U.S. Men's National Team

Who should the USMNT start vs. Belize?

USMNTvsGUALineup (ISIPhotos.com)


After a 6-0 victory against Guatemala, you would think U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann would have easy decisions to make about what lineup to use in his team’s Gold Cup opener on Tuesday, but the way that match went raised plenty of questions about what players will start vs. Belize.

The second-half performances against Guatemala by Stuart Holden and Mix Diskerud turned plenty of heads, especially considering the first half wasn’t nearly as impressive.

Should we expect wholesale changes vs. Belize? Probably not. Klinsmann has his preferences and it’s tough to see him shaking things up a bunch. He will have to at least consider Holden and Diskerud, and now having Brek Shea for the Gold Cup group stage could lead him to make consider a few adjustments to the midfield.

So what lineup should we expect to see take on Belize in Portland? Here is our projected USMNT lineup:


——–Herculez Gomez————Landon Donovan——-

Edgar Castillo———-Stuart Holden———-Joe Corona

————————–Kyle Beckerman———————-

DaMarcus Beasley————————Michael Parkhurst

———-Clarence Goodson——Oguchi Onyewu———–

—————————Nick Rimando———————–

Some thoughts:

Stuart Holden gets the nod over Jose Torres. Would I be shocked if Klinsmann trotted out the same exact lineup that started vs. Guatemala? Not really, but the one change that makes too much sense is Holden for Torres. Now, if Klinsmann doesn’t feel Holden is ready to play 90 minutes then he could choose to start Torres or Mix Diskerud, or even Alejandro Bedoya, with Joe Corona sliding in centrally, but we’ll give Holden the nod here.

I know plenty of fans want Diskerud to start, and plenty of U.S. fans don’t rate Beckerman as a starter. That may be, but Klinsmann rates Beckerman and wants him to play that No. 6 role. Do you actually need a true No. 6 to beat Belize? Not really, but as a coach you can understand why he’d want his squad to gain a rhythm heading toward the group finale vs. Costa Rica and Gold Cup knockout rounds.

Brek Shea is on the Gold Cup squad now, and showed some good flashes late in the Guatemala match. I see him eventually taking over the starting role on the left wing during the Gold Cup, but I’m not sure he starts the opener.

It’s tough to see any changes to the back-line, so expect the same back four.

What lineup would I start vs. Belize? Here’s the XI I would go with:

——–Herculez Gomez————Landon Donovan——-

Brek Shea————–Stuart Holden———-Joe Corona

————————–Kyle Beckerman———————-

DaMarcus Beasley————————Michael Parkhurst

———-Clarence Goodson——Oguchi Onyewu———–

—————————Nick Rimando———————–


What do you think of the projected lineup? What changes would you make to the lineup vs. Guatemala?

Share your thoughts below.

  • Joamiq

    We should start Mix, score some goals, and then put in Beckerman for the second half. I don’t think Beckerman belongs in Brazil next summer, but he’s a perfectly acceptable #6 for the Gold Cup. Would definitely like to see Shea and Bedoya in the second half (assuming they don’t start).


  • chris thebassplayer





    4-4-2…need to have two forwards in the box against bunker D, preferably one with some height. I have Stu playing a 6…I’d to see how Corona plays in front of Stu. I know what Parkhurst gives us at RB…I’d be nice to see what Beltran brings.


  • Brain Guy

    Castillo really doesn’t merit another start at LW. He had more turnovers than a bakery.


  • Slowreno

    Oh how I wish JK didn’t rate Beckerman. He’s solid in MLS, but just doesn’t have the foresight for the International game. Personally, doesn’t bring those up around him, especially in a fast paced possession oriented game. I’d like to see this:


    I’d start Holden over Mixx if playing on grass, if only to save his knee as I think turf has the higher chance of injury. I also basically our two centerback options weren’t those two. Watching them even without the other as their counterpart makes my head hurt. Can’t count how many times I’ve watched Gooch baby elephant step around the ball because he’s confused about the right pass. Excited for tomorrow though, and hopefully the boys put on a clinic just like vs Guatemala.


  • matt

    Can someone explain to me the benefits of starting a torres/beckerman midfield? They have had ample opportunities to state their claims but have proved to be nothing more than admirable B-teamers. Yes, a 45 minute sample size is incredibly small but how can you even think about not starting stu and mixx? Their ceiling is light years ahead. JK preaches a desire to play a freeflowing, creative style yet turns into Bob Bradley when filling in the lineup card…


    • Charlie

      Beckerham is atrocious and has no future potential, couldn’t agree more. I could stand in front of the back four and complete 5-10 yard passes for 45 minutes against guatemala too, congratulations tool


    • John

      I’m not so sure how happy Klinsmann might have been with Beckerman. As pointed out by the announcers a number of times he was screaming go from the sideline all half. Beckerman had one nice pass but over all just played to many passes back to the back-line. Also if you aren’t going to play “free flowing attacking soccer” against a team like Belize then when are you?


  • Tim

    The world cup is 11 months away, injuries can switch the team up. The team could look pretty different come June.


  • Matt

    Frankly, I have seen ALL that I ever want to see from Edgar Castillo….and if he starts (God forbid) or even sees ANY minutes on the wing as a sub, I will be pretty disappointed by Klinsi. We all know Klinsi has his favorites, but for god’s sakes……let the guy go. Call in Mike Magee or start Bedoya at wing….both have been better lately then Brek Shea and certainly an out of position Castillo.
    Castillo……I hope you are wrong Ives……but you usually are right on the money. Say it ain’t so.


  • Paul

    While I think Ives has nailed the ideal lineup, there’s too many variables to consider.

    Jeld-Wen is artificial turf, not good for the knees. If Holden is not match-ready, or there’s too much risk with turf, he may get held out.

    You need someone like Beckerman to allow the 2nd CM to move up and distribute. Mix has not shown his ability to fill that role. Torres is a defensive liability. Perhaps Beckerman partners with Mix if Holden is held out.

    Belize will bunker, so JK will stretch the field. Shea is a good choice, but I doubt he is ready for 90 minutes. I see Castillo and Beasley pairing up again on the left. It’s a toss up between Corona and Bedoya. It may come down to who matches up better with the Belize lineup. If that’s not a factor, I’m thinking Corona starts, since Bedoya is more versatile, and can also fill in the middle if needed.

    Donovan and Gomez up top. Gomez is a worker, always gives 100%.

    Same back four. Go with experience in the first game.

    Let’s remember it’s a lot of games in a short amount of time. We’ll probably see a different lineup against Cuba, to rest players for Costa Rica.


  • AJ Striker

    I don’t care if Beckerman starts the Gold Cup, but I will have a problem if he’s on the world cup roster. The guy is a placeholder at the def mid spot, who does nothing special whatsoever and never will. With Jones, Bradley, Cameron ahead of him, I hope he has fun playing against Belize and Cuba, but when we get to the knockout stages, I hope Mix gets the nod over him then, because frankly, he’s just a better player.


  • Colin

    Ives, you keep saying… “if Klinsman does not feel like Holden can play the full 90 he may start Torres,” but why can’t Holden just start, play sixty minutes and get subbed off. You are presenting a false dichotomy. Personally I think there is no reason Holden should not start the game. If he can’t go the full 90, sub him off at 70 mins and get some fresh legs on.


  • El Oso Porteno

    Formerly Robert Camacho; Been away on vacation; what a mess! Who in the world thinks Torres belongs in the conversation? Please, no more Torres, Castillo, Beckerman, Hamid (do you remember olympic qual?) this guy is a disaster, let’s be serious. Holden and Mixx were the most dynamic duo we have ever had, and I am a big MB fan; how do we get all three on the pitch for WCQ? As for now…Rimando(by default) MB, Goody, Gooch, Parkhurst, Brek, Stu, Mixx,Bedoya, LD, Gomez (default). Half of the roster is guys who will never play in WCQ. Cody Cropper should be #3 behing #1 Guzan and #2 Howard. Did anyone watch the Gua game? Stu and Mixx energized the team without fouling.


  • El Oso Porteno

    OOPs, got MB on the brain, obviously meant DeMarcus not MB on the left wing, sorry.


  • Birgit Calhoun

    I have issues with the whole right side excepting Donovan. Also, I would put Diskerud in front of Beckerman instead of Holden. I know Holden is kind of a sentimental issue. But if I were sentimental I would start Wondo. He is my favorite player.


  • Sean

    Team Belize all the way it’s our first time being here so win loose or draw team Belize all the way.. Lets leave it to the fields and see what harms we ain’t going down without a fight


  • Thomas B

    My starting 11 for tonight:


    Beckerman starts because there are no other options for a DM. Holden and Mix would be a great combo, but would leave too much out for Goodson and Gooch to deal with. Bedoya gets the nod over Corona because of his experience.


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