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By IVES GALARCEP
Omar Gonzalez or Geoff Cameron? Graham Zusi or Brad Davis or Mix Diskerud? Play Clint Dempsey as the lone forward for a third straight match or start either Chris Wondolowski or Aron Johannsson in a 4-4-2?
These are just some of the questions Jurgen Klinsmann must answer before Tuesday’s World Cup Round of 16 match with Belgium in Salvador.
Chief among these questions is which system will Klinsmann deploy? Does he stick with what was essentially a 4-1-4-1 against Germany, or does he start a second forward against a Belgium side with some serious injury concerns on defense?
So who will Klinsmann turn to? Here is one projected lineup we could see taking the field on Tuesday:
PROJECTED STARTING LINEUP vs. BELGIUM
Some thoughts on this lineup:
Gonzalez gets the call over Cameron to deal with the physical play of Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku.
Belgium is very dangerous on the wings and starting Zusi and Bedoya gives the U.S. the necessary work rate on the flanks to keep Belgium honest.
What do you think of this starting lineup?
Share your thoughts below.
I’m hearing that Lukaku is not starting, so I hope Klinsmann isn’t starting Gonzalez just for that reason.
I would like to see a lineup with both Cameron and Gonzalez because they both have had time off and should be relatively fresh. My thought would be to put Cameron in for Beckerman if, as Ives suggests, we go to a 4-1-4-1. Nothing against Beckerman, but playing midfield for three games on the equator can’t be good for the legs, especially for an older player.
Gives us width with Johnson on the right. Cameron has played against Hazard before. Plus having Johnson and Cmaeron on the same side will be good defensively.
I don’t want Jones playing offensively, I just want Beckermen sitting behind him. Gives Jones some freedom to run forward as well.
Gets Bradley out of the middle where he has been struggling. He has played wide before, and we can expect him to cut in. Plus he could use those miles everyone has been talking about to good use getting up and down the field.
Gives Dempsey some support up top. With a fragile Belgium defense, I’d expect Johansson’s speed to be more useful than Wondo’s poaching, but Id use him around the 70th minute on the tired Belgium defense.
I could see Bedoya on the Left and Yedlin on the right
This would really provide defense on the wings.
This’ll sound crazy, and I’d love to see Wondo today, but it might actually be time to see Green and Yedlin on the wings. Belgium plays four lumbering centerbacks in the backline. We’re not beating them with physicality, we need to beat them with speed.
1) The Algeria-Germany game made me a little disappointed in the attacking quality of our squad. I really thought the Ghana-Germany game showed how they could be beaten. Playing 4 centerbacks (just like Belgium!), they are weak when being counter-attacked at pace. What do we do? Sit too deep and not attack rapidly. I think the problem is we can’t with the current personnel. Clint can’t hold the ball like Jozy and we have little pace on the wings in Zusi, Bedoya, and Davis.
2) If we can’t start Jozy, maybe we need to take a risk and start Yedlin. We will probably be spending a good amount of time defending so we need to be able to break fast when we do get the ball. Also, this would give us coverage when Fabian goes forward.
Gonzales gets the call after solid last performance.
Cameron into right back as he typically plays there at club level and against some of the Belgium team.
Johnson is as good as Bedoy in defense and better offense.
I have a hunch that Julian Green will see minutes today and wouldn’t be surprised if he started up front to team with Clint and stretch the defense.
If Belgium field 4 CB’s, Jozy needs to start. Hammy or no hammy, he can get at the backline early and often.