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Who should the USMNT start vs. Ukraine? (Take Two)

AronJohannssonScotland (


The U.S. Men’s National Team’s friendly against Ukraine is just two days away, and we’ve seen some major roster turnover since the squad was announced last Thursday, meaning it has become that much tougher to figure out just who Klinsmann will start on Wednesday.

Michael Bradley, Mix Diskerud and Tim Ream have pulled out of the match, giving Klinsmann fewer options to work with. Bradley was expected to start, and Ream was considered an option to start.

Jonathan Spector has been added to the team, but seems a long shot to start.

So who will Klinsmann turn to now that he has had a handful of players pull out? Here is a projected squad we can see taking the field against Ukraine:



What do you think of the lineup? What changes would you make? Like the idea of potentially starting Edgar Castillo at left back?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. I’m going rogue, I think we see a surprise at the outside fullbacks. Maybe Spector at LB with either Morales or even Williams at RB…Brooks and Cameron in the middle



    ……Jones…. Williams


  2. Slightly off-topic question. I will be on the plane from 7pm to midnight Eastern tomorrow night and I would like to watch the game without knowing the score first. I understand that ESPN watch app most likely won’t have the game till the following day. Is there another website that will have the game recorded and available to watch on a few-hour delay? Thanks

  3. I know it won’t happen, but I’d love to see…





    • so now wingers? 3 CMs? terrible idea. unless you think sacha and jones/bedoya would push wide in that form, still terrible since sacha and jones dont play wide……. im glad Colin’s not a coach

      • Yeah, it’s probably a good thing I’m not the coach, but like I said, it’s something I’d like to see. This system would require the outside backs, Cameron and Johnson, to pick their opportunities and push forward to create width in the attack (which they both do with their club teams).

        I’d argue that our current 4-2-3-1 doesn’t really employ wingers either. The two “outside” guys typically pinch in, relying on overlapping fullbacks. Looking at the rosters back to the Gold Cup the US has utilized the following players in those “outside” spots: Bedoya, Zusi, Donovan, Torres, Corona, E. J., Kljestan, Davis, F. Johnson, and Shea.

        Out of that list only F. Johnson, Shea and Davis could be considered prototypical wingers. Bedoya plays there for Nantes and Zusi plays there occasionally for SKC; however, they both like to push inside. The strength of our midfield is our central midfielders. I’d like to see us play to that strength with my proposed diamond.

  4. So far not cancelled.

    I think



    -Williams(or Klejstan)—Jones



    I also think AJ will sub in for Dempsey as early as half-time and which ever does not start of Klejstan and Williams will start the 2nd half in place of the other (or Jones). Spector will sub in for either Cameron or Castillo and Packwood will see a bit of time at CB and Agudelo will come on for Altidore late in the game and push AJ up top. Shea might see a few minutes for FJ.

  5. Bummer. Stay a few more days in Frankfurt. Maybe get a scrimmage with Eintracht Frankfurt, or even Kaiserslautern from Bundesliga 2, any German team, at the training grounds.

  6. No one will start. NO ONE I TELL YOU. Now send Clint back to Seattle so we can actually see the teams investment play

  7. I understand why gooch is a projected starter. He is more likely to make the team than Packwood, due to experience and extra coach on the bench. But, i still would like to see Packwood in there for a half along with Brooks. But I also want to see Morales for a half, have not seen him play this season, but by accounts he has played well and his team wins more when he plays than when he sits.

  8. We still have a few hours left for Julian Green to make the switch and play in the match.

    LOL, I can hope, can’t I.

  9. Did you guys hear what happened to Holden in the reserve game today??? He apparently went down holding(no pun intended) his knee after only 22 minutes of action and had to be subbed off smh. No good, not good at all and this may be the proverbial nail in the coffin for the kid!

    • I think it would have been cancelled outright rather than even trying to move it to Cyprus if that were going to be the case. I suppose you never know, but I am guessing it is full steam ahead at this point.

      • Yea, but that was before Russian military entering the Ukraine. In my mind, that escalates the situation enough to merit cancellation.

  10. If AJ is played on the wing I would rather see him at LW. He likes to cut in from the left on goal even as a lone striker.

    But I agree with the starting 11.

    • Under Klinsmann, it seems that wing players interchange quite often over the course of a match, so I would anticipate seeing him on both sides of the field if he indeed starts in that position. And I agree with you, it seems beneficial to have AJ be able to get inside from the left and get a shot off with his right; he proved against Panama that he can rifle them in from distance with accuracy and power.

  11. Interesting tweet from Roger Bennett:

    “Jozy was on pugnacious form in practice. Julian Green continued to impress, as did John Brooks. Alejandro Bedoya looked especially sharp.”

    Brooks and Bedoya get the start?

  12. I would like to see this:

    —————- Altidore ————————–

    Dempsey —– Johannson ———- Bedoya

    —————- Klejstan —- Williams ———–

    F. Johnson – Brooks – Packwood – Cameron

    —————— Guzan —————————–

    (Dempsey/Johannsson/Bedoya interchangeable)

    Why the hell not.

  13. I see Castillo playing LB and Fabian Johnson at LW with Bedoya at RW and Johannsson either on the bench or Starting up top in place of Altidore. Everything else looks about right. This is based on who I think will start not who I want to start btw.

  14. I think Bedoya, Dempsey and Johanson are all interchangeable, but I would start Dempsey on the left pinching in Bedoya on the right and Aron in the center as more of a withdrawn forward.

    • I agree too. With the right support, Dempsey will score more than his share of goals regardless of his starting position. But creating goals for others to score isn’t a significant part of his game. Without Donovan available to be the playmaker, it would be worthwhile for Klinsmann to see how Johannsson performs in that role.

    • Dempsey hasn’t played on the wing in a long time. At this point, his endurance, work rate, and speed are far below what we’d need there.

      I also don’t like playing Dempsey behind the two wingers because that makes it out like he’s playing in a three-man midfield, which he can’t do. At this point, he’s a forward or withdrawn forward. Keep him as high up as possible.

  15. This isn’t a bad lineup. Could also have Castillo at LB and Johnson at LM instead of Bedoya, although I’m not a huge Castillo fan.

    • It’s been over a decade now since I’ve played in a pretty competitive environment (college and a couple pro trials), but I don’t remember footedness being a determining factor when it came to central positions. Outside mid or outside back, sure, it was a big consideration what foot was dominant. Is it really a thing now to worry about a right-footed player playing the CB spot more towards the left?

      • Thats what i originally thought but i remember some people were making a big fuss about it when JAB first joined the US squad

      • Very surprising to hear of your career and not know how which foot you prefer can affect your position. Maybe you were just oblivious, or maybe you’re a liar.

        Either way, the foot you prefer and the position you play in the back line greatly affects the amount of service you will provide to the players that are easiest to get the ball to.

        I only know this because I’m 24 and play for the Ventura County Fusion and everyone who plays knows this. So start playing more and you won’t need to fabricate your backstory 😉

      • AWESOME! You just made it easy for me to pick out a team to root AGAINST in the PDL! Generally root for the underdog but now I hope the Quakes kick the crap out of you on May 9th…good luck!

      • I played up to college, and when I was at CB, I didn’t much care either which “side” I played on…clearing a ball with the left ain’t much different than clearing it with your right.

        Shooting on goal is kind of a different thing….

      • Ha ha! Yeah right, I was just thinking this morning how I really like that Ventura County Fusion organization. Always so friendly. They ran the State Cup events very well last weekend. Great group. Zardes played there! But then I met Ryan…

      • I see a lot of weird positions these days…could be from the popularity of FIFA video game series where you can do any number of formations that have been filled with ‘l’, ‘r’, ‘c’, ‘a’, etc…I agree, centrally the preferred foot isn’t as much of an issue. If I’m playing against Ryan I’m pushing him to his weaker foot. Apparently he can’t provide service with both feet.

      • If you can’t play with two feet by the time you’ve hit the professional ranks, you’ve got problems.

      • True that. Also really irks me, it’s like watching ugly soccer, when a pro level player can only use one foot. You still see it today in even some of the top players in the world. Never understood this?.

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