Saturday 23 February 2019

USA coach wants team to learn from friendly clash

Dave Sarachan. Pic: Sportsfile
Dave Sarachan. Pic: Sportsfile

Acting head coach Dave Sarachan has challenged his young USA players to further their education as they tackle the Republic of Ireland ahead of a daunting trip to France.

The Americans face Ireland at the Aviva Stadium this evening before heading for Lyon and a clash with Didier Deschamps' World Cup-bound side next weekend. As a result, Sarachan has drafted in some of his more experienced European-based players, including Newcastle's DeAndre Yedlin and Hamburg striker Bobby Wood, to help nurse his youngsters through.

Sarachan said: "We're excited about the chance to add some of the veterans from Europe as well as the younger guys in MLS who have been part of our group since November.

"The games against Ireland and France will bring increasingly more difficult challenges, so we felt it was important to bring in some players that offer a bit more experience.

"These matches will provide another big development opportunity for these players who are growing in their international careers."

The USA arrive in Dublin on the back of a 3-0 victory over Bolivia in Philadelphia which saw 18-year-old Tim Weah, the son of former former FIFA World Player of the Year and current Liberia president George, score his first senior international goal.

Sarachan has been placed in charge of the team following the departure of Bruce Arena, to whom he was serving as assistant head coach, following the USA's failure to qualify for the World Cup in Russia.

It is the first time they have missed out on the finals since 1986.

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