Pre-Game Hype: MNT vs France

USMNT v France
Lyon, France
6/9/2018 @ 3pm ET
ESPN & UniMas

Watch with your AO family at one of 196 chapter bars.

THE HYPE

The USMNT returns to action following a disappointing 2-1 defeat in Dublin, the boys return for what should be a very tough test in Lyon on Saturday. Against the Irish, the young boys held their ground and should’ve finished with a draw, but a late goal gave the hosts the late win. Bobby Wood gave us the lead going into half time. A 57thminute equalizer from Graham Burke and it appeared the match was heading for a draw before Alan Judge stabbed home late to give Ireland the W.

Saturday’s match in Lyon will be an altogether different challenge for the Red, White & Blue. France is primed and ready for Russia, and most consider them a real contender to win the World Cup. A 0-3 record vs Les Bleus may not bode well heading into Saturday’s match, but these youngins shouldn’t have any fear and should look to score goals and pull an upset against some World Class players. Here are the rosters:

GK: Alphonse Areola (Paris Saint-Germain/FRA; 0/0), Hugo Lloris (Tottenham Hotspur/ENG; 97/0), Steve Mandanda (Olympique Marseille/FRA; 27/0)

DEF: Lucas Hernández (Atlético Madrid/ESP; 4/0), Presnel Kimpembe (Paris Saint-Germain/FRA; 2/0), Benjamin Mendy (Manchester City/ENG; 6/0), Benjamin Pavard (Stuttgart/GER; 5/0), Adil Rami (Olympique Marseille/FRA; 35/1), Djibril Sidibé (Monaco/FRA; 16/1), Samuel Umtiti (Barcelona/ESP; 18/2), Raphaël Varane (Real Madrid/ESP; 41/2)

MID: N’Golo Kante (Chelsea/ENG; 23/1), Thomas Lemar (Monaco/FRA; 11/3), Blaise Matuidi (Juventus/ITA; 66/9), Steve Nzozi (Sevilla/ESP; 4/0), Paul Pogba (Manchester United/ENG; 53/9), Corentin Tolisso (Bayern Munich/GER; 8/0)

FOR: Ousmane Dembélé (Barcelona/ESP; 11/2), Nabil Fekir (Olympique Lyon/FRA; 11/2), Olivier Giroud (Chelsea/ENG; 73/31), Antoine Griezmann (Atlético Madrid/ESP; 53/20), Kylian Mbappé (Paris Saint-Germain/FRA; 14/3), Florian Thauvin (Olympique Marseille/FRA; 4/0)

Bill Hamid looked shaky at the back against the Irish, and most USMNT fans would love to see Zack Steffen between the pipes against the French.

Miazga and CCV were solid for the most part, though Matty was easily beaten for Ireland’s late winner last week. It will be interesting to see how Sarachan sets up the back line who will face Antoine Griezmann, Paul Pogba, Kylian Mbappe, etc.

Will Trapp captain’d the side against the Irish – will he maintain his role Saturday? Surely Tyler Adams will continue to retain his place for the USMNT ahead of his speculated European move. Weston McKennie has been a workhorse in the last few matches and will look to feed Bobby Wood as he bags his first USMNT hattrick.

Another very difficult test for the boys, but one that will give this squad more invaluable experience heading into Gold Cup next summer, and into qualifying for 2022. With an average age of just 23, this game should be looked as opportunity-time, and less above the result.

So get to your bars, cheer on the boys, and let out one last cry that we won’t be heading to Russia. We are here now and forever, for the future.

Love you,

AO