The United States and Ecuador will play a friendly on October 10 at Rentschler Field in Hartford, CT. The match will kick off at 7 p.m. ET and be broadcast live on ESPN and UniMas. It will be the Americans' first home match since the World Cup.
The U.S. and Ecuador last met on October 11, 2011 in New York. Ecuador won that match, 1-0, on a late goal. That was Jurgen Klinsmann's fifth match in charge of the U.S. and part of a slow start for the manager, but the team is significantly better than it was then.
Klinsmann squad is coming off of a round of 16 appearance in the World Cup and are now turning their attention to the 2015 Gold Cup, which the Americans are co-favorites to win, along with Mexico. With the continental championship on the line, as well as the chance to clinch a spot in the Confederations Cup, the tournament is very important to the U.S. and the Ecuador friendly is part of their preparation for it.
Ecuador qualified for the World Cup and faired pretty well there. They finished with four points in Group E, not enough to get into the knockout stages, but beat Honduras and drew France. Enner Valencia, who just signed for West Ham, has emerged as a great striker for the team and should test the U.S. defense.
The U.S. will play the Czech Republic on September 3 in Prague. Their next match will be against Ecuador, with another friendly likely to follow on October 14 or 15. The U.S. could also play two friendlies in November -- they already have Ireland on the schedule for November 18 -- but they may play just one.
Klinsmann will have a decision to make on his MLS players for the October friendlies because the league not taking a break for the week of international dates. There are two matches scheduled for the 10th, with a full slate of matches that weekend. With some MLS players likely to miss out on the November friendlies because of their participation in the MLS Cup Playoffs, Klinsmann seems likely to call in the domestic players in October and leave the MLS clubs shorthanded.
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