The second match of the Jurgen Klinsmann era with the U.S. national team is set to take place Friday night at the Home Depot Center with the United States taking on Costa Rica, and while it is the less intriguing of the U.S. team's two upcoming friendlies, it should still help shed light on Klinsmann's work with the team.
After seeing some young players step up in the team's 1-1 draw against Mexico, it is a safe bet we will see some of the same relatively new faces who did well against Mexico in the starting lineup to take on Costa Rica.
Here are the players who will be available to take on Costa Rica:
GOALKEEPERS-Tim Howard, Bill Hamid
DEFENDERS-Carlos Bocanegra, Edgar Castillo, Timothy Chandler, Clarence Goodson, Michael Orozco Fiscal, Tim Ream, Jonathan Spector
MIDFIELD- Maurice Edu, Sacha Kljestan, Jeff Larentowicz, Robbie Rogers, Brek Shea, Jose Torres, Chris Pontius
FORWARDS-Juan Agudelo, Jozy Altidore, Teal Bunbury, Landon Donovan
So who might we see start against Costa Rica out of this group? Here's one projected lineup we could see:
PROJECTED USA LINEUP vs. COSTA RICA
I could definitely see Klinsmann throwing Bill Hamid a start, but you also wonder if he'd want a young goalkeeper playing behind a defense that hasn't played together.
The USMNT could come out in a 4-2-3-1, which would put Donovan on the wing, but I get the feeling we'll start seeing more of Donovan in more advanced roles as a second striker.
Maurice Edu should get the start, but it will be interesting to see whether Klinsmann leaves him alone in a 4-1-4-1 or pairs him with someone like Jeff Larentowicz. Could Klinsmann sit Edu and save him for the Belgium match? That is entirely possible, but Edu needs national team minutes to show that he truly is capable of holding down a starting job with the USMNT.
So why isn't Brek Shea starting? He's logged SERIOUS minutes for FC Dallas lately so you wonder if getting a start here would make the most sense. Yes, he's young, but I'd bet on Klinsmann wanting to see Shea in both friendlies. A Shea start wouldn't surprise anybody, but him coming off the bench in the Costa Rica game shouldn't come as a shock either.
Torres, Castillo and Orozco all seem like safe bets to start. Yes, Castillo was shaky against Mexico, but Costa Rica could be the type of opponent he has a solid game against, a game that could help build some confidence in him.
What do you think of this lineup? What starting lineup would you like to see Klinsmann go with against Costa Rica?
Share your thoughts below.