RICH FIDLER - Tuesday, November 17, 2009
US Soccer will play their final friendly of the year on Wednesday evening against Denmark at NRGi Park in Aarhus, home of American midfielder Benny Feilhaber.
Feilhaber will undoubtedly get the start from head coach Bob Bradley in the familiar settings. If the previous encounter against Slovakia is any indication, Bradley will pair the former UCLA Bruin with his son Michael who continues to shine in the Bundesliga for Borussia Mönchengladbach.
US Soccer called in Houston Dynamo midfielders Stuart Holden and Ricardo Clark for the friendly, replacing Clint Dempsey - who left camp to rejoin his club team Fulham. Either one of them could get the start but it is more likely to be winger Robbie Rogers on one side and Chivas USA midfielder Sacha Kljestan on the other flank.
The defense will see one change from Saturday, as defender Steve Cherundolo returned to his club in Germany. Columbus Crew right-back Frankie Hejduk could get the call since the Hannover 96 man left camp.
Joining the team for the first time is Tigres defender Edgar Castillo, who represented Mexico but was recently granted a one-time switch from FIFA. Castillo could get the start at left-back in place of Jonathan Bornstein but more likely, he will make his first appearance as a substitute.
Captain Carlos Bocanegra and West Ham's Jonathan Spector will likely pair as the two central defenders. Both started in Bratislava, with Spector going the distance and Bocanegra being replaced by Clarence Goodson in the 72nd minute.
Conor Casey and Hull's Jozy Altidore got the start in the 1-0 loss to Slovakia, and could once again be paired together for the game against the Danes. Although Bradley could go with MLS's leading scorer Jeff Cunningham or Fulham reserve Eddie Johnson as starters Wednesday.
The last time these teams faced each other was in January of 2007 when the Americans defeated the Danish team 3-1 at the Home Depot Center, in the national team debut of Bornstein who also scored in the game.
Denmark will have plenty of familiar faces on a roster for a country that will join the World Cup party for the first time in eight years. Stoke City goalkeeper Thomas Sørensen and Blackburn defender Lars Jacobsen are well known to the Americans playing in the English Premier League.
Juventus midfielder Christian Poulsen will build the attack out of the middle of the field for head coach Morten Olsen. Martin Jørgensen and Jon Dahl Tomasson, both of whom play outside of their home country, will lead the attack for the Danes as they look to finish off 2009 with a home victory.
Midfielder Jakob Poulsen and defender Michael Lumb, teammates of Feilhaber at Aarhus, will hope to see the field against the 'Nats in front of their home fans.
The men's team will take an extended break from action for the holiday season before reconvening in January for a extended camp at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California as they continue preparations for World Cup 2010 in South Africa.