The USMNT host Canada on Friday night at Exploria Stadium seeking revenge from last month’s historic defeat. Here are five key players to watch.
The U.S. Men’s National Team is in a strange state of crisis once again after last month’s historic loss to Canada. Head coach Gregg Berhalter, along with his players, has made it clear that anything less than a victory is unacceptable ahead of their rematch this Friday in Orlando.
In the absence of Christian Pulisic and Zack Steffen though, that will not be easy, even if the game is played on American soil this time around.
Here are five key USMNT players to keep an eye on when they host Canada at Exploria Stadium on Friday night.
5. Gyasi Zardes
This week, Gyasi Zardes has been the subject of various trade talks in MLS. He is reportedly sought by his old manager Bruce Arena in New England. Further, Berhalter’s former player in Columbus is receiving more and more pressure from the likes of an almost healthy Jozy Altidore and the rising Josh Sargent for the starting striker role.
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It’s clear the Berhalter has confidence in Zardes. He still believes in his qualities after their prolific time in Columbus together, but it is now more important than ever for Zardes to back up that confidence in this critical moment for the USMNT and his own career, given the uncertainties surrounding his future and his recent poor performances on the international stage.
Zardes will only be doing himself a favor if he is able to put together a composed and clinical performance against Canada. A goal or two along the way wouldn’t hurt him much either. He has struggled for form for the USMNT and the pressure is mounting. He needs a performance.