By IVES GALARCEP
The U.S. Men’s National Team’s first match of a busy summer will be a tough test, with the Belgian National Team preparing to bring a strong squad to Cleveland for the friendly on May 29th.
As for the USMNT’s second friendly? It won’t be a cakewalk, but it also won’t be as tough as some would have expected when the match was first announced.
The rosters for Belgium and Germany were announced on Wednesday, giving us a glimpse of the competition the U.S. will face in friendlies in the week before the national team returns to CONCACAF World Cup qualifying action.
Belgium’s roster is loaded, with Vincent Kompany, Marouane Fellaini, Eden Hazard and Christian Benteke among the standouts on the squad that will play the United States in Cleveland on May 29th.
Germany’s squad is missing several marquee players due to the fact Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund are taking part in the UEFA Champions League Final. A pair of Borussia Dortmund players, Sven Bender and Kevin Grosskreutz will travel to the USA for the friendly vs. the USMNT on June 2nd in Washington D.C., as will Miroslav Klose, who will be playing in the Coppa Italia Final earlier that week.
Here are the Belgium and Germany rosters for their upcoming friendlies vs. the U.S.:
GOALKEEPERS– Koen Casteels (TSG Hoffenheim), Thibaut Courtois (Atletico de Madrid), Jean-François Gillet (FC Torino), Simon Mignolet (Sunderland AFC)
DEFENDERS- Toby Alderweireld (Ajax Amsterdam), Laurent Ciman (R. Standard CL), Guillaume Gillet (RSC Anderlecht), Vincent Kompany (Manchester City), Nicolas Lombaerts (Zenit St-Petersburg), Sébastien Pocognoli (Hannover), Thomas Vermaelen (Arsenal FC), Daniel Van Buyten (Bayern München), Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham)
MIDFIELDERS- Nacer Chadli (FC Twente), Steven Defour (FC Porto), Moussa Dembélé (Tottenham), Marouane Fellaini (Everton FC), Thorgan Hazard (SV Zulte-Waregem), Timmy Simons (FC Nürnberg), Axel Witsel (Zenit St-Petersburg)
FORWARDS- Christian Benteke (Aston Villa FC), Kevin De Bruyne (Werder Bremen), Eden Hazard (Chelsea FC), Maxime Lestienne (Club Brugge KV), Romelu Lukaku (West Bromwich Albion), Dries Mertens (PSV Eindhoven), Kevin Mirallas (Everton FC), Jelle Vossen (KRC Genk)
GOALKEEPER: Rene Adler (Hamburger SV), Ron-Robert Zieler (Hannover 96), Marc Andre ter-Stegen (Borussia Mönchengladbach)
DEFENDERS: Dennis Aogo, Marcell Jansen, Heiko Westermann(all Hamburger SV), Andreas Beck (1899 Hoffenheim), Benedikt Höwedes (Schalke 04), Per Mertesacker (FC Arsenal), Philipp Wollscheid (Bayer Leverkusen)
MIDFIELDERS: Sven Bender (Borussia Dortmund), Julian Draxler, Roman Neustädter (both Schalke 04), Kevin Großkreutz (Borussia Dortmund), Aaron Hunt (Werder Bremen), Nicolai Müller (Mainz 05), Lukas Podolski (FC Arsenal), Stefan Reinartz, Sidney Sam, Andre Schürrle, Lars Bender (all Bayer Leverkusen), Max Kruse (SC Freiburg)
FORWARD: Miroslav Klose (Lazio)
What do you think of the squads? Think Belgium will offer a tougher test than Germany?
Share your thoughts below.