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Who should the USMNT start vs. Mexico?

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Photo by John Todd/


All it took was a handful of yellow cards, and Michael Bradley’s injured left ankle, to suddenly turn the U.S. Men’s National Team from “Is this the deepest USMNT ever” to “Just who is going to start vs. Mexico?”

Questions about U.S. starting lineups come with every match, but the circumstances of Tuesday’s crucial World  Cup qualifier against a struggling and desperate “El Tri” side are unique. As recently as Friday afternoon Klinsman would have hoped to count on Bradley, Matt Besler, Jozy Altidore and Geoff Cameron to be available against Mexico, and might have found himself resigned to losing one or two of them to yellow-card suspension on Friday.

Instead of one or two, all four will be missing from Crew Stadium, forcing Klinsmann to call in a quartet of reinforcements and consider what a team without Bradley, the team’s most indispensable player, will look like.

As if that isn’t enough, Klinsmann must also deal with the fact that his fullbacks played awfully against Costa Rica, and Mexico’s attack will most certainly look to exploit the wings as well. Michael Orozco did little to suggest he is really the answer at right back, while DaMarcus Beasley is coming off his worst game at left back since becoming the de facto starter there earlier this year.

So many questions, and just two days to go before a qualifier the Americans can’t afford to lose, and one Mexico will be desperate to win.

So who will Klinsmann turn to against Costa Rica? Here is the starting lineup we can see him going with against Mexico:


——————————Eddie Johnson——————————

Fabian Johnson———–Clint Dempsey———–Landon Donovan

——————Jermaine Jones—-Kyle Beckerman——————

DaMarcus Beasley———————————-Michael Parkhurst

————-Clarence Goodson———Omar Gonzalez—————-

——————————–Tim Howard——————————-

Some thoughts:

Parkhurst hasn’t been playing for German side Augsburg, and is lacking match fitness, but  Klinsmann may have little choice but to turn to the right back who impressed at the Gold Cup. Michael Orozco struggled badly vs. Costa Rica, and Mexico won’t be an easy test.

There is plenty of clamoring for Aron Johannsson, but a healthy Eddie Johnson has to get the start as the target forward. It may not be his best position, but he is best suited to handle the role of the players in camp. He played that role in the Gold Cup semifinals and final, and his ability to partner with Clint Dempsey could make this lineup work well.

Landon Donovan slides to the right, and Graham Zusi goes to the bench after a relatively quiet match vs. Costa Rica.

Fabian Johnson looked sharp on the left wing vs. Costa Rica, but you have to wonder if Klinsmann is tempted to deploy him at left back for the struggling Beasley. With there being more quality wing options than left back options, Klinsmann could make the switch.

Here is the lineup I would start vs. Mexico:

——————————Eddie Johnson——————————–

Landon Donovan———Clint Dempsey———–Alejandro Bedoya

——————Jermaine Jones—-Kyle Beckerman——————

Fabian Johnson————————————–Michael Parkhurst

————-Clarence Goodson———Omar Gonzalez—————-

——————————–Tim Howard——————————-

Fabian Johnson at left back, and Alejandro Bedoya on the right wing, is the move I would make. You could really cause problems for Mexico with a Fabian Johnson-Landon Donovan tandem attacking that side of the field, while Bedoya’s work rate could help provide support for Parkhurst.

What would fans like to see here? Here is a lineup I’m sure some USMNT fans would like to see against Mexico:

—————————-Aron Johannsson——————————-

Eddie Johnson————-Clint Dempsey———–Landon Donovan

——————Jermaine Jones—-Mix Diskerud———————–

Fabian Johnson————————————–Michael Parkhurst

————-Clarence Goodson———Omar Gonzalez—————-

——————————-Brad Guzan———————————


What do you  think of our projected starting lineup? Which of the three lineups above would you use if you had to pick? Who do you definitely NOT want to see start vs. Mexico?

Share your thoughts below.



  1. Beasley had his worst game in a while but I don’t think that’s any reason to drop him from the starting XI. Jones has put a number of sub-par performances in and he hasn’t been benched yet

  2. hmmmm. Davis in the Road to Brazil episode is playing with the first team. could he get the start at LM with FJ moving back to LB and Beasley sitting?

    also, JK saying Orozco not at fault for any of the goals against CR. looks like he starts at RB again.

  3. As much as I cringe when GAM does his AYSO crossovers, Mexico’s defense has never been able to cope with this guy’s speed. The USMNT does not have anyone else who can get lose on a break.

  4. I really hope diskerud starts in the midfield we need someone to get the ball forward.
    F.Johnson Donovan Dempsey
    Diskerud Jones
    Beasley Goodson Gonzo Parkhurst

  5. That last starting lineup we could only wish for.. AJ up front and Bedoya instead of EJ on the wing with Disk in the middle would be perfect and would definitely cause problems for Mexico.That would be very offensive minded and could dominate ball possession as well.

    Here is my prediction. HATE to say it. I believe we will lose 3-1, but will win the next two to qualify. Mexico will start their hot streak as of today. For those that been following Futbol in the new world for a looooog time,.. story never changes. Mexico goes through hooorrible times, and just when you think they will not qualify for the W.C, other Concacaf teams manage to help them out by playing like crap themselves in the last 3 matches. 🙁 I hope I’m wrong today

  6. If this were FIFA…


  7. Any combination of Bedoya, Johansson, Donovan & Dempsey is fine with me. Which means we’ll probably get a bitter spoonful of Brad Davis, Zusi, and Eddie Johnson. Yuck.

  8. I’d go with

    F. Johnson——Donovan———–Zusi

    I would be ok with Bedoya in for Zusi, though, it really doesn’t matter.

      • I disagree. Yes, his speed may hurt him in this game, but he works harder defensively than any other winger. Watch the game in Azteca or any of the games in June and you will see that he is very good at tracking back and helping on defense.

  9. I go 3-5-2…Just throw Mex a curveball initially…

    F. Johnson—-Torres——Beckerman——Zusi

    Please no Goodson or Jermaine Jones….

  10. Somebody should start some sort of Jurgen bracket game where we guess who will start and where. I am willing to put down some money that the starting lineup isn’t going to match any of the 3 that were listed in the article.


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