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Who should the USMNT start vs. Germany?

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When the U.S. Men’s National Team takes the field at RFK Stadium on Sunday, you can expect several changes from the lineup that Belgium tore apart in a 4-2 loss.

Michael Bradley and Fabian Johnson have joined the U.S. team in the nation’s capital and both should feature in the starting lineup, while players like Matt Besler and Herculez Gomez could also be turned to for a different look.

Eddie Johnson is another player who Jurgen Klinsmann could turn to against Germany, with his second-half performance against Belgium serving as one of the few bright spots for the U.S. team.

There is also the question of players changing positions. Geoff Cameron started at right back vs. Belgium, but he could be an option at centerback on Sunday. Fabian Johnson is also someone who could be used at a variety of positions.

So who will get the nod to face Germany on Sunday? Here is a lineup we could see Klinsmann turning to:


———–Jozy Altidore———-Clint Dempsey———-

Herculez Gomez——————————Graham Zusi

————–Jermaine Jones—Michael Bradley———-

DaMarcus Beasley————————Fabian Johnson

————–Matt Besler———Geoff Cameron———-

————————–Tim Howard————————

Some thoughts:

Eddie Johnson certainly played well enough to merit a look as a starter, so don’t be surprised to see him get the net ahead of Altidore. We’ll go with Altidore because we still think he’s the first-choice striker and needs the minutes to regain his match fitness after a break following the Dutch League season.

If Jurgen Klinsmann is serious about wanting to see Geoff Cameron at centerback, then he may have no choice but to try Fabian Johnson at right back. Johnson started at right back against Mexico last August so he isn’t completely unfamiliar with the position, and having a fullback pairing of Johnson and Beasley would give the U.S. some good speed on the flanks.

And if Johnson isn’t the answer at right back, Klinsmann could also look to Michael Parkhurst, but his lack of game action in recent months make him seem like a long shot option.

No word on why Herculez Gomez didn’t play a minute against Belgium, but if he’s healthy it is tough to see him not start either of these two friendlies.

There has been plenty of talk about the “Fabian Johnson on the left wing” experiment. If Klinsmann chooses the Germany friendly to give this a try, here is how that lineup would likely look like:

———–Jozy Altidore————Clint Dempsey———-

Fabian Johnson—————————Herculez Gomez

————–Jermaine Jones—Michael Bradley———-

DaMarcus Beasley————————-Geoff Cameron

————–Matt Besler———Omar Gonzalez———-

————————–Tim Howard————————


What do you think of our projected lineup? Do you prefer the lineup that includes Fabian Johnson on the left wing? Would you start Eddie Johnson up to instead of Altidore?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. I think we’ve identified a problem on this site, and JK’s tenure. Somehow, we think that, “if we just give so-and-so a look” or “if we cycle some more CB’s through came” we could find “the guy” that will make a HUGE difference in the WC. The reality is that anybody who could make a HUGE difference has already been identified. Now we’re really just arguing about stupid things like, “who would be the better second holding mid off the bench; Williams or Kljestan.” That matters little to nothing come WC.

    JK’s greatest contribution to the MNT is that he’s broadened the player pool. It’s reaped undeniable benefits. But now, we’re only a year out, and we need to narrow it back down. We’re not getting a significant more talent between now and next year. Instead, we need to focus on playing time, and people working together. How is our defense or attack going to get coordinated if we keep trying out new players all over the place. The reality is that if we want to advance past where we have been then we need to be able to compete regularly with teams such a Belgium (not a top-five team), especially at home even with some players out, and we have the talent to do it. We need to stop screwing around with all these marginal players, and focus on around 26 guys that JK thinks will be the most ready. I don’t pretend to know enough about it to really know, but I think those players should be.

    G: Howard, Guzan, Hamid
    D: Cherundolo, Chandler, Goodson, Gonzo, besler, bocanegra, Cameron, Bealsey (?), Castillo, Johnson (?)
    M: Donavan, Zusi, Jones, Bradley, Williams, Edu, Shea, Holden, Davis
    F: Johnson, Dempsey, Gomez, Altidore

    could you make a million arguments of swap Kljestan for Davis or Holden, or Corona for Shea, Blah blah blah. Of course, but in the end the talent would be marginally different, and the result would be the same. These are the guys with the most time on pitch for klinsman/ or that have the talent to make a difference if they are fit (holden/Donavan), and we should focus on that.

    players that should start if healthy, no matter what, friendly or not, so that we can build chemistry (Howard, Dolo, Cameron (our best all around CB right now), Gonzo (the most talented CB, and best we have in the air), Bradley, Dempsey, altidore. Any shifting and subbing should be to answer one of these three main questions that still exist. the answer to any of these questions actually would affect the WC.

    1. Will Zusi or Donovan be more fit to start WC at RM?
    2. Should Johnson play LB or LM?
    3. Will Holden be fit by WC, and if so where should he play?

    These three questions will answer the final roster decisions, and starting spot decisions. All the other questions that cause so much grief on these reply threads really won’t matter a year from now.

  2. —–Jozy Altidore—–

    ——-DaMarcus Beasley————Clint Dempsey————Graham Zusi———-

    —————Jermaine Jones—————–Michael Bradley—————

    Fabian Johnson———-Matt Besler———-Omar Gonzalez———-Geoff Cameron

    ——– Tim Howard ———–

  3. ——–Herculez Gomez ————Clint Dempsey

    DaMarcus Beasley————————— Fabian Johnson

    ————–Jermaine Jones—Michael Bradley—

    Edgar Castillo———————————-Geoff Cameron

    ————-–Matt Besler———Omar Gonzalez———-

    ————————–Tim Howard———

  4. This would be my line up.



    F. Johnson———-Bradley———E. Johnson

    ————————-J. Jones———————–



  5. Dempsey is better as an attacking forward…pairing him with Jozy and we will just continue to see a stalled attack. I would like to see 4-1-2-1-2 formation:

    ———–E. Johnson/Altidore——Gomez——


    Bradley——————————Graham Zusi

    ————–Jermaine Jones————–———-

    —Beasley—–Matt Besler—Cameron—F. Johnson—

    ————————–Tim Howard————————

    • Dempsey is best as close to goal as possible. The stalled attack happens when he drops too deep into midfield. Bottom line, we need creativity and link play, including speed and skill on the wings.

      • Agreed Dempsey needs to be close to goal but Altidore wont work for the ball. In a forward position Dempsey can work off the ball and when he gets the ball can distribute it to a striker and or take on defenders. Dempsey was great at Fulham as a free roaming forward and he do the same with National team.

      • True and true. Altidore will not work for the ball, and Deuce can distribute closer to goal as a forward. However, he is not a linking player or #10, and that, in my opinion, is what we need behind him and Jozy. I’m hopeful Stu Holden can be it.

  6. Ideally, one day, cerca June 2014…



    Shea – Holden – MB90 – LD

    FJ – Gonz – Cam – Dolo

    • like it if Dolo can hold out that long. Besler is going to challenge the starting duo in the back. Injecting Beasley’s pace and Gomez poaching late in games will make them perfect subs.

  7. I think the backline will be fine when Dolo comes back. We can either move Cameron in to CB or sit him. I also think he will improve Zusi’s game as well because Zusi doesn’t mind legging it back to help defend and Dolo makes nifty over lapping runs.

  8. What I think for Sunday…


    What I would love to see very soon…

    J. Jones
    F. Johnson…Gonzalez…Besler…Cherundolo

    • I’ll dream with you. Don’t know how long Cherundolo can do it, but he plays with more heart than Timmy Chandler. Somebody needs to take that kid under their wing and make him proud to represent the red, white and blue.

      I love EJ and Altidore working to together up top, because they have our 3 best players right behind them, able to feed them and work through them toward the goal.

  9. Please no more Zusi on the right. He isn’t meant for that position.

    I would rather see Gomez on the right wing, and Fabian or Eddie Johnson on the left wing, with Beasley –Gonzo — Besler — Cameron as the back line.

    We need to pick a back line and stick with it. Enough experimenting. Communication & chemistry is essential to good defense.

    • Agreed. If anywhere, Zusi should be central… But this is where I see Holden fitting eventually.. In front of Bradley & Jones, and behind Dempsey. Altidore to bench.

  10. B. McBride – L.Donovan

    E. Lewis – J.O’Brien – F. Hejduk
    C. Reyna – P. Mastroeni

    E. Pope – G. Berhalter – T. Sanneh

    B. Friedel

    • That was the 3-5-2 last time we gave Germany a run for their money, ala 2002 World Cup. I’m said to say we are not as good as that team. More talent, but less heart/team chemistry, and offensive flair.

      • That team had a lot more talent than this team.

        Reyna, McBride, Donovan, Beasley, JOB, Sanneh, Pope, Heyjduk, Mastroeni, etc.

        It was the greatest USA team in history. Hands down.

      • I miss that team. O’Brien was so good, but for such a short time. What a shame. He and Reyna really controlled the pace of that tournament. Beating Mexico in the knockout stage is perhaps my greatest sports memory of all time.

  11. Still trying to figure out why people love Altidore so much as the starting striker. I think he’s better off the bench. He’s big and fast, so best put him in after the defense has tired a bit in the second half. He really isn’t a top performer I’d say, though people really seem to love the guy- I haven’t seen evidence of him breaking out and becoming a big threat with MNT.

  12. Our best line up in an ideal world. when we need good pace, defending, size and ability to maintain some possession and press.


    Or just because it seems to make too much sense to me….3-5-2


    But I know neither of these will ever happen….sigh

    • I’ve been thinking the same thing about our backline. I know Klins doesn’t play a 3 man line. Trying to match the scheme to the personnel those 3 center backs, plays fabian and chandler running cover makes sense. I just don’t think Mixx has earned that spot yet.

  13. Looking at all these line-ups posted it is clear that we are in disarray as fans and as a team. No two line-ups were the same which is a representation of a lack of confidence in this team across board at most positions. We are grasping at straws and desperate for answers. However, I do keep reminding myself that last cycle we were in a similar position. Not sure how many of you remember the state of our team prior to the 2009 Confederations Cup, but most people were echoing very similar sentiments about the players and coaching staff. It wasn’t until our favorable Confed Cup results that our attitude completely changed from one of desperation to one of confidence. Will we have a moment like that this year? I don’t know, but I hope so.

    That being said, other than a central midfielder and a forward position, most of the positions on the 2009 team had been filled by now and the players had been working together building chemistry. I don’t think the same can be said about this team. No one really seems sure of who is going to be on the field each game and their not sure what their role on the field is.

    • I understand what you are saying 100%. I wrote and post once saying that the USSF, JK, Gulati should gain our trust with the eye test. JK is a stubborn fool, I for one do not believe anything he is preaching. Others do however. I proposed that JK pick a starting XI that is normally likes to use. Not bench players a starting XI. Then have sites like Ives and others and analyst vote and pick JK’s opposing squad of US pool players. Have ESPN televise the match nationally, and see not just who wins, but who is hungry, who is best at a position. But if JK lost and lost badly he should resign. Thats the only way to get fans on the same page. There are so many lineups here because no one trust JK, not even the people who are supporting him.

  14. ————————–Altidore———————

  15. ——–Jozy—–Herc-

    The honest reality is we don’t have pace on the right side. Left side with Beas and FJ is our speed side. This formation would allow Herc and Dempsey to interchange. If you wanted to line it up with Dempsey in the middle and Herc out wide I see the responsibilities as the same. Personally, this puts our best starting 11 on the field in positions they are familiar with as well as excel at.

  16. honestly, i would love to see something like this:

    E. Johnson—————-Dempsey

  17. Listening to yesterday’s podcast while reading comments here. Ives you are SPOT ON, these games are meant to make our players step up against the best competition in the world, NOT to make our fans who want to see us win against teams we should dominate. We want to be world beaters, we need to play the world’s best.

  18. ————— – – Dempsey—————–
    —F. Johnson—–Holden—–E. Johnson—

  19. In my own humble opinion, our best lineup with this player squad is, in a 4-4-2 formation:
    Cameron, Gonzo, Besler, Fabian
    Bradley, Jones
    Dempsey, Beasley
    Altidore, Gomez

    • I like this one – keep the back four together as the more they play together the better. Also like the two up front, we just don’t do well with lone striker. Dempsey is best where he can roan and then strike. Go USA!

  20. Still don’t see how EJ’s one cross into the box warrants him a positive rating from the Belgium game. He was the same Eddie Johnson we have seen for years, does a step over, looks dangerous, but is never actually a threat except maybe against concacaf minnows. I would much rather see Boyd or Gomez get the start.

  21. Dropping Gonzo is just plain stupid Ives, stick with him and stop tinkering with the backline.


  22. Who should start?

    The players the coaching staff wants to see in certain situations. This is a friendly against the second best team in the world. The game is an opportunity to see players against top talent. We will be crushed. It will be worth it.

    We are the Washington Wizards and Germany are the Miami Heat.

      • You know what an analogy is… I think it’s relevant given how many people apparently expected us to pull out a result or even stand toe to toe with Belgium.

        Germany is going to crush us. That’s just reality.

      • I think you will see a close game in fact. I’m not saying we’ll win, but don’t be surprised by a 1-1 draw for example. We have a history of bouncing back well after a humiliating lost.

      • Well let’s see who had it right after the game ;-). If the US team is one thing, it’s inconsistent.

      • you may be new to this site, SanFran, but inter-sport analogies are kinda frowned upon in these parts. there’s enough soccer material to make your point without bringing in the NBA.

        Oh and we only lost 1-0 to Belgium in brussels in 2011, so expecting to stand toe-to-toe this time around was not that unreasonable

    • You say it’s worth it and you have been a consistent supporter of JK. I’m not so sure that getting thrashed so utterly is a good thing and apart from that intangible, I think this is too many games in a short time frame. We’ll see.

      As a frame of reference for future discussions, I wasn’t for or against hiring the smiling German but at this point, I see him doing more harm than good in spite of a few impressive results in Friendlies. We clearly differ on this and think it is an entirely fair disagreement.

      • The scoreline isn’t what’s important though.

        You have to play against these teams and players to grow. We always say that you have to play the best to be the best.

        It’s why we push our young stars to try and make it in Europe. The competition forces you to your potential–sink or swim.

      • But there is the very real phenomenon that losing begets losing. And getting crushed by superior opposition is not necessarily good preparation for playing weaker teams. (we disagree about the strength of Jamaica’s roster).

        We push our players to go to better leagues and teams but that has nothing to do with the national team having no confidence because it plays experimental rosters against vastly better opposition.

  23. 2nd line up is what I would love to see.

    I think Gonzo and Besler have earned the right to be the starting CB pairing with there play in Col and Mex. Yes Gonzo did not play that well against Bel. But who would have, plus one bad game for a still wet behind the ears player should not kill his chances. We need to stick with a pairing and let them build some cohesion

    F. Johnson is a left winger and needs to play left wing. Same can be said about Beas. One needs to play left wing and the other LB. I think they would mush real well together, play off each other real well.

  24. HOT OFF THE PRESS! Fake news: US Soccer just apologized for a confusion in recent caps. They had mistaken Mozy Altidore for his identical twin Jozy Altidore, a top scorer in Europe. “It was a fat finger typo in the back office” according to Juergen Klinsmann. “Going forward, we have informed Mozy of the mistake, and his brother Jozy should be the one playing in a US Mens National Team jersey, and starting vs. Germany. “

  25. JK and SG both need to go yesterday. Jurgi has no clue who his best 15 players are, he also has no clue who is worth even playing and who should never be called in. Zusi is no landycakes

  26. Thoughts:
    1. Donovan should be starting. Wins are more important that Klinsmann’s ego. This team lacks skill and speed.
    2. I’d play F.Johnson & E.Johnson on the wings. We need speed!!!!! We play too slowly and predictably.
    3. Remenber Russia? Agudela, Mix and Gatt add more to this team that Klejstan, B. Davis and Torres. They are simply NOT international quality.

    • B. Davis, B. Evans, Parkhurst, and even Goodson are the head-scratchers of this squad. Would have preferred to see Bedoya, Mixx, Gatt over Davis & Evans; Lichaj, Morales over Parkhurst; Goodson is a harder replacement simply because there are only 5 CB’s in the pool at the moment (Besler, Gonzalez, Cameron, Goodson, Boca)….but I would have preferred a younger inexperienced CB (John, Hines, JAB) over the known Goodson (Slow and week).

      • Bedoya, Mixx, and Gatt are among the people JK is going to call up for the Gold Cup. He tried his best to avoid calling someone up to both and I think he’s going to do a pretty good job of it.

    • 100% disagree with your first point. Wins are not more important than the long term stability and culture of the team. You flake out and drop all your club and country commitments randomly for no reason and you should expect a long road back if at all. I wouldn’t care if Donovan has Messi’s talent, he doesn’t deserve to be there.

      • Especially friendly wins. Why would you sell the soul of your team for a totally meaningless result.

  27. What should be started this weekend is the process of removing Gulati and Klinsmann, who have set the USMNT back 10 years. Gulati obviously did not read “Soccernomics” before hiring Klinsmann or else he would have known that hiring the former star player as a coach never works.

    Bob Bradley did a good job with this team. It is really tragic what has happened since he was removed by Gulati as coach.

    • Bob Bradley lost his job because he lost the locker room and the team was falling apart in 2011 Gold Cup. The chorus for his removal after the loss to Panama and single goal victory over Guadeloupe (not even a FIFA team and ranked somewhere in the hundreds) was unanimous. He was fired for a reason.

      Why try and rewrite history when every result is available for review?

      • I don’t think he is saying we should have kept Bob. He did a great job for the US we played great against some great teams. But you can’t coach a nat team forever. But since his removal what has US soccer done? Whos fault is that? Coach? Players? Gulati? Something else? Combo of all of these things?

      • US Soccer had its best year–by winning percentage–in history last year. That’s certainly something.

        We haven’t lost to Mexico in 3 consecutive matches including our first ever result in WCQ in Azteca.

        I’m not sure what people are looking for from this squad. We’re in an awkward transition phase where our best players are on the wrong side of the hill, we have no rising stars and major injuries have been rampant.

        The coach was brought in to change the culture and structure of the entire program.

        We’ve been pulling out miraculous results despite all of that, yet now people complain about HOW we’re doing it. It’s wholly hypocritical.

      • Outside of Mexico we have the best roster in Concacaf. players playing on some great teams playing in the best leagues in the world. Sure we are going through some transition is but is it too much to ask that we play competitively against Concacaf teams?

        I will agree that our D is in a major transition but having how many different starting CB pairings does not help the team on bit. I feel our Mid has to over compensate for that. Which leads to our wonderful amount of goal scoreing chances.

        If Klinsman sole job is to change the culture and style of the game then give him a diff job. A coaches job is to win games no matter how.

      • I’m not even sure we have the best roster in CONCACAF at this point.

        Jamaica as any many players on high level teams as we do. Half of their squad plays in the EPL or Championship.

        That’s an argument I can see being made about Klinsmann possibly being in a directorship position. I would hazard a guess that long term plan is for Klinsmann to execute on the national team at the moment while transitioning into that role after the cycle.

      • But you’re forgetting the past. We continue to be as competitive as we’ve always been. In qualifying for the 2002 WC we did so well in we almost didn’t make it to the Hex (we were first but 1 point away from missing the cut) and then almost didn’t make it out of the hex (we lost at home to Honduras once and were 3rd in the hex).

        We may have improved since but so has everyone else. We are competitive and favored to qualify but not an overpowering force as always. It just looks shakier because we are actually trying to possess the ball and press the attack instead of playing bunker ball.

      • Give me a break. The product on the field is the worst it has been in a long time. Tuesday’s game was just painful.

      • Shocking, a rag-tag group of players available did not look good against the full squad of one of the best teams in the world.

        More than half of the players that took the field for Belgium would be the best player in our federation’s history.

      • I’ve seen more painful games that we actually won. We actually had some possession and try to go on the attack when we could. I could point to many games in the past where we won dirty that we showed far less talent and skill and simply parked the bus to hide those deficiencies then got a lucky break on the other end. The scoreboard isn’t everything especially in a friendly.

      • Yes, the winning percentage was good, but Qualifying had its bumps (first ever loss to Jamaica, scrapping by Antigua). Our big victories at Mexico and Italy were, 1) friendlies, 2) some of the worst displays of soccer I have seen from the US team in 20 years, with good goalkeeping and lucky strikes. Yes we got results, but they were ugly and meaningless.

        This was not our first ever WCQ result in Azteca. We drew there in 1997 playing down a man most of the game.

        As far as the age of the squad, our 2006 squad had more players over age 30 than our 2010 squad. So the rebuilding excuse simply that, an excuse. There are experienced players who can play, Klinsmann just doesn’t want to play them (see what it took for him to bring beasley back in).

        Klinsmann was brought in to win and play the kind of soccer that we can go toe to toe with the big nations. So far, he has had some good victories, but, they were in friendlies, and the victories against the better competition were not us going toe to toe. they were more defensive than our previous approach to games against the top countries.

        We’ve always pulled out a few big victories (see copa america 1995, Brazil in the Gold Cup, Portugal & Mexico in 2002, draw against Italy 2006, Spain in 2009). The difference is none of the ones listed above were freindlies. The only big result that means anaything is the WCQ draw at Azteca, but that is negated by losses at Jamaica and Honduras.

      • The chorus for his removal was unanimous? Sorry, maybe among some Internet marks but otherwise I don’t think so.

      • It came as an utter shock to Bradley when he was fired. No warning, nada, no locker room problems, that is purely fiction on your part. Gulati has a love affair with Klinsmann and finally got the german to agree so the loss to Mexico was all it took. It was never about Bradley, it was always about Sunil’s infatuation with Jurgen.

    • You’re focusing on one small theme of that book. How about the rapid transfer of information across Europe being one of the main factors as to how the tops teams in Spain,England,France,etc. have come from exposure to different footballing cultures? We lost 4-2 to a stacked Belgium squad with an A- team, missing our CM lynch pin. Giving up a bunch of goals from mental defensive mistakes isn’t cause to throw out Klinsi and Gulati.

    • Soccernomics – a must read for any fan. (updated addition)

      And just remember the full title: Soccernomics: Why England Loses, Why Spain, Germany, and Brazil Win, and Why the US, Japan, Australia, Turkey-and Even Iraq-Are Destined to Become the Kings of the World’s Most Popular Sport

  28. For those that want to see Johnson and Castillo start as a LB-LM pairing, what are your thoughts on positions? If you put Johnson in midfield he is a better playmaker than Castillo, however, he plays centrally. If you put Castillo in LM, he may not be as good of a distributor as Johnson but he can take players on the flank and expand the field.

    • if both fabian and castillo start, i’d like to see fabian at LW and castillo at LB (with lots of overlap). i don’t like fabian staying in a central position.

    • I think Castillo comes in during the 2nd half if at all. I would love to see Beas and F. Johnson play off each other. Both can play D and both can fly up the wings. Imagine the D not knowing which guy is coming. (Okay that would not faze germany but jamica or hond.)

  29. For those that want to see Johnson and Castillo start as a LB-LM pairing, what are your thoughts on positions? If you put Johnson in midfield he is a better playmaker than Castillo, however, he plays centrally. If you put Castillo in LM, he may not be as good of a passer as Johnson but he can take players on the flank and expand the field.

  30. I’d like to see the Cameron and Besler pairing in the back. I’ve seen enough of Cameron at right back and I’m still not sold on Gonzalez in the center. Ultimately, we can’t have Cameron out wide, he isn’t quick enough at the international level. Can you imagine him having to mark a Ronaldo for 90 minutes? Any outside mid that had any pace would have a field day running at him.

    As far as Gonzalez goes, I think he still has too much to learn at the international level. He needs more seasoning and I don’t think he will get enough of it in the next year to be our first choice central defender come Brasil. I think Cameron might be our best option as our center back. I’d like to see Klinsi play him there and start figuring out who his best partner is. Maybe it’s Gonzalez, maybe it’s Bocanegra, Besler or Goodson. I just don’t think in a years time, Gonzalez is going to be the center back to lead us in Brasil.

    Hopefully we will get to see that Cameron Besler pairing on Sunday.

    • Well stated opinion. Not sure if I see as clear cut a difference between Gonzo, Besler, or Goodson but I agree on Cameron.

      But much more important is the fact they you have one of the great screen names of all time. Full marks!

    • While I respect the opinion behind it–your logic suggest that no player should ever play on the outside. Nobody can really guard Ronaldo.

      • That isn’t the logic at all. I am just sayin, as an outside back your going to get beat on the dribble. Cameron isn’t quick enough to recover let alone fast enough to pose a threat as an overlapping attacker. Your outside backs have to be quick. If beaten on a dribble you at least have to be able to get back and apply some pressure to make the cross/pass more difficult or, to cover who ever switched to cover your ass after geting beat. Cameron has no recovery speed.

    • I agree with you I just don’t think we’ll have the luxury to wait until next cycle to integrate a more seasoned Omar onto the team. I agree Cameron seems to be our most seasoned and steady option but after him you have a Boca who cannot play on the ground out of the back as effectively and appears to have dropped in form; Besler who likely is prone to the same gaffes as Gonzalez due to lack of experience but just hasn’t had enough caps to show that fact yet; and Goodson who despite his experience has always remained slightly inconsistent in my opinion. What I really wish is that Gonzalez would get picked up by a European team this summer, LA lets him go, and he plays a full season across the pond next year to really get him ready for Brazil.

      • That is why I figure he has to go with Cameron. He has more experience and much better presence on the ball. He has the size and isn’t bad in the air. I think Klinsi needs to stcik him there, find him a partner and let them gel together over the next year. Given there are no guarantees he will get playing time for Stoke next year with the recent hire of Hughes, Klinsi should keep him around for the Gold Cup too, along with whoever that partner is and let them start to gel.

    • If Omar can start in a qualifyer in Mexico and we tie 0 – 0 then why wouldn’t he be in the first 11 here on out? Between qualifyers and friendlies he could get 10 -15 starts before the WC

      • +1, He needs more games to boost his confidence and experience against top teams. We all see his potential and athleticism being important for Brazil 2014, but taking him out of the starting XI after a rough game is not the answer

      • My assertion is that Gonzalez is neither our center back now nor in the future. I am of the opinion that Cameron is a better option now and we should give him the next year to gain the more experience. Gonzalez is good in the air and on set pieces. His distribution is sorely lacking, positioning isn’t very strong and his decision making is suspect. Cameron has shown that he can play the position. he is good in the air, he goos on set pieces, he is a much better distributor and he has a year’s worth of experience in one of the most high profile leagues in the world. Hopefully Hughes will ply hm in the center next year as that would be just what we need. There just is not enought time for Gonzalez to grow into one of the most important positions for the biggest stage.

      • Why is Omar the only one that should be in the starting 11 after the Mexico game? Why not Besler too?

  31. Am I the only one wondering whether Jozy will even dress against Germany? Not saying I expect him to be gone, but after he looked totally unhappy against Belgium and then was unexpectedly pulled at half-time…

    • You’re not the only one. I was thinking that we would hear more/something/anything after the game about why he wasn’t on the bench with the team in the 2nd half.

  32. I expect JK to juggle his lineup again, switch guys into different positions, continue to switch the CB pairing so as to prevent the development of any communiciation or chemistry there, play a couple of guys out of their most comfortable positions, and chalk up the 5-1 defeat to individual failures.

  33. Why would Altidore need to regain match fitness? His last game for AZ was on May 12th, the national team camp started about a week or so later — when did he have time to lose his match fitness so drastically?

    • I don’t think it is unfair to say that he has never been a super-fit player. He is pretty muscular and some peeps just don’t have the kind of wind to run all game. This becomes apparent when he has time off I think. And we have heard from one of his coaches that he is not exactly an avid trainer.

      So for him it IS important to get reps, stay active, etc. That’s my take on it at least.

    • Your body looses fitness very quickly. People on bed rest start loosing muscle mass in their legs within a few days. Obviously he wasn’t on bed rest but he’s a high level athlete that needs his body at absolute peak conditioning. I’m sure that edge is lost quickly once the intensity and duration of a player’s training regimen decreases.

  34. I would rather have FJ at left back where he is our best by far and DMB at left wing which is HIS best position. Or, if you consider DMB to be more of a sub, then use him as a sub for a late attacking change. I love Beasley but he is frankly better as a 2-way left mid than as a fullback.

    As to the rest? Bah, after Wednesday I don’t know if it even matters. At least MB is back.

    • +1. It seems totally backwards to have fabian at LW and beasley at LB, when they each add more in the other position.

      • “. It seems totally backwards to have fabian at LW and beasley at LB, when they each add more in the other position.”


        I’d rather have Fabian at right back and DMB at left back.

        Cameron adds little going forward and Fabian should be fine there as he was a right back,a right midfielder before he was a left back. He is also right footed. He may also complement Zusi better than Cameron.

        If Fabian is at left wing instead of DMB that also makes sense since he has been doing that a lot for Hoffenheim recently and DMB just went 90 at LB.

        You’ll still see DMB attack if Fabian is at LW and DMB at LB since they will exchange a lot on overlaps during the game.

        Having DMB at the back rather than Fabian makes more sense since he has slowed down a bit at his age and it allows him to pick his spots better. He can’t run everywhere all day anymore like he used to.

        Every US player will be on defense a lot in this game. And Germany is a different proposition to what DMB faces when he plays wing in the Mexican league.

        If Fabian is at LW then, if he is fit, I see Shea coming in late in the game, shifting Fabian to RB and Cameron to the bench.

      • fabian at RB and beasley at LB i might be okay with, depending on who else was available.

        you’re correct that fabian has been playing LW for hoffenheim, but he certainly hasn’t been doing well.

        and i thought beasley ran his @ss off against belgium, pretty much the whole game. I think, especially with fabian spelling him with overlapping runs, he could be hang at LW.

    • +2. LB is much more of a natural postion for Fabian. What we like about DMB at LB is his attacking skill, which he’d get to use more of at LM anyway.

  35. Does it really matter? If Germany approaches the game even half-seriously, we’ll see more defensive lapses and disjoint, incoherent, basically non-existent offense with no more than two shots on goal. And Altidore and Goodson will get all the blame.

    • yeah…I have a rather sick feeling when I think of what this game will look like. but HEY, at least our guys can get tired out before the games that count! Right?

    • Jozy didn’t have an awful game but missed a bunch of silver platter jobs and didn’t have a high work rate off the ball. And Goodson, if he’s even with his man, is falling over him.
      I’m sorry, people have those two plus Kljestan pegged just right.

      Granted, few on the team were staking undisputable claims to their positions, but this is triage. Most of the others have plenty of strong US tape. These three, particularly this cycle, have little positive to point to. I think few spots are nailed down (Howard, Dempsey, Bradley), and everyone else will be playing for a job if we can find someone else. But that should not be “cover” for saying we can’t shed some of the obvious cuts……Jozy to the bench, Kljestan and Goodson to pasture.

      • What I’m wondering about is how come players like Altidore, Goodson, Kljestan who’ve acquitted themselves quite well in decent European leagues (certainly stronger than the MLS) and in European competitions are struggling so much with the national team?

      • well, the answer for klestjan could still be the competition level.

        he regularly plays well against inferior teams for his club, and then he gets thrown in against belgium. no idea if he would fare better against panama or jamaica, but i would hope so.

      • Goodson plays in a league “certainly stronger than “the” MLS”? Even in the case of Kljestan, this is questionable. Stronger team – sure.

      • Quality of play. Speed of play. Jozy loses his edge in terms of time to receive, gather himself, and cause something. Goodson gets one shot at his man and none if he blows the trap. Kljestan can’t fart around and then try a home run pass.
        You have an opening and then it closes.

        Compare Jozy to Gomez or Dempsey. You give the latter two a chance and most times it’s in the net. Jozy may score a lot for club but he’s sloppier.

        To me, NT play puts a premium on execution and speed of play. If you’re sloppy or a slowpoke you will get found out.

      • i know i’m starting to sound like jozy’s fan club, but i’ve heard about these ‘silver platter’ chances, and i just don’t remember any.

        i remember the one where he tried to poke it through the two CBs (that was the closest one), and then another cross where (i think) vermaelen headed it out for a corner. what am i forgetting?

      • You’re remembering the exact same two chances as I am. I thought he should have done better with the first, but the second was tougher. Neither classified as “silver platter”, IMO.

      • He also was pulled two defenders to him on the Cameron goal. But that is not a silver platter.

      • That was it. Jozy will continue to struggle with the USMNT against strong opponenents due to our midfiled not being able to hold it’s own. and our midfiled will struggle because our backline is not that strong etc…

      • He had a cross where he got the ball on his feet — no service excuse — and he stumbled around trying to gather and turn.

        There were at least two other plays where he had the ball on his foot in the box with some space to shoot and didn’t do anything.

        I’m sorry but at this level if you have an accurate cross you can’t convert, that was as silver platter as it may get. This was not a “no service” problem, I think EJ and Dempsey would dispute that, as well as the participants in the first goal, which was a dead ball. I think you are confusing Jozy’s lack of effort off the ball, and sloppiness on it, with him having no service. We did have several balls into the box and we converted some chances. This was not other Klinsi nights where barely a chance appears… the excuse for when the facts support it.

      • I just don’t see this “no effort” thing from Jozy. That is hardest comment you can put on any player. People just throw it at Jozy all the time. “He is lazy” You know he is a striker right? We don’t want him leaving his position to go play defense. When he went out to the left wing last game we all yelled at him. Jozy does not play lazy for us anymore. Maybe the Altidore of old didn’t put in the effort but that is never what I see out there now.

      • To be fair, he’s been benched at least once by every single coach since he left MLS explicitly for not giving full effort.

      • I’m not asking him to run back and play defense. I’m asking him to get on his horse and try and create some space and separation. Make some sideways and diagonal runs.

        Go back and watch the game, he just stands in the middle and vaguely wanders to the strong side. There are no sprints to space or sprints to show to the ball. I played forward in amateur league and I know if I want the ball I have to move. How has this not filtered up the foodchain to him?

        Most of my career I played defense and a forward standing around waiting on service is my dream. I wait for the pass, beat him to the ball, and go the other way. And the thing is that for all that size, Jozy doesn’t control his space and shield all that great, either. He’s like Kenny Cooper.

        Basically, it’s not absolute laziness, but more like at this level if you have no motor you’re a sitting duck.

      • well, shoot, i guess we may have different definitions of ‘silver platter’. i think most people think of can’t-miss opportunities (you know, real howlers when you *do* miss), not just anytime someone touches the ball in the box.

        what you’re seeing are good old-fashioned ‘chances’–they probably just seem can’t-miss because they’re a rare sighting for the usmnt these days.

        and i never said anything about ‘no service’, or ‘excuses’. you seem to be getting defensive.

      • At this level the chances rarely come bow-tied. I thought for a player at this level he was getting sufficient service.

      • I’d take it a bit further and add Brad Davis, Brad Evens, & Parkhurst to the scrap heap. None are worth a sh!t at the international level, and should not be seen again until a Camp Cup Cake camio as potential mentors (along with Beckerman).
        This team is in drastic need of some Chemistry, speed, and youth (in that order). Coaching staff need to focus in on a formation or 2 and get players repitition with their likely partners so that they know how to play off one another. Speed needs to be added…players who can play wide and draw out and break down defences. Would like to see Bedoya, Mixx, Gatt, and Donovan get back into the picture in the Gold Cup…and likely beyond. Others who need time with the B+/A Team include Lichaj, Williams, Morales, Boyd, Agudelo, and at least one other young(ish) CB….Maybe George John, JAB, Hines, or someone of that ilk.

      • I’d agree with a lot of the people you mention. I think we have a pecking order problem where there are mediocre/bad veterans who have recent caps but no apparent quality who get preference over more interesting players. I know we want people with experience for important games but you have to watch letting the talent level drop, or ignoring potential benefits from peripheral talent.

        Williams is the only one I’d not back. I think he’s had his chances and neither carved out a role nor displayed much quality.

      • Silver platters? Really, really?? There was one inside the 6. But that was a great bit of defending. Jozy was about to fire it and the defender toe poked it away. It was a really cheeky play. Had Jozy gotten the shot off and put it 10 rows up or in the right at the keeper then I would would’ve 100% agree with you.

        Goodson and SK would be good cover for Concacaf games, if a few other players get hurt but should not be allowed any where near anything else

      • Taylor Twellmans commentating only adds fuel to the fire. He acted like Jozy blew 3 or 4 sitters and Lukaku scored a hat trick. Neither scored and Lukaku probably should have.

      • I agree on good defending, but it seemed to me Jozy was too worried about shielding the ball after his not great but lucky first touch instead of shooting. It sure looked like he could have just hit it, instead, he tried to shield and Toby got a toe in there (no denying it was great defending.)

  36. Are Corona and Castillo rejoinging the team for this game? Castillo won’t start but maybe get some minutes in the second half. Also how about switching positions put Dempsey in midfield and Gomez up front?

  37. Are Corona and Castillo rejoinging the team for this game? I assume Castillo won’t start but maybe get some minutes in the second half. Also how about switching positions put Dempsey in midfield and Gomez up front?

    • Yes, Gomez or even Eddie Johnson up top with Altidore and Dempsey attacking from the wing. Zusi should be on the bench, he is a good player, but not dangerous enough at the international level. Maybe one day, but not Sunday. I like Dempsey as either the striker closest to the goal or on the wing. Then you can play Dempsey on one wing and Fabian Johnson on the other. That seems like an attack with some bite.

  38. I’m still not sure what happened with Jozy and whether some scuttlebutt took place…

    If yes, then we’re likely to see the pupu platter of mediocre (by int’l standards), over 30 yr old forwards (Gomez, Johnson) one of whom playing the wing-yuck

    maybe if Klinsmann stops messing around and actually put the best healthy and in form players on the pitch and in their primary positions….


    • “maybe if Klinsmann stops messing around and actually put the best healthy and in form players on the pitch and in their primary positions”

      hey now, sounds like someone doesn’t want to make the players uncomfortable! klinsmann does not approve.

    • Why would we want to be competitive. That does not build character or team chemistry.

      On another note Lichaj should be no where near the starting 11.

      • only pointing out that he is the best available option by the virtue of 1) Cameron seen as a CB and 2) no other RBs are healthy and gotten playing time this spring-Dolo and Chandler are hurt, Parkhurst stapled to the bench… if someone wants to argue these two points, I’d love to hear a coherent response

    • It’s quite unfair to criticize Klinsmann for shifting lineups when he almost never has our best players.

      Even this International Friendly saw Dolo out recovering. FJ was with his club still. Bradley was with his club still. Castillo was with his club.

      I mean we can’t exactly play with 7 men. Somebody has to fill those spots.

      • +1 sanfran. We have been hit with some bugs and stuff, but even you have to admit some of his line up choices and call ups have been head scratchers. I’m not talking about friendlies cause that is the best time to try new players and such.

      • I don’t really see any of his call ups as head scratchers. I cannot see what happens in practice. I don’t know how these players are performing or what they are being called in for.

        For all we know, Corey Ashe could have been called in as a practice squad player to emulate the speed of Hazard.

        Our coaching staff is a group of seasoned professionals who earn their living doing this. They’ve forgotten more about the game than the vast majority of fans will ever know.

        I almost see it as a sign of arrogance to assume I know better than the coaching staff or what their motives may be.

      • I don’t really see any of his call ups as head scratchers. I cannot see what happens in practice. I don’t know how these players are performing or what they are being called in for.

        For all we know, Corey Ashe could have been called in as a practice squad player to emulate the speed of Hazard.

        Our coaching staff is a group of seasoned professionals who earn their living doing this. They’ve forgotten more about the game than the vast majority of fans will ever know.

        I almost see it as a sign of arrogance to @ssume I know better than the coaching staff or what their motives may be.

      • Nobody is saying that they are more qualified or know more than the coaching staff. This is a forum for fans to debate strategy/lineups. Lighten up.

      • I respectfully disagree.

        How many comments include — the coaches have no idea what they’re doing with tactics, player selection,etc? How is that anything other than saying the commentator knows more than the coaching staff?

    • If only Dolo or Chandler were healthy for the RB spot this would likely be the best US team at the moment (EJ and Gomez as subs)

      But since Besler is available, I would put Cameron at right back and Besler in the middle. Besler does seem to have speed, his use at RB might be an interesting, but more purely defensive move.

  39. I really want to see him on the left wing. He’s the perfect guy to have there if Beasley is playing LB, as they can alternate their runs up the left side and easily cover for each other.

      • After missing a couple chances, Jozy seemed so frustrated by our wing play that HE decided to go out and play wing. But even he was unable to provide service to that gaping hole he created.

    • Swap Beasley to LM and Johnson to LB and I would be happy. Then @ half put Castillo in as LB and move Johnson to LM.

      • Is Castillo going to be available? I’d definitely like to get a look at him. Also, not sure why I put Zusi in there, I’d put Herc in his place.

      • I’m on the band wagon with you. Although to date I have not been impressed with Castillo, he makes way too many mental errors. They almost always lead to goals.

  40. —Pele— Caine

    We should be able to escape to victory with this lineup.

    • Not bad… But do yall remember when Dempsey was midfielder? Maybe not really a “winger” but he played on the wings? I still wonder how it would look if we had him on the wing and started 2 strikers? Could at least put 3 finishers on the field if we had Dempsey plus 2 of other strikers out there… Either way I just hope we don’t get spanked again.

      • I did like Dempsey and Donovan as wings, problem being that this exposes the lack of quality forward depth. Gomez would give you one good forward but not two. You put Jozy out there and you hand back half of the value of pushing Dempsey back. Maybe if you played 451.

      • I agree. I’m calling for Beasley to try Left Wing. That is his most familiar position and it is our biggest need right now.

      • +1… I thought I was the only one who despises Beasley at fullback. He had a couple of good attacking moments against Belgium, and it’s easy to see how uncomfortable he is on defense.

      • Uncomfortable? As a defender watching that tenacity I thought I was finally seeing someone with enthusiasm for the position……..

      • Fabian. I may offer up EJ as an example of how unproductive Jozy is, but I don’t think either should be starting here.

    • I’d sit Omar.

      He was not up to the challenge against Belgium, and he’ll get twisted and confused in similar ways against Germany.

      Eddie J.———–Zusi
      Beasley———-F. Johnson

      • Gonzo was making mistakes but he was also often cleaning up messes. The goal everyone gets on his case about that touch is taken to steal the ball from an attacker and clean up a mess. He then overcooks it and the pass gets made to a guy Goodson leaves standing in the middle.

        I can teach Gonzo, when in doubt, kick it out, simplify his game and lower risk. But without a jetpack Goodson is not staying with anyone.

        IMO, we need to keep cycling people through camps and see who can play CB. Maybe Gonzo is not ready yet. But among the present roster I think Gonzo and Besler are Least Worst. Like I said elsewhere, triage.

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