United States Men's national Soccer Team News

USMNT vs Bosnia and Herzegovina: How are the Bosnians heading towards the match?

The USMNT closes the year against European competition.

Bosnia and Herzegovina failed to qualify for the 2022 World Cup
Bosnia and Herzegovina failed to qualify for the 2022 World Cup

The U.S. Men's National Team and Bosnia and Herzegovina will face each other for only the third time in their history when they clash off in a year-end friendly at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, Calif. on Saturday, Dec. 18 at 8 p.m. ET (FS1, UniMas, TUDN).

This is the third meeting between the two nations, with the USMNT holding a 1-0-1 advantage. In 2013, Jozy Altidore scored a hat-trick to secure a 4-3 victory. Five years later, the sides played to a scoreless draw.

Bosnia failed to qualify for the 2022 World Cup

The Dragons are enduring a dismal year, having won two out of 12 matches. The 2022 World Cup qualification campaign ended with a fourth-place finish in Group D, faint hope extinguished by losses to Finland and Ukraine. The local press described the performance as “the weakest in [the country’s] independent history for all major competitions.” Bosnia has failed to reach the group stage twice since debuting in 2014.

Bosnia is managed by Ivaylo Petev, a 46-year-old with previous stops at Ludogorets Razgrad, Levski Sofia, Limassol, Dinamo Zagreb, Omonia, Al Qadsiah, Jagiellonia Białystok, and the Bulgaria national team. The coach took over the reins of the squad on Jan. 21, 2021, just over two months before qualifying began. In his coaching debut on March 24, Bosnia played Finland to a 2-2 draw.

Since missing out on the World Cup, his employment status is tenuous, with the Executive Board of the Football Association not planning to reveal a decision until “after the New Year’s holidays.”

The 19 players on Bosnia’s roster all compete in the domestic league which has just entered its winter break. With an average age of 23 years, 310 days, the youthful team is relatively new to the international stage, with a combined eight caps between them. Saturday’s friendly.

“Certainly, some more players would receive invitations, but the problem was that they were not vaccinated,” said the manager. “I have said many times that there are many interesting young players in the Premier League and most of them on this list are under 23. We are interested in how they will play in the national team jersey and against a quality national team. I expect maximum fighting spirit and commitment because this is a chance for everyone to show the potential he has. It also gives us the opportunity to see who we can count on in the future.”

The Dragons roster by position

GOALKEEPERS (2): Belmin Dizdarević (Sarajevo), Nikola Ćetković (Borac)

DEFENDERS (7): Selmir Pidro (Sarajevo), Numan Kurdić (Sarajevo), Aleksandar Vojnović (Borac), Hrvoje Barišić (Zrinjski), Josip Ćorluka (Zrinjski), Vedran Vrhovac (Željezničar), Ajdin Nukić (Tuzla City)

MIDFIELDERS (8): Andrej Đokanović (Sarajevo), Amar Begić (Borac), Igor Savić (Zrinjski), Marijan Ćavar (Široki Brijeg), Mehmed Ćosić (Velež), Haris Ovčina (Velež), Sasa Maksimović (Sloboda)

FORWARDS (2): Jovo Lukić (Borac), Sulejman Krpić (Tuzla City)

Bosnia and Herzegovina possible line-up

Petev alternates between the 4-3-3 and 3-5-2 formations. He cited the USMNT’s speed and strength, intending to deploy a lineup that matches the opponent. While Bosnia is using a second-choice squad, the tactics of a deep defensive line and methodical, possession-based build-up should remain constant.

Hugo Alberto Walls Gómez

SEO Journalist. Bachelor's Degree in Communication and Media Production. Two years working in digital media and editorial assignments. Currently working for Futbolero US and collaborating with INDeportes and Goleadoras MX, following Liga MX, MLS, and the Premier League. Passionate about sports and soccer.+ info

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