USMNT ought to extend their winning run to four soccer games when they lock horns with New Zealand in a friendly at the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium in Washington on Tuesday night (8pm ET on ESPN).
Jurgen Klinsmann’s men ran out 2-0 winners in their last encounter against Cuba on Friday, with goals from Chris Wondolowski (pictured) and Julian Green helping the visitors to a victory at the Estadio Pedro Marrero in Havana.
It was a patchy display from Team USA, who admittedly were not aided by a poor playing surface on their first visit to Cuba in almost seven decades. They still managed to get the job done with those two strikes in the second half. Fans of the United States will hope to see some more entertaining and progressive football after the team relied upon plenty of long balls against Cuba, with Klinsmann and his players continuing to prepare for next month’s crunch World Cup qualifying fixture against rivals Mexico at the Mapfre Stadium in Columbus.
New Zealand were defeated by the Mexicans on Friday, going down 2-1 in Tennessee thanks to goals from Giovani dos Santos and Marco Fabian. Anthony Hudson’s charges are also getting ready for the resumption of World Cup qualifying in Oceania in November, with the All Whites favourites to proceed to an intercontinental play-off ahead of the likes of Fiji, New Caledonia, Tahiti, the Solomon Islands and Papau New Guinea.
Hudson will probably be more concerned about the performance than the result on Tuesday, with many players likely to be auditioning for a starting role in the clash with New Caledonia in Kone next month.
Klinsmann lined his U.S. side up in a 4-4-2 formation against the Cubans, with Jozy Altidore and Bobby Wood paired up front, Michael Bradley and Sacha Kljestan selected in the centre of midfield, and John Brooks and Geoff Cameron partnering one another in the heart of the backline. Wondolowski could be included in the starting XI after coming off the bench and finding the back of the net last time out, while Sunderland midfielder Lynden Gooch is hoping to be handed his international debut by Klinsmann.
With veteran goalkeepers Brad Guzan and Tim Howard not included in the squad, the former Germany international and manager could turn to either David Bingham or William Yarbrough between the sticks after Ethan Horvath was given his chance against Cuba.
New Zealand’s squad of players includes England-based stars Winston Reid (West Ham United), Liam Graham (Chesterfield), Henry Cameron (Blackpool), Chris Wood (Leeds United), Rory Fallon (Truro City) and Monty Patterson (Ipswich Town), as well as Portland Timbers’ Jake Gleeson, Wisconsin Badgers’ Sam Brotherton and San Jose Earthquakes’ Kip Colvey in the United States.
Hudson will probably set his side up in a 3-5-2 formation, just as he did in the 2-1 loss to Mexico last week. Full-backs Graham and Deklan Wynne are likely to drop deep to make a defensive line of five, which could at times prove difficult for the USMNT to break down.
Our Preview’s U.S. vs New Zealand Betting Predictions & Picks
Turning to this preview’s betting picks and predictions, it is probably worth backing USA to get the better of New Zealand at the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium. The hosts look to be in good shape following a positive recent run of form after the Copa America Centenario, and playing in front of a partisan crowd should give them the edge against the All Whites
A 2-0 United States victory is our idea of the likely margin of dominance and this preview also expects Borussia Dortmund’s teenage sensation Christian Pulisic to find the back of the net for the fourth time for America at senior level.
From a betting picks’ perspective, the U.S. soccer team are best odds of -360 with Bovada Sportsbook to win this matchup. It is -405 with 5Dimes. So the USA betting odds are very short on the moneyline and it may pay to be more inventive.
- We believe the best wager is on the spread. Our betting pick is to get on USA -1.5 goals @ -120 odds with Bovada. We profit if USMNT win this soccer game by the expected two goal margin or more.