United States visit Netherlands for an international friendly with head coach Jurgen Klinsmann keen to use the fixture as a measuring stick for the development of his players.
Klinsmann’s men take on Netherlands at the Amsterdam Arena on Friday as they make preparations for their defence of the CONCACAF Gold Cup, which starts on July 7.
The USA face World Cup winners Germany five days after the meeting with Netherlands and Klinsmann is relishing the chance to test his team’s mettle against two of the best sides on the planet.
“It’s a huge opportunity to play nations like these two in order to see a lot of things that you want to see from your players,” the former Germany striker and national team coach told US Soccer’s official website.
“In a certain way, we want to see a couple of guys get thrown in the freezing cold water and see how they can swim and where they stand right now in the ranking of the men’s national team.
“That’s why I want to see [defenders] Ventura Alvarado or John Brooks play in games like this. Up front, because Jozy Altidore is not here and Clint Dempsey is not here, the youngsters that jump on board now have got a point to prove.
“For all these guys, games like these are opportunities that don’t happen often in a lifetime, so you better jump on those.”
One player who will not be involved is midfielder Jermaine Jones, who suffered a groin injury in New England Revolution’s 2-2 draw with LA Galaxy last Sunday.
Meanwhile, Netherlands will be without Bas Dost, the Wolfsburg striker withdrawing from Guus Hiddink’s squad due to a hamstring problem after helping the Bundesliga side to DFB-Pokal glory last weekend.
Other fitness problems come in the form of defenders Ron Vlaar, Stefan de Vrij and Jetro Willems, none of whom trained with the rest of the group on Wednesday.
That may not be of too much immediate concern for Hiddink, though, with the focus more on next week’s Euro 2016 qualifier Latvia rather than this friendly meeting in Amsterdam.
Netherlands travel to Latvia five points off an automatic qualification place in Group A and in desperate need of a win to close the gap.
But, after beating Spain 2-0 in their last friendly, Hiddink’s men should be confident of building further momentum against the USA in a spell of international fixtures that will likely prove pivotal to his second stint in charge of Netherlands.
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