Coleman relishing Wales opener
Wales boss Chris Coleman cannot wait to realise his dream of managing his country when he takes charge for the first time against Mexico.
Coleman, 41, was named as the successor to Gary Speed in January but elected to take a background role for the friendly held in Speed's memory against Costa Rica a month later as Osian Roberts led the side.
The former Fulham boss' gracious decision to hand Roberts control has meant a long wait for his first fixture in control of the national side.
But it will finally arrive on Sunday in New York when the Dragons face a Mexico squad including Manchester United's Javier Hernandez and West Ham's Pablo Barrera, and lying 21 places above them in the world rankings, at MetLife Stadium.
And, with Wales having flown out to America at the start of the week to give them more time to acclimatise, Coleman is itching for the action to start.
Coleman said: "Managing my country was something I always dreamed of doing since I became a manager. That time will come on Sunday.
"I'm very excited about leading Wales and I just want to get started. It's a new experience and I'm keen to learn. The game can't come around quick enough.
"As an international manager, there are a lot of off-the-field things that you need to do.
"But being with the squad and preparing the players for match-day is the most enjoyable bit."
Coleman has been deprived of the services of star midfielders Gareth Bale and Joe Ledley through injury, although he has been boosted by the presence of Craig Bellamy, who had appeared set to retire from international duty.
But ex-Wales defender Coleman has also faced a goalkeeping selection headache with Wayne Hennessey, Boaz Myhill and Lewis Price all absent from the trip to the United States.
That means Aberdeen's Jason Brown, who won the most recent of his two caps in November 2006, is set to be handed the starting role.
And Coleman says it is a real opportunity for the 30-year-old to stake a claim for the opening World Cup qualifier against Belgium in September, which first-choice keeper Hennessey could miss as he recovers from his torn cruciate ligament.
"Unfortunately we have lost three goalkeepers," Coleman said.
"But when you lose players you are giving another player a chance. It's how I look at it.
"Jason hasn't had much international time of late, but he's in good nick and it's an opportunity for him to show people he's a good goalkeeper.
"There's no pressure on him and we'll support him. But this is a chance for Jason to fight for that shirt against Belgium.
"Wayne will be out long-term and the Belgium game could be a bit too early for him, although Boaz will be back earlier than that."