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Who should the USMNT start vs. Canada?

With the much easier of the two Nations League tests out of the way, the U.S. Men’s National Team is now focused on Tuesday’s match against Canada, and the lineup capable of dismantling the neighbors to the north.

Gregg Berhalter didn’t come out and say it, but he clearly rested some players with an eye towards saving them for the Canada match, with Zack Steffen heading that list and Aaron Long also a member.

Much of the attack that rolled over Cuba should be the same group that faces the Canadians, led by Christian Pulisic.

Here is the lineup we could see face Canada on Tuesday:



Zack Steffen should get the nod after being rested for the Cuba match. His outstanding form over the past month should have him locked in on Tuesday.


Berhalter should make wholesale changes to his back-line, with Aaron Long a good bet to anchor the central defense. Miles Robinson would have been a good option but was forced out by a hamstring injury. That means either Matt Miazga or Tim Ream will need to turn in a second straight start. Miazga is the better bet as the younger option.

At right back, Reggie Cannon has made five straight starts but it’s a safe bet Berhalter will give DeAndre Yedlin the nod. Canada’s speed in attack will be tough to deal with, but Yedlin has the speed and experience to handle that challenge.

Left back should go to Nick Lima, who has spent much of 2019 playing as a left back for the San Jose Earthquakes. A natural right back, Lima has the speed and defensive quality to fill the role well. Daniel Lovitz is the other option, but he was underwhelming against Cuba, leaving you to wonder just how much longer he will be a regular call-up.


Michael Bradley should anchor the midfield in the defensive midfield role after being rested against Cuba. Jackson Yueill got the nod against Cuba, and is clearly a prospect Berhalter rates, but Bradley’s experience will be key in a tough test on the road against Canada.

Weston McKennie had a monster game against Cuba, and did it in just 45 minutes, so he’ll be rested and ready to go against Canada as one of the attacking midfielders. Berhalter has several options to partner with McKennie, including the option of deploying Pulisic next to McKennie. We saw Pulisic in a central role in the second half against Cuba, and Berhalter could decide to put pressure on the heart of Canada’s midfield with Pulisic’s quick dribbles and incisive passing.

If Berhalter sticks with Pulisic as a winger, then he will need to choose between Cristian Roldan and Sebastian Lletget for the number 10 role next to McKennie. Roldan started against Cuba and should get the nod again.


Pulisic should start on the left wing, while Jordan Morris is a good bet to start on the right wing once again after his standout performance against Cuba. Morris has been in good form for both club and country, and his speed should cause problems for Canada’s defense.

At striker, Josh Sargent had a solid outing against Cuba and could earn the nod once again. Berhalter could decide to turn to Gyasi Zardes due to his edge in experience, and if the minor knock Sargent suffered on his ankle against Cuba becomes more of an issue.

If he’s healthy, Sargent should get the nod.


What do you think of this projected lineup? Who would you like to see start against Canada?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Usa wins today boys I don’t care if they have players in good leagues we do too. We will have to defend well and create chances but also I think the us at times must have the ability to counter on opposition mistakes USA let’s go 2-1. Morris and Sargent goals

  2. “The wolf on the hill is not as hungry as the wolf climbing the hill.”

    Canada are hungry, looking for bragging rights and the sad thing the USMNT has an arrogance that doesn’t match our performance on the field. Our progression as been stagnant for too long and now once inferior teams in CONCACAF have caught up to us. This game is not going to be as easy, especially with Lucas Cavallini (Puebla), Alphonso Davies (Bayern Munich), Mark-Anthony Kaye (Los Angeles FC), and Jonathan David (Gent), as most think. Not to mention we play them again in November

    We will see today when rubber hits the road at 7:30!!! GO USA ?? ?? ?? !!!!!!!!

  3. Steffen.
    Berhalter knows a bad result will get more criticism. Also Sargent has combined well with morris and has better movements of ball and first touch. Zardes sucks and that is indisputable work rates don’t matter. We arent looking to play long balls to zardes. We looked more dangerous with true wingers in morris and arriola playing balls to the box into overlaping mids or center foward but not zardes. The truth hurts zardes isn’t good enough and Berhalter will need to start Sargent again.

  4. Because someone is on this roster doesn’t mean he is the best player at his position! It means GB wants him there for whatever reason Some are there because of talent, some because of favoritism (MLS bias) but all are there because GB wants them there. The coach is the ultimate decider. The outcome of his decisions are completely on him, whatever that outcome might be.

  5. Well I hope its a harder game than Cuba (waste of time) I am also sure the GB will start Zardes and find some way of getting his other pet… Trapp on the field too. If Canada has any speed, Bradley will be beat like a circus monkey. At some point GB has to stop calling in some of these clowns and start to think about building a team for the future. A big score against a team most Div 1 college teams could beat, makes us look better than we really are. Canada is a harder test so we’ll see. Zardes, Trapp, Bradley, Guzan, Lovitz and yes, Jozy (I know hes hurt) and a few others…. need to be cut loose. Jozy might be able to hang around awhile as a bench player but he is too old and too slow to be part of the future. I hate to hope for a bad result but I think thats the only way there is to get rid of GB. He will never get us past the Central Americans in qualifying and I do NOT want to miss events because of that fool

  6. I am hoping that we will not have to see Ream at LB. The thought of Alphonso Davies runnig at Ream is scary. Arfield is a big big key to Canada’s offensive flow. I wish we had Tyler Adams to drive him nuts all game. I fear Michael Bradley will give him all kinds of time and space so he can pick out any of their 2-3 very good forwards and carve us up. Cut off the head of that snake and Canada doesn’t have much but counter attacks up their sleeve. Let Arfield control the game and we’re in for a tough match. Simple as that.

    • Unfortunately we fans don’t get a vote, Bradley is going to start. Other than that the only other one would be a Sargent I think 3G will go with experience and Zardes. The rest seems right.

      • what exactly is zardes’ “experience?” he was more mid than forward on a team that failed to qualify. he has been in the team 4 years and the toughest regional opponent he has scored on was TnT. and he is at least “fit” compared to bradley, who similarly gets kept around for “offense” and “experience,” even though in recent years the offense has in statistical terms dried up. i don’t doubt GB will do it, but it’s a backwards step and i’m getting annoyed it may consume years more and maybe even this cycle. surely you grasp how wasteful it is to make cycle-long mistakes.

      • But all of those things you discounted are still things that Zardes has done that Sargent has not. I would start Sargent I understand why you would start Sargent but I think 3G will start Zardes. If you really watch, Zardes makes better runs than Sargent into the box. Sargent basically runs at the same speed to same spot making himself easier to defend. Sargent has far better touch and finishing but Zardes is harder on the CBs to track. Again though we agree I just don’t think 3G does.

    • The emotional response to both Zardes and Bradley is so strange too me. They both are on the roster because they haven’t been beat out of their spots. The work rate of both are superior to anyone else at their positions. The fact that Zardes started out as a winger has nothing to do with where he plays now. Do I love the guy or even want him as the starting forward? Nope. Zardes has more experience playing against men. The physicality of playing with men is different that playing with youth. Zardes has more experience playing in international games. More experience playing in atmospheres like the one they will face at BMO. More experience plaing in GB’s system. Again, I don’t care if he starts or Sargent – just answering the question of experience. As far asBradley goes…pretty much the same. Bradley is slower then ever but still brings the intelligence that brought him to Serie A. .GB if anything has been giving apparent replacements a lot of minutes. Bradley’s days are near an end. Let’s try to take the emotion out of these debates and look at who gives the best chance of winning on the day – of meaningful games.

      • Im glad im not the only one to see this for what it is, instead of this mentality by a lot of fans that GB is overlooking many players in favor of MLSers. The youth movement is coming, but you don’t bring in a rash of new/young players all at one time. Greg for me, has done it the right way by introducing new, younger players every camp with the idea of bringing guys along that have earned it slowly but surely. Bradley, as slow and less aggressive defensively as he has become is still the best option right now as the #6 for what Greg wants, until Adams gets healthy. Zardes, for all of gis limitations still does things well that others aren’t consistently able to provide yet thus his continued call ups. We are making it a habit of complaining unnecessarily when there is clearly process oriented tactics and a culture being built. Let’s get it some time before we assume things will never work out

  7. Let me save everyone some time.
    Bizzy: Unattributed quote about the ideal player, emoji, emoji, emoji !!!!!!!! ALL CAPS. Trapply stinks.
    IV: list of 20 players he’s never seen play because they are either injured or don’t usually dress for their clubs.
    Joe Dirt: Don Garber was the man on the grassy knoll and SUM buried Jimmy Hoffa under the soundstage that the moon landing was filmed on.
    Gary: if only we had Tata it wouldn’t matter who we started.
    Quit Whining: MLS is the best because crummy teams can make the playoffs!!!!!!!!
    Me: imagine how good this lineup would be if Adams was playing the hybrid RB
    Let’s all remember this week not to take ourselves too seriously. Go USA!!!!

  8. I agree with the player selection but not the formation. The US would be mostly in a 433 that switches to a 442 when defending with Morris dropping back into midfield. Pulisic and Sargent would be left upfield to quickly counter if the opportunity arises.


    If the US if having trouble with Canada’s attack, you could see Roldan come in for Morris and play as a second defensive midfielder or a box to box midfielder depending on what the game provides. In this case, the US could switch to a 4231formation with Sargent up top and Pulisic Arriola and McKennie just behind Sargent.

    I’m not sure what to make of Canada. They got six goals on Cuba but then only won 1-0 in the second leg. They do have some firepower up top but their defense is very suspect.

  9. Considering he doesn’t get playing time at Chelsea and did nothing las game pulisic shouldn’t start this game.
    Maybe a second half sub if the game is well under control

  10. I suspect Ream at left back would be a better choice. He is not as fast as Lima, but his defensive tactics and passing skills are better.

    I suspect Pulisic will start at left wing, That gives him more space to receive passes and take on defenders. It also puts him in a position where Canada cannot get too physical with him.

    Roldan or Lietget? Meh.

  11. Depending upon the health of some players…..
    Subs: Boyd, Zardes, Roldan

    Subs are based on obtaining & maintaining a lead. If we fall behind I don’t know what attacking options could be called upon to be difference makers considering how weak our bench options are.

    • This except Lletget for Arriola. And if Sargent starts ahead of Zardes, I’ll be shocked and actually might have to consider that GGG has a clue.


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