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17th Nov 2014

Ireland v USA – Three things to look forward to

What are we most looking forward to ahead of Ireland's friendly against the U.S.A. tomorrow

Darragh Murphy

Many people write friendly games off as non-events but there’s actually more to expect from this game than you might have anticipated.

1 – New boys should bring excitement

Confirmation came from Martin O’Neill this afternoon that he is set to play Cyrus Christie and David McGoldrick for Ireland’s friendly against USA tomorrow night.

We’re holding out hope that the injection of new blood of the new call-ups will bring some kind of innovation on the night, rather than another long-ball-a-minute performance.

“Who are these young whippersnappers?” I hear you bellow. “We want a bloody factfile!”

Name: Cyrus Christie

Club: Derby County

Position: Right back

Age: 22

Weight: 12st 4lb

Height:  6ft 2in

Derby County v Wigan Athletic - Sky Bet Championship

Name: David McGoldrick

Club: Ipswich Town

Position: Forward

Age: 26

Weight: 11st 9lb

Height: 6ft

2 -End the year on a high

Tomorrow night’s game will be the last match for O’Neill’s men until Poland come and visit us at the end of March next year.

Ireland blew hot and cold in 2014, winning three, losing four and drawing three.

Fair enough, the victories all arrived in the last five games which would suggest that the boys have found form but, let’s keep some perspective, they did come against Oman, Georgia and Gibraltar.

A victory against U.S.A, who are 38 places ahead of Ireland in the latest FIFA rankings (USA – 23rd, Ireland 61st), would be a massive boost as Mart and Co. will look to get their Euro 2016 qualification campaign back on track.

But we are hopeful on the eve of the clash as Ireland have a decent record against the U.S.A. The sides have met eight times (1924, 1979, 1991, 1992 x2 , 1996, 2000 & 2002) and Ireland have come out on top four times, losing two and drawing two.

So go on lads, get at them and score a few goals. Then go back to your clubs and play as shite as you’d like.

3 – Experience against high level of competition

This match is billed as a friendly and we more than likely won’t see Keane on the sidelines trying to leer into the referee’s soul but the U.S.A. are a formidable test for Ireland that must be taken seriously.

Jurgen Klinsmann’s side made it to the round of 16 at the World Cup a matter of months ago and would have become quarter-finalists if it wasn’t for a late, late Lukaku goal.

The level of competition that Ireland will face tomorrow will likely be more valuable in terms of experience than competitive games against the likes of Gibraltar and it’s good to see young players being given the chance to learn from playing sides like the U.S.A. who are a force (albeit a new one) in world football.

The experience will stand all who play tomorrow in good stead and will hopefully award these players the chance to learn how to compete against the sides who, on paper, have been more successful as of late.

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