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U.S. Men's National Team

Who should the USMNT start vs. Ukraine? (Take Two)

AronJohannssonScotland (ISIPhotos.com)

By IVES GALARCEP

The U.S. Men’s National Team’s friendly against Ukraine is just two days away, and we’ve seen some major roster turnover since the squad was announced last Thursday, meaning it has become that much tougher to figure out just who Klinsmann will start on Wednesday.

Michael Bradley, Mix Diskerud and Tim Ream have pulled out of the match, giving Klinsmann fewer options to work with. Bradley was expected to start, and Ream was considered an option to start.

Jonathan Spector has been added to the team, but seems a long shot to start.

So who will Klinsmann turn to now that he has had a handful of players pull out? Here is a projected squad we can see taking the field against Ukraine:

PROJECTED USMNT STARTING LINEUP vs. UKRAINE

USMNTProjectedXIUkraine

What do you think of the lineup? What changes would you make? Like the idea of potentially starting Edgar Castillo at left back?

Share your thoughts below.

84 comments
  • Maykol

    I thought JAB only played right center back? And i like the idea of castillo starting at left wing

    Like

    • Eric

      Believe JAB is naturally left footed. He should play left center back just fine.

      Like

    • iggy

      CBs generally mix around anyway, so it’s not really a true positional switch like say RB to LB

      Like

    • Todd Marsch

      It’s been over a decade now since I’ve played in a pretty competitive environment (college and a couple pro trials), but I don’t remember footedness being a determining factor when it came to central positions. Outside mid or outside back, sure, it was a big consideration what foot was dominant. Is it really a thing now to worry about a right-footed player playing the CB spot more towards the left?

      Like

      • Maykol

        Thats what i originally thought but i remember some people were making a big fuss about it when JAB first joined the US squad

        Like

      • Ryan

        Very surprising to hear of your career and not know how which foot you prefer can affect your position. Maybe you were just oblivious, or maybe you’re a liar.

        Either way, the foot you prefer and the position you play in the back line greatly affects the amount of service you will provide to the players that are easiest to get the ball to.

        I only know this because I’m 24 and play for the Ventura County Fusion and everyone who plays knows this. So start playing more and you won’t need to fabricate your backstory ;-)

        Like

      • Bob

        AWESOME! You just made it easy for me to pick out a team to root AGAINST in the PDL! Generally root for the underdog but now I hope the Quakes kick the crap out of you on May 9th…good luck!

        Like

      • Rabbit

        Ryan, when you see your counselor, ask him/her about your trust issues.

        Like

      • quozzel

        I played up to college, and when I was at CB, I didn’t much care either which “side” I played on…clearing a ball with the left ain’t much different than clearing it with your right.

        Shooting on goal is kind of a different thing….

        Like

      • Nick

        Odd, no Ryan on the roster according to the VC Fusion website….

        Like

      • soccerhorn

        Ha ha! Yeah right, I was just thinking this morning how I really like that Ventura County Fusion organization. Always so friendly. They ran the State Cup events very well last weekend. Great group. Zardes played there! But then I met Ryan…

        Like

      • Micronesia Justin

        I see a lot of weird positions these days…could be from the popularity of FIFA video game series where you can do any number of formations that have been filled with ‘l’, ‘r’, ‘c’, ‘a’, etc…I agree, centrally the preferred foot isn’t as much of an issue. If I’m playing against Ryan I’m pushing him to his weaker foot. Apparently he can’t provide service with both feet.

        Like

      • Ryan

        Totally can’t. That’s why I play PDL ball and not Pro ball

        Like

      • Long Distance

        If you can’t play with two feet by the time you’ve hit the professional ranks, you’ve got problems.

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      • The Garrincha

        True that. Also really irks me, it’s like watching ugly soccer, when a pro level player can only use one foot. You still see it today in even some of the top players in the world. Never understood this?.

        Like

  • slowleftarm

    This isn’t a bad lineup. Could also have Castillo at LB and Johnson at LM instead of Bedoya, although I’m not a huge Castillo fan.

    Like

  • Monarch Bay Beachbum

    I think Bedoya, Dempsey and Johanson are all interchangeable, but I would start Dempsey on the left pinching in Bedoya on the right and Aron in the center as more of a withdrawn forward.

    Like

    • Dinho

      Although I agree with this, JK most likely wants Dempsey as his “play-maker” in the middle.

      Like

    • Advocate

      I agree too. With the right support, Dempsey will score more than his share of goals regardless of his starting position. But creating goals for others to score isn’t a significant part of his game. Without Donovan available to be the playmaker, it would be worthwhile for Klinsmann to see how Johannsson performs in that role.

      Like

    • Josh D

      Dempsey hasn’t played on the wing in a long time. At this point, his endurance, work rate, and speed are far below what we’d need there.

      I also don’t like playing Dempsey behind the two wingers because that makes it out like he’s playing in a three-man midfield, which he can’t do. At this point, he’s a forward or withdrawn forward. Keep him as high up as possible.

      Like

      • Herschel Skywalker

        Except for the game he started there during his loan to Fulham about a month ago.

        Like

      • JBSoccer

        And except for the portion of last weekend’s game where he played there

        Like

  • Jay in Florida

    I see Castillo playing LB and Fabian Johnson at LW with Bedoya at RW and Johannsson either on the bench or Starting up top in place of Altidore. Everything else looks about right. This is based on who I think will start not who I want to start btw.

    Like

    • John

      I agree, I didn’t think Bedoya showed well at all, when on the left in Panama.

      Like

  • Dinho

    I would like to see this:

    —————- Altidore ————————–

    Dempsey —– Johannson ———- Bedoya

    —————- Klejstan —- Williams ———–

    F. Johnson – Brooks – Packwood – Cameron

    —————— Guzan —————————–

    (Dempsey/Johannsson/Bedoya interchangeable)

    Why the hell not.

    Like

    • Dinho

      Easily converts to a 4-4-2, especially, if you bring Shea/Castillo in for Dempsey.

      I would also like to see Agudelo get a run up top.

      Like

  • EspinDOHla

    Interesting tweet from Roger Bennett:

    “Jozy was on pugnacious form in practice. Julian Green continued to impress, as did John Brooks. Alejandro Bedoya looked especially sharp.”

    Brooks and Bedoya get the start?

    Like

      • Travis in Miami

        I understand what it means. I don’t understand your question about understanding what it means though.

        Like

      • EspinDOHla

        2tone–

        Why do you ask if I understand what the word means when I wrote:

        “Brooks and Bedoya get the start?”

        Do you understand what this means????

        Like

      • UclaBruinGreat

        2 Stone.. I’m not the type to name call in a forum, but considering EspinDoHla’s comment, your response was idi0tic!

        Like

      • soccerhorn

        2tone, please don’t get pugnacious on us. Not necessary.

        Like

    • soccerhorn

      I basically agree with everything Roger Bennett has to say. ‘Mon the Blazers!

      Like

  • 2tone

    If AJ is played on the wing I would rather see him at LW. He likes to cut in from the left on goal even as a lone striker.

    But I agree with the starting 11.

    Like

    • Benjamin C.

      Under Klinsmann, it seems that wing players interchange quite often over the course of a match, so I would anticipate seeing him on both sides of the field if he indeed starts in that position. And I agree with you, it seems beneficial to have AJ be able to get inside from the left and get a shot off with his right; he proved against Panama that he can rifle them in from distance with accuracy and power.

      Like

    • Benjamin C.

      I think it would have been cancelled outright rather than even trying to move it to Cyprus if that were going to be the case. I suppose you never know, but I am guessing it is full steam ahead at this point.

      Like

      • James

        Yea, but that was before Russian military entering the Ukraine. In my mind, that escalates the situation enough to merit cancellation.

        Like

  • Landon Klinsmann

    And the new jerseys will be modeled by our former striker turned PGA tour pro – Lafin Miasov.

    Like

  • ronniet

    Did you guys hear what happened to Holden in the reserve game today??? He apparently went down holding(no pun intended) his knee after only 22 minutes of action and had to be subbed off smh. No good, not good at all and this may be the proverbial nail in the coffin for the kid!

    Like

    • Brett

      I said the last time that he was done. Such a shame. He was a future captain in my mind.

      Like

      • Fair Observer

        yea a Holden/ Bradley midfield was enticing….. such sad news, damn. Holden is one of those “motor” players with just a natural feel for the game and always looking to push the ball confidently and calmy. with bradley as his cdm they would have possessed the ball perfectly for USA

        Like

      • Matt

        No, he doesn’t just suck…what he is is a massively inconsistent young player. Right now, he sucks far more than he impresses, but there’s a lot of potential there.

        Like

  • Duke

    I see no reason Gooch should start. It’s been a long time since hes even been in camp.

    Like

  • Expat4455

    We still have a few hours left for Julian Green to make the switch and play in the match.

    LOL, I can hope, can’t I.

    Like

  • cj

    I understand why gooch is a projected starter. He is more likely to make the team than Packwood, due to experience and extra coach on the bench. But, i still would like to see Packwood in there for a half along with Brooks. But I also want to see Morales for a half, have not seen him play this season, but by accounts he has played well and his team wins more when he plays than when he sits.

    Like

  • Troy in his apartment

    No one will start. NO ONE I TELL YOU. Now send Clint back to Seattle so we can actually see the teams investment play

    Like

  • John

    Well US soccer had known the situation for awhile now, lets hope they have some kind of back up plan.

    Like

  • EspinDOHla

    Man, bad day for US Soccer:

    jerseys…meh

    Stu…injured

    Ukraine friendly…cancelled

    Like

  • Expat4455

    Bummer. Stay a few more days in Frankfurt. Maybe get a scrimmage with Eintracht Frankfurt, or even Kaiserslautern from Bundesliga 2, any German team, at the training grounds.

    Like

  • Dennis

    So far not cancelled.

    I think

    ———–Altidore—–

    FJ——-Dempsey——Bedoya

    -Williams(or Klejstan)—Jones

    Castillo—JAB—Gooch-Cameron

    ——–Howard—

    I also think AJ will sub in for Dempsey as early as half-time and which ever does not start of Klejstan and Williams will start the 2nd half in place of the other (or Jones). Spector will sub in for either Cameron or Castillo and Packwood will see a bit of time at CB and Agudelo will come on for Altidore late in the game and push AJ up top. Shea might see a few minutes for FJ.

    Like

  • Colin in MT

    I know it won’t happen, but I’d love to see…

    ———–Altidore—-Johannsson

    —————Dempsey

    ——–Sacha———Jones/Bedoya

    ————–Williams

    Like

    • Fair Observer

      so now wingers? 3 CMs? terrible idea. unless you think sacha and jones/bedoya would push wide in that form, still terrible since sacha and jones dont play wide……. im glad Colin’s not a coach

      Like

      • Colin in MT

        Yeah, it’s probably a good thing I’m not the coach, but like I said, it’s something I’d like to see. This system would require the outside backs, Cameron and Johnson, to pick their opportunities and push forward to create width in the attack (which they both do with their club teams).

        I’d argue that our current 4-2-3-1 doesn’t really employ wingers either. The two “outside” guys typically pinch in, relying on overlapping fullbacks. Looking at the rosters back to the Gold Cup the US has utilized the following players in those “outside” spots: Bedoya, Zusi, Donovan, Torres, Corona, E. J., Kljestan, Davis, F. Johnson, and Shea.

        Out of that list only F. Johnson, Shea and Davis could be considered prototypical wingers. Bedoya plays there for Nantes and Zusi plays there occasionally for SKC; however, they both like to push inside. The strength of our midfield is our central midfielders. I’d like to see us play to that strength with my proposed diamond.

        Like

  • Yevgeniy

    Slightly off-topic question. I will be on the plane from 7pm to midnight Eastern tomorrow night and I would like to watch the game without knowing the score first. I understand that ESPN watch app most likely won’t have the game till the following day. Is there another website that will have the game recorded and available to watch on a few-hour delay? Thanks

    Like

    • Advocate

      Unless I’m reading it wrong, the watch ESPN website is showing a live broadcast on ESPN3.

      Like

      • Yevgeniy

        I know. MY point is that I am not able to watch it live as I will be at work, but I could watch it later

        Like

  • chris_thebassplayer

    I’m going rogue, I think we see a surprise at the outside fullbacks. Maybe Spector at LB with either Morales or even Williams at RB…Brooks and Cameron in the middle

    ……….Jozy………..

    AJ……Deuce…….FJ

    ……Jones…. Williams

    Specs..Brooks..Cameron..Morales

    Like

  • Expat4455

    AbendZeitung reported that, although he is not eligible to play, Julian Green traveled with the team to Cyprus.

    Like

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