Who should the USMNT start vs. Austria?

AronJohannssonScotland (ISIPhotos.com)

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

By IVES GALARCEP

There are two things that are pretty to tough debate as we head toward Tuesday’s USMNT friendly vs. Austria, the final U.S. Men’s National Team match of 2013. First, last Friday’s draw against Scotland was forgettable. Second, Jurgen Klinsmann can and will make lineup changes to try and generate a better performance and give some new faces a look.

Just who will he turn to? Two names that stand out are Aron Johannsson and Mix Diskerud, who both have shown well in recent months and look very much like improving options as we head toward the 2014 World Cup.

Diskerud’s inclusion seems inevitable after Sacha Kljestan struggled in a playmaking role against Scotland. As I note in a column today for Goal USA, the USMNT is struggling for playmaker options without Dempsey and Donovan in the fold. Diskerud should get his chance to show he’s a viable option.

Here is a look at the starting lineup we see Klinsmann using against Austria (as well as the lineup I would use, and the lineup I think fans want to see):

PROJECTED USMNT vs. Austria

—————————Altidore——————————–

Bedoya——————Diskerud——————Johannsson

—————-Jones—————-Bradley———————

Beasley——–Gonzalez———-Cameron————–Evans

—————————-Howard——————————–

Some thoughts:

Klinsmann has to start Johannsson and Diskerud, right? He’s fooled us before though, so we can’t take anything for granted. Jermaine Jones gets the start here, but you can’t help but wonder if Klinsmann isn’t ready to start giving some other players a look in that slot. Brad Evans likely starts again, but Eric Lichaj has to get at least 45 minutes, whether at left back or right back (if it were me I would give him a half at each position).

———————

Lineup I would start:

—————————-Altidore———————————

Bedoya——————-Diskerud—————–Johannsson

——————Kljestan———–Bradley———————-

Beasley——–Gonzalez———-Cameron————–Lichaj

—————————-Howard——————————–

Thoughts:

This formation would give Mix Diskerud the chance to flash his playmaking ability, give Johannsson the freedom to take people on, and would give Kljestan a chance to play in a more familiar role. I would seriously consider starting Boyd over Altidore, but you want to give Altidore a shot with this lineup to see what sort of chances it can create for him.

————–

Second lineup I would consider:

—————-Altidore—————–Boyd———————

Bedoya——–Diskerud————-Bradley——Johannsson

Beasley——–Gonzalez———-Cameron————–Lichaj

—————————-Howard——————————–

I know the initial thought is that Altidore and Boyd are too similar, but I think starting them together is something worth trying. Having Boyd be the battering ram while Altidore makes runs of of him is something that could work. Altidore didn’t always play like a target striker and he could benefit from having another big body up top. Having Johannsson working the right flank wouldn’t hurt either.

Doubt Klinsmann benches Jones, but if he did, seeing Bradley-Diskerud work as two-way midfielders could be an interesting proposition. I really think Diskerud could wind up a starter by next summer if he keeps developing and this game could be a major step toward that becoming a reality.

—————

Fans choice Starting XI

——————Boyd—————Johannsson—————–

Shea———————-Diskerud———————–Bedoya

—————————-Bradley———————————

Beasley——–Gonzalez———-Cameron————–Lichaj

—————————-Howard——————————–

Some thoughts:

Do I actually think most fans want to see Brek Shea start? Maybe not, but there’s no denying he showed enough against Scotland to merit more minutes. Considering the lack of wingers on this roster, would it be the craziest idea in the world? Maybe not. A Boyd-Johannsson forward tandem is definitely intriguing, but would Klinsmann really bench Altidore after the Scotland match? I suppose you really can’t rule it out.

———–

What do you think of the lineup we are projecting Klinsmann to use? Which of the above listed lineups do you like the most? Who are you hoping gets a start against Austria?

Share your thoughts below.

 

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109 Responses to Who should the USMNT start vs. Austria?

  1. TheFrenchOne says:

    i think the 2nd lineup makes the most sense. one question: you have AJ lining up on the right in each formation, but in the minutes we’ve seen him play, he always seems to come down the left. I understand that my have been JK’s instructions, but i wonder if he’s in the same mold as LD.

    either way, this should be good. Oh and let’s give JAB at least a half. we want to make sure he has a future with the USMNT

    • Noah says:

      I agree, if Aron is used as a winger, I think it will be on the left. No need to switch Bedoya over there.

      Ives also has the CBs switched. When Cameron and Gonzo have played together, Cameron is always on the left.

    • Josh D says:

      I think the fans lineup has to include Brooks. A lot of fans want to see what he’s capable of after a decent showing against Bosnia. He’s not game-ready, but I think Klinsi playing him is a solid nod of approval, and the kind of love Brooks wants.

      Give the boy a chance, and hopefully he can build on Tuesday, and earn his starting role back in Berlin.

      I know Jozy needs to start because of his club situation (which means he has to have a good showing), but I’d like to see Boyd earn a start. He’s been playing well enough, and Jozy has been a bit too lethargic of late. Throw Jozy on at halftime if it fails.

      • Umlaut says:

        I also think the fan lineup would include Kliestjan paired with Bradley. That’s certainly what I’m hoping for and I’ve seen some others calling for it too. And I’m not sure Shea would be in the fan’s starting XI, especially given how popular Johansson and Bedoya are. I really like Shea as a late sub that can really take on and wear down tired defenders with his quick and aggressive runs. I think you lose a lot of his game-changing potential when he starts.

        I think Ives’ lineup is a more accurate reflection of the fan’s choice, though probably like you said with JAB replacing Gonzalez.

  2. timothy says:

    I’m not so sure that the fans want to see Brek Shea in the starting lineup, even if he did have a nice run last game.

    • blokhin says:

      as hard as it is to believe, there are enough people who focus on 1-2 positive plays he makes every other game versus the other 10-15 garbage plays in the same games, to want him to start or even worse make the 2014 WC roster….

      if one of those fans could please tell me which of the following stays home to make room for Shea, I’d love to hear it-because there isn’t enough room for all of them: Donovan, Zusi, Bedoya, Fabian Johnson, Beasley, EJ, AJ-please pick the one who loses the roster spot to Shea… given that Altidore, Dempsey, Jones, Bradley and at least 1 or maybe 2 CMs will make the roster+ the defenders the math does not work for Shea, let alone the quality of his play

      • downintexas says:

        as of now, Shea is not taking any spot form any one. How ever if he gets playing time and is in good form and plays well in friendlies then yes he could take a spot.

      • James says:

        I agree, the guy his terribly inconsistent, and if this game had significance, I would absolutely say leave him on the bench. That being said, why not let him get some minutes and see what he can do? He showed well enough vs Scotland, and despite it being brief, he was much more effective (and less errors) than E Johnson. At the very least, it showcases him to teams who he may be loaned to.

        • Umlaut says:

          If it were between EJ and Shea on the wing, I would certainly go with Shea. With that being said I’d rather see Johansson and Bedoya start, with Shea coming on as an impact sub to charge at the tired defenders late in the game.

      • Quit whining about soccer in the US says:

        Not taking a dog in this fight, but Shea also pulls off the 1 or 2 positive plays that many of the other guys you mention can’t do because they are not as athletic.

        I don’t take him, just pointing that out. If he makes a roster it will be as a sub, who can make things happen in a game the US is down and needs a goal, while praying his mistakes don’t kill us even more.

        • wandmdave says:

          This without question. He adds a dimension to this team that no one else brings because he’s really the only player speedy enough that can beat defenders 1v1 to the goal line. He needs a ton of polish added to his game and that prevents him from being an automatic selection but since he does add that something extra no one else has I could easily see him going to Brazil as a sub to add that dimension when its absolutely necessary.

          Of the players you listed I’d leave out EJ. Jozy, AJ, Gomez, Dempsey and Donovan all beat him out at forward imo and he has not shown anything as a midfielder/winger to justify his inclusion in that position even as just a cover for injuries.

          • wandmdave says:

            “Of the players you listed I’d leave out EJ.”

            By you I meant blokhin

            And when I say EJ hasn’t shown anything I literally mean it. In a game where Shea is getting dumped on for showing little except 1 or 2 excellent plays EJ didn’t even show that so I’m not sure how he gets listed as a no-brainer inclusion for Brazil.

          • RP says:

            Everything you said here except Gomez.
            Shea looks terrible 3/4 times but that one time might be a life saver in the 85th.

      • DCUnitedWillRiseAgain says:

        Answer: Whichever one is injured.

      • Todd T. says:

        EJ isn’t a winger…therefore I would give Shea the spot over EJ. EJ is more likely to be competing with Boyd for a spot rather than Shea. But you don’t take Shea unless he gets playing time…period!!

        • GW says:

          Todd T.

          Here’s how JK sees Brek, form the USSF website:

          On the impact of Brek Shea:
          “In the first half, both teams tested the ground a little bit too long. We adjusted to the tempo overall, and we said we wanted to play out of the back with urgency, with speed and we played out of the back but not with urgency. In the second half – we mentioned that at halftime – the players came on and were hungry, they wanted to prove a point. I think Brek brought a lot of energy to the field and did well. He can surprise people, he can create something out of nothing and we are glad to have him back.”

  3. Benny says:

    I’d like to see that second line-up.

  4. That's What She says:

    This fan does not want to see Shea start. I like him a lot coming off the bench, and I think he’s proved most useful there. Some players are better coming off the bench and Shea is one of them. His athleticism allows him to thrive when defenders are tired.

    I would also like to see Cameron start alongside MB with Klestjan replacing Geoff in the second half. Then give Brooks a go at centerback.

    • Shawn Wallace says:

      yeah I was thinking the same but I do want to see 1 last time what he can do in 90 minute game

    • KGB says:

      +1 re: Shea’s place on this team as a substitution. He is best coming on as a sub when he can use his speed, size, and athleticism to abuse tired defenders. His inconsistency is irritating, but he does have a future as being this type of 2nd half sub for USMNT.

    • Umlaut says:

      I am That’s What She and I speak for the fans!

  5. Shawn Wallace says:

    We want to see new bodies. Its a friendly!
    Squad 1
    ————————Boyd—————————
    Bedoya/AJ————Mix——————–Bedoya/Aj
    —————Klijestan——-Bradley——————
    Lichaj———Brooks———Gonzo——– Cameron

    Squad 2
    ———–Boyd—————-AJ———————–
    Shea——————————————-Bedoya
    —————Mix————–Bradley—————
    Lichaj——-Brooks———-Gonzo———-Cameron

    Gives a chance to see what some people can do in full 90.

  6. RBNY says:

    I like any lineup that doesn’t include Wondolowski. I’d like to see more of Johansson on the field, but I’d be concerned playing him out wide in a true midfield role – he would expose the flank to counter attacks. Lichaj or Evans would have lots of work to do.

    Get Johansson up top with Jozy and see what happens. Boyd and Mix are the second half subs.

  7. The Imperative Voice says:

    I expect for Evans and Altidore to start, but I think the bigger picture would benefit from giving Lichaj a half at each wing spot, and giving Boyd a pretty full game.

    It’s unlikely Boyd would displace Jozy but we’ve already seen he needs to be kept honest in terms of work rate, and Jozy seems to be tailing off again. I’m also, from my Dynamo experience, not a big fan of too many eggs in singular baskets because people will get hurt and you need to identify and initiate potential replacements.

    Lichaj, we need to see what we’re working with. I wouldn’t want to be stuck in a Cup game with Castillo or FJ back there. RB remains a question. Lichaj looked jittery against Scotland but you need to see if given confidence does he improve, or is he just not up to par.

    I’d also consider starting Shea because Bedoya is getting his club minutes and got plenty of Scotland time. Shea showed well for a change and I’d think you’d want to be promoting his fitness and cause because he has some x factors that would make him useful if healthy, fit, and on his game.

    Personally I thought the CBs were shaky so the inertia on that situation unnerves me. Cameron’s CB foible in Houston used to be diving in, but he was at least where he was supposed to be. Now he’s drifting upfield and that opens route 1 wide open if he doesn’t make the play.

    • GW says:

      “It’s unlikely Boyd would displace Jozy but we’ve already seen he needs to be kept honest in terms of work rate, and Jozy seems to be tailing off again”

      Mr IV,

      Ah! Lazy Altidore lives again.

      You have rated Boyd over Jozy in the past so your views on Altidore are unsurprising. I disagree with them. I believe Altidore has clearly taken his overall game to another level since getting to Sunderland.

      Here is some perspective and some quotes from an admittedly biased source on the topic.

      Naturally he is positive but if he was spinning and lying for all the obvious reasons he didn’t have to be THAT positive.

      From Pro Soccer Talk:
      “Fellow Sunderland striker Steven Fletcher has offered up big support for Jozy Altidore, whose Premier League goal tally with his new club remains on the goose egg.

      But according to Fletcher, Jozy’s contribution to the Black Cats has much more to it than just a number.

      “He has done really well since he joined the club” said the 26-year-old Scot. “He has really put himself about on the pitch and his work rate is amazing. I think you have to look at everything he has brought to the club and not look at him purely in terms of goals.”

      Fletcher even gave specific examples, always a good idea when putting together a well thought-out argument.

      “He set up both goals against Southampton as well as the winner against Newcastle and there is no way anyone should be complaining. He is a 100 per cent committed player every time and the goals will definitely come. Jozy has settled in really well and he has been doing a fantastic job at the club. He is the sort of player who you know every time he goes on the pitch will give everything and that’s the sort of player we need right now.”
      Perhaps the biggest compliment, however, came when Fletcher not only backed his teammate, but said any club would jump at the chance to grab a player of Jozy’s commitment level and work rate.

      “In fact, it’s the sort of player every club needs” continued Fletcher. “Jozy will want to score a few more goals as all strikers do, but they will come. The important thing is he is contributing and in his last few games he has been one of our best and most consistent players. His attitude is first class and that’s one of the reasons why he has been such a success at both club and international level. His goalscoring record for USA is incredible and that shows what a fine player he is.”

      • The Imperative Voice says:

        Not just lazy Altidore, sloppy Altidore, FWIW. His holdup play was not good versus Scotland. He’s not routinely playing or scoring like at AZ, and he’s tailing off for the US, so it’s a fair question.

        Do you really believe Fletcher would dog out Altidore? I read an ESPN article the other day comparing Jozy unfavorably to Bacon. I think we need a big striker type and Jozy remains that by default. But it’s a production business and he’s back to low effort, poor touches, and not producing.

        The idea I rate Boyd OVER Altidore presently is a misreading of my current beliefs. I said essentially we needed to know what he could do just in case.

        Forward is a “hot hand” position and if you cease to be the hot hand your usefulness drops accordingly. A few months ago I wouldn’t have thought this. He had taken off. But now he’s back to 0-fers and his club situation has regressed.

  8. blokhin says:

    a combo of Ives’ and fans’ choice

    Altidore
    Bedoya-Diskerrud-AJ
    Bradley
    Lichaj-Brooks-OG-Cameron

  9. Ed says:

    Like the lineup. Why not AJ on the left, Bedoya on the right though? AJ has played on the wing at club level plus he’s a lefty, and it keeps Bedoya at the position he’s been playing at. Just a thought.

    • Umlaut says:

      I thought Johansson was right footed? Either way, he’s shown to be very capable with either foot. I can specifically remember some really well hit shots with each foot, so not too much of a concern really. I agree, AJ on the left, Bedoya on the right where he plays for his club.

      Well actually I’d like to see AJ and JA paired up top for a half, but if the lineup is Bedoya and Johansson on the wings, I’d go with Bedoya right and AJ left.

  10. cps says:

    Iceman and any 10 other dudes.

  11. Jesse D says:

    This is tough. The balance between wanting to build chemistry with players who will be part of our Brazil plans and at the same time give some other guys opportunities to prove themselves.

    Altidore
    Johansson Mixx Bedoya
    MB SK
    Beasley – Brooks – Cameron- Lichaj
    Howard
    Reasons:
    Alitdore: needs some positive minutes to get back in sync
    Johansson & Mixx – both look good in attack. Need more opportunities
    Bedoya, Bradley, Howard, Beas- these guys are regulars with no one on this roster pushing them
    Klesj – we want to seem him paired with MB in the back. Just need to try to that once
    Lichaj and Brooks – Let’s see what these guys have in the tank. Haven’t see enough yet.
    Cameron – I think the lapses from Omar are ingrained in him. Need to see some more Cameron at CB

    Reasons left out:
    Boyd – just not impressed with his skill set. Not enough touch.
    JJ & Evans – we know what they have to offer, let’s give some other people a chance
    Shea – I like Shea as the super sub. He is dangerous. Not ready for a start at this point.
    Omar – explained above
    Wondo – seriously, I don’t have to explain that one do I?

    • Sandtrout says:

      Fill out that lineup card! I think you’ve got a good one, even though it is experimental. Or maybe because they’re good experiments.

  12. Eric says:

    The US played much better in the second half against Scotland after switching to a 442, and Jozy seems to do better when he isn’t deployed as a lone striker, as he so often will get starved of service. And with Lichaj in camp, Klinsmann could afford to return DMB to his natural left winger position if he so chose…so I’d kinda like to see this lineup:

    Jozy–Iceman
    DMB–MB90–Mix–Bedoya
    Lichaj–JAB–OG4–Evans/Cameron
    Howard

    • Umlaut says:

      Hasn’t DMB actually been playing LB with his club now too? His natural position may be shifting with age.

    • GW says:

      JK’s first choice left midfielder/winger is Fabian. If Beasley goes to Brazil he will go as a left back or won’t go at all.

      If you started DMB at left midfield I doubt he would be as effective as he is now and apparently Puebla, who have him at left back this season agree.

      As a smart veteran, DMB is able to pick his spots when attacking. This is easier to do from left back than from left midfield. He is not a classically strong defender but in JK’s system a left back is more prized for their offensive capabilities than their defensive capabilities.

      • Nate Dollars says:

        i don’t really disagree with you on klinsmann’s thinking (although i don’t like it), but just want to point out that beasley is still regularly playing left wing at puebla, and when he’s in the back, he plays as a left wing-back (with 3 central defenders), not a straight left back like our system.

        • GW says:

          If DMB could not play left back he would be in competition for left midfield with Fabian, Donovan, Shea, Bedoya, AJ, EJ, Brad Davis, Dempsey, etc.

          His current situation is far more secure.and is a far better use of his strengths, i.e his character, vision and experience.

          I would prefer a more classic left back but Paolo Maldini ain’t walking through that door anytime soon.

          • Nate Dollars says:

            ‘His current situation is far more secure’ for beasley, not for us. it’s not like maldini is the only thing better than him back there; we have a solid attacking LB in fabian johnson.

            but my point wasn’t to argue about our best LB; i was just pointing out that puebla dont ‘have him at left back’, so that doesn’t really lend weight to your argument.

  13. John says:

    The last time Bedoya played on the the left against Panama he was pretty awful. He just couldn’t get his left foot around the ball. Also isn’t Johannsson naturally left footed anyway?

  14. Jeff says:

    I would like to see Kljestan & Bradley paired in the middle, but as Ives said in the latest podcast maybe it won’t happen because it harkens back to the Bob Bradley days?
    If that’s the case, that’s just stubborn on JK’s behalf when you’re trying to win games and put together a roster to succeed at the World Cup. I think you’ve got to see what guys can do when playing different roles. In Kljestan’s case, the only role JK hasn’t played him in is his most natural – which also happens to be situated in a pairing next to Bradley.

    Here’s to hoping this is all crazy talk and we get to see some real changes in the lineup.

    • the original jb says:

      I would like to see this too. My thought on why we haven’t is because of Jones and how much respect Klinnsman gives him. Klejstan hasn’t paired with Bradley because up to this point JK refuses to bench Jones.

      A healthy in-form Jones to me is definitely a starter, but we haven’t seen that Jones in several months. There seem to be reports he has a knee issue…he has been benched for Schalke recently due to poor form…

      In any case, I think its time for Klejstan to get a real look with Bradley and time for Jones to get some tough love, or whatever it takes to get him back to where he was.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      As I said on another thread to the same point, I’d like to see the two teaming up as well, Kljestan hands Bradley the water bottle if he needs one.

      I don’t see the point in Kljestan, he’s neither a proficient playmaker that can displace Bradley nor is a destroyer on the order of Jones/Beckerman/et al. There would be better withdrawn forwards and wings. I’m not even sure if he’s valuable to a 23 because he’s not a poacher or fast or defensive or a guy who scores headers or any trait you might want off the bench.

      To me he’s a keepaway player like Torres who is overrated in terms of incisive passing and can basically connect A to C. But if that’s all he does, I know AJ and Corona and Mixx and even EJ can poach goals, Bradley and Mixx can run a team better, and there are much better legbreakers out there.

      I worry because the pro-Kljestan crowd reminds me of the people who don’t think our wingers need to get back on defense, either. I know from personal experience that defensive irresponsibility is the attacker’s dream, particularly given how much I had to play defense. But it’s tactically unwise to play without a designated destroyer type, and that’s what I think the people who want to deploy Sacha want. You would get killed on counters and Sacha is not that good for the tactical trade off to make sense.

      • the original jb says:

        For me, the jury is out on Klejstan’s value as a box-to-box mid, because he hasn’t been put in that role since he’s excelled at Anderlecht. I agree he isn’t suited for the attacking mid role with the USMNT, he’s been tried there. But he hasn’t been given a chance to play in the role he’s been best at for his club. That’s why, for me, this is the time to start Klejstan with Bradley so JK can determine if he’s worth a roster spot or not. I’m not convinced that Sacha is a defensive liability like you describe, but if he is, lets play him tomorrow so we can find out.

        • GW says:

          Here’s what JK said about it on the USSF website:

          On Sacha Klestjan getting the start:
          “He did OK, but it was tricky for him because we wanted him to play in between their two lines, the back line and the midfield line, and to find him in those spaces closer to Jozy, rather than further back. His instinct tells him to drop a little deeper because that’s what he does at Anderlecht, and then suddenly we had three midfielders in the same area with Jermaine [Jones], Michael [Bradley] and Sacha. That’s not what we wanted. We wanted to find people between their two lines of four, so it was a bit tricky for him.”

          • Nate Dollars says:

            yeah, he could have just said, “i played sacha out of position (again), so it was a bit tricky for him.”

            • The Imperative Voice says:

              Except the problem is, Sacha has to fit into the scheme, he is not so good it can be schemed around him. What you call out of position some would say is trying him at the available slots in Klinsi’s approach and seeing how he plays and whether he is suited to the formation.

              • Nate Dollars says:

                totally agree. only issue i have with it is that we should know by now that sacha is not good enough when played out of position. unless you can play him as a holding mid (due to injury/suspension/whatever), you’re better off giving someone else a chance in the attacking mid/winger/anything else role.

  15. Ryan nanez says:

    Any of the above line up without wondolowski and Eddie Johnson is definitely okay with me.

  16. Quit whining about soccer in the US says:

    I don’t like the 1 man up top. It isn’t working, we always are more dangerous with 2 and I don’t feel like the midfield play suffers not having the 5 man mid.

    The 5 man mid is the trend, but guys rotate around, guys get forward, in our system it looks like Jozy on shutout island trying to score alone.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      I think that has more to do with the chosen wings this callup than whether a 1144 or 154 would work if he had Zusi or Davis or Donovan or Dempsey feeding him. The problem with this callup is it hearkens back to the early days of the first two years of the cycle when people like Williams would start wide. I know we’re trying players but I don’t see the point in trying people out of position.

  17. Kevin_H says:

    Somebody else observed that Klinsmann purposefully likes to play two different halves. The first halve is (designed to be) more possesion oriented, a conservative approach to get a feel for the opponent and hopefully wear them down a bit. The second halve, if we need goals, switches to a more direct approach as Klinsmann brings on a second striker and other “super subs” like Brek.

    Therefore we’ll likely see Altidore start again as the lone striker, and I highly doubt Brek starts any time soon.

  18. THomas says:

    I like the idea of a 4-4-3 especially since when Jozy was at AZ it seemed that most of his scoring came from a wide position. I haven’t seen much of the film on Johannsonn but it seems like he has the same ability to take players on. With that said, I’d go….

    ——————————Boyd–———————————
    Altidore————————–—————–Johannsson

    ——————————Mix—————————————
    ——————Jones———–Bradley———————-

    Beasley——–Gonzalez———-Cameron——–Lichaj

    —————————-Howard——————————–

  19. Creige says:

    In the spirit of giving people chances:

    Wondo Boyd
    Shea Mix (Attacking) Kljestan (Withdrawn) Bedoya
    Lichaj Brooks Gonzo Orozco
    Johnson

    The reality is we know that Bradley, Altidore, AJ, Cameron, Jones (though for me he should be a bubble player), Beasley and to a lesser extent Evans and Gonzalez are in the final 23. I actually believe a team with all our bench players can get it done and could be very telling.

  20. Joe says:

    ————Altidore———-———Johannsson————–

    Shea–———————Bradley———————Diskerud

    ——————————-Jones———————————

    Beasley——–Gonzalez———-Cameron—–—–Evans

    —————————-Howard——————————–

    I don’t care much about Bedoya anymore. Just don’t he tries super hard, super-good dude, but just doesn’t quite hack it for me. I think Shea offers more upside, but puts forth about half the effort. Therefore, I would play Shea the 90 and see how much fight he has in him for a spot. If he can’t or is unwilling to put forth the required energy, I feel like Bedoya takes his place in the 23 for Brazil.

    If this was So You Think You Can Dance? It would be a dance for your life competition. Not that I watch that show with my wife or anything…and not that I don’t somewhat like it…because that would be dumb….

    • Jesse D says:

      lol. Funny. I agree that Shea is more talented. Bedoya may not start for us in Brazil, but I like what he offers. He makes the opposing defender and midfielder work hard. Can you remember a left back ever having a solid attacking game against him? I can’t, they have to worry about his work rate, getting behind them too much and are effectively taken out of the game as wing attackers.

  21. dude says:

    The strangest thing would be Lichaj starting on the bench. Why start Evans at this point? Right now, he’s JK’s #1, and he’s been pretty solid, considering he’s a midfielder. But it’s time Lichaj got a full look from JK. Do I really need to spell out why? Right now, we’ve basically got an aging vet in Cherundolo who we simply can’t bank on, a German-American who’s lost most of the sizzle that made him attractive in the first place, and Parkhurst, who continues to be in club limbo and isn’t all that fast. Then there’s Cameron, but he’s depth at three positions. Give Lichaj a chance to impress. He was excellent for us between the two cycles.

    • Nate Dollars says:

      although lichaj needs to get more minutes, i think this would be a good test of whether evans is a qualifiers-level RB, or a world cup-level RB. evans should start, so we can get a half-decent preview of how next summer will go.

  22. pd says:

    Almost totally agree with Ives’ first lineup suggestion, but i’d really like to see at least 45 minutes of a midfield diamond with
    Mixx
    Kljestan Bradley
    Cameron
    having JA and Aron paired up top with the top three in the diamond sitting high.

    Beasely and Lichaj as fullbacks, Brooks and Gonzo at centerback

    Cameron would almost function as a third CB playing much he same role as Beckerman does.

  23. rainORshine says:

    Hmm – Ives is kind of in his own world right now… specifically regarding his fondness for diskerud. i think the consensus is basically split on whether we need to see mix start.

    JK HAS to start mix? well, no, not really.

    mix has started 3 games since the gold cup – bosnia, jamaica, panama… and really has not been convincing either as an 8 or as more of a 10. in 2013 he managed to account for 2 goals and 1 assist for his club in norway. just for comparison – kelyn rowe – an attacking AM for NE – produced 8 goals and 9 assists this year… and is younger than diskerud. again, not really sure where the faith in mix is really coming from. nice little player, but far from proving himself…

    looks like about 75% or so are actually curious to see possibly 2 best US CMs – bradley and kljestan – actually line up next to each other for the 1st time in JK tenure. most people appreciated SKs possession and passing v scotland (0 times taken off ball; 35 of 36 passes completed) and are giving him the benefit of the doubt after being miscast as an central attacker

    at least that many will be looking for brooks at LCB – with probably at least 50% realizing that geoff cameron is just not a great option at CB (but could be very useful as a RB or possibly CM)

    not necessarily what I would do, but i feel like fans would be pretty happy to see:

    —————altidore—————
    ————-johannsson————-
    beasley———————-bedoya
    ——–kljestan—bradley———–
    lichaj—brooks—gonzo—cameron

    not necessarily diskerud, bring shea off bench, stick with jozy (but do get boyd some solid 2nd half mins)

    • ZZtoppppp says:

      Are you seriously implying that Kelyn Rowe is better that Diskerud? Mix hasn’t been the best USMNT player but he has been one of the most consistent. And are you forgetting about his fantastic gold cup final performance?

      • rainORshine says:

        yes, i am. not super impressed with mix. ultimately was relegated to bench in gold cup – beckerman and holden started semi and final.

        what makes you think kelyn rowe would not be as good? he is far more productive in a much better league

  24. This says:

    —————————-Altidore———————————

    Johannsson————-Diskerud—————–Bedoya

    ——————Cameron———–Bradley———————-

    Beasley——–Gonzalez———-Brooks————–Lichaj

    —————————-Howard——————————–

  25. MikeG says:

    I would like to see the midfielder’s and forward’s play more compact with 2 forwards. Play compact and attack right down the middle using one or two touch passing, give and go’s, through balls, chip passing, and win one on one battles while dribbling. I’d like to see the DM’s and Defense play compact and funnel towards the goal on defense. Pressure and contain on defense while the DM’s double-team whenever they can with the CB’s. All of this requires possession and the ability to beat at least one person one vs one. Take it away from them and take it to them. Put out whoever.

  26. Roman Lewandowski says:

    Hopefully Lichaj, Brooks, and Boyd will see significant minutes. We need to see how well they gel with the team. We’re running out of time before the WC.

    Shea should come off the bench in virtually every match. Amazing how many haters the guy has. He is, to be sure, a bench option only at this point–don’t get me wrong.

  27. biff says:

    It’s time to pull the plug on Boyd and give time to better and more experienced strikers. Boyd will not be going to Brazil. Isn’t it about time that Klinsmann tests EJ as a forward, his club position. If not EJ, then Wondow who is better than Boyd.

    I think Bacon maybe possibly could be a strong central attacker (Number 10), would like to see him tested there. Beasley will never play left back in Brazil, but he has paid his dues and deserves a chance at his naturally best position–winger. Mix is solid on defense and has strong attacking capabilities. Wanna see him teamed with Baby Bradley.

    Cameron is currently the best right back in the US player pool. Let him play first half as RB with Lichaj playing fullback on his weaker left side. Then pull Cameron at half and move Lichaj over to right back for the beginning of the second half. I am skeptical of Brooks ability to play internationally at 20 years old. But he is on the roster so might as well throw him in the deep end and see if he swims.

    ————Wondow (or EJ)——-

    Beasley—–Bacon——-Bedoya

    ———-Mix——-MB———–

    Lichaj–Brooks–Omar–Cameron
    ————————————–

    • biff says:

      Or this one

      ————Wondow (or EJ)—–

      Beasley——-Mix———Bacon

      ———–Sacha—-MB———

      Lichaj–Brooks–Omar–Cameron
      ————————————–

    • Nihal says:

      How can you pull the plug on Boyd when he has barely played?

      • GW says:

        I’m not in favor of dumping Boyd yet but whenever he has played for the senior US team he has looked out of place .

        If you only get a few minutes you need to looked as good as possible in those minutes.

        In his few minutes he has looked as bad as possible. When that happens you don’t get more minutes particularly when the guys in front
        of you keep doing well. For example, no one here likes EJ but he keeps scoring important goals.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      It’s like Shea. He offers more upside and the question is, can he show it yet. Do you seriously want to depend on EJ to be in the right place physically, emotionally, technically next year? It’s like Findley et al last cycle. Only if I have to.

      Boyd is a striker. Wondo is a wide player. They shouldn’t be interchangeable. Boyd is Altidore. Wondo is AJ or Zusi. Personally Boyd offers more promise at his spot than Wondo does as a winger. Put it this way, I’d start two out of AJ, Dempsey, Zusi, and Donovan wide, and they all have better versions of the same traits as Wondo. AJ can hustle AND play. But there are maybe three people with big man striker traits, Jozy, EJ, and Boyd, and I think if Boyd ever got the chance he looks better than EJ. EJ is a CONCACAF mirage.

      • biff says:

        Boyd is a train wreck waiting to happen, at least at this point. His is too excitable (remember Clint having to school him when he took the silly shot last summer rathe rthan hold the ball). I cannot imagine Klinsmann risking playing him Brazil. He does have potential, no doubt about it and he always gives 110%, But no way will he surpass EJ or Wondow by next summer.

        As for EJ, do you remember the clutch goals he scored against Antigua and Barbuda during the hurricane, a game we had to win. I am not a huge fan of Pay Me Pay Me EJ, just saying that 1) Klinsmann has been playing EJ out of position and 2) EJ is better and more experienced than Boyd and 3) no one in their right mind would sub Boyd in over EJ in a the last 15 minutes of a game next summer in Brazil when we need a goal to win or to tie. No question in my mind that EJ (or Wondow) would be a better choice than Boyd in a late game do or die situation. So it makes sense to let EJ and Wondow show what they can do against a decent team tomorrow in Vienna, and then let Terrence come on in the last 20 minutes to take a bow in front of the hometown fans.

        • dude says:

          Disagree. Boyd, in limited minutes lately, has looked good. He’s been forced into a more secondary role (AJ and Altidore were always the target forwards), but he got the game winning assist against Panama, and the attack improved against Scotland when he came in.

          Boyd is definitely in the top four strikers we have. Anyone who wants to argue that Wondo is better, or in better form right now, I couldn’t see the point in arguing.

        • The Imperative Voice says:

          EJ can be clutch no doubt but IMO his history reflects it only works against certain levels of teams.

          I think Boyd has more upside but would concede EJ is the proven option. But since Boyd has more upside I’d try him now so if he shows he’s better than EJ you can make the switch. If he never plays it’s EJ by default and I think, at least in theory, we can do better.

          Wondo, I think the book is clear, he scores against an even weaker echelon of teams and against the best teams can only hustle and won’t find the same spots.

          One thing, let me be clear, we should go with the people who’ve shown they can handle it. I may criticize Jozy or EJ or Wondo but in a few months you go with who’s playing well. I just think Boyd has enough promise and touch where he deserves a similar shot, and with enough time to show what he has. But if he doesn’t get it soon, he’s done for the cycle and you go with the hotter hands. I’m just saying try him while you have time, in case he shows well. In case Jozy gets hurt. etc.

    • GW says:

      biff,

      Your “Cameron for right back” campaign seems to be falling on deaf ears:

      JK , from USSF website:

      “On Geoff Cameron playing center back rather than right back:

      “It’s good to know that he can play right back, as well. We see him more as a center back than a right back, but if necessary, it’s a good option to have to throw him in as a right back as well. Whatever the case is at Stoke City, so be it. It’s Mark Hughes’ decision, it’s totally fine. We see him more as a center back.”

      On Eric Lichaj and the team’s options at fullback:

      “We wanted to give Eric a chance to come in here, and I also personally wanted the chance to see him. It’s one thing seeing him in games at Nottingham Forest and another seeing him in this group. How does he fit in? He’s a great guy, the team likes him, there’s good chemistry. You also want to give him an opportunity to play. Our right back is Brad Evans. He has that spot right now. Behind Brad, there’s some space. We tried different people out there. Geoff Cameron plays that role, Michael Orozco can play it. We’ll see in the next couple of months what happens with Steve Cherundolo and so on. It’s important to have Eric here. He hasn’t been here under my guidance, but I know all the other guys. Every training session helps me and my coaches evaluate him. He does well with his club. He’s in a good run, so we thought it was good timing.”

      My guess is JK also sees Beasley as his left back in Brazil.

  28. 4now says:

    4-3-1-2
    tight, disciplined three of Jones Bradley and Sacha.
    speed and attack up the flanks from Lichaj & DMB.

    ——Altidore–Johannsson—
    ————Diskerud———–
    —–Jones-Bradley-Sacha—-
    DMB-Brooks-Cameron-Lichaj
    ———–Howard————–

    • Kevin_H says:

      I think we’d run into the same issue Klinsmann referred to in the Scotland game, in which Sacha was trying occupying the same space as Bradley and Jones. Three defensive-minded central midfielders means the area will be congested, and there aren’t going to be enough passing outlets.

    • rainORshine says:

      i actually think you can play jones, sacha and MB at the same time… but you have got to play jones as a 6 and then drop even deeper offensively – allowing both space in the middle AND providing cover for the OBs to attack the flanks

      —————-altidore—————-
      –johan———————-bedoya–
      ——–kljestan——-bradley———
      ——————jones——————
      beasley—brooks—gonzo—cameron

      could also do a diamond with mix (and AJ up with jozy), but that gets even more narrow

  29. Nihal says:

    ———–Altidore——————Boyd———-

    ——-AJ——————————–Bedoya—–

    ——————Sacha————Bradley—————–

    Lichaj——–Brooks———Gonzalez———Cameron

    —————————Howard—————————

    • Nihal says:

      I know Boyd and Altidore are two similar strikers, but I’d like to see them get some serious time. Another option I would like to see is Mix dropping behind Jozy/Boyd.

  30. josh says:

    I dont get the fascination with mix. He is not aggressive enough for the international game and he has the worst positioning of any player I have ever seen. He just wonders all over the field.

  31. Adam M. says:

    US should be playing a 4-2-1-3. No harm in seeing what this can do:

    Boyd—Altidore—Johannsson
    Mixx
    Jones———-Bradley
    DMB—OG—-GC—–Lichaj
    Howard

    • 2tone says:

      Boyd isn’t a winger, and isn’t particularly adept at dribbling the ball, that’s the harm.

      • Adam M. says:

        Its not about labels and I don’t envision Boyd or AJ playing as a “winger.” Robben is a winger. We don’t have anybody like that, including Donovan, Bedoya or Shea. Boyd and JA are two central strikers, AJ probably plays a little off them with roaming ability, Mixx distributes, and Bradley comes forward at opportunistic times. Against Austria you really could drop Jones and push SK next to Mixx in a 2-3 up top, but whatever. I’d trot out my formation to see if anything about it works. Its purely an offensive minded experiement, not a long term strategy.

  32. 2tone says:

    Wait no Wondo, surely that’s a typo!?!? I kid I kid, but where is Wondow?

  33. Johnnypauly says:

    I think it’s time to abandon this clingy relationship JK has with the 4-2-3-1. Because it’s a friendly (and the 4-2-3-1 is just boring to watch the USMNT employ). I would want to see something more attack minded. Sound crazy? I hope so…

    Shea———-Altidore———-Bedoya
    MB———-AJ
    JJ
    Lichaj—–JB———-OG—–Cameron

    If anything at least Jermain Jones is in a clearly defined #6 role. And I think we can all somewhat agree (even those who don’t favor him), that he can be an amazing destroyer in the middle of the pitch when utilized for this SOLE purpose. Aside from that, Cameron is playing where I think he can play well and where he plays for Stoke. Lichaj will be on his weaker foot playing on the left, but at least we get to take a peek at what he may have to offer in defense. We already know what DMB has to offer. Let’s see who’s next in the pecking order, right? As for my omission of Evans, well, he’s just international caliber, at any position. So, let’s just put that to bed. Bedoya is where he should be. Shea gets the nod from me because other than Fabian Johnson we have no viable left winger, IMO. Furthermore, what he showed in his minutes vs. Scotland was enough to warrant a second (maybe last) look at Shea. MB is adaptive and attack or drop back to defend when he wants or when necessary. He’s disciplined enough to be given that license, I think. AJ get to create. Let’s see what he can do, or not do, for 90. Why not? I don’t have to explain the CBs. Those guys are our 2 best options if I want to play Cameron out on the right. Lastly, if you like, there is also the option (if you prefer an extremely attack minded formation) to sit Jones, put MB in the #6, and pair Diskerud up with AJ to create. That would be fine with me as well. I wouldn’t bet on a clean sheet with this lineup, but a nice shoutout would be exciting.

  34. Ulysses says:

    What are the chances Brooks, Diskerud, Johannsson start?

  35. Wonderloaf says:

    Do we want to win? IF so, it is obvious that Wondolowski is the only choice.

  36. 2tone says:

    I would like to see Shea start. Not because I think he is some kind of answer, but because injuries happen at the WC, and Shea may have to start if he is on the team. We need to see if Shea can provide 60 to 70 minutes of consistent attack at LW.

    Her is my fan starting 11 against Austria:

    ————————Jozy———————
    Shea——————Aj——————-Bedoya
    ————–Mix————-Bradley—————
    Beas———Brooks——–Cam———–Lichaj
    ————————–Howard———————

    I liked the look of the way Mix, Shea, and AJ combined in the second half against Scotland, and Jozy looked far better having these three guys running off and around him.

  37. beto says:

    i’l take Ives’ lineup..

    guys like EJ, Shea and Boyd are clearly bench options, not a knock on them they are just more impactful in the end of the game than they are establishing the pace of the early game. Hopefully Boyd gets a good 20-30 mins in.
    Lichaj > Evans at RB; give him a start. If Brooks gets some minutes, Cameron could switch over to RB, in what is his best position!

    ————-Jozy————–
    -Bedoya———–Iceman–
    —————Mix————-
    –Jones/Sasha—–MB—–
    -Beas-Gonzo-Cam-Lichaj-
    ————Timmy————

  38. Shawn says:

    Is it bad if i think EJ just sucks, he just has decent finishing and a good header

    • GW says:

      “he just has decent finishing and a good header”

      A player can go real far with those qualities, even if they are his only ones

      EJ made this WC qualifying easier than it could have been. And if you think that CONCACAF opposition is such garbage then how come a supposedly top team like El Tri sucked so bad against it?

  39. Excellency says:

    ———————–aron———–
    —shea—-jones—–edu—bradley—bedoya-
    —-lichaj—–brooks———-gonzo–cameron–

  40. Dman says:

    ——————————–Wondo————————————
    ———————–Adu——————-Wolff———————–
    Ricardo Clark —————- Mastroeni ——————- Convey
    Mike Burns—— Cle Kooiman —–Chris Albright —–Jeff Agoos
    ——————————-Howard—————————————–

  41. LM says:

    I agree with the second lineup but i would substitute Boyd or Altidore on the second half to make room for Shea and put Johannsson at the top

  42. Smokey says:

    Just start Wondo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He will win it all for us. We will take it (the cup) home with him. Start him any where: up top, on the wings or as a CM. He Wonoful!!!!!!!

  43. SBI TroII says:

    If Jürgen wants to really start prep for Brazil, he needs to play a few fresh faces mixed in with the vets.

    ————-Altidore————-
    AJ——-Diskerud——Bedoya
    ——Kljestian—Bradley——-
    DMB–Brooks–Cameron-Lichaj
    ————-Howard————

    *Give Jozy the first half and Boyd the second half. If he’s going to Brazil he needsore than just a less than 10 minute cameo. I think he should come off the bench as friendliea tend to open up in the second half. It will be easier to see what he brings to the table in that scenario.

    *Ditto for Shea.

    *Gonzales is a known quantity at this point. Give Brooks a chance gain chemistry with the squad. Cameron should play CB as its his last chance to play there until March.

    *AJ>>>EJ

    *Can we see Sacha next to Bradley? Its time to figure out if he can be a spot starter if needed in Brazil. No more wing or AM if he doesn’t practice there regularly.

    *Evans has served his country well. But it’s time to move on. Lets see what Lichaj has. If Cherundolo comes back too then we have some options at fullback and it gives Jürgen flexibility to use Fab Johnson in midfield.

  44. Birgit Calhoun says:

    Wondo should be given a starting chance. I think he and Altidore would play well together. And to all you Wondo nay-sayers: Why do you judge someone when you haven’t really watched him play?

  45. j z says:

    Great lineup… I’d play Shea over Bedoya at left wing and try Brooks as well. Maybe Shea, Kljestan, Brooks and Lichaj will surprise us – or not. I really like Evans, Gonzales and Cameron, but each seems to make at least one monumental gaff per game (usually right in front of our goal). In the world cup that’s all it will take to send us home after 3 games. I’d like to see if Brooks can turn in a game without this sort of dangerous mistake. I like Lichaj over Evans if purely for his greater speed (he held his own against Bale) – I’m tired of seeing opposing players run right by our defenders. On that note, it was definitely the highpoint of Scotland to see Shea blow right by the Scottish defense (instead of it happening all the time to us). We need more of that… I like Kljestan over Jones. Jones simply looses the ball too much. I don’t think the trade-off for what he does on defense is worth it (provided we are able to sort out the backline one of these days).

    —————————-Altidore———————————

    Shea——————-Diskerud—————–Johannsson

    ——————Kljestan———–Bradley———————-

    Beasley——–Gonzalez———-Brooks————–Lichaj

    —————————-Howard——————————–