Who should the USMNT start vs. Honduras?

USMNTvsCostaRica (ISIPhotos.com)

by IVES GALARCEP

With two matches standing between the U.S. Men’s National Team and recapturing the Gold Cup title they haven’t lifted since 2007, Wednesday night’s semifinal vs. Honduras should offer the Americans their toughest test to date in this tournament, and Jurgen Klinsmann will need to pick the right squad to ensure the U.S. avoids an upset.

Klinsmann has some very tough decisions to make, particularly in central midfield, where he will have to choose between Kyle Beckerman, Stuart Holden and Mix Diskerud for two spots in the middle.

Klinsmann will also need to think about the forward position, and whether to stick with Chris Wondolowski or go with Eddie Johnson.

Who will Klinsmann choose? Here is SBI’s projected Starting USMNT lineup vs. Honduras:

PROJECTED USMNT STARTING LINEUP vs. HONDURAS

———–Chris Wondolowski————-Landon Donovan——————

Eddie Johnson—————–Stuart Holden———————–Joe Corona

———————————Kyle Beckerman———————————-

DaMarcus Beasley——————————————-Michael Parkhurst

——————-Matt Besler—————Omar Gonzalez———————

———————————-Nick Rimando————————————-

Some thoughts:

I know Wondolowski didn’t have his best game against El Salvador, but he did a lot of the dirty work that Klinsmann likes and feels he needs at that position. Wondolowski can provide a good target option for Johnson and Donovan to run off of, and he can look to physically wear down the Honduran defense before being replaced in the second half by a speedier option like Brek Shea.

Eddie Johnson should start, whether it’s at forward or on the left wing. Truth is, if he is deployed on the left, we can expect this formation to play like a 4-3-3 at times, with Johnson and Donovan on either side of Wondolowski, and with Holden and Corona working as the front of an inverted diamond.

The central midfield is a tough one, with Mix Diskerud playing well vs. El Salvador, and with Kyle Beckerman being so key for the team’s ability to keep the ball. It should be noted that Honduras has a much better midfield than El Salvador, and the Catrachos’ high work rate in the middle leads me to see Holden getting the nod over Diskerud, who is coming along well, but who still lacks a little in the box-to-box coverage department.

Defensively, Klinsmann isn’t bringing in Omar Gonzalez to sit on the bench, so unless Besler is injured (which seems to be what some think might be the case), we should see Gonzalez and Besler. Now, if Besler is, in fact, injured, I think we’d more likely see a Gonzalez-Orozco pairing than Gonzalez-Goodson, just from a style-pairing standpoint.

And who would USMNT fans put on the field vs. Honduras if given the chance? Here’s who I get the sense fans want to see:

—————–Eddie Johnson————-Landon Donovan——————

Brek Shea———-Stuart Holden——-Mix Diskerud———–Joe Corona

DaMarcus Beasley———————————————–Michael Orozco

———————-Matt Besler————Omar Gonzalez———————

———————————–Nick Rimando———————————–

And who would I start? I would go with the projected XI listed above. Wondolowski provides a good tone-setter, and could be very effective playing with Donovan and Johnson together. Either way, I’d find a way to get Eddie Johnson on the field.

What do you think of the projected Starting XI? Who would you change on it? Would you prefer the Projected Fan XI over the lineup I projected Klinsmann to go with?

Share your thoughts below.

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

  1. SanFran415 says:

    I actually thought Wondo played quite well. He played the target role very well–and came back into the midfield to receive a number of times. He possessed well and was quite cheeky on setting up that Corona goal.

    Given that Landon played off him consistently I would say he was probably doing exactly what Klinsmann asked of him–use your work rate to hold up and bring the offense up the field.

    • DCUffda! says:

      Don’t you think Klinsmann also asked him to get shots on goal and score goals?

      • SanFran415 says:

        I don’t think Klinsmann subscribes to the mindset that a striker’s only job is to score goals.

        He’s a pragmatist. I imagine he believes a striker who recognizes that they can create a better opportunity for someone else and does so is just as impactful as the person who finishes it.

        End of the day–the point is for the team to put the ball in the opposing team’s net. How they accomplish that is all gravy, isn’t it?

        Clarence Goodson has 2 goals in the past month–funny too that he stole a goal from Wondo against El Salvador. Wondo was standing right behind him about to put that Donovan cross into the empty net–but Goodson came roaring in to knock it in.

        Don’t think coaches don’t notice on tape review that Wondo was also right there ready to put that in–as a good striker should be in that case.

        The name on the score sheet is the least important thing a coach looks for.

        • downintexas says:

          I don’t rate Wondo very high, but he has performed well and deserves the start. If he can play well against better teams he may earn his spot on the WC team, no he does not need to score 1-2 goals every game, but needs to keep putting in the work.

          As for Goodson goal that he “stole” from Wondo. I want my attacking players attacking the ball not waiting for it. Especially when it is in the box. Goodson wanted the goal more than Wondo

          • SanFran415 says:

            It’s not a question of wanting it more–Goodson just happened to already be closer to the cross.

            Wondo sacrifices his body to score–that guy wants goals.

        • biff says:

          I also thought Wondow had good game. Klinsmann praised his performance after the game. It was clear to me that Wondow was giving the El Salvador defense fits, really making them work hard and tiring them out by making all the right moves. True, he did not get on the score sheet. But that happens. Ask Jozy, who went, what, 16 games without scoring a goal over nearly two years. Yet a lot of people were defending him during his dry spell, even saying he had great games when he did not score. Wondow had a good game. In addition to the assist, was involved in some good hold-up play without losing the ball and also was making good p@sses without throwing it away.

          It could be that Wondow’s performance was downgraded because of the drama of EJ’s first-touch head goal. Donovan was aweseome, but missed some sitters and and Eddie Johnson also missed two easy shots. I will be surprised if Wondow does not start against Honduras.

    • KillerInstinct says:

      Cheeky?…Really?…why do we people they have to use British terms, when reffering to soccer. I am pretty sure you dont say “Cheeky” in your everyday conversation. Why not use “savy, slick, sharp, “etc.. Sorry I just feel that people think that some how they would be percieved as more knowledgable or legit in speaking about the sport, by using these terms…for me its just kissing @#$@#$ to the Brits. Lets be who we are …I know I am going off a tangent, but I see these words like cheeky & delicious way to much SBI. Now if you are British, my apologies and disregard.

      • Dillon says:

        One of the great strengths of English is that it is an open language with allows lots of experimentation and exchange. If you want to speak a stifling and closed off language which spurns expansion and freedom, speak French.

        Also, Americans do not use the word delicious? I am starting to believe your problem lies more in your limited vocabulary than your linguistic xenophobia.

        • KillerInstinct says:

          Delicious used as in “That was a delicious strike”…last time I checked, we use delicious when taking a bite of something we enjoy, which is why I am mentioning it and…and your completely missing the point of what I am trying to say, which is why not use AMERICAN EXPRESSIONS when conversating about the sport instead of terms we dont use in this country, except the Eurosnobs

          • whoop-whoop says:

            I get a little gentle ribbing for the use of British phrases, but lets not take ourselves too too seriously, yeah? It’s only natural if one reads and watches media with these terms used for them to creep into conversation. Really… people should use whatever word comes to mind and effectively communicates the idea they are trying to express…. pretty sure we all understood the sentence… good enough. Kind of ridiculous to get too defensive and put a star spangled stamp on phraseology… If you really want to get technical 99% of the words you use everyday originated elsewhere (yes even France)… and many on that tiny island. Turns out, languages have always grown and changed through cultural exchange be it war, commerce or…. football… errrr… socccer… you know what I mean.

          • wandmdave says:

            but i enjoy the british terms more. theyre exotic and fun.

          • PanchoMiguelMoralesdeConejo says:

            “Cheeky” and “Delicious” have different meanings.
            “Clever” would be more appropriate as a “Cheeky’ substitution, or “Brash” …but certainly not ‘Delicious”

          • PD says:

            So I guess you mean “that was awesome dude… That dude did awesome. He’s the best.”

            Yeah, that’s clearly better. Next you’re gonna want revert back to the good old days of 90+ minutes of U-S-A chants as well?

          • John Lowe says:

            Actually Killer,
            Your censorship makes you seem like the snob.

      • SanFran415 says:

        I use cheeky in every day conversation quite regularly.

        Should I also stop saying something’s a beauty or not call it football or not say a player has pace or call outside defenders fullbacks or refer to a tough group as the “group of death” or say a player dribbled into traffic…

        Where does that end? I have a lot of friends from the UK that I watch with regularly and I watch a good amount of UK football on TV. Do I turn my brain off?

        • downintexas says:

          San let me help you with your first post. It should read like this

          “Wondo play good. Keep ball good. Help Corona good. Wondo Landon play good. Wondo play cheeky.”

          • SanFran415 says:

            Haha.

            Wondo hungry. Wondo want food. Wondo hit ball!

          • CamRahn Bay says:

            Hahaha, well played.

            I also use cheeky in everyday conversation… so what?

            The only one that bothers me is when they use “joy” as having success in a certain area of the field (notice how I didn’t use pitch), as in “Landon Donovan had all kinds of joy up the sides.” I think it just sounds stupid.

            Use the words you want… the term “Eurosnob” is only going to create an opposite term, such as “Amerislob” (I’ve copyrighted that term so step off)

      • Gary Page says:

        I agree with you. The problem is not that the terms are British, but that the British over use them so much, they have become such cliches. And why use British terms , like pitch, when we have a perfectly good word, field, which is used for all of our sports? And don’t the Brits ever say fast or speedy? Why is someone always pacey? And why do they say a referee isn’t interested? It’s not that he’s not interested, but that he is not convinced. There are other similar cases where, I think, they misuse words. Whatever verbiage one uses, I think you should try to avoid over use and cliches and the Brits are perhaps more guilty than American commentators.

        • wandmdave says:

          so we should use american cliches instead?

        • PD says:

          I’m sure I will be called unpatriotic for this, but for many the appeal of soccer is that it is a refreshing alternative to many of the cliches of american mainstream sports. The assumption that fans from this country must/need to express themselves in an “american fashion” is absurd. If someone wants to call it football (like the rest of the world does), or for that matter refer to a pitch (like the world does) or critique a manager (like the rest of the world does), what’s the harm? There are so many other things worth policing than this.

        • PD says:

          I’m sure I will be called unpatriotic for this, but for many the appeal of soccer is that it is a refreshing alternative to many of the cliches of american mainstream sports. The @ssumption that fans from this country must/need to express themselves in an “american fashion” is absurd. If someone wants to call it football (like the rest of the world does), or for that matter refer to a pitch (like the world does) or critique a manager (like the rest of the world does), what’s the harm? There are so many other things worth policing than this.

      • Roy says:

        Maybe it is a regional thing, but “cheeky” was in common use in the northeast lots of decades ago when I was a kid. I don’t even associate it with Britishness.

      • GW says:

        KI,

        In the UK, in the past, and maybe still, people were discriminated upon based on their accent and usage of terms.

        If people want to use terms like cheeky, this is America and if people choose to be pretentious and phony that is their right and it is none of your damned business.

        • PD says:

          And yet you decide that being an @ss by calling that person phony is more important than the live and let live attitude you allegedly champion. How very witty of you. Stay cl@ssy, fella.

          • Lil' Zeke says:

            Why you inconsiderate boor! Stop crashing Ives’ moderation server

          • GW says:

            PD,

            It is my opinion that the usage of the term cheeky in the case in question was phony and pretentious. But since I believe in live and let live, I didn’t bother writing in about it. It is no big deal. Who cares?

            But Killer Instinct apparently felt American culture or something was under siege and is now mounting a search and destroy campaign against creeping Brad Friedel-ism.

            You can blame him (KI, the Americanism Police) for me revealing my opinions. If you don’t like my opinions you are certainly free to ignore them.

            Live and let live as they say.

        • Del Griffin says:

          Well played, old chap.

      • johnnycougar says:

        Dude. Let the guy say “cheeky” if he wants to. The actual issue should be that there was nothing “cheeky” about Wondo’s pass. Looked like a simple and obvious square ball to me.

      • Mingjai says:

        I think it’s natural to use British-isms when discussing soccer because the British have a created these usages over many years of broadcasting and discussing the game in the English language. When American football is broadcast in Britain, I’d expect the commentators to use terms developed by American broadcasters over the years.

    • Andrew In Tally says:

      What game were you watching? Wondo couldn’t hold on to the ball and kept getting knocked off the ball in the first half. There was nothing cheeky about the pass to Corona. He struggled to get the ball from under his feet. Actually if he had had done a better job of controlling the ball he could have taken a shot. But he didn’t have the skill to even do what Corona did. I don’t want to sound as if I’m bashing him. I was delighted by his early success in the tournament. However, the last few games are a timely reminder of just how limited he is as an international forward.

    • chris_thebassplayer says:

      I thought Wondow had good game, he got himself in good spots…on a different day he probably puts one in. If LD finishes his breakaway, Wondow has 2 assists in one half…not a bad effort.

  2. Off Topic – there is a post on the SD American Outlaws page that Dallas will not allow AO to have drums or banners at the game. Is this true – and if so, why, for heaven’s sake. It’s soccer, not golf.

    • Josh says:

      I wouldn’t doubt it. They are very tight on security at Jerry World, they don’t even allow small things such as signs attached to a stick or women’s purses.

      • bbstl says:

        Yep. This is a stadium policy more than anything. No matter the event, Jerry’s rules apply:

        “Signs must be handheld, event-related, in good taste and cannot obstruct another guest’s view. They may not contain commercial messages, logos or political endorsements and may not be hung off affixed stadium structures. Signs on poles or sticks, or constructed of wood or metal material, are also not permitted.”

        • OB Rick says:

          Too many rules in this country.

          • SanFran415 says:

            Pretty sure Jerry Jones is welcome to set whatever rules he wants in his stadium as long as they don’t violate basic civil rights.

            • the unmistakeable Ronaldinho says:

              Especially in the incredible stadium he built. To anyone who hasn’t been, I absolutely recommend attending a sporting event there. Amazing stadium inside and out.

              • Darwin says:

                OMFG I can’t wait till tomorrow. I’ve lived 5 minutes from that behemoth for 4 years now and never once watched a hand-egg game. Now I have a handful of tickets to see two great games and it will be my first and probably last time there. FnA!

              • Todd C says:

                Check my post below and the recent tweets from @grantwahl. Not looking good! Terrible stadium. Size & $$ doesn’t = quality.

              • the unmistakeable Ronaldinho says:

                Amazing stadium. Terrible field. Whoever is in charge of the field should be fired. They had months and months to prepare for this and completely messed it up. Its really embarrassing they couldn’t get it together. If there is any silver lining to take its that we play the first game. It’ll be torn up even more for the 2nd match.

            • Frank says:

              His stadium? He paid for it himself without and support from taxpayers?

              • SanFran415 says:

                Jerry Jones is the lessee of the land and structure that is Cowboys Stadium. He and the city of Arlington split the costs of the stadium with Jones putting up several hundred million dollars of his own money.

              • AK48 says:

                If you read up on how Jerry Jones made his money in the first place it would curl your hair. Short version: corrupt land deal for $15m., sold two years later for $175, parleyed into ownership of the Cowboys in no time flat.

              • CamRahn Bay says:

                You should check out the documentary called “America’s Parking Lot.” It talks about how he is able to finance the stadium… one of the main streams of revenue are PSLs (Personal Seat Licenses)

                Imagine going to a restaurant, and having to rent the plates and silverware before you can even look at the menu

      • Jake says:

        If it got security into the stadium… I’d take that trade. Baltimore was sorely lacking in security.

        • whoop-whoop says:

          By all means… to ensure each and everyone’s safety, we must immediately ban sunglasses and water-bottles too. And eliminate sharps edges… take those hard seats out. A man could really hurt himself. Make the stadium Nerf…. and close concessions…. that food is dangerously high in cholesterol! Heart attack waiting to happen. And stop all that shouting…. do you know what that does to a person’s hearing?

    • Todd C says:

      To all of those slurping Jerry Jones. Check out the recent tweets by Grant Wahl. The current field aka playing surface at Jerry’s pathetic stadium is absolute garbage. It’s terrible for the game, CONCACAF and most importantly the players. Hopefully it’s not really a factor come game time but as of now it’s atrocious and Jerry and Dallas aka Arlington should be embarrassed to provide a product like that at a “world class venue”. Nice big screen and terrible product on the field again. Will this be a factor in Klinsi’s lineup. You bet it will be. It’s unfortunate that the USMNT will be victims of this. Let’s leave it for Romo and the habitual underachieving Cowboys to play on going forward. What a joke. DOOOOP! USA!

  3. Rakesh says:

    I’d go with the projected lineup. I think if we’re up, JK is still gonna push and force us to attack anyway. So with that thinking, Mixx may come in for Stu, Shea on the wing for Wondow with EJ replacing him up top. Either way, this team is confident and aggressive, so we should take this 2-0. Out defense should hold (just wondering on Gonzo coming in and starting with someone other than Besler; very limited time for getting used to the GK and outside backs) I’m psyched for this! Go-Go-USA!!! On a separate note, if we pull it off, wouldn’t it be cool to wear the centennial jerseys for the final?!

    • Del Griffin says:

      I love the red and white Where’s Wondow jerseys.

      • Rakesh says:

        I do too Del Griffin! They’re pretty unique. But it’d be so cool to have an iconic photo of DaMarcus lifting the Gold Cup ‘nuclear warhead’ aloft with other team members on the podium, in all-white (traditional US home colours), with that classic emblem/crest visible! One for the scrapbooks! Cos you gotta believe after this centennial year, we’ll revert to the current crest and Nike will come out with a new jersey design for the WC…

        • Rakesh says:

          I do too Del Griffin! They’re pretty unique. But it’d be so cool to have an iconic photo of DaMarcus lifting the Gold Cup ‘nuclear warhead’ aloft with other team members on the podium, in all-white (traditional US home colours), with that cl@ssic emblem/crest visible! One for the scrapbooks! Cos you gotta believe after this centennial year, we’ll revert to the current crest and Nike will come out with a new jersey design for the WC…

    • blokhin says:

      EJ>Wondo- see last game
      Castillo>Shea or Torres, Torres is not showing much interest in being a wing and Shea is far too up and down to play 90. Castillo has plenty of issues of his own, but he does offer a credible, speedy threat on the wing…

      EJ-LD
      Castillo-Mixx-Beckerman-Corona
      Beasley-Besler- O(M)G -Parkhurst

      Holden for Mixx or Beckerman depending on whether USMNT is up or down in the game…

    • Josh D says:

      I like most of Ives’ except:

      Torres over Shea: Torres has really come into his own, whereas we know Shea can’t handle a full 90. He’s best used off the bench.

      Mix over Holden: Though I can see Holden starting because Mix is starting to look a little tired.

  4. Josh says:

    I don’t see Wondo getting a start, or if he does, then EJ is on the bench again. I don’t disagree with Ives’s evaluation of Wondo’s contribution, but I don’t see why JK would modify a formation that the team is pretty comfortable with to accommodate both Wondo and EJ. I’m guessing we see Beckerman and Mixx in the MF again, with Castillo on the left and Corona on the right. EJ and LD up top.

    • away goals says:

      Agree with you on eddie. If he starts it’s in place of wondo.

      Curious what makes you think JK would start castillo over torres? Castillo’s only minutes in the competition so far came as we rested beasley against cuba.

      Torres meanwhile has offered a completely different style of left mid. He’s pinched so far in that beasley has the entire flank to run into. Torres also gives us the ability to switch quickly to corona. He hit a few hollywood balls on a dime to corona’s chest.

  5. soonerfan237 says:

    ————–Eddie Johnson————-Landon Donovan——————

    Jose Torres—————–Stuart Holden———————–Joe Corona

    ———————————Kyle Beckerman———————————-

    DaMarcus Beasley——————————————-Michael Parkhurst

    ——————-Matt Besler—————Omar Gonzalez———————

    ———————————-Nick Rimando————————————-

    It’s a toss-up between Holden and Diskerud. I think Klinsmann goes with Holden so that Diskerud doesn’t get worn out from playing too many games.

    • Alf says:

      +1 I like it!

    • QuakerOtis says:

      This makes too much sense. I like Wondo and Mix as pour-it-on super subs.

    • KillerInstinct says:

      Torres is garbage…makes alot of bonehead passes that lead to turnovers, or touches the ball way to many times and cradles it until he is manhandled off the ball….what’s worst, is that he doesn’t even track back at all to recover his mistakes.

      • Jim says:

        Sorry K-M but you are way off-base on comments about Torres. What year’s Gold Cup are you referring to?? I have the last 3 games and watched them several times. (I have no life) Torres’ passing, crossing direct kicks have been spot on. Also he one touches more and better than anyone else except possibly LD. You aremistaking him for the Torres under Bradley.

    • Bobb says:

      Setting aside personal opinions, the fact is that over the last five games, the US goals scored vs goals conceded is 19 – 2 with Diskerud playing, and 3 – 1 without Diskerud. If you include Mix’s previous games for the US against South Africa, Chile, and Russia, the US has scored 22 goals and conceded 3 with Diskerud on the field (so 3 – 1 in those games, with Mix providing an assist against SA and a goal against Russia). 22 – 3, that has to be the best +/- ratio of anyone in our player pool…

      • Ives Galarcep says:

        Plus/minus matters in hockey, where you only have five skaters and liberal substitutions. In soccer? Doesn’t nearly matters as much as an accurate measure of a single player’s impact. You can go ahead and think so though.

        • Bobb says:

          I didn’t say it mattered as much as in hockey (or basketball), but I’m not sure that means it doesn’t matter. No one paid attention to +/- in basketball until Daryl Morey a few years ago (see Michael Lewis article on Shane Battier, “The No Stats All Star”.

      • GW says:

        Bobb/Yves,

        Tim Howard’s plus minus ratio for his last our or five US games can’t be as good as Nick Rimando’s plus minus ratio for his last four or five US games..

        Does that make Rimando a better goalkeeper than Howard?

        You tell me.

        • Bobb says:

          Howard isn’t on this roster facing the same teams in the same games as Rimando.

          I wasn’t comparing Diskerud to Dempsey or Bradley, I was comparing him to Beckerman and Holden, who are on this roster and facing those same teams in those same games.

          Nice straw man, though.

          • GW says:

            “I wasn’t comparing Diskerud to Dempsey or Bradley, I was comparing him to Beckerman and Holden, who are on this roster and facing those same teams in those same games.”

            Sure you were; did you forget so soon? You were comparing Mix to the USMNT player pool, which includes Dempsey, Bradley, Beckerman and Holden:

            “that has to be the best +/- ratio of anyone in our player pool…”

            And you did not qualify that you were only talking about this roster, you were talking about a bunch of other games not included in the Gold Cup.

            “If you include Mix’s previous games for the US against South Africa, Chile, and Russia, the US has scored 22 goals and conceded 3 with Diskerud on the field (so 3 – 1 in those games, with Mix providing an assist against SA and a goal against Russia). 22 – 3,”

            So if in your comparison you are going to bring in games outside the Gold Cup and players outside this roster then comparing Howard to Rimando is perfectly valid.

          • GW says:

            “I wasn’t comparing Diskerud to Dempsey or Bradley, I was comparing him to Beckerman and Holden, who are on this roster and facing those same teams in those same games.”
            Sure you were; did you forget so soon? You were comparing Mix to the USMNT player pool, which includes Dempsey, Bradley, Beckerman and Holden:
            “that has to be the best +/- ratio of anyone in our player pool…”
            And you did not qualify that you were only talking about this roster, you were talking about Mix’s entire US senior team career not just the Gold Cup.
            “If you include Mix’s previous games for the US against South Africa, Chile, and Russia, the US has scored 22 goals and conceded 3 with Diskerud on the field (so 3 – 1 in those games, with Mix providing an assist against SA and a goal against Russia). 22 – 3,”

    • louis z says:

      If Mix starts again I’ll take that as a bad sign for Holden. Holden looked a bit slow in his last game.

      • pancholama says:

        Holden is no doubt, feeling some pain in his reconstructed knee.
        Some inflammation, some general bodily aches and pains from still adjusting to a slightly different gait and balance, and gradually getting game fit.
        He has had a long and lonely road to recovery.
        I am sure that Jurgen Klinsmann and the rest of the USMNT training staff do not want him to burn out or re-injure himself.
        Steady and slow wins the race with Stuart.
        Let him cycle in and out and do his evolutions and rehab in his own time frame – and play him when he shows that he is ready to give you quality minutes.

        • pancholama says:

          PS- when Stuart is firing on all cylinders he plays like a son of the River Plate. He is a very gifted futbolista.
          So glad he’s on our USMNT.

    • Hawk says:

      This is a much more realistic lineup than what Ives proposed. If EJ were to start on the wing, who would then come in to sub up top if things were stalled again? I actually think EJ is a better replacement for Wondo than Wondo is for EJ. I think it helps to have Wond in the beginning of the game, making runs and creating havoc for the back line. Then when he has tired the defense out, you bring in a more Athletic, Bigger and Stronger guy in there to finish the game off. I think it worked prefectly against El Salvador and could see it working well again. It also helps to have his size in there for set pieces later in a game.

  6. Dc says:

    Love that first line-up. I wouldn’t mind goodson starting just cause he deserves it from a strong tournament.

    • ed - houston says:

      glad to see i am not the only one who thinks this. i am not really a fan of his but has done good so far.

    • CamRahn Bay says:

      Was just about to post something about this. I get how you can’t bring Gonzalez in and not start him, but Goodson has quite possibly been our best player in this tournament not named LD.

      Imagine if Gonzo makes a huge gaffe and it costs them the game? Oh man…..

    • Tyrone says:

      Agreed as well. I appreciate a coach who gives players starts because they’ve earned them.

  7. wfrw07 says:

    I think the fans would prefer Torres at LM to Shea. Not sure either one is loved right now, but I think Torres would win the fan vote. Other than that, I agree with everything said.

    • downintexas says:

      Torres would not get my vote.

    • recovered amishman says:

      I’m not so much a Torres fan as a Shea doubter. He has played well coming in as a substitute at about the 70 minute mark. Torres gets pushed around a bit to much for my liking, but he is good on the ball and tactically is miles ahead of Shea in the buildup.

      • downintexas says:

        When Shea is in form he very good. Hopefully a year at Stoke will do wonders for him.

        Torres is not an offensive player, he is a great link up player, he starts the play deep. But he is not an assist guy nor a goal scorer. only 3 goals and 6 assists in 140 games in Mex. If we play a team that will give him space then I’ll take him, but against a physical team I’d rather have Shea.

      • away goals says:

        Torres has actually looked quite strong on the ball against slv. Very shifty in tight spaces and used the sideline well to protect himself from pressure.

    • Jeff says:

      I would prefer Shea because he provides more defensive help and covers both ends the field better for the game vs Honduras. I think leaving the left side so wide open has been pretty lucky to work out with only Beasley over there to slow anything down.

    • Dennis says:

      Right now, I don’t think the fans would pick either Shea of Torres!
      I think Klinsmann will stick with Mix.
      Parkhurst might not have been outstanding, but he is doing well enough. Still I think the fans would like to see Orozco there, I just think JK isn’t about to change that.

  8. Marcelo Balboa's Mustache says:

    Good insight about the 4-3-3. Klinsmann seems to like pushing an asymmetric attack. I think that’s a good explanation of why this lineup doesn’t feel like a 4-1-3-2 through the run of play. I like either of these lineups better than the one with Torres. I recognize his skill, but he never seems to fit, and it’s painful to watch him get pushed around defensively.

  9. Scott e Dio93 says:

    Shea isn’t a 90 minutes player. Shea is super-sub type.

  10. Wispy says:

    I’d like to see this:

    ———-EJ—————LD———–
    Torres——Diskerud——Corona
    ————-Beckerman————–
    Beas—Besler–Goodson–Park
    ————-Rimando—————–

    1. You absolutely have to start EJ after last game, but if you put him on for Torres, you lose that help in MF possession that Torres provides. Start EJ over Wondo instead and let Wondo come on later to find his poaching spaces in a Honduras D that is tired from chasing EJ and Landon.

    2. Keep Holden in your pocket for a second-half sub for Beckerman if we need more offense to help orchestrate a goal. Same with Shea, coming on for Torres.

    3. I know there is no way Gonzales is brought in to be on the bench, but I think Goodson has been solid this tournament.

    • downintexas says:

      1. Not sure you have to start EJ. I hope he does start, but not sure if JK will start him over Wondo, Wondo should get another shot. One slightly off game does not put you on the bench

      2. Agree with Holden, not sure if he can go 90 min. Why put him in knowing you have to sub him out later.

      3. I think JK lets Goodson, Besler and Gonzo battle it out for the spot.

      • Dennis says:

        I don’t think Wondo had an off game. He did pretty much everything well, just did not happen to get a ball to pounce on.

    • Big Red says:

      This makes the most sense. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, especially in the knockout rounds. And putting Diskerud and Goodson on the bench after they played well and scored goals does not send the right message to the players on the team.

    • louis z says:

      A few months ago I would have agreed to your comment about EJ not helping but if you remember the last couple of games EJ has been helping a lot on defense. This new version of EJ is an improved version.

  11. Bean says:

    4-2-3-1

    —————Wondow
    EJ———–LD10————Corona
    —-Beckerman—-Holden
    Beasley–Omar–Besler–Orozco
    ————–Rimando

    Subs:
    S.Johnson, Torres, Bruin, Parkhurst, Diskerud

    • Dennis says:

      I think this puts the best 11 on the field, or at least close to it, being torn between Holden and Dskerud. I am not sure JK wants to change the attacking formation and thus the philosophy. So I don’t expect to see this.

      • Bean says:

        I think it’s our best. I’m also torn between Holden, and Diskerud, but think that Holden is fresher at this point.

  12. Benny says:

    The first projected lineup is good with Wondo and LD on top and EJ on the left. This will create problems for Honduras. And yes, replace Wondo with someone with speed against a tired Honduras side in the second half.

  13. Scweeb says:

    Have we ever had an EJ and Shea paring on the left hand side?

  14. Brandon says:

    There are a couple reasons I think Holden should start over Diskerud, who is my favorite player on this team.

    1) I remember how worn out Diskerud was after three games in five days at the Olympic qualifying tournament. He also started to break down during the middle of the El Salvador match as well, though he finished very strong. He’s been playing a lot of games in a demanding position, and though his fitness is generally good, he’s not used to this type of weather. I think he needs a rest.

    2) I, along with everyone else, want to see Holden. I suppose Holden could take Beckerman’s spot, but Holden is better in Mix’s role.

    Mix should be used as a sub on Wednesday if Holden isn’t fit for 90 minutes and/or if we find ourselves needing a goal late. Otherwise, I think a rest will be good for him. Assuming we make it, I do think he should feature in the final, probably in the starting XI.

    • louis z says:

      If Holden would be better than Mix, don’t you think he would have played already before Mix? I think JK doesn’t believe Holden can go a full 90, he is going to use him when needed.

      • Brandon says:

        I meant that Holden is better as the #8 than as the #6. I actually think Mix has outperformed Holden at the #8 in the tournament. I agree that Klinsmann has doubts about Holden’s fitness, but remember that Holden went 90 minutes against Costa Rica. Having had over a week of rest, he could do it again against Honduras. If Holden can’t go for 90 minutes, Mix will be there to spell him.

        I’m just worried about Mix getting overworked. He’s played 302 minutes in this tournament, second most on the team behind Donovan. In comparison, Beckerman and Holden have played 225 and 193 minutes, respectively.

  15. ATX_Colin says:

    Gonzo coming in without USMNT prep work scares me a little. Im afraid he will have a costly mental error that could prove deadly. I dont think the cb pairing of Goodon and Orozco needed much tinkering.

    • Lil' Zeke says:

      Let’s see if he can play an important elimination game without a “costly mental error”… We need to know right?

  16. 2 OKC teams 1 cup says:

    Ives you seem to have a habit with presenting their formation as a 4-1-3-2. I dont think its accurate, rarely do teams actually deploy this formation as you have it, and the US locker room board never represents the formation as such. For all intents and purposes, weve been playing a 4-4-1-1 or 4-2-3-1, with donovan behind the striker as a roaming playmaker, two wingers and two central mids. I know its nitpicky but I just dont think the 4-1-3-2 is really what they’re going for.

    • Josh D says:

      Before that, Ives was doing 4-4-2. I don’t think he cares about the formation, just the starting XI.

      For what it’s worth, I think it’s more a 4-2-2-1-1 formation. The two central midfielders play deeper but they press forward and interchange that pressing mentality. Beckerman sticks back if Mix goes forward, vice versa.

      The two in front of the central midfielders are the wingers who have been playing a lot higher up than the central two, hence why I don’t think it’s a straight four across.

      Donovan has been playing behind the striker, using his freedom to find space anywhere it becomes available, whereas the striker sticks up to mostly.

      However, and to Klinsi’s credit, once the whistle blows, the formation becomes organic and systematically changes depending on the situation. So the formation isn’t important, it’s what it becomes as the game goes on.

    • biff says:

      Agree with you about the formation, 2 OKC teams 1 cup. that said, this team is really mixing it up and playing all over the field.

      P.S. I also liked your comment yesterday about the March article on the USMNT mutiny.

    • beachbum says:

      Ives is doing that because it’s quite indicative of what they actually are doing, the last two games are excellent examples though nailing a specific formation is not what the US has been doing either it looks like

      it’s a lot of fun to watch. that game vs. El Salvador you could really see the formation tho; vs. Costa Rica it was more difficult because of that excellent high line D they used to squeeze the middle third; looked like El Salvador tries it too at times but were much less organized and able

      anyway, fun banter to talk formations and all. there is no lone wolf striker up top anymore on O or D, that is a big change whatever the formation and it started vs. Germany. That’s one example, but he’s also tinkered game by game with how the tactics play out seems to me.

      again, it’s been fun following it

    • Dennis says:

      I’m nost so sure that all the talk of 4-4-2 vs 4-2-3-2 vs 4-2-2-2 vs 4-4-1-1 vs 4-1-2-3-2 is all that significant. When the US has the ball and is attacking, it should look more like 3-3-4 and when the other team is attacking, it better look more like 5-4-1 of 6-3-1 with most players behind the ball. I think the US is doing a better job of doing this; both central mids are willing to drop back and defend and the outside mids have been seen helping out the outside backs and at least one of the forwards is getting back to help defend. When attacking Beasley and Parkhurst (more so Beasley) have been joining the attack, one of the central mids is pushed up to near around 25 yards for a lot of the time and the outside mids have been active in the attack, especially Corona. Basically the starting formation seldom bears any resemblence to where the players are on the field as the dynamics of the game change.

  17. MLS_Soccer_Talker says:

    No Shea as starter. Prefer Torres. Shea is still rusty.

  18. Paul says:

    - I’d start Johnson up top with Donovan. If we need a late-game offensive sub, or if Johnson tires, it is Wondo who comes in.
    - I’m thinking Holden for Mixx just to have a set of fresh legs in the center. There’s not a large gap between the two at this juncture, and both match up well with Honduras. I would think Mixx can give us 20-30 strong minutes on Wednesday on a few days of rest,
    - I’d keep Beckerman in there for defensive purposes. Honduras has the best MF we’ll see so far in the tournament. Mixx can sub either of the two CMs as the game unfolds.
    - I’m thinking Besler came out to keep him fresh for Wednesday. I’m assuming a Besler-Gonzales pairing. One probably gets subbed off in the second half to stay fresh for Sunday, assuming we are playing well.
    - Keep the two outside mids from Sunday. Shea can handle a 20-25 minute stint if we need fresh legs.
    - Keep the two outside backs from Sunday. I would expect Honduras to pressure our goal more than El Salvador.

  19. Tony in Quakeland says:

    Frankly, I didn’t see Wondo doing the dirty work that Ives claims. For two games he has been very one dimentional, very direct and done little to create space or opportunties for his attacking partners. yes, he got an assist and made the right chocie there, but for the most part he hasn’t.

    The contrast with EJ was vivid. He just does more, period.

  20. Travis in Miami says:

    Wondow is to JK as Ching was to Bradley

    • JC says:

      Hmmmm, then that raises the question of _______ is to JK as Findley was to Bradley.

      • DCUnitedWillRiseAgain says:

        The answer is Danny Williams.

        • Wispy says:

          Actually, Williams is to JK and Bornstein was to Bradley.

          Shea is to JK as Findley was to Bradley.

          • Mixx 4 life says:

            Torres is to JK as Findley was to Bradley.

            Caveat, Torres is a better skilled player and improving currently. I hope he proves me wrong; but over the whole picture of JK’s rein so far, Torres is the player he has stuck by and was stubbornly keeping in the starting XI even when he was not producing. This analogy is apt mostly though because JK is tasking Torres with a position/ responsibility that don’t match with Torres’ strengths (LM) ala Bradley tasking Findley with box to box mid.

    • Tony in Quakeland says:

      I frickin’ hate Brian Ching but… he did a lot more work in a Nats uniform than I saw Wando do the last couple games.

      • Travis is Miami says:

        I loved Chingy. I think if he played a rotation or two earlier than he did he would have been hailed by USMNT fans. The growth of the team and the resulting change in expectations of fans had a lot to do with the negative opinion a lot of fans have towards him. There was rarely a guy on the pitch who worked harder and gave more than Brian Ching.

        For me the jury is still out on Wondo. And the bigger question is: does the team need that type of player anymore. Jozy seems to have grown into a fine target guy – oh and he scores goals!

  21. euroman says:

    Its times like this that Ives shows that he too is just a fan and not understanding what is going on with the team that professionals see clearly.

    • the unmistakeable Ronaldinho says:

      That kind of post definitely requires some clarification.

    • William the Terror says:

      And what, exactly, are your “professional credentials?” (Besides being unable to correctly place an apostrophe in the word “It’s.”)

      • soccerhorn says:

        Didn’t you see? He used the term “euro” in his signature. He therefore knows more about soccer than the rest of us.

    • whoop-whoop says:

      Dear Mr. Condescension,

      Are these hypothetical professionals you referring to or yourself? If so….. please do enlighten us all with specifics.

    • Lil' Zeke says:

      Eurodweeb! Get him!!

  22. recovered amishman says:

    If Johnson or Shea and Beasley start together on the left side, who is going to give defensive coverage? Starting Johnson or Shea at LM would defeat the whole point of putting Beasley at LB and open up the team to Honduran attacks on that side of the formation.

  23. Cairo says:

    Start Wondo, leave Torres on left–why mess with a lineup that’s been working? Bringing in EJ for Wondo at the 60 minute mark is a huge change of pace and is likely to result in another EJ goal. I love that our midfield now has multiple possession guys that can circulate AND cross the ball. If you put EJ in on the left you sacrifice that. Ditto Shea. He’s best as a late game change of pace. If we’re chasing the game at that point it will be great to have those options off of the bench.

    I imagine Stu starts simply because he’s more fresh–but right now I rate a Diskerud/Beckerman combination more than any other central midfield group.

    • biff says:

      +1 I also don’t see any reason to tweek the line-up much from the El Salvador. I definitely want to see Mix starting again with Beckerman, who I predict shaves his head before Wednesday’s game.

    • Dennis says:

      I think if you pur LD at LM and EJ up top with Wondo you solve the problems at LM, and maintain pressure up top since Wondo and EJ present two different challenges to the defense and LD is more than capable of cutting inside to score or going outside to cross. It does take a bit away ffrom the combination play LD has provided in the middle, but I don’t think it will be that much of a negative.

      • chris_thebassplayer says:

        I agree with EJ and Wondow up top, but I like LD at RM with Torres as the pinched in LM.

  24. Bobb says:

    So basically for every game the difference between Ives and the fans is that Ives doesn’t think Mix Diskerud should start, but that a central midfield combination of Holden and Beckerman should start?

    What’s wrong with Diskerud? I think he’s consistently been one of the top five players for the US over the last five games. What would it take for Diskerud to convince Ives that he should start?

    Setting aside personal opinions, the fact is that over the last five games, the US goals scored vs goals conceded is 19 – 2 with Diskerud playing, and 3 – 1 without Diskerud. If you include Mix’s previous games for the US against South Africa, Chile, and Russia, the US has scored 22 goals and conceded 3 with Diskerud on the field (so 3 – 1 in those games, with Mix providing an assist against SA and a goal against Russia). 22 – 3, that has to be the best +/- ratio of anyone in our player pool…

    • Ives Galarcep says:

      I rate Holden better than Mix, and I think Beckerman fills his role better than anyone else can. That leaves Mix out of the middle on most occasions. Not sure why you’re so befuddled. You choose to rate Diskerud over others I don’t. It happens. We can agree to disagree, but it’s not really all that complicated. I think Diskerud has done well this Gold Cup, and has improved his stock, but has he had that game yet where I go “Okay, he is clear-cut ahead of the rest in the middle”? Nope, not yet.

      As for your stats, this isn’t hockey where plus-minus is something that you can point to exactly and say that absolutely means something. In this case it really doesn’t. In several of the big-score games, Diskerud has had the advantage of coming in when the opponent has been tired, and he’s been a part of big rallies. You can go ahead and say that’s because of Diskerud if you choose. I’ll go ahead and disagree with that.

      There’s nothing “wrong” with Diskerud. I just don’t rate him as highly as you seem to, and I’m pretty sure I’m not alone. Just like I’m sure you’re not alone.

      • Paul says:

        I agree with your analysis. On too many occasions we’ve heaped praise on players who are subbed in when the situation is ripe for them to excel, such as fatigue.

        The players have a very compressed schedule this week. I would bet Honduras will have more tired legs than ourselves in the 2nd half, as we are a deeper team. I would think JK plans to exploit that if the opportunity presents itself. I can see Mixx and maybe a one or two others coming on at the right time to exploit this situation.

      • The Other Jeff says:

        More to the point, Diskerud has not until now had to compete for time with Holden. Mix’s bad luck, our good luck. He’d be in a great position otherwise.

      • Mix 4 life says:

        Respectably disagree with Ives at this present moment. Long term Holden likely is a more balanced/valued box to box CM and higher in the pecking order than Mix. Right now, Mix is in better condition, has had better impact on the match, and in this Gold Cup deserves to be higher in the pecking order. JK it seems currently rates Mix higher or why would he have started last match?

        That said I can see the logic of not starting Mix this game to give him some rest for the final AND give Holden needing playing time. The drop off between the two is not so worrisome that it hurts the team tremendously.

        Interesting to watch whether long-term Mix’s defense tracking/tackling has improved to the point that he can compete in the center with higher quality teams.

      • louis z says:

        apparently JK also disagrees with you so far.

    • Lil' Zeke says:

      There’s nothing like a few games’ worth of data to measure and compare players. Take these early pearls re one Eddie Johnson:

      6 goals in 4 international matches, wow! That’s 1.50 goals per match! Whoo-whee!

      Let’s see how that stacks up against others in international matches:

      Thierry Henry: 0.42 goals per match
      Michael Owen: 0.45 goals per match
      Schevchenko 0.46 goals per match
      Raul: 0.53 goals per match
      Ronaldo: 0.66 goals per match
      Pele: 0.84 goals per match

      Foresight truly is 20/infiniti

  25. JJ says:

    Gotta have Jose we need him and he is soooo much better than Brek

  26. Jake says:

    We should seriously win this tournament. There are potentially four “A team” starters in the squad, and at the very least 8-9 players that could end up in Brazil. No other team in concacaf comes close. For example mexico, has only two players on their entire team that have a chance of making it to Brazil (jimenez and Fabian) and neither should be a starter (jimenez may if Vela doesn’t come back).

    • Amru says:

      That’s the whole point of the tournament, for guys on the periphery to push for spots on the WC squad. If anything that’s a testament to the amount of depth we have right now, I’m not sure why you are portraying it as if we brought half our starting line up.

    • Justin says:

      Yeah, once Klinsmann called up the starting CBs it was pretty evident that he wanted this thing locked up. The most vital 5-6 players are still out, but this team is full of players we should expect to compete with the top squads from CONCACAF, and it should certainly top their B-sides.

    • Dennis says:

      As recently as 8 weeks ago except for Donavon, whose commitment was questionable, none of the potential “A” team starters Besler, Gonzales, Beasley, Goodson and now Orozco and maybe EJ were being taken overly seriously as shoe-ins for Brasil. It is fair to say this still a defense that JK is tinkering with in hopes of getting it right and with hope that guys like Cherudolo, F. Johnson, and Chandler will reappear as viable candidates when they recover from various set-backs. I think that two of the guys I listed will start as CBs, but I have no idea which 2. Except for Donavon , it is hard to claim that more than 2 of the backs (which ones?) are clear starters for Brasil and while Beasley may have the inside track at LB, that was not really expected and it would not be surprising if it changed.

    • Lil' Zeke says:

      How convenient that Donovan happened to be in the doghouse!

  27. DCUnitedWillRiseAgain says:

    I don’t think either Goodson or Orosco deserved to get benched, but JK has been right about stuff more often than me, so…

  28. The Other Jeff says:

    Thoughts on Wondo… His positioning was consistently pretty good in the El Salvador game, and he seemed to show a good tactical understanding overall and make good decisions. He is a magician at “disappearing” then reappearing at just the right time, which is a knack even some great forwards don’t have.

    The problem was that he couldn’t hold onto the ball and was a fraction of a second slow on distribution.

    A one-trick pony – a pure finisher who can’t hold or distribute – is an expensive luxury. Unless JK sees something in training that leads him to believe Wondo can step up his ball skills with more minutes, hard to justify a start. But easy to justify having him around as a late sub when all we need is someone to find the back of the net.

    • biff says:

      “The problem was that he couldn’t hold onto the ball…”

      That is not how it looked to me. Several times he had the ball out wide doing hold up play and I remember him ever losing the ball.

      • biff says:

        and I *do not* remember him ever losing the ball

        • The Other Jeff says:

          I’ll refresh your memory. Look at the video and the stats. Combined, because many of what are marked as “unsuccessful p@sses” by his teammates in the stats, seen on video would have been successful if he hadn’t allowed a defender at his back to poke the ball loose from behind where a more skilled player would have shielded the ball. Once in possession, he was stripped of the ball three times with no successful dribbles. He had only four touches less than 20 yards from the goal line, only 26 touches the entire game. Of his p@sses, all but three were negative or square and almost all of them originated at least 25 yards from goal. The only foul won was at the midfield circle.

          He’s a great poacher and the right guy to have in if the rest of the team is pouring service into the box without needing his help, or the opponent is tired and losing focus. But today he isn’t the right guy to help with possession and distribution. If that can be fixed he could be a tremendous asset – maybe Klinsmann thinks it can given his recent decisions.

        • The Other Jeff says:

          Ach, missed one. This moderation thing is a pain in the… never mind. Reposting

          I’ll refresh your memory. Look at the video and the stats. Combined, because many of what are marked as “unsuccessful p@sses” by his teammates in the stats, seen on video would have been successful if he hadn’t allowed a defender at his back to poke the ball loose from behind where a more skilled player would have shielded the ball. Once in possession, he was stripped of the ball three times with no successful dribbles. He had only four touches less than 20 yards from the goal line, only 26 touches the entire game. Of his p@sses, all but three were negative or square and almost all of them originated at least 25 yards from goal. The only foul won was at the midfield circle.

          He’s a great poacher and the right guy to have in if the rest of the team is pouring service into the box without needing his help, or the opponent is tired and losing focus. But today he isn’t the right guy to help with possession and distribution. If that can be fixed he could be a tremendous @sset – maybe Klinsmann thinks it can given his recent decisions.

          • chris_thebassplayer says:

            How long was that sweet pass to LD on his breakaway? Stats don’t tell the whole story.

            I do agree he could have shielded the ball better…he got toe poked a few times which killed the build up.

  29. zztoppppp says:

    —————–Wondolowski—————
    Johnson———Donovan———Corona
    ———-Beckerman—–Diskerud——–
    Beasley—Besler—Gonzalez—Parkhurst
    ——————Rimando——————-

    SUB 1- Holden for either Beckerman or Diskerud around 60 minutes
    SUB 2- Shea for Wondolowski around 70 minutes (Shea at LW, EJ up top)
    SUB 3- Orozco for Parkhurst around 85 minutes

    • biff says:

      Even as a fan of Jose Torres, that is a line-up I would very much like to see, as I also like Eddie, although I see him more as a forward. I am wondering whether Klinsmann is giving any thought to moving Beasley from left back, where he is looking increasingly shaky. I still would very much like to see Beez at LW. I also would not mind seeing Orozco get a start. Beckerman/Diskerud rock. Hope that is what we see again.

      • zztoppppp says:

        I would prefer Orozco at right back as well, but I don’t think Klinsmann will start him there.

        I love the Diskerud/Beckerman pairing. Holden deserves minutes, but I think he has been more effective coming off the bench in this tournament.

    • Beto says:

      @ZzTop thats my line too except you gotta start Holden! Mix and Stu seem to be tag teaming this gold cup and while they are both two of this team’s best players; neither of them seem to ready to play all game every game. Vs Honduras bring in the rested Stu and hold Mix for the second half.

  30. MT. Krunch says:

    I love having the Gonzo/Besler pairing. Both of them need more quality minutes with the National team and JK seems to (as of right now ) think these are his guys for Brazil. I say play them whenever we get the chance. The more in sync and comfortable they become together is only going to help us down the road.

  31. Joe A. says:

    I’d personally have torres starting on the left.

    • Troy says:

      I agree and I would have Johnson up top and use Wondo later against the strength of the Honduran CB’s. Use Wondo and his abilities once they have tired a little

  32. Troy says:

    I doubt we see Holden with the way the field looks in Dallas. There have been some photo’s posted and it is atrocious!! I really dont think Jurgen will risk him playing on that surface. Jerry Jones and his monument should be ashamed at the field they have put together for the Gold Cup Semi-final. Probably would have been better to just play on the field turf.

  33. Chris says:

    I would go with the projected lineup with one change, i would start shea over EJ, not because shea is the better player but that we can stick EJ up top for the final 30 and will create problems for the honduran defense, who will be tired.

  34. johnnycougar says:

    Sorry for my ignorance, but what exactly is an “inverted diamond” formation? Googling it only gives me upside down aircraft in a diamond formation or a pyramid shaped engagement ring. Would you call a 4-3-2-1 an inverted diamond? because that’s all I can think of.

    • TheFrenchOne says:

      inverted diamond would be a 4-1-2-3 (if the diamond is to be in the midfield) or a 4-3-1-2 (if it’s up top). the 1 is supporting the 2 playing in front of him. that the inverted diamon.

  35. Birgit Calhoun says:

    I prefer your starting eleven to the fan’s selection although I would rather see Mix Diskerud instead of Stuart Holden. For some reason he doesn’t seem to be very focused when he plays.

  36. Shawn says:

    Personally, I prefer Brek off the bench. To me he’s a 1 dimensional player. He’s wrong footed to be playing the left, so he’s not a good crosser. He’s a bit wobbly on his 1st touch. And he’s a liability on defense. But he’s fast, has a good motor, and he takes defenders on, with or without the ball.

    That kind of player, is great to bring on for 15-20 minutes of all-action play. Especially against a winded back line. It creates space for everyone else. But when he starts, his technical liabilities keep him from making an impact. And by the 50th minute, he’s sucking wind as hard as anyone else. So there’s no advantage gained from keeping him.

    So IMHO, keep him as a super sub. There are worse roles to have.

    • TheFrenchOne says:

      agree 100% with this. once the defense is tired, shea’s questionable ball control is not as obvious.

  37. chris_thebassplayer says:

    I’m wondering if Honduras will realize what the other teams apparently never figured out. Pay much more attention, I mean A LOT more attention to LD and make his life miserable. I’m surprised he hasn’t been targeted yet with some very tight physical play. For the most part it all flows through him, either setting up goals or scoring them. I think Honduras will figure it out, and make someone else try to beat them.

    With that in mind, I’d like to see LD out of the middle out wide at RM with, gasp, EJ and Wondow up top. Not the best pairing as far as chemistry, but both are good in the air and can bang a bit. They have to respect EJ’s speed up top and that should open up space for Wondow and LD cutting in from the outside. I like EJ and his pace more as the point occupying the CB or stretching the field with Wondow shading underneath to combine with LD

    ………………….EJ……………………….
    ……………………….Wondow………..

    ………Torres………….Stu……………….LD

    ………………..Beckerman…………….

    Beas……….Besler…..Omar…….Parkhurst

    JK will throw Omar into the frying pan again… a bit of a gamble…hope he comes through.

  38. baropbop says:

    It’s really hard for me to comprehend how anyone wants to start Wondow over EJ. That being said, I’m not a fan of EJ anywhere but striker. Would really like to see Shea go a full match on the left with Donovan and EJ up top.
    No one “deserves” to start. You could say that about Corona, Orozco, Beckerman, Goodson, Wondo, and Diskerud….but they don’t all necessarily fall into the best 11.

  39. Juan says:

    My changes to Ives projected starting team

    Mix over Holden
    Torres over EJ
    Goodson over Omar

    I’m more confident with the first two then the last one. Mix has outplayed Holden in every game. Lat time Holden played, he was invisible. Torres is coming off a great game, why mess with that? EJ on at 60. Omar is good for one or two screwups per game. Can we afford that? I personally don’t think he’s all that and rate Parkhurst higher in the center position than Omar

    • biff says:

      +1, but would add that I would not be unhappy to see Orozco in one of the two CB spots.

  40. SoccerInCbus says:

    At this point, the key to winning the Gold Cup will likely depend on the back line. Hoping to see a shutout posted by the US tonight in Dallas!

  41. Hush says:

    I can wait to arrive at Cowboy stadium later today! .. not only am I stoke to go watch my Dawgs go up against my C.A peeps,… but also looking forward for the second game. Last time I showed up to a soccer match at Cowboy stadium was last gold cup. Mexico vs Haiti,.. and what an atmosphere that was. It literally felt like I was at Azteca. Hopefully Panama beats that az!

    3 Key points to winning this game:
    1. Not playing Wondolousy
    2. Making sure Wondolousy doesn’t play
    3. Making sure Wondolousy is dropped off at Harry Hines or Oaklawn during the match.

    If JK can corporate one of the 3 key points listed above, I’d say, Chi-town here we come!

    • spartansoccer says:

      Ouch! funny how this “lousy” player keeps making onto USMNT rosters the past three years under two different coaches. Wondo (w) guy just “achieves” more, with less physical talent. Coaches seem to like that. Guarantee he won’t end up in a dead-end somewhere after his playing days are done…he’ll be on someone’s coaching staff.

  42. sean says:

    Torres on the left. EJ up top. I bet that’s what Klinsmann goes with as well

  43. spartansoccer says:

    One thing’s for sure…Klinsmann has decent options either way with his forwards.
    Heat and humidity shouldn’t be a factor in Cowboys Stadium, right?
    Then EJ might be a good person to start…because I think he wilts early, especially in heat.
    Wondo is Wondo no matter what, he keeps the same movement.
    I liked the change of pace from a Wondo to the speed/power of an EJ last match. EJ and Shea can definitely catch a defense off guard late in a match, especialy when the D is tired and our subs are fresh.

  44. Cabrito says:

    Reports from Cowboys Stadium (aka: “Jerry’s World”) are saying that the temproary grass pitch is in terrible condition. Might impact us more than Honduras.

    • Beto says:

      The sloppy concrete field xi:
      ——Ej——-Wondo——Donovan———–
      —Castillo——Beckerman——–Corona—-
      Beasley—-Gonzalez——Goodson—Parkhurst
      ———————–Rimando—————-
      Subs: Orozco, Torres, Holden, Mix, Besler, SJohnson

  45. mak1018 says:

    With that terrible playing surface that Grant Wahl has pointed out. I dont think Klinnsman can start or even play Holden. That surface looks like it would tear up any person’s knee.

  46. GRED says:

    Mix/Holden start. JK will go offensive and bring Becks in to secure win!

  47. Rags in DC says:

    Rimando
    Parkhurst – Besler(Orozco if Besler hurt) – Goodson (Though I’m sure Gonzalez plays) – DMB
    Beckerman – Mixx
    Corona – Landon – Torres
    EJ

    Not this formation per say – but this is the 11 I’d like to see.

  48. Dennis says:

    Since others have put up their favorite starters, here’s mine
    Rimando
    Orozco – Besler – Goodson – Beasley
    Corona – Beckerman – Diskerud – Donavon
    Wondolowski -E. Johnosn