The United States men’s national team plays its first match as a full-strength squad under new coach Gregg Berhalter when it welcomes Ecuador on Thursday in Orlando. After two friendlies earlier in the year with only players based in MLS, Berhalter has called up players from Europe, including Christian Pulisic and Weston McKennie, for this month’s games. It’s a, and it gives fans a look at what maybe we can expect come this summer’s Gold Cup.
Here’s how you can watch the match and what to know:
Friendly: USA vs. Ecuador
- Date: Thursday, March 21
- Time: 8 p.m. ET
- Location: Orlando City Stadium; Orlando, Fla.
- TV channel: UniMas and ESPN2
- Streaming: fuboTV (Try for free)
- Odds: USA +120 / Ecuador +230 / Draw +235
USA: This squad caught the eyes of many due to the names in attack. Tim Weah and Josh Sargent aren’t on the list, but guys like Christian Ramirez, Corey Baird and Jonathan Lewis are. Those aren’t household USMNT names but all are guys who hope to soon become national team staples. We can probably expect to see Gyasi Zardes start in attack as he was Berhalter’s guy with the Columbus Crew. Paul Arriola of D.C. United is another player who has been on a nice run of form.
Ecuador: The South American side is preparing for the Copa America this summer and is bringing important players like Antonio Valencia and Enner Valencia. It’s far from the country’s best team but still one with plenty of speed that should create quite the challenge for the Americans.
USA vs. Ecuador prediction
The lack of experience in attack shows, but the U.S. gets some magic from Pulisic and McKennie to win the friendly by a goal.
Pick: USA (+120)