The USMNT face Wales in Swansea on Thursday, as Gregg Berhalter has a talented but very young (average age: 21 years and 300 days) squad at his disposal.
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With Christian Pulisic nursing a recent hamstring injury, plus Josh Sargent forced to stay at Werder Bremen due to travel restrictions in that part of Germany, Berhalter has plenty of changes to make to his attacking unit.
Borussia Dortmund star Gio Reyna, 17, is expected to start, and plenty is expected from Yunus Musah, also 17, after his recent displays for Valencia in Spain.
In short, get ready to see plenty of new faces for the USMNT against Wales as 10 of the 24-man squad are uncapped.
Below we take a look at what our starting lineup for the USMNT will be for the friendly game this week.
USMNT starting lineup v Wales
----- Steffen -----
---- Dest ---- Ream ---- Brooks ---- Robinson ----
----- McKennie ---- Adams ----
---- Lletget ---- Reyna ---- Musah ----
----- Weah ----
Evaluation of USMNT’s options
With another friendly against Panama next week, it is fair to say that Berhalter will use his ‘first XI’ for the game against Wales. They are clearly the stronger opponent, even if they do rotate their squad a little, and there will be more experience in this team.
Steffen is ahead of Ethan Horvath in the pecking order in goal, but the latter impressed in the Champions League for Club Brugge last month and deserves a start against Panama. The back four should see Sergino Dest at right back and Antonee Robinson at left back with both playing well for Barcelona and Fulham, but don’t rule out Reggie Cannon getting significant minutes at full back after his good form with Portuguese side Boavista.
Tim Ream and John Brooks are an experienced center back duo, but Matt Miazga could start instead of one of them, while Chris Richards is along to gain more experience and will likely play against Panama.
In midfield, this is what USMNT fans have been waiting for: Tyler Adams and Weston McKennie player together. Due to injuries to both players, and Berhalter experimenting with them at right back, it will be intriguing to see how they can work together. Adams and McKennie have elevated their game and are key contributors at RB Leipzig and Juventus, two teams who will go deep in the Champions League once again.
Ahead of the midfield two is where it gets interesting. Gio Reyna is a stud and will start, just a few days short of his 18th birthday, while Yunus Musah will surely get plenty of minutes as the USMNT try to get him to commit to them instead of the England national team. Sebastian Lletget was added as a replacement for Sargent and is the only MLS player in the squad, so you’d think he will get some minutes. Tim Weah could start up top in the absence of Sargent, with Sebastian Soto another option up there.
Konrad de la Fuente, Nicholas Giacchini and Ulysses Llanez will also be hopeful of getting valuable minutes in attack.