Republic of Ireland vs. United States
|Date & Time||Saturday June 2, 2018, 3:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Ireland +120 / USA +225 / Draw +215 -- Over/Under: 2.5
Republic of Ireland and United States meet Saturday in International Friendly soccer action at the Aviva Stadium.
Republic of Ireland hasn’t won a match since October against Wales and is coming off an 0-2 beatdown against France. In that loss, Ireland had the ball just 24 percent of the match and managed just one shot on goal. Republic of Ireland has now been shutout in three of its last five matches and has often played some tough to watch soccer during this stretch. The good news for Ireland is that it plays its first home match since the November World Cup playoff match against Denmark and has played its best soccer by far when on its home turf. Republic of Ireland also has a clear edge in experience against the US, as players such as John O'Shea, Shane Long and James McClean have 50-plus caps, making the United States current squad look even younger than it actually is. Unfortunately, you have to ask where the offense is going to come from
United States is coming off an impressive 3-0 victory over Bolivia and has a chance to win three straight matches for the first time since July of last year. In the victory, Walker Zimmerman, Joshua Sargent and Tim Weah all found the back of the net while putting on a show for the home crowd of Philadelphia. The US actually looked like a decent club with promising upside, but it wasn’t against a great opponent, and we’re going to see how these kids do on the road, as this will be the first time the United States leaves its homeland since its November match against Portugal. It’s easy to play with energy and confidence when you have a whole building cheering you on, it’s a different game when it’s the opposite and your roster only has four players with double-digit caps. Win, lose or draw, this is a fine learning experience for the young United States.
Republic of Ireland has won the last two meetings against the US by a combined score of 6-2. The most recent match was in November of 2014, a match Republic of Ireland won 4-1. The other match took place in 2002. Needless to say, you can take the history between these clubs with a grain of salt.
The US could win this match with the young athletes pushing the pace and getting out in the open like it did Monday. However, I don’t trust these kids just yet against better competition, and it’s different playing on the road in another country. Ireland is also loaded with experience when you compare it to the youth of the US. You’re talking about a US club that’s playing tons of kids who aren’t even old enough to drink yet.
Because of the experience gap, I’m siding with Ireland.