By Paul D. Bowker | Sept. 07, 2018, 12:01 a.m. (ET)
DeAndre Yedlin (R) competes for the ball at an International Friendly match against the Republic of Ireland on June 2, 2018 in Dublin.


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The U.S. Men’s National Team begins its Kickoff Series in an ambitious way Friday night. The team faces five-time FIFA World Cup champion Brazil at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The team is at the start of a four-year cycle building toward the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Superstar Neymar leads a Brazil team that is ranked third in the world and reached the quarterfinals of the 2018 World Cup earlier this summer. Eleven of Brazil’s 2018 World Cup players will be on the roster for Friday’s game.

The U.S. team is a young one, with its average age being less than 24 years old. Fifteen of the 25 players assembled for the friendlies in September are 23 or younger. DeAndre Yedlin, a defender who plays for Newcastle United in England, has the most international caps with 52.

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Friday’s game is the first for the U.S. men since June 9, when a similarly young squad tied eventual World Cup champion France 1-1 in a friendly in Lyon, France.

Following Friday’s match, the U.S. will play Mexico on Tuesday at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee. That’s followed by a match against Colombia on Oct. 11 in Tampa, Florida.

Paul D. Bowker is a freelance contributor to on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc