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Who should the USMNT start vs. the Czech Republic?


Photo by Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports


Finding the right balance between fielding an experimental lineup and one capable of grabbing a result. That is what Jurgen Klinsmann is tasked with as a new World Cup cycle officially gets underway on Wednesday.

The U.S. Men’s National Team is set to play its first post-World Cup friendly with a match against the Czech Republic in Prague, and Klinsmann has to decide which combination of players will allow him to get a good look at some of the many unproven youngsters he’s summoned while also giving the Americans a solid shot at picking up a victory on European soil.

While Klinsmann has included several youngsters in his 21-man roster  – initially 22 before Geoff Cameron had to withdraw because of injury – it seems unlikely that he will go with a largely inexperienced starting lineup. Instead, it seems more probable that Klinsmann deploys one or two youngsters before inserting a few more as the game goes on.

Which players will Klinsmann turn to then? Here is a projected lineup SBI could see taking the field on Wednesday:








Some thoughts on this lineup:

Brad Guzan seems likely to get the initial nod in goal, but Klinsmann stated Tuesday that both Guzan and Nick Rimando will play 45 minutes each vs. the Czech Republic as the competition for the vacant No. 1 spot begins.

The back four could be the most experienced part of the Americans’ lineup given the personnel in Prague. Fabian Johnson should continue to see time at the right back spot that he thrived in for the U.S. this summer while Timmy Chandler starts at the left back spot that he was used in at times during the send-off series. Michael Orozco and John Brooks start in the heart of the defense, but Tim Ream could be inserted at halftime or the 60-minute mark for Brooks given Klinsmann’s propensity for playing a left-footed defender at left centerback and a right-footed player at right centerback.

The midfield appears to be the area where at least one uncapped youngster who could feature from the get-go. We believe the player most likely to earn a start is Emerson Hyndman, who has shown some real promise at the start of Fulham’s season and who could easily interchange positionally with Mix Diskerud and Joe Corona in a three-man midfield.

Jozy Altidore, already confirmed to be the U.S. captain on Wednesday, should resume his role at the top of the attack. Alejandro Bedoya should be a shoo-in on one wing while Julian Green earns a chance to build on his goal-scoring outing in the World Cup by operating wide on the other flank.

Klinsmann could go a number of way with his substitutions, but Ream, Brek Shea, Greg Garza and Alfredo Morales all seem like safe bets to see some playing time. Youngsters like Joe Gyau, Rubio Rubin, Bobby Wood and Jordan Morris are also in contention to see the field, but only one or two them might see the field depending on Klinsmann’s approach.


What do you think of SBI’s projected starting lineup? Agree that Klinsmann starts a front three of Altidore, Bedoya and Green? Like the idea of a midfield triangle consisting of Diskerud, Corona and Hyndman?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. I have this 11


    A few notes:
    -I wana see rimando, orozco, Garza, Green, Corona and Rubin all get time off the bench
    -I don’t quite get why everyone likes FJ and chandler switched, there both naturally left and right sided naturally, keep them there
    -I think we need alfredo morales in this lineup for some balance in the midfield
    -I wana see what bobby wood has to offer off the start, give green the second half.

  2. ——————-Altidore———————–





  3. Your line-up is probably the most likely to succeed, but I also think that the roster doesn’t have the strength to win. The Czech Republic has a good experienced team. They are not going to rollover and play dead. I wish USMNT good luck.

  4. I’m very much intrigued about this Morris kid, supposedly he beat and score on Cameron and Besler when our MNT was training at Stanford.

  5. —————————–Jozy——————————-

    This the best time to play a true 4-3-3, 4-3-2-1, 4-1-3-2 etc. with Green, Gyau, Morris, Shea, Wood & Bedoya, all this are guys that can play wide and also can play cm like Green, Mix, Bedoya, Corona & FJ Heck why not move Chandler & Yedling to play wing also. I do like is the JK is willing to give the opportunity for this youngster to play and have fun and show what they can do. This generation of player they have one thing in common is that they are not afraid to take on one on one and use their skill to take on a player(D). WOW and this is not including other players like Wooten, Boyd, AJ, Agudelo, Williams, Holmes, Gatt, Serna, Joya & Zarde.

  6. anybody else concerned about the lack of physicality in midfield? I’ve never seen the US do very well without a hard-tackling CDM. None of these players seem to provide for that need.

    • for sure, especially against a physical team like Czech Republic. that said, Morales isn’t small. he’s like 6 foot and 170 pounds. not the biggest, but not tiny either (Jones is 6’0″, 180 lbs.).

      • I have Morales at 5’11 165 but he does play a lot bigger like if he was a 175 pounder, he is tough as nails when it comes to defending. He complements Mix to a tee.

      • interesting, where did you get that info? wiki and transfermarkt have him at 6’0″, but only wiki has his weight (170).

        espnfc shows 6’0″/170 lbs though. has same height but 175 pounds. but has him at 5’7″ and 155 pounds (clearly not right). so it’s in that range around 6 foot and 165-175 pounds.

        and i agree, i think him and Mix would work well together and love the idea of Corona in front of them.

  7. i still have this feeling Johnson is going to start in midfield. i’d love to see:


    i highly doubt Bedoya does not start, so put him at RM and FJ at LM with Green on the bench if you must. and yes, i’m going out on a limb with Garza at LB but it seems like a perfect opportunity to test him.

    based on that lineup, for subs, i think the “MUST plays” are Shea, EH, Wood, and Gyau.

    • interesting. sounds like Shea and Green are playing as wingers with Bedoya/Corona/Mix making up the center of midfield for what looks to be the starting XI in practice. and despite my gut, it seems FJ will play RB.

      that CM combo is a little strange to me, but Bedoya is certainly capable and probably would fit better as a CM than at RM.

      • Yeah I was just looking at Brian Sciaretta’s projection who is there covering the team, this is what he has


      • That is attack minded, to say the least. Mix would have to play a lot tougher than what I have seen in the past to be able to hold the midfield together with that lineup.

      • yeah i saw that, but i’m not sure why he has Ream because every other reporter there says Orozco. so who knows?

        reading his account, and the other reporter accounts, it also sounds like there has been a pretty big rotation between the combos of CMs. it seems JK is trying out every possible combo.

        curious to see the final decision.

  8. That’s a pretty soft lineup…I’m thinking Morales may be the best option in the middle of the field. Covering that much ground in the middle seems like too much for an 18 year old (Hyndman) in his first International…

  9. I’d like to see Fab play midfield moving forward….Yedlin can obviously lock down the RB spot. Johnson’s creativity would be a boon in a consistent attacking position

  10. ——————-Altidore———————–






    I would think Bedoya is further back, since there is a lack of defensive mids and he is the best of the attacking mids at Def.

    Would think Morales gets the nod over Hyndman, but either would be fine.

    It would be nice to see the speed this line up presents.

  11. People in these parts like Trapp for the next WC, but it is going to be tough sledding with Hyndman emerging and some of the other young guys in the MF who will be fighting to partner with the veterans.

    • Starting with Bradley not going anywhere, you have Trapp, Powers, Kitchen, Morales, Hyndman, and Williams all potentially emerging in central midfield, among others. My hope is that one or two separate themselves from the pack and make a big jump in the next four years.

      • I’d expect that the team take on more of a 4-3-3 or 4-3-2-1 formation come 2018 based on where the bulk of our strength is in the squad.

        —————F. Johnson————————–Powers———————
        Williams, Diskerud, Trapp, Powers, Morales, Hyndman, & Kitchen will push for inclusion in the rotation of the 3 man Midfield.

  12. i don’t know much about Hyndman yet so I see Morales starting in the #6 role

    if Corona isn’t up to the task then Wood or Shea would be my best guess in the attack


    • Hyndman play the full 90 this past weekend I believe. I watched the match and was really impressed with his passing. His recovery was excellent as well. It was the first time I had seen him play but it was really nice to see such a young player cleaning up so well. It wasnt a perfect game but he his passes were top notch. He did his job very well. Contributed to the attack as well. Hope klinsmann uses him from the start.

      • you could say the same for Morales who has multiple assists on the season and has played multiple games for 90 minutes. he’s a solidified starter for his club.

      • Hynman is a good little player, at 5’9 150 pounds but his defense is still a work in progress, he defends like LD/Green which is to contain the opposition. I think if he is going to play the “8” he needs to improve in that department. He also has a tendency to go invisible for stretches of time like he did in his last game.

    • I would not be surprised to see both Hyndman and Morales playing in behind Mix, though starting Corona instead of one of them would bring more overall experience to the squad.

  13. Franco’s projected lineup looks about right except for Hyndman. Doubt JK will throw him to the wolves like that. I see Morales in that spot since he’s at least been in camp before.

    • yeah, i agree. i think Morales is a safe bet to start given his 90 minutes in multiple games this season and multiple assists. i would be very surprised to see EH start over him.

    • Glad I’m not the only one who’s been thinking this after seeing all the projected lineups around the web.

      Hyndman: talented but green 18 y.o. rookie w/ 3 or 4 professional matches under his belt, playing on a bad team

      Morales: veteran of several seasons in the 1 & 2 Bundesligas, goes the full 90 on a high-table team, has been with the US full team before, and has played well for the USMNT in limited minutes (as well as a thrashing of the Mexico U-23s that ended up winning the Olympics).

  14. ——————-Altidore———————–

    • counting in Shea is akin to suggesting that Freddy Adu should be on the NATS…He should try his luck at wing back again if he is to have any chance – can’t even understand his call-up.

      • So someone signed to a Premier league club you don’t understand but you’re fine with a college player getting called up? The reality is Fabian is probably the only player there that would start for a mid table Premier league club like Stoke.
        Yeah he’s a bad situation but lets face it, the team isn’t full of guys starting in top leagues much less clubs.

      • I think the point here is that Shey has had multiple chances, way more then he’s earned, and for the most part, done nothing to justify his inclusion…. and yet here he is again. His move to the UK has been a disaster

        When JK makes up his mind on a player, for good or for bad, that’s pretty much it. Doesnt matter if its No-score-altadore, Shey or Bedoya. He loves those guys so theyre in

        And why didnt he help Juan by giving him a cap? That kid has as much promise as any player on this roster today and JK isn’t helping him a bit. Even if he only got on for 5 minutes, it would help his cap problem

      • I assume that JK is a better manager than 95 percent of club teams in the world. Therefore he knows how to cultivate and use the players he has at his disposal…Shea being one of them.

        Would Jordan have won as much without Phil Jackson? You have to have a great system as well. Look at Kevin Garnett – a player made greater by being on the Celtics rather than the Timberwolves.

    • No offense Josey, But can’t we field a capable striker and get on with it? It’s taken far to long and I have lost what little faith I had in him.


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