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Who should the USMNT start vs. Mexico? (UPDATED)

USA Starting Eleven

Photo by John Todd/ISIPhotos.com

By IVES GALARCEP

COMMERCE CITY, Colo.– The U.S. Men’s National Team is set to travel to Mexico City today and one of the things head coach Jurgen Klinsmann will be pondering on the charter flight south is which 11 players he will turn to in order to try and deliver the first U.S. World Cup qualifying victory at Estadio Azteca in history.

The memories of Friday’s snow-covered triumph are still fresh, and while it was one of the more impressive group performances in recent memory for the U.S., it is difficult to envision Klinsmann staying with the same starting lineup.

Tuesday’s match against a desperate Mexico team will present far different challenges than Costa Rica presented in the snow here on Friday. There won’t be snow to slow down the ‘El Tri’ attack and Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez will present a much tougher defensive problem than anyone on Costa Rica.

So if you are Klinsmann, do you keep your back four together and tinker with the midfield, or do you reconstruct the defense with personnel better equipped to deal with Mexico’s dynamic attack?

Klinsmann also has to deal with how to construct his team without Jermaine Jones, who is now out with an ankle injury.

Here is the U.S. lineup we could see face Mexico at Estadio Azteca on Tuesday:

PROJECTED USMNT LINEUP vs. MEXICO

—————Jozy Altidore———Herculez Gomez————–

—————————Clint Dempsey—————————–

—————Sacha Kljestan——-Michael Bradley—————-

—————————-Maurice Edu——————————

DaMarcus Beasley———————————Geoff Cameron

—————Clarence Goodson—-Omar Gonzalez————–

—————————-Brad Guzan——————————–

————-

Some thoughts:

The injury to Jermaine Jones severely limits Klinsmann’s options because it means if he does want to tinker with his defense and start Maurice Edu at centerback then he would most likely be starting Kyle Beckerman as a pure defensive midfielder. If Klinsmann keeps the back four the same, then Edu should start in that deep-lying midfield role, though he could start in a more advanced position in order to make way for Beckerman.

Why is Beckerman an option? Mexico is a very dangerous team, and and Klinsmann will look to try and frustrated ‘El Tri’ with a strong defensive wall, and the fact is he rates Beckerman (much higher than most U.S. fans do). Consider the lineup that started in the U.S. win in Azteca in August, which included Jones, Beckerman, Danny Williams and Jose Torres playing behind just two pure attackers (in Landon Donovan and Herculez Gomez).

Does that mean I think Beckerman starts? Not necessarily. I think we could see Kljestan get the nod ahead of him. Kljestan has qualifying experience, has played next to Bradley before, and brings an attacking element to central midfield. Kljestan also has experience playing at Azteca (he started in the 2-1 loss to Mexico in the 2009 qualifier at Azteca).

So why not Zusi? He didn’t fair all too well in the snow and while Klinsmann could theoretically give him another look, he seems more likely to be a bench option.

Clarence Goodson and Omar Gonzalez were excellent on Friday, but the snow left Costa Rica settling for aerial balls that the tall tandem could cope with easily. Mexico’s attack is built around speed and timing, which could leave a Goodson-Gonzalez tandem vulnerable. With that in mind, we could see Edu deputized into a centerback role, but with Goodson and Gonzalez having played so well on Friday do you sit one of them or do you deploy Edu in front of the centerbacks to provide some protection, and look to patrol the area Giovani Dos Santos likes to roam in?

One name I’m hearing plenty of people recommend is Joe Corona. He’s a very talented young player, but asking him to make his first start against Mexico at Azteca in a qualifier seems like a bit much. An appearance off the bench seems like a much more likely option.

———

The only player who started Friday that isn’t on this projected lineup is Graham Zusi, who struggled to make an impact in the snow. Edu should step into the lineup to provide a defensive boost, while Zusi could give the team an option off the bench.

———

Eddie Johnson could earn the start on the left wing in a 4-3-3 if Klinsmann decides not to play a pure defensive midfielder as a shield in front of the back-line. At the very least, Johnson should be an early second-half substitute.

———

So who would I start against Mexico? I would give this lineup a look:

—————————-Jozy Altidore——————————

—————————-Clint Dempsey—————————–

Eddie Johnson———–Sacha Kljestan———Herculez Gomez

—————————-Michael Bradley—————————

DaMarcus Beasley———————————Geoff Cameron

————–Maurice Edu————Omar Gonzalez————–

—————————-Brad Guzan——————————–

Why do I like this lineup?

Edu’s speed and athleticism gives the back-line better balance against Mexico’s quick attackers.

While Michael Bradley is one of the best passers and more than capable of playing a more advanced role, there isn’t a better option to ask to police the area in front of the back four than Bradley. Klinsmann needs to have Bradley harrass Gio Dos Santos and force him out of his comfort zone.

Kljestan can be a good central fulcrum. He hasn’t had the best cameos lately but he has experience in matches like these and has the quality. If not Kljestan in that spot, then Zusi in the role, with Dempsey pushed forward a bit more. Why no Corona? This isn’t the game to throw him into as a starter.

Johnson and Gomez can do the dirty work on the wings, and put pressure on Mexican fullbacks in order to keep them from flooding the flanks.

———-

What do you think of this projected lineup? What changes would you make to it? Would you consider starting the same lineup that beat Costa Rica?

Share your thoughts below.

248 comments
  • Bertolucci

    If we are playing with house money, why not discuss a 4-1-4-1 and look for a tie. Porters tactics vs Seattle last week

    Like

  • MikeG

    Corona had been playing well and scoring goals in Copa Libertadores. In all honesty Gonzo was put into the fire without a Shepard against Honduras. In a counter attack game plan there is low risk and high reward for Corona. Corona has a feel for a lot of the Mexican national team players from league play. Corona will not back down from one on one challenges. I see Corona showing something Mexico will have to pay attention to and draw an extra defender to him and this should create some space for a U.S. attacker to get into (overlap for example). Corona may not be 90 min fit…I do not know, but I know he can be part of a 45 min game plan…same with Brek Shea. Brek Shea and Joe Corona could be difference makers for the U.S. on attack even if only in the second half.

    Like

    • beachbum

      +1

      haven’t seen him in the Copa but if he’s playing well JJ going out may be his opportunity

      Like

  • bottlcaps

    At issue for the US team is limiting service to the box and Chicharito. We all saw how dangerous Mexico was in the later parts of the previous Mexico game at Azteca. I think when the altitude started wearing at the US, Mexico was able to get good service into the Box and Chicharito for their most dangerous attacks that were only stopped by some supreme goalkeeping by Howard.

    Should the US stymy the balls into the box, Mexico will have to beat the US backline.

    I think the keys for the US are the corner backs, Beasley and Cameron. Beasley was excellent in the previous Azteca game, but ran out of gas (oxygen) and was running anaerobically towards the end. The US will have the height advantage should they go with Goodson and Gonzales. Although Edu does not have the height of Goodson, his experience in Scottish football wear aerial and route one ball is prevalent, will help the US defending the box.

    As for the Offence. I would not play Altidore up front alone. Many people point to the CR game to show his work up front. What they missed was that Altidore was a defensive foil. Balls lofted to him from the US end were meant to get the ball out of the US end were they were constantly giving it away, to the CR end where is Jozy could not get and maintain the ball, CR would have to then get it back into the US end, eating up time. The only good thing here was that Altidore was sometimes effective of holding the ball. But remember, this was not mounting an attack. per se, although US players did get up field fast enough to do something, especially with EJ, Altidore was used as a defensive let off, not as an attacking weapon. Big difference. Altidore need a good passer, If Donovan was here he is ideal, but he and Gomez are getting some Chemistry…go with it.

    That said the US will have to mix up it’s offense, sometime going aerial with route one balls, other times bring it through the midfield and then alternatively up the flanks.

    Mexico will try and drive the US into the middle and force them through the congested middle and avoid giving the US the flanks where the US height in Gomez, Altidore and Dempsey give them an advantage. This puts a lot of responsibility to the US winger who need to bring the ball up the flanks and cross well to the forwards. When Shea is Playing well. his attacks from the wing are resourceful and courageous. Unfortunatly, I don’t think Shea is in the form he needs to be…but maybe off the bench… Runs by Beasley from the back, could be key.

    Like

    • MikeG

      Gomez and Beasley played well and combined well when they were both on the left side. I would like to see that continue against Mexico. Some chemistry started there and I’d like to see the chance to see if that chemistry gets stronger against Mexico. I see the prospects for overlapping between Gomez and Beasley. I liked the dual DM of Jones and Bradley, but should we continue that then Beckerman can play Jones’ spot. Beckerman can mark against Mexico and not necessarily go both ways (stay at home near the circle). We are blessed to have a handful of players who can play more than one position at in international level.

      Like

      • ThaDeuce

        I’ve changed my mind. lots of good options, i can’t wait to see what we do!
        ———–Altidore (target man)
        Gomez (defensive responsibilties on the left)
        ————-Dempsey— (center control with shared defensive responsibility on the right)
        –Klejstan———-Bradley (defensive wingers that can possess the ball and pinch in when needed)
        ———–Beckerman—– (stays put)
        Beasley–Edu—Goodson—-Cameron
        ————-Guzan—————

        Like

      • ThaDeuce

        If shea is healthy, he could start over klejstan. if not, shea, corona, and boyd are offensive options for substitutions and Gonzo backs up defense.

        Can’t wait for Holden to get back!

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      • ThaDeuce

        defense gets the ball to wingers who then find deuce or the forwards. attack goes from wingers through deuce. i think i’d rather have shea than sasha.

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      • ThaDeuce

        and beckerman can play defense, you don’t have to worry about him venturing forward. he can frustrate an offense.

        Like

  • Excellency

    People seem to forget that we will be playing at 7000 ft.

    I wud start the game like this:

    ——————agudelo—————-
    -gomez—becks–edu—-bradley—-zusi–
    —-beezer—goody—-gonzo—–cam—
    ——————–guzan——————-

    Agudelo is not in camp so I dont know who would play up top. shea??? We need a greyhound who can finish to pin back the Mexican defence. That is how Jamaica played and they did fine. Mexico will be gassed at 70 so I would bring Dempsey, Jozy on in stages and have them nicely warmed up by the 70′ mark and go for the win.

    If we wanted a fast cb who can pass out of the back and has a good air game, scores on corners, we might have called up Hedges long ago, like last August. Not saying I wud play him here, that would not be my strategy. And if we want a fwd/mid who can play defence /offence in a 451 we might think of somebody like Wenger who has good scoring touch, has pace and can finish and started life as a defender. Gatt would be somebody who defends wide and stretches defences like Mexico’s

    Why not be ready for any contingency? JK’s rosters always seem to have big holes in them.

    Like

  • beachbum

    sure shakes things up with JJ out.

    like your updated lineup Ives, giving Sascha the opportunity. the arguments for him and Corona both make sense right now for this game imo. Coach has shown he’ll throw guys into the fire on the road which means Joe has a chance with his experience maybe

    on the projected lineup, the backline could be Edu the destroyer with Gonzo-Goodson, or Edu-Gonzo with Beckerman or MB? If Beckerman gets the call if Edu plays CB then Klestjan or Corona could see lots of minutes

    how fit is Shea? is a supersub role his this game?

    Like

  • Thatkidnandez

    Break Shea is the new Mexicutioner! Landon your title has is being borrowed

    Like

  • SBITORLL #2 go jayhawkss11

    the U.S has no chance in this game. Mexico is going to be motivated enough after losing for the first time in the azteca in august. they circled this game for retibution. Now that they drew their first two games, their gonna be more motivated than ever. I expect a mutli goal lost 2-0, 3-1. the line that would never happen but i would choose.

    the goose
    cameron gonzo porn goodson run dmb
    edu the beast “bradley” klesjan

    dempsey
    gomez atliScore altiggggggggggoooooooollllllllllll

    Like

    • ThatKidNandez

      Excuse me the mexican press is eating them alive right now! You forget Azteca turns on their team! I think I am one the few USA fans that think the US can win.

      Like

  • Paula Poundstone Yes the comedian

    I don’t know wh people don’t like Goodson more. He started against Italy in the vicotry there, he is our most expierience, most solid best cb, he’s not flashy but he’s solid, i’d take him over gonzo or edu or cameron in cb any day

    Like

  • Bob B

    <blockquote cite="there isn’t a better option to ask to police the area in front of the back four than Bradley. "

    I disagree. Bradley tends to chase the ball– see the last Gold Cup where he chased the ball and Mexico just knocked it to Dos Santos who had acres, no hectares to run into. Guess who was supposed to be policing that area?

    Ask yourself this: Did Dos Santos have a monster game? Did Bradley play well after it was 2-0 USA? I want Bradley on the field. He’s an exceptional player, but he won’t be shutting down Dos Santos because he chases the ball. Someone else has to play that role.

    Like

  • Isaac

    Ives, I think you’ve taken a slight mis-step; Kljestan didn’t play in the Azteca in 2009… He played in Columbus in 2009…

    Like

  • chris thebassplayer

    4-2-3-1 same line up as last time with Edu replacing Jones and Corona in place of Zusi on the right.

    Like

  • heath

    Zach Loyd needs to be brought back up. He could help us out as left or right back!

    Like

  • sir coble

    —————————guzan————————
    —————goodson————gonzo———
    cameron——– edu————————–beasley
    ———– beckerman——–bradley————
    johnson—————deuce—————–gomez

    MO: Have edu chase little pea with goodson and gonzo attemptin to double up on crosses.
    Give Cameron and DMB freedom to play as wingbacks
    Beckerman and Bradley to play a double (pivot) piston with bradley doing most of the offensive runs.
    Gomez and Johnson should run their socks off.

    potential subs: Gomez/Johnson/Cameron/DMB would be gassed. Dempsey not in game shape
    Save two for the firstthe four four listed.
    One for either Dempsey/Beckerman either Corona or Kljestan or Davis (late set piece heroics )depending on the game is going.

    Like

  • wichin

    I don’t understand all you saying that Corona is not ready for the AZTECA. He is used to playing in the pressure filled Azteca and other pressure filled stadiums in Mexico. Give him more credit. He will do well to control the ball and look to score. So much better than Sasha…

    Like

  • MikeG

    Edu on Chicharito’s leg like a dog and Beckerman explaining the wonders of dreadlocks to Dos Santos up close and personal over 90 minutes to the point we see Dos Santos with dreadlocks in the next game. We need some serious marking and Bradley is not known for his marking ability. I can see Beckerman and Bradley as a DM pair ‘marking’.

    Like

    • MikeG

      Bradley is not known as a marker, but he can apply double pressure on defense very well. This suits him..winning the ball, start a counter attack, and then run to support them.

      Like

  • Primoone

    ————————Guzano—————————
    Goodson——-Gomez——Edu———Cameron

    ————————Bradley—————————

    ———Herc——————————Beasley—-

    ————————–Corona————————-

    —————-Clint——————-Josi————–

    This midfield lineup should not get overwhelmed considering Hercs and DMBs backtracking ability and ball winning in the midfield as well as being anchored by Junior. Going forward, duece gets carte blanche and should be able to iether combine with Corona or Josi. Not very offensive but able to create chances…the main feature is the ability to thwart the counters and speed up the gut

    Like

    • ThaDeuce

      That right flank gets torched and deuce never gets anything but long hopeful balls.

      Like

      • primoone

        You are spot on with that assessment. However, watching Santos and Puebla play the last few seasons, I can tell you that Herc and Beasley contain extremely well for their teams when the right or Left backs need help with a speedier opponent. Also, the further the ball gets pushed out into the wings the better. They may get crosses into the box but you need to keep them out of the middle because they will get by our two center-backs. My money is on our boys winning the ariel battle all night long…Omar…goodson…Cameron…Edu? Money.

        Not very many teams get to impose their play on Mexico at home. I put Clint in the box because he will have 1 or 2 brilliant moments, personally I would rather those moments be inside the box. Now remember, if there isn’t that much service going to him, he can drop and interchange with Corona but you keep the defense honest with Josi and that second forward.

        Like

  • Bizzy

    Playing 2 players in experimental positions, that haven’t played there for their clubs except for the national team, filling in areas were we have problems even at full strength, against the best team in CONCACAF?????
    Its funny that Beasley has been in the US pool for so long, with a lot of international experience but Snubbed time and time for MLS caliber players (….e.g for the likes of Shea, Beckerman etc), even though he has the talent needed to be on the team and blends perfectly with everyone around him,……..won’t get selected until we are in crisis. Now everyone is on the DMB ban wagon….
    Playing Edu in the back with no experience….against a team like Mexico?? When we have Oguchi Onyewu????
    1. His Market value – 3,500,000 euros. link to transfermarkt.co.uk (I wonder why)
    2. 66 USMNT caps (….not 2, not 4) and still training/playing at the highest level
    3. Plays/Trains/Subs on a team that is currently 6th in La Liga (not a Player/sub for a 19th place 2nd division La liga team or Experimenting).
    4. Plays and trains with the team with plans, preparation and schemes to stop the attacks of Messi, Villa, inesta, Ronaldo, Benzema, Falcao, Negredo, Soldado etc…….not training to stop a Magee, Keane, Henry, Earnshaw, Cooper, Wondo, Bruin or Johnson
    5. If you can even be on the bench for Malaga, battling for play time and making the first team against Weligton (team captain), Demichelis (37 Nat team apps – Argentina), Lugano a (72 Nat team apps – Uruguay), on a 6th place La Liga team….you should AT LEAST make the bench on the USMNT.
    No CB currently in our pool is receiving his LEVEL of training…..and in a game as important as Mexico, in Azteca, against the best team in the region….you play an inexperienced DM?? If we change the line-up against Costa Rica and not just substitute one player for Jones (Edu or Sasha) we deserve to lose

    Like

    • Scott

      Gooch? He is old, slow and not getting much playing time. Actually, not even getting much bench time. As for “Playing Edu in the back with no experience….against a team like Mexico?? When we have Oguchi Onyewu???? “…The last time we saw Edu at CB was fairly recently during our only win, ever, at Azteca stadium. Training time is not game time and we already have many better options.

      Like

      • the unmistakeable Ronaldinho

        I disagree with parts of this. I really think Onyewu is our most talented CB. He isn’t playing right now, so I agree with leaving him off this roster. However, he could still have a big time role to play if he sorts out his club situation.

        Like

  • DC Josh

    Ives, while your second lineup is more progressive and interesting, I just don’t see Klinsmann running with it (which I’m sure you would agree). But I like it better than the first. I do like having Edu next to Gonzalez, but I think the USMNT will be playing so deep there won’t be much space behind them to run into. Of course, this has been a problem against Mexico at Azteca–relieving pressure. But I like the athleticism of Edu. I also like putting Bradley in front of the back four to add defensive grit. He is our best midfielder (better than Jones IMO) and should be the only man deployed to handle Mexico’s attacking mids.

    Another concern I have is playing out of the back. Omar looked very shaky with the ball at his feet against Costa Rica, and I remember instances where Edu looked the same in the past. We can’t afford to simply boot the ball up to Jozy, or lose the ball in our defensive third. So possession out of the back will be key as well. We can’t counter unless we get a good release ball into space.

    Finally, I felt Zusi played better than you give him credit for Friday night. He did not have his usual impact, but I thought he gave a lot of effort defensively, and we could use his help on the wings defensively against El Tri. Gomez is a monster on the field–deadly finisher in the box, hustles back to help on defense, great on the ball. Zusi has the same hustle, so I would keep him on the other side and bring in Eddie Johnson or Sacha in the 2nd half once he begins to wear down.

    Like

  • Dave

    Kljestan is a giveaway machine. I can’t believe that he still gets the call up, let alone how he gets on the field.

    Like

  • Vic

    Not sure why anyone would suggest starting Klesjtan over Corona. There will tight marking and little space in Azteca. Losing a technical player like Jones that provides skill and space for his teammates could be a big blow. Corona may not have national team experience but he has experience playing against the Mexican players and experience playing in Azteca. In addition Corona also has skills to pass in tight situations which we will face tomorrow.

    Like

  • Dick Tracy

    I think its all about work-rate.

    In this situation you are hoping to steal a point, so I think you send in a lineup like this:

    ——————-Deuce———————
    -DMB—————————Gomez—-
    —————–Zusi—————————
    ——-Edu————-Bradley————-
    -Morrow———————–Cameron–
    ————Besler—-Goodson————
    ——————-Guzan———————-

    Like

    • Dick Tracy

      DMB at LB is fine too if you are starting Brek Shea at left-wing.

      Once again, this line-up is solely based off a high potential team work-rate.

      Like

  • RB

    Mexico may have some back line issues of their own, with Maza Rodriguez and also Torres Nilo suspended for this game…

    Like

  • Vic

    Not sure why anyone would suggest starting Klesjtan over Corona. There will tight marking and little space in Azteca. Losing a technical player like Jones that provides skill and space for his teammates could be a big blow. Corona may not have national team experience but he has experience playing against the Mexican players and experience playing in Azteca. In addition Corona also has skills to pass in tight situations which we will face tomorrow.

    Like

  • JJ

    Dempsey is the captain, the only way he’s coming out is by injury plain and simple.

    Like

  • the original jb

    Think most would agree that this will be the toughest match in the hex. Also dealing with an even worse injury bug with Jones out. For me, this is the game to play the 3 Dmids, clog the middle, stay compact defensively, counter if the chance presents itself. And if we can withstand the initial pressure, they will get frustrated and maybe the fans turn on them like they did in last year’s friendly. That will be the time to maybe make an offensive substition and push for a goal. This is why I would prefer Ives first lineup. I just don’t think you can afford to put Eddie Johnson on a wing, when you know we need help defensively. Maybe bring him on late if we need a goal or want to push for a win.

    Like

    • Big Chil

      I agree that this is a good match to clog the middle, force Mexico wide and use our height and strength at CB to clear the crosses. However, I think we do start EJ on the left wing. He is the tall, strong, fast type of player Mexico struggles against. EJ is an excellent target for far post crosses with his head, and he could put one in for us. Shea as a sub for EJ. DMB & EJ together should be able to put in the defensive work on the left, as should Cameron & Herc on the right, and with Bradley and Co. clogging the middle, we should be alright.

      Like

  • ri

    —————–Guzan—————–
    Cam—-Gonzo——Edu——Beasley
    —————–Bradley—————-
    ——-Klejstan————Corona——
    Gomez————————-Dempsey
    —————–Jozy——————-

    Like

  • Ty

    I think Perry Kitchen would be a great anchor in the midfield. He is technical and hands down one of the best defenders we have!

    Like

  • the unmistakeable Ronaldinho

    Personally, I think the back line has to stay the same. Mexico will be a different challenge than we faced on Friday, but I think the old paralysis by analysis could bite us with too much tinkering. I’m not completely sold on the 3 defensive mids setup many are arguing for. I agree we need to stay compact and will be on the defensive, but we can do this without 3 defensive mids. Playing Bradley, Edu, and Beckerman is inviting more pressure on us defensively. A player like Kljestan has a bit more skill and passing ability than Beckerman and has proven he can be a good center mid in the champions league. People questioning his ability really need to take than into consideration.
    Mexico will out possess us, but there isn’t a need to sit on the edge of our 18 the full 90 mins. We can have a go at them, when the opportunity arises, and Kljestan’s passing range will help with countering Mexico. Personally I would go with the first lineup that Ives suggested.

    Like

  • David

    I feel like that second line up leaves our left flank over exposed. I don’t trust that Beasley’s performance would have been as good against CRC without the snow. There isn’t many other options to put there instead so I’d try to shield him with a midfielder with more defensive chops than Johnson. I still don’t trust Johnson to do all the dirty work Gomez (and Altidore more and more) is willing to do. I think he’ll leave Beasley high and dry way too often.

    Like

  • Big Chil

    With our win and Mexico’s two draws, there’s a lot more pressure on them than us. I was at the game on Friday night. It was crazy having 3-4″ of snow on the field. Feels like that may be the tough bonding experience the team needed to gel. No pressure on us going into Mexico. We can survive a loss and still be relatively ok in the standings at this point.

    I’m feeling a draw, 1-1, and we finally give Jozy a good serve and he puts it in. Post-Tuesday standings:

    Panama 5
    Honduras 4
    USA 4
    Costa Rica 4
    Mexico 3
    Jamaica 2

    The Mexican fans and press go into meltdown mode.

    Like

  • Gary Page

    Too many posts to read, but after the first 50 or so that i read, many people fail to realize an important fact. Mexico desperately needs this win. A draw will be like a win for the US as it will keep the US above Mexico in the table and will cause all sorts of concern amongst Mexican media, fans, and players. Given that, you know Mexico will come out playing extremely aggressive attacking soccer. With our makeshift lineup, there is no way we can control possession so that we will have to absorb the pressure and hope for success on a counter attack. Mexico is missing two starters in the back due to card accumulation, so they can be vulnerable, especially if their backs go too far forward. Thus, we need to play a defensive strategy and try to get the counter attack goal and then hold on. It is the only strategy that makes sense and remember that a draw will be a great result for the US.

    Like

    • Son of SBI Troll

      I say go with some fresh legs, but with a strong defensive approach:

      ——Bunbury——————Davies———-
      –Gatt—-Adu—-R. Clark—–Holden——-
      –Garza–DeMerit–Onyewu–Bornstein–
      —————T. Meola—————————-

      I really think this can work, you guys. Especially since it will balance out Mexico’s “must-win” mentality.

      Actually, I just put this in here to give myself the opportunity to type the word “Davies” into a projected USMNT lineup. A form of catharsis. I can barely see through the tears.

      Like

      • SBI Troll

        Son, I taught you better than that. Now finish your homework, boy.

        Like

      • Son of SBI Troll

        But Dad… You always taught me that Gooch was the future of American Soccer? I don’t even know what to think, or who to trust, anymore…

        Like

    • beto

      indeed fullback is one of the best positions to watch for both teams and you have to like the US’s right side match up of Cameron-Gomez vs. Guadado-Salcido. The left side should be attacked by Aquino and Meza, much less firepower over there.

      Goodson-Edu-Gonzalez back three, I am lining Edu up as a CB/CDM, vs. Chicarito and Gio will be the battle! If that can be won then I like Dempsey, Gomez and Altidore to keep the game close.

      Like

  • Big Chil

    O/T but the draw for the U-20 WC was just completed. USA got a tough Group A with France, Spain, and a CAF nation TBD. I assume Ives will post on this shortly. (Get to work!)

    Like

  • Jay89

    —-gomez———-altidore——–
    ———–dempsey————
    Davis———————-klejstan
    – ———-bradley————–
    Beasley—goodson—gonzalez—-cameron

    This would be the for the best.

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  • beto

    ——————-Corona———————–
    -Meza——Moreno——Ayala——-Salcido-
    ———-Herrera————-Zavala————-
    —Aquino—–Dos Santos———-Guardado-
    —————–Hernandez———————–
    vs.
    —-Altidore———Dempsey———Gomez—-
    ————–Kljestian——-Bradley————–
    ————————Edu————————-
    -Besley——Goodson–Gonzalez—-Cameron-
    ———————–Guzan———————–

    i really think we line up okay vs. them. If Gomez can keep Salcido busy then Guardado vs. Cameron turns into a great matchup that we have a chance at winning. Chicarito will score, its more about keeping him to the same amount that Dempsey can equal out.

    Guardado vs. Cameron
    Dos Santos vs. Edu

    Dempsey vs. Ayala/Moreno
    Hernandez vs. Goodson/Gonzalez

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  • Peaton

    Ives, RE Zuzi: Do you think that the Colorado game was a good barometer of performance in Mexico City? That game seems like an anomaly, which is not to say that we should not congratulate strong performances from that game, but it was a not your average qualifier. Given that Zuzi is a more technical player he was at a disadvantage. Of course, he is on the periphery of the starting 11 so seeing a more defensive midfield makes sense given how Mexico is probably at a better moment of form.

    Like

  • What do the stats say?

    The data shows we are a weaker team than Mexico. We are weaker because of our defense. That being said, our current defense is not much weaker than the Boca, Cherundolo, etc. scenario.

    So how do we win? Focus on a defensive effort with 5 backs. Offensively, play the counter attack.

    Guzan

    Cameron, Edu, Gonzo, Goodson, Beasley

    Johnson, Bradley, Kljestan or Zusi (historical data shows no difference)

    Gomez, Dempsey

    Like

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