Players to Watch in USMNT vs. New Zealand

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From Last Word on Soccer, by Noah Sobel-Pressman

Tonight, the USMNT will take on New Zealand at RFK Stadium in an international friendly. The game will kickoff at 8PM EST. Many Europeans have departed, and some players have come into the fold. Some notable departures include: Christian Pulisic, John Brooks, Geoff Cameron, Timmy Chandler, and Fabian Johnson. Some notable arrivals included Terrence Boyd, Bill Hamid, and Tim Parker. How these players integrate into the squad will make a big impact on the result versus New Zealand.

Players to watch- USMNT vs. New Zealand

Lynden Gooch

Christian Pulisic, who started the game vs. Cuba, has returned to his club. This departure gives Lynden Gooch a big opportunity to showcase his talents. He can play on the wing, or as more of a box-to-box midfielder, or even as a more defensive minded midfielder. Clearly, Jurgen Klinsmann has multiple positions to play Gooch in. If he plays well, he could see himself in the roster for the upcoming World Cup Qualifiers.

Tim Parker

Tim Parker has had two fine seasons with the Vancouver Whitecaps to kickoff his MLS career. His stellar playing earned him a call up to the January Camp. Although he didn’t appear against Iceland or Canada, Jurgen Klinsmann must have liked what he saw in the camp. While Parker is a fringe candidate for the World Cup Qualifying squad, he could put himself into the future national team picture.

Terrence Boyd

After a two year hiatus with the USMNT, Terrence Boyd is back. Since 2014, Boyd has been hampered by various injuries that have left him doing a lot of rehab. While he may not play, the call up itself is a very positive sign. If Boyd can stay healthy and break into RB Leipzig, he will return to the national team picture.

When the US are attacking

When the USMNT are attacking, they will need to get as many shots on goal as possible because Jake Gleeson, of the Portland Timbers, is out injured. New Zealand’s other goalkeepers are not as strong as Gleeson. The USMNT will need to test the goalie early in order to see the difference between the starter and Gleeson, as many players have faced Gleeson before.

When New Zealand are attacking

The USMNT have sent back three out of their four back line starters. While some replacements have been called in, New Zealand needs to take advantage of the fact that this back line most likely will have never played together. If they can score early on due to USMNT miscommunication, they could sneak away with the win.