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United States v Colombia: Preview

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USA coach Jurgen Klinsmann expects a strong performance from his players against Colombia in Friday's friendly international in London.

The Stars and Stripes head into their penultimate match of 2014 at Fulham's Craven Cottage on the back of last month's 1-1 friendly draws against Eduador and Honduras.

The Americans, who take on the Republic of Ireland on Tuesday in Dublin, face a stern test against a Colombia side that is third in the FIFA ranking and reached the quarter-finals of the World Cup in Brazil.

``We want to finish 2014 on a high note and continue to try to meet the top teams eye to eye,'' Klinsmann told Ussoccer.com. ``These performances will set the tone for 2015.''

Klinsmann has included 16 players that took part in the World Cup this summer, where USA reached the round of 16 before being eliminated from the competition after a 2-1 loss to Belgium.

However, 12 of the 25 players in Klinsmann's squad have earned 10 or less caps.

``In these last two games we want our veterans to really become mentors both on and off the field,'' Klinsmann said. ``We want to see our youngsters take advantage of the opportunity to make their case and grow from the experience. ''

Sunderland's Jozy Altidore is expected to lead the Americans on the pitch with the veteran forward having worn the captain's armband twice in the past three matches.

Los Cafeteros head into the contest having to do without Manchester United striker Radamel Falcao, who is sidelined with a calf problem.

Falcao, who missed the World Cup in Brazil with a knee injury, is also sidelined for Tuesday' s friendly against Slovenia.

Despite his absence, Colombia coach Jose Pekerman will be optimistic his side can maintain their winning streak.

Colombia already proved this summer they are a force to be reckoned with and beat El Salvador 3-0 before edging Canada 1-0 in last month's friendlies.

James Rodriguez, the 2014 World Cup Golden Boot winner, who moved to Real Madrid after scoring six goals and setting up two others in Brazil, is set to lead Colombia's attack.

Fiorentina winger Juan Cuadrado and FC Porto striker Jackson Martinez are also expected to start on Friday.

The last time both sides met was in a friendly in 2010, with the USA holding Colombia to a goalless draw in Pennsylvania.

ends

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