Who should the USMNT start vs. Honduras?

USMNTLineupVsPanama (ISIPhotos.com)

By IVES GALARCEP

Riding a wave of confidence and good form, the U.S. Men’s National Team rolls into their final World Cup qualifier of the month looking like clear-cut favorites to beat Honduras and finish their recent qualifying run with nine points from three matches.

Normally questions about lineup changes would seem odd considering the outstanding game the U.S. just played in beating Panama last Tuesday, but the suspension of DaMarcus Beasley, uncertain injury status of Jermaine Jones and return of Graham Zusi will leave Jurgen Klinsmann with some decisions to make as he selects his lineup to face Honduras at Rio Tinto Stadium on Tuesday.

Don’t expect a ton of changes from the Panama lineup, but we could see at least two and possibly three changes to the squad.

What changes will those be? He is the lineup we see taking the field for the U.S. vs. Honduras:

———————-Altidore———————

F. Johnson———-Dempsey—————Zusi

————–Bradley——–Cameron————-

Castillo—–Besler———-Gonzalez——Evans

———————-Howard———————–

Some thoughts on the lineup:

Graham Zusi steps back in to reprise his starting role on the right flank in a starting lineup that is actually the same lineup that finished the match against Jamaica (except for Fabian Johnson being in for DaMarcus Beasley.

Could Klinsmann stick with Eddie Johnson on the right? That’s a possibility, but with Honduras set to feature a second-choice centerback tandem, the goal will be to provide Jozy Altidore and Clint Dempsey with as much service as possible.

Fabian Johnson should stay on the left wing rather than sliding back to left back. He looks every bit like a viable left wing option long term, and Edgar Castillo is coming off an outstanding year with Club Tijuana and has earned the chance to start at left back.

Does Klinsmann take a chance on starting Jermaine Jones, or does he rest him and let him fully recover from the concussion suffered against Jamaica? Chances are Jones is going to want to play, and it sounds as though Klinsmann believes he is capable of playing. If that is the case, then pencil in Jones, but if there is any reason to think he isn’t fully recovered, you have to start Geoff Cameron.

It should be noted that Honduras will be coming into the match seriously short-handed, and their defense is ripe for the shredding. Klinsmann could be tempted to start the same front six that dominated Panama, which would mean keeping Eddie Johnson in for Zusi, but we’ll give Zusi the nod because of the service he can provide, and because of his defensive ability, which will be needed against a Honduras side that does still have good options on the flank (even though Oscar Boniek Garcia is still questionable for the match).

—————-

What do you think of the lineup? What changes would you make to it? Think the U.S. will handle Honduras easily, or see it being a dogfight?

Share your thoughts below.

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226 Responses to Who should the USMNT start vs. Honduras?

  1. Alex says:

    Seems like Cameron might slot back into the LB position to make room for Jones. Either way, I think we’re in good shape regardless of who starts with Bradley.

    • USSoccerHomer says:

      LB isn’t a position GC has played w/ Stoke or the USMNT. Putting him there is just another guy out of position. Ives is right, Castillo played well enough in Mexico and Copa Libertadores to get a shot there (and is a better long-term bet than Beaz who is out of contract and getting up there in age). GC is more effective centrally, anyway and should be CM or CDM.

      • Jeff says:

        JK seems to be getting good mileage out of “just another guy out of position.”

      • KMac says:

        Agree playing GC out of position might be a stretch.
        Castillo has made me nervous in a US shirt defensively, but given Honduras’ depleted roster, his offensive talent might be a tactical advantage to open space with Fab Johnson on the left. I prefer Beas (but I am an old school fan of his since his debut in 2001 and his strong WC in Japan Korea)…FYI
        Beas just agreed to terms to stay at Puebla.

      • Also Beasley reupped with Puebla a few days ago.

      • DCUnitedWillRiseAgain says:

        Not true homer. I saw GC play LB for Stoke at least 2 or 3 times.

    • louis z says:

      why at LB? I don’t think he has played there much and having a seasoned LB in Castillo, just doesn’t make sense.

    • bryan says:

      nope…you made that up.

  2. mikeandike says:

    I don’t trust Castillo to do the defensive work based on several appearances for USMNT. Unless he and to fly in from Brazil for each and every one of those games, at some point the excuses have to stop.

    FJ back to the spot where he plays for the club and he was in the words of the coach “one of the best left backs in Bundesliga”

    if Castillo for some reason needs to be in the line-up, the put him at LW, if not, put Zusi on the left and EJ on the right (or just call in Donovan and let him play a position where he is the clear best wing option in the pool)

    • wandmdave says:

      When has Castillo played left back for the national team in the last year other than the game where he hadn’t trained with the team and had just stepped off a plane from Brazil? He was awful during his first audition with the national team like 2 years ago but his club form has improved since which justifies a new audition. A shorthanded Honduras seems like an ideal time to give him a chance.

      • PD says:

        I agree with this. JK has given players an opportunity to play themselves into the conversation. This is an ideal time for Castillo to get his shot.

      • louis z says:

        Agreed. if Castillo can handle the top wings from the Brazilian league, he can handle our CONCACAF foes.

      • mikeandike says:

        “other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?”

        you’re totally right, that first time he was awful and the last time he was awful are clearly in no way an indication of a player’s ability to compete on the International level, because after all, what does on the field performance count for? It’s much better to pretend-play….

        the last LB to vacillate between marginal at best and completely awful at worst, was Johny Bornstein, and he’s the primary if not the sole reason Bradley is coaching Egypt now and Mexico is representing CONCACAF at the Confed Cup

    • zztoppppp says:

      Everything you just said blew my mind.
      1) Castillo has only played left back once for the US in the past year. What are the excuses other than the Germany game that you are hearing?

      2) I don’t know how much you know about Fabian Johnson but the final three months of the season he played left wing at Hoffenheim. He is playing the spot that he plays for his club.

      3) If you have to play EJ, play him on the left and Zusi on the right.

      4) I’m not denying that Donovan is a great wing option, but stating that he is clearly the best after the exceptional games Zusi and Fabian Johnson have played recently is a stretch. Sounds to me like you are just another one of these fanboys that can’t let go of the past.

      • Advocate says:

        I haven’t seen anything “exceptional” about either Zusi or Johnson. An in-form Donovan has far more to contribute than either of them — as his past performance with the MNT demonstrates. Of course, it’s not clear that Donovan is currently in form . . . .

        • neilla says:

          Zusi has had a couple of nice games, but he’s not the player that Donovan is when both are in-form. In addition to his on-field play, he brings something else to the table as a PK specialist. Believe me, as a Spurs fan, I have no interest in ever seeing Dempsey take another penalty.

          • louis z says:

            and that is where is the rub, LD hasn’t been able to put two good games in a row at club level what makes you think he can do it at national level? where the opposition is even harder. Look, I’m not saying he can’t do it, I just think is silly comparing different history periods when we are talking in present terms. let’s see what happens in the GC.

            • Advocate says:

              That’s a fair comment. We’ll just have to see how Donovan’s doing when the Gold Cup comes around. But it really bothers me to read comments by folks who think that players who are no better than competent (at least by international standards) are really something special — particularly when they don’t seem to have a clue regarding the kind of contribution an in-form Donovan might be able to make.

              • Zztoppppp says:

                Are you serious? I blatantly said that Landon Donovan is a great wing option. Are you being so self righteous and ignorant that you think I’m a Landon Donovan hater? I in no way detracted from any ld performance, get a grip and learn to read you tool.

              • Eurosnob says:

                “But it really bothers me to read comments by folks who think that players who are no better than competent (at least by international standards) are really something special.” If you start applying the international standards to define who are the special players, does Donovan qualify as a special player (like Messi, Ronaldo, Iniesta) or is he more along the lines of good, competent players?

        • YesItsNate says:

          90% of Fabian Johnson’s minutes in a USMNT jersey at Left Midfield have been nothing short of top level, period.

          If you’re memory fails you just use that great invention called YouTube and watch him be a factor in US goal after US goal from the midfield.

          • Advocate says:

            Perhaps he’s been better than I think, but for my money Beasley has contributed more to the attack from his LB position than Johnson has from LM. And if you think Johnson would be a better choice than Donovan, perhaps you should use that great invention to review some of Donovan’s USMNT-leading 49 goals and 48 assists — which only begin to tell the story of his leadership when in-form and on the field.

            • louis z says:

              you are right, how can FJ ever beat LD’s ghost of past accomplishment. Please tell LD circa 2002 to put a jersey and meet the rest of team in SL.

              • GW says:

                louis,

                You unintentionally made the right point.

                Which is that this is a very , very inexperienced team across the board.

                LD’s vast experience will be a very big asset when it gets
                very, very tough down the road as it is guaranteed to.

                Of course, he isn’t what he used to be.

                But even today, Father’s Day, give him a few games to fit in and he will be a better winger than Fabian, Zusi and Davis.

              • Eurosnob says:

                GW, this team is not inexperienced across the board. There are only 2 players with less than 10 caps in the starting line up that Ives suggested and all are on the back line. The starting striker has 59 caps, midfielders have 98, 78, 17, 13, 13 caps respectively, and the keeper has 89 caps. There is no question that Donovan’s big game experience would be an asset, but he has not demonstrated great form since he stepped away from the game to recharge his batteries. I think he is on his way back and if he does great in the Gold Cup, he will be back with the first team.

              • GW says:

                Eurosnob,

                Bradley, Dempsey, Jozy and Howard have significant WC experience. DMB’s experience is a big part of why he has made such an impact. That is 5 guys and Howard is looking shaky. I’m not counting on Boca and Dolo making it.

                Important guys like Fabian, Cameron, Gonzo, Besler, Zusi, and Guzan are still international newbies.

                If LD is a viable player a 6th guy would not hurt at all.

                I’m not at all certain LD will make it back but I am saying that, form aside, he has other things going for him than just talent.

                And these are things by the way, that JK values otherwise why stick with Boca for so long and why the long leash for Dolo?

                I’m utterly certain that if Donovan can’t contribute on the field in his view, JK won’t hesitate a micro second to cut him.

              • GW says:

                Eurosnob,

                Sorry, I forgot Herc is a WC vet as well. Then again he may not make it this time.

            • Donovan isn’t out because he doesn’t have the quality. He’s out because he’s no longer in the same form that made him a constant.

              The reason Fabian plays up top and Beasley plays behind him is because of how well they work together. Either could play left back and the other could do just as well on the wing. Johnson cuts inside when he attacks though, and that allows Beasley who is more of a true wide player to send in crosses from width. Having Johnson in front of him allows Beasley’s attacking skill from deep spots to shine as a defender. With Johnson in the back he didn’t show much attacking prowess because he always wanted to cut inside. This works for them, even if it doesn’t line up perfectly with club positions, it lines up with how the individual players actually play.

            • danny says:

              Avocate- at first I thought you were talking about a different Johnson… but seriously, how do rate soccer players? Fabian Johnson is a baller. We are super lucky to have him. And I am not a particular fan of his, I just play soccer and watch. You do have a case for Donovan being better than other wing options, but Zusi’s getting better- and who knows if the stars are going align just right for Landy. Let go of the past.

          • Colin says:

            Fabian Johnson has been alright in midfield. He has only one assist and zero goals remember? Donovan is still the better option.

        • Francois says:

          You don’t think Fabian Johnson is exceptional? You must not watch him a lot.

        • Advocate says:

          My remark that seems to have made your head explode, zztoppppp, was intended as a general observation concerning numerous dismissive statements I’ve been reading concerning LD. It wasn’t intended as a response to your remarks and I’m sorry I wasn’t clear about that. On the other hand, “self righteous,” “ignorant,” “get a grip,” “learn to read” and “tool” don’t really add much to any discussion. Perhaps you should consider getting help for what seems to be a serious anger-management problem.

      • GW says:

        Zusi and Fabian have had good games as wingers. It does not mean that will continue. Zusi, in particular, is limited by his non functional left foot.

        There is a year to go and a prudent manager will want Shea and Donovan to get it going and give him some flexibilty on the wing.

        The games are going to get harder not easier.

        • louis z says:

          I’m all for it, let the chips fall where it may. If LD is the better player, then let it be. I just don’t want him to be penciled in just because people think LD of 2002 is behind the curtains waiting to come out at the right moment.

    • bryan says:

      wow, second awful comment in a row.

  3. kev says:

    Our domination of Panama possession wise did not have much to do with EJ, notwithstanding his excellent goal.

    • GW says:

      kev,

      EJ does contribute to the possession game. EJ is fast, quick and a scoring threat.

      If you have a guy like that or a number of them, the other team is less likely to gang up and “cheat” on your guy with the ball. Doing that sometimes takes a defender out of position leaving someone like EJ open.

      This is the essence of Barca’s version of tiki- taka. They have a number of guys, most notably Leo, who can very quickly exploit such openings.

      I’m not suggesting EJ is Barca worthy but you have to respect his speed and his scoring potential. That respect means the other guys can’t pressure the ball carrier like they might otherwise do.

  4. Jason B says:

    I think Ives is spot on. Hopefully we can get some early goals and let the younger guys get some time. I want more Corona!

  5. Zac Mac says:

    Throw Rimando a bone!

    • Neruda says:

      Rimando will get his chance during Gold Cup. There’s no way he’s going to jump Howard and Guzan for this RioT match. JK and the boys need to keep up the intensity to get a solid win against a depleted and malcontent Honduras team (Bengston’s antics). I’m an RSL fan btw and think Rimando is a top two keeper in MLS along with Gspurning.

  6. Matt says:

    Has to be a better option at left back than Castillo. Move FabJo to LB and EJo to LM?

    • StevieBob says:

      I think this has to be a thought for Klinsmann. FJ was killer in the midfield, but so was EJ and Castillo has thus far failed to impress with USMNT.

      • wandmdave says:

        EJ was not that special. I didn’t see much out of him defensively or during build up play. Without the goal his game wouldn’t have been memorable and really that was makes more of an argument for him being a forward than anything else. Putting Castillo in at left back in order to keep FJ at LM would do more for us than having an emergency replacement in the midfield.

        Plus I’d be willing to bet that now that Castillo is rested, has trained with the team, and is facing Honduras instead of Belgium we’ll see a decent performance from him.

        • wandmdave says:

          by Belgium I meant Germany.

        • GW says:

          wandmdave,

          The US has no real “special ” players, with the possible exception of Deuce.

          In international terms, the US is comprised of a bunch of interchangeable parts.

          However, what makes them “special’” is how they all play together and what happens when they do.

          EJ did his part and the truth is you can’t take that goal away from him.

          • wandmdave says:

            Even average players can have great games. EJ imho, did not have a great game even with the goal.

            • GW says:

              What matters more to you style or substance?

              I’ve see great wingers have a dazzling 90 minutes but not score and watch their team lose.

              I’ll take EJ’s not great game with a vital goal every single time over the dazzling but unproductive game from the great winger.

          • BBB says:

            GW – I tend to agree with a lot of your posts (Gooch posts aside :)

            BUT, if you are defining special players by what they could/would produce on any other team, I think you are underestimating Jozy (when he gets service), Bradley and Timmeh.

            The fact that those guys (Demps, incl) make up the spine of our formation is a huge factor in why we are playing so well, and why our wing play is often exposed.

            • GW says:

              BBB,

              To paraphrase Arjen Robben just before the game where De Jong broke Stu’s leg, “the USMNT are hard to beat but not especially talented”. Robben’s not known for his charm or his diplomacy but he does know his business.

              On a given day, the US can beat anyone.
              But, if they are facing a “big boy” team that is playing well, they need to have everyone show up with their A game and the team has to be on top of its game.

              Jozy, Deuce, Mikey, Jones, and whoever is the keeper will give the USMNT a World Cup worthy spine but it is fragile and could use a lot of reinforcing. LD, if he can get his damned head out of his rear end, would be a good one. I would add Gooch but I’ll restrain myself.

              What do I call a “special” player?

              Deuce is one. I wanted him to transfer to Barca rather than Spurs. Most everyone said that was a bad idea but I still think they could have really used him this year.

              I did overlook Jozy, who could be one.

              LD is undoubtedly one.

              If a soccer player wants to be tested at the highest level on a consistent basis playing on a team that regularly makes deep runs in the Champion’s league is the very best way. This is why Jones is valued so highly. He has no World Cup experience but I’m certain he will be just fine in Brazil. It’s also probably why Sacha’s stock seems to have risen with JK.

              Some argue the World Cup is the highest standard. I don’t believe that but even if it were true the problem there is you play seven games at most over a couple of weeks, four years apart.

              That leaves you room for one hit wonders, whereas the Champion’s League grinds on and tends to expose the flaccid players with no staying power.

              Still, if you star in a World Cup, only the most exceptional, the “special” players, can keep that going into the next World Cup. That is one reason I rate Donovan so highly. He starred in 2002 and then 2010, eight years apart, a remarkable feat. The US has not had another player do anything close.

              So while Donovan still needs to extract his head out of his rear end a bit more, I think he has a chance, albeit a small one, to go to Brazil.

              Why aren’t more USMNT players on contending Champions League teams?

              Many of the people on SBI never seem to get that it is really hard for any player from anywhere to get on a CL team. Talent is obviously important but it may be the least of it. For example, if permitting regulations were not so strict, there would be a lot more US players in the UK.

              Professional soccer is a job and it’s just like any other job in that you sometimes have be connected a bit. US players are still building their identity, their connections, in Europe, especially in comparison the other player “brands”, i.e. “Brazilians”, “Africans”, “Dutch” etc., etc. These “brands” all come with a certain set of stereotypes. The American player “brand” is evolving as I write this.

              So it’s still about connections.

              For example, Holden was successful because he made a connection with Coyle who championed him. McBride had spent time on loan with Moyes at Preston. Moyes then brought him to Everton on loan and eventually that led to the Fulham move. Moyes then went on get Howard and with a little help from Timmy, bring in LD on loan. And that loan helped bring more positive vibes to the image of US players, just like Deuce’s great year did.
              And of course Earnie Stewart (so hard to think DC United used to have guys like him, Ryan Nelsen, El Diablo, Eddie Pope etc.,etc.) was Jozy’s connection to AZ.

              And having Verbeek there, Mikey’s mentor at Heerenveen, sure did not hurt.

    • Beto says:

      I have no problem with Castillo but i would prefer FJ at LB and EJ at LW like you said

    • If you move Johnson back to left back, it’s got to be Castillo on the wing. He’s definitely looked solid there, even if you don’t see him playing defensively. Johnson is better as a late game sub for Jozy or Fabian, who haven’t been finishing games out.

  7. Jason says:

    Anyone know the latest news on Jones?

    • Spencer says:

      I think the biggest issue is do they think we will win without him. If they do they are going to keep him out. If they feel he is vital they will have him on the field once he can pass his tests. I would personally keep him out and let him have a proper recovery.

  8. Franj says:

    Altidore

    EJ Dempsey Zusi

    MB Jermaine Jones

    Fabian Besler Gonzalez Cameron

    Timmy

    • zztoppppp says:

      Cameron for Evans? I don’t think so. Did you watch Cameron play right back against Germany and Evans play right back since then?

      • AE says:

        Apparently you didn’t watch the Panama game…Evans got run all over. Not saying Cameron should play over him, as neither he nor Evans are going to be our RBs in Brazil (hopefully), but just wanted you to know that Evans has been less than perfect.

        • Zztoppppp says:

          I agree with everything you said, but I think Evans had a tough game because ej did not track back to help him whatsoever, something Zusi is very good at.

          • I remember seeing Evans pointedly vehemently gesturing and animatedly saying something to EJ from about 6 inches away after getting torched.

            After that moment, EJ tracked back and Evans no longer got beat as easily.

          • bryan says:

            Evans said EJ helped him out a lot by tracking back. quote sheet, ussoccer.

          • Exactly, as much as people talked about missing Zusi’s crossing, it was missing his excellent defense for his position that really almost hurt us. Zusi allows us to put Evans there and not worry too much about him.

      • Stephen says:

        You didn’t watch Cameron play right back against Germany either.

        • Beto says:

          You mean belgium… Cameron should be better but Evans hasnt lost the job yet after two amazing games (germany and jamaica) and one good enough game (panama)

          • SAEFubby says:

            Two amazing games?! You crazy man, you crazy…

            Evans has been average at best in all games. He doesn’t have speed, doesn’t get into attack, can’t pass, panics in possession, and gets burned…a lot. He will cost us games in the future against better competition

            • Lost in Space says:

              Good thing Evans is most likely our 3rd RB option (Dolo, Chandler)….and would likely be further behind in the pack if JK would give Lichaj a call.
              Don’t get me wrong….I’m very impressed with how he’s played the last couple matches, but he is nothing more than a depth option at this point. And should not be considered a top 2 RB option for the USNT.

              • Who cares, it's all speculation says:

                Honestly I’d prefer Yedlin over the lot of them if we’re going to be trying out RB options. Obviously that’s not possible at the moment, but just think it’d be nice.

  9. Franj says:

    Castillo blows

    • Kyle says:

      Yes. Germany abused him after not being able to do much else against that side.

      • away goals says:

        You mean aside from creating two wide open looks from inside 10 yards that they inexplicably missed?

    • SAEFubby says:

      Creative and can get into attack but can’t defend well enough to be LB for the US. Maybe some other country but not for a team that NEEDS capable defending or we’re screwed

      • Rabbit says:

        Your sample size is one game where he came on as a sub and got turned around twice by his man. I think the guy deserves at least one start and some real minutes before we judge him.

  10. Kyle says:

    I would rather have Parkhurst than Castillo. Or like Matt said, move FabJo to LB

    • FJ says:

      Glad to see FabJo getting the LB love. If I remember correctly, he debuted for the USMNT as a defender and performed quite well.

      • BrianVT says:

        Indeed, initially FJ was quite a revelation at LB — able to defend serviceably, and overlap and get into the attack very well. I’m not too knowledgeable about his left wing role @ Hoff, but if he were to be put back into D again, I don’t think our attack would suffer greatly.

        Zusi may not possess LD’s skillset, but he’s really starting to develop an inch-perfect chemistry with JA — which is something that had been severely lacking.

        Seeing CD23 take PKs, whether you’re a Tottenham fan or not, is enough to take a few heartbeats off of your lifetime allocation.

    • Beto says:

      I would put FJ at LB too but Edgar Castillo is legit! Way better than parkhurst!

      Castillo wasnt 100% vs Germany, and to be honest we havent seen him at his best with the US yet; best LB in the US pool for a long time along with FJ

    • Goalscorer24 says:

      Has everyone forgotten how anemic our attack was when FJ was at left back? Our attack has improved because FBI was moved up to left midfield.

      • Nate Dollars says:

        who played at LM when fabian was at LB? i really can’t remember, but it seems that info might be pretty important. was it beasley? because i think he’s created more offensive looks at LB than fabian has at LM.

        and to say that ‘Our attack has improved because FBI was moved up to left midfield’ is way too simplistic and probably totally inaccurate. he hasn’t looked that good in certain games, and a couple of those games were when we scored most often.

        so i still think this little ‘dilemma’ could be solved by putting fabian at LB, and having castillo at LM against honduras, with beasley at LM long-term.

        • Goalscorer24 says:

          I don’t remember who was at left midfield. It might have been Eddie Johnson. Castillo is a risk at LB. I know he played bad against Germany, but maybe if he is given a full game in a meaningful game the risk would payoff.

    • bryan says:

      go away.

  11. KP says:

    I just do not have any faith in Castillo after his showing against Germany. I was a fan of him but he submitted the worst performance in a USMNT shirt that I can remember

    • Chris2 says:

      Bornstein-induced amnesia. I wish I could get it.

      • Vic says:

        In fairness, Gonzalez had some bad defensive games as well as some good ones. Castillo just flew in from Brazil for the Germany game and didn’t get to practice with the team. Klinnsmann is seeing how Castillo is doing in practice and thats a good indication of whether he is ready to play LB.

      • GW says:

        You obviously do not remember LB Ramiro Coralles in the late 90′s .

        Probably a good thing.

    • Adam says:

      That was a poor showing but the whole team seemed to take their foot off the gas late when he came in. He may really play poorly but seeing where the game was and that he had flown in the night before, I think it is harsh to criticize him too much for that showing

      • wandmdave says:

        +1. Give him a shot now that he has rested and trained. If he lays another egg then he can be kicked to the curb.

      • wandmdave says:

        also in addition to us letting off the gas as Castillo came on I think Germany turned it on not wanting to get embarrassed.

    • quozzel says:

      I think we’re being a bit reactive. What I’ve seen out of Castillo is very good athleticism, very good (not great, like DaMarcus Beasley) speed, and excellent – maybe elite – ball skills. He attacks and overlaps out of the back like Jurgen wants his left backs to do and he’s a menace when he penetrates into the box.

      Mostly I’ve seen him be guilty of trying to do too much, which is natural when you’re trying to impress, and go for a killer ball when a simple one would do, and of course, when he got locked up one-on-one with that German right winger, he was at a speed deficit, but it takes a real blazer to expose that in him.

      I think it’s a great time to give him a full-game run-up and see if he settles down. The elements for a really good left back seem to be there.

      I think Castillo will be fine. Like a lot of young players, he just needs caps and quality minutes – and a coach who’s willing to invest in him, which Jurgen has certainly shown himself willing to do.

    • Jeff says:

      His short minutes since then were a bit shaky as well

  12. Adam says:

    Everyone may be right about Castillo but we have seen this pattern before, right? Ives predicts a lineup that he sees from following the team and all of us shoot down the idea of playing a certain player because we dont rate him or dont trust him. It seems lately that the result has been that the player (i.e. Cameron in the midfield or Evans at RB) stood up and took advantage of the opportunity. Now I have never thought that highly of Castillo but in the games that I saw him play this year in Liga MX, he looked much better than his previous national team appearances. So, while I am not the president of the Castillo fan club, I believe that he can surprise all of us and add to the growing number of players that have taken their opportunities and proved us all wrong…

  13. the unmistakeable Ronaldinho says:

    Personally, I don’t like the idea of dropping EJ after such a solid game vs Panama. I think he has earned another start. We can bring Zusi back in on the right with EJ on the left wing and FJ at left back.
    The game could provide a good chance to test out Castillo though. He still hasn’t gotten much of a chance to get quality minutes with the national team. All reports from his club form are great and I’d love to see if he can replicate that with the national team. Building depth, especially on our traditionally weak the left side, will be very important for next summer.

    Two schools of thought. I’d be fine with either scenario.
    Its really important that we don’t take a step back in this match. We have made significant progress recently and the pieces really seem like they are coming together. It would be a shame to head into the summer break with a loss. Another good performance vs Honduras will do a world of good for our confidence and cement our place at the top of the hex. Some consistency would be nice to see as well.

    • Matt says:

      Castillo certainly has potential, but World Cup Qualifiers are not the time to build depth. Let him start in the Gold Cup.

      • Luke says:

        Disagree! Considering we are 1st in our region and our record at home in qualifiers I think the Honduras game is the perfect time to test out Castillo and give him 1) an attended look at LB and 2) give him confidence for the future. We found out last game the importance of players being able to step in and play in positions they weren’t accustomed too. Both Cameron and E Johnson stepped up to fill big shoes. Also, remember when we had to throw Beasley into the mix in the March qualifiers at LB and Cameron in at RB and an untested combo of Besler and Gonzo at CB.

      • wandmdave says:

        We’ve been experimenting and building depth during almost every qualifier we’ve had. Why should we be stop now? You could argue we are still doing it since Gonzo will be in the lineup and is certainly not a finished product even if he is the #1 or #2 CB in the pool.

        • GW says:

          In a qualifier JK isn’t experimenting.

          He doesn’t play Gonzo because he wants to see how he does. He plays him because he thinks he is the best option, even if it does not always work out..

          There is a very big difference.

          If JK puts Castillo at left back he will expect him to do well.

          It should be obvious that JK is not screwing around with these qualifiers.

          • beachbum says:

            indeed. so we agree on one GW. the formation shift, the tactics beginning with the Germany game, picking and sticking with a backline…….

          • Goalscorer24 says:

            I disagree. I think JK is doing both, getting us through the qualifiers and expirementing a little.

            • beachbum says:

              I think it’s more that when he must, he tinkers, more than experiementing at this point. Soand so is out, so tinker here. so and so is injured, so tinker here

              there will always be adjustments. maybe we’re seeing the same thing but semantically in disagreement :)

          • louis z says:

            +1

      • the unmistakeable Ronaldinho says:

        this isn’t some green 20 year old with potential though. Hes a 26 year old coming off probably the best club season of his life who has been training with the team for weeks. On top of that, we are playing at home. I don’t really see a scenario where he can be much more comfortable than that. If he isn’t ready now he never will be. Could be time to see what he can do

        • wandmdave says:

          This. I’m not positive he seizes the opportunity and at this point wouldn’t argue for him to be there if Beasley wasn’t suspended but I’d like to see what he has got. If he bombs I can settle on the fact that Beasley is the best we have at LB (if FJ is playing at LM). If he does well awesome I’d like some competition for Beasley.

          • the unmistakeable Ronaldinho says:

            At some point the guy has to play. There seems like no better time than now. We can’t coddle him through the entire cycle. If he is good enough, he will step up and show it. Players have to be tested. Tuesday could be Castillo’s time.

    • louis z says:

      I think JK’s m.o. so far in these qualifiers have been changing like for like whenever he can. With that in mind, I think the change will be Castillo for Beas. From his comments looks like he would like to insert JJ as soon as possible. The idea of EJ vs Zusi is really a dilemma, one is better at attacking while the other is better at service, the defensive side of both is not that much different once EJ was instructed to help out Evans. EJ is way faster than Zusi, if EJ was anygood at crossing (actually I can’t remember him ever crossing) he would be our winger hangs down.

    • Nate Dollars says:

      i’m really going to have to re-watch the panama game, because i don’t see eddie’s ‘solid game’ that you and others are talking about.

      he made a great play on his one goal, but other than that he didn’t do much; and that can’t happen when you’re playing on the wing in front of an average fullback. i think eddie’s improved into a great attacking sub (or second striker in a 4-4-2).

  14. g? says:

    Just a point I’d like to make.

    Ricardo Clark started for this team in the last world cup, as did Jonathan Bornstein (who played well, to be fair). Neither would/are close to the first team now.

    We’ve come a long way…

    • USSoccerHomer says:

      those 2 guys were part of bob bradley’s undoing at the last WC. He was wrong to take Gooch at all and left himself w/ few options at CB. Borenstein just isn’t on the international level and never was. Bradley should have focused more on the best athlete and less on positional analysis at LB. As much as I don’t always agree w/ JK’s decisions, his willingness to try guys at different positions has been working out.

      • the unmistakeable Ronaldinho says:

        Bornstein actually had a pretty solid World Cup. He certainly made his fair share of errors during his national team career, but he stepped up when it mattered most. People forget that too easily

        • louis z says:

          I think you are mistaken “not being tested” with doing good because he didn’t make many mistakes. We all know what happens when teams home in on him, i.e. Mexico.

      • GW says:

        Homer,

        Bradley was a lot of things but whatever you think of him, he was not stupid or suicidal.

        The USMNT has a winning record in games where Bornstein played.

        This is true if you just count friendlies.

        It is also true if you just count competitive games.

    • Matt says:

      Don’t forget Robbie Findley

    • IgnerAnt says:

      +22,000,000. I’m not sold on Castillo, exactly, but man is it refreshing to see the kinds of discussions that are going on in this thread– apart from the Castillo talk it’s all about how we have too many viable options at spots. May the thought of Ricardo Clark never cross my mind again.

      • Fred from the shed says:

        Wow get over the Rico thing. No one is as bad as you hold on to and and no one is as good as you wish them to be. The players we had were who we had. They played well, made some mistakes and lost. Please let go of the blame.

  15. Cool Hand Luke says:

    My only problem with starting Castillo at LB is that he sucks.

    • Vic says:

      You should have told that to the Tijuana coach before he played Castillo at LB and won a Mexican Championship and got to the quarterfinals of the Copa Liberatadores. I’m sure the Tijuana coach could have used your insight.

      • Cool Hand Luke says:

        Good logic Skip Bayless

        • madvillain says:

          Actually, it is good logic. LIke another player written off (Altidore) Castillo played at a high level for a pretty good club team but for whatever reason hasn’t been able to put it together wearing the red white and blue.

          Castillo is a solid LB, otherwise he never would have started all those games for a good Tijuana side.

          IMO he deserves the start verse Honduras. If he’s a disaster pull him off but starting him at LB allows Fabian to stay up top where he’s been playing well and keeps the general form of the team intact, a form that has the US atop the group.

    • wandmdave says:

      People were saying that about Jozy no more than 3 games ago.

      • Cool Hand Luke says:

        I wasn’t. Did you guys watch Castillo against Germany? Anybody? Why all the faith in him. Just move FJ back for God’s sake, we know he can play there. Eddie J on the left, Zusi out right

        • louis z says:

          If I remember correctly you were one of the guys that said that Fabian was not a good LM because of the Honduras and Jamaica game. Most of us knew that he wasn’t the case. I for one feel is the same with Castillo. Give him a full chance before coming to haste conclusions.

          • Cool Hand Luke says:

            You remembered incorrectly. I said switching Beasley and FJ would make the most out of both of their skill sets with the national team. I stand by that. If you noticed in the Panama game; Aside from FJs assist(I realize that’s a big exception), his best moments were tracking back, and Beasley’s best moments were going forward. Let’s maximize the frequency of those moments.

            My point on EC, if you excuse the flippancy, was simply to say that Castillo was not the best LB option against Honduras. Leave aside my hyperbolic tone, that’s what I said.

    • louis z says:

      When you give a mark of “he sucks” you’re already making others question your point.

  16. Ben says:

    Just saw that klinsman added Beckerman to the roster. If you are going to do that why not add LD? Hate Beckerman at the International level. He is too slow and commits way to many fouls that are completely unnecessary and in bad spots. PLease no Beckerman on the field ever.

    • the unmistakeable Ronaldinho says:

      the game is in Beckerman’s home town and he does not have any club matches going on at the time. LA has a game on the 19th. Could also be a sign that Jones will sit out again.

    • Luke says:

      Unless LD can play D mid this argument is mute! We still have plenty of wing options, bu at D mid Williams was sent home due to his recovery from injury and not being match fit and Jones has a concussion. We had to shift Cameron into the D mid spot and he did marvelous job but remember he is our main CB and RB backup. Beckerman is just insurance.

  17. chris thebassplayer says:

    If Jones is cleared to play he’ll probably start. I like the MB/Cameron pairing better and would love to see if they can duplicate the success they had last game, but out of respect for Jones, JK gives him the start. I think we see Zusi at RM. If Jones starts, maybe JK gives Cameron a run out at LB enabling Fab to stay at LM. We should do very well… Hopefully to the point that we get to see Corona and Stu for at least 15-20 minutes.

    Going forward, the Jones/Cameron/MB dynamic is going to be very interesting. I don’t think we will see Jones given the opportunity to play above MB anymore. JK probably tells him he needs to be a true 6 behind MB, if he is too undisciplined or stubborn to do it then it’s Cameron’s job. Who knows maybe he moves Cameron into Omar’s spot to get them both on. Still , I really think Cameron paired with MB is strongest way to go, but it could be a locker room issue if Jones is no longer a starter.

  18. Kingly Alexander - Sankt Pauli! says:

    So much unjustified hate for Castillo. Maybe he should bleach his skin and change his last name.

    • wandmdave says:

      Lets be fair. Castillo blew 2 years ago when he got his first audition so despite the circumstances its easy for people to write off the egg he laid against Germany as the same Castillo he always was without being racist, especially if they haven’t followed his club form.

    • wandmdave says:

      Lets be fair. Castillo blew 2 years ago when he got his first audition so despite the circumstances its easy for people to write off the egg he laid against Germany as the same Castillo he always was without being raci$t, especially if they haven’t followed his club form.

    • Lost in Space says:

      The comments about Castillo have nothing to do with this skin or his name. Most are concerned that in all his previous exposure at the international level his play has not been up to par….I don’t believe that it’s unjustified or that it’s hate.
      You are the only one who has brought race into the the discussion. Maybe you need to look at your beliefs before you try and a$$ume that others believe he poor form for the US is based on the color of his skin or the fact his name is of hispanic desent.

      • Kingly Alexander - Sankt Pauli! says:

        Because its completely unjustified. his cameos against Italy and Jamaica had way more positives and negatives. Ppl would rather see parkhurst play on the left instead a full on right back that’s played well and it only now getting comfortable enough with the us setup to start playing well. His first cap was on the wing with like 5 minutes left in the game under Bob. Every other time he’s played until recent were so sporadic and limited its unfair to write him off which is what ppl have been doing since he didn’t blow ppls minds in his first handful of appearances.

        • louis z says:

          I concur. You are making too much sense for some folks in here.

          • Kingly Alexander - Sankt Pauli! says:

            Thank u. Ppl are so short sighted or they just have these preconceived notions about a player based on what? On overwhelming opinion of bs from bs posters on this site? Give me a break. Or really it’s Castillo who needs to be given one. Gone knows ppl are a lot more lenient with other players performances in the nats pool at times.

            • Kingly Alexander - Sankt Pauli! says:

              Thank u. Ppl are so short sighted or they just have these preconceived notions about a player based on what? On overwhelming opinion of bs from bs posters on this site? Give me a break. Or really it’s Castillo who needs to be given one. Gone knows ppl are a lot more lenient with other players poor performances at times.

              @lost in space
              Not really. Being Hispanic, I’m looking from the outside in, not the reverse.

        • Roman Lewandowski says:

          One person on this thread mentioned a preference for Parkhurst. Although I do not agree with it, that opinion is a valid one. Parkhurst is a utility man, like Spector.

          Despite your agenda, you probably would admit that Castillo has been sub-par in his (admittedly few) NT appearances. Every player who has turned in a handful of bad performances takes a lot of flak on this site. Have you seen the talk about Evans in the past month? (I have contributed to that.)

          Finally, every fullback in our pool is controversial: FabJ (mostly related to positioning), Beasley, Lichaj, Parkhurst, Castillo, Spector, Cameron, Evans, etc.. Each of these players has drawn arguments similar to the ones we’re seeing on this page today.

          • GW says:

            “Finally, every fullback in our pool is controversial:”

            In English what that means is it is a mediocre bunch. Nobody that Man City or Bayern will want to spend millions on.

            That does not mean they can’t be an effective unit in the World Cup. But it does mean all this nitpicking over whether we have “real” right backs or “natural” left backs is just a waste of time.

            My guess is JK understands this and is making the best of a hardworking but limited bunch.

            With Castillo and Evans it’s just a question of maximizing their positives and minimizing their negatives.

            You can get away with that with a national team because of the short term nature of international play and because teams often are not familiar with each other the way Man U and Chelsea, for example, are.

            To win the World Cup you need to do well with your three group games and then win 4 in a row. That is 7 games. An average EPL starter plays something like 45 games a season.

            Castillo and Evans may not be, for example, EPL quality, but they only have to fake it for a short time.

    • AE says:

      A German last name would do him well.

    • Roman Lewandowski says:

      You’re the first person on this thread (or ever, on this site) to mention Castillo’s race as a factor in this discussion.

      Comments like these ruin everything–soccer, these message boards, my mood, etc.

      Your barb is racially charged, devoid of facts, and thoroughly unproductive. Disgraceful.

      • beachbum says:

        it sure is. and look who is there egging him on, telling him he’s making too much sense for folks here…….

        • Kingly Alexander - Sankt Pauli! says:

          Right. No ur right I totally concur. Ppl besides the one aren’t looking for every solution to Castillo not playing. It has nothing to do with race and everything to do with him not playing well in a superior league and superior competitions. It’s not like he played for Mexico at one point or anything

          • beachbum says:

            I’ve watched Edgar play for years, I’m a fan.

            I also have seen him play not so well in the USMNT kit. it’s not crazy to understand why some question his inclusion based on his performances in the unigform.

            I am NOT one of those, btw. I think he’ll perform well if called upon

            take your sarcasm and stick it with your weak a$$ race card

          • Judging Amy says:

            I think it’s ridiculous to suggest that the ambivalence about Castillo is race related. I’m hispanic and I’ve been on these SBI boards way longer than you (unless you’ve changed your user name).

            I say that not to “pull rank” or anything ludicrous like that. Rather, I’ve read a lot of comments through the years from SBI posters and that’s how I know this business with Castillo isn’t race related.

            I support starting him btw. But I get why some people wouldn’t. If there’s another explanation for something (he just hasn’t played that well for the Nats despite his club play and unlike Jozy he’s never had a sustained period of good Nats team play that we could point to and say, oh, he could get back to that level), why assume the worst from a great community like SBI.

            Relax man.

            • Kingly Alexander - Sankt Pauli! says:

              I don’t think anyone would be self-respected man would be stupid enough to come out and say anything racist.

              Half the ppl on here would rather have parkhurst play or summize that Castillo “sucks” or “blows” his appearance vs Germany wasn’t bad at all, neither his cameo in vs Jamaica. Way more positives then negatives.

    • GW says:

      Alex,

      Skin bleaching is probably a bad idea for Edgar and might affect his health and fitness:

      “There is evidence to suggest that some types of skin-whitening products use active ingredients (such as mercurous chloride) and hydroquinone which can be harmful.[34] Hydroquinone has now been banned in Europe and in many other countries can only be prescribed by a doctor for certain skin conditions.

      A test of common skin lightening creams available in Nigeria showed that they caused mutations in bacteria and were possibly carcinogenic.

      There is a growing market in skin lightening products that are toxic-free. However, they are more costly due to their expensive ingredients. Japan and the Pacific are big markets for high quality skin lightening products imported from Europe. In India and Pakistan, Fair and Lovely by Unilever remains a popular brand despite the company being forced by the Indians to withdraw television advertisements for the product in 2007 .”

      I doubt changing his last name would be effective either since most every fan knows what he looks like.

    • Travis is Miami says:

      Yes, because everyone love LBs that look like Bornstien here…

    • MN Footie says:

      1. I really don’t like the idea of Castillo starting.
      2. According to you, that’s race-related.
      3. I want, more than anything, to see Joe Corona (look at that name! look at that heritage!) get some solid WCQ time – I think he’s got alot to offer our midfield by way of creativity, p@$$ing, and general dynamism of attack. I certainly wanted him to start of EJ last game.

      /kingly alexander – sankt pauli! head asplode!

      • Kingly Alexander - Sankt Pauli! says:

        I didn’t say every single person who comments, did I?

        • MN Footie says:

          Nope, all you did was make a blanket, unspecified charge of racism. Let’s raise the level of discourse, eh? SBI is a great place for quality conversation and debate, and let’s keep it that way.

  19. beckerman4lyfe says:

    here da lineup:

    davis—altodore—susi
    —–ej——–bradly—-
    ——beckerman——–
    pankhurst-goodson-cameron-evan
    ——guzan————-

    subs: boyd for altodore, beasler for pankhurst, rimando for guzan

    • zztoppppp says:

      We are totally winning with that one.

    • Lost in Space says:

      Please god no…..

    • Waterlewd says:

      When we clinch a WC spot with 2 matches remaining in the HEX, then yes — I’m all for it.

    • AE says:

      You had me until Beckerman. I think that is where most sensible human beings would stop reading. Want him no where near the field unless we are up by a minimum of 2 or we are time wasting with less than 7s left in stoppage time.

    • twewlife says:

      leaving Dempsey and Fabian Johnson off the starting 11? Did you couch my middle school team?

    • louis z says:

      You are way out of the beaten path. I just don’t see it happening even in another dimension.

    • cremmo says:

      “We are all agreed that your theory is crazy. The question which divides us is whether it is crazy enough to have a chance of being correct. My own feeling is that it is not crazy enough.”
      ― Niels Bohr

  20. cj says:

    All of you Castillo haters must not have watched a single second of a Xolos game. He may not be the best defender but he does attack the oposition very well, and is not scared to take a chance on goal. Last summer against Canada he nearly won that game with a volley which nearly caught the gk sleeping. We could do much worse at LB, he has improved tremendously in TJ and that is what you want a player who listens and works on his game continously.

    • GW says:

      I like Castillo. I thought he was fine against Germany all things considered.

      But I would point out that what he does for TJ, other than the fact that it tells you he is a good player and is getting better, is irrelevant.

      I only care about what he does for the US.

  21. beachbum says:

    Ives’ lineup projections with his insider stuff are pretty good usually. If Edgar does start at LB instead of moving Fabian back there, then Beasley is our LB first choice as this is the perfect opportunity for Klinsmann to move Fabian back there if he wanted to and establish him with Gonzo-Besler-Evans going forward

    • Kingly Alexander - Sankt Pauli! says:

      It starts with if Edgar does start and continues with beasly is our first choice and Fabian should solidify his position.Kudos. Most perfect sense ever!

      • beachbum says:

        have read your post a few times now…what are you saying?

        • Kingly Alexander - Sankt Pauli! says:

          No I haven’t. When a piece gets moved a few pages back on the site I don’t go looking for it. But in this case, it’s front and center again.

          I was making fun of the way u tried making sense of the LB spot our left side, but after reading your post a couple of times. I agree completely and I sorry lol.

  22. rogdog says:

    -Altidore-
    -Dempsey-
    Jones – Bradley- F. Johnson – Zusi
    Cameron – Besler – Gonzo – Evans
    -Howard-

    Castillo didn’t show much confidence against the German “C” team, or whatever you haters called that German team that played. Hey. he may play LB at his club, but it clearly didn’t translate to the national team. I was at the game on Tuesday, and although Evans did have to track back against some very fast players, he still held his own pretty well overall. And EJ, I think you’ll see him as a sub for Altidore, Alti has played a lot of minutes the last couple of games.

    • Kingly Alexander - Sankt Pauli! says:

      Hmm because what tony pulis did at stoke completely translates to what Klinsy’s done with the nats. I’m sure we’ll see Cameron there and not in midfield. Never mind jones’ concussion!

  23. louis z says:

    I think JK knows who is best at a given position what he is trying to figure it out is if player “X” can be a better option at “Y” position. for instance….If JK finds a better LM, maybe Johannssen or Parker (I wish), then FJ will bump either Beas or Castillo off the starting 11 or even of the 23 list. It may be the same thing with Chandler, he may bump Beas or Castillo if JK thinks he regained his 2011 form or Chandler bumping Evans if DOLO regains his starter role. If EJ continues to play well, he may learn the wing position to a point that he may even bump out Zusi or LD.
    Things are still fluid for some players. Things will play out in the next 6 months, after the end of the year we shouldn’t see any major changes to the top 21 players in the list.

  24. twh says:

    In midfield, Jones should start if he’s healthy. Jones and MB are the only pair we have at CM that can run the double pivot, and they need all the time together they can get. Cameron as a holder is a good fallback, but the double pivot has a lot more upside potential.

    At LB, I am uncomfortable having Castillo start while the RB situation is still less than optimal. The Mids and CDs can lean one way or the other to help one weak outside back, but both? We may very well need FJ’s experience at RB, especially if Boniek Garcia plays. FJ at LB, EJ at LW.

  25. Jim says:

    Keep the starters intact from the Panama game, adding Zusi back at left wing. And hope a bunch of yellow cards are given. Sure we’d have to sit a bunch of guys for Costa Rica on the road. But they’d definitely be available for Mexico in Columbus.

    • paulwp says:

      +1 this, except Fabian in for Beasley at LB.

      What I like about it… 1. it’s a good lineup that will win by two. 2. We need to see zusi on the left at some point. that will give JK a clearer picture of what to do if/when Donovan destroys the Gold Cup.

  26. Hush says:

    I though I would never say this, but without LD, what the heck! I would like to see EJ back in the starting 11 over Zusi tomorrow and forever until we get a decent player in that role. EJ gives us more in that role than Zusi which is obvious who imo is just an average player with good hustling skills. To me, Zusi has a hard time shooting crosses when he doesn’t have space, that’s one of my issues with him. Holden and EJ know how to create space a bit better which is why I take them both over Zusi. Holden obviously can’t ball right now, but you guys get my point…

    In my opinion, Zusi is not fully garbage, just a little above that… Zusi fans don’t get offended, is just the way it is

    • louis z says:

      I think EJ is a better athlete, better scorer and even better defender. The problem is…we may not get the same EJ from one game to another. I think Zusi is a bit more consistent.

      • GW says:

        louis,

        To your point, not that this will happen, but if you put Zusi and EJ in competition for one spot at winger, as you say, EJ is unquestionably more physically and athletically gifted.

        He is bigger, stronger, faster, more athletic, more two footed, better in the air, etc., etc.

        Neither of them are “natural” wingers.

        Zusi’s advantage over EJ is he has been working at it a whole lot longer and soccer is not a game that favors hesitation.

        The only question is , if JK wants to try EJ there how fast and how well can he adapt? Should the US qualify early, is JK willing to give EJ the PT at winger and is it worth it?.

        • louis z says:

          I think that is what we will learn on Tuesday, is EJ better than Zusi in JK’s eyes? How much trust does JK have in Castillo, if not much, then FJ goes to LB. As simple as that.

          • GW says:

            “I think that is what we will learn on Tuesday, is EJ better than Zusi in JK’s eyes?”

            I doubt that.

            Zusi and EJ are two different players who bring different things to the table. If EJ is on the wing Tuesday, maybe JK will look to see how much his wing play has advanced.

            JK as plenty of trust in Castillo. He wouldn’t call him in so much if he did not. Now if Edgar goes 90 and is a total disaster, that is another thing.

  27. BK says:

    Castillo’s bad game against Germany (admittedly after travel) was hardly first stinker for the US. He’s been consistently awful for the Nats.

  28. gtv says:

    Just beat Hondo, get the 3 points and move on. No need to risk Jones if he is not truly 100%. Start Cameron and that should be plenty of motivation for him to play well. Jones knows he has a place on the XI when he is fit. Left back is always a guessing game. Beasley did great in the last game, playing like a winger and coming way forward at times. Not sure if we could do that if we wanted to against Hondo. Just plug in someone, play solid on D and get the win.

    • Matt C in Tampa says:

      Agreeance. lots of debate on here about considerable line-up changes and whether certain players are fit to even wear the red-white-and blue.

      The team played well against Panama and i think the combo of Cameron and MB had a lot to do with that. Cameron held the middle well.Won a lot of balls without committing stupid fouls. More importantly, i think GCam’s role and Generalisimo’s roles were so much more definded that Junior played much better and free-er knowing GCam was holding down the fort.

      I’m not calling for GCam to take over that spot or that GJones should be benched, but the dude just suffered a concussion in a game that his sub played very well in. No need to rush GJones back when we’re ok at that spot.

      We can debate the other positions, but starting GCam with MB in the middle seems a no-brainer.

  29. slowleftarm says:

    Why not drop Fabian Johnson back to LB and play EJ on the left side of midfield? I know Castillo has played well in Liga MX but his national team performances have been uniformly awful.

  30. Excellency says:

    —————–jozy————-
    —————dempsey———
    –fab—————————ej—-
    ———–cam—-bradley—-
    –parky–besler-gonzo–evans–
    ————-howard———-

    Same as last time but parkhurst for dq’d Beezer. Piece of cake.

  31. bryan says:

    im blown away that people don’t trust Castillo because of the Germany game. you guys are short sighted, big time. new to the game/team, clearly. because there isn’t another reason to think you can use a cameo as an analysis.

    Castillo has had an outstanding season and deserves a full look. he’ll get it on Tuesday and at the Gold Cup. then we can make our decision.

    • bryan says:

      *isn’t any reason

      can you imagine if we didn’t play anyone who had a game cameo? we would have no team. you guys remember 15 minutes of Germany yet forget he was starting at LB when the US beat Mexico at Azteca.

  32. Bean says:

    ————–Altidore
    ————–Deuce
    EJ—————————Zusi
    —-Geoff———-Bradley
    FJ—Gonzo—Beasler—Evans

  33. Kingly Alexander - Sankt Pauli! says:

    Lol at anyone suggesting Parkhurst play on the left. Guatemala and while in form? Ok. But now? I mean really.

    • MN Footie says:

      By my count, two people called for parkhurst to play LB. On the entire thread. Your comment would be more applicable if there was actually a groundswell of support for him. But there isn’t; so your comment isn’t.

      Get over it, man. If Castillo starts, we’re all happy for him. If not, whatever.

  34. adam tash says:

    best 11:

    altidore
    dempsey
    eddie johnson bradley zusi
    jones
    castillo besler cameron fabian
    howard

  35. Mat says:

    Starting Castillo at LB would be a major blunder. Why take Unnecessary risks ? Fabian at lb is fine and proven.

    • Goalscorer24 says:

      Depth. JK does seem to gamble from time to time, and most of his gambles have paid off.

  36. Eric says:

    My starting XI:

    Altidore
    E. Johnson–Dempsey–Zusi
    Bradley–Jones
    F. Johnson–Besler–Gonzalez–Cameron
    Howard

  37. MikeG says:

    As long as the lineup continues to move smartly off the ball, in support of the player with the ball, any player will look good on the ball, and the USMNT can play the way JK wants the team to do. I think we need to get more compact in our own penalty area, but Bradley, Jones, and now Cameron have all done good in that respect since the Mexico game. Overall I see the USMNT more balanced in both halves of the field with room to grow on both sides. I ‘get’ JK system. It’s basically a 10 on 10 version of basketball played through soccer. Our midfield has improved in through ball passing, chip passing, crossing, and wall passing. I still feel we need a two forward system that allows Bradley and Jones to play in midfield at the same time….why? Arguably we can have a solid 4 on D and 6 getting into or just outside the penalty area resulting in more possession and shots on goals…I saw parts of that happening when Eddie johnson decided to make runs into the penalty area.

  38. MikeG says:

    I like Eddie Johnson coming in as a forward in a two forward system to go after the LB or RB who is more tired on the other team. A back who has been tenderized and has rubbery legs. Eddie Johnson is a tactical weapon better deployed in the final third and not in midfield.

  39. bizzy says:

    For reasons best known to Klinsmann we have put together a formula that has worked…….against a formatable opponent like Germany, Why change anything but what is needed? We switched out Zusi and Jermaine and destroyed Panama that use to be a threat, so my question again why change anything but what is needed? Moving Fabian to LB, Moving Zusi to LW and Eddie Johnson on the RW or bringing Landon Donovan in……why? We finally have a perfectly oiled machine, firing on all cylinders, defense/midfield/offense all in sync with each other, breaking down defenses and playing fluent soccer…why start moving players around when this particular line-up has created goals/opportunity against one of the best in the world.
    All we need to worry about at this point; is it Cameron or Jermaine Jones (which for now its Cameron) and if its Castillo till Beasley comes back

    • GW says:

      bizzy,

      I’m sure JK agrees with you and will only make the changes he deems necessary, for this game. He knows it is vital to get all three points.

      However, what JK thinks is necessary and what we all think is necessary may be two completely different things.

      Besides the obvious necessary changes there may be a lot going on behind the scenes that we are not aware of. And, of course . Honduras is a different team from Panama and present a different challenge.

      The other thing is, while this is the best the team has looked under JK and I’m comfortable saying it would take a major disaster to stop the US from qualifying, this team will have to upgrade if they want to get past the group stage in the World Cup.
      If you doubt that watch the Confederations Cup.

      I’m pretty sure JK is going into the World Cup planning to win it, aiming high and all that. If we meet them he will want to beat Italy, Brazil etc.

      This edition of the HEX was harder at first for the US probably because JK had to build a team while trying to qualify at the same time. And, looking back, the competition has been tough to break down but in the World Cup the US is likely to face teams just as hard to break down but better able to score.

      So one year out from the World Cup, the USMNT still has a lot of improving to do to get ready. It’s too early to get complacent.

    • That Guy says:

      bizzy, we beat Panama and a B Germany team… lets keep it in our pants please.
      Perfectly oiled machine? Its working yes, but its not firing on all cylinders or anything. We just got killed by belgium, then went on to play a bunch of teams that are OK, but nowhere near where we as nation want to be. We need to be running over these CONCOCAF teams (especially at home), not be amazed that we scored two goals against them and nearly gave away a goal in the dying minutes. The soccer looks fluid yes, but go against a team of any substance (like maybe anyone we may play if we get to the knockout round of the world cup), the USA won’t have the space and time to be “fluid”.
      Also, given your philosophy of not starting anyone but those of who that have been playing (and winning), what happens when someone gets injured? Currently, we have the potential to have more depth then ever before. Corona, Torres, Mix, Boyd, and Agudelo (to name a few) can all be good to great players for the USA in the future, but given the way you are approaching things, these players will never experience real games before we actually need them. Calling in players and having the ability to play with many players and not just a starting 11 is very important for a successful World Cup. We need the creativity to come off the bench when Zusi’s inability to perform bc he does not have world cup experience or when Jones or Bradley goes down injured. We need to stop thinking about finding our starting 11 and start worrying about finding our starting 15. The USMNT, Klinsmen (I know I spelled it wrong), and many American soccer fans need to stop focusing on only 11 because it will kill our chances in the World Cup.

  40. Tom says:

    Let’s not overdo the Cameron hype based on one game. The guy was atrocious in a number of games prior to that, and lost his job.

    • wandmdave says:

      I don’t know if that is true. He wasn’t the best at RB but he got moved out of CB because he was able to fill in at RB not because he sucked at CB. While he was filling in at RB Besler laid claim to his spot. His versatility screwed him out of a starting spot.

      • GW says:

        To be accurate we don’t really know why JK moved Cameron out of the CB spot but it has been clear that not playing there all year for Stoke hurt his CB form. He certainly did not do well there against Honduras. And that probably made it easier for JK to play Besler, who seems to have a better CB partnership with Gonzo.

        At this point, he looks like he will be the John O’Shea/Phil Jones utility guy for the USMNT.

    • biff says:

      Absolute BS, Tom. Cameron has not been “atrocious” in even one single game for the UMSNT, let alone “atrocious in a number of games” as you are erroneously alleging. His games have generally been average to solid to strong, concluding with an outstanding performance against Panama. IMO, the USMNT benefits from having Cameron on the pitch.

      • louis z says:

        Thank you Biff, I was going to reply likewise. Cameron’s situation is that he can play in more than one position, if JK had to chose only one player between him and Gonz for his team my money would be in Cameron.

  41. Tom says:

    We need a lot more guys with full body tattoos.

  42. DCUnitedWillRiseAgain says:

    Altidore
    Dempsey
    E. Johnson Jones/Cameron Bradley Zusi
    F. Johnson Besler Gonzo Evans

    • Iggy says:

      this is what I see happening. if the left side of the D is having trouble, pull EJ at the half and put in Castillo

  43. That Guy says:

    when do we get to see if we have any depth? I wanna know where Holden is and if Corona is any good. maybe see if Boyd can put a few in. I say start one of them, see what happens. If we cant beat Honduras at Home with One non-starting player starting (mouthful) then Klinsmin (spelled wrong) is not doing something right.

  44. Matt M says:

    Wow! Some of you are nutty.

    My thoughts from reading this board are as follows:

    1. Bradley and Jones are the 2 best players on the team. When healthy and available thats the CM pairing.

    2. I want to see how Castillo and FJ look on the field together. They haven’t played together yet.

    3. Race should have no place on the USMNT. The red, white, and blue is all that should matter. Not the white, black or brown.

    4. People need to quit referring to Germany as a “B” team because their “B” team is still top 10 to 15 in the world.

    5. Donovan needs to go to Europe if he wants to start over Zusi. JK loves Clint and wants all the players to continue to challenge themselves and fight to make themselves better. Donovan seems to be the polar opposite, and he has been on a hiatus for almost JK’s whole tenure. Donovan needs to show JK he has changed.