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Who Should the USMNT start vs. Mexico?

USMNTLineupVsSoutKorea (


The U.S. Men’s National Team will play the last friendly before Jurgen Klinsmann names his preliminary World Cup roster in May, and the match will offer a final chance for fringe players to impress, either as starters or substitutes.

Just which players Klinsmann will call on to start against Mexico on Wednesday seems pretty straightforward. At least it did before Brad Evans suffered a calf injury and Puebla refused to release DaMarcus Beasley and Michael Orozco. The absences should mean a chance for DeAndre Yedlin to show his quality against a tough opponent. Michael Parkhurst slots in at left back, where he has played in the past.

The target forward role could offer some intrigue, with Chris Wondolowski likely to be preferred over Eddie Johnson.

The rest of the squad seems pretty easy to fill out, though the really interesting part of Klinsmann’s player evaluations on Wednesday could come in the second half, when players like Maurice Edu and Luis Gil could be given opportunities to boost their stock.

Here is the projected starting lineup we see taking the field against Mexico on Wednesday.







Some quick thoughts:

Parkhurst is listed, but it wouldn’t shock me if Klinsmann gave Yedlin a run at the starting right back nod.

Wondolowski is in better form than Johnson at the moment, and has done more in recent national team appearances.

Expect Landon Donovan and Graham Zusi to interchange wings, something that makes their pairing even more intriguing.

Edu has been playing well in a defensive midfield role for the Philadelphia Union, but you wonder if Klinsmann wants to get a look at him in central defense.


What do you think of our projected lineup? Which player are you happy to see make the squad? Who are you disappointed not to see make it?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. I wouldn’t start Dempsey (Dempsey is done).


    Green Donovan Zusi

    Bradley Beckerman

    Parkhurst Gonzo Besler Yedllin

    Any keeper

  2. JK said this regarding Yedlin and Gil:

    “Anything can happen in the next couple of months. We observe them now week in and week out, and we’ll put the puzzle together, obviously what is best for us going into Brazil. We still have the camp coming up as well, which will be more than 23 players obviously to see a little bit more of them. Anything is possible in a short period of time in this sport.”

    1. it’s great to basically get confirmation that there will be a camp that is bigger than 23 in May. this is standard and we all assumed it would happen, but JK had not yet really said if they would do that or not.

    2. By saying they plan to see more of them in the camp that is bigger than 23, he is essentially confirming that Gil and Yedlin are going to make the preliminary roster. which i think is fantastic.

  3. We all have high hopes for this squad, but to be realistic it seems very weak.
    Edu before his pre-season and starter role at Philly didn’t play for more than a year—that has to take its toll.
    Yedlin is too green to go to the WC even if he performs well vs Mexico.
    Green shouldn’t start vs Mexico. I can see him get 30 minutes in the 2nd half.
    Besler hasn’t been stellar this season.
    Gonzo is Gonzo.
    Parkhurst has played on the left how many times?
    Bradley and Beckerman should do OK and protect the CBs but that will draw Bradley away from a more offensive role.
    Offense should be alright with Dempsey, Donovan, and Zusi starting.
    EJ or Wondo: a toss-up.
    Rimando looked shaky in his last outing for the USMNT.
    Don’t know why Beltran is on the roster.
    Six subs: Green, EJ or Wondo, Edu, Gil, Davis?, Beltran?
    Feilhaber would have been a better choice.
    The Mexicans are going to play hard and though a “B” team—this might get ugly.

  4. I want to see us attack. I want two strikers, working to create turnovers up top and a mid that can create quickly. Easier said than done, I know, but I think it is possible, even with this group…. My formation of choice would be a 4-1-3-2. Not a your typical 4-4-2, but having a designated holding mid (def to protect the back line). Put Mexico on their heels and attack…





    • This is essentially what JK used in the Gold Cup all last summer. Holden and Mix platooned in the Bradley spot and Donovan and Wondo (later EJ) played up top. I’ve been calling for the 4-1-3-2 ever since but JK hasn’t used it again, probably due to his affiinity for having 2 box-to-box MFs (Jones and Bradley) on the field at the same time.

      • Don’t think he trusts the back line enough, that’s why I think he’s going with a two man midfield all the way

    • I like it… but I have questions about Parkhurst at the international level. And Window is terrible at the international level. Leave him in MLS please

    • This is esentially our ‘attacking’ formation when we are playing the 4-2-3-1 and why many people (myself included) would like to see Edu or Beckerman paired with Bradley so that MB90 can roam and not be covering for Jermaine Jones when he goes on one of his random runs. I like the clearly defined roles of Beckerman and MB90.

  5. I really hope Yedlin gets the start at RB. I just want to see how he performs under the pressure. If he does well, I’d like to see him in Brazil. He won’t play because he’ll have Cameron in front of him with FJ as cover.

    • I also like the idea of taking Yedlin even as just a game changer. If you’re down a goal take out Jones, move Cameron to the middle and bring him on. He can add to the attack with out having to take off one of your starting attacking players already on the field..

  6. EJ or Wondo? If JK follows form the first half will be a grind, then he’ll use his second half subs to push the attack and the game will open up. I think whomever starts up top is going to have a much tougher time trying to impress. I think the second half sub at target forward will have an easier job of getting something done, especially if Green subs in on the flank and nails it. I think JK challenges EJ with the start. Huge game for Wondo and EJ…

  7. I wished Klinsmann used a 4-4-2 formation so that there could be another forward up front. Other than hat I like your starters. I presume Julian Green will be a substitute, and it would be nice to see how he interacts with Wondo or Dempsey or Donovan for that matter for at least 30 minutes. This formation is too defensive. But regarding strategy Berti Vogts is going to arrange what’s best for the team.

  8. Dood, ya rostr all wrong.


  9. only start players with BELIEF! please… those who want to prove themselves and every time go out there and challenge things and show to the world they can compete and with the world cup coming up and three tough games this is the time to show what these players are made of and this is the time when you are given a chance against a very good opponent, that hey, it is my chance to compete against the next guy, who is also trying for the same spot, so maybe you have a player in Europe or coming back to MLS or in Mexico, trying to get to that next level

  10. The biggest story for me won’t be who starts or who plays. It will be the behavior of the Mexico supporters. A match anywhere within two hundred miles of the border is pretty much a home game for them. Will they be gracious, and unfurl a giant tifo saying “Thank You USA!” ? Or are we straight back to the urine bags?

  11. EJ still starts. More of a threat. Oh and what happened the last time EJ started against Mexico, oh yeah he had a wicked headed in goal.

  12. I flirted with this thought and liked when I saw it posted. Maybe have Donovan and Dempsey switching roles or interchanging at times. My one reservation is that this game is sort of an audition for Wondo and EJ, who might be competing for a single spot. It makes sense that one would start and be replaced by the other. Either of them would make the team as a late impact sub when we need a goal, so perhaps they could be deployed accordingly in a friendly. It might also be a bit much to ask Green to debut as a starter against Mexico, but he’s got to get at least 45 good minutes.

    • Yup. I don’t think he is really but now is his chance. Absolutly could make the Brazil roster with a good game and a few more this spring. That would really accelerate his career

  13. starting Wondo is a complete waste of a friendly. the guy won’t even be on the flight to Brazil.

    only players with a shot of being on WC roster should start, even if they play out of position.

    • I also don’t believe Wondow is on the plane to Brazil, but you are showing your bias if you don’t believe Klinsmann is giving him a fighting chance.

  14. Worried about EJ…. he’s got his contract so now he has little to prove. He’s best when he’s playing with a chip on his shoulder. When he doesn’t have that he tends to get lazy. I love Wondo but unless he’s getting world class service repeatedly… he’s not going to deliver what we need from a Striker at the WC. He puts himself in great spots and he’s scrappy but he’s not going to receive a ball, turn, and create. That said I don’t care who JK starts above Dempsey in this match because it’s likely whoever doesn’t start will get at least 30 minutes if not a full half.
    Beltran will not start…. c’mon guys it’s not the time for that. I like Tony but he’s not ready. I want to see Yedlin and Parkhurst.
    I hear Edu is looking like a class box to box CMF for Phili so far. Too little too late for this cycle he’s our #4 in that depth chart at best. That said, I too would like to see him at Center Back tonight for emergency purposes. Also think he could hang at Left Back.

  15. How many goals does Wondo have to score before people put him ahead of everyone in the striker pool except Jozy and the Baconator? If he gets one tonight, folks will say “it’s only a Liga MX based squad” or some other nonsense. His strike rate in the US shirt is, at this point, better than anyone else in the pool, and I don’t care who he’s played against. EJ made his reputation playing against lower level concacaf opponents, Boyd hasn’t done much in a US jersey, Agudelo hasn’t really played that many games for club or country, Herc is a couple of years removed from regular scoring, Wondo scores for club, he scores for country.
    Wondo is currently the most under appreciated player in the pool…

    • You can’t use only scoring against lower half Concacaf team against EJ then turn around and use it to support Wondo being in the team.

      • not to mention EJ has scored against better teams than Wondo has. Wondo scored against Belize and Cuba (and South Korea B/C team). then EJ comes in, takes his spot and scores against El Salvador and Honduras…much better teams. not to mention his goals in qualifying (4) including goals against Panama and Mexico in the Hex.

      • Still Wondo scores against MLS competition at a much greater rate than EJ (or anyone else) over the last 4 years and he has done it playing for the Quakes when they sucked and when they won the supporter’s shield. You can only score against the opponents in front of you and Wondo has done that. Under Bradley he never (maybe once) got more than 45 minutes in a game and the same was true for under JK until the GC. It is hard for a striker to score if he doesn’t get some minutes.

        Of course, he is not as strong or as fast as EJ, despite that he still scores.

      • Bradley hasn’t coached for us since July, 2011. You might as well be talking about how Joe Max Moore was underutilized by Samson and Arena. There are a number of players who didn’t get minutes under Bradley.

      • So, when Wondo scores, its only against B teams and when anyone else scores, it’s A teams?

      • yes, that is exactly the point. the guys who are fighting for a spot against Wondo were a part of WC qualifiers and/or A team friendlies. on top of that, players like EJ also score against B teams. B teams that Wondo was benched for (referring to the Gold Cup). Belize and Cuba goals count and he did what he needed, but that does not mean he deserves to replace EJ who scored multiple goals for us throughout WC qualifying plus the 2013 Gold Cup as Wondo’s replacement.

      • +100 !!!

        Alas, tis the ammunition of any good Wondo supporter methinks.

        Doublethink, misinformation, outright false statements. Like the Bush administration

    • yes, he scores but it’s only against weak competition but as soon as a “good” team comes up, he drops off (quotes because those good teams are still B teams). which is exactly why EJ took his starting spot at the Gold Cup. he wasn’t called up for any WC qualifiers for a reason. he is a B team camp guy. but this friendly is the last before the preliminary WC roster and EJ has a MUCH better chance than Wondo of making the team. so you play EJ and let EJ lose his spot and then put Wondo in and see if he can make a difference.

      if he starts, i wouldn’t mind but Wondo backers need to be more objective in their analysis when looking at the teams he has played against and who he has scored against.

    • Korea was the best team that Wondo has scored against. IMO, Korea is much better than their world ranking and the type of team you don’t want to play against. Their players are fast, fit, and they had this beast as a target forward. This was not Cuba or Belize. When Wondo starts scoring against quality teams like Korea on a consistent basis, you have a point. Johnson scored against one mid level CONCACAF opponent, El Salvador, and one against a top tear side like Honduras which will be making its second straight WC appearance. He also scored the opener against Mexico. Put down your Wondo love doll.

  16. Fans Starting 11

    – Subs Gil(45), Wondo, Maurice Edu (45)

    • Good line up. Dempsey is better then Wondo, EJ does give us a different look up top & his speed/hops can not be dismissed, but I admit that I’m intrigued about Green & want to see 90 min from him. This formation does that…also although Donovan usually does not show well for USMNT in this middle role, he usually is better off the wing, but I think he would make a better distributor then Dempsey from that position.

    • Fans starting 11

  17. Wouldn’t you put Yedlin at RB and Parkhurst at LB? Not sure why Ives has that flip-flopped considering Parkhurst has experience playing LB and to my knowledge, Yedlin does not.

  18. i think this is the lineup we will see but switch Parkhurst and Yedlin. Parkhurst can play LB, and has played it, while Yedlin has not. keep Yedlin at RB.

    i really hope to see Yedlin over Beltran though, so i hope Ives is right!

  19. I think EJ should start ahead of Wondo because he is faster, more likely to get behind defenses, and he is a much better leaper in the air and can get higher than any Mexican defender. Wondo is more of a poacher. I also hope Edu can get a lot of minutes. Before Rangers collapsed, he was one of our better defensive mids and I would like to see if he has regained his form.

    • They are two completely different players. EJ is a guy who runs and is definitely NOT a target man as is needed in a 4-2-3-1 formation. EJ – if he is in the starting line-up – will be utilized on the wings where he can stretch the fullbacks and keep them honest. Even with DC, they’re giving him through balls and not having him hold-up play (that’s fallen to Espindola to do).

      Wondo is the right guy for the formation. I see no reason to not start Wondo at this point in the campaign and bring EJ on in the 65th or 70th minute as a super sub when you’re trying to win corners or free kicks.

      • nah, EJ did just fine in the Gold Cup playing that role. he came in and replaced Wondo in the starting lineup once we came up against tougher teams and played well.

        i wouldn’t mind if Wondo starts, it’s hard to argue against him for a game like this, but i’d still prefer EJ.

      • I completely agree that I’d rather have EJ start. Just don’t know if he’s the right player for the formation. He has abilities that no other American striker has – massive jumping and heading capability, speed, the ego to ran at defenders with abandon – but not sure he’s the right fit for what JK wants on the field to start a match.

      • fair enough. i guess im just basing this off the Gold Cup where Wondo was that “1” striker but ended up getting benched for EJ who came in and played the same position and did very well.

        at DC Espindola is the guy running around and trying to feed the ball to EJ in the box (through balls or crosses) and that is exactly what Dempsey, LD, and Zusi will be doing.

        obviously against Mexico he did well at LM but i think we’ve seen him there enough to know he’s better up top. and he’s a better player than Wondo and more likely to go to Brazil and actually play.

      • If I remember correctly, Wondo started the first round games. I think you were allowed to make roster changes at the GC between the group play and the knockout rounds. Klinsi dropped a few players who never got in the matches (and also Gooch I think) and he brought in EJ and Gonzalez. EJ came in in the 60th min. or so against El Salvador and scored maybe 15 seconds later. He won a start in the semi against Honduras and played well. I don’t remember him in the final or maybe he just wasn’t that active in that match but he did have those goals plus the opener in the Dos a Sero classico.

      • yeah he did. and he scored all his goals against Belize and Cuba. then dropped off against El Salvador which is when EJ was subbed in and took over the rest of the tournament. Wondo was stuck on the bench.

        and yeah, he did play in the final. was active but did not score. only Shea did, somehow…

        and EJ also scored against Panama in the hex. his other two WC qualifying goals were before the hex. but he had 4 qualifying goals, same as Jozy.

        Wondo had zero because he was called up for zero qualifiers. it wasn’t until a B team Gold Cup, a January camp, and a non-FIFA date friendly that we saw Wondo called up.

      • whoa, DC’s problems are not with EJ. EJ actually looked very good against Chicago. sure, his first game was not great, but he was better against TFC . he’s improving with every game. DCU has an entirely different lineup, most players weren’t even on the team last year.

    • Agreed. I’d love to see that, but I also think Mo would be really effective in the middle of the D. I’ve been to both of the Union’s home games and the dude is an absolute beast. He totally controls the middle of the field, wins every 50/50 ball, and is great on set pieces. I really think he’d be an upgrade over Gonzalez or Besler, who have just looked soft and confused as of late. His presence as a CM would allow Bradley to move forward and create the way he has been doing exceptionally well with Toronto; however, I think he’d be a huge asset as a defender just because our backs have been such pushovers lately. His 2010 experience really wouldn’t hurt either.

    • It’s already happened and Edu BLEW it in South Africa. He was giving balls away in the middle of the pitch left and right. MB90 had to cover his butt for most of the time he was on the pitch which then destroyed any forward movement towards the offensive third.

      • He’s definitely thinking of Rico. See Ghana’s 1st goal in 2010. Edu was the exact opposite… Calm and composed on the ball, and a beast off of it.

      • No, you were right the first time. Rico’s giveaway led to KPB’s goal in the first few mins. Rico got a yellow a few mins after that and was subbed off in like the 30th min.

      • Dude! The guy you are referring to is named Ricardo Clark, and the jury’s still out on the level of your bigotry if you get the two that mixed up (!) because despite having totally different complexions they look nothing alike and the only similarities then were their positions and the fact they are Black.

        Mo was super sub in South Africa with Benny and scored the go ahead goal against Slovakia that was criminally disallowed for some phantom foul in the box on the set piece. The dude showed his quality in that tournament and has had a series of unofortunate events since but luckily for us he could still barge his way onto the plane, and we would definitely be better for it.

    • Agreed. If we were picking the best 11 on the field it would have Edu and Beckerman behind Bradley. But thats more 2012 than 2014. Jürgen is sticking to the 4231

      • No preference here for either Edu or Ras Trent,, maybe good to see how Edu partners with Bradley for at least a half. My focus on this match is how well MB90 is in the offensive center mid, sans Jermain Jones. For me, Jones is a black hole, sucking the energy out of the middle with errant passes and forced turnovers, running at defenses with no real link up potential. Kind of an anti-Donovan. JK clearly favors him, but I’d like to see his role in Brazil limited to MB90 sub.

  20. Hypothetical question: How many times is the projected lineup correctly chosen?
    Answer: I don’t know, but it’s not very many times…

    With JK- Expect the unexpected… lots of curveballs and change ups…

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Green starts

    • I was just thinking the same thing. But with a different focus. I was just thinking how I would like to see Edu start this game and came down to Earth immediately when taking JK’s modus operandi into consideration. Players anew, and coming back from long absences rarely if ever start unless there is a glaring hole. Would love to see it happen though. Edu, Green starting… you name it. Try some sh!t jurgen

      • I think Klinnsman will do anything he can to reduce pressure on Green. Starting lineup may not be the best way to go here. Edu at least has some history with this squad and would fill in easier. Probably Beckermans spot to lose based on the last calendar year, so he will get the start. I think Ives nailed this starting lineup. We will see though.

    • Wondo was very average in his last game against the Revs and only scored a garbage goal that even Jozy could score. Him as a lone forward = sero goals. Go with EJ

      • The same EJ that has zero goals in 3 games for DCU? Who had a wide open shot last week vs Chicago and decided that right at the goalkeeper was the best place to put the shot?

      • The only garbage goal is an own goal – and maybe Dempsey’s vs England in 2010. Poaching, on the other hand, is by far the most under-rated skill by American soccer fans. Goals like Wondo’s this weekend demonstrate ability to read the game and anticipate whats going to happen next. He repeatedly finds ways to score, albeit not usually in the sexiest fashion. I for one don’t care how or who scores against Mexico as long as the ball goes in the back of the net. Wondo, IMHO, is the best player (available for the game) to do this.

      • I don’t think Wondo is on the plane to Brazil, but I think he starts this game. He continued to find himself in the right places against Korea. If he does start and scores against Mexico, he could even earn himself a spot on that plane.

    • I would love to throw up in my mouth a little come gameday. And hey! it looks like I just may get my wish if Wondo starts…. Then I will brace myself for 60 minutes of an impotent US attack, with no linkup and rarely any quality chances… be dying to see someone ANYONE at the half, at the 60 minute mark (KLINSMANN come on!) watch someone with talent try to make something happen in 20 brief minutes batting cleanup for the inept Wondowlowski because he is. not. good. enough.

      • I also don’t think he is good enough, but EJ hasn’t played well in 2014. For the Nat’s or his club. You don’t have a lot of striker options for this game. I would start Wondo.

      • Wondo’s problem against elite competition is size and speed. He doesn’t have the quickness, the pace or the muscle.
        He is kind of an American ‘Pipo Inzhaggi’ – that wiry, shifty striker for AC Milan / Italian National team – but let’s be real, Inzhaggi is/was on another planet compared to Wondo. Agudelo, Green, Altidore, EJ, Johannsson all have the potential to push Wondo off the plane.
        Nevertheless – Wondo is quite likely to have an impact on tonight’s game – he does have the unteachable poacher’s instinct and can create goals out of nothing. I hope he burns Mexico and puts it away.
        Also – the fact that Puebla waited until the last minute to deny us Beasley and Orozco is like throwing gasoline on the fire of this old rivalry. Let’s go USA! Dos a Cero!

  21. I agree with the point that Donovan and Zusi on the flanks should be something we watch. In terms of actually delivering a good ball, those two are the best we’ve got.

    At the same time, I think we should also have a look at Landon up top next to either Johnson or Wondolowski at some point in the match. With Deuce having been lacklustre there recently for the U.S., it’s an option worth assessing. He and Zusi combined to good effect in the South Korea game when Donovan was also played as a forward, and I imagine Klinsmann wouldn’t be averse to recreating that.

    Speaking of recreating old memories, even though Wondo is in better form for the U.S., EJ DID score against Mexico last time, and that might be enough in JK’s mind for him to go with Johnson.

    • Subs:

      EJ in for Wondo (stay in formation) or Dempsey (to move into a 4-4-2).
      Bedoya in for Zusi (if Zusi gets gassed – which could happen on the flanks).

  22. Hey Dc, I like the “Mexicutioner”. Intriguing to pair him with “San Zusi”. Like putting butter toast on a cat’s back.

  23. I think this is Donovan’s last chance to prove he still has it. I’m not kidding. I see him coming on as a sub v. Ghana if he puts up another milk-toast performance for this otherwise GOAT UNSMNT player.

      • Didn’t have to be the best player. He just needed to show that he still can contribute. He happened to show a lot lot more.

      • Okay, so he had to be. At the Gold Cup he still, using your words, proved he still has it. So what’s the problem?

      • which “milk-toast” performance are you referring too? I really don’t recall Donovan having a bad game recently.

    • Another milk-toast performance like Dempsey and Altidore and most other players on our team? Come on man, no need to judge him more harshly. We need the Mexecutioner.

    • You can’t be serious. Aside from Bradley, Donovan is the most gifted field player the US has ever produced. He is experienced. He is versatile. He is currently in form. He deserves to (and will likely) start every game in WC2014. I don’t see this game as Donovan’s “last chance to prove he still has it.”

      • Response to your points, in order: I am. I disagree, agree. I agree. I don’t know how you qualify or quantify “versatile” so I disagree. I agree that he is in form, just don’t know what form. Deserve’s got nothing to do with it. I think he needs something to show that his current national team form meets his past form and exceeds his Galaxy form.

      • Please tell me about all the great players right now who have proven they deserve a spot while Donovan has not?

        Bradley, Donovan, Howard, the only 3 players who without question will and should start against Ghana.

    • You must be trolling or this is one of the most uninformed comments I have read in a long time. Even at his current age Landon Donovan can still be a game changer. He is easily on of the top players on USMNT and will certainly play a prominent role in Brazil.

      • Before you break out reactive and hyperbolic terms like “troll”, consider that he had to have a good Gold Cup, coming off of his sabbatical, or he would not even be in the discussion right now. His MLS club side is only considered a top 1/3 team based on reputation and not based on current form. He is no longer even a 15 goal scorer in MLS, with declining totals in each season. He is past his prime and into the years where gains in intelligence and experience are undercut by diminishing physical capabilities (don’t get me wrong, he is still fast, but he is marginally slower in a sport where margins matter). I like the guy and would be sad if he weren’t invited to the party. I am just saying the folks who are writing with your hearts aren’t thinking of Klinsy’s calculating style. If he determines there is a need for certain physical attributes against an opponent, he will not hesitate to bench Donovan. Of course, as I said, if Donovan rises to the occasion then he will, at the very lease, serve notice to the other suitors.

      • He will also be starting unless he is injured. what does the sabbatical have to do with anything? He’s back and as good as ever. If you just don’t think he’s any good any more, we can stop the discussion now and agree to disagree.

      • you seriously think he is as good as ever? seriously? Ghana goal aside, I would take the 2010 Donovan over the 2014 Donovan. And that sort of goes to the point of my original post. But don’t try to persuade me, it will be Klinsi’s call and when he makes it he will surely be considering how Donovan matches up against the opposition. My point is that Donovan has a lot to show in this Mexico friendly and I am just not as convinced as you are that his current capabilities are the best USA has to offer.

      • Donovan has not shown much of a dip in form over the course of the last few years. He has always been incredibly fit. I’m saying he is very close to if not every bit the player he was in 2010.

      • correct if im wrong but hasn’t LD outscored most of the top strikes in the world in his 3 WC appearances? The season has just started so if Donovan is not looking his absolute best right now I think he can be forgiven, and that goes for all of our Nats!! However, if you want to be worried about someones place in the starting lineup it needs to be Dempsey and Altidore! Demps hasn’t been in form for about a year and Altidore has only 2 goals to his name. Donovan is the last person we need to be worried about come June, and im not saying that as a fanboy but off of what he’s done!

      • You were the one who wrote “last chance to prove”. That is nonsense. Who starts ahead of him? Gold Cup on through clinching qualification, Donovan started every important match. If he’s healthy Landon starts in Brazil.

      • Who starts ahead of him? Fabian Johnson would be the direct response. But the better question for you to ask would be what formation does Klinsmann use and how does Landon fit into that? It could be that because of roles on the pitch, there is a toss up between Dempsey and Donovan and Dempsey could get the nod because of his size and grit, which matter in big international competitions.

      • Dempsey’s “size and grit” get him the nod over Donovan? You don’t think Donovan is as big of a competitor as Dempsey? You think that Dempsey’s size gives him an advantage over Donovan? wow.

        Donovan fits in at wide midfield or forward in 4-4-2 or in any of the attacking midfield positions in 4-2-3-1.

      • Hoping Dempsey will shine but worried he will look like a bust again.

        Ives – Bring back the fans projected lineup. That is always fun to read.

      • Unless LD retires from international games after this WC, he will still be playing for the US for a few more years.

      • Totti at Roma. No reason why Donovan can’t be like Totti. Even if he is slower and less of a danger as an attacker, he is still one of our best passers. Nobody comes close to him in # of assists for the national team. Your comment makes me wonder how closely you have followed Donovan’s career in the last couple of years. It has been clear to me that starting a couple of years ago Donovan wanted to take on more of a Beckham like role. If you watched the Galaxy regularly, you would know what I mean.

      • I agree that there is a role for an old master, or for an inch perfect passer and set piece specialist. I would note though that Totti isn’t on the Italian team and Beckham wasn’t in the last WCup. You can argue that Becks was out due to injury but that is the kind of thing that happens as players age and Donovan is aging. There is a certain physicality that Donovan lacks and Klinsi might need that physicality, particularly against Ghana and Germany. Watch the Asamoah Gyan goal that killed us in the last WCup and tell me who was the last American on that field that had a chance to touch the ball, but failed to touch it or prevent his counterpart from getting a clean header. A bit of history lost because of the wild finish v. Algeria.

      • Donovan is extremely valuable in large part because of his defensive work rate (maybe not as much with the Galaxy). Pointing to one goal that half of the team deserves more blame for does not make him a poor defensive player.

      • Anticipating your next comment, I would add that if Klinsmann is worried about Donovan defensively, he could play him in the middle of the 3 in a 4-2-3-1, where he would be better defensively and on the counter than any other option there.

      • you anticipate poorly. my next comment was actually going to be that, with a handle like yours, it is particularly odd that you are so squarely behind LD.

      • You are reading too much into my handle. You are also reading too much into the importance of this game as it relates to Donovan’s position on the team.

      • Thank you. Creating goals for others is the same as scoring them. Being able to defend and not having your man score against your team is as important as scoring goals, no matter what your position. Dempsey is only two years younger than Donovan. Why does everyone think he is a lock to star? He plays the same position Donovan plays. Klinsman is going to play the players he thinks give him the best chance to win. Although, he may ultimately think Dempsey is one of them, I think Dempsey has more to prove than Donovan. Donovan can play outside and Dempsey can’t (too slow, too poor of a defender).

      • Dude has been holding down a spot on the national team for 13 years now. Think about that. Doubt him at your own risk.

        I remember watchning a USMNT behnind-the-scenes video a few years ago where Chris Rolfe and others were surprised by just how good Donovan was once they practiced with him.

      • “He is no longer even a 15 goal scorer in MLS, with declining totals in each season.”

        The only time he ever scored more than 15 goals was in 2008, when he scored 20. Declining totals every year? Since that 2008 season, his totals have been 12, 7, 12, 9, and 10.

      • I agree. Ever since Donovan took a break, JK and many here have tried to find a reason to dismiss him. Also I agree that he seems to be held to a different standard than other players. Jozy and Clint can stink the place up game in and game our but since they’ve been given spine status, nobody (not many anyway) question if they should even be starting.

        Landon can, when he wants, win games for us and there is no question that he belongs.

        I wish JK would do the right thing and bring Benny in now that he’s lost 2 more. IK the lost players play a different position but there is room on the roster now

      • @bogie8 and Landon Klinsman

        I completely disagree with LK here but using the word “troll” is silly here. LK has tried to back up his argument. He is wrong in my opinion, but that doesn’t make him a troll.

    • Speaking as a huge fan of Landy-Cakes and hoping like hell he has a great last World Cup, there have been some discussions on SBI recently about the possibility of Donovan having a Super Sub role, coming in at 65-70 minutes. And maybe he would not do that every game, but possibly one or two of the group games. I think it all depends on his form and his physical condition in June. Obviously an in form in shape Donovan is still the best player on the USMNT with skills no one else can match.

      • Honestly, I may be alone in this, but I see Dempsey more as a super-sub coming in to work his right place/right time magic as a striker with a point to prove. Even in his national team prime I always preferred Dempsey up top over out wide and now that he’s aged, I really don’t see him as being effective out wide at all and think he is less than ideal as a cam. I think at this point having lost ridiculous blow by speed, rather than out wide ( although compared to our other options there, he certainly can fill that role). Donovan fits pretty nicely as a CAM w/ his vision/passing, respectable speed and defensive pressure up top. I’m in no way saying it’s going to happen, but… a part of me secretly hopes/wants Green to blow minds on the left wing so we can put Landon in the middle. Think it would solve lots of problems. Hey, I can dream.

      • I agree, at least to the point where I’d like to see Landon play that CAM role with the A team. Dempsey has always been more creative as a dribbler than as a passer. The CAM needs to distribute the ball. Dempsey is still a very valuable player, but I do prefer Donovan in that role. The problem is Donovan is also our best winger, and we have very little depth there.

    • You’re delusional…. Landon will start in Brazil barring any injuries of course. It blows my mind that he still has as many haters as he does. His WC and Int’l experience is too valuable to pass on starting him. IMO all he has lost is a step but his soccer IQ is next to none on the USMNT.

      • If you ignore all the goals he scored against weak competition, all the sitters he left for people that missed, don’t count assists, don’t count PKs as goals, exclude injury time against Algeria, credit Michael Bradley with two goals against Slovakia, and ignore defensive contributions from attacking players, then yeah, Landon Donovan hasn’t really demonstrated a great soccer IQ or ability to contribute anything greater than anyone else in the current pool and is pretty much on par with Brek Shea.

      • “All Cris Carter does is catch touchdowns”, Buddy Ryan.

        Donovan is good enough to start for us in as many as 5 different positions. IMO, Dempsey was captain by default because of LD’s sabbatical. If the choice was between LD and Clint, I go w/ LD. Clint has the stupid kind of Texan macho where he has to get even w/ someone for fouling him or his teammates. His MLS suspension is the exact lack of discipline we DON’T need from our skipper. Donovan, OTOH, is much more disciplined and less likely to be the white Jermanine Jones like Dempsey and rack up yellows.

      • clearly trolling….not a good look on you I might add! If anything Dempsey sits and shouldn’t have been called into this game because he’s become a cry baby, plays dirty thus the suspension and hasn’t been in form for a year now! Stop it!

    • It does remain to be seen how much Donovan has left but irregardless, his passing and ability to pick out open players in the box is second to none (except maybe Michael Bradley). For that alone and the hope that a couple times a game he can successfully create a goal-scoring chance or two, he should be in the starting lineup.

      • LandyCakes will is and will always be better than dempsey and bradley put together! He is the FACE of the USMNT.

      • “was” is and always will be…
        I disagree. Donovan is extremely valuable, but if you tell me either Donovan is out injured for the world cup, or both Dempsey and Bradley are out. I’d be more upset losing Duece and MB.

        Either way it would suck though. We need those 3 guys.

      • You remember what Beltran looked like the last time he played? Yedlin looked far better than Beltran did

      • You mean against Korea? Yedlin did not look good. Still would like to see him start, but he looked very poor defensively. Frankly he got his jock handed to him.

      • it wasn’t THAT bad. he wasn’t even on the field that long. but i agree it wasn’t the greatest of debuts.

      • We had a different take on this. I was sitting on the sideline at the top of the box, and in person, it didn’t look good. He looked lost a number of times. Maybe it played better on TV.
        I would still start him, and I’m hoping to see some improvement.

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