Who: Italy v United States
Where: Luminus Arena, Genk, Belgium
When: Tuesday, November 20 at 2:45PM EST
How (to watch): Fox Sports 1, Fox Sports Go app
Both sides will feature plenty of youth when Italy and the United States square off in Tuesday’s friendly. After unexpectedly missing out on this summer’s World Cup, both sides continue to rebuild with visions of a brighter future.
The Italy rebuild seems to be a bit further along, as Roberto Mancini has begun to instill his ideas in the squad. The Azzurri are coming off three consecutive positive results after drawing Ukraine 1-1, beating Poland 1-0, and drawing Portugal 0-0 in their most recent matches. Italy outplayed Portugal for the majority of Saturday’s Nations League match, despite the fact that they couldn’t find the back of the net; something that has plagued the side since Mancini took over.
The Italy manager will look to build on the positives, albeit with a younger, much different looking line-up against the United States. Expect plenty of turnover on Tuesday after Mancini sent home veterans Alessandro Florenzi, Lorenzo Insigne, Giorgio Chiellini, Ciro Immobile and Jorghino after Saturday’s match. Additionally, Lorenzo Pellegrini, a likely starter, also withdrew after suffering a leg contusion.
With that in mind there will be some players making their Azzurri debuts on Tuesday. Italy will employ a 4-3-3 with veteran goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu of Torino between the sticks. Juve duo Leonardo Bonucci and Daniele Rugani will anchor the defense, flanked by another Juve player Mattia De Sciglio and Chelsea’s Emerson Palmieri. The midfield will feature Sassuolo debutante Stefano Sensi, along with PSG’s Marco Verratti and Cagliari’s Nicolo Barella. Meanwhile, the forward line will feature three new starters; Kevin Lasagna of Udinese will be flanked by Sassuolo’s Domenico Berardi, and debutante Vincenzo Grifo of Hoffenheim. Meanwhile, Brescia’s Sandro Tonali, Juve’s Moise Kean, Atalanta’s Gianluca Mancini, and Cagliari men Leonardo Pavoletti and Alessio Cragno could all possibly earn their first Azzurri CAP off the bench.
The United States, meanwhile, continue to be coached by interim manager Dave Sarachan, while the federation continues it search for a head coach; something that has become a point of contention with fans and pundits alike. The United States is coming off a heavy friendly defeat at the hands of England on Thursday 3-0. The Stars and Stripes have struggled to keep opponents off the board with only one shutout in five matches this fall; leading to a 1-3-1 record. Sarachan will send out another young line-up and hope for better results this time around.
The United States will likely employ a 4-2-3-1 formation with Club Brugge’s Ethan Horvath in goal. Swansea City’s Cameron Carter-Vickers and Wolfburg’s John Brooks will center the defense. They’ll be flanked by DeAndre Yedlin of Newcastle United and Reggie Cannon of FC Dallas. Sitting in front of the defense will be Major League Soccer duo Kellyn Acosta of the Colorado Rapids and Will Trapp of Columbus Crew. In attack, Werder Bremen’s Josh Sargent will lead the line. Offering him support will be exciting prospects Christian Pulisic of Borussia Dortmund and Timothy Weah of PSG. Rounding out the trio will be debutante Romaine Gall of Malmo.
- Italy (4-3-3): Sirigu; De Sciglio, Bonucci, Rugani, Emerson Palmieri; Barella, Verratti, Sensi; Berardi, Lasagna, Grifo. Coach: Roberto Mancini
- USA (4-2-3-1): Horvath; Yedlin, Carter-Vickers, Brooks, Cannon; Acosta, Trapp; Pulisić, Gall, T.Weah; Sargent. Coach: Dave Sarachan