PREVIEW | Trapp & Steffen look to lead USMNT against Paraguay

The U.S. Men’s National Team and Paraguay are set for an international friendly on Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. ET at Sahlen’s Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park. In January, the USMNT faced Bosnia and Herzegovina in a scoreless draw. 

USMNT interim head coach Dave Sarachan has infused a steady trend of youth to the team, with an average age of 23-years-old in the current squad.

"The natural progression is that guys get older and young guys come through,” said Sarachan, “If the balance is right, you can have a pretty successful group. Having veteran guys and voices is important. But you also need the young guns to get their feet wet and start to take the mantle.”

Columbus Crew SC will represent well with midfielder Wil Trapp and goalkeeper Zack Steffen available for selection. Trapp earned his third cap and made his first start last January while wearing the captain’s armband against Bosnia and Herzegovina. Steffen earned his first cap in the second half of the game, making his USMNT debut and making two saves to shutout Bosnia and Herzegovina. 

Representing Major League Soccer for Paraguay is midfielder Miguel Almiron from Atlanta United. The Eastern Conference rivals will be eager to win, while the short history between Crew SC and United could create a compelling storyline for USMNT vs Paraguay.

“It's always nice to build towards something," Sarachan said. "And that something is our match against Paraguay. We’ll get to give these guys a real look against a quality opponent. When you face the best teams you can, it gives our guys a great chance to measure themselves."

The United States is 3-2-2 all-time against Paraguay. The most recent meeting came on June 11, 2016 in a 1-0 victory in the Copa America Centenario in Philadelphia.

Crew SC returns to MAPFRE Stadium to host the Vancouver Whitecaps on March 31 at 3 p.m. ET.

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