Players to Watch in USMNT vs Cuba

US football team members take part in a training session at the Pedro Marrero Stadium in Havana, on October 6, 2016, on the eve of a friendly football match against Cuba. / AFP / JORGE BELTRAN (Photo credit should read JORGE BELTRAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Tomorrow, the USMNT will take on Cuba in a historic game. This will be the first international friendly between the USMNT and Cuba in Cuba since 1947. The last time the two teams squared off was in Havana, in 2008, where the US won 1-0 in the 2010 World Cup Qualifiers. This time, the US will be playing in Estadio Pedro Marrero. They will kickoff at 4PM EST.

Players to Watch in USMNT vs Cuba

Sacha Kljestan

In his last appearance, Sacha Kljestan revitalized the US attack. When the team had a true No. 10, the offense was able to flow more freely. Even though these games don’t matter much, Kljestan needs to prove his worth to the team. If he plays well in these games, he could force his way onto the squad for the next world cup qualifiers.

Julian Green

After scoring in the 2014 World Cup in dramatic fashion, Julian Green has not lived up to the hype. However, this year he has begun to break into the squad. Even though he has switched to forward for Bayern Munich, that doesn’t mean he can’t play on the wing. One key thing to watch in this game is where he plays. Also, see how he plays. If he plays well he could force himself into the squad for the upcoming world cup qualifiers.

Paul Arriola

Paul Arriola showed a tiny piece of what he can bring to the team during the past qualifiers. In order for him to continue making the squad, he needs to prove his worth in this game. Arriola will most likely receive a start in this game. Look to see what position he plays, how are his crosses, is he able to sustain his pace. If he successfully does all those he could maybe push for a starting role in the qualifiers.

When the US is attacking

The US needs to make sure their attack is firing on all cylinders heading into the World Cup Qualifiers. That means that all of these aforementioned attackers play well. In addition to these players, Christian Pulisic is going to need to carry over his club form to the country. The US will need to spread the ball around and play good balls to their strikers. Look for the fullbacks to get involved in the attack too.

When Cuba is attacking

Most Cuban players play in Cuba, while some players ply their trade elsewhere in Latin America. So, there is little information on these players. However, the US will need to be stout in defense. Jurgen Klinsmann may try and test out new center back pairing, so whoever it is will need to be playing well.


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