Top Stories

Who should the USMNT start vs. Brazil?

USMNTStartingXI1-HondurasGoldCup2015 (Getty)



Jurgen Klinsmann may have found some answers last week, but he will be looking for even more on Tuesday against another fierce South American opponent.

After beating Peru, 2-1, on Friday in Washington, D.C., the U.S. Men’s National Team has traveled north to Boston to prepare for a Tuesday night encounter with star-studded Brazil. The match represents the U.S. team’s final tune-up ahead of the all-important showdown with Mexico in the CONCACAF Cup next month, and as such we should see Klinsmann field another strong lineup.

In fact, Klinsmann has the added benefit of having Michael Bradley available for this one. Bradley just joined the U.S. after missing the Peru game to stay with Toronto FC, and is all but guaranteed to slot back into the midfield. How Klinsmann uses both Bradley and Jermaine Jones is a bit of an unknown, however, given that the two veterans have not always been on the same page when playing directly alongside one another.

Another area where Klinsmann will have to really think carefully is up top. Jozy Altidore is sure to start after bagging a brace in the nation’s capital, but Clint Dempsey’s absence once again opens the door for another reserve to make a statement.

Which players will start on Tuesday night? Here is the lineup we can see Klinsmann going with against Brazil:

USMNT vs Brazil 2015

Some thoughts:

There are four projected changes to the group that topped Peru, with Michael Bradley, Danny Williams, and Geoff Cameron all getting nods while Alejandro Bedoya shifts out wide to take DeAndre Yedlin’s spot.

One of the main questions for Klinsmann in this one is how to pair midfield cogs Bradley and Jermaine Jones together. Bradley and Jones have not always shown to have a great understanding in terms of who attacks and who defends, but that is why Klinsmann may go with a 4-3-3 formation that gives both of them licenses to get forward without having to figure out who stays behind to clean things up.

That task would go to Williams, who is in form after regularly starting for Reading and has decent enough range to help stymie Neymar, Hulk, and the rest of the Brazil’s envious crop of attacking talent.

Jozy Altidore is all but guaranteed to again spearhead the attack for the Americans, but might have to do so as more of a lone striker. While Altidore does seem to play better when he has a forward partner, the need for Williams as the defensive midfielder might force Klinsmann to have to supplement Altidore with two wide players.

The speedy Gyasi Zardes – who can act as a second forward when in attack – would then man the left again while the versatile Alejandro Bedoya replaces DeAndre Yedlin at a more comfortable wide right spot to help defensively and with possession.

It is hard to envision many major changes to the defense given the solid performance the back line had against Peru, but one possible swap could be taking out Michael Orozco and inserting Geoff Cameron at right back. Orozco started vs. Peru, but he and Cameron took turns by playing a half each. The same could happen here with Cameron starting and Orozco coming off the bench.

As for the centerback tandem, some observers might not have been fully convinced by John Brooks and Omar Gonzalez’s joint effort. The duo, however, only gave up a goal via a deflection, so Klinsmann will probably stick with them while keeping Tim Ream at left back and Brad Guzan in goal.


What do you think about this USMNT lineup? How would you deploy Bradley and Jones on the field together? Can Altidore serve as the lone forward vs. the Brazilians?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. So starting 3 holding midfielders and 4 Cb’s is a very defensive and a recipe for disaster. These line-ups get more comical all the time. Poor JK is completely clueless. Mexico has got to be thrilled that the longer JK coach’s the worse to US gets.

  2. I like the 4-3-3, Franco. In fact, the US should transition to that permanently if Dempsey is unavailable. However, I would like Cameron to play CB and Yedlin at RB. It’s a friendly so let’s see how he looks there. If he’s not a good RB for the US, what makes us think he’s gonna get games there for Sunderland. Plus he’s not a polished enough attacker (doing things like shooting, taking players on 1on1 looking to score rather than shoot, passing, etc.) for me to feel confident in him, especially in a 4-3-3.

  3. Thankfully Brazil is in a bit of transition period right now. I can see the USA pulling off an upset similar to Spain in the confed cup. By that I mean surviving countless attacks by Brazil and sneaking in a goal.
    I sure hope this is not the lineup JK uses. There is not much hope of maintaining any meaningful possession in the offensive third. JA as a lone striker never seems to work (inform or not, I lean towards not since he has not been 100% and has been coming off the bench in league because of it). Playing 3 DM is a horrible idea. Defending all game and hoping we get a counter attacking goal is not the type of soccer that the US was promised by JK. I understand its Brazil, but if JK was not concerned about friendly results as he has stated and shown in the past through his use of so many players in friendlies. Why not try to play possessive attacking soccer against top teams in friendlies. That is how the US will learn. I won’t be impressed by a 1-0 loss to Brazil and say “we only lost by 1 to Brazil, that’s good” while the stats show complete dominance by Brazil.

  4. The way to beat Brazil is on the counter, keeping in mind that their fullbacks usually push high to attack and they play defensively in the middle. I’d play a 4-4-2, with Jones and Bradley in the middle, Zardes and Yedlin on the wings to get behind Brazil’s fullbacks, Altidore up top, and Wood or Morris as a withdrawn forward who sits behind Brazil’s central mids. Jones and Bradley should both think defense first and use the speed in front of them as outlets rather than pushing forward themselves. The way to lose to Brazil is to let them run at you in open spaces. Bottle them up and close them down and you stand a chance — this isn’t the most creative team they’ve had when confronted with numbers behind the ball.

  5. If Morris, Yedlin, Wooten, Woods, Johannsson and Diskerud are our offensive subs, then Howard and Orozco are our defensive subs. Don’t expect to see one of each.

  6. I want to see Morris start up top along side Jozy. If Morris isn’t full fitness, sub him at half for AJ, and bring Wooten on for Jozy when that bad man starts running out of gas. Morris pops off the page to me, and I want him to get all the experience he can with us and see how he grows. If he impresses, I want him on that Mexico squad, regardless of the Olympics. I know the Olympics are cooler and more prestigious than the Confederations Cup, but I still find this upcoming Mexico game of massive importance.

    I also want to see Killa Cam play RCB, but maybe it’s best to keep him outside behind Yedlin/Bedoya if we think that’s how we will best challenge Mexico. If we think Yedlin behind Bedoya is our best right side, why not move Cameron into a role that he knows how to play? Gonzo, Alvarado, and Orozco just don’t seem to be claiming that spot.

    I would let Ream and Zardes have another half on the left, but bring in Garza to see what he has going on with Zardes, and in general.

    Williams could use a look. I haven’t loved what I seen from Morales and Mix the last few USMNT games, and they seem to have gotten more chances. Corona’s game just doesn’t seem to fit into this team well. I think getting Williams 45 minutes alongside a Jones or Bradley, battling Brazil, would be huge for him, and let us learn more about where he is in development.

    Guzman starts, Howard subs with 20 left regardless of scoreline. As cool as it would be to let Sean Johnson get this experience, this is our last test before the final. I think it would be good for Howard to jump in with the guys for a bit, find his feel, get a real welcome back. Even if Howard doesn’t need anything like that to prepare himself,if Guzan can’t go for Mexico or has to leave the game, Sean Johnson isn’t the number 2.

  7. another fierce opponent? nope.
    Peru is not “fierce opponent” more like another concacf team.
    Brasil Argentina nd maybe Colombia are fierce South American opponents. Germany France and Italy are the only others.

    • Thank you for explaining your arbitrary standard for the word “fierce”.

      I’d suggest that any team that came in third in the Copa América is not like just “another CONCACAF team”.

      • lol. thanks for your reply.
        if you want to learn the meaning of arbitrary spend a few minutes analyzing Jurguen.
        oh, and the US is also just another concacaf team. doesnt men they can’t be good. CR and Mex are good. Panama can be too.
        if you fear playing Peru then you’re doomed to perenial mediocrity. which is fine.
        just dont try anything fierce unless youre drinking your happy gatorade

      • Peru is a fierce opponent, because they are only behind the likes of Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Uruguay and maybe 4-5 others in CONMEBOL. Being a top ten power in their region would equate to a Sweden or a Croatia in Europe

      • Look, the guy claims there are only five, maybe six, “fierce” opponents in the entire world. He’s obviously not worth your time to argue with.

    • Whether they are fierce or not, Peru plays a very similar style and is similar in ability as Mexico. I think that is why they were scheduled.

  8. My experiment would look like this.


  9. I think Brazil would really punish a 4-3-3. Although I don’t really fault Omar for the Peru goal, I think we need someone quicker in the middle than he is. Additionally, he has been prone to make bad passes that lead to turnovers in his half of the field. While you might be able to get away with that once or twice with Peru, you can’t afford to make those kinds of mistakes versus Brazil. So I would put in someone more mobile and a better passer than Omar is. Maybe you put Cameron in at CB and Yedlin at RB.

  10. formation similar to the formation we used to play the GERMANY (Bobbie Wood, Jordan Morris and Deandre Yedlin second half!!!!!)

    ————————Gyasi Zardes——–Aron Johannsson————————

    ———————————Michael Bradley———————————————

    —–Mix Diskerud———————————————-Alejandro Bedoya——

    ———————————–Danny Williams——————————————–

    Tim Ream——–John Brook———–Omar Gonzalez——Geoff Cameron

    —————————————Tim Howard———————————————


    formation similar to the formation we used to play the NETHERLANDS (not a lot of defense though)





    • You cannot have 4 in midfield against a Brazil (even this weak Brazil team) who can hold the ball and counter with speed. What you ideally need is a forward and out wingers who defend and attack with speed.

      • When Jozy does all the little things right, all you little haters complain that he didn’t score. When he nets two, you cry that he played poorly and just got lucky.

        Does the term “moving the goalposts” mean anything to you? Because a 25 year old put two between them Friday, and he’s done it 29 times for the United States in his career, and there’s only four men in history who have done it more often than that.

      • Lucky goals? He earned the first PK. Not a flop. He got fouled and earned. And his second goal was a pure poachers finish. Right place at the right time. He’s only 25 and is top 5 in USMNT goals. If Dempsey had scored the same goals he would be MOTM. Outside of the goals in the Gold Cup, Dempsey was no dominating figure but since he finished his chances the narrative changed so why shouldn’t it for Jozy.

  11. One of the more audacious lineups I’ve seen SBI predict. I wouldn’t mind seeing it at all. Definitely have some reservations about Williams in that role though. Maybe Cameron as the #6, and someone else at RB…

  12. A 4-3-3 against Brazil? I highly doubt it. I see only one change in this lineup…Yedlin for Bedoya. Yedlin gives you recovery speed and can stretch Brazil’s defense, not sure what for, Jozy is not one to take advantage of a decent cross.

  13. When is that last time Klinsmann went with a 4-3-3? Unless i am forgetting a game i think its been a long time. I wouldnt object to it but i doubt he will go with a 4-3-3.

    • I wouldn’t call this a traditional 4-3-3 is more of a 4-1-2-2-1. Is a more defensive formation, able to shift to help to the strong side. The problem with this formation is almost toothless, Jozy is not one to create his own chances. If a goal is going to come is going to be from either Zardes cutting inside or Bradley-Jones making a run down the middle.

  14. Wooten. If Wooten fails in the first half, just bring Kevin Bacon or Altidore for second half, but curious about Wooten’s performance with USNT would be answered.


Leave a Comment