Wales and the United States. Very rarely will you ever manage to say these two countries names side by side and there be an actual link between them, so we can thank FIFA for sanctioning these bizarre games of football.
Cardiff is a bit like Seattle, I suppose. Actually, no – sorry. I usually add a bit of colour to these pieces, but I’m not even truly capable of finding an overlap to focus on here.
Moving swiftly on, the US are certainly being led by their women’s team at the moment, with memories of Landon Donovan feeling like they were centuries ago rather than well within living memory.
Of course it’s so uncommon for the US to actually go an extended period of time without embarrassing themselves (see the 2-0 loss to Canada last October) that we always feel a good result will swiftly be followed by defeat.
And Wales? Oh boy. Where to even begin. Let’s just focus on the football for now – here’s three best bets for you.
First of all, both of these sides are using this game to prepare for three different tournaments, so I don’t expect either top-level focus nor full-strength lineups.
But, both sides are likely to full of players with the ability to take on a couple of defenders and find opportunities by themselves. And given that Danny Ward – who hasn’t been playing football whatsoever – is in line to start in goals for Wales, I think it’s a good time to take both sides scoring here.
The one thing the USA have over some lesser-equipped European nations is the focus on ball work. They’re not too concerned about the physical aspect, or implementing the old-school rough and tumble of the well-established leagues on the other side of the Atlantic.
However, the downside of this is that defending is a spatial thing for them, and once eight-foot-seven Kieffer Moore jumps on your shoulder, you have no answer. Does he start? Well, he’s in the squad and that’s good enough for me. If he comes on, there’ll be no doubt in my mind that balls will rain down on the centre-halves.
This is somewhat of a cheeky selection, simply because there’ll be massive turnover in terms of substitutions in the second half and it will interrupt the flow of the game. The big name to watch, by the way, is Gio Reyna, who’s starring for Dortmund at just 17.
Shrewd that both he and Jude Bellingham moved to Germany so they could drink down the boozer. Clever. He’s born in Sunderland and while this doesn’t qualify as a competitive cap, there’s surely no examples of players playing friendlies for one nation and then declaring for England is there?
* All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change.
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