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Sep 13, 2023 at 1.30am UK
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Preview: USA vs. Oman - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: USA vs. Oman - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Wednesday's friendly clash between USA and Oman, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

In their final match before they begin their World Cup qualifying campaign, Oman will face the USA in a friendly at Allianz Field in Minnesota on Tuesday.

It will be the first meeting between these nations, with the Yanks coming off a 3-0 triumph over Uzbekistan this past weekend, while Al-Ahmar came from behind to defeat Palestine 2-1 last Wednesday.

Match preview

An early push and a late flurry of attacks was all the Americans would need to win and remain unbeaten in St. Louis in what was the first match for Gregg Berhalter since his reappointment.

The man who guided this team into the last 16 at the previous World Cup saw his side rack up the possession stats on Saturday (65%), though in between their opening goal in the fourth minute and their two insurance markers in second-half stoppage time, we saw some sloppy passing and turnovers from this 11th ranked US squad.

It was a far from impressive performance by this team over the weekend, but the Yanks were effective at winning duels in the middle of the field and creating turnovers in dangerous areas, while also being efficient at times transitioning down the flanks.

Berhalter returns under a cloud of controversy amid a US Soccer investigation into his past and specifically a case of domestic violence from 1992 involving him and his now wife Rosalind, an incident which was brought to light by former American midfielder Claudio Reyna, seemingly in retaliation after Berhalter indirectly hinted that Claudio's son, Gio Reyna, was not meeting expectations.

While it appears that there are unresolved issues between the former Columbus Crew boss and at least one of his players, they have nearly three years to mend fences ahead of the 2026 World Cup, which the Americans will co-host along with Canada and Mexico.

The first spell of Berhalter as manager was full of criticisms, but if you judge it on results, it was highly successful, with the US capturing a Gold Cup and Nations League title, while also making it into the last 16 at the previous World Cup, all in a four-year span just after the Americans had failed to qualify for the 2018 finals.

Between now and the 2026 finals, Berhalter has said that his goal is to change American soccer forever by turning the US into an elite team that can make a deep run at a World Cup, something that has rarely occurred, with their best finish since the conclusion of the 1930 tournament being a quarter-final appearance in 2002.

A program that had experienced their share of high points from the early 2000s to the 2010s appears to be making a comeback as Oman prepare to play their final match before commencing World Cup qualifying.

Manager Branko Ivankovic has a winning pedigree, and that has trickled down to his players in Oman, with the 69-year-old previously serving as an assistant with Croatia when they claimed a bronze medal at the 1998 World Cup before he led Iran to a third-place finish at the 2004 Asian Cup, and later helped Dinamo Zagreb capture consecutive Croatian First League titles (2006-07 and 2007-08).

In a short period, he has been able to achieve some impressive results with Oman as well, as his side upset four-time Asian Cup champions Japan in a 2021 World Cup qualifying fixture (1-0), while this team were runners-up at the Gulf Cup played earlier this year and also finished third at the most recent Central Asian Football Association (CAFA) Nations Cup.

Al-Ahmar enter this contest on a three-match unbeaten run and have only suffered one defeat in normal time all year (3-0 loss to Uzbekistan).

Tuesday will only be the third time Oman face a CONCACAF opponent, and the first since 2014 when they were narrowly beaten in a friendly versus Costa Rica (4-3), while they defeated Haiti 3-0 in 2013.

That victory over the Haitians was the last time they beat a team from the Americas, with Oman previously losing to Brazil and Uruguay, while they have claimed a win, a loss and a draw against Ecuador.

This team have not lost a match in normal time when scoring the opening goal since Estonia netted twice in the final five minutes to defeat them 2-1 in a 2012 friendly.

USA friendly form:
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • D
  • W

USA form (all competitions):
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W

Oman friendly form:
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W

Oman form (all competitions):
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • W

Team News

Gio Reyna was not included in the US squad for this window as he, Tyler Adams, Taylor Booth, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Sean Johnson, Josh Sargent, Zack Steffen and Walker Zimmerman are all out with injuries, while Matt Turner has left the team to return to England in time for the birth of his second child.

We saw plenty of youngsters in the US starting 11 for their friendly versus Uzbekistan with nine players 26 years of age or younger, Turner (29) and Tim Ream (35) being the only ones older than that, while there are three players chosen for this window still seeking their first caps with the Yanks, including Benjamin Cremaschi, Kevin Paredes and Drake Callender.

On Saturday, Tim Weah scored for the first time since firing home their opening goal at the 2022 World Cup versus Wales, Weston McKennie picked up his fifth career national team assist on that play, Ricardo Pepi collected his eighth career international goal and Christian Pulisic netted for the 26th time with Stars and Stripes in what was his 50th start.

We saw five new faces in the opening lineup for Oman against Palestine, who were not in the starting 11 when they defeated Kyrgyzstan at the CAFA Nations Cup (1-0) with Faiz Al-Rushaidi, Jameel Al-Yahmadi, Zahir Al-Aghbari, Omar Al-Malki and Essam Al-Subhi replacing Ibrahim Al-Mukhaini, Mahmood Mabrook, Arshad Al-Alawi, Salah Al-Yahyaei and Abdulrahman Al-Mushaifri.

Rabia Al-Alawi and Harib Al-Saadi scored in their 2-1 victory over Saudi Arabia in the group stage at the Gulf Cup, while Al-Mukhaini picked up two clean sheets in that competition.

Al-Malki and Muhsen Al-Ghassani scored first-half goals last Wednesday, enabling Al-Ahmar to come from behind and defeat Palestine.

USA possible starting lineup:
Callender; Dest, McKenzie, M. Robinson, Paredes; McKennie, De la Torre, Tillman; Weah, Balogun, Aaronson

Oman possible starting lineup:
Al-Rushaidi; Al-Yahmadi, Al-Khamisi, Al-Braiki, Al-Kaabi; Fawaz, Al-Saadi, Al-Adawi, Saleh; Al-Yahyaei, Al-Sabhi

We say: USA 2-0 Oman

Even though they wound up with a convincing result against Uzbekistan, the Yanks did not look like a team ranked 11th in the world, but quality sides make the most of their scoring opportunities, and that is why we believe they will get the better of Oman.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

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