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Who should the USMNT start vs. Jamaica? (Updated)

USA Starting 11

Photo by John Todd/


There may not be a World Cup berth on the line, but there will still be plenty on the line for the players who take the field for the U.S. Men’s National Team against Jamaica on Friday.

Call the qualifier the first of a handful of auditions USMNT pool players will have to impress Jurgen Klinsmann. Fringe players hoping to break into the playing rotation will have opportunities to show their stuff against a Jamaica side that should be ripe for beating.

The absences of regulars such as Clint Dempsey and Michael Bradley means the likes of Kyle Beckerman, Mix Diskerud, Alejandro Bedoya and Aron Johannsson could see starts or increased minutes in the pair of upcoming qualifiers. The visit to Panama on Tuesday will be the tougher test, and we could see a stronger team taking the field in the Hex finale, but the Jamaica qualifier figures to give some new faces a chance to shine in front of what should be a raucous crowd at Sporting Park.

So who will Klinsmann start vs. Jamaica on Friday night? Here is a projected lineup we could see taking the field:


—————————-Jozy Altidore—————————-

Alejandro Bedoya——Landon Donovan———Graham Zusi

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

DaMarcus Beasley————————————-Brad Evans

—————–Matt Besler——–Geoff Cameron—————

—————————-Tim Howard—————————–

Some thoughts on the projected lineup:

Eddie Johnson’s injury absence makes the options for Klinsmann starting XI a choice between a 4-4-2 with Aron Johannsson or a 4-2-3-1 with Donovan as a second striker/playmaker, and the wing tandem of Graham Zusi and Alejandro Bedoya. We’ll go with the later.

We had this midfield projected to start vs. Panama, but now that Johnson is out, we could see it on Friday night.

The defense looks to be pretty straight forward, with Beasley and Evans starting at fullback, and Besler and Cameron making their first start as a tandem.

So what lineup do I think fans would like to see? Here’s a lineup I could see plenty of USMNT fans being interested in seeing:


————–Jozy Altidore——-Aron Johannsson————–

Alejandro Bedoya——————————–Landon Donovan

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

DaMarcus Beasley————————————-Brad Evans

—————–Matt Besler——–Geoff Cameron—————

—————————-Brad Guzan——————————

I would actually be very interested in seeing this starting lineup play together, but I think we could see this group be the lineup that faces Panama, though with Johnson in the lineup ahead of Johannsson if he’s healthy.


What do you think of our projected starting lineup? Which lineup would you like to see? Which player are you hoping to see get a start vs. Jamaica?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. I’d like to see:

    I haven’t been overly impressed with how Sasha has been playing for the Nats during his last few games. Dred is too slow to play at the national level, but he seems to do enough other things well to be functional during WCQ.

  2. So, can someone confirm if there’s some sort of FIFA rule that a player who get’s suspended in their last qualifying game, or who picks up yellows in their last two games, is suspended for the first World Cup game?
    Wasn’t Rooney in jeopardy of being suspended from the first games of the 2010 world cup?

  3. I agree that Beckerman “never tries to do too much”. He doesn’t tackle, he doesn’t find the open man, he doesn’t do anything except take a pass, and then pass it back to someone. There are many, many MLS players who could fill that very, very limited role. Dax McCarthy is that exact same player.

    Every soccer coach has one mediocre player that he just likes personally and wants to have around. For Klintsman, that player is Beckerman. Beckerman has sucked up to Klintsman in some way and has got himself included as a regular, despite any descernable rationale.

    • Did you watch the Costa Rica match and see Jones and Cameron not be able to do that? They were both completly run over and seemed to have no sense of when someone was on there back shoulder. Jones turned it over nearly 20 times in just that first half alone. Perhaps it seems like a simple task but if you don’t have someone fill that roll you can get yourself in touble quickly.

      • Are you talking to yourself? This is very confusing.

        Either way, John 1:23 is smarter than John 12:57.

  4. Isn’t Cameron number three on the MF depth chart? I think Panama and the Costa Rica game has proved this. Although Mix and Beckerman are in the conversation. I think these games should be used to solidify that pecking order.

  5. —–Jozy—AJ—–
    🙂 Go attack status!!!

  6. Who Klinsmann should start:


  7. I do not expect either Wondo or Goodson to start vs Jamaica since they just played last night. Depending on how things go either or both could start in Panama. Starting the guy who has scored the most goals over the last 4 years in your domestic league cannot be construed as unlikely. Goodson has been pretty solid so his inclusion against Panama would be no surprise.

      • I’m not the biggest Wondo fan, but the dude has preformed well enough for the US when called upon. No need to hate

      • Wondo plays well with others. If the rest of the team doesn’t play well, he knows it intuitively. He still puts out his best, but he has to have at least one midfielder to help him finish the job.

        Whoever says negatives about Wondo, doesn’t know what Wondo is like.

    • Wondo is a man of great character. He plays with integrity and he wants to win. That paired with great intuition where the ball is going to be would make an excellent substitute when the rest of the opposition is about to be worn out, around the 60th minute.

  8. I don’t really care about the Jamaica game, but the US should start the worst lineup within reason for Panama. We ought to gift Panama 3 points, so that they have a better chance of qualifying or making a playoff ahead of Mexico.

    • Correct!!! Put Orozco as the keeper, Guzan as a forward and Evens as the CM and that’s it. Three players on the pitch.

    • C’mon guys let’s show some gamesmanship and class. Ik Mexico is our rival but we shouldn’t be rooting for them to fail. If Mexico doesn’t qualify so be it. But don’t root against them. If anything, Mexico will make concacaf look stronger. Do u really think panama is going to make an impact in the WC? Let’s not wish failure upon Mexico just be their are most heated rival.

      • I am showing gamesmanship through my suggestion. We could face Mexico in the World Cup, and while we own them on neutral and home fields, I would much rather have Panama in the mix. So my suggestion is not based merely on my dislike of Mexico, but also a healthy respect for their ability. Klinsmann would never admit to tanking against Panama, nor should he, but I wouldn’t put it past him because he is smart and also seems to dislike them.

      • I mean the only way we would play a concacaf team would be in the knockout stages and I don’t see panama making it there. We would actually be extremelyyyyy lucky to draw Mexico in the round of 16 considering the other teams we might hav to face.

      • So “FIFA Fair Play” out the window huh? I’m a die hard USMNT fan, I want to see my team win every game it plays.

      • Mexico are where they are strictly on merit. The same goes for Panama.

        In fact Mexico is lucky to be in contention for fourth place. Jamaica should have beaten them 2-0 at Azteca. There is no evidence that this Mexico team would do any better in the World Cup than Panama.

        I expect the USMNT to try to destroy Jamaica and Panama because that is what they are supposed to do.

        F++k Mexico and Panama, they make their own beds.

      • What the …….? If they are our rivals, we want them to lose. Do you really think Mexico is going to make Concacaf stronger? For God’s sake, they have only won one game. They suck!!!!!!!!!!! I mean they really really suck!!!!The only impact Mexico will make is when they fall flat on their ugly mugs. In the World Cup, it doesn’t matter what group they are in, they will be flattened like spoiled Mexican flour tortillas.

      • Mexico are our rivals in CONCACAF, but I for one don’t hate them as people. Their team is going through a rough patch, but historically they’ve done well and I love having strong teams in our region. I think you’re being childish and insulting, and tanking against panama would be absurdly bad sportsmanship. I hope Mexico snags fourth and whoops NZ, and I wish them the absolute best come 2014.

      • We shouldn’t tank, of course, and we won’t. But both of these games are an opportunity to see some players we don’t often get to see in big games – especially the Panama game, which is big to them. When you’re ‘in,’ you have that luxury.

      • I don’t hate on the people. I do not know what I would do without Mexican food or the cute tamales giving me a table dance. Oh yeah, and the janitor at my colllege that does my Spanish homework.

      • Your college should refund your tuition, since you clearly haven’t learned anything there.

        We can support the USMNT & root against La Seleccíon Mexicana without stooping to racist “humor.”

      • Right after you get your refund for having failed kinder, moron. Where is the racist humor you dope? You don’t even know the definition of the word which is really sad. A simpleton like you probably can’t even distinguish the difference between prejudice, discrimination and racism. I hope a fat burrito falls from the sky and smashes you. Your mad because your mother probably gave a table dance.

      • I agree. as much as I like beating mexico. the team probably has more potential than any concacaf team besides us. having more than one concacaf team make the second round would be good.

  9. I wish Freddy Adu would get a call up. This is probably his last chance at a World Cup. He’ll be 34-35 by the time the next one rolls around 🙁

  10. If Beckerman starts in the middle instead of Jones, I will be tempted to turn the game off. Why is everyone so keen to play two CMs who absolutely suck going forward. Mix and Jones would do very well together in the midfield seeing as they present a dual threat.

    • I think theres alot of misunderstanding of what Jones really does. He mostly just roams and trys to win balls and break up any attack. When you play Jones you really also need some one who is going to drop back and pick up the ball from the defenders. Know when to turn, move it side to side or just pass it back. What we saw in Costa Rica was Jones not comfortable at all in that roll and got completely over run. Jones is fine when facing forward but just doesn’t have that sense when being pressed from behind. Bradley always covers this responsibility so who ever plays beside Jones will have to know it’ll be there job as well.

      • You say Beckerman can’t go forward.
        Well, he is the distributor for the MLS team with the most goals and largest goal differential.
        Beckerman plays how JK wants him to play. In some games he is there to hold the ball. In others, he is part of the movement forward. If he didn’t, he wouldn’t be getting the call with such frequency.

      • Beckerman is needed to cover the hole in the midfield if jones commits a bad turnover. At least beckerman plays his position and never tries to do too much. Ik he’s not a world class player but he’s consistent and can get the job done. He also can slow down the tempo of the game and allow players to reset

      • So duece and LD, gonzo, besler, ej etc. they’re all crap for you? Most of us can only dream of being as good and well respected at our jobs as beckerman. Oh yea he’s also incredibly nice.

      • Beckerman is a solid player and would be a solid player in the English League Championship as well. He’s a no-frills, blue-collar passing machine who rarely makes mistakes and you know exactly what you’re going to get with him. He can struggle with really pacey, creative players and I wouldn’t want to see him against an Eden Hazard or a lot of the African c-mids (he’s a BAD matchup for the likes of, say, Toure), but if the other team doesn’t have one of those he’s an eraser and is usually a very safe choice to start. I really respect Beckerman and I think he definitely makes the plane to Brazil…and it’d be hard to say he hasn’t earned it.

      • Beckerman is smart enough to play within his abilities. Jones gets in trouble when he tries to expand his range in the face of decent opposition, when he plays within himself, he is quite good, but he should not try to dribble out of the back or hit long services when a shorter ball would do, since those are not his strengths.

    • The way I see it – when Beckerman isn’t there we’re left with a hole in front of our back four that get’s played into & next thing we know we’re caught flat w/ guys running at us. Also, Beckerman is the option that allows us to relieve pressure w/o bad midfield turnovers, which allows our midfield to stay higher & re-start the attack w/o having to come all the way back.

    • Beckerman is a solid defensive mid. he knows how to stay at home and do his job. the problem with jones is that he thinks he’s a box-to-box guy but is too impulsive and gets his team in trouble. that’s why he’s been benched by schalke.

  11. With EJ out, the fans may finally get what they have been asking for, to see AJ start with Jozy up top.

    If not, expect to see Donovan up top and Bedoya and Zusi on the wings.
    This wouldn’t surprise me if he gives Zusi the start.
    Plus JK will certainly go with who has looked strong in training.

    The 3 additions just played and won’t factor in tomorrow’s game.

    Looking forward to seeing who steps up with Deuce, Bradley, Fabian, Gonzo, & EJ all out. Our depth has answered the bell a few times now.. this is exciting

    • Donovan has pretty much said he would rather play that position underneath the striker (as he did during the Gold Cup) then on the wing. With Dempsey out I’d like to see him get a chance to prove he is the better option in that spot.

      • +1

        I’m no Dempsey hater, but he’s looked flat for the USMNT lately. Some competition for his spot could help.

  12. I want Aron to start!! He already connects with Jozy because they played together so they both should start! And Goodson should be paired with Besler!!

  13. Yes, Wondo has been invited for the injured EJ. Will he start up top over AJ? I doubt it. I wouldnt be suprised to see AJ start actually alongside of Jozy. I am betting that Beckerman starts over Mix but uncertain because it is a longshot that Beckerman will be in Brazil. what about a 4-5-1 with Sacha to feed balls to Jozy? seems to have the most passing finesse.

    • How does Sacha all of sudden leap frog Beckerman? Unless Sacha amazes with assists and goals in these two games and KB goes Ricardo Clark (a la 2010 WC) it’s not going to happen. While he isn’t a lock, Beckerman has a good chance to make the squad to Brazil as of right now.

    • Considering Goodson Davis and Wondo all played last night, I don’t see there addition changing any starting line ups. Just a bit of cover in case of an injury.

    • He’s a situational player. He doesn’t deserve to start. And what scares me is that if he gets in the game, it’s going to probably be close (somewhere between a one goal lead and trailing by a goal). He’s not going to get 37 chances to score 3 goals. He’s slow. He’s the American Peter Crouch…only shorter.

  14. I hope JK won’t release MLS players from these two games unless they get injured and need medical treatment back with their clubs. LD won’t be the only MLS player needed by his club. The Sounders, Sporting KC, RSL and others will have players they’d also like to have for league games. JK can’t make special concessions just for Bruce Arena.

    Klinsi has said it’s not fair to put out a weak team against Panama and concede the game. He mentioned something about not wanting to deal with the fallout of that. In other words the Mexican Federation could claim the US purposefully conceded the game to eliminate Tricolor and help the Panameños. If LD is healthy he gives the US the best chance to win the second game and JK has to have him on the squad.

    • The Galaxy were in the position of losing FOUR starting Players to the WCQ, (and all three DP’s)Gonzales was taken out because of an injury, but Paneida (Panama) Keane (Ireland) and Donovan(US) all have duty and the MLS (in it’s infinite wisdom) has scheduled the Montreal Game the day after Panama-US guaranteeing that players used int Panama/US will not play in the Montreal game.

      I don’t blame JK per se, but the MLS has to do something about their scheduling and conflicts with USMNT games.

      What is especially bad is the Western Division RSL, LA, Seattle all have important players on their MLS teams at matches that mean little to the US, but all the MLS teams are in very close playoff fights where a loss or two could mean playoff elimination and wins could mean a Supporters Shield..

      If one of the MLS’s marquee teams misses the playoffs because their key players are out with a US team that doesn’t really, really need them, there will be hell to play among the fan base and just maybe it will force the MLS to rethink their scheduling in the future. But it will be a hard price to pay for the Galaxy.Seattle or RSL.. With just 2-3 game left to play in the season, none of those teams have clinched a spot in the playoffs.

      • LA has little depth so when you take away two or three DP’s it’s much more glaring than when it happens to Seattle, RSL and Portland. It’s not MLS fault LA put so much of their team salary into a small group of star players and then surrounded them by role players. That’s on Arena and the way he set his team up. Arena could turn to Magee but he was traded for Rogers. This is was Arena’s decision so Galaxy fans should look inward instead of putting it on MLS.

        If LA misses the playoffs I’m sure MLS will keep growing onward and upward without a hitch. Yes LA fans will blame MLS but these schedule conflicts aren’t a sudden surprise. Other teams have them too.

      • Than you must not be concerned about missing LD and Keane to NT duties. BUT many LA fans on here seem worried about it. LA has a two super stars, a second level of players that are good and after that it’s the Robbie Rogers level.

      • That is a ridiculous statement. As a galaxy fan of course we are going to miss our 4 most improtant players in pinedo, keane, gonzo and donovan, but thats not because we lack depth. It’s because the playoff race is insanely tight this year and ideally we want our best players on the field. But You can go ahead and brush of juninho, sarvas, dunivant, zardes, villareal and mcbean as second tier players.

      • woo-hoo, i can imagine the fit Arena will have if the Quakes manage to get a result next Sunday! he’ll embarass himself to no end- just shameless.

      • Not as much as the Quakes will embarrass themselves on the pitch with their thugball. Lenhart’s game belongs in a zoo.

      • SKC just had to play in Houston without Zusi/Besler…and Houston was also missing two to international duty. Since SKC is as deep in the supporter’s shield race as any of the three western conference teams you mention, why should LA get an advantage?

    • With all due respect, fuck the Mexican Federation. If they are in a position, in the final game of the 10 game hex, where they don’t control their own destiny and need other teams to win, then they don’t have a right to complain. Wasn’t this supposed to be the Golden Age of Mexican Futbol after the Olympic gold medal? Think about it. If they need the US to win on Tuesday, they will have either tied or lost to Panama in Azteca. Which means that they would not have won a single game in allegedly the most intimidating stadium in CONCACAF (IMO it was Saprissa, but thank god FIFA ruled if off limits until improvements are made). This would mean the Mexicans would be begging the US to win. If by some reason, we lose to Panama and it ensures Mexico’s elimination, they will blame it on us. Like how dare we tie and then beat them! Instead of manning up about choking at home, they will have a scapegoat so that they can continue to make the same mistakes in the cycle leading up to Russia 2018.

  15. – I’d rather see Sacha Kliestjan or Mix than Beckerman.
    – I’m still hoping Cameron gets a full game at RB, which would probably mean Orozco at CB, which I’m okay with.
    – It’s hard to find anyone that doesn’t want to see more Johannsson, and I’m right there with ’em. It seems like he and Jozy would complement each other well. They play different styles but both are dangerous on and off the ball, why not partner them up and see what happens? With LD and Zusi/Bedoya on the wing they’re sure to get service, especially if Kliestjan or Mix are partnered with Jones (or Beckerman I suppose, but Jones seems more likely).

    • I know this is a fan site but the US midfield did well against Mexico without Bradley and JK wants to win the games. I don’t think he’s going to experiment here. Jones and Beckerman will start with Mix coming on to replace Jones in half two. Beckerman isn’t the most athletic but he doesn’t get caught out of position and he plays the same role in a possession style offense so JK likes his skills there.

      As far as the fan lineup it would be great to see Iceman Johannson paired up with Jozy. Let EJ be the super sub unless he’s injured in which case sorry Seattle because there goes a clutch player at a crucial time.

      • Kliestjan is probably the American most similar to Bradley in playing style, so it really wouldn’t be such a big experiment to partner him with Jones, as Bradley always does. And Mix isn’t far off either, though he is less of a ball winner than Bradley for sure.

      • Yes, the USA beat Mexico 2-0, but by no means did the US midfield “do well.” Watch the game from a non-partisan view and that was some ugly soccer that was difficult to watch, and the US could barely string three passes together. Like it or not, MB90 is the glue that holds this team together.

      • The first 30 min of Mexico was nervy with the US midfield being overwhelmed but I think Jones and Beckerman settled down and starting breaking most stuff up from there on out. After the first goal Mix came on and produced his nifty assist and Beckerman allowed Mix to range forward without fear of reprisals because of the hard work of frustrating Mexico that Jones and KB had put in.

        I do agree that MB90 is the keystone to making this US team play at it’s highest level. Jk sees KB as a sub and a back up definitively defensive midfielder.

  16. I don’t see Guzan starting against Jamaica, as Howard was just named Captain for the match. But maybe Guzan will get the nod against Panama. While E. Johnson is great player for the USMNT, he has fallen off a bit with Seattle, maybe some non-talked about small injuries may be attributed to a drop in form. On the other hand Johannsson is “On Brand” in the Eredivisie and is due for some substantial time up top, either paired with Altidore or Donovan.

    I’m really surprised the no one has knocked The Beas off his starting position, but he is a good fit against the speedy and physical wingers Jamaica has. That Evans is a corner back worries me. He has great positional sense, can make good runs forward and is a good crosser, he will have his hands full against the speedy Jamaican wingers and forwards.

    Without Gonzales, we will have Cameron starting at Centreback paired with Beisler. While Biesler has built a solid understanding with Gonzales that makes the pairing formidable, will Cameron have the same understanding with Biesler? This is real important when the cornerbacks push up leaving space underneath the US midfield. Look for J.Jones to play a big part if he is really healthy.

    And finally. lets hope Donovan has a great game against Jamaica and JK releases him for the Galaxy game against Montreal. With three MLS games left, the Galaxy could conceivably WIN the supporters Shield OR not make the playoffs. Astounding closeness in both East and West MLS standings and having a non-important WCQ right in the middle of the stretch run will play a part in the MLS results.

    • bottlcaps,

      So Cameron the strong safety and Besler is the free safety right?

      That means Beckerman is the Sam linebacker, and Jones is the Will linebacker as opposed to the Mike linebacker., right?

  17. I think if JJ is given the task to defend first, then we will see Mix as his partner, if JK is going to allow JJ to roam up field when he wants, then we will probably see Beckerman.

    • The question is with Jones and Diskerud then who drops back to pick up the ball from the back line, to work it side to side while setting the tempo. Against Costa Rica we saw what happens when neither centeral midfeilder is comfortable in that role and why Bradley is so missed. I think you have to have Beckerman out there to make those few simple passes to keep the midfield from getting over run. Personally I’d like to see Kljestan out there as well but Klinsmann won’t not start Jones so I guess we are left with that.

      • The CR game is when JJ went rogue, in the Mexico game he got the game plan correct. Bottom line, if JJ doesn’t play under control, no matter who his partner is, they are both going to look bad.

  18. Tangent topic: we should try to cap Kekutah Manneh. I’ve been waiting all season for him to breakout. He was nasty against Seattle. That kid is such a stud. Going to be very very good.

    • He’s not a citizen, and given that he only came to the US three years ago and is living in Canada now, he’s not going to become a US citizen any time soon.

  19. I would prefer the following


    2 up top with LD allowed to slide into the hole especially on the counter. Beasley to provide width on the left. Evans to play more at home than Beasley and Bedoya stay wide on the right.

  20. I think we see something closer to the Fan lineup in KC. With the US expected to dominate possession it makes more sense to play Mix or Kljestan in MF than Beckerman. They are more likely to make the best use of that possession. Up top, I think we see Johanssen rather than EJ. AJ is on pace to more or less replicate Jozy’s numbers at AZ. He is also less of a known quantity. EJ’s strengths and weaknesses are known. He would be my second choice for a lone striker, but to play on the wing or to partner Jozy, I would rather see what Johanssen brings.

    This lineup would start as a 4-2-3-1, but could be easily adapted to a 4-4-2 depending on the flow of the game.

  21. I’m not sure why anyone would start over Aron Johannsson. I think he’s clearly demonstrated that he is the greatest American goal scorer. Meanwhile Jozy is playing like a deer on ice in the Premier league.

  22. I really think Sacha deserves to get some quality minutes in these next two games. Hes been in great form lately and is the closest thing we have to a natural replacement for Bradley. I don’t get why he is so underrated by most US fans, I would trust him to start in an important game over Mix at this point. Not that I don’t rate Mix I just think he is better as an offensive sub for when we need a goal. I would like to see Sacha start along side Jones in KC so he that he actually has a real opportunity to show what he can do.

    • the reason he’s “underrated” is because he has $ucked when given plenty of chances under Bradley the last time around (he was along with Beasley, EJ, Bornstein and MB90 were sighted as signs of BB’s favoritism-only Bornstein was a true dud in retrospect) and in the few chances he got under JK…plenty of Sacha’s terrible short passes right to the opposition and card-drawing fouls are etched in my brain… to his credit Klestjan is starting and playing well at a Champions League club for going on three years -where Americans can be counted on two fingers right now…

      since club performance week in and week out is a lot closer to the player’s actual level fo play as opposed to sporadic national team games, he does deserve a look with Bradley out. he should start at least one and play in both games to provide an apples to apples comparison with the CMs he’s fighting for roster spots against: Beckerman, Mixx and Jones who have looked OK to good against CONCACAF level opposition…

    • Kljestan’s underrated for the MNT because he hasn’t performed all for the MNT. Maybe Kljestan will perform better now than he has in the past. He does seem to be in the best club form of his career. But in the past, he has generally put in decent, unmemorable shifts.

      In contrast, Mix has shown he can create something from nothing and always looks calm and dangerous with the ball.

    • What is Sacha actually good for? He’s not a midfield stats machine, he’s not a great playmaker, not a speedy or awesome wing, not a destroyer. I remember him basically being good at dead balls and taking curling shots wide open.

      Whereas, Mixx can playmake, can strike a ball. We have quite a few DMs who can handle that specialty with more gusto.

      Comparing him to Bradley is an oversell. If you want to playmake the passes need to connect. People try to say he’s slick on the ball but there’s a list of people like Torres with similar qualities and similar effectiveness issues because “get it pass it” only goes so far internationally.

  23. —————Jozy————-

    Please. And thank you.

    • I like the look of this lineup a lot, especially at home where we could come out flying from the first whistle. However, I think Klinsmann will likely include Beckerman and EJ in place of Mix and AJ due to Jamaica’s size and strength. It’s a must-win for Jamaica on the road. I’d expect them to press for a goal for the first 15-20, so I would not be surprised to see JK favor Beckerman’s hold up play and cover for the backline and EJ’s aerial abilities in the first half and then sub Mix and AJ in the second half once things have calmed down.

    • Looks ok, though I’d still like to see Jozy have a partner up top. LD and Mix will provide better service than Jozy is used to, but I would want to give Jozy every chance to score, regain confidence and form.

      Then again, if LD floats into a forward role, Aron pinches in, and Beasley overlaps consistently… then I have nothing. That would be a defensive problem against tougher opponents, since Jones won’t stay at home and Mix is less apt to hustle back. But against Jamaica… OK.

      • ” Mix is less apt to hustle back” – this is just absolutely false. Mix isn’t as physical as Bradley/Jone/Beckerman but every USMNT match in the last 6 mo’s that has featured Mix has proven that statment to be wrong.

        He definitely needs improvement on defense but he’s no Dempsey when it comes to getting back and disrupting the opponents flow. It’s for that reason, that I am hoping Klinsmann will pair him with Jones for large parts of both matches. He needs that type of seasoning to improve and to offer more for the US going forward.

  24. if there was something on the line in these games, i can see why klinsmann would want to go with the ‘safe’ option in eddie up front with jozy(just please not on the wing).

    however, since the points really do not matter now, i don’t understand why he wouldn’t put AJ on with jozy. he’s obviously more of an unknown than eddie, so you’d want to see what he brings/how he gels ASAP, right?

    • this would, of course, assume we’re playing in a 4-4-2. if 4-2-3-1/4-4-1-1, then i would like to see AJ replace jozy up top at some point, so we’re not SOL (any more than necessary) if jozy gets injured/suspended.

  25. call me nutty, but this is what I’d like to see against Jamaica tactically:


    I’d like to see what that this kind of speed and ball control could do.

    barring cards or injury, Against Panama:


    Send LD home since he said in the press that the Panama match was “useless” and is appeases the Arena monster back in LA. More practically though, it forces Bedoya and Mixx to take stage a bit.

  26. Jozy and EJ would be an awful pairing up top, especially with Beckerman in the CM. If Mix starts alongside Jones, he can bail out the deficiencies of EJs possession game. AJ would be a much better choice next to Jozy.

    • Um…against Bosnia, EJ started on the wing and Altidore was up top. At half, when JK moved EJ up top with Altidore, we scored within 5 minutes.

      • Far from “getting in each other’s way”. I think this is a better position for EJ. However, EJ makes me nervous that he will pull some crap stunt with an opposing player and get carded – every time I see him on the field. And skilled defender seem to be able to pick his pockets.

    • I agree about EJ and Jozy. I just see them filling similar spaces and getting in each others way. If you want to start EJ, Jozy, and Landon, I’d give Jozy and Landon the two top spots and put EJ behind Landon on the wing. LD connects well with both guys, and I could see both attacking very effectively if the attack was being pushed through Landon in a withdrawn striker role.

  27. We are actually missing four key starters due to injuries : Duece, MIchael Bradley and Fabian Johnson and Omar Gonsalez (though Omar is not as certain a starter as the others). I am cool with whoever Jurgen starts. I actually trust him more than the internet coaches.

  28. We seriously need to solidify our backline leading up to next June, which is only 8 months away. In a perfect world, it would be F. Johnson — Besler — Gonzalez — Cherundolo. Although I would mark Cherundolo as the weak spot against speedy attackers.

    Also, these two qualifiers are just adding to the total the USMNT is playing without their two best attackers on the field at the same time- Dempsey & Donovan. And you doubt Klinsmann calls them both up for the November friendlies during MLS playoffs.

    Just a little pessimism to start your day…

      • considering beasley is our other regular fullback (for usmnt, at least), i don’t think it’s all that odd.

    • Josh – I agree we need to solidify the backline soon. I just don’t know if your “perfect world” works in the real world. Dolo has been out with knee injuries for 12 months and has yet to step on the field in a meaningful way. Until he goes 90 for his club he should not be considered.
      Evans has been better than I would have imagined, but he is still a concern for me.
      Parkhurst will need a transfer (ASAP) to even have a chance.
      Cameron @ RB could wind up being the option….but if that’s the case than Beckerman is 1st CDM sub and that just scares me come the WC.
      Lichaj & Chandler best fit the mold and skill set we need for outside backs (Fast, attacking, good skill, physical, and most important playing). I hope JK calls both into the November Camp and plays 1 at LB and the other at RB.
      As for Dempsey & Donovan not being on the field at the same time….this doesn’t worry me at all. Both have been with the NT for years…they know each other well and will be fine. Expect both (unless on loan) to be with the January Camp. A month together with the rest of the MLS/Scandinavian players will help solidify players….
      Donovan, Dempsey, EJ, Zusi, Mixx, Beckerman, Evans, Gonzalez, Besler, Goodson, is a good core of regular NT players who’ll get extended time together at the January Camp.

  29. I would go with the Fan’s projected lineup in KC and then the 1st projection for Tuesday. More offensive minded team should be trotted out at home (Mix for Becks) and wouldn’t mind if Zusi got the start in front of his home crowd.

  30. I’m confused by the johansson situation. In the stretch he played against herzogovena it looked like he had outstanding pace and great skill. He is also scoring at will with his club Why is he not a locked in started with the usmnt team in that case? Does he lack something that I have not seen? While EJ has been good in the air lately I don’t see him as someone who can be competitive against stronger competition. Would appreciate any insight

    • Only things can think of that may weigh in EJ’s favor would potentially be familiarity with the US Team and their opponents. Aron hasn’t been with the USNT very long and has never faced CONCACAF compitition. Coaches may be trying to expose him slowly without putting too much pressure on him.

    • Johansson played 25 minutes vs. Bosnia. While they were impressive, you never really know how he would fare with opposition that wasn’t already tired.

      More than half of his goals for his club have come via the penalty spot. While a goal is a goal, and it’s great that he has the trust of the coaches to be the designated PK taker, it takes some of the shine away.

      Meanwhile, EJ simply scores big goals. I’m not a huge fan of his and would be scared to start him in a World Cup, but at this point it is what it is.

    • AJ’s total USMNT experience is playing 20 some odd minutes in the second half of a game where the opposition had already given up. The US is the only soccer country I know that takes friendlies seriously. If you want to name him the next US soccer god that’s fine but, as much as I like him him, I would like a little more of a sample size before naming him the greatest striker since Roy Lassitter or Jeff Cunningham.

      AJ is doing well at AZ but not any better than Jozy did but I guess the grass is always greener with the new kid in town. It seems like none of the criticisms that applied to Jozy’s time at AZ, i.e weak league, no defense, flash in the pan, do not apply to AJ. Makes you wonder doesn’t it?

      Jozy is a far more proven player than AJ. And EJ is the second best aerial threat and target man available to JK. He is also, physically, a load for opposing defenders. And he has come through with goals for JK just about everytime he has been asked.

  31. I think these next 2 games are perfect chances to see what we can make are attack look like missing 2 of are biggest players. Cause we all know during world cup we will get some yellow card acumilations and miss a couple people here and there. I would honestly like to see LD in Clints spot.

    • I agree that this is a solid rationale for not calling in 23, but if we’re playing the out on cards scenario then we should be sitting Jones in the second half of Jamaica as well…


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