Skip to content

USMNT Preview: Austria v. United States

Nov 18, 2013, 12:45 PM EDT

Britain Scotland United States Soccer
  • The 0-0 draw with Scotland ensured the US will finish 2013 with the best winning percentage during a calendar year in U.S. MNT history.
  • Tim Howard sits one victory away from the all-time record of 53 wins set by Kasey Keller (53-27-18). 
  • The Austria match is the final US match of the year and kicks off at Ernst-Happel-Stadion in Vienna at 2:45 p.m. ET that will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Network and UniMas.

On Tuesday the United States Men’s National Team will look to put last week’s lackluster Scotland performance behind them and kick-on against Austria in Vienna.

When looking at the Scotland match or Tuesday’s contest with Austria one must keep in mind that they are friendlies. As in, exhibition matches. Glorified training sessions. Nothing more.

So while performances like last Friday’s goalless draw will undoubtedly impart a sense of dread upon USMNT fans, let’s keep an open mind as Jurgen Klinsmann tinkers away. The US coach is in the midst of determining who will snap up the final roster spots for Brazil, which is why guys like Sacha Kljestan (attacking midfield), Mix Diskerud (holding midfield) and Eddie Johnson (left wing) were all played out of position against Scotland.

It was a test to see who possesses versatility. Diskerud passed. Kljestan and Johnson, not so much. Against Austria on Tuesday, expect the probing to continue although the aforementioned trio may return to their typical positions. The center-back partnership of Geoff Cameron and Omar Gonzalez, which failed to impress against Scotland, may also get another turn while Eric Lichaj, who came on for the injured Brad Evans on Friday, may have another opportunity to prove his worth.

Aron Johannsson is another player we can expect to be in the starting XI against Austria. The AZ forward has enjoyed a spectacular season in Dutch football and was easily the most dangerous man on the pitch against Scotland. There’s little doubt that Brazil is in Johannsson’s future so now it’s about figuring out who he works well with and where he best fits on the field. Don’t be surprised if Klinsmann changes the formation to a 4-4-2 to see how the Icelandic wonder can work with a guy like EJ.

The biggest question to answer on Tuesday, however, is whether Kljestan or Brek Shea deserve a spot on the squad in Brazil.

Kljestan has been fantastic for Anderlecht, owning his role in the holding midfield. Playing in the Champions League has provided the 28-year-old with experiences that few other USMNT players possess, yet he rarely seems to play as well for country as he does club. With the stiff competition in the USMNT holding midfield, he’ll need to show Klinsmann something special if he wants to be selected for next summer’s tournament.

There is no bigger dark horse than Shea. Injuries have hampered his growth and playing time at Stoke City, yet the blonde ambition still possesses a unique and explosive skill-set that plays well in a USMNT kit. He is a role player but a one with such devastating speed and dribbling ability that he continually manages to give opposing defenses nightmares. If he can pull off something special against Austria, he might just punch his ticket to Brazil.

Despite being ranked 53rd in the world, Austria boasts some impressive talent. Aston Villa winger Andreas Weimann has devastating speed and a knack for goal while Stoke new-boy Marko Arnautovic is a confident, powerful attacker that looks to take defenders on.

The midfield is run by Schalke’s Christian Fuchs along with German club players Emanuel Pogatetz (Nuremberg) and Sebastien Proedel (Werder Bremen) and Austria Vienna duo Manuel Ortlechner and Markus Suttner. In defense Austria possesses one of their greatest weapons, Bayern Munich full-back David Alaba who gives side’s problems with his strong tackling and ability to shoot from outside. 

What They’re Saying

Austria coach Marcel Koller: I saw five recent games and they used different players each time. They have a couple of excellent strikers, players with great individual qualities who can easily score.

Prediction

The US make up for last week to earn a hard-worked 2-0 victory with goals by Johannsson and Diskerud.

Latest Posts
  1. Crystal Palace 0-2 Hull City: N’Doye’s double hands Tigers huge win

    Apr 25, 2015, 12:04 PM EDT

    Crystal Palace v Hull City - Premier League Getty Images

    Tigers give themselves breathing space from the bottom three with much-needed win.

  2. Burnley 0-1 Leicester City: Foxes move out of drop zone, send Clarets bottom!

    Apr 25, 2015, 11:58 AM EDT

    Burnley v Leicester City - Premier League Getty Images

    Nigel Pearson was fired last month, or so we were led to believe. Now his Foxes have escaped the drop zone with a dramatic win at Turf Moor.

  3. VIDEO: Spurs’ emotional Pochettino on his St. Mary’s return, “I still love Southampton”

    Apr 25, 2015, 11:10 AM EDT

    Southampton v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League Getty Images

    “I was focused on my job but was a very tough and emotional game for me,” said Tottenham’s boss.

  4. Watch Live: Burnley vs. Leicester City (Lineups and Live Stream)

    Apr 25, 2015, 9:47 AM EDT

    Leicester City v Burnley - Premier League Getty Images

    Turf Moor is the place, and Danny Ings will lead the Clarets attack in a quest for safety.

  5. Watch Live: Queens Park Rangers vs. West Ham United (Lineups and Live Stream)

    Apr 25, 2015, 9:45 AM EDT

    Queens Park Rangers v West Bromwich Albion - Premier League Getty Images

    Can the R’s grab a crucial win in the London derby? Watch live online.

  6. Watch Live: Stoke City vs. Sunderland (Lineups and Live Stream)

    Apr 25, 2015, 9:44 AM EDT

    Britain Soccer Premier League AP

    USMNT back Geoff Cameron gets the start at right back, again, for Stoke City.

  7. Southampton 2-2 Tottenham Hotspur: Visitors twice come back from Pelle goals

    Apr 25, 2015, 9:42 AM EDT

    Southampton v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League Getty Images

    Kelvin Davis wasn’t poor, but Saints are clearly missing the steady play of Fraser Forster between the sticks.

  8. Watch Live: West Bromwich Albion vs. Liverpool (Lineups and Live Stream)

    Apr 25, 2015, 9:30 AM EDT

    Balotelli AP

    Can Liverpool keep their faint top four hopes alive? Watch them live online, right here.

  9. Watch Live: Newcastle United vs. Swansea City (Lineups and Live Stream)

    Apr 25, 2015, 9:28 AM EDT

    Britain Soccer Premier League AP

    There will be no Bafetimbi Gomis at all for Swans, while Ki Sung-yeung is relegated to the bench.

  10. WATCH: Premier League live online via NBC Sports Live Extra – Week 34

    Apr 25, 2015, 7:15 AM EDT

    Live Extra

    Where and how to watch every single PL game live online or via the app during Week 34.

  11. Watch Live: Southampton vs. Tottenham Hotspur (Lineups and Live Stream)

    Apr 25, 2015, 7:07 AM EDT

    Britain Soccer Premier League AP

    USMNT winger/back DeAndre Yedlin is on the bench for Spurs.

  12. MLS Snapshot: Colorado Rapids 1-1 FC Dallas

    Apr 25, 2015, 12:21 AM EDT

    Colorado Rapids vs Columbus Crew Colorado Rapids vs Columbus Crew

    FC Dallas took the lead into halftime, but a second half red card to Blas Perez let Colorado sneak back for a point.

  13. Tony Pulis: I’m more than just an escape artist

    Apr 24, 2015, 11:10 PM EDT

    Crystal Palace v West Bromwich Albion - Premier League Getty Images

    Tony Pulis is known for turning around struggling clubs, but the West Brom manager says he is more than just a last resort.

  14. MLS Snapshot: Chicago Fire 1-0 New York City FC

    Apr 24, 2015, 10:20 PM EDT

    Toronto FC v Chicago Fire Getty Images

    David Accam’s first MLS goal was enough for Chicago to down a NYCFC side that played more than 60 minutes a man down.

  15. Americans Abroad preview: Howard and Guzan face Manchester opposition

    Apr 24, 2015, 9:38 PM EDT

    Everton v Burnley - Premier League Getty Images

    Tim Howard takes on his former club Manchester United, while Brad Guzan looks to keep Manchester City off the scoresheet.

  16. Tottenham looking to sell Adebayor at season’s end

    Apr 24, 2015, 8:50 PM EDT

    FBL-ENG-FA CUP-TOTTENHAM-LEICESTER Getty Images

    Finding a club to pay his $150,000 per week wages is the only problem for Spurs.

  17. Premier League Preview: West Bromwich Albion vs. Liverpool

    Apr 24, 2015, 7:46 PM EDT

    Aston Villa v Liverpool - FA Cup Semi-Final Aston Villa v Liverpool - FA Cup Semi-Final

    The Baggies must defend The Hawthorns as Liverpool is barely clinging on to top-four dreams.

Featured video

Should Chelsea be more entertaining?