The Croatian football team, minus all of its stars, have been in Los Angeles this week preparing for this weekend’s one-off friendly fixture against Mexico.
Head coach Ante Čačić has brought with him an inexperienced squad of 16 players, made up of mostly Croatian first division regulars.
The squad have had a couple of training sessions at the UCLA campus, and have spent some time also checking out the sights in Hollywood.
The match, which will be the first for Croatia on American soil, will kick-off at 16:30 local time on Saturday 27 May in Los Angeles at the Memorial Coliseum.
Ten players in the squad of 16 have yet to play for Croatia, and one of those is in-form Caen striker Ivan Santini.
“We are excited, most of us have never been to America. People in Los Angeles are approachable. The Mexico friendly will be a tough challenge, but Croatia will give a good performance,” said Santini who this season scored 15 goals in the French Ligue 1.
One of the more experienced players in the side for Saturday will be defender Tin Jedvaj, who himself has only 7 caps for his country.
“We have to be at our best against Mexico. They will have the support like a home match, which may create pressure for us, but we will try and get the best result possible,” he says.
Croatia will take on Island away after the Mexicans on 11 June 2017 in a 2018 World Cup qualifier.
— HNS | CFF (@HNS_CFF) May 22, 2017