances. And they have young forwards playing in Major League Soccer that can hurt you in a split second. It’s going to be a good test.”
Klinsmann’s roster is a mix of senior players and those from the under-23 pool that will be looking to clinch an Olympic berth next month in a two-legged playoff against Colombia. Overall, he was satisfied with the team’s performance in a 3-2 win over Iceland in the 2016 opener on January 31, as well as its effort throughout a lengthy training camp.
Two of the Olympic hopefuls – defender Kellyn Acosta (20) and forward Jerome Kiesewetter (22) – made their international debuts against the Euro 2012 qualifier.
“I think it was a good decision to mix it up…to include a group of under-23 players with the senior players,” Klinsmann remarked. “All the training sessions have been intense, good quality, and everybody was eager to prove his own case.”
In the current U.S. selection, only Jozy Altidore, Matt Besler, Michael Bradley and Jermaine Jones have previously played against Canada. From that group, Altidore is the lone competitor to dent the Les Rouges’ net, tallying the second goal in a 2-0 win on June 7, 2011, in the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Klinsmann would like to see a repeat of that result at the StubHub Center.
“It was a good four weeks and hopefully they can finish it off and reward themselves with a second win in these two scrimmages.”