By John Santos
No, this isn’t a Chivas vs. Chivas “Clasico”. This is about the upcoming international friendly between the United States National team (of which this examiner is a notorious homer of) and the Venezuelan National team (which is this examiner’s favorite CONMEBOL team, all political mumbo jumbo aside). Not since February of 2010 has an international fixture featured Goats on each side of the field.
For the Red, White, and Blue, we have Jack of all trade’s defender Heath Pearce. Left Back. Right Back, Center Back. As he showed last season with the Goats, you name it and he can line up anywhere along the back line. With only 20 players called up and being the most experienced defender, expect Pearce as the starting Left Back (a position he’s all too familiar with on the National team).
Advertisement For the “Vinotinto”, we have Alejandro Moreno. He’s coming off a 5 goal season and a year that saw him suit up at the prestigious Copa America. Moreno should get the start for this encounter. However with a call up of 35 players, expect Moreno to split duties up top with fellow MLSer, Emilio Renteria (Crew) and possibly one of their U-20’s.
As for who wins this, it’s anyone’s guess. Neither team is coming at full strength and relying heavily on their respective domestic leagues to fill their teams. With that said, this examiner predicts a 1-1 draw. Goals will be scored by who else, Heath Pearce and Alejandro Moreno.
The match will take place at the University of Phoenix Stadium, in Glendale, Arizona on January 21st. Kickoff is scheduled to be at 7pm MST/6pm PST. No TV has been announced, but expect local Over the Air channel, Telefutura 46 to carry the match in Español.