US players relishing Uruguay test

·3-min read

USA midfielder Brenden Aaronson believes playing Uruguay on Sunday will give Gregg Berhalter's squad the kind of serious test which will boost their preparations ahead of the World Cup, where the USA's first round opponents include England, Iran and either Ukraine or Wales.

New Leeds United signing Aaronson, who scored the opener in the USA's 3-0 win over Morocco in Cincinnati on Wednesday, is relishing taking on the South Americans in Kansas and reckons their intensity will serve as perfect preparation for what lies ahead later this year.

Aaronson expects Edinson Cavani and his team-mates -- who trounced Mexico 3-0 in a friendly on Thursday -- to provide another stiff test after the Morocco win.

"Playing against a team like Uruguay is what we want, this is all about testing the waters," Leeds' new $30 million signing told AFP.

"We did a great job with that against a good Morocco team who are a top team. To get three goals and play like we did was great and now we will have another top team to contend with.

"They will bring a lot of intensity. Morocco did that and Uruguay will be the same way. We want to see what going to the World Cup is all about and what it's like playing against these teams."

Central defender Walker Zimmerman, whose long pass in the first half against Morocco helped set up Aaronson's strike, knows with the World Cup fast approaching time is running out to get everything in order for an American team full of youthful exuberance.

"The Morocco game was very intense but we know, 100% that the levels will go up again against Uruguay, it's a very important test for us," the Nashville defender said.

"These games are the last chance we will have to prepare for the World Cup so the mindset from the start of the game was to use these opportunities for preparation and it has been intense from the very beginning.

"We have to think of these games as group stage games.

"We want to play good teams, challenge ourselves and they will be a great test for us. We are taking it very seriously."

Aaronson, 21, has emerged as a key man for the USA after impressing in the Champions League with Salzburg before sealing his move to the Premier League once Leeds won their battle against relegation.

"I think a big part of playing for the national team is also your club too but you also have to play well for your country. But I think it's also playing consistently week in week out for your club," he said.

"So moving to the Premier League was a step I wanted to take. I thought it was the right time. I have played for a few years now but I feel like I'm still in the beginning and have so much to do. We're going to the World Cup to win it. We're not just there as participants."

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