Who should the USMNT start vs. El Salvador?

Who should the USMNT start vs. El Salvador?

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Who should the USMNT start vs. El Salvador?

USMNTvsCuba (ISIPHotos.com)

By IVES GALARCEP

With the group stages behind them, and the opportunity to experiment with lineups and players at different positions behind them, Jurgen Klinsmann and the U.S. Men’s National Team must now focus on identifying the best possible U.S. Gold Cup squad as the tournament’s knockout rounds kick off this weekend.

Klinsmann’s decision to call in four new players, including Matt Besler and Eddie Johnson, suggests he is ready to shake things up a bit in the lineup, and also means some group stage regulars won’t get the nod starting Sunday against El Salvador.

Besler is a lock to start, while Eddie Johnson seems a safe bet to slot into a left midfield role. What Klinsmann will have to figure out is which central midfielders to start, who to partner with Besler, along with a few other lineup decisions that should be a bit easier to make.

Who will get the starting nod vs. El Salvador? Here is SBI’s projected USMNT starting lineup for Sunday’s quarterfinal:

PROJECTED USMNT LINEUP vs. EL SALVADOR

———–Chris Wondolowski——–Landon Donovan———–

Eddie Johnson————-Stuart Holden————–Joe Corona

——————————Kyle Beckerman————————-

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

—————–Matt Besler—————-Clarence Goodson———

——————————-Nick Rimando——————————

Some thoughts:

Nick Rimando is the veteran goalkeeper with experience in big matches, so he has to get the nod in the knockout rounds.

Michael Parkhurst should start at right back, and the alternative to him might actually be Michael Orozco, who was solid in the group stage at centerback.

Kyle Beckerman gets the call over Mix Diskerud, who had a good group stage, but doesn’t provide the same omnipresent cover in midfield that Beckerman does.

Corona was stellar vs. Cuba, then came on as a sub and had an impact vs. Costa Rica. He absolutely should get the nod on the right wing.

Eddie Johnson over Jose Torres and Edgar Castillo? While we could see Torres getting the nod, I just don’t think Klinsmann brought in Johnson to be a bench option.

What lineup do I think fans would select if given the chance?

———–Chris Wondolowski———-Landon Donovan———–

Eddie Johnson—Stuart Holden—-Mix Diskerud—-Joe Corona

DaMarcus Beasley—————————————-Tony Beltran

—————–Matt Besler—————-Clarence Goodson———

——————————-Nick Rimando——————————

And what lineup would I start if I were given the task of selecting a lineup? I would probably go with this lineup:

———–Chris Wondolowski——–Landon Donovan———–

Eddie Johnson————-Stuart Holden————–Joe Corona

——————————Kyle Beckerman————————-

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

—————–Matt Besler—————-Michael Orozco————

——————————-Nick Rimando——————————

———

What do you think of our projected lineup? Which of the three lineups listed would you prefer? Who are you absolutely hoping doesn’t start? Who are you praying does start?

Share your thoughts below.

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