The United States Men’s National Team was not too impressive in their first game with a full squad available under new coach Gregg Berhalter. The USMNT were sharp on defense against Ecuador on Thursday night, allowing the Tricolor just one shot attempt and no shots on goal throughout the match, but the offense was lackluster. Only an incredibly fortunate deflection and a baffled goalkeeper gave the USMNT a 1-0 win over Ecuador in Orlando, and now the Stars and Stripes will face a more challenging test when they take on Chile on Tuesday.
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United States vs Chile
- Date and Time: March 26, 2019, 8 p.m. ET
- Location: BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston, Texas
- US Television Coverage: ESPN2
- Betting Line: Check Back Later
There has yet to be a line released for this game as the US played on Thursday night and Chile will take on Mexico on Friday night prior to this one. This is the sixth meeting between these teams, and both sides have defeated the other twice. Their last meeting came four years ago when Chile beat the USMNT 3-2 with Mark Gonzalez scoring a second half brace to give the Chileans the win.
Chile didn’t qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, but this team grabbed results over most of the World Cup bound squads it played in the first half of last year. The Chileans knocked off Sweden on the road and beat Serbia in Austria, and they also netted ties with both Denmark and Poland in their respective countries.
However, we’ve seen some rocky play over the last six months. On the one hand, Chile did beat Mexico 1-0 in Mexico and hammered Honduras 4-1 in their last match back in November. On the other, they were crushed 3-0 by Peru in Miami in October, and Costa Rica jumped out to a 3-0 lead on them in mid-November.
The USMNT is now 3-0 in 2019, so you can’t argue with their record. They still haven’t answered the questions regarding whether or not they can compete with the big boys though. The Stars and Stripes lost four of their six matches in the last half of 2018 with the results being a win over Mexico and a draw against Peru, but the two previous wins were against relative lightweights. Chile will be the best team they have faced thus far.
Chile Player to Watch
Arturo Vidal will be the go-to guy for Chile here. All-time leading scorer Alexis Sanchez is recovering from a knee injury he sustained three weeks ago and can’t participate, so Vidal will be asked to be more creative and take more chances than he does in his usual role. The Barcelona midfielder is seen as one of the best two-way players in the world, and he is known for his tenacity on the pitch. He has 26 goals in 105 caps for Chile, and he will be rested as he won’t play against Mexico on Friday after a delayed arrival because of an issue with his visa.
United States Player to Watch
It’s time for Christian Pulisic to start living up to his potential. Pulisic showed some flare in the first half against Ecuador and fired in some dangerous crosses, but he didn’t create many opportunities as a whole. He didn’t do too much in the second half, and he will need to give his teammates more chances against Chile.
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United States vs Chile Free Picks
The lackluster offensive performance has me doubting the USMNT’s ability to get a win here. I think Chile can pick up a result off of the Stars and Stripes in Houston.
United States vs Chile Prediction: United States 1, Chile 1
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