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The Olympics are set to kick off for the U.S. men’s national team on Thursday morning against Japan, which means that in less than two days we will know who head coach Peter Nowak has chosen to start.
The U.S. team has some very good options in attack, and some quality players will be left on the bench. The key for Nowak will be balancing his attacking threats with the defensive needs of a team that is lacking in the back-field options department.
Here is the lineup I can see Nowak trotting on the field for the match against Japan on Thursday morning (4:55 a.m., MSNBC) in Tianjin, China:
PROJECTED U.S. Olympic Team Starting Lineup
I think Stuart Holden is the most likely candidate among the reserves to crack this lineup, as he could be used instead of Rogers. The use of Michael Orozco at left back should help ease concerns over that position, though he is certainly not a natural there.
Another question for me is whether Nowak will consider benching Altidore or Adu in favor of having a second central midfielder with strong defensive qualities, such as Danny Szetela or Holden.
Now it’s your turn. What starting lineup would you like to see take the field against Japan.
Share your thoughts below.