Who should the USMNT start vs. Mexico?

Who should the USMNT start vs. Mexico?

U.S. Men's National Team

Who should the USMNT start vs. Mexico?

USMNTvsCostaRica (ISIPhotos.com)

 

Photo by John Todd/ISIPhotos.com

By IVES GALARCEP

All it took was a handful of yellow cards, and Michael Bradley’s injured left ankle, to suddenly turn the U.S. Men’s National Team from “Is this the deepest USMNT ever” to “Just who is going to start vs. Mexico?”

Questions about U.S. starting lineups come with every match, but the circumstances of Tuesday’s crucial World  Cup qualifier against a struggling and desperate “El Tri” side are unique. As recently as Friday afternoon Klinsman would have hoped to count on Bradley, Matt Besler, Jozy Altidore and Geoff Cameron to be available against Mexico, and might have found himself resigned to losing one or two of them to yellow-card suspension on Friday.

Instead of one or two, all four will be missing from Crew Stadium, forcing Klinsmann to call in a quartet of reinforcements and consider what a team without Bradley, the team’s most indispensable player, will look like.

As if that isn’t enough, Klinsmann must also deal with the fact that his fullbacks played awfully against Costa Rica, and Mexico’s attack will most certainly look to exploit the wings as well. Michael Orozco did little to suggest he is really the answer at right back, while DaMarcus Beasley is coming off his worst game at left back since becoming the de facto starter there earlier this year.

So many questions, and just two days to go before a qualifier the Americans can’t afford to lose, and one Mexico will be desperate to win.

So who will Klinsmann turn to against Costa Rica? Here is the starting lineup we can see him going with against Mexico:

PROJECTED USMNT STARTING LINEUP vs. MEXICO

——————————Eddie Johnson——————————

Fabian Johnson———–Clint Dempsey———–Landon Donovan

——————Jermaine Jones—-Kyle Beckerman——————

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

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

——————————–Tim Howard——————————-

Some thoughts:

Parkhurst hasn’t been playing for German side Augsburg, and is lacking match fitness, but  Klinsmann may have little choice but to turn to the right back who impressed at the Gold Cup. Michael Orozco struggled badly vs. Costa Rica, and Mexico won’t be an easy test.

There is plenty of clamoring for Aron Johannsson, but a healthy Eddie Johnson has to get the start as the target forward. It may not be his best position, but he is best suited to handle the role of the players in camp. He played that role in the Gold Cup semifinals and final, and his ability to partner with Clint Dempsey could make this lineup work well.

Landon Donovan slides to the right, and Graham Zusi goes to the bench after a relatively quiet match vs. Costa Rica.

Fabian Johnson looked sharp on the left wing vs. Costa Rica, but you have to wonder if Klinsmann is tempted to deploy him at left back for the struggling Beasley. With there being more quality wing options than left back options, Klinsmann could make the switch.

Here is the lineup I would start vs. Mexico:

——————————Eddie Johnson——————————–

Landon Donovan———Clint Dempsey———–Alejandro Bedoya

——————Jermaine Jones—-Kyle Beckerman——————

Fabian Johnson————————————–Michael Parkhurst

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

——————————–Tim Howard——————————-

Fabian Johnson at left back, and Alejandro Bedoya on the right wing, is the move I would make. You could really cause problems for Mexico with a Fabian Johnson-Landon Donovan tandem attacking that side of the field, while Bedoya’s work rate could help provide support for Parkhurst.

What would fans like to see here? Here is a lineup I’m sure some USMNT fans would like to see against Mexico:

—————————-Aron Johannsson——————————-

Eddie Johnson————-Clint Dempsey———–Landon Donovan

——————Jermaine Jones—-Mix Diskerud———————–

Fabian Johnson————————————–Michael Parkhurst

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

——————————-Brad Guzan———————————

————

What do you  think of our projected starting lineup? Which of the three lineups above would you use if you had to pick? Who do you definitely NOT want to see start vs. Mexico?

Share your thoughts below.

 

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