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Who should the USMNT start vs. Uruguay?

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The toughest test of the U.S. men’s national team’s four-match stretch in June is upon us and Gregg Berhalter will no doubt be looking to simulate conditions his team will be facing six months from now in Qatar.

That means we should see a good number of starters against Uruguay that started in Wednesday’s win against Morocco, with the quick turnaround to Sunday’s match in Kansas City helping simulate the tight schedule the USMNT will face at the World Cup.

Berhalter had this in mind when he limited the minutes of some of his key players, such as Christian Pulisic, Tyler Adams and Walker Zimmerman. That doesn’t mean every player who went 90 minutes against Morocco will sit against Uruguay, but some like Yunus Musah and Tim Weah seem destined to be rested on Sunday.

We should see a few new faces in the starting lineup, with Luca De La Torre, Paul Arriola, Joe Scally and Cameron Carter-Vickers among the players who could be called on to face Uruguay.

What will the starting USMNT lineup look like on Sunday? Here’s a look at the squad we could see, and the lineup SBI would deploy if we were pulling the strings:


Projected USMNT XI vs. Uruguay



Goalkeeper


Matt Turner

An outstanding eight-save performance against Morocco served as a good reminder of just how good the soon-to-be Arsenal goalkeeper can be and a start against Uruguay’s dangerous attack makes sense, with the Nations League matches coming up offering a better chance for Ethan Horvath and Sean Johnson.


Defenders


DeAndre Yedlin, Walker Zimmerman, Cameron Carter-Vickers, Antonee Robinson

Zimmerman and Robinson are safe bets to stay in the lineup, but the bigger question marks are at right back and the other centerback spot. Reggie Cannon played 90 minutes and veteran DeAndre Yedlin didn’t play. Berhalter could give Cannon another start, which would be clear evidence he has pulled away from Yedlin in the race to be Sergiño Dest’s primary back-up.

Aaron Long put in a good shift against Morocco, though the Red Bulls defender was tested repeatedly and had some tough moments against Morocco’s physical forwards. Cameron Carter-Vickers had a good 45 minute shift and could step into the lineup, though we shouldn’t rule out the possibility of Erik Palmer-Brown getting a nod.


Midfielders


Tyler Adams, Luca De La Torre, Brenden Aaronson

Both Tyler Adams and Brenden Aaronson should be locks to start and both were pulled early against Morocco to keep them fresh for the challenge. The one change we should see in midfield is Luca De La Torre stepping in for Yunus Musah, who has been shown to not be equipped for the heavy load of consecutive starts on short rest.

Weston McKennie is still working his way back to full fitness and would obviously be a locked-in starter if he was fully fit. That being said, this should be a match where he sees a good-sized substitute’s appearance before a likely start against Grenada in the Nations League opener.

Kellyn Acosta was held out of the Morocco match due to a recent heavy workload for Los Angeles FC, so he is unlikely to factor into the starting midfield options.


Forwards


Christian Pulisic, Jesus Ferreira, Paul Arriola

Christian Pulisic and Tim Weah had outstanding nights against Morocco and both would make sense as starters against Uruguay, though Weah went the full 90 minutes, which could open the door for Paul Arriola to start. Arriola has been in outstanding form with FC Dallas and his partnership with Jesus Ferreira has blossomed.

The striker position is an interesting one, with Ferreira playing just 45 minutes against Morocco, which suggests he’ll be given another run-out. Haji Wright put in a good shift in the second half against Morocco but he seems more likely to start against Grenada.


What do you think of the projected starting lineup? Who is missing that you would like to see start?

Share your thoughts below.

Comments

  1. Just don’t start anybody that is not 100%. We are already down M. Robinson and Reyna so better to give some bubble players a long look against quality opposition than risk a not quite fully fit regular even if it lessens our chances to win. It’s only a friendly.

    Reply
  2. Morocco is a very good team and one that attacks well. The US defense held them scoreless (admittedly Turner stood on his head to keep the clean sheet). That result indicates that despite a lot of people whining about Long, he was effective. CCV when he came in did no worse, and not really any better. He used to draw too much attention from the referees in terms of cards, but he received only 3 in 30 games for Celtic. That is good news for the US.

    Richards, I think has more speed, and likes to get forward more, but when I’ve seen him play as part of a 3-back system, I thought he sometimes lost focus and made some mental errors. Those kinds of errors will be punished in a WC. Also, I think Richards has played as a left back and could be a backup to A. Robinson.

    EPB, I simply haven’t ween him play so no real opinion on him

    Reply
    • Long spent a lot of time fouling.

      Physical, aggressive play is fine but this was more like, “I can only stop you by fouling you”. If the World Cup refs. let it go great but I’m not sure they will and Long will be facing better players than these guys in the World Cup.

      Turner was fine but he and Ethan will battle it out for PT in Qatar. Steffen lacks confidence and will probably be dropped for Sean Johnson.

      Reply
  3. I’m sorry but I am unable to see the projected lineup. However, my concern is the tandem of Zimmerman and Long are suspect in there overall physical size and ranginess in defending set pieces and balls general in the air.
    I know both are known to win set piece headers in MLS and other CONCACAF matches. I hope I am wrong but still waiting for them to own the 18 yd box.
    Also, set pieces delivery is terrible! Moon shot corners are not effective. Sacrifice the LB and RB for an accurate looping delivery.

    Reply
    • Those two are better than CCV or EPB. Better than Richards too. Not a lot of great set piece takers in this group. Acosta on free kicks but he seemed partially injured. Ferreira takes corners for FCD sometimes, but yes not Pulisic’s strongest suit.

      Reply

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