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Who should Klinsmann start vs. Mexico?

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When the U.S. Men's National Team takes the field at Estadio Azteca on Wednesday night, they will be facing arch-rival Mexico with a squad that will look far different from what most would consider an A team.

There is no Clint Dempsey, Michael Bradley, Carlos Bocanegra, Steve Cherundolo or Jozy Altidore, which means Jurgen Klinsmann will have to rely on some new faces to try and help the USA earn a result in Mexico City, a place the United States has never won a match.

The Americans will have some stars, such as Tim Howard and Landon Donovan, but they are likely to feature some starters who don't have many appearances. How those newcomers respond will determine whether the Americans have a chance, or whether Mexico wins in a blowout.

In case you missed who was called up, here are the players who will be available for the USA on Wednesday.

Who will Klinsmann turn to on Wednesday night? Here is one lineup we could see face Mexico at Azteca:








Here are some thoughts:

The one change here from the original lineup we posted is Maurice Edu starting at centerback ahead of Michael Orozco Fiscal. Multiple reports from Mexico suggest that Edu is set to play centerback alongside Geoff Cameron. That's definitely an intriguing move by Jurgen Klinsmann, but it may be a good move from a long-term perspective because of the glut of central midfielders and dearth of quality centerbacks in the pool.

Beasley isn't a traditional forward, but can play wide in a 4-3-3 and has done so in the past. Klinsmann could very well go with Brek Shea in that left forward role, but you would imagine Klinsmann goes with an experienced player in a sold-out Azteca.

Orozco Fiscal hasn't been in the mix in a while, but he has played against Mexico before and isn't likely to be fazed by the atmosphere at Azteca. Matt Besler has been playing very well for Sporting Kansas City but it's tough to see Besler starting against Mexico in his first call-up.

Why no Maurice Edu? If he were in mid-season form then he would be a good bet to start, but since he hasn't been playing and awaiting a move away from Glasgow Rangers, it seems unlikely he starts. Beckerman and Torres are in season and Jones is about to start the Bundesliga season. (UPDATED- Klinsmann looks set to try Edu at centerback).

With only one natural right back on the roster, Steven Beitashour looks destined to start vs. Mexico. Seems like a crazy first cap, but it should be noted he started in the MLS All-Star Game against Chelsea and played well. He has been a standout for San Jose all season and should get the nod unless Klinsmann tries someone like Fabian Johnson or Edgar Castillo at right back.

Chris Wondolowski has enjoyed an outstanding season in MLS, but I see Terrence Boyd getting the call in this one. He's off to a good start with Rapid Vienna and is a good physical presence as the target forward in the 4-3-3. Even if Wondolowski doesn't start, he is a safe bet to see playing time in Mexico City.


What do you think of our projected lineup? Who would you plug into the lineup that we left out? Who was included in our projected lineup that you don't think should see the field?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. In the US, there are now a lot of parents who played soccer and have an idea of what soccer is, that was not true 30 years ago. The present US players are now 2nd or 3rd generation in their families and kids start learning from their parents, not MLS or Academies, or even the local soccer club. It is no longer only the hispanics and recent immigrants who teach their children soccer.

  2. I think players are made from ages 10 to 17, before MLS or Academy teams select them. Sure at around 16 getting better tactically is important and that is what happens with Academy and MLS teams. I have been involved in youth soccer for over 25 years and it is pretty clear that the talent in the US has grown more or less continually over that time. I think there is more room for individual skill improvement, but it is no longer true that the best U-18 teams in the US are simply those with the best athletes. For example, 50 yards and a cloud of dust no longer describes what passes for soccer at the college level.

  3. While Beckermann and Torres really play differnet roles, I think that neither is quite up to the athletic nature of international play. Beckermnann is a pretty smart, competitive, defensive tactical kid of player, but he gives up too much in strength ans speed. Torres is clever with the ball, keeps possession well and makes some great passes, but in the 50-50 balls, he loses too often to bogger stronger faster opponents. Each does well with the athleticism they have, but in my mind are a bit short of athleticism, or the exceptional soccer talent needed to make up for that shortcoming.

  4. By the time they’re in MLS its a little late for development. It needs to happen from ages 8-18. Academy programs are fairly new but they need to be expanded. MLS needs residency programs which are very expensive.

  5. Ummm no. The MLS chooses to use cheap foreign players to the detriment of youth development. MLS has to institute a cap on foreign players like Mexico does, or there will never be any significant youth development. Why would they?

  6. By rattled you mean like 2-0 in the Gold cup or the 1-0 vs Japan?

    It seems you have not been paying attention. This group does not get rattled like the Mexico of old.

  7. I haven’t seen the Rev’s lately but when he pulls on a USMNT shirt he is worth about 20-30- minutes at most and then he is done. Whether that is because the other guys figure him out or he is not in shape I don’t know.

    At this point I don’t see him being fit enough to play for JK.

    I saw his debut with the USMNT and I thought he and Mikey would be our midfield pair for years. Then Benny just slowly started to fall apart. He has come back some but he has never gotten back his 2007-2009 form. He was a good sub in the World Cup though. I like Benny but he is almost as infuriating and disappointing as the immortal Adudinho.

    If he is in as good shape as you say maybe he gets a call but he has a mountain to climb to get back in the picture.

  8. I don’t know if this necessarily means Gordon is in the mix for 2014 but Gordon and Wondo have been doing well together lately.

    That is why it’s Gordon as opposed to another wide body like Bruin. JK really seems to like Wondo. He wants to get him going and maybe this will get one of those two on the score sheet.

  9. duh i get the point he’s making but he’s wrong. Torres is not that good. Pachuca is not that good. keep watchin’, you’ll figger it out eventually. some people are slower than others. i’d love him to prove me wrong…

  10. Love the analogies, not so sure about the selection. I think I’d kind of like to see two attacking midfielders in the “2” rather than Gomez. The question is “Who?”. Zusi maybe?

  11. makes me nervous too, generally am not into these kind of experiments, such as Torres at LB. Could be that Klinsmann is only giving Edu some practice time at CB in case of a huge emergency on Wednesday and otherwise will play him at DM.

  12. hmmmm. well, with The Beast Jermaine Jones as d-mid, I can give your Torres for more Latin flavor. I love Boyd, and would not be unhappy if he starts, but still think we need as much experience as possible out there in the early stages.

  13. 1. he does not play on the wing for the USMNT in the same way Shea or Beasley do. He plays in a box midfield. Major difference.
    2. JK doesn’t rate him because he hasn’t been doing anything amazing.

    And I’m a big Feilhaber fan. But, for me, he needs to step it up even more.

  14. it’s not “hope for the best”, it’s play to your strengths…that’s different

    forcing Mexico wide is a tried and true tactic IF Bornstein is not manning a flank

  15. explain how Benny is mediocre? I hope you watch lots of Revs games…I do. That team has problems but he does not, and he is in excellent shape, best I’ve ever seen him in

  16. Torres going 80+??? It would be something to see paco go 80+ and impact the game late…I just don’t know if he has that stamina, but we’ll see. Hope he can

  17. as usual you bring the perspective, thanks TomG

    problem with Paco playing higher up the field is he will see less time on the ball and more physical fouling, especially hard fouls from behind. Paco likes time on the ball and isn’t much for the physical conatct either, especially as he tires, and once he tires his game tails pretty quickly

    I’m pulling for him to be the player so many think he is, but having watched Pachuca for years now JUST to watch him play, I don’t know. Still think his best role is off the bench when the USA has a lead and wish Benny would get some freakin’ run at the advanced midfield position which he demonstrated for years to be effective at for the USMNT

    anyway, however and whenever he is played out there I’m rooting for him!!!

  18. agreed on the route one call. would like to see Gordon late with his physical approach, knocking dudes around and throwing his body all over the place

  19. Yes, that would be the strategy if you are trying to get a result but this is a friendly so Klinsi should take risks in playing free flowing, open soccer, and exposing the young blood to hostile environs. Also, I doubt Klinsi wants give away his strategy in this friendly but safeguard it until when we visit them in the next qualifying phase.

  20. while i’ll say Shea does not deserve it any more than Adu, Feilhaber doesn’t even play the wing. so apples and oranges. as for Beasley, the guy is one of our most in form wingers right now. he plays in mexico. it makes PERFECT sense for him to be there. anyone who says otherwise is being thick.

  21. Mexico has some world class players thats why they’re playing so well. We have one loss in the last 9 games including wins in Slovenia and Italy. Not bad. So don’t assume Mexico will dominate us every game.

    Also, if American networks like Univision/Telemundo gave a couple of hundred million every year to MLS like Mexico League gets, our youth development would be better.


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