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Who should the USMNT start vs. Russia?

The final match of the year for the U.S. Men’s National Team should help offer us a glimpse at some new young faces, but also give us a good look at a squad that will resemble the team that will take the field in Honduras in February for the start of World Cup qualifying.

Regular starters Clint Dempsey and Steve Cherundolo, and more recent starters Graham Zusi and Eddie Johnson, are not in Russia, but there remains a nucleus of the U.S. first team on hand. Jurgen Klinsmann will be able to field a strong back-line along with starting goalkeeper Tim Howard, as well as a potential midfield trio of Michael Bradley, Jermaine Jones and Danny Williams.

Where Klinsmann will have some interesting decisions to make is in the attack. He has some new blood in the mix in Juan Agudelo, Josh Gatt and Joe Gyau, as well as the return of Jozy Altidore to the fold.

So who will Klinsmann turn to against a tough Russian squad?

Here is a look at the lineup we could see Klinsmann trotting out, as well as the lineup I would take a look at against the Russians:



Juan Agudelo might seem like a surprise, but he is well-suited to play wide in a 4-3-3, and if Klinsmann decides he wants some pure speed on the flank he could turn to this lineup:

Gatt is very much an intriguing prospect, and I would definitely be interested to see what he can do working on the right in a 4-3-3, but with this being his first camp you wonder if Klinsmann would throw him into the starting lineup without much familiarity with his teammates.

If you are thinking that the triangle of Bradley, Williams and Jones is a bit too defensive-minded, consider that the USMNT will be playing a dangerous Russia attack that counterattacks well and has a potent midfield.

Some might wonder why no Terrence Boyd in the lineup. You could, in theory, play Altidore wide left and start Boyd up top like so, but that would mean serious defensive work for Altidore on the left flank.

Players like Mix Diskerud and Joe Gyau seem more like to come off the bench, assuming they actually dress for the match. A friendly appearance doesn’t cap-tie you so it would seem unlikely that Klinsmann would trot out Diskerud for a brief cameo.

What do you think of the projected lineup we have laid out? Do you like the second lineup with Gatt in the Starting XI? What player would you start that didn’t make either of our lineups?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. We should all just be excited to have fabian and tc at the fullback spots. They will give jozy and herc better service than we have had in the last several outings excluding guatemala.

  2. I dont see Carlos and Cam having an efficient partnership as of this morning/tommrow…we will see…glad we will have time to see the other big games today. Thank the internet.

  3. I think we start off 4-2-3-1, Jones and Williams as Dmids with MB up top middle, maybe Gomez left and Gatt right with Jozy up top. I think Gatt starts so JK can see what he looks like with experienced nat players. I’m very pessimistic regarding the attack, I don’t think we’ll have much continuity/linkage no matter who we have in the attacking positions. For me this game boils down to introducing some new players to training with the nats and Boca’s Litmus test…JK will start Boca to give him a fighting chance to prove can he survive against a quality international attack…especially with the added help of Chandler and Johnson’s recovery speed on the outside. I think the game is going to be butt ugly…I’m just excited to see Chandler make an appearance and I’ll be doing cartwheels if/when we actually cap tie him.

  4. What I was hoping to see:


    What we’ll probably see, based on the roster:

    Not too far off…

  5. ————————————–1—————————————-




    You can bet the farm that Gatt wont start however, this is where he will be playing in the future considering that Landy Twat is on permanent menstruation. That said, 4-1-3-2 staggering Herc and altidore. Josi playing closer to Bradley to keep him involved pinging balls left and right. Keep Josi involved and he will remain motivated. Usually Herc would roam out wide right however, Herc is at his poaching best roaming in and around the box. This should allow Gatt plenty of width to play with and get crosses in. Status quo for the back 4 however, if we are able to retain decent possession, this should allow timmy or johnson to get up the flanks. Bradley can pull strings. Jones should be able to do his impersonation of Kanye West and play both sides of the field.

  6. I will always love Jones for the way he destroyed Neymar. Nothing can replace the feeling I got when I saw that….but this is a friendly. A time for Klinsi to try some new things out for the Fighting Waldos before we get to the HEX.
    USMNT needs Holden back in the worst way. Jones is going to be too old, along with Deuce, Landycakes, Boca, Dolo, and Herc when Cup time rolls around. A new nucleus of players must be given time to develop before it gets to be too late and we are fielding relics in Brazil.

  7. Doubt it would happen. However, would like to see Diskerkud, Gatt and Gyau on the field at the same time. Mixx is a good playmaker and Gatt and Gyau running on the wings would be highly entertaining.

  8. With the exception of Howard, Fabian, Gomez and Bradley I would not start any of them.

    I’m fine with GATT showing what he’s got at this level. We may as well find out sooner than later.

    Besler should have been called in for this one. Nobody has commented on why he was not, after being called in previously.

    • Little harsh to say you wouldn’t start anybody but those guys. Especially concerning Williams, Jozy, or Cameron.

      As for Besler, probably the same reason Zusi and a couple others didn’t get called in. They just finished up a pretty grueling season in MLS and Klinsmann probably wanted to let them rest rather than flying them across the world to Russia for a two day camp. That being said, Rimando is a bit of a head scratcher for that very reason but I think that’s why the KC guys aren’t here.

  9. Let’s hope JK does not make the same mistake t in putting Altidore alone up top. His success at AZ is because he has another, sometimes 2 players alongside up top. He has not learned the patience or tactical awareness to play up top….yet.

    Jermaine Jones should ALWAYS be a starter on this team. He is a workhorse. While some may point to less than stellar play in some games for the USMNT, for the most part he has been a steady and welcome presence.

    All-in all, starting as many of the Germericans as possible is a good way to go Chandler may be returning after a long absence, but his play has always been good.. A lot of the younger players should not start but should see some time coming off the bench later in the game. I think Russia is up to ninth in the FIFA rankings and if they bring their top players, it could be a hard game. But there is a lot of “potential” talent for the US. JK needs to have a decent game plan to bring it out. A 4-3-3 or a 4-4-2 would work best with the talent the US has. If JK experiments with the 4–5-1 again, we are doomed.

    • Explain to me the differences (in your opinion) between JK rolling out a 4-5-1 vs. a 4-3-3. They’re essentially the same thing, one is more attack oriented and one is defensive. All teams essentially defend with 9 or 10 behind the ball, generally lined up as two lines of four. The only real difference in tactics is how you attack and with how many players.

      A 4-5-1 easily pushes into a 4-3-3- when the wingers move forward, so claiming one will be successful while another = doom seems to discount that at some level most the formations are variations of eachother. The success of this game won’t hinge on the formation JK uses, but it will depend almost entirely on putting the right players in the right positions. We all saw the dramatic change in Williams game when he moved to the #6 from the wing. We’ve seen Torres struggle again and again on the wing as well. Square pegs, round holes.

      IMHO: Tactics = 60% personnel + 30% style + 10% formation

      • I don’t think ANY of the forwards that are on THIS team are capable of playing a strong game as a lone forward. Herculez Gomez may be the exception. So it’s largely a personnel thing. Boyd and Altidore do not play in a lone forward position on their club teams. Gomez is the only one with any good experience. I do not think JK will make the same mistake and put Altidore alone up top again, until he learns how to play the role. The last few times he has played as a lone forward he was gawd-awful.

  10. It should be fun to see one or two young guys up front. I suspect that JK wants to keep Williams, Jones and Bradley together to have them work together against a fairly strong team. If there is a 4th midfielder, it is not so clear to me how these 3 mesh together so clearly, I suppose Sasha as a wide mid could work, but that likely makes the midfield a diamond with Bradley in front and Williams or Jones in back, the other out wide, which is not the strongest position for either.

  11. i think we see a “be patient and counter” for the first 45, much like we saw against Mexico, France, Italy. to that end, I agree that Ives is right on:


    I could Gyau Mixx and Gatt all getting some time up top (depending on the score), but I think we see the other 7 players going the full 90 barring injury… maybe Sasha getting a sub in for Jones around the 65th or 70th (again, depending on the score).

    • BTW I’m kind of OK with risking Jozy on the left because of who’s lined up behind him, but I could also see him more central with Gomez out wide. that would actually allow Altidore to sit a little deeper to start generating runs at goal with his two fellow forwards, something he does to great effect on this club team.

    • No way Jozy goes out on the left. It was a horrific experiment against Jamaica. He and bout are out and out strikers, wingers. Gomez, however I could see.

  12. I think the 2nd lineup makes more sense. Agudelo has the USMNT experience but is not in the same form as Gatt. See what Gatt can do over the first half.

    We get 6 subs, so:

    1. Bring in Agudelo for Gatt at half
    2. Bring in Gyau for Gomez ~65′
    3. Depending on how Jones is playing, bring in Sacha for Jones sometime between 45′ or ~70′
    4. Bring in Mix for Williams ~65′ – 70′ and push Bradley back to Dmid
    5. Edu for Chandler ~75′, Cameron to RB
    6. Depending on how game is going, switch GKs at half. I’m a little nervy about Johnson, but he’s in camp for a reason, I guess.

  13. I like how this is shaping – having a solid backline, strong core central midfield, and now figuring out dynamic options on the attack and finding the right mix there. I really am excited about this lineup for this game. But have to remember that this is an away game in Russia, may have to field a conservative line up. Same plan from Italy, I suppose. I have a hard time seeing Agudelo starting at this point or any of the young’ens. Williams back on the wing for containment? Jones, Bradley in middle?

  14. I really do not like the 4-3-3 with our peronnel. There is no creative spark in the middle of the field and Jones, Bradley and Williams will coninually be occupying the same space. I would like to see us play a 4-4-2.

    ——–Altidore ———– Gomez——–

    If Gyau shows better in training, he could start on the left with SK on the right. Either Mix or SK will pinch into the hole behind the forwards allowing the back behind them to create width on that side. The opposite side width will be supplied both true winger. I think this is how we should play with the full squad with Dempsey on the left and Donovan (if available) on the right. Williams or Jones paired with Bradley.

  15. I don’t think we should underestimate JK’s desire to win these European and Asian friendlies. If we are able to go into Russia with an incomplete/ young squad and get a result I am sure he will view it as a big boost heading into the extended winter break. This may be the last opportunity for the team to work together before gathering again for WCQ. With that in mind, I believe the game situation will be a driving factor behind the use of his six subs. I think he is looking for a win. With that in mind, I think Ives first lineup is close. What I HOPE we see is the 4-3-3 played as such:


  16. People need to stop thinking that Klinsmann is going to start Gyau, Gatt and Mixx at the same time. This is the first camp for each of them under Klinsmann and they’re only going to get maybe one or two practices with him before the game. They’ll see time but it won’t be starting.

    The problem with starting all three of them is that it seems irresponsible to throw that much inexperience against a good Russian team with a lot of chemistry (Most of these guys play for the same club team if I’m not mistaken). I get that this a friendly and there are no points on the line but you’re still trying to build towards the future. Tossing a bunch of young guys out there without much veteran help in the attack isn’t going to help them learn, especially when they’re going to go out with good understanding of how Jurgen wants them to play. Look how long it’s been taking the regular guys to adjust still. It’s not going to click instantly for Gyau, Mixx or Gatt.

    Finally, the US attack is going to rely heavily on Johnson and Chandler getting forward out of the back and providing width. Playing Gyau and Gatt could actually cause some spacing issues since they play so wide naturally that they could both potentially take away the space that Fabian and Timmy run forward into. I’m not saying that’s exactly what will happen but it’s a possibility, especially when these younger guys haven’t played with most of the regulars before.

    • “Calling in players like Mix Diskerud, Joe Gyau and Joshua Gatt is a clear signal to this generation of players that we are watching you, follow you, and want to help you get to the next level. This is a first taste for them and what it means to be with the senior National Team. They can train alongside guys like Timmy Howard, Jermaine Jones and Carlos Bocanegra and say ‘I want to get to this level.’ It’s also really an opportunity for them to come in, get accepted right away and show what they can do. Maybe they will even get some minutes in the game against Russia. It also means for them that they go back to their clubs with bigger expectations. We will tell them that now we expect you to become starters in your club team, break through there and get even hungrier. So it’s important that we give these guys the opportunity to join us.”

      • Yup, that quote sums it up but that hasn’t stopped people from clamoring for Gyau and Gatt to be tossed out on the wings to start the match.

      • +100. Gyau was brought in to train alongside the team. He is not playing, hell, he won’t even make the bench. Gatt on the other hand, will prob get some minutes.

  17. Heres what we’ll get from Klinsmann:


  18. Really like the 1st lineup for the 1st half & then replace Agudelo, Altidore, & Gomez with Gyau, Boyd, & Gatt in the second half. Also, at some point, I’d sub Jones for Mix & Boca for Edu.

    With backs that are as fast & offensive minded as Johnson and Chandler getting up the wings, I like the more central traingle of Williams, Bradley and Jones; speed on the wings with good cover and distribution from the center….

  19. Jozy-Gomez

    there is zero benefit to playing defensively with too many experienced players (Jones)-no goals allowed or points from this game count for anything and the top 11 aren’t even all here to “test” themselves against top-notch competition… we know what Jones can do-be tough and collect yellow cards en masse…

    so why trot out the entire B-level senior squad with Agudelo-also a known commodity, if still young, when the biggest ailment since Klinsmann took over has been wing play-this is where there is more room for error from young players, especially when backed by the 1st choice defense (Chandler/Dolo is a coin flip to me, or close enough to)…

    outside of forward, wings is where young players come into senior squads the earliest (Beasley, Donovan in early 2000’s)-maybe Gyau and Gatt aren’t ready now and won’t be come 2014, but given how sparse our options are, I’d say run them out there and see what they can do-if not, we can always go back to 3 defensive mids in the middle-but that’s a known at this point- what is uknown if whether there are any legit wing options and here are two up and comers to try out for more than 15-20 minutes at the end…

  20. Judging by Klinsi’s love for continuity and seeming pecking order, I think Ives has it right in terms of who will start (1st lineup). I would like to see more backline tinkering but we didn’t do the callups for it beyond Chandler. I don’t see midfield tinkering and the callups don’t support it. I see Gomez and Altidore as the highest on the pecking order of an A/B forward callup, which leaves the “Agudelo” spot as the only iffy one to me. Boyd is a target guy, no. Gyau is untested, he’ll be a sub. Since Agudelo has been called in before and may have been on the outs for the same purpose as Jozy, I think he is favored over Gatt, who is uncapped and was lumped with Mixx and Gyau in Klinsi’s quotes about players they’re really bringing in to train and “maybe get some minutes.”

    That being said I like the winger callups because that is a personnel and tactical wrinkle missing from recent US teams that have been using playmaker types like Zusi or tiki-taka types like Torres in lieu of chalk on the boots speed and cross types. I think that’s important because for the past decade or so one thing we have had and exploited was old fashioned American wing athleticism.

  21. I think the second line-up is the one JK should go with. I like Agudelo more as a withdrawn FWD like Dempsey. I could see Agudelo replacing Jones or Bradley in the second half and play in behind Altidore.

  22. Ives, as much as I like your idea of “if you’re thinking the triangle of Bradley, Williams and Jones is a bit too defensive-minded, consider that the USMNT will be playing a dangerous Russia attack that counterattacks well and has a potent midfield.”
    that to me, defeats the purpose of “let’s play proactive instead of reactive” or whatever. I think we need to take the game to the other teams also, Mexico, Russia, Italy and playing with three super defensive mids is not the way to play proactive style of soccer. We need a creator ala Failhaber, maybe Mixx? or Joe Corona (I know he’s not in camp) but someone that can facilitate the guys at top, a creator a number 10 or something close to it. I for one would like to see Mixx get the nod on this one, instead of Jones and would go with Gatt instead of Herc.

    • Bradley’s passing range has increased tenfold recently. He’s a lot more creative now. And Jones has his moments. Neither are “creative” but that isn’t their job in a 4-3-3. Their job is to act as a support so the team always has a triangle in attack. The sidebacks offer the wide attackers one avenue, and Bradley or Jones offers the other. It’s the small passing game more so than the long ball. I have no qualms at all with a 4-3-3 especially with Johnson and Chandler as sidebacks and with hopefully Gatt or Gyau starting down one wing.


      • I totally agree about Bradley’s passing. There have been a handful of times in the past year where I have seen him play someone in with a creative through ball or a smart 1-2. Having watched his recent form with the USMNT as well as with Roma I would argue that he may even be the most creative player in our pool at the moment. People forget that the kid is only 25 and isn’t doomed to be a holding midfielder his entire career. Hell, he scored 16 goals as a 20 year old in the Dutch league; I think he may have some attacking ability.

  23. Ives…your first lineup is almost exactly what I want to see. Having a central midfield three that strong supported out wide by Johnson and Chandler could be incredible.

    The only change I would make is trying out Edu in central defense w/ Cameron. Friendlies are the time to experiment.

  24. ——-Altidore——–Gomez——-
    Edu for Bocanegra
    Gatt for Kljestian
    Boyd for Gomez
    Diskerud for Jones
    Agudelo for Altidore

    I used to agree with those saying no to multipule cms but its a good way to set the tone of the game before playing around with subs. Gatt, Edu, Gyau and Agudelo are and will be role players off the bench for the US, i would make any of them go 90

    Also i think those 4 midfielders have earned those starting spots.

    • I might swap Bradley and Kljestan, but I agree with your formation. I think a 4-4-2 with a midfield diamond is probably the US best formation right now.

    • Kljestan just does not do anything. Honestly, although it’s throwing him to the sharks, Mix would fit better as the tip of the diamond with Bradley to the left, Jones to the right and Williams behind. Mix is better technically and offers a better passing range over Kljestan, plus Kljestan’s mentality has never allowed him to flourish in the middle at the international level. He’s too slow.

      • Hmm start the guy who lead the sucessful midfield vs Zenit the other day in the champions league as well as the class of the Belgian league or the kid who plays for the third place team in norway. Not that mix isnt a great prospect but kljestian is clearly better right now. Dont judge him based on his form back in his chivas usa days he has improved quite a bit. Watching mix get beat around in the olympic qualifing made it clear to me that he is a great player but not ready for 90 min of international football

    • I agree that JK might go more conservative, with the diamond midfield, and Kljestan getting the start, but probably at the top of the diamond, and Bradley and Jones side by side behind. No wingers, at least not til the subs come in, but at least Jozy has a partner up top. I dunno, with this roster, I have a hard time seeing a good fit for 4-5-1 or 4-3-3 unless JK is willing to start Gatt, Gyau, or Agudelo.

  25. We are always horrible in a 4-4-3 (i.e. the “stranded forward” formation) and the two D-mids. People just don’t learn. “The greatest predictor of future performance is past performance.”

    Bradley backed up by D. Williams with 2 wings and 2 forwards. ! think Klinsmann is even realizing that now.

    • Maybe, but you have to understand that past performances also include the other team. I’m not a fan of the 4-3-3 for us right now, but I think there is a time and a place for every formation, player, tactic, and/or style. Limiting yourself is the last thing any tactician wants to do.

    • “The greatest predictor of future performance is past performance.”
      I don’t agree with this at all. The past does not predict the future- you can look back at the past and try to correct future outcomes, but in the end what you truly believe helps mold the future. You sir are held back by the past until you change your mind..

      • We just always looked totally hopeless in that formation; disconnected, no cohesion, no possession… I promise I’ll change my position as soon as I see the 4-3-3 work. It gets very frustrating to watch.

      • I usually hate when others post this, but I wouldn’t mind seeing a 3-5-2. Will it happen? Probably never, but I think this would look good…

        ——-Cameron——- Boca—– Goodson———

        Of course, this is unorthodox. But I honestly think that Chandler, Johnson, and Bradley will be our strongest players. So why not give them a bit more freedom. I also think that Agudelo could be quite serviceable as a #10. Aside from Jozy, I don’t see any of our other players really being able to cut through the defense aside from lobbing hit or miss crosses. Also with Boca being so slow now, he’s less of a liability in a back three.

        Anyhow, I hope we win and look good in the process.

      • Gaping hole?

        One of the defensive midfielders (Jones, Bradley) plays slightly more defensive. But both are there to support the backline and do the defensive work in support of the playmaker.

        I’m not really serious about this. No one aside from the odd Italian club team still plays three in the back. Klinsmann actually used it a few times with Bayern Munich (I don’t think it was ever successful). Nevertheless, I think it would be a great fantasy team formation, partially because it is used so rarely.

      • You can’t play three in the back if your team can’t maintain possession or has anybody slow in the back. Teams would play direct, right over Boca all game long.

  26. There is little to be gained/learned from trotting out Jones next to Bradley. Otherwise, I like SBI’s lineups. The chance to use six substitutes may make this an even more interesting match.

    • They need consistency. Williams behind them is a game changer for both and their responsibilities on the pitch. All three need more experience together before the Hex. Give them 45 minutes together against one of Europe’s titans (at least at the moment) and see how they do.

      Bradley is a different player than when he and Jones worked together under Bradley Sr. Roma is slowly bringing out the best in him. And with Williams behind them, they are both able to do what they do best: act as engines and offer avenues for our attackers. With someone like Edu or Beckerman, they are spending far too much game time compensating or running into each other. Williams is disciplined and skilled.

  27. I’m not really sure I dig the 4-3-3, or having Jermaine Jones and Michael Bradley in the central midfield at the same time. I understand you’re trying to predict what Juergen might do though.

    I personally think we should go with this:

    I would probably replace Gatt with Gomez, seeing as how he flew him all the way out here.

    Otherwise, I’m not completely sure that Juergen will go with a 4-3-3 after he saw a good game against Guatemala in a 4-2-3-1. I think he’ll expand on what we saw – a very direct, pacy winger forward on one flank who’ll run at the fullback and attempt to get at the back post, and a more sophisticated passer on the other flank who’ll try and pick out the runs of the opposite winger and the forward. I personally liked it and think it is, for now anyways, the way forward.

    • We’re gonna need Jones against this team, his experience will be crucial on this young roster. I like the potential of Mix but no way is he ready for the defensive responsibilities against a team like Russia. Maybe as a late sub…

    • Yes why would Klinsmann play a player in Jones who has been outstanding for Schalke in the Bundesliga and in the Champions league. Yes lets leave that experience on the bench.

      • No. He’s awful for the USMNT. He plays out of control, make terrible passes, loses possession, bad challenges, and he just seems to lose all his game IQ when he plays in the stars and stripes.

      • He plays that way ALL the time. I like it. We need a bully’s temperament to match up with that great face Dempsey made earlier in qualifying.

      • I agree with your assessment although not not as harsh, for some reason Jones doesn’t play as well with us as with Shalke.

      • Couldn’t agree with you more Thomas. I find it amusing how some USMNT on here bash Jones, who has been an important player for our team. I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes he’s too reckless, but he brings with him some toughness/bad boy mentality this team needs. Most of the fans that don’t want him keep calling for Eric Lichaj, Seb Hines, and even the Icelandic kid Johannsson to get called in.

      • It is because in Germany his role is defined he is simply told to hold and conncect passes. For the US he is taking alot more risks while going forward more often.

    • This notion that we should not play Jermain Jones is getting pretty old. I’m guessing you think Bradley still only gets called up because his Dad is the coach.

      Jones is one of the most experienced players on the team and is an incredible box to box midfielder. Not to mention he plays regularly on the best club team of any US international.

      He will be crucial in 2013 qualifying and in Brazil 2014. I think the Jones/Bradley/Williams triangle will be seen a lot in a 4-3-3 when playing better competition. You may be able to put a more attack minded player in there during home qualifiers or against lesser competition when it will be on the US to carry the game.

      • agreed. anyone who think jermaine shouldn’t be on the field hasn’t been watching the games closely enough. i’m not saying he is an automatic starter, but he is definitely a contender.

      • You’re right, I haven’t watched the games closely. I haven’t watched Jones repeatedly give away possession and fail to connect on passes. Did you notice our team score three goals without him? If he’s playing-no offense. Every game the announcers say “Jones is giving the ball away, very uncharacteristic of him.” Only, they say it every game. When he gets healthy, that’s Stu Holden’s spot.

      • 1) I love Jermaine Jones. 2) He is an excellent player. 3) Those who don’t see that are blind. 4) Without Jermaine Jones, there may not have been Fabian Johnson, Danny Williams, Terrance Boyd, Timothy Chandler. 5) Those guys are just as american as you or I and I hope you support them. 6) Go USA.

      • “just as American…”? What do you mean? Chandler has been given numerous chances to declare for the USA and still hasn’t. I don’t see him self-identifying as “American.” I see him holding out, waiting, ambiguous. And for that reason alone, I don’t like seeing him represent the team.

        I don’t care where a player was born or raised, who his parents are, etc., but “USMNT” should mean more than just “the guys the US Soccer Federation could convince to play for them.” The players who represent us should be excited to do so, not dragging their feet like they’re headed to a root canal!!

  28. I think we’ll look back on this game as a one where we were introduced to the next generation of players for USMNT. It’ll be interesting to see which of the new guys will play a big role for the team both in this cycle and in 2018.

  29. The difference between “should” and “will” is key here. Clearly I think we should get guys like Gatt and Gyau to get some playing time. It’s a friendly, so why not let them start and play.

    The answer to that is JK. He will plod out the same 11 he always does. Wouldnt’ surprise me to see Sasha in the midfield and Hurculez up top with Altidore or Boyd. It’s like pulling teeth getting fresh players in the lineup. Just waiting for him to prove me wrong

    • “The answer to that is JK. He will plod out the same 11 he always does.”

      I thought one of JK’s main criticisms was he does the exact opposite of this: too much tinkering and enough consistency within the lineups, no?

      • I disagree. While I certainly hope they get some time, it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that JK just wanted to take a very close look at these guys in camp.

      • They get to experience a call up with the national team. They get to experience the travel and training involved. They get to meet the team, and the coaches, and they get to experience the gameday atmosphere of a big game against a more than worthy European national team.

        Remember how many call-ups Carona got before getting capped.

        There are a number of reasons JK would call them in and not play them.

    • There’s a difference between getting those guys playing time and tossing out a bunch of kids, most of whom don’t have a single cap under Klinsmann, against Russia from the start. They will have maybe one or two sessions under Jurgen and most of them haven’t played together on the national team before, let alone know Klinsmann’s system of play yet. Throwing out Gyau, Gatt, and Mixx all at the same time from the start is irresponsible. It won’t give you a good idea of how they can play because they won’t be playing with many regulars and it’s more likely to destroy their confidence if they get run over by a very dangerous Russian team that’s been playing together far more than these youngsters have.

      They’ll see time and get their caps but it won’t be from the start of the game. Look for the in the second half. Just because it’s a friendly doesn’t mean you throw them out to the wolves right away

      • A reasonable comment on the internet? I believe I’ve now seen everything.

        C’mon we all know JK should throw only uncapped players on the pitch to see how much we pwn Russia. That’s why JK sucks, because he always does the same thing and won’t let the young kids play. Amirite?

    • I see this as a dry run for the HEX. We will see as many regulars as possible for the first 45. Then in the second half we will see some of the young guns who likely are not going to be key players in the HEX.

    • I would love to see a full 90 for Gatt, if not some where close to it. I think most of here haven’t seen him at all except for brief clips on youtube.

      • true, we all saw the clips but noone has seen his play for a full 90. His club seems to use him for 45 min the past few weeks and 75-90 before. I think a 20 min spot off the bench is deserving anything more we are really gambling but then again does Jurgen care about the result at all? maybe, i would…

      • Well if JK did put out an all young team and they got mauled, everyone would be screaming bloody murder! As much as people say results don’t matter, they always matter some.

        I think using the starters and then giving the new players some minutes in the second half is reasonable.

  30. Right at the top of my list of hopes for this game (in terms of personnel) is to see (at least) 20-30 minutes from Josh Gatt. I’ve been waiting for this moment since he shook that defender out of his shoes over a year ago.

    • I had him as a starter yesterday with Gomez out left. But he has only managed two 45 minute appearances the last two weeks. Depending on his condition, he may only make a second half appearance.

      IF that is the case, I want him and Gyau subbed in at the same time replacing the two wide players.

      I hope we see Mix. He deserves it and fits Klinsi’s style and system a lot better than Torres. Plus with Norway sniffing around, I say we give him that confidence booster. Plus, he’s at the end of his half season contract so he needs attention to make his next move. At his stage, I hope it’s to the Dutch or Portuguese leagues. There he’ll learn positioning, tactics, and improve his passing.

      • Let Norway sniff all they want… That’s like saying with Iceland sniffing around Johannson. The US is as good as it gets for both of those two so if they decide to go elsewhere, their loss more so than anything.

      • That’s a very simple statement. Players play for who they identify with. Norway is not a terrible team. Iceland have some solid youth.

        Playing for a country just because they have a good chance of making it to the World Cup is why the international game is losing esteem.

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