U.S. Men's National Team

Who should the USMNT start vs. Azerbaijan?

USMNT Training Sao Paulo, Brazil


SAN FRANCISCO — The U.S. Men’s National Team is ready to play the first game of the pre-World Cup send-off series on Tuesday night and there is still some question as to just what starting lineup Jurgen Klinsmann will deploy at the World Cup.

Plenty can change between now and the opening match against Ghana on June 16, but the team’s open training session on Monday evening seemed to shed some light on the starting lineup would could see on Tuesday.

There weren’t any real surprises, with Fabian Johnson looking the option at right back, with DaMarcus Beasley currently edging out Tim Chandler at left back. The competition at centerback continues to be between Geoff Cameron and Omar Gonzalez, with Cameron looking like a good bet to start on Tuesday.

So what does the full U.S. starting lineup look like for Tuesday? Here is what the projected squad looks like heading into the match:







Some thoughts:

Beasley gets the nod over Chandler, but chances are we will see some of Chandler on Tuesday, and potentially a start at some point during the send-off series.

Aron Johannsson and Chris Wondolowski will be battling for that “first forward off the bench” role.

Cameron is ahead of Omar Gonzalez at the moment by all accounts.

Jurgen Klinsmann stated that he plans on using his subs liberally, which means we could see all six subs used. That should hopefully mean some minutes for Julian Green to start showing what he can do.


What do you think of the projected starting lineup? What lineup would you like to see against Azerbaijan? Which player are you most interested in watching play?

Share your thoughts below.


  • junker

    zusi and Beasley are most suspect – could see iceman and chandler instead.
    depends if he goes for the 1-3-2-4 or the 2-4-4


  • Jesse

    I think we are prepping for Ghana, which means we will see the diamond 4-4-2.
    Alitdore Dempsey
    Bedoya Zusi
    F Johnson Besler Cameron Chandler

    I have this suspicion that our wide midfielders will be a surprise and we will see either Davis or Green.


  • Jack

    How much time does Altidore get before we start to worry he’s just not going to find his form?


  • ascriptlikethis

    Mine is close to Ives but I have Chandler getting the start on the right, Johnson on the left and Bedoya in midfield.






    I also wouldn’t be shocked to see Run DMB at LB and Johnson on the left in a diamond 4-4-2. I have all my thoughts on tonights game here


    • D-Bo

      I would agree with this. Or the possibility of moving Cameron to RB (thought Klinsy seems to like him at CB) and start Brooks.


    • The Garrincha

      Flipping the script,
      that looks pretty good, may be a twist and turn but
      that looks about as good as it’s gonna get.


  • Bomb Pop

    That awkward moment where you’re hoping for injuries so, LD makes it to Brazil


  • Kevin Johnston

    My prediction is:


    I think Klinsi will try that diamond midfield again that he’s obsessed with … Beckerman playing the holding defense mid which gives Bradley more freedom to attack. Jermaine Jones has played his way out of the starting lineup IMO due to mediocre fitness and a penchant for early yellow cards and giving up dangerous restarts with stupid fouls.


    • Bac

      The diamond midfield he’s obsessed with that he played 1 time?
      Every reporter that was at the practice last night says he’s going with a 4-2-3-1
      If he goes with a diamond midfield against Ghanas midfield, it will make the second half of the Mexico friendly look pretty in comparison


      • Kevin Johnston

        Thanks for the feedback Bac. The whole staff just seems to love the idea of Beckerman playing underneath Bradley, which is another reason I feel like Jermaine Jones has lost his spot in the starting XI to him. A more traditional lineup wouldn’t surprise me either. And my projected lineup really is more of a 4-1-3-2 than a “diamond midfield” anyway IMO. Not like Bradley will constantly be pushed farther up field than the wings.


      • Bac

        If you saw that espn special, JK laid out that diamond to counter the 5-3-2 of Mexico, which was brilliant in the 1st half till they adjusted. I also wouldn’t get too caught up in what anyone says, JK has been pretty clear about Jones as part of the spine.
        Count me in the camp that a year ago scoffed at Beckerman and now welcomes his inclusion.. he’s earned it. But only see him as a sub.. but do think he’ll see the field.


      • KingGoogleyEye

        I hope Bradley doesn’t push higher than the wings. Bradley is not a great attacking midfielder, orchestrating the attack high up in the field (like Xavi). He is far better suited as a CDM who “shows up late to the party,” which allows him to jump into the attack as an extra/surprise passer, sometimes even making a run on goal himself. But he needs that time to hang back and study the defense from a distance before he comes in and exploits the holes.


      • bryan

        I guess all those reporters from yesterday can’t tell the difference! Excited to see the 4-4-2 though if it actually is how they play going forward


  • Shurls

    The reason that we went with a 4-4-2 diamond is because it was an extra striker to occupy the three CBs vs Mexico. Against a team that runs a 4-2-3-1 the extra striker is essentially wasted and you give up too much in the midfield. I think that was a test run to see if they can be effective if a team we face shows that formation in Brazil.

    This may be effective against Portugal bc their defense becomes really lopsided when Coentrao pushes up and CR7 pinches in (essential changing there formation to 3-4-3 or a 3-5-2 depending on how selfishly Nani is playing. In that case an extra striker would be a tactical advantage for the USMNT


  • Aaron

    Start Chandler over Beasley.

    Subs – Green for Bedoya
    – Diskerud for Bradley
    – Johannson for Dempsey
    – Brooks for Besler
    – Beckerman for Jones


  • Raymon

    Who is “AJ”? Bring back “Bacon”. More bacon > “AJ”

    Enjoy the match fellas and sistas


  • PD

    SBI’s lineup is pretty spot on.

    One thing I’d love to see before the end of the night


    One of the reasons Jozy was so potent at AZ was cause he had two running with him in a 4-3-3


    • dewey

      that might look nice with Wondo in place of Green. wouldn’t be much service from anywhere though


  • Kevin Johnston

    This is off topic but I truly feel like Brek Shea should convert to a defender. He’s got the size and ability to make dangerous runs up the wing. I’ve always felt he’d be a nice outside back. He could also be an asset on corners and set pieces. With his size and skill set he might even be a decent center back too. Since his future with the USMNT in the midfield seems suspect at best, why not give it a shot? He could possibly make the roster as a defender in 2018 IMO but it probably won’t happen.


    • Bac

      Ive heard that idea thrown out before,Ive also heard he should be converted to a forward because of his height, Im more convinced hes the kinda guy that needs a complete restart with the right coach first or he may not be playing anywhere in 2018 huh..


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