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Battered and bruised American squad presents big opportunity for Canada

Five key omissions from the USA 23-man roster will have Herdman and co. licking their chops ahead of Friday

Soccer: CONCACAF Nations League Soccer-USA at Canada
Canada midfielder Alphonso Davies (12) battles for a ball with the United States forward Jordan Morris (11) during the second half in a CONCACAF Nations League soccer match at BMO Field.
Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

Following THAT famous night at BMO Field, Canada are once again ready to do battle with the US this Friday night, this time on American soil.

On Monday, the United States announced their 23-man squad for their two upcoming Concacaf Nations league fixtures, including the match in Orlando against the Canadians on Nov. 15. For Canada and their supporters, the news will have them chomping at the bit as the missing names from the US team-sheet increases the Canadian’s chances of earning a second consecutive positive result against their rivals.

The biggest names missing from the side are Tyler Adams, Christian Pulisic, Jozy Altidore, Michael Bradley, and Zack Steffen.

Youngster Tyler Adams has struggled with his injury rehab which forced him to sit out this summer’s Gold Cup and has still yet to feature for his club Red Bull Leipzig this season.

Fellow American and Bundesliga counterpart Zack Steffen also misses out through a knee injury. The 24-year-old former Columbus Crew keeper did start for Fortuna Dusseldorf this past weekend in Germany but has been dealing with ongoing knee tendinitis and will sit out during the International break to rest.

Chelsea youngster Christian Pulisic scored in his club’s 2-0 win over Crystal Palace over the weekend, but picked up a hip injury in his efforts. As a precaution, club and country have mutually agreed to let Pulisic take the break to nurse his injury.

A pair of Toronto FC veterans and MLS runner-ups in Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore will also miss out against Canada. While Altidore’s injury struggles have been well documented of late, Bradley apparently injured his ankle in Sunday’s MLS Cup Final.

In these five players, the US will be without the services of their first choice keeper, two of their most exciting young talents, and two of the most capped players in history for the Americans. While United States manager Gregg Berhalter’s job has become that much more difficult as a result, Canada will likely be losing little sleep over the injury troubles of their rivals.

With the Canadian squad at full health, including each member of the starting XI that topped the US last month in Toronto, the opportunity to make it back to back wins over their bitter rivals and seize group A in the Concacaf Nations League is hard to ignore ahead of Friday night.

You can find the strong side that Canada has put together here.