Who should the USMNT start tonight vs. Guatemala?

Who should the USMNT start tonight vs. Guatemala?

U.S. Men's National Team

Who should the USMNT start tonight vs. Guatemala?

DaMarcus Beasley (7)

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By IVES GALARCEP

The U.S. Men’s National Team takes on Guatemala tonight in San Diego (11pm, NBC Sports) in the team’s lone tune-up match before the upcoming CONCACAF Gold Cup, and the lineup Jurgen Klinsmann trots out tonight should offer us a good glimpse of the team Klinsmann will lean on to help the U.S. win a sixth Gold Cup title.

Landon Donovan and Oguchi Onyewu are back in the national team fold and will be looking to fight their way back into the full national team conversation. Donovan is expected to eventually re-take his place in the full first-team fold, but this Gold Cup will be key for him to show that he can still be a dominant force. Onyewu’s task is a different one. He must show that he is not only good enough to be among the four best centerbacks in the national team pool, but also a player capable of starting.

While Donovan, Onyewu and newly-minuted U.S. Gold Cup captain are easy enough picks to start tonight’s match, and the Gold Cup group stages, there are several other tough decisions for Klinsmann to make with his lineup. From the varied options on the right wing, and in central midfield, to just how he will deploy Beasley and Edgar Castillo together, assuming he will even go that route.

So who will start tonight for the USMNT? Here are SBI’s projected starters:

PROJECTED USMNT LINEUP vs. GUATEMALA

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

DaMarcus Beasley————-Stuart Holden—————————Joe Corona

———————————-Kyle Beckerman————————————–

Edgar Castillo—Oguchi Onyewu—–Clarence Goodson—-Michael Parkhurst

———————————Nick Rimando—————————————–

Some thoughts:

This lineup is contingent on Holden being fit enough to be ready for a starting role. If he does not start, Klinsmann could move Corona centrally, and start Alejandro Bedoya. Klinsmann could also go with Jose Torres in this lineup:

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

DaMarcus Beasley————–Jose Torres—————————Joe Corona

———————————-Kyle Beckerman————————————–

Edgar Castillo—Oguchi Onyewu—–Clarence Goodson—-Michael Parkhurst

———————————Nick Rimando—————————————–

Brek Shea is with the team for tonight’s friendly, but it’s tough to see Klinsmann giving him a start when he isn’t going to be a part of the Gold Cup team. If Klinsmann has chosen Shea as Josh Gatt’s replacement on the Gold Cup squad, he could start, but his lack of playing time lately makes it tough to see him start.

The defense should be the back four listed, but you have to wonder if Klinsmann would tinker with playing Beasley at right back, a position Klinsmann has mentioned that Beasley can play. The Gold Cup is a very important tournament for Michael Parkhurst to make his case to stay in the national team conversation though, and it seems more likely he is the right back for the duration. Tony Beltran is having a good MLS season, and could get the nod if Parkhurst is in poor form in U.S. camp.

Don’t look for Jack McInerney to start just yet. He is 20 years old and Klinsmann isn’t likely to throw into the mix just yet. He and Will Bruin should be able to see some minutes in the Gold Cup, but it’s tough to see McInerney starting any matches in the Gold Cup. That said, we should see McInerney get some minutes tonight.

So why isn’t Mix Diskerud in any of these projections? He should see playing time in the tournament, but I just don’t project him as a starter ahead of any of these other candidates at the moment. With Klinsmann likely to use subs liberally tonight, we should see Diskerud get some good minutes tonight.

What lineup would I like to see face Guatemala? Here’s an XI I’d be interested in watching:

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

Alejandro Bedoya——-Stuart Holden—Jose Torres——————-Joe Corona

DaMarcus Beasley–Oguchi Onyewu—–Clarence Goodson—-Michael Parkhurst

————————————Nick Rimando—————————————–

——-

What do you think of the lineup? What changes would you make to this squad?

Share your thoughts below.

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