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The U.S. men’s national team is set for a historic trip to Cuba this weekend when it travels to Havana for a World Cup qualifier against the Cubans. There will be plenty of political storylines thrown around regarding the game, the U.S. team’s first in Cuba since 1947, but when you stick to the soccer you realize that this game means a lot more than just an excuse for some Americans to travel to the land of Mojitos.
A win on the road would give the Americans six points from two road matches, leaving them in a dream position with four matches remaining. Three of the next four would be home matches, meaning any concerns about a stumble in this round of qualifying would be minimal.
First things first, the U.S. team has to go to Havana and actually win. The uncertainty about the environment and atmosphere the team will be playing in makes it difficult to gauge just how difficult the task will be. What we do know is that Trinidad & Tobago went to Cuba two weeks ago and recorded a 3-1 win there. That makes the chances of the U.S. team sound promising, assuming the Americans can put together a good performance.
With that in mind, here is the starting lineup you should expect to see when the U.S. national team takes the field in Havana:
No, there are no surprises in that group. The biggest question mark is the health of DaMarcus Beasley, who did not dress in Rangers’ win against Celtic last Sunday. If he were healthy enough to start I could definitely see Beasley deployed on the right wing, with Donovan going up top and Dempsey going to the bench. Dempsey has struggled mightily and could use some time out of the lineup. Frankie Hejduk should get the nod at right back over Olympic standout Marvell Wynne.
Now it’s your turn. Using the players who were actually called up, what starting lineup would you like to see take the field against Cuba? Give us your suggestions below.