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Who should the USMNT start versus Cuba?

The U.S. Men’s National Team delivered a big win against Canada on Friday, but that victory will quickly become irrelevant if it isn’t followed up with a win on Tuesday against Cuba.

Gregg Berhalter deployed a surprising starting lineup to beat the Canadians, and as a result, he has several fresh options to turn to for Tuesday’s match against Cuba.

With the weather in the Cayman Islands for Tuesday’s match expected to push toward 80 degrees, the USMNT will be facing warmer conditions than they saw in Orlando on Friday, and the conditions of the playing surface, always a trick proposition in the Caribbean, could also make it tough to circulate the ball on the ground smoothly.

Despite that, the Americans will be expected to cruise to a win, no matter who Berhalter puts in the lineup.

Who will he turn to on Tuesday? Here is the lineup we could see face Cuba:


Brad Guzan should get the nod once again in goal, though Sean Johnson is a capable option as well. Guzan wasn’t called on to do much against Canada, but his national team experience should come in handy as the team goes on the road to face Cuba.


DeAndre Yedlin should step into the starting lineup at right back after Sergino Dest played the full 90 in a strong showing against Canada. Yedlin has experience playing in official matches on the road in Concacaf, and he should help bring some poise to the back-line.

The centerback tandem of John Brooks and Aaron Long was outstanding against Canada, but it might be pushing it to expect Brooks to start in both matches in this international window. Berhalter could choose to insert Walker Zimmerman, who has partnered with Long before.

Why not start Brooks again? Given his track record with injuries, Berhalter could decide it would be better to let Brooks return to Wolfsburg healthy after having recently returned from his most recent injury issue.

At left back, Sergino Dest could get the nod. He hasn’t faced the challenge of playing on the road in Concacaf, but with UEFA Champions League experience under his belt, Dest shouldn’t be too fazed by the conditions.


The midfield trio of Weston McKennie, Sebastian Lletget and Jackson Yueill performed well against Canada, but Berhalter should shake things up in that part of the field, with McKennie the only likely holdover.

Alfredo Morales should get the starting nod in the defensive midfield role. Berhalter could go with Wil Trapp, with the idea being that Trapp’s passing could help unlock what will likely be a Cuban bunker, but Morales is in top form and fitness at the moment and not having start in either Nations League match would be a bit of a head-scratcher.

Cristian Roldan should get the call against Cuba. Fresh off an MLS Cup-winning performance for the Seattle Sounders, Roldan has had a week to recharge his batteries, and should step in for Lletget, who had a good game against Canada.


Gyasi Zardes scored two goals against Canada and rewarded Berhalter’s faith in him, but we shouldn’t expect him to start two matches in a row coming off an extended break. That opens the door for Josh Sargent to get the start. He started against Cuba in October, and should have a chance to show off his improving hold-up play.

On the wings, Jordan Morris is on too much of a roll to put on the bench. He’s playing with confidence, and making things happen, and if he can help the Americans jump out to a big lead, he can always call it a day early.

Tyler Boyd should get the nod on the right wing .Arriola started and did well against Canada, but asking for him to start two straight in a four-day span is a bit much considering it had been almost three weeks since he’d played before Friday.


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

Share your thoughts below.


  1. the midfield listed is a bad idea because not a one of them is a creative and on the road you need someone who can string passes. this midfield strikes me as a recipe for a 0-0 tie or upset. but we need a win, so you need some danger and passing out there,

  2. there needs to be some squad rotation, learn the couva lesson. and leave some attack on the bench if we need a second half goal.

  3. i’d be ok with either zardes or sargent up top, but the issue to me would be not buying the hype and pretending zardes has changed in terms of facing mexico type teams. that he scores on guyana or canada and then goes quiet for 5 games and then scores again should have us shopping, not contented. i would even consider CP up top.

  4. why am i trying to shoehorn yedlin on the field when he gets backdoored every game he plays? if you want effectiveness you’d put cannon or lima out there with dest.

  5. My major concern is that I want to see Sargent start and not Zardes. This is an easy game and we dont need to see Zardes again, I also want to see Dest and Turner in Goal. He is better that Guzan by far. I watch him week in and week out on the Revs and he is an amazing shot blocker, Guzan is old and slow. I do not want to see Trapp again…ever. Also do not want Roldan at all.

    Be interesting to see what GB does. We need a lot of goals if possible

  6. Same line up against Canada. I just love how You all are so sensitive and delusional about the truth. You think Long is quality enough for the national team and a division 1 European team. He would not be able to hang and stop Mbappe, Memhpis Depay, Mane, or Kun Aguero etc.????‍♂️

    • My own judgment is that Long is about equal in quality to Cameron who had a nice career in the EPL. Your statement that he can’t stop all those top talents is quite ridiculous. Most all defenders can’t stop those guys, so your statement basically is meaningless. You left out that Long couldn’t stop Ronaldo or Messi either

      • You are delusional. Long is not the same talent level as a Cameron from 2012-2016 who was good enough for the EPL. When Stoke was in the premeuere league. I bought those guys up because they play in the league of the teams interested in Long. Please think before you reply. Straight delusional you are. Long is about as good as Miazga who currently plays in the Championship. Long is only good for Bundealiga 2 and Championship. The man cant even stop concacaf teams from scoring.

    • With all due respect @Mysterious, not many CBs in the world can stop Mbappe or Mane on their best game. They make great defenders look average.

    • It’s my opinion that what Long has that is very underrated and probably what is driving interest from the teams rumored to be after him – is his speed. With his speed at CB he is more likely to be able to match up with those otherworldly talents you listed than Geoff Cameron. I think he gets discounted due to being a late bloomer and how he’s come up. Euro snob US fans (and Pulisic) won’t like it because he falls outside the all-US-youth-must-develop-in-Europe meme. He’s a great example of how the US system (college, USL, MLS) can actually develop players capable of playing in the top 5 leagues/ And he’s not the 1st one (that guy Clint Dempsey another example – although he skipped the USL).

      • Until Aaron Long has established himself in the EPL as a 90 starter please lets not compare him to a player as accomplished as Geoff Cameron. We are all excited about what’s to come for Long but until then lets keep it real

  7. LW- Dest, 9-Sargent, RW- Boyd
    10-McKennie, 8-Morales, 6-Roldan
    LB- Lima, CB-Long, Zimmerman, RB-Cannon
    GK- Johnson
    Subs- ‘65- Trapp(Morales), ‘70-Yedlin(Cannon), ‘85- Arriola(Dest)

      • I think, Trapp can handle 25-30 minutes vs Cuba, with US in the lead. Remember, it’s GBs roster, not OURS! Roldan is wearing number 10. 1 true LB(Lovitz) and a majority that hasn’t played since October 6.

    • ****Explanation****- Dest scores a brace in an advance position! Trapp for Morales, Roldan moves to the 8. I know, I put Arriola for Dest, but I meant for Lima. Dest moves to LB. Can’t send players, who play in Europe, back with nicks or injuries. Which is why Yedlin is a sub for me. Dest & Sargent are the exceptions, because Sargent didn’t play vs Canada. Dest 1st match in the Caribbean. I know, I’ve said McKennie has yet to make an impact in back to back matches, but he proves me wrong this match with 2 assists(Sargent & Dest), starring in the 10 role. It may be Cuba, but it’s a must win, which is why I have only 3 starters from the Canada.

      • Not saying Trapp couldn’t be effective against Cuba. Just saying that of the players the coach called up there is only 1 player who I think is worse at the international level than Trapp and that would be Lovitz. Neither deserve to be part of this team and neither should step foot on the field.
        That being the case I’m sure Berhaulter will start them both.

  8. I’ve mixed feelings about this game.
    1) The fields in the Caribbean are often crap, that can cause injury
    2) I expect a physical game…with many dirty challenges & hits
    3) Need to try and build on the Canada game…we need some chemistry.
    4) Need to get some players some additional experience.

    I’d therefore try and keep the things fairly simple….
    Defense: Brooks, Long, Dest, Cannon/Yedlin
    Midfield: McKennie, Morales, Lletget
    Forward: Morris, Sargent, Boyd
    Subs: Roldan, Arriola, Zardes

  9. Dest has looked good playing right back more recently vs Canada. It maybe that he does feel better at left back given he is right footed and can cut inside to avoid and dribble against opponents. Ives mentioned that this cuban team is the stronger one they sent in a u23 team in the usa. Either way I want to see a very aggressive us side from the fisrt seconds.

  10. While this should be a comfortable victory, let’s keep in mind that a win is necessary to go through.

    Canada put up 13 goals vs. Cuba in North America between the GC and CNL…despite dominating possession, they scored just 1 down in the Caribbean.

    These pitches are never up to snuff in the Caribbean, and while it’s likely to be better than in Havana, don’t expect it to be great.

    The USMNT can’t afford to be cocky about any opponent. Neither can the fans. Goofy things can and will happen if you’re not clinical.

    • Canada vs. Cuba in Toronto was 6-0. At the Truman Bodden Sports complex, 1-0. I didn’t see these matches and don’t know why the disparity, but that’s something to consider.

      • Henry was sent off in the 55th minute in the 2nd match. As I recall Canada missed a lot of good chances and Cuba never really threatened even up a man.

      • right around when we beat Cuba 6-0 in GC we only beat them 2-0 in havana. just like we stomped tnt in the us then lost there.

  11. If Dest says he is more comfortable at left back why are we playing him at right back at all? We have Yedlin and Cannon at right so we are covered there – Tim Ream at left is not a good option at LB.

  12. I agree with rotating the squad, can’t help but remember that Arena went with the same exact lineup before the horror against Trinidad. I would like to see Sargent and Morales get a start, and Dest at leftback. Fill in the rest of the lineup based on form and fitness in training.

  13. USMNT needs to increase our strength and connection existing among the members of this team and what better time to do it that in a game like this. We could use this opportunity to “seal and harden” training already administered and continue to develop an identity in the US pool that causes members to participate selflessly for one another, while keeping everyone motivated to accomplish our set goals.

    In other words please GB do not waste time and resources by having “Tweedledum and Tweedledee” come in to jog around senselessly, rack up retard stats…. while we can stay humble and work on team cohesiveness, connection and coordination USING RELEVANT PLAYERS.

      • lol, I don’t even know how to reply. Your ignorance is beyond comprehension. No one is born this stupid. Never seen anyone demand mantle that they are dumbest one there. You, my friend sure do take the cake. What ever you are smoking is not good for you…please put down the pipe Super Retardo!!!

    • Bizzy – it’s straight up no longer ok to use that word. Period. Drop it from your vocab and you will being doing yourself a favor.

      • For someone with the name – Master of the Obvious – you are not exactly straight forward. And why is it that when people are about to say something dumb they use names that are disposable. If you don’t have something to contribute to the beautiful game “it’s straight up no longer ok to be stupid / ignorant” (you will being doing yourself a favor). Are you actually Super Nintendo Chalmers??? Be honest….

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