USA v. Canada: The Pre-Match Tailgate (and who should the USMNT start?)

USA v. Canada: The Pre-Match Tailgate (and who should the USMNT start?)

U.S. Men's National Team

USA v. Canada: The Pre-Match Tailgate (and who should the USMNT start?)


USMNTvsBrazil (Reuters)

The U.S. Men's National Team moves a step closer to the start of World Cup qualifying tonight in Toronto with a match against Canada (7pm, NBC Sports)  that will serve as the final tune-up before qualifying kicks off on Friday in Tampa.

The Americans will be looking to recover from last Wednesday's 4-1 loss to Brazil by beating a team they haven't lost to since 1985. The United States is unbeaten in 14 matches against Canada, having shut the team out in 11 of those meetings.

Here is my Fox Soccer preview on tonight's match, a match that should help Jurgen Klinsmann make some final decisions on the starting lineup he goes with when the USA takes on Antigua & Barbuda in qualifying on Friday.

Another piece you should check out is my Fox Soccer feature on 33-year-old defenders Steve Cherundolo and Carlos Bocanegra, who remain top starting options despite their age.

Should we expect a full-strength side for the USA tonight? With Friday's qualifier a total of ten days after the Brazil match, it seems unlikely Klinsmann will rest any starters who are not carrying knocks. Steve Cherundolo left the Brazil match early and could be rested, but aside from that it would appear all hands are on deck tonight.

So what might tonight's USMNT lineup look like? Here is one possible lineup we could see:


If Jozy Altidore is fit enough to start he will start in Boyd's place. If Klinsmann has real doubts about Onyewu then look for Clarence Goodson to get the nod. What would be interesting to see is a Goodson-Onyewu tandem, or Goodson-Cameron tandem to see who really is ready to start alongside Carlos Bocanegra. I'm sure many fans don't want Onyewu anywhere near the lineup, but Klinsmann sounded like he was happy with Onyewu's second half against Brazil, so another start for him shouldn't come as a surprise.

What do you think of this starting lineup? Who is missing that you would like to see start? Who don't you want to see face Canada tonight?

Share your thoughts below.

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