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Who should the USMNT start vs. Mexico?

USMNT Mexico 22

Photo by Mark J. Rebilas/USA Today Sports


The U.S. Men’s National Team will renew acquaintances with Mexico this week, but will have to come together quickly if it wishes to defeat its heated southern rival.

Counting on mostly MLS- and Liga MX-based players that played over the weekend, the U.S. will host Mexico in a friendly on Wednesday at the Alamodome. The sold-out match is the first meeting between the two nations in about a year and will give both Jurgen Klinsmann and Mexico manager Miguel Herrera an opportunity to further assess where players stand ahead of July’s CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Klinsmann, himself, has plenty to consider after last month’s European friendlies, especially since both Jozy Altidore and Clint Dempsey are out for this one. The U.S. head coach needs to find replacements for them to lead the attack while also having to pinpoint what formation best suits this group of players.

Klinsmann also needs to figure out what to do in defense, where Brek Shea and Greg Garza are both trying to lock down the left back spot. Center back is also a position that seems up for grabs, even with both Matt Besler and Omar Gonzalez returning to the fray.

Who could start against El Tri? Here is the USMNT lineup we could see taking the field on Wednesday:

Projected USMNT Lineup vs. Mexico

Some thoughts:

Nick Rimando could continue to start in between the pipes for the U.S., but don’t rule out the possibility of him just being in camp to provide a veteran presence. Klinsmann has said he is still open to experimenting, and that could see Bill Hamid and William Yarbrough split the goalkeeper duties. Hamid would likely start in that scenario, with Yarbrough coming off the bench at halftime and playing the second half against the nation he chose not to represent.

The defense is an area that has several question marks. DeAndre Yedlin seems like a shoo-in to start at right back given that he’s flying all the way from England for this one, but who lines up centrally and on the left is not clear. Brek Shea and Greg Garza have both gotten looks at left back in recent games, but Klinsmann may want to continue to assess the former for at least a half after seeing Shea show well there in recent weeks for Orlando City.

In the middle, Matt Besler and Omar Gonzalez would appear to be the preferred starting tandem. Klinsmann, however, could have each of the World Cup veterans play a half in an effort to give Mexican-American Ventura Alvarado a long run-out against many of the Liga MX players he faces on a consistent basis. The jury is still out on how serviceable Alvarado can be at the international level, and this match vs. El Tri could help provide a better answer.

How Klinsmann lines up the U.S. midfield is fuzzy, especially given all the different formations he’s deployed in recent matches. The personal at hand seems like it would be best suited for a four-man midfield, though it could be flat or in a diamond.

The inclusion of Julian Green for this brief camp hints at Klinsmann going with the former, as it would allow the inactive Hamburg SV youngster to be able operate in his more comfortable spot out wide. Klinsmann could then deploy Joe Corona on the right, a position the Tijuana midfielder is familiar with, while pairing Michael Bradley and Mix Diskerud in the middle again.

At forward, the absences of Jozy Altidore and Clint Dempsey open the door for other players to make an impression. Klinsmann has used Chris Wondolowski plenty over the past year despite ongoing criticism, but the U.S. head coach might prefer to go with the likes of Gyasi Zardes and Juan Agudelo to see what they can offer. That might seem like a young front line, but Agudelo has a good amount of experience at the international level that Klinsmann could lean on.

What do you think of this projected lineup from SBI? Think Klinsmann will do something else, especially in the midfield? Who would you start if you were the U.S. head coach?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Throwing out what I’d like to see in a 4231 or 4141 where Bradley pushes up higher next to LN.


    Offers a speedy left wing with a right flank that is going to give you work rate, with consistent positioning. Also offers the Revs connection between Juan and Lee. Morris while young could be the big body up front. However, as much as it pains me to say this, you could throw Wondo and his wandering ways up there. He’d definitely be a headache for the back 3 of El Tri. With that said he’d most likely cough the ball up in stead of holding it up.

    I don’t see this line-up happening, but I think is a strong balance of experience & youth to match up and execute what we’ll need to get done to split the 352 Mexico will deploy.

  2. interesting note from JK that Castillo couldn’t join squad due to Libertadores commitments.

    Castillo retweeted
    Tom Marshall ‏@mexicoworldcup 36m36 minutes ago
    Jurgen Klinsmann: Edgar Castillo (@edgarcastillo40) having a strong season at @atlasfc, couldn’t join squad due to Libertadores commitments.

    • Thanks for the info. This is the sort of thing I have been preaching. There is a lot of things that go into player selection that we don’t know of at all, or if we find out about it, it’s later on. I had wanted to see Castillo and then Opara when Orozco couldn’t go, but didn’t say anything. Now we see that Opara got a serious injury and Castillo wasn’t available. Yet some people will go off half cocked over some selection or lack of selection like this when they have no idea of what’s going on.

  3. And when he has other intelligent soccer players to play with in the midfield who he trusts and does not have to cover for.
    You are correct with the switch.

  4. Wait… what’s that? It can’t be…..

    THat’s….that’s….. that’s Landon Donovan’s music…..

    OHMIGOD! He’s wearing a green shirt, and he’s brought hell with him!!!!!

    (Sorry all, this budget call is soooo boring, it makes a Serie B match exciting)

  5. I kinda like this 11:

    I could see green and yedlin starting and taking there normal spots in this lineup, however im not quite sure if either of them are quite fit enough to start from the top. I wanna see mix and braldey work like a rubber band in the middle, alternating who goes forward and back. Really think the center of midfield three could frustrate mexico and give them some problems. I would like to see the besler-gonzo combo in there going forward to take a look. I wanna see if alvarado can playrb due to our depth of mediocrity at CB (besler, gonzo, cameron? jones? orozco, ream, hedges, birnbaum)

    • I’d switch Corona to CAM, drop nguyen tip halftime (he is coming off injury), put bardes on the right and agudelo up top.

  6. somebody else posted it earlier, clearly the best lineup if we are just trying to win this game.
    Subs: Garza, Green, Alvarado, Yarbrough, Ibarra, Kitchen

    • not bad but only if tactually mix and bradley stay tucked in. let the fullbacks overlap and combine with the strikers, almost like a 433 rather than a tactical 41212

    • I think this is probably the best XI we can field with this roster. A bit lacking in width so Yedlin and Shea will need to get forward when they can. Midfield is fairly attacking so Beckerman would need to be at his best to help shield the backline.

  7. Just wondering about all the JK and Green haters out there what if this works out and he impresses and we win then the US go on to win the gold cup with green playing in the matches. Will it change anyone’s opinion on either? I would like to know what they have to do to please people?

    • People like that are impervious to facts. As I explained in a comment on another story, I had been very critical of Klinsmann in the past and then when I evaluated my criticisms, I determined that the results showed he was right more often than I was. It seems that being one of the top players in the world, playing in 4 different top European leagues, managing the German national team and Bayern Munich, the guy actually learned some things and may even know more about the game than I do! Truly shocking news. Since that realization I am more hesitant to criticize his personnel moves. Some people, however, never learn and apparently don’t want to admit that maybe they are wrong. Finally, to repeat for the umpteenth time, results in friendlies don’t matter. Only results in meaningful tournaments (GC, WC qualifying, WC) matter. After the Gold Cup is over, then we can make a reasonable judgment on the progress of the team.

      • Blah blah, Gary Page you are so full of it. Impervious to what facts exactly? When it comes to 99% of the topics discussed on these sbi threads the only true facts that can possibly come up in discussions are Wins, Losses, Draws, Individual player statistics, and miscellaneous facts like where a game was played and what players were called up.

        You always bring up “FACTS” because you feel that saying you use facts makes you sound more correct, but you never use facts! It’s hilarious. To you, saying something like, “I love Klinsmann, he is the best!”, must be a fact in your mind. You need to seriously learn the difference between facts and opinions.

        Also, I like how you conveniently throw out the “results in friendlies don’t matter” because it neatly fits your Klinsmann love fest. I guess that nothing since the World Cup matters because its all been a bunch of friendlies. Nothing to see here folks, we should have all been on vacation from USMNT-fandom from June 2014 until June 2015.

      • First of all, I am not the one that goes on this “fact” rants. So you asking me “where are your facts” is silly because I am not the one that makes those types of declarations. I am the first to say that all this is subjective and a matter of opinions.

        Second, I never “lose”. Just like I didn’t “lose” to you right now. Nice try though buddy.

      • The facts that I rely on are the best results ever in WC qualifying during 2013 and best year ever for total results in 2013. And although you and others denigrate the results of the last WC, everyone else in the wider world soccer community thinks that the US did much better than had been expected. I am not a “fanboy” as you keep claiming. What I am saying is that I don’t know for sure and that the only true judgment comes in World Cup qualifying, World Cup performance, Gold Cup and, maybe, the Confederations Cup and even the latter isn’t all that important. You are the one who puts yourself out there as the only true source of wisdom about US soccer. I say that there is a lot going on with the national team that we don’t know about and we aren’t privy to all of Klinsmann’s plans, strategies, and ideas for US soccer development. Things that may make little sense now, such as Morris and Ibarra (and I share the lack of understanding for these selections, too) may turn out to be wise moves in the future. I don’t claim to be able to see who will be good for the US in the future and who won’t, as you seem to do. I have certain ideas, such as being a fan/proponent of Zardes, but there are many players I don’t know enough about and have no strong opinion of. You are so full of yourself it’s ridiculous. Even your screen name bespeaks someone who ;thinks he is a know it all.

      • I guess one thing we share in common is that we both think that the other comes off as full of himself. But I don’t really care about that. I don’t take things personally and rather debate the points.

        I do agree what a lot of what you said above, but the whole “lets wait and see, it could work out” thing is boring to me. You could replace Ibarra, and Morris with any player and the same thing could be said, “lets wait and see, it might work out on in the end”.

        To be very clear. I am not saying that it is impossible or even unlikely that Morris or Green will pan out IN THE FUTURE. I am simply asking why right now? You don’t use the senior national team to develop players. You bring in the best of the best.

      • By the way, I forgot to rip into your “everyone else in the wider world soccer community thinks that the US did much better than had been expected” claim.

        Oh really? Thank you for taking the time to poll the wider soccer world for us Gary. Hilarious. Let’s just say that I would dispute you speaking for the wider-soccer world.

    • Optimus, I guarantee you that if Green impresses and plays and does great in the Gold Cup, that he will be praised. Are you new to sports or something? Let’s not forget that when Green declared for the USMNT the vast majority of fans were happy and excited! Then he started to struggle in every single USMNT game (except 1), and get no playing time at club level, and get demoted at club level, etc and people started getting down on him. You make it seem like fans are just out to get him, that’s wrong.

      Same goes for Klinsmann.

      • The kid is 19. Kids sometimes struggle when he got loan to a coach who promised him first team mins and got fired. Second coach didn’t like him and got fired then the guy who tried to get rid of him in Jan transfer window took over. He got a bad loan. People should just be patient with him and not bash him. He is and will be a really good player.

      • Everyone has been looking for the savior of the USMNT, be it Adu, Jozy, Green, Brooks, Zelalem, CCV, etc…
        No-one takes into account youth or form. People were upset that Green made the WC team in place of Donovan, when in fact Brad Davis & Chris Wondo were taken over Donovan.
        IMO based on Green’s current form he’d be better served playing with the Olympic age bracket than being with the Sr. Team. Same could be said for Yedlin & Zelalem. There they’d be leaders and competing at a level where they can succeed now and build their confidence for integration into the Sr. side ahead of the GC or heading into WC qualifiers.

      • Lost in Space….look, this kind of spot on reason is not tolerated here. If you feel like you want to bring a logical perspective to this conversation and this particular topic…….GO SOMEWHERE ELSE

    • Absolutely! I don’t consider myself a Jk hater but I never have thought he was a really good coach. I think just average but a good salesman who wins people over with his smile. I also believe we could of gotten a way better coach. Now that being said, if the U.S. wins the Gold cup this year and makes a good run playing well and not getting embarrassed at the Copa America Centenario I will publicly admit on this forum that I was wrong about Jk and that he knows what he is doing. I will bow down before him. But if the opposite happens I think it is the fanboys that will use any excuse and rationalize the bad performance. Because they are fanatics and are secretly in love with Jk.

      • With the money the U.S. has we could definitely of had someone with a lot more experience and a proven track record for getting excellent results with average talented teams. Too many to mention not just from Europe but a lot in South America especially Argentina and a some really good Colombian coaches.

      • Meaning there is nobody who would take the job. If you can’t name anyone, it means no one and most big names (i.e. Bielsa) have been disproved.

      • Oh ok I see where this is going. If you get proven wrong and the U.S. does bad just like I mentioned earlier your excuse will be nobody else wanted the job and that’s how you’ll defend Jk instead of admitting you were wrong like I would. Also, don’t underestimate the appeal of coaching the U.S. along with the 110% backing and support given to them in projects which is not done in many other countries along with the safety and security in the u.s. not to mention the very low pressure from fans and the press compared to other countries that would of been very attractive to many potential candidate coaches. But it is no secret that Gulati had a hard on for Jk even when Bradley was around. So how would he of made an serious attempt to get a good coach when he was constantly kissing Jk’s butt as the president of your Jk fan club.

      • I asked you to name a better coach that wants to coach at this time. Instead you start attacking me. I didn’t attack you for anything. Pep and Jose said they’d like to one day coach the team but they are with long term contracts right now.

      • Daniel, your post is very astute. I worked for US Soccer for 20 years and coached 5 of the players for the Mexico call up. The money is an interesting point of emphasis. Do I think JK is a poor choice, no. He is, however, not worth $2.5 million. There is a ridiculously poor ratio between the number of US players with a potential for development and the number of full time coaches that we have on staff. JKs salary is over half of the entire COACHING staff from top to bottom at US Soccer. HUH? Does this make any sense to you? This man was hired not only to coach our senior national team but to make changes and show us how to develop players. In four years there have been no changes in player development in our youth and club system and that may wind up being the JK legacy. US Soccer needs to act like a small market baseball team and focus on building for the future. We need to invest our money to pay great coaches (and we have a lot of them here in the US) to work in the 10-15 age bracket. We also need to overhaul the ‘corporate soccer dads” who dictate policy and selfishly do not listen to the real soccer people in this country because of their ego’s. Once we do this we at least will have a chance of becoming a significant sport in the US and significant in the sport in the world.

    • A couple of foolish posts. If the USMNT wins the gold cup and Green plays a big part in it will it change our minds? Sure. Why don’t you wait until that happens. I’m guess it won’t. I do think we can win the Gold Cup but I don’t see how Julian Green has much to contribute at this point. People seem to think because he’s in the Bayern system he’s automatically better than anyone else we have. Most “prospects” don’t pan out, it’s just the way it is. A few years ago, Saer Sene was Bayern Munich II’s top scorer. Now he’s playing for the worst team in the Championship having been cast off by MLS.

      Green has had a horrendous season and people should acknowledge that.

      • just like people have to acknowledge Green’s truly awful loan situation if they are trying to have a real conversation with a fair analysis. his attitude on the U-23s was wrong and deserves to be criticized for that, but no one should forget the chaos that HSV has become. the truth is we learned nothing from this loan where anyone can say how good or bad he is.

        and maybe it’s not fair to bring him into camps simply so JK and his team can keep tabs on him, but clearly they think he is talented enough to keep bringing. i mean, when a guy like Raphael Honigstein goes to bat for Green on ESPNFC, it’s telling that this kid has clout in Germany. not world class or anything, but certainly considered a very solid prospect.

        i think it’s way too easy for arm chair analysts to come in and write off players when you have minimal information to go off of compared to the coaching staff & executives of USSF and Bayern.

        it is what it is though and these types of situations will always create these types of conversations.

      • I’m not writing him off, he’s only 19. But can’t we wait until he actually is playing somewhere and deserves a spot on the USMNT before we call him in? And certainly before we anoint him a savior and act like it’s such a huge deal he decided to play for us?

  8. We are going to get demolished down the wings. Brek and Yedlin will want to overlap but will rely on the invisible defensive work from Green and Corona, respectively. I might have to turn it off by halftime.

    • +100
      Shea, who gets caught high up field repetitively with Orlando city on the same side with Green (as LM) for back up cover on the left after an overlap/counter? Playing a seasoned Mexico team? ChrisTheLSUTiger Nick is wide open….lol

  9. HOLD ON. I don’t think this line-up includes enough experimentation, out of position play and head-scratching personnel moves:
    I see it more like this
    Forwards-a chance that something positive happens to show the h@ters why a decent level college player and a third-division player belong-(GENIUS move by the coach), also Bradley leading the line to work on his upfield awareness
    Mids-ahhh something about “giving guys a chance on new, uncomfortable places to adapt and adjust, because that’s what happens at World Cups and I won a World Cup and how dare you question my line up choices”
    Defense-“we just wanted to give Mixx a chance to improve and show what he can do on the field” “Brek and Juan are tall and not very good at offense, so let’s give them a try elsewhere, Green is small, fast and left-footed, might as well play LB, since I am obligated to guarantee playing time in return for commitment to USA pre-WC”

  10. ————-Agudelo—————-Zardes———–

    ——————-Lee Nyugen————————–


    ——————–Mix Diskerud———————–


    ——————Nick Rimando———————–

    After the Orlando game Shea admitted he is learning the LB roll……we need veterans in key positions not interns/trainees
    Bradley is not an CAM….period. If you are going to try to learning the position do that during in-house training or club until you are able to produce/perform
    A green Julian Green, doing nothing for club, against a Mexican team full of in season players trying to make the final roster? damn….
    Anytime you move a player around to a spot he hasn’t played for some time or is not accustomed to, then that spot becomes the weakest link on the team…..and with that line up out left side just became a major highway to Nick

  11. Wondo is, if nothing else, a good goal poacher and a guy who is never static. If you actually watch him in a game, it is easy to see why he finds himself in open spots in front of the goal so often.

    Until other US players in MLS start scoring goals at the pace he has averaged over the last 5 years, or if he stops scoring goals completely , the alternatives can be identified only as “having more potential” or “more upside” or as being faster (Marvel Wynne like).

    Like it or not, only Wondo scores goals at that high rate, the alternatives can’t do it even in the same league. (and Wondo doesn’t get to score goals against the SJ defense)

    • At 32 there’s no chance he makes it to the next World Cup. To some degree you have to have that in the back of your mind.

      • Yes, but for the Gold Cup this year he could be useful. With Altidore’s injury last summer and Dempsey’s recently another goal scorer is needed for insurance

      • Agreed another goal scorer at the international level is needed to backup Jozy & Dempsey for the Gold Cup. However, that person is not Wondo (who has a horrible international history save for 2 games against very weak opponents).
        The Gold Cup backup will be Johannsson….so the objective is to find the 4th striker for the GC to be the understudy to Jozy, Dempsey or Aron. The options being looked at should be someone 25 or under who can fit into the proposed style that JK wants to play. Therefore Adudelo, Rubin, Zardes, Boyd (once healthy), Bunbury, Even CD9 would have been a better choice.
        The last person who should have been called up is Wondo.

      • Wondo is still scoring more goals than any of the others with Dempsey and Zardes the only ones in MLS who can compare. AJ has a 1-1/2 seasons with good goal production as does Jozy and Bradley all in the Netherlands, and except for AJ, that was some time ago. AJ has been injured more than Altidore and Dempsey so it is not clear he is that reliable as a backup. The others simply are not yet ready, of course, eventually some of them will be and Wondo will be older, but for this summer…

  12. Corona has no business being on the USMNT, much less starting. No way he should play before Nguyen.

    I honestly have never understood how Corona keeps getting called up.

    • what is the deal with the Corona hate? this kid had a solid Gold Cup, gets injured, comes back, wins his spot back with TJ (who has been at the top of the table most of the season), and people question his callup for a one-off friendly on a non-FIFA date?! get a grip.

      he absolutely deserves to be in this team and has looked solid for TJ since coming back. he’s started 4 of their last 6 games, i believe, and the two games off the bench he got significant minutes in (including 50 minutes in a game he came on for an injured player). since he has come back from injury…he’s played in 11 of their 12 games.

      • Just about all of our players had a solid GC tournament. That was the most deluded tourney in decades.

      • it just makes us fans mad that he’s Mexican and playing in a much better league than anyone else called in

      • While Joe Corona id spend some time in Mexico growing up, he was born in Southern California (Los Angeles, I believe), went to high school in San Diego County where he was county soccer player of the year, and was attending San Diego State, hoping to get an MLS contract, when the Tijuana Xolos offered him a contract, which he signed. I don’t see how that makes him more Mexican than American.

  13. I like the lineup, but I would make the following changes…start Gonz and move Ventura to RB. Move Yedlin to RM, Corona to bench.

  14. I like it, lets just go for it. I want to see what some of these guys can bring. We can be more conservative when the Gold Cup come around.

  15. This should probably go in the USA call-up for Mexico article, but that article is already buried. For the life of me I can’t understand some of these call-ups. Enough had already been said about the Ibarra, Evans, and Wondo call-ups. Bad call-ups, Jurgen being Jergen, enough said.

    This Jordan Morris thing is ridiculous. I know the Klinsmann fan-boys will say something like “he’s an U-23 player getting ready for the Olympics”, whatever! That’s just the fan-boys reaching for something to defend Klinsmann with. Olympic qualifying isn’t even until October. This is a senior team selection. Throw Morris to some U-23 camp if there is one. Let’s look at some numbers, and since I am a Bruin, I will compare Morris to a Bruin:

    Leo Stolz (midfielder):
    2014: MAC Hermann winner (best player in the nation). Soccer-America player of the year. First-team all-america and pac-12. (24 points, 9 goals, 6 assists).
    2013: Hermann MAC finalist, First-team All-America and Pac 12. (30 points, 11 goals, 8 assists).

    Jordan Morris (forward):
    2014: First-team All-America and Pac-12. (14 points, 4 goals, 6 assists).
    2013: Pac-12 first team. (19 points, 6 goals, 7 assists)

    I am flattering Jordan Morris by even comparing him to Leo Stolz. I used the comparison because they both played in the Pac-12, against the same competition, at the same time. Point is that Morris isn’t even close to being one of the best college players in the nation. Not only was Stolz better, but anyone that follows college soccer knows that there are a lot of players out there that are/were better than Morris. Look at his goals as a forward and compare them to Stolz’ as a midfielder. It is a joke that Klinsmann keeps calling him in to the senior national team, all because the USMNT had pre-world cup training at Stanford and Klinsmann developed one of his man-crushes that he is so famous for now.

      • You could argue that Julian Green is just in a bad club situation not to different from that of Jozy or Shea. However if you are going to call him in then we need to see him on the field before the Gold Cup. If not its a waste of time just having him hang out in another camp.

      • Except that Jozy has at least scored plenty of goals in Holland whereas Green has only scored against fourth division teams.

      • I’m not even really arguing that Green should have been called in. I’m just saying if you’re going to, then put him on the field.

      • Ok but how long can he live off that shank? Those 15 minutes were the only time he’s looked good for the USMNT.

    • I agree, I don’t really see the argument for this being about a U23 spot. They are only in camp a couple days before the match. January camp is one thing getting extended training but that’s not the case here.

      We only have a couple more camps before the Gold Cup. This is about taking a look at who can contribute to winning that trophy.

    • I agree. The Morris call is one of many odd ones. Stolz was the best player in college soccer and can’t even make the bench for RBNY. That tells you how good college soccer is.

    • Uhhh buddy, Leo Stolz is 24 years old. He was playing against kids 4 and 5 years younger than he was. Jordan Morris is 20. Further, Stolz isn’t an American citizen. No clue what point you were trying to prove, but you missed badly.

      • The fact that you missed the point says everything about you and nothing about me. Let me slow it down for you so maybe you will understand.

        Jordan Morris is only a college player. Jordan Morris is not even the best college player out there. Leo Stolz was the best college player but is only a bench player in MLS. Somehow Jordan Morris is on the senior USMNT over better professionals playing in MLS and in other leagues around the world. Should we question Klinsmann’s ability to evaluate talent because of this?

      • I could be wrong, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Jogi Low has no idea who Leo Stolz even is. Yet here in America we have Klinsmann calling up an above-average college player to our senior national team numerous times. Kind of embarrassing.

      • You really need to look at the Morris callups in a more nuanced way. He plays a position of perpetual need, first off. Our wingers in the pool lack the technique and athleticism of a Jordan Morris. I’m not saying I know all about the guy or have seen him play much. All I’ve heard is he has Yedlin-type speed but is also a really heads-up player who looks to create more often than he looks to score. Anyway if you look at all the callups that people have questioned (Green, Ibarra; few questioned the Gyau callups when he was healthy even though he is a reserve player for BvB), they all play similar positions. Wide forward, winger, whatever you want to call it. Jurgen is desperate to find a player who can make an impact from that position on the pitch. He’s absolutely desperate.

      • Or….maybe Klinsmann and his staff have more access to data and have seen these individuals up close and how they interact, they’re talents, etc. and that’s why they call him in? Case in point, ESPN conducted an interview with Berti Vogts who singled out Jordan Morris and spoke highly of how skilled he was and that it was remarkable to him that Morris still chose to play in college and not go pro. This might not be the answer, but it’s another possibility and way to look at things.

        I realize that a lot of fans (yourself included) have a difficult time understanding gray areas and that you perceive things like roster decisions as black or white, this or that guy, which is why you don’t understand the call ups a lot of the time. Hopefully this post helped a little.

      • Awww…. look what’s back…. it’s the old inferiority complex. I’m sorry if we are “embarrassing” in the eyes of Germany for you. But allow me to spoil the surprise for you… we actually aren’t as good or deep as Germany. Germany can play a World Cup final, lose a starting CM in warmup, lose his replacement inside 25 mins, and still look like nothing happened. If Jogi Low looks down on us, it’s because he can… we have plenty of company, if it makes you feel less ashamed.

        We get to play our hand differently because we have different cards. Exactly what is your theory about why Jordan Morris is being called up, anyway? If you don’t believe he has talent or potential to contribute, why would Klinsmann and his team want him around? It’s not like this is an investment bank… having a “Stanford guy on the team” doesn’t get us anywhere. There is zero cost for simply dumping the guy… so why persist? What’s the conspiracy hypothesis here?

      • Diego, your point is not lost on me. I know Germany is better than us. Their pool is deeper and more talented than ours. Let’s not get cute though, your rant is simply being used to distract from the subject at hand.

        The subject is Jordan Morris being on the senior national team. Our we that bad as a soccer nation where Jordan Morris makes our senior team? Maybe Jordan Morris is really good and I haven’t seen it, but I doubt it. Unlike many of you who are arguing with me just to argue, or to defend Klinsmann, I have seen lots of Morris. Not only his USA games but I have the Pac-12 network and have seen many Stanford games. Morris doesn’t stand out as much as a 20 something-year-old that plays on the senior-national team over other young-professional players/prospects should. Not even close. There’s no way of me knowing for sure, but I would feel very confident gambling money that I have seen Jordan Morris play in more soccer games than most/all the posters on this site.

        To answer your question. I have no idea, I have no theory. It perplexes me why Klinsmann calls up Morris. Could it really be that he thinks Morris is more talented? I doubt it. Maybe he is just one of those types that likes to take on projects. The type that looks at someone and says, “i see something in you. And since I am in a position to help you out i’m going to bring you along and help you out.” Until Jordan Morris proves otherwise, I am happy to assume that he is more lucky than deserving of his position right now.

      • I think he’s trying to put guys like Ibarra and Morris in the shop window, and get them good club situations where they can be of use to him.

        What’s the old saying…talent will always trump experience…if you are willing to give talent experience? Seems like what he’s up to here.

        That’s kinda a “must”, IMHO, if you’re in Klinsmann’s shoes. Our pool isn’t deep enough for him to just kick back and passively wait for MLS or the rare duck who makes it in Europe to rise up on their lonesome and then get regarded with a selection. He kinda has to ID guys at need positions – and we definitely need forwards and wingers (do we even HAVE a winger we’re comfortable with yet)…so again, if you’re Klinsmann, if you don’t grow one, you’re probably starting somebody like a Jonathan Bornstein or Rico Clarke if you take the passive approach.

        Just MHO. We’ll see where the likes of Green/Morris/Ibarra rate when the Gold Cup and Olympics roll around.

      • I’m well aware Stolz isn’t a US citizen. What does that have to do with it. UCLABruinGreat’s posts explain my point. Thanks.

      • Hardly. I guess you find it hard to believe that someone other than me thinks it’s a waste to call in college players and NASL guys but actually it’s not that uncommon an opinion.

    • people who say Morris, Yedlin, and Green are there due to youth tournaments coming up later are not fanboys. this has been known for MONTHS. why are people still so confused on this and convinced that if you believe it, you are a fanboy?

      also, did you see the comments from Vogts about Morris? this guy, of all people, thinks Morris is a really good player and is dumbfounded at why he is playing in college. but it shows you that there is a very clear reason he keeps coming…everyone seems to rate him. you can fault him for wanting to stay in college, but if he’s good, he’s good. is Stolz even eligible for the US? he’s also 4 years older so i think it’s hard to compare the two. plus, our midfield is stacked so not sure how Stolz would even slot in. or you just making a random comparison to make a comparison that fits your opinion?

      the Ibarra thing I don’t get but I think JK was looking for anyone who can play wide once Gyau went down. but i’m with you on that. same with Wondo and Evans. don’t need them.

    • Yikes, man. This Stolz rant is really stinking up the place. You missed the bus on this one big time, UCLA. First of all, talent evaluation is based on talent. Not college statistics. Stolz is really in his element playing college ball; great for him. I don’t care about him, and evidently, I don’t need to at this moment in his career, but to question whether JK has his eye on the Hermann trophy winner or not is plain stupid. Stupidity, man. Ibarra doesn’t have the best statistics in the USL. I think he may have garnered most valuable player honors, but on paper, there are considerably better players in his league. He fits a need and provides things that other players in the pool simply cannot. Yes, the USL sucks as well, but Ibarra provides something that, obviously, JK feels little to no one in the pool can provide. Let’s think clearly here; he’s probably…, yeah, correct. College soccer is what it is; I hate to say it that way, but it’s that simple. It’s college sports. Talent evaluation is based on talent. Stolz’s numbers indicate he can play ball in an American college setting (heh?). JK has only ever dealt with one class of footballer prior to taking the helm of the US: it’s called world class. I can recognize when a guy can play within the first 15 seconds of him having the ball at his feet. I think JK is able to discern between which players meet our needs and which do not. Come on, man (or woman, I guess). I know nothing about either player, but I know enough about the game to understand why JK favors a Morris. Most likely, he has the right tools mentally and ‘plays the right way’. For your information, there are less than 20 players in our player pool who truly and consistently play the game the right way. MLS fosters this sort of play; a lack of consistency can be seen across the board with every team and every player. This is largely what separates the best (europe), from the rest. He’s probably the total Klins package of ability combined with strict, strict discipline on and off the pitch. He’s also probably been very consistent every time he’s been under the microscope of JK. Or maybe he just has the tools, i.e. Brek Shea, which is another player I’m sure you’ve dismissed at certain points. I’ve seen college soccer extensively and played it at the highest level. The game is still littered with garbage and mediocrity across the board. Let the talent evaluators evaluate the talent. If Stolz, or any other player in our pool, is good enough, and fits one of our infinite glaring needs, they will play. We’re talking about a US national team with virtually no depth at any position, at any time in our history, except for goalkeeper. You missed the bus, and since you’ve already graduated college and consider yourself great, it’s likely that you’ll never catch it. You’re part of a generation that does not understand.

      • I also wanted to not what a waste of time your gathering of college statistics was. JK has scouts watching these guys. They evaluate talent. If Stolz is good enough he will play. A catastrophic waste of time and energy.

      • Mitch, you are the one that missed the bus. Let me break you down.

        1). You write, “First of all, talent evaluation is based on talent. Not college statistics”.

        Talent is subjective buddy. This is like showing up to a job interview and saying, “i have talent.” The interviewer will then say “ok, well lets see the proof of this. Show me examples of your work and tell me what you have accomplished”. We use stats in sports all the time, as examples of players’ abilities and how they manifest on the court/field.

        2). You missed my larger point. Stolz was just a player I used to make an example/comparison. He is German and probably not eligible for the USMNT. The point was to show that Jordan Morris isn’t even some college phenom. To put it in college-football terms, he is no Marcus Marriota or Jameis Winston. He’s just a good college soccer player. If he was as great as JK rates him, then he would have received more fan-fare from multiple sources last year.

        3.) You missed my largest point. You wrote “Let the talent evaluators evaluate the talent.”

        These talent-evaluators are leaving a lot to be desired. That’s the biggest point I am making. You don’t agree that’s fine. But if you think that Jordan Morris is one of the best 22 American players that are currently playing in all of the United States and Mexico, then I don’t know what to tell you.

      • Your last paragraph sums up the difference of opinion. Some of us could care less if the team selected for Wednesday is somehow quantifiably the “best 22 American players” available for selection. I strongly doubt it is, nor do I care particularly.

        For me, if the manager wants to leave out a few potentially better players whom he thinks are “known quantities” so he can have a look at some newer guys and further evaluate their potential first-hand, then so be it. Fine with me– we”ll never have a better opportunity for this kind of evaluation until the next cycle, and it’s well known how little time NT managers actually get to spend with their pool players. This is a luxury that UEFA teams do not have given that Euro qualifying begins immediately following the WC…. why not maximize it?

        Hey I understand if you feel differently… maybe you want to see a “Best XI” out there every time we play. Totally understandable, especially against Mexico. Some of us just see it differently.

      • Those are reasonable points and I guess we just disagree. At least you didn’t go down the “how dare you question JK road” like so many others.

        I think the picks of guys like Morris and Ibarra are just to stick it to MLS and we’ve seen before he’ll make roster selections just to prove a point.

      • Slow, I like that you’re point about “not questioning JK” too easy to generalize like that.

        I have to disagree though that JK is picking these guys to “stick it” to the MLS. Like what was stated above, I see these guys as being picked to fill certain roles now and to evaluate future potential. Are there guys in MLS who you think can fill the types of roles these guys will fill now & in the future that are directly correlate to their situations.

        To be clear, I think Ibarra (25 yrs old) was brought in for the short term. Think the next four years, and for direct top level speed to break open back lines later in games. See Yedlin in the WC as a similar example. Morris, comparatively projects into the same role Jozy currently occupies, but for the long term. His ceiling could be very high, and those with many years of experience evaluating talent appear from our POV to rate him.

        Getting back to my point, I don’t see anyone in MLS that fills these two types of roles that is eligible now. If Nagbe was eligible at the moment, I think he’d be occupying Ibarra’s spot. For MLS though, I can’t think of a young forward who has been rated and/or proven himself to be where Morris is currently at. Do you see anyone in those roles from MLS?

      • Point 1) You argue that talent is subjective (it is), and then provide objective criterion (stats). You’re UCLA degree has you confused over objective/subjective.

        Point 2) You heavily weight objective criterion, which clearly goes against all the posts here (and your own statement) on the subjective nature of talent evaluation.

        Point 3) “These talent-evaluators are leaving a lot to be desired. That’s the biggest point I am making.” Wow. You turn all your opponents into straw men (logical fallacy), when I doubt that anyone here lacks criticism of JK. And that’s your big point?

      • Darwin, I appreciate the attempt, but you just made a clear example at someone trying to be a smarta$$ but failing miserably.

        Let’s go back to your number 1). “You argue that talent is subjective (it is), and then provide objective criterion (stats). You’re UCLA degree has you confused over objective/subjective.”

        In case you didn’t notice, my comment isn’t out there by itself, it is a reply to Mitch. Mitch wrote to me saying that statistics are useless, and that talent is the only thing that matters. So then I said what I said, basically saying that talent is subjective, and stats objective, and that’s why stats are constantly used in sports.

        So as you can see I in no way contradicted myself or mixed up subjective and objective. Instead you just made yourself look silly in front of everybody here to read it. Want to take back your snarky UCLA comment now?

        Also you failed in your point 3. “these talent-evaluators are leaving a lot to be desired” is a reference to JK and his staff, not our fellow posters here. If you are going to jump into a conversation, then you should probably read the whole thread.

      • LOL. Ok, your argument is non sequitur IN YOUR OWN POST!

        Anyway –

        You say: “I am flattering Jordan Morris by even comparing him [statistically] to Leo Stolz.”

        Mitch says: “He fits a need and provides things [subjective criteria] that other players in the pool simply cannot.”

        OK, only a relative newcomer would make an inflammatory ‘player x inclusion’ statement aimed at JK based on stats – which is Mitch’s point.

        Then you say to me:”“these talent-evaluators are leaving a lot to be desired” is a reference to JK and his staff, not our fellow posters here. If you are going to jump into a conversation, then you should probably read the whole thread.”

        WOW, you are dense Bruin. Your aim at JK is obvious across all of your posts. Yet you ask (in an earlier post) “Should we question Klinsmann’s ability to evaluate talent because of this?”

        To which I said: “I doubt that anyone here lacks criticism of JK. And that’s your big point?”

        You should have gone to USC.

      • Just like to jump in here on 2 points. Regarding evaluation whether subjective or objective, you say other sports use statistics. That isn’t always true. I have seen many times when minor league baseball players will be highly thought of despite only mediocre statistics because of certain abilities and because of potential they demonstrate. News flash–some athletes develop much later than others. Clint Dempsey didn’t play his first pro game until he was 21 and I think he was largely unknown. All the time guys who caused no attention in college football make NFL teams because they continue to develop and go beyond those who peak earlier. So, to say that statistics at a young age tell us what talent a person has is just plain uninformed. Secondly, you criticize Klinsmann and his staff as being poor talent evaluators, and that includes Bertie Vogts who has a resume of success as long as your arm. So, in effect, you are saying that you are a better evaluator of talent than Klinsmann and all his scouts and advisers. If that isn’t arrogance, then what is?

      • Two things in response to you Gary:

        1). Now you guys are putting words in my mouth. Never did I say stats are the be-all and end-all. Remember that my stats reference was in a direct response to Mitch who brought up the stats thing saying it was a waste of time. Of course you use both stats and the “eye-test” so to speak. You use everything available to you. But for anyone to say that stats “don’t matter” in evaluation just because in that instance it goes against their argument is ridiculous. Surely you have to agree with that?

        2.) On your last point Gary I will never “beat” you. You (and others) always go back to this “you’re not a coach”, “you don’t have his resume” remark. That’s fine, you are right. But using that is lazy/convenient because the same goes for everyone on this board/website. Basically your argument is that we can’t/shouldn’t question anything that Klinsmann or any professional manager/coach/player does because we don’t have “the resume”. I’ve seen, and I’m sure you have also, plenty of fan-bases get a manager fired in all sports. So obviously the manager is not always correct. Fan’s opinions aren’t worthless because we don’t have the “coaching resume”. I can still easily see players play and determine who is good and who isn’t. Who is good and who is great.

      • Stolz isn’t even in our pool. You’ve totally missed the point we have been making about him. And what does “play the right way” even mean?

        Finally, the last part of your post makes no sense. The USMNT is better than it has been in the past. Certainly deeper anyway. More inferiority complex stuff. Americans can’t play soccer so we need “Americans” who grew up elsewhere to save us. Totally false.

      • Meant to say the player pool is better. Results aren’t much better due in part to an inept coach.

  16. Green over nguyen on the left? Might be the way klinsmann goes, but I’d like to see Nguyen start and green off the bench.

    • Agreed. I’m not really sure where Green is at. Haven’t seen him play at all of late, which includes the USMNT. But, I’m not sure Nguyen is a good guy to throw on the wing. Everything comes down to our shape. In a 4-4-2, I can definitely see the proposed lineup, but I don’t think that is our best roster. What I would like to see:


      You can switch Mix and Nguyen, or throw in Agudelo as a striker and move Nguyen to the wing, but he doesn’t have the pace for that position, so at least this keeps him on the pitch. The only other change could be moving Zardes to the wing for Corona and slot in Agudelo.

      • my guess is if Nguyen where to play in that formation, he, like Morales in the last game, would not really be utilized out wide. he would be pinched in and playing similar to a left or right mid in a box midfield. which i don’t think is worth seeing either.

      • +1. Unfortunately, you have Bradley in the correct position here. So we all know this lineup won’t happen.

      • Haha. Fair enough. Now that you mention it, Gonzo should be our lone striker as well. What was I thinking?

      • Understandable. I am not a big fan of either being a lone striker to be honest, which is the reason for having Nguyen so close to them to help with relieving pressure and combining (offensive ingenuity). Problem is, I am trying to get the best group of players on the field at one time, which you may or may not agree are the ones I posted. So, in order to get Agudelo on the field as well, without sacrificing Nguyen, I could see Zardes moving into Corona’s spot and then Agudelo up top as the lone striker. Maybe that is more to your liking. I am not necessarily stuck on this, but I am going with a lone striker to keep Nguyen in the lineup. Otherwise, Zardes and Agudelo could play up top together, but I would then drop Nguyen as I don’t personally consider him a wing option, even if Corona is the wing option (not sold on him, but a decent player). That is my personal conundrum, but I suppose you and others may prefer to sacrifice Corona for Nguyen on the wing, not necessarily to be an out-and-out winger, but maybe as a false winger that moves into the middle on offense and back to the wing on defense.

      • ————————Wondolowski————————

  17. A game like Mexico seems custom made for a player like Kyle beckerman. Julian green can come off the bench and score a game winner.


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