Who should the USA start vs. Mexico?

BradleyChicharito (ISIPhotos.com)

The Jurgen Klinsmann era begins for the U.S. men's national team on Wednesday and while many of the players the new U.S. coach has called in are familiar faces, there is still plenty of mystery about what Klinsmann's first lineup will look like.

Some regulars like Clint Dempsey and Jozy Altidore won't be making the trip to Philadelphia, while Tim Howard and Landon Donovan are among the first-choice players who will be in attendance.

As for how the rest of the squad will look like? That becomes a tougher proposition to decipher.

Here is the squad we can see Klinsmann trotting out onto the field at Lincoln Financial on Wednesday night:

 Projected USA Lineup vs. Mexico


Some quick thoughts on this lineup:

You would imagine Klinsmann will want to start a defense that is familiar with each other. This back four has played together before so it makes the most sense, though I'll acknowledge that Tim Ream has been struggling and could be the odd man out here.

Edgar Castillo could start on the left, but so could Brek Shea. Don't see Klinsmann using Donovan on the left. DaMarcus Beasley is another intriguing option.

Freddy Adu gets the start here but could easily wind up on the bench seeing as how he's not currently with a team training regularly. In retrospect, you could see Donovan in that position, with one of the many wingers on the roster sliding onto the right wing.

Agudelo gets the nod, though Edson Buddle could definitely merit a look. Agudelo has been very hit and miss in MLS play, and wasn't an overwhelming hit at the Gold Cup either.


What do you think of this lineup? Who are you hoping gets the start for the USA against Mexico?

Share your thoughts below.


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207 Responses to Who should the USA start vs. Mexico?

  1. Bryson says:

    No way Boca starts at LB, love the guy but dont like him on the outside. I thought Castillo was a LB. Am I wrong?

    I think it would interesting to see two attacking CMs. Adu and Torres and then Jones or Bradley as the holding center mid.

  2. ChelseaMatt says:

    I think Castillo gets a look at left back, not left mid — also, Boca is a center back, which moves Ream to the bench. Shea at left mid

  3. Bryce Larsen says:

    I agree, don’t like Boca at LB…mainly because I don’t think Ream is ready to play CB. Castillo often plays midfield for America, but can play LB too. I would rather slide him back to defense and put Boca at CB with Goodson. We’re still lacking pace back there though…c’mon Chandler!

  4. dcm says:

    agreed. wasn’t the whole problem with the gold cup final is that we couldn’t keep up with their wingers? or, one of the problems i should say. Boca is great, but slow. i bet castillo starts at left back, and maybe beasley on the wing. then switch boca with ream.

  5. Bryce Larsen says:

    Hope to see Buddle get a chance again, too; though I am a fan of Agudelo ever since watching him at the Milk Cup last year in N. Ireland.
    Klinsmann could start bringing in the likes of Pelosi, Gil, Doyle, etc. soon too. Might as well prepare the young stars!

    And happy to see Altidore already score for AZ!!

  6. Jack Savidge says:

    Could see Torres instead of Adu. Still don’t like Boca and Ream in the back.

  7. Phlogiston says:

    Agudelo as a lone striker…ask Hans Backe how that one’s working out

  8. T says:

    Start Robbie Rodgers! ­čśÇ (sarcasm)

  9. KNPonder says:

    Adu – Buddle – Donovan
    Torres – Jones – Bradley
    Pearce – Boca – Goodson – Dolo

  10. Alex says:

    Doubt that – it’s not Klinsmann’s immediate job to be developing these young guys, that’s the job of their respective clubs. Klinsmann would only get them for 2 weeks at a time at best, while they’re developing at their clubs for months at a time. Leave them at their clubs, let them earn playing time.

  11. Dinho says:

    I think he plays a 4-3-3. I think Agudelo and Adu starts on the bench. I think Castillo plays in the back with Boca paired in the middle with Goodson. Here is what I see happening:

    Beasley Buddle Donovan

    MB Torres Jones

    Castillo Boca Goodson Dolo


    What do you guys think?????

  12. ABodnar27 says:

    Bocanegra on the left wouldn’t go with Klinsmann’s attacking philosophy.

  13. Alex says:

    There’s this misconception that Torres is – excuse the FIFA term – a central attacking midfielder. His passing and technical ability may be better than some of our other CM options, but Torres actually prefers (and is better from) a deeper position. Not exactly a defensive midfield position, but definitely not the number 10 spot.

  14. Alex says:

    I agree that we’ll see a 4-3-3, not what the SBI crew put up. I like that front line, though. If Beez doesn’t start, it’ll be Shea, and they’ll split minutes. I think if you switch Jones and Torres in the middle 3, it looks good, with Jones sitting a little deeper and Torres playing a little ahead and to the left of him. As for your backline, I could see it happening, but I think Castillo comes in as a sub, and Pearce gets the start.

  15. VMan says:

    With the lack of quality LB options, why not slide Cherundolo to that side? The guy is a total pro. CAstillo is more of a midfielder, isn’t he?

  16. Xak says:

    Like most people here, i doubt Boca is LB. Doesn’t fit the attacking style we are supposed to be going for. Orozco or Castillo at LB, Boca in the middle.

    And i wouldn’t be shocked to see donovan as a forward.

  17. Alex says:

    The only problem with this is that I don’t know where Adu fits, and if Klinsmann called him in, I think he wants to see him play. He doesn’t have the wheels to play on the left wing, nor the defensive qualities to play in a midfield position. Perhaps we’ll see a switch to a 4-5-1 at some point in the game and see Adu in the spot SBI has him. What I’d like to see happen (but won’t happen) is Adu playing as a sort of “false 9″, occupying that main striker position, but dropping deep to open up space for Beasley/Shea and Landon to cut into. I say this won’t happen, because I’m not sure Adu has the tools to make it work, but it sure as hell would be more interesting than the (albeit effective) empty bucket 4-4-2 we’ve seen for the last 5 years.

  18. Alex says:

    I’ve thought about this, but why weaken one of our stronger positions by taking Dolo out of the RB spot? Maybe if we had Chandler or Lichaj around to fill his spot, but in that case, I’d just slide Lichaj over and leave Dolo to do what Dolo does best.

  19. Murph says:

    I would prefer the following:

    Shea Torres Donovan
    Castillo Ream Boca dolo

    Have Adu playing a withdrawn striker that can roam like he did last time against Mexico and Torres and Bradley backing him up, with Torres more in an attacking role.

  20. Modibo says:

    Hmmm… what are we to make of this photo of the young Bradley?

  21. Andy in Chicago says:

    I hope my boy Torres gets the nod.

  22. Alex says:

    If we go with the 4-2-3-1/4-5-1, I’d like to see this, but I think we’re more likely to see Jones and Bradley.

  23. Murph says:

    You’re right that’s more likely, with Bradley playing the more attacking role rather than Torres, which he did fairly well at his Dutch club.

  24. Tyler says:

    I think we’re definitely going to see Landon as a foward especially given the decent performances he has had when placed there during MLS competition. Castillo/Orozco at LB, Boca & Goodson at CB… MB, JF Torres & Jones in the mid. Don’t be surprised to see Adu starting wide up top with Edson in the middle.


    Torres- -MB


  25. Alex says:

    I think we’ll see him play. It depends on what kind of system Klinsmann puts out – he’d be very useful in a 4-3-3 midfield, I think. Can you imagine this midfield down the line?


    Or Edu or Jones or whoever is the flavor of the defensive midfield moment. I’d love to see this in 2014, but I have no idea what the chances are of it working out:


    Obviously that’s just a projection, but wouldn’t that be cool?

  26. slowreno says:

    Two formations I’d like to see:

    Shea Torres Donovan
    Castillo Boca Goodson Dolo

    Adu withdrawn and floating like a few peeps stated above. In the GC he didn’t look fit enough to play 90 so I’d be fine with him and torres taking turns at the playmaking mid postion. I think this 2nd formation would provide better substitution opportunities but is closer to a classic 4-4-2 with a diamond shaped mid.

    Buddle Agudelo
    Shea Donovan
    Castillo Boca Goodson Dolo

    I’d run the piss out of Castillo to try and penetrate the L flank and sub Orozco as needed.


  27. Alex says:

    I would like to see Torres in there, though. He’d be a welcome break from the Bradley/Jones/Edu combo we’ve been seeing, although that has been effective. I just think he brings a different element to the midfield that the other guys don’t. The only question is whether he can do it consistently.

  28. fubar says:

    If you are looking at Castillo as a LB, then play him there. Why in the world would you play him in the midfield. USA only has a bagillion MFs

  29. Alex says:

    People are using Orozco a lot as an LB option. I thought he was more of a center back? I know he’s left footed, and I could be wrong, but that’s just where I remember seeing him.

  30. slowreno says:

    my worry is this mid exposes us on the flanks as torres and jones natural positions are towards the center of the pitch. I would like to see those 3 up top, with Adu maybe withdrawn to the middle.

  31. Alex says:

    Just as a caveat to that line up, if the WC started today, that’s NOT the lineup I’d pick. Guys like Gatt, Torres, Castillo, Ream and Chandler still need to really prove their worth.

  32. slowreno says:


  33. Alex says:

    Yeah, doesn’t make sense to me to use Castillo there either. If he’s not good enough for LB, why bring him in? We’ve got Beasley and Shea who are more natural wingers.

  34. maddog says:

    is a 433 really different from a 451?

  35. David says:

    I agree that I think we will see a 4-3-3. I am suprised by the line up SBI posted. Besides inserting Castillo it might as well have been a Bradley lineup. Are they under the assumption that Klinsmann won’t take any risks out of the gate?

    If we saw the above lineup I would think why change mangers if we are trotting out almost all the same players in the same formation.

  36. danny says:

    Torres is not an attacking CM

  37. sodak_in_nyc says:

    Brek Shea is in the line up for a reason. He was overlooked by the prior regime (yes he did get one look). He is the only proven scorer on the squad … look for hime to start.

  38. Alex says:

    Yeah, the 4-5-1 people are throwing around has one central player (Adu) advanced, and two in a holding role, like this:


    Where a midfield in a 4-3-3 would probably look more like this, with two players advanced and one holding:


    Obviously those aren’t the only players who could play in those midfield spots, they’re just the ones I picked to illustrate the point.

  39. danny says:

    +1. I know. I don’t get it- is it because Torres is Latino and plays in Mexico that people think he is attack. Whats funny is that I think our most Latino style attacking player is Clint Dempsey

  40. Alex says:

    Shea’s having a fantastic, MVP caliber season in MLS, but he’s not a proven scorer at international level. I hope he develops into one, but for my money, Donovan is our go to scorer for this match.

  41. Alex says:

    And I believe/hope Shea will start.

  42. ap says:

    Michael Bradley with 10 other Michael Bradley clones…Just to get under the skin of the anti-Michael Bradley crowd.

  43. Alex says:

    I think people just really want a classic number ten creator type, and any time a guy comes along who passes well and has good technical ability, we classify him as such.

  44. ben says:

    this lineup seems way too Bradley-esque to me. I think Klinsmann will throw Bradley and Torres out there but not Jones. He will want attacking mids if we really are to change our style of play.

  45. Villain-from-Texas says:

    This needs to be put on repeat.

  46. martha says:

    Oh God the thought of Ream start against Mex scares me more than Insidious scares a kindergartener

  47. Felix says:

    Good point. He is NOT an CAM. He’s a deep-lying central midfielder – think like a poor man’s Andrea Pirlo.

    So far at this level is that defensively he often leaves space deep that can be exploited. IMHO, he’s almost a luxury player. I think he’s the type of player that can be utilized when he’s next to a great stopper (CDM) and in front of a good CB pairing (which we do not have). OR in game situations where the opposing team is dropping back and not pressing in the midfield.

    Now perhaps Klinsmann & Co can find the right set of players/formation that can bring the best out of Torres and cover his deficiencies. Perhaps….

    Personally, I think we are going to find out through the next few months, that perhaps the potential and promise of Torres isn’t as fruitful as the actual product.

  48. swoopy says:

    seems harsh to blame this lineup given how many players were not at Klinsy’s disposal; additionally, the more guys like Rodgers he is ‘forced’ to call up the more he can point to the lack of talent as an excuse for losing his first friendly

  49. Alex says:

    I hope we see this, and I don’t think it’s that unlikely:


    I could see Beasley starting instead of Shea, but either way I think they switch at half time. Agudelo could come on for Buddle at some point, Edu could come on for Jones or Bradley, we’ll definitely see Castillo at some point, and Ream and Hamid could come on later in the game. If we see Adu, we’ll switch to a 4-2-3-1/4-5-1 like this:


  50. Alex says:

    I almost made the Pirlo comparison, but didn’t want to get anyone’s hopes up/get flamed. Haha. You’re spot on. He has a lot of areas he needs to address to be a complete player, and, like you said, I’m not sure covering for his deficiencies might not even be worth it. He’s not the answer to our attacking/possession woes.

  51. Stuart Warner says:

    I don’t see the logic of playing Bradley, Jones, Bocanegra, Cherundolo, and Goodson together. Klinsmann should already know enough about them. Also, Boca is fine against good competition, but not against great competition–he’s slow and often slow to read the play. Besides that, his age speak against him. Additionally, I’d like to see Torres and Adu play together, two of our more creative players playing off of each other. I’d be quite surprised if we don’t see Orozco, Castillo, Torres, Adu, and Shea out there, all at the same time, irrespective of formation.

  52. Waterlewd says:

    If you see the outside attacker tracking back to their own 18 yard box, it’s a 4-5-1.

  53. Chris says:

    I have to tell you that I saw Edgar Castillo play with Club America vs Barcelona the 2nd half and he did very good. Barcelona could not produce anything after thru the left after he came in. He’s a very small guy, but he’s quick and knows his position on the field. He would def give Gio Dos Santos a run for his money. I’d like to see him start for sure.

  54. Stephen says:

    I think you said that last part wrong. Did you mean that the product is not as fruitful as the potential and promise?

  55. Alex says:

    I agree we’ve got to take serious looks at some different players, but we’ve got to have a solid mix of vets and newcomers out there. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to get ripped apart by Mexico.

  56. MC Pharaoh says:

    Am I crazy to call for Orozco at LB and see how he does? He did play fullback at times for Philly. He has more consistant time in the Mexican League as a defender. Castillo looked like he was going to start for America in the preseason but when the actual season came he didnt start.

    Agudelo– Buddle– Adu

    ——— Donovan———

    — Jones– Bradley —



    That is something interesting I would like to see.

  57. Alex says:

    That’s true as well. The wide players in a 4-3-3 tend to stay higher up the pitch.

  58. Alex says:

    Is orozco getting time in Mexico? Last I heard, he wasn’t, but I could be wrong.

  59. tim says:

    With your set, I’d say replace Ream with John.

  60. Hold up, Wait a minute says:

    Bradley brought in the 4-2-3-1 after the last WC and Klinsmann will continue with that formation with Adu in the middle, Donovan and maybe Shea or Rogers on the outside and Jones, Bradley playing in support. If Adu can hold up play again like he did before you can expect Donovan and Shea/Rogers to use their pace to open things up, the flip side is that the defensive mids and back line will get run ragged unless we have more posession this time around.

  61. Alex says:

    That’s what he meant.

  62. Eurosnob says:

    I agree that Boca should start over Ream at the CB position. The Gold Cup has demonstrated that Ream is not ready yet and Bocanegra/Goodson pairing did well in the Gold Cup. Ream can sub for Boca in the second half to get some valuable experience, but he is not ready to start against teams like Mexico. The left back position has been the weakest position on the USMNT for the last several years and Klinsmann should test younger players at that position to see if anyone other than Lechaj could potentially man the position in 2014. Keeping our strongest CB pairing would make such an experiment at LB less risky.

  63. Tony says:

    Well said

  64. Since 82 says:

    Reality. The player pool did not change even though the coach did.

  65. Hold up says:

    And I forgot to mention Buddle will probably be a target man up top.

  66. Alex says:

    Klinsmann may continue the 4-2-3-1 but with the players he brought in, I think a 4-3-3 is just as likely.

  67. Alex says:

    I could see that as well. Ream and John still have some growing to do as players, and there’s no saying who will come out on top by the time 2014 rolls around. John has as big of an upside as Ream. I just put Ream in there because he’s a better distributor and I think that fits Klinsmann’s style better, but John looks to be more solid defensively.

  68. tim says:

    Sorry but NO, Donovan just doesn’t strike me as the CAM play builder. I think he’s best coming from the right side running at defenders or laying the ball off for our RB to cross.

  69. Alex says:

    Agreed, I see Buddle starting.

  70. Murph says:

    Consistency is exactly the concern with Torres both internationally and on the club level. Hopefully Klinsmann’s more attacking style will suit him. Agreed though, Edu, Bradley and Jones are all the same type of player. Need someone with a bit more flair and passing skills.

  71. Shane says:

    This is my choice/prediction too

  72. Alex says:

    I agree. Switch Donovan and Adu in the original line up and it would work better. Don’t see Adu as a wide player, especially on the right. I know the intent would be for him to cut in, but I really don’t think he’s best utilized in a wide position.

  73. Alex says:

    Exactly, someone to help us actually hold possession in the middle of the park.

  74. Primoone says:






    In a different formation same 4 defenders





  75. Murph says:

    How big of a pool do you really think there is in this country? It’s not like we’re neglecting a future Messi here. It’s a good mix of veterans and young players. I’m sure there will be a different mix come September.

  76. Stuart Warner says:

    Do you mean by a score, say, of 4-2!? I too don’t want to see a slaughter, but on the other hand youth, speed, and technique can go a long way. Also, trial under fire is a time tested formula to discover what one has.

  77. Aaron in StL says:

    How else is Ream supposed to get ready without experience? If you think he’s the CB of the future (esp. 2014) you play him now while the results mean nothing.

  78. Alex says:

    I think he’s just saying that you can make changes at the top all you want but whoever’s in charge still picks from the same guys the one before him did.

  79. strider says:

    Well, here’s what I’m hoping for:

    Adu Agudelo/Buddle Donovan

    Shea Jones Bradley

    Castillo Boca Goodson Dolo


    I love Beaz, but Shea needs to get comfortable at this level. I thought he looked really nervous his last (first?) game. He sure has looked good in MLS, but has to translate that to the USMNT level. I really want to see Castillo given a chance at LB. We’ll see what happens.

  80. Murph says:

    No matter the selections and lineups for the next few friendlies, one thing is obvious to me. If Klinsmann recognizes that Adu has the skill set to be our most dangerous attacking player (he showed that in the Gold Cup) then he is going to have to give Adu a ton of minutes over these next few games to showcase him for clubs. I’m guessing we’ll see a good does of both him and Bradley for the same reason.

    Curious as to when the European transfer window closes though, as some games might come after it’s closed.

  81. Alex says:

    +1. I was going to say the same thing. If you’re worried about developing talent for 2014, why deny him the experience?

  82. Stephen says:

    I would maybe switch Torres and Bradley.

  83. Murph says:


  84. Gregg says:

    I’d like Donovan to run the middle in support of Buddle and spraying balls out to Shea and Adu. If Adu were playing more consistently I’d put him in the middle and Donovan out on the wing.

    Dolo Goodsen Boca Castillo
    Bradley Jones
    Adu Donovan Shea

  85. Murph says:

    Oh, absolutely true, although there are some in the Mexican leagues (Corona, Orozco, Castillo, Torres) that BB seemed to ignore. I have a feeling we’ll be seeing more of those type players.

  86. Alex says:

    Speed and technique sure go a long way. But you can’t just throw a bunch of “youth” out there and expect something to happen. There has to be some leadership. And yeah, our “leadership” guys didn’t hold up in the Gold Cup final, but that honestly had as much to do with Cherundolo’s injury and the subsequent defensive reshuffle as anything else.

    I do see your point though. This is a good opportunity to see what some of our younger guys can do, and how they handle pressure. I just don’t think it’s a great idea to throw them all out at once.

  87. abc says:

    BINGO, you win the prize.

  88. abc says:


  89. Alex says:


  90. Alex says:

    Shea’s more of a wide player, not central.

  91. francois says:

    This is the exact line-up I was thinking of for the future. I was just considering a different centerback pairing.

  92. Kyle says:

    Adu Donovan
    Shea Torres

    Castillo Dolo
    Boca Goodson

    It is very difficult to predict a line up because we’re guessing at what formation Klinsman would like to use. Think we could see something like this though. I know that Klinsman likes Landon in a more advanced position and he likes to pinch in his outside midfielders to allow space for the outside backs to get forward. This is my best guess…for now anyway.

  93. Alex says:

    I’m not really sure Donovan is that guy, though. He’s not the pulling-the-strings type.

  94. Alex says:

    I could see this happening, but Shea’s not really a central type of player. I like the formation though, with the “wide” players pinching in to support the main striker. The fullbacks would have to bomb up the sideline to provide true width, which is why Castillo is an important asset. I could see your formation, but with Bradley instead of Shea.

  95. Kyle says:

    Take 2…That didn’t “translate” well. It would actually look like this. Bradley splitting halves with Jermaine.

    Castillo Boca Goodson Dolo

  96. Alex says:

    Torres likes to play from deep, but he doesn’t have the defensive bite necessary to hold in front of the back four. What I could see happening is the midfield being very fluid, with torres dropping, Bradley shifting right slightly, and Holden taking up a more central, advanced role. Torres would then move further up the pitch to support the attack when we have it closer the the opponent’s 18.

  97. Pancho Miguel Morales de Conejo says:

    Yup, this is my prediction as well, with one toss up question, the LMF, (and maybe the LB)

    A 4-4-2

    Aguduelo Adu

    Beasley/Shea Bradley Jones Donovan

    Castillo/Pearce Boca Goodson Dolo

    I could see a Shea starting with Pearce behind him, or Beasley starting with Castillo behind him…but I don’t see a Shea/Castillo start, (too many ‘new’ players on the same side if that happened). I don’t think Castillo makes this team as a winger, he’ll be a LB at least for the foreseebable future…and watching his game against Barcelona on Sunday, looked better at LB than at LM.

    I could also see Shea starting on the right with Donovan in front of Castillo on the left.

    Regardless you’ll see Adu playing behind and under Agudelo, and switching with Donovan and Beasley/Shea….

  98. nic d "the tx 2 stepper" says:

    I just watched Castillo on Saturday and he looked good going up against Villa, Iniesta and the other guys in the Barca attack. He gets caught up field too much for my comfort but has nice recovery speed and can definitely contribute getting forward.

  99. Kyle says:

    I actually thought about how to get Michael on, but I’m not sure if Klinsman sees him in a role that is not a holding midfield spot (maybe he will). If I was picking I’d definetly find a way to keep him on the pitch. Curious to see what Juergan has in mind for Michael.

  100. PanchoMiguelMoralesdeConejo says:

    Could happen. Don’t think it will, but would’nt be surprised. Buddle is the only ‘target forward’ in this call up. If the team goes a 4-5-1 then it would be buddle up top….but I still think 4-4-2 with Adu playing underneath just like the last Mexico game, (where he played under Donovan)

  101. Alex says:

    I don’t think having Jones as the ONLY central player in a very good idea… I think this is a more balanced version of what you want to see.


    I put Castillo and Dolo on the same line as Jones because, while they’re primarily fullbacks, they’d really need to get up and down the flanks to provide wide outlets.

  102. jb says:

    Sorry Ives, there is no way we start Boca and Ream together on the same side. That would be begging Dos Santos and co. to cut them up and posterize us all over again. We simply must have someone with speed at LB, even if means putting up with other deficencies. I would think dropping Castillo back to LB or starting Loyd/Pearce, then pushing Boca over to CB.

    Honestly I think any of the lineups above are nearly as likely as the other. Not really gonna know what Klinsy thinks until Wednesday.

  103. PanchoMiguelMoralesdeConejo says:

    You forget to mention how awesome he looked in that one shot…(sarcasm)

    Shea’s biggest problem is he doesn’t have a set position, so a coach at the National team struggles to figure out where to pencil him in….he may not be quick enough to handle the wings in the international game, but he is a baller….just from where.

  104. Drew says:

    The biggest difference between the two is the wing players – they are more offensive in a 4-3-3 than a 4-5-1. Without the ball, a 4-3-3 looks a lot like a 4-5-1.

    A 4-5-1 is often used by teams playing away from home in two legged ties or by teams who have a harder time matching up with an opponent’s talent. Think Wolves in the EPL: they pack the midfield and look to counterattack. It won’t win a league title, but it should avoid relegation.

    A 4-3-3 is much more free flowing and attacking. Think Barcelona or Blackpool.

  105. Todd Hollingshead says:

    Why all this love for Castillo? Has anyone here ever even seen him play? I’m not hating, but it looks like everyone is just assuming he’s the guy. I’d love a solid LB but I’ve never seen Castillo

  106. TomG says:

    Generally agree with the lineup, though strongly disagree with Castillo at wing. We have loads of quality midfielders – Shea among them. The need at LB is so much stronger. Putting him at wing makes no sense to me when we really need to see if he can play LB.

  107. Igor says:

    Boca played left back for St Etienne yesterday.

  108. Pete Wilson says:

    torres is not an AM.. he’s more along the lines of a Dax McCarty (andrea pirlo for the euro folk)

  109. Good Jeremy says:

    Yup. He does very well running at people, forcing them to step forward, and then passing the ball off to an open guy while Donovan runs right past his mark and is open again, but he doesn’t do well methodically plotting passes and reading defenses quickly. Classic wing player, but I don’t see him doing well in the middle.

  110. Pete Wilson says:

    Edu got injured, remember

  111. Edwin in LA says:

    I say play Shea at left mid, he needs an outing with the full squad, we are missing Dempsey and Jozy and possibly Chandler who might start at right back in the future but Shea on the left and Donovan on the right with Adu in the middle seems perfect.

    You can also play Donovan central as he tends to drift to the middle anyway.

    And Adu did well on the right wing during the World Cup, vs Panama and Mexico they he did really good!

    Play maybe Torres and Jones for a change, or Bradley and Torres, and then give Jones the 2nd half with Torres.

    Castillo at left back, move Boca central and bench Ream maybe give Ream the 2nd half but with someone like Orozco.

    Lloyd is also an option for both right back and left back since he played there vs Chile, would like to see him with full team

  112. Edwin in LA says:

    What do you guys think of this line up:


    Bench: GK; Hamid, CB; Ream, CB; Orozco, LB/RB; Lloyd, CM; Bradley, L/R-MF; Beasley, FW; Buddle

    This keeps Beckerman, Clark, Rogers and Pearce off the bench, where I think they should be! lol

  113. Jeff O says:

    I understand that Donovan has had a great history against Mexico and is one of our most proven players, but I wouldn’t mind seeing him get subbed off to give the other midfielders a look…. He just seems like a pedestrian recently (even at the club level). Jurgen doesn’t have the balls to sit him, but I see his playing time trend off as it appears the tank is getting empty. Just my observation…

  114. Alex says:

    I don’t know about the majority of people on here, but personally, I just want to see what the guy can do. I don’t think he’s our LB Jesus.

  115. K-Town says:

    Beasley/Shea at LM. Castillo at LB, slide Boca into CB with Goodson, and bring Ream off the bench in the second for Goodson perhaps. Otherwise I love the lineup.

  116. Alex says:

    I don’t think we’ll see Torres start there, even though I’d like to.

  117. wilyboy says:

    I want to see what Castillo can do, Boca can’t run with the Mexican wingers anyway. Also, would like to see Shea start, he’s in incredible form.

  118. DCUPedro says:

    BB capped all of those players (save Corona, who didn’t make this roster either), and even put one on the friggin WC team.

    How do you define ignoring them? Who got caps that these guys earned but didn’t receive? Orozco is a flameout from MLS, Torres was not getting consistent PT at a Pachuca team that had significantly dropped off, and Castillo was out of favor at America and out on loan to a small team.

  119. Dale says:

    thats what I was thinking, its nothing against the kid but he dint score a single goal in the Gold Cup.

  120. DCUPedro says:

    Pedestrian form?

    He just scored against these guys in the Gold Cup final like a month ago and had a great first half (the whole team fell off in the second half, which hurts forwards).

    You say even his club form is pedestrian, but he 1) leads the league in goals with 11, despite missing the matches for the gold cup and 2) tops the MLS Castrol index.

    You might be bored with him after 10 years, but his play lately has not been pedestrian.

  121. Alex says:


  122. Justin says:

    Castillo–Boca–Goodson–Stevie C

  123. SBI Troll says:

    Why not play our best center mid?

  124. Andrew says:






    Might as well see what the future has for us. We know what we are getting from Cherundolo, Jones. Let Landon usher in the young guys and have them go for it. I doubt we are winning the game without Dempsey and the full crew so might as well see what the young guns have got.

  125. Alex says:

    I like the idea of Donovan up top, he did well there in the GC final, but I’m not loving torres out wide. He’s a deep lying midfielder, not a wide man.

  126. Primoone says:

    Definitely a lot of people have misconceptions as to where people should play. Its along the same vein as the “Holden for CAM”. (Disclaimer: I like Holden) It is clearly not his objective to attack while with Bolton in light of those around him having the creative responsibilities. He serves more of a pivot point for Bolton as well as a defensive midfielder right in the middle of the park. However, a CAM he is not and would not be able to pull that off. Holden is all about hustle and heart.

  127. Isaac says:

    Absolutely – I don’t know why people don’t get that….

  128. Justin says:

    Well, you can slide Beasley in for Torres but I’d be more confident with Torres opposed to DaMarcus. Unless you care to see Rigers out there….which I don’t. I see Donovan playing up top. Klinnsman used him there during his stint with Bayern.

  129. away goals says:

    While bradley took a lot of heat for his bornstein/clark stubborness, some of the criticism against him was simply that he should have been doing better with the players he had.

    In other words, the team as a whole played below capability. See both of the recent matches against panama for examples. (of course you could see vs argentina for a counter example.)

    We’ll know in about 18 months if jurgen can get more from the same talent pool.

  130. SBI Troll says:

    Why is the best CM on the bench?

  131. NK says:

    Like it except for Castillo…switch in Beasley instead

  132. JJ says:

    MB >>>>>>>>> Torres. Buddle > Agudelo. Can’t wait til Holden’s playing again so he can take Adu’s spot.

  133. Two Cents says:


    As for the starting lineup, I’d go with something like this.


    The left wing position is a coin flip…with three sides (Castillo, Shea, and Rogers). I don’t really favor any of them and we are clearly short on solid wingers with this roster. So, the left winger doesn’t matter to me with these choices, but I’d like to Castillo since I haven’t seen him since his first cap against Denmark.

    Donovan could always play the left, especially since this is Loyd’s 2nd cap for USMNT and may need some coverage assistance when facing Mexico’s wingers. The right wing would then probably favor Rogers being right footed. Yes, Donovan is right footed on the left, but he’s quite good at it, whereas, I’m not sure Shea is or will ever be ready to play the right wing.

  134. Chav Bollocks says:

    I think we will see something like this:

    link to this11.com

  135. MJC says:

    I think fifa is the reason most people assume torres is an CAM.

  136. Since 82 says:

    Thank you.

  137. Edwin in LA says:

    up and DeMerit’s age and injuries caught with him.

    I still hope really really hope, that Ike Opara can get healthy and start all of next season to throw his name in the hat for the Olympics and maybe he can help in the 1st group of qualifying, he’s big and strong like gooch but seems faster and also was very good on corners, had something like 3 or 5 goals before he went down.

  138. dan says:

    Definitely the best bet


  139. Edwin in LA says:

    Well for one to give someone else that plays in Mexico a try vs Mexico and because Bradley is not playing at all, Torres has played in 2 of the 3 games his team has had so far, he’s in season form, but you can swap him out, what do you think of it with Bradley?

  140. Brooklyn D says:

    I actually think the US player pool has gotten MUCH wider over time, the problem is that we haven’t been producing many elite players, just a ton of competent professionals. There are a handful of guys who are locks for the USMNT, but the “shape of the talent curve” right now is such that there are a ton of guys who are only marginally better or worse than other guys. So for those guys in the fat part of the curve, the key factor will how they fit into Klinsmann’s vision and style, since the talent difference between a ton of the guys is small. But that will mean Klinsmann will need to try out a bunch of guys before getting the right mix. I figure the roster starts to stabilize in about a year. Until then I think we’ll see a lot of new-ish faces or combinations.

  141. Edwin in LA says:

    Why not put Shea on the right where he actually plays to accomodate his natural left foot and play someone like Beasley on the right where he did well vs Holland last year in the March friendly or maybe even Agudelo who can play on the wing.

    But the best thing would be to play Donovan on the right wing put Shea on the left, Donovan will find a way to go up top and score or create, in the final it was basically him in the middle with Bedoya on the left and Adu on the right and it was Dempsey who was up top wasn’t he?

  142. socrates says:

    Agree. Castillo has said he’d rather play LB and we desperately need someone there. We don’t particularly need midfield depth.

    ———- Agudelo ——–

    Shea/Beez — Adu — Donovan

    —– Jones —- Bradley —-

    Castillo – Boca – Goodson – Dolo

    ——– Howard ———

  143. Jerry says:

    i guess is crazy but…


    beasley adu donovan

    torres bradley
    castillo bocanegra orozco cherundolo


  144. Chav Bollocks says:

    I like this a lot

  145. Colin says:

    Nice. This probably the best line-up with the players called into camp. I was thinking that Castillo would be left back and Shea would be left midfielder, but you mentioned that Shea might be left back. It will be interesting to see the line-up and call ups for the next two friendlies. Donovan, Adu, and Agudelo play well together. Bradley plays well with them as well. I’m curious to see if Klinsmann will call in some of the other MLS defenders and if he’ll try out Edu, Clark, or even Jones as defenders.

  146. Colin says:

    Sorry for the typo. Shea as left midfield not left back.

  147. Freddino says:

    Pancho I like it





    Second half subs:




  148. freddino says:

    Ream is a second half sub, Good player but not a starter on the National stage (just the other night he was beaten by Borchers!!!), but Klins might start him though….

  149. JJ says:

    With Bradley, I like it. Your lineup is what I hope to see.

    Agudelo and Buddle are a coin toss for me with Buddle very slightly edging him out. However, Agudelo has a much greater future so the more international playing time the better.

    I agree wholeheartedly with your list of bums. I thought the end of Bradley would be the end of Rogers. That guy is awful and has an even worse attitude.

  150. Jake the Snake says:

    I think this is what klinsy will go with.

  151. Dirk Diggler says:

    I feel like he’s too slow to play LB these days, especially when we’re playing the likes of Mexico

  152. dimidrdi says:

    hahah I feel FIFA(EA Sports video game for those not in the know) has created a series of misperceptions.

  153. Murph says:

    Just because the man through these guys a bone once, doesn’t mean he was giving them a legitimate look (i.e. paying attention). Tell me these guys got just a good a look as, oh I don’t know, Bornstein! Now tell me that you think Bornstein has half the potential most of these guys have. I didn’t think so.

    All of these guys have played well for their clubs and deserve a serious look.

  154. Freddino says:

    4-4-2 with speed on the flanks to get and float the ball in the middle and guys in the Primera Divisi├│n de M├ęxico going up against the Mexican National team…

    that means

    Beasley on the far left and donovan on the far right in midfield

    Castillo or Orozco far left and Dolo far right in Defense

    2 up top Buddle and Adu (Agudelo sub)

    2 in the middle Torres and Jones (Bradley sub)

    I really wonder who Klins is going put on the field come game day…

  155. Murph says:

    threw these guys a bone, I should say

  156. mbw says:

    For the time being, I think Ream should play if, and only if, the coaching staff expect the following two conditions to be met: (1) The US controls 70+ percent of the possession; (2) Neither team takes a set piece.

  157. dibo says:

    I think a lot of teams these days are looking at the advantages of a quick, technical midfield combined with speed/toughness down the flanks. Adu and Torres are technical, with good vision. I think the one more mid is going to have to step up in that area. Bradley has good vision, but he has trouble when pressured. Jones is physical, but unpredictable. Edu loses the ball a bit too much. Holden a good attacking mid option but less of a holding mid. We need a Claudio Reyna type, or one of the above to do better.

  158. slowreno says:

    funny guy! JR needs to sit plain and simple. 2nd half sub sure. Really too bad he’s not getting PT at MB.

  159. slowreno says:


  160. PetedeLA says:

    Thank you. Get Ream out of there!

    Get Dolo at left back. Cuz let’s face it. He’s a decent defender. But Chandler is the FUTURE.

  161. Alex G says:

    Agree on this one, Castillo is a natural lb not a winger or a LM, so this is my prefer lineup.

  162. PetedeLA says:

    As per usual, no one in this country knows what a diamond formation is.

  163. Atletico Man says:

    Or perhaps we don’t think it is effective…

  164. papa bear says:

    Boca should not be at LB. He just doesn’t have the pace for it anymore. He should be in the middle. Castillo at LB and until he proves that he doesn’t come up with magic when he plays for the Nats, Adu (who I’m not a huge fan of but can recognize good play when I see it) starts in the middle as he was the only person who looked like he had a creative bone in his body during the Gold Cup. Just a shame he never parlays that into his game at the club level.

  165. hudson says:






    Agudelo can come on as second half substitute for Buddle if he’s not doing much, and Torres for Bradley or Jones.

  166. Bill Santi says:

    Agreed. Ream has no business being on the team, he has good passing technique but is not intelligent or athletic enough to be on USMNT…give me PARKHURST!!

  167. beachbum says:

    that is well said. don’t always agree with your takes, but on this one I do

  168. beachbum says:

    I’ve always made that case, too, which is a true one imo.

    yest for this team, I could see him in the pocket where Ives, rightly in my eyes, has Fred starting

  169. beachbum says:


  170. beachbum says:

    have always tried to explain Paco’s position with Pachuca, having followed that team for the past few years following him, and Herc now too. Yet, could easily see him in front of MB and JJ with his skill set for this team, wherever he’s traditionally lined up before.

  171. beachbum says:


    this is fun guessing Coach Klinsmann’s new perspective to it all

  172. beachbum says:

    I like this lineup

  173. beachbum says:

    but agree with this

  174. beachbum says:

    would only switch Shea for Beaseley. fun thinking about this with a new Coach’s perspective to consider

  175. Drew says:

    I think the view of Holden as an attacking mid is a bit of a misconception. He is certainly the best box-to-box midfielder in the US pool. If you watch Bolton he is EVERYWHERE. While he can certainly play an attacking midfield role, I think that limits him.

  176. GW says:

    “How else is Ream supposed to get ready without experience? ”

    The national team is not where Ream should be learning on the job.

    He is supposed to learn that at his club and learn it so well that the USMNT is forced to call him up.

  177. Dennis says:

    What! Ream is the new whipping boy with JB gone!

  178. Dennis says:

    Torres can’t start routinely at Pachuca, why does anyone think he should start for the US. It is not like he has had more than a passable half a game for the US, Jones Bradley and Bedoya have had better play for the US.

  179. Two Cents says:

    Well the above is a diamond formation, unless i’m misinterpreting your comment. There are different forms. The diamond is created from the 4-4-2, but then can be used in a 4-3-3 or the above 4-1-2-1-2.

    In regards to Atletico Man, it may or may not be effective, the problem is we don’t see it. We always have to D-mids and it seems that doesn’t really work, based on our results.

    Thus, the reason for creating the 4-4-2 diamond, in whichever version you can see it in, may be interesting to see. Ultimately, I just no long want 2 D-Mids. In my opinion, part of the reason why we have so many problems moving the ball forward is because we are jamming our passing lanes with too many players, of which, we don’t have great creativity.

    Just take Manchester United or Barcelona for example. United tend to employ the 4-1-2-1-2, whereas Barca tend to use the 4-1-2-2-1. Both are technically diamond shapes, but one is the midfield, the other includes the forward. I realize the USMNT is neither of these squads in terms of talent, but the method could work. Again, I’m simply saying I think we need to discard the two D-Mid system, you can then place players wherever you want from there in any formation you see fit.

  180. beachbum says:

    good points all. typical I’ve come to find of your posts Dennis. thanks

    My argument to play Torres somewhere out there at some point is to see what a fresh outlook and chance may do for his own outlook and confidence, on this team. Look where Adu was when BB just called him up.

    find out if he can respond to a fresh opportunity, and fit on this team somewhere

  181. beachbum says:

    and I’d like to see Loyd given a good look, maybe start though I realize he was not originally called in

  182. marco says:

    They actually played without a LB for much of the game. I don’t know where Bornstein was told to play, but he didn’t play LB.

  183. Alex says:

    Then an LB should not be learning on the job either.

  184. Dude says:

    Think he may have been alluding to the fact that midfield diamonds don’t usually employ wingers.

  185. Francois says:

    He’s much much much much much better than Dax McCarty. Dax is like a poor man’s version of JFT haha

  186. Some Guy says:

    Maybe Klinnsman goes 4-3-1-2:

    Probably unlikely though.

  187. Knowles says:

    I’d like to see boca and Goodson in the middle with Castillo at lb. And what about Torres instead of jones or Bradley? You lose defense but gain passing and composure on the ball

  188. ThaDeuce says:

    I originally had a 4-1-2-3 with donovan and adu in the two spot and chandler and beas on the wing, but without timmy i go back to the 4-2-3-1 formation to get the best players on the field in their positions. i.e. I had only jones OR torres, but now both start because they are both better than rogers et al.

    I think for klinsy there are some dominant traits he looks for which are technical ability, poise under pressure, and defenders who attack like midfielders. So left back is between pearce and castillo and the winner is whomever has been whipping in the best crosses lately. Also, if torres is on he is technically better than bradley, so is jones.

    Beasley is better than shea, still.

    Boca and goodson better than ream, still.

    Klinsy says he wants to win, so he’ll put his best team out there, not develop ream if he isn’t the best today.


  189. biff says:

    A well reasoned argument. I would like to see that line-up. I agree that Klinsman needs to try combinations without Michael Bradley on the field. Borussia M├â┬Ânchengladbach played much better after MB left for Ashton Villa in January. I want to see what effect MB on the bench would have on the USMNT. Who knows? Maybe we would see the Borussia M├â┬Ânchengladbach effect, a USMNT that plays a more attacking, possession-oriented brand of soccer. Or maybe the team will fall apart. Maybe MB really is the glue that holds the team together. Either way, Klinsmann needs to test rosters without MB.

  190. Two Cents says:

    Yeah, I know what you mean. It tends to be more narrow, but we don’t have the luxury of Spain that can pass you to death in the middle of the field. Granted, this takes away from what the left and right back would be able to provide in terms of width, but I can deal with that. Plus, not all teams are the same and there are so many different forms of the diamond that there isn’t one way to go about it. Sure, some teams use certain types of the diamond without wingers, but there isn’t one specific formula to employ, and without the technical passing skill, it would be odd to use a narrow midfield without the use of wingers.

  191. richd says:

    I don’t know why people continue to make up lineups with Freddy Adu as a striker when he is clearly by talent and preference a central midfielder who likes to distribute the ball. Klinsman has stated in a SI interview that he wants Freddy to come to camp and that he wants to help him find a new club. The best way to help him get a new club is to feature him in this game with Mexico.

    Since developing a more attacking game and getting faster are priorities with the new coach I see a very different starting lineup than most.


    Donovan Adu Beasley

    Jones Bradley

    Castillo Bocanegra Goodson Dolo


    Since MB needs a new club to play with expect to see him featured also.

  192. biff says:

    The Klinsmann interview in SI is an interesting read. Yeah, probably Klinsmann would like to help MB find a new club, but putting him the starting line-up also is risky. Since December, his only club play was, I think, two times with Ashton Villa and nothing since either late February or early March. He has got to be rusty and a big mistake against Mexico could harm his chances of finding a new team. If MB is unable to find a decent new club by August 31, he really should swallow his pride and bow down before Borussia M├â┬Ânchengladbach coach Lucien Favre, who by all accounts is good guy, and beg for a second chance. Glabach beat FC Bayern in Munich Sunday and I think the team will put in a good showing this season.

    As for Freddy, St. Pauli in Hamburg is desperate for a player like him and I think he would fit in great there. St. Pauli was relegated to the second Bundesliga after an awful second half of the season last year, but is a good team with great fans that some think will bounce back into the top Bundesliga. It would be about a million times better than playing in Turkey as he did last season, and would give him the chance to show his stuff and maybe catch the attention of some bigger teams.

  193. Mike from Linden says:

    Id go with:





  194. Elliot says:

    Good god please don’t let Beasley see the field

  195. biff says:

    My message above was @richd and now an addendum: Klinsmann says in the SI interivew he is asking Freddy to camp to “evaluate you and see where you’re at and then we go from there. .Maybe I can help you there.” I do think Klinsmann is to going to use the USNMT to find jobs for out-of-work players. At least I hope not. In other words, if Adu looks sharp in camp he will start, if not, he won’t. I do think BB sometimes used the USMNT to help players find jobs (one player in particular) and think that is wrong. The team should come first and should not be used as a promotional tool for certain players.

  196. Poonjason says:

    Does anyone know what site or software Ives is using to create these projected lineups? Thanks.

  197. beachbum says:

    well, did you watch the first half vs. Spain recently? Edu-Jones wasn’t good, and I like both players. yet how about the 2nd half once MB entered?

    I’d like to see others tried out there too, but not because MB is not deserving of his spot. on Torres, he has technical abilities, but he covers WAY less ground and though he has improved defensively, he plays in a league in which the middle third is rarely contested, a tactic that is simply not acceptable at the international level. And I like Paco a LOT!

  198. Primoone says:

    I was actually casting some bait for the pro Holden crowd that likes to label him as a CAM. Im with you…I think Torres is more of a Xavi type player as opposed to the typical Iniesta CAM. Please…these are just comparisons to the positions players are asked to play and not comparing actual players so dont hate me haha.

    With that said, I think that beckerman is someone that could also play that role. He plays the touch game so well and can give you a nice through ball occasionally spraying balls left and right as well as up the middle. He will also give you some bite in the middle.

  199. Max says:

    if he isnt an attackin CM, then what would u call him Danny???

  200. kirk says:

    Seeing how we haven’t had much production from the strikers recently, This is something I would like to see


    let the front four roam on offense, but maintain this shape on defense. This will bracket castillo with experienced cover and I think shea’s physical traits and technically abilities make him one of the most intriguing options at our always weak #9 and put donovan and adu in support positions that they are best suited for.

  201. GW says:

    “if Adu looks sharp in camp he will start, if not, he won’t. I do think BB sometimes used the USMNT to help players find jobs (one player in particular) and think that is wrong. The team should come first and should not be used as a promotional tool for certain players.”

    Very short sighted and misguided on your part.

    How do you expect Freddy to look sharp in camp if he doesn’t have a club?

    Using Adu as an example, if Freddy can’t find a club it will be impossible for the USMNT to get him enough practice and playing time to stay sharp and fit.

    If Klinsmann believes Freddy has a role going forward with the USMNT then it is in the TEAM’S best interests to try and do what they can to help him get a club. If that means playing him in a “meaningless friendly” then so be it.

    They are called exhibitions for a reason. Such games are used to evaluate players and tactics so you don’t always play what you believe to be you very best eleven to start. Otherwise, what would be the point?

    Your moral indignation seems misplaced. Save it for a situation that demands real outrage.

    And this did not orginate with Bradley or Klinsmann. Many other national team managers have done it.

  202. Justa Guy says:

    I’m not too concerned with winning this match. I’m concerned with (1) developing talent–to get to be international caliber you need to caps–and (2) seeing different combinations of players in different positions.

    I’d love to see Hamid play this match.
    In my mind, the jury is still out on Ream. Give him a few more caps to see if he gets to the level needed.

    At some point soon, we need to face the fact that Cherundolo and Bocanegra will need to be replaced before 2014, and think about getting others some playing time in their places.

    I am excited about Adu in the center. Right MF is the best place for Donovan.

  203. Justa Guy says:

    Our best chance of victory is with a 4-3-3-2 formation.