Martin O'Neill eased any fears over Shane Duffy and Eunan O'Kane after their minor road accident on Sunday and urged the Republic of Ireland's fringe men to make the United States their land of opportunity.
Brighton defender Duffy missed the final 11 games of his club's successful Sky Bet Championship promotion campaign after fracturing a metatarsal on March 4, but was involved in an Ireland training camp in Cork last week and is one of several players desperate to offer a reminder of his worth against Mexico.
The Uruguayan FA have confirmed that Luis Suarez will miss the friendly against the Republic of Ireland on June 4 due to a hamstring injury pic.twitter.com/Rv21FMefXO— RTÉ Soccer (@RTEsoccer) May 29, 2017
Duffy will hope to return to action for his country during the early hours of Friday morning (kick-off 1am Irish time) at the MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, but only after a scare when the vehicle in which he and Leeds midfielder O'Kane were travelling was involved in an accident on the way to the team hotel in Dublin on Sunday.
Both men trained at Abbotstown on Monday morning before a 19-man squad flew out to America, and O'Neill is keen for Duffy in particular to get some football under his belt ahead of the World Cup qualifier against Austria in Dublin on June 11.
O'Neill said: "He (Duffy) came down to Cork and did some training. He was fit and available for the last couple of weeks, but the club manager (Chris Hughton) wanted to just leave it and get himself fully right for these games, so I think it will be a good opportunity if he comes through that.
"We were a bit concerned yesterday, but it's good to see him training today. It's very important that he gets some football in before the big game against Austria."
The accident in which Duffy and O'Kane were caught up initially sparked concerns, but O'Neill revealed it was nothing too serious.
He said: "The two lads who were involved in the accident trained. They're just a little bit sore, but they wanted to do something, so that's good news.
"There was just a bit of a pile-up. Someone further up the line stopped very quickly and everybody else went into them. I don't think there's any more to report, other than that the two lads are okay."
O'Neill has left several of his senior players back at home to allow them to recover from a long and arduous season, although the bulk of those who play for Championship clubs have been finished since May 7.
But West Brom winger James McClean asked to be involved, and he could be handed a different role with no specialist left-back in the travelling party.
O'Neill said: "Most of the boys who are playing in the Premier League will join up with us after the game in the US, but James wanted to come out. He has got a great attitude.
"There is no recognised left-back, but it gives us the opportunity to experiment. We could possibly play three centre-halves and two wing-backs. James has done that before.
"It gives us the chance for a bit of experimentation."
Keeper Darren Randolph, who lost his place at West Ham to Adrian for the final five games of the Premier League season, will also be looking for a chance to regain some match sharpness, with Sheffield Wednesday's Keiren Westwood and Newcastle's Rob Elliot hot on his heels.
O'Neill said: "He was disappointed to lose his place in the team and wanted to come to America to get some game-time. He has done very well.
"It's good that Keiren is pushing him. Robbie Elliot played the last couple of games for Newcastle, but is still feeling the injury.
"We'll assess that during the next couple of days, so we'll just have the two goalkeepers coming with us."
Ireland will play a second friendly before facing Austria, when they meet Uruguay on Sunday June 4 at the Aviva.
The South Americans confirmed on Thursday that they will be without star striker Luis Suarez as the Barcelona man is suffering from a tight hamstring.