United States vs. Bolivia | 2018 International Friendly Match Preview
United States vs. Bolivia
Talen Energy Stadium — Chester
Monday, May 28 — 6:30 pm ET
WATCH: FS1, UniMás, UDN
The youth movement continues for the United States national team, which has a roster with the average age of 22 years old for an international friendly against Bolivia on Memorial Day at Talen Energy Stadium in Chester.
It is the first of three consecutive matches for the United States, which heads to Europe to meet Ireland in Dublin on June 2 and France in Lyon on June 9.
Leading the mostly European-based roster is Christian Pulisic, the 19-year-old Borussia Dortmund midfielder who hails from nearby Hershey, PA. It will be his first match with the USMNT since Oct., 2017.
“The opportunity to have him a part of any group that we assemble is very important, not just for him personally, but for this group going forward,” U.S. interim coach Dave Sarachan said of Pulisic’s inclusion. “It’s very good to have Christian back in the mix. It’s been a number of months and I think when you can add the quality he provides to any team, that’s a big bonus for the program.”
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United States Outlook
As has been the case in the other friendlies that followed the failed FIFA World Cup qualification, there are players vying for their first appearance for the senior national team, including former New York Red Bulls Academy standout Matthew Olosunde, an outside back in Manchester United’s setup.
Also in their first USMNT camp are Keaton Parks, a 20-year-old Benfica midfielder, and 24-year-old midfielder Alejandro Guido, who joins Tijuana teammate Rubio Rubin on the 22-man roster.
“Like all of the matches we’ve played since November, the expectation is that the players respond well to the challenges they’ll face on the day against a team that will punish your mistakes,” Sarachan said. “The hope is that we continue the form that we have already shown in terms of being aggressive and not allowing a lot of time and space to the opponent, all with the hope that we have the freedom to create good chances and come away with a positive result.”
Bolivia’s World Cup failure came before the final match of CONMEBOL qualification, although La Verde did beat reigning confederation champions Chile in September and defeated Argentina, 2-0, last March.
In their first matches since World Cup qualification, Bolivia played a pair of friendlies at Curacao during the March FIFA window, settling for a 1-1 draw in the first match before losing 1-0 in the second.
Interim coach Cesar Farias, who previously coached Venezuela from 2007-13, has called in a young and inexperienced squad largely comprised of domestic-based players with 11 of the 22 seeking a first cap.
Among those players is 22-year-old midfielder Juan Robera, one of six players called in from Bolivian powerhouse Oriente Petrolero.
The United States are 1-2-4 all-time against Bolivia. The lone win came in the last encounter, 4-0 on May 28, 2016 at Children’s Mercy Park. In that match, Pulisic became the youngest player to score a goal for the USA in the modern era at 17 years old. Gyasi Zardes also struck for a brace and John Brooks added a goal in the Copa America warm-up.
Players to Watch
United States — Christian Pulisic. Clearly all eyes, and cameras, will be on the local boy and the face of the USMNT’s future. Pulisic wasn’t called in for March’s 1-0 win over Paraguay because Dortmund had a key match against Bayern Munich which had UEFA Champions League qualification implications. Now, after his second season in Germany’s top flight, Pulisic will look to wow family and friends with a positive performance against Bolivia.
Bolivia — Bruno Miranda. The lone United States-based player on the Bolivia roster, the 20-year-old D.C. United forward has represented — and scored — for Bolivia’s youth squads and made his senior national team against the United States in 2016. Miranda has come of the bench twice this season for D.C. United, recording an assist in a 3-2 loss to the Philadelphia Union at Talen Energy Stadium on April 28.
United States Roster
|GK||Alex Bono||Toronto FC||0/0|
|GK||Ethan Horvath||Club Brugge||2/0|
|D||Cameron Carter-Vickers||Ipswich Town||2/0|
|D||Eric Lichaj||Nottingham Forest||14/1|
|D||Matthew Olosunde||Manchester United||0/0|
|D||Erik Palmer-Brown||Manchester City||0/0|
|D||Antonne Robinson||Bolton Wanderers||0/0|
|D||Jorge Villafana||Santos Laguna||16/0|
|M||Joe Corona||Club Tijuana||20/3|
|M||Alejandro Guido||Club Tijuana||0/0|
|M||Christian Pulisic||Borussia Dortmund||20/9|
|M||Rubio Rubin||Club Tijuana||5/0|
|M||Tim Weah||Paris Saint-Germain||1/0|
|F||Josh Sargent||Werder Bremen||0/0|
|GK||Guillermo Vizcarra||Hapoel Ra'anana||1/0|
|D||Carlos Anez||Oriente Petrolero||0/0|
|D||Oscar Baldomar||Universitario de Sucre||0/0|
|D||Luis Haquim||Oriente Petrolero||2/0|
|D||Gustavo Olguin||Oriente Petrolero||0/0|
|M||Danny Bejarano||Panteolikos FC||17/0|
|M||Rodrigo Borda||Universitario de Sucre||0/0|
|M||Leandro Maygua||Universitario de Sucre||4/0|
|M||Edson Perez||Nacional Potosi||0/0|
|M||Miguel Quiroga||Nacional Potosi||0/0|
|M||Juan Ribera||Oriente Petrolero||0/0|
|M||Rodrigo Rodriguez||Oriente Petrolero||0/0|
|M||Luis Jose Vargas||Blooming||3/1|
|F||Bruno Miranda||D.C. United||5/0|
|F||Hector Ronaldo Sanchez||Oriente Petrolero||1/0|
|F||Rodrigo Vargas||Karpaty FC||3/0|