U.S. vs. Bosnia-Herzegovina
Wednesday, August 14 at 11:30 am PT
Asim Ferhatovic Hase Stadium; Sarajevo
TV: ESPN2 and UniMas
Sounders FC Connections: Brad Evans and Eddie Johnson made the trip to Sarajevo for the friendly. Evans anticipates continuing to learn the right back position with the National Team, where he has started in the last three World Cup qualifiers in June. Johnson’s versatility gives him several options for playing time and has been used throughout the year by Head Coach Jurgen Klinsmann. He has a chance to overtake DaMarcus Beasley for the most U.S. appearances in 2013 as both sit on 12 and Beasley did not make the trip.
U.S. Outlook: With World Cup qualifying matches looming in September, Klinsmann is using this match as another opportunity to get a look at some of the fringe players while also keeping tabs on mainstays like Tim Howard, Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore. The quality of opponent is also crucial, as friendly matches against Belgium (May 29) and Germany (June 2) were catalysts on a current run of success that has seen the U.S. go on an 11-match winning streak. Winning the match will extend that streak, obviously, and carry momentum closer to the next World Cup qualifier on September 6 in Costa Rica. A loss or draw provides Klinsmann with a chance to re-energize his team heading into those final four qualifying matches.
Bosnia-Herzegovina Outlook: Bosnia is running away with the Group Stage standings in World Cup qualifying, leading Group G at 5-0-1 while outscoring the opposition 23-3. Led by Manchester City’s Edin Dzeko and Stuttgart’s Vedad Ibisevic, they have moved up to No. 13 in the latest FIFA World Rankings. They are still seeking their first World Cup appearance after earning entry into FIFA before the 1998 World Cup.