Photo by ISIPhotos.com
By IVES GALARCEP
SAN JOSE, Costa Rica — The U.S. Men’s National Team has beaten Costa Rica three times in 2013, and if they are going to do it for a fourth time on Friday, they will need to make history in order to make it happen.
Unlike those previous three victories, the next clash with the ‘Ticos’ will come in Costa Rica, a place the Americans have never won a match before.
The U.S. aren’t dwelling on their winless history in Costa Rica. Not with a 12-match winning streak giving the team a boatload of confidence heading into Friday’s crucial qualifier.
Just who will take the field for that all-important match? There are a variety of options, and Jozy Altidore’s availability is still a major question mark. The right back spot seems Geoff Cameron’s to take, while Jurgen Klinsmann has a lot of decisions to make when it comes to who will man the wings.
Here is a look at the U.S. team we see taking the field against Costa Rica on Friday night.
PROJECTED USMNT LINEUP vs. COSTA RICA
Fabian Johnson———Clint Dempsey———Landon Donovan
—————Jermaine Jones——Michael Bradley—————
DaMarcus Beasley———————————-Geoff Cameron
———————-Matt Besler—–Omar Gonzalez—————
Jozy Altidore did not participate in full training with the team on Wednesday in Costa Rica, and it is a safe bet that Jurgen Klinsmann will look to save him for the qualifier against Mexico in Columbus. He has a variety of options to turn to in Altidore’s place and our projection goes with Eddie Johnson, who filled the same target role at the Gold Cup. Deploying Johnson would help his established partnership with Clint Dempsey shine through, while allowing for the wing tandem of Fabian Johnson and Landon Donovan.
The defense seems a safe bet to be the same back four that started in the March qualifiers against Costa Rica and Mexico. Geoff Cameron should be a lock at right back, with the rest of the back four making sense. John Brooks impressed against Bosnia, but it would be tough to imagine Klinsmann starting him in a road qualifier in just his second USMNT appearance. Besler and Gonzalez have the experience and should get the nod in the middle.
What do you think of the starting lineup? What changes would you make to our projected squad? Think the USMNT can post their first win in Costa Rica this Friday?
Share your thoughts below.