By IVES GALARCEP
The U.S. Men’s National Team will play the last friendly before Jurgen Klinsmann names his preliminary World Cup roster in May, and the match will offer a final chance for fringe players to impress, either as starters or substitutes.
Just which players Klinsmann will call on to start against Mexico on Wednesday seems pretty straightforward. At least it did before Brad Evans suffered a calf injury and Puebla refused to release DaMarcus Beasley and Michael Orozco. The absences should mean a chance for DeAndre Yedlin to show his quality against a tough opponent. Michael Parkhurst slots in at left back, where he has played in the past.
The target forward role could offer some intrigue, with Chris Wondolowski likely to be preferred over Eddie Johnson.
The rest of the squad seems pretty easy to fill out, though the really interesting part of Klinsmann’s player evaluations on Wednesday could come in the second half, when players like Maurice Edu and Luis Gil could be given opportunities to boost their stock.
Here is the projected starting lineup we see taking the field against Mexico on Wednesday.
PROJECTED USMNT LINEUP vs. MEXICO
Some quick thoughts:
Parkhurst is listed, but it wouldn’t shock me if Klinsmann gave Yedlin a run at the starting right back nod.
Wondolowski is in better form than Johnson at the moment, and has done more in recent national team appearances.
Expect Landon Donovan and Graham Zusi to interchange wings, something that makes their pairing even more intriguing.
Edu has been playing well in a defensive midfield role for the Philadelphia Union, but you wonder if Klinsmann wants to get a look at him in central defense.
What do you think of our projected lineup? Which player are you happy to see make the squad? Who are you disappointed not to see make it?
Share your thoughts below.