PREVIEW – The United States Men’s National Team is back for their first competitive game since the World Cup. Interim manager Anthony Hudson’s still in charge as a big old mess gets sorted out. They’ve got two Nations League matches against lesser opposition in Grenada tomorrow and a home match against El Salvador on Monday. It’s a mixed group with half the roster being a part of the group that went to Qatar. The rest is mostly up-and-coming European players who missed out on the World Cup squad. Can the Yanks move into first place in Group D of League A? Which players will impress and what does it mean for their long term national team futures with the next coach yet to be hired?
USMNT vs Grenada Prediction and Best Odds for March 24
USMNT Talking Points
All the discussion is starting with Giovanni Reyna. His parents came out looking like the bad guys from the Gregg Berhalter investigation. His agent came out with a pretty cringe statement to try and save face. Christian Pulisic used the word childish in a great interview with ESPN recently. Reyna’s again found himself mostly on the bench for Dortmund but he did score three goals in three appearances back in late January. Can he show his quality in ways he did not at the World Cup? Can he be there of and for the team regardless of playing time and ego? That’d be a step in the right direction.
Elsewhere, Miles Robinson is back with the Nats after a torn Achilles kept him out most of 2022. He could have been a starter in Qatar at center back. Zack Steffen was a presumed starter at goalkeeper for Berhalter but rightfully got left out due to form. He’s back to compete with Matt Turner. Daryl Dike at forward could get a chance to audition as the No. 9 going forward. Johnny Cardoso (Internacional), Alan Soñora (Juárez), and Alex Zendejas (Club América) are the other non-European based players who could be wildcards in this game. Pulisic played in the last two games for Chelsea coming off his knee injury, so he should be overjoyed to be playing outside West London for the next week.
Our 24-man roster for @CNationsLeague duty 🇺🇸
Full Roster Notes » https://t.co/T5674j6rY4 pic.twitter.com/I5mEROVcf9
— U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team (@USMNT) March 15, 2023
Read More: John Herdman: How He Took the CanMNT to the FIFA World Cup
Grenada Talking Points
Like many of the smaller teams in Concacaf, it’s hard to scout them given their club situations. Half of this Spice Boys squad play in the GFA Premier League, which is many steps below MLS and where most of this USMNT side play. Aaron Pierre is a bench center back for AFC Wimbledon in League Two. Benjamin Ettienne and AJ Paterson are teammates at Charleston Battery in the USL Championship. Their highest profile player might be Regan Charles-Cook, who’s a winger for Eupen in the first division in Belgium. Their 19-year-old midfielder Kayden Harrack plays in the Queen’s Park Rangers academy in England. This is not a good team by Concacaf standards. Pedigree wise, they’ve got some players that could made out the spine of their team. Outside of Charles-Cook, they have little threat in the attacking third.
🚨Squad Announcement for Concacaf Nations League fixture against the USA on March 24.🚨
Head Coach Anthony ‘Nixon’ Modeste has picked a balanced team of youth and experience with nine (9) foreign based players (39%) joining the squad from England and the United States. pic.twitter.com/zLyv4AQ7CT
— GrenadaFA (@GFAGrenada) March 16, 2023
Predictions and Best Odds
Expect the pitch to be less than ideal for the Americans and some Concacaf shenanigans to take place. The Spice Boys will likely scrap and try and turn it into a physical game. With plenty of European based players in midseason form, they should be able to keep up speed wise. Hudson came out in a 4-3-3 in both games back in January. Expect the same formation with some tactical changes based on the personnel and lack of familiarity.
USMNT fans have seen games like this where the Americans are superior talent wise but circumstances make games more difficult. Don’t expect a blowout. This game probably comes down to moments as individuals look to impress for the future full-time manager. Let’s go 3-0. The U.S.A. will carry much of the play but will have difficulty with the final product mostly due to their lack of chemistry in the first half. Pulisic sets up whomever starts at center forward for a tap in. Yunus Musah gets a goal in transition in. Brendan Aaronson picks off a pass while pressing in the final 20 minutes to set up whomever is the garbage time sub.
BetMGM has Grenada at +3300 to win, a draw at +1300, and a U.S. win at -3000. If Hudson rotates the expected starters to save some legs for El Salvador, betting a draw might be risk some are willing to take.