Scouting Report: Manchester United, Tour of America

Posted on 21 July 2010 by Breton Bonnette

The Union will face their second international test in the last week tonight at 7:30PM at Lincoln Financial Field. At last count, there are 35,000+ ready to participate in Manchester United’s third visit to the City of Brotherly Love.

After this match, ten days of solid rest should bode well for a Union squad that as of late has been picked apart by injuries. Alejandro Moreno left this past weekend’s win vs. Toronto FC in the 54th minute after reaggravating a knee injury while youngster Roger Torres and the versatile Shea Salinas will be sidelined for several more weeks with respective ankle injuries. So many Union fans are wondering – where are the reinforcements? Kyle Nakazawa, coming back from a long-term knee injury, could see some minutes tonight while trialists – J.T Noone and Eduardo ‘Chacho’ Coudet – should be on the field for the Union at some point as well. It’s particularly Coudet that Union fans are baffled about. The 35-year old veteran of the Argentine league has been with the club for almost a month now and the transfer window opened almost a week ago – so why hasn’t he signed yet?

Regardless, the test ahead for the Union may be meaningless to some fans. Many are fraught with the fear of more injuries and fatigue but on the other side of things, this could be one hell of a match. The players that take the pitch for Manchester United will be a mixture of young and old, established and those still developing but the Red Devils no matter, will be here to win. We all know the names Ryan Giggs, Nani, Edwin Van der Sar, Dimitar Berbatov and Paul Scholes. Established players – some in their prime and others near the end of respective storied careers. The youngsters, though, will be looking to secure one of the very few openings that United has in their gameday rosters. Those to watch out for?

Federico Macheda: At only 18, the Italian striker has made himself quite a name at Old Trafford. In less than 10 official appearances, Macheda has struck for three goals, one being a memorable curler that won the game in dramatic fashion for United after being down 2-1 vs. Aston Villa.

Mame Biram Diouf: The Senegalese international has yet to really break the ranks but grabbed his first goal in a United shirt in January of last season. Diouf dominated the Norwegian top flight in his several seasons there and will have a tough time breaking through into United’s starting XI. His performance vs. Celtic FC, however, bodes well for his start to the preseason.

Tom Cleverley – Despite a season-ending injury suffered in April of this past season, Cleverley raised his stock significantly with his play on loan with Watford of the English Championship. A midfielder, the 20-year old struck with regularity, scoring 10 goals in a season and a half of play with Hornets earning himself the club’s Player of the Year for the 2009-2010 season.

Add a host of other youngsters vying for attention from the venerable Sir Alex Ferguson to the mix and you have a team that will be tough for the Union to overcome. Can our starlets match up? Expect Danny Mwanga, Jack McInerney, Amobi Okugo, and friends to feature prominently.

Are you excited for the match? Do you think captain Danny Califf can shut down Berbatov? Can Le Toux score against the Dutch legend Edwin Van der Sar?  How do you think the Union will fare?

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