The Stars and Stripes are ready to fly for the first time since February as the United States face Wales on Thursday in a friendly that will draw all the anticipation of a competitive clash.
Manager Gregg Berhalter has assembled his squad after a nine-month hiatus, while Wales may hold the advantage in sharpness considering this will be their sixth fixture since the start of September.
The Dragons are under some pressure to perform ahead of upcoming UEFA Nations League fixtures against the Republic of Ireland and Finland. This is the first of two European friendlies for the visitors, who will next take on Panama in Wiener Neustadt, Austria (their first meeting on neutral turf).
This will be the U.S. men’s national team first game on Welsh soil, perhaps the closest we’ll come to seeing Gareth Bale meet fictional Tottenham Hotspur coach Ted Lasso in real life:
Bale, who returned to Spurs on loan from Real Madrid this summer, has been declared fit by interim Wales coach Robert Page after he was injured in Sunday’s 1-0 win over West Bromwich Albion. That’s no guarantee the Welsh talisman will be risked to start against the USA, however, with full-back Chris Gunter confirmed as captain for the hosts.
Assistant Page is at the Welsh helm for at least the next three games after manager Ryan Giggs was arrested “on suspicion of assaulting his girlfriend,” via BBC News.
What TV Channel is Wales-USA on?
Wales will host the United States on Thursday, and FOX Sports 1 will broadcast the action beginning at 2:45 p.m. ET. You can live stream international matches on fuboTV.
A young roster has travelled to face Wales at the Liberty Stadium in Swansea, the second-highest populated city in the country after its capital, Cardiff, where the USMNT has been based. Only three players in the squad are over the age of 25, and 33-year-old Fulham defender Tim Ream is the eldest included by a gulf of six years.
Ten newcomers could make their international debuts, the most anticipated of whom are Valencia winger Yunus Musah, Bayern Munich’s Chris Richards, and of course Giovanni Reyna, who is already a regular fixture in Borussia Dortmund’s midfield.
This corps of young talent could form the fulcrum of a United States team targeting major plaudits in the decade to come, and RB Leipzig anchor Tyler Adams is one of those who speaks (and plays) beyond his 21 years:
One prominent name who won't be involved for the travelling team is Christian Pulisic, who returned to Chelsea on Wednesday due to a hamstring complaint, via NBC Sports.
How to Watch Wales vs. United States
When: Thursday, November 12
Where: Liberty Stadium, Swansea, Wales
Time: 2:45 p.m. ET
TV: FOX Sports 1
Live Stream: fuboTV (watch for free)
Wales’ population was roughly one percent of the United States equivalent in 2019, but that shouldn’t conceal the visitors’ task in Swansea. Thursday’s hosts have lost only one of their last 11 matches (a 3-0 defeat to rivals England) and lead their UEFA Nations League group heading into the final two pool matches.
Although nothing tangible is on the line at the Liberty, Wales will be eager to build momentum after beating Bulgaria in their last outing. Similarly, many among the U.S. squad will have a point to prove, whether an established international or earning their first cap for the team.
Landon Donovan was on the scoresheet when the USMNT beat Wales in their only previous encounter, a 2-0 victory in San Jose, California, back in May 2003. The national icon is no longer present to give that assured touch of class for the U.S., but Berhalter has a host of would-be stars ready to write their own piece of history in Wales.