Who should the USMNT start vs. Costa Rica?

Timmy Chandler (ISIPhotos.com)

The second match of the Jurgen Klinsmann era with the U.S. national team is set to take place Friday night at the Home Depot Center with the United States taking on Costa Rica, and while it is the less intriguing of the U.S. team's two upcoming friendlies, it should still help shed light on Klinsmann's work with the team.

After seeing some young players step up in the team's 1-1 draw against Mexico, it is a safe bet we will see some of the same relatively new faces who did well against Mexico in the starting lineup to take on Costa Rica.

Here are the players who will be available to take on Costa Rica:

GOALKEEPERS-Tim Howard, Bill Hamid

DEFENDERS-Carlos Bocanegra, Edgar Castillo, Timothy Chandler, Clarence Goodson, Michael Orozco Fiscal, Tim Ream, Jonathan Spector

MIDFIELD– Maurice Edu, Sacha Kljestan, Jeff Larentowicz, Robbie Rogers, Brek Shea, Jose Torres, Chris Pontius

FORWARDS-Juan Agudelo, Jozy Altidore, Teal Bunbury, Landon Donovan

So who might we see start against Costa Rica out of this group? Here's one projected lineup we could see:








Some thoughts:

I could definitely see Klinsmann throwing Bill Hamid a start, but you also wonder if he'd want a young goalkeeper playing behind a defense that hasn't played together.

The USMNT could come out in a 4-2-3-1, which would put Donovan on the wing, but I get the feeling we'll start seeing more of Donovan in more advanced roles as a second striker.

Maurice Edu should get the start, but it will be interesting to see whether Klinsmann leaves him alone in a 4-1-4-1 or pairs him with someone like Jeff Larentowicz. Could Klinsmann sit Edu and save him for the Belgium match? That is entirely possible, but Edu needs national team minutes to show that he truly is capable of holding down a starting job with the USMNT.

So why isn't Brek Shea starting? He's logged SERIOUS minutes for FC Dallas lately so you wonder if getting a start here would make the most sense. Yes, he's young, but I'd bet on Klinsmann wanting to see Shea in both friendlies. A Shea start wouldn't surprise anybody, but him coming off the bench in the Costa Rica game shouldn't come as a shock either.

Torres, Castillo and Orozco all seem like safe bets to start. Yes, Castillo was shaky against Mexico, but Costa Rica could be the type of opponent he has a solid game against, a game that could help build some confidence in him.


What do you think of this lineup? What starting lineup would you like to see Klinsmann go with against Costa Rica?

Share your thoughts below.

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167 Responses to Who should the USMNT start vs. Costa Rica?

  1. malkin says:

    Torres over Shea?

  2. Brian says:

    Wow that’s probably the worse lineup you could go with. Makes me want to throw up.

  3. soccerroo says:

    I could see this line up but I would think Goodson would play in central Defense and either move Boca out wide left or maybe rest him for the Belgium match.

  4. malkin says:

    Wow, I completely skipped over the Shea paragraph on first read. Was it just added?

  5. Alex says:

    Kljestan and Torres out wide is disaster waiting to happen.. Here’s what I’d do:

    link to this11.com

    And if Donovan plays more advanced…

    link to this11.com

  6. MSNats says:

    I kinda feel like ives uses these “who would you start” entries to increase hits for advertising. But hey, I enjoy reading the comments so who cares? :)

  7. Dinho says:

    I think (hope) we see this:

    ———– Howard ———–

    Chandler — Goodson — Boca —– Castillo

    ———– Edu ———————–

    Rogers ———- Torres ———–Shea

    ———– LD —— Altidore ———-

    A couple thoughts:

    – Goodson didn’t get a chance to play for Klinsi against MX, I think he gets the start due to experience over Orozco.

    – Rogers is Klinsi’s boy, dating back to Blue Star (I know this personally) Rogers will start.

    – Shea is playing too well to sit.

    – Klejstan will see minutes, he could swap for Torres for the start, but I think each gets 45 minutes


  8. Brian says:


  9. Idaho Brian says:

    I expect to see Shea starting on the left and Torres in the middle instead of Larentowicz. Additionally, I think we will see Goodson starting next to Boca instead of Orazco…

  10. Second City says:



    I think Castillo looked below average last match but I believe he needs time to develop, get familiar and generally improve with his teammates before I close the book.

    Pontius won’t start but I’d love to see he and Shea get more minutes over players like Rogers. I’ve never claimed to be a manager but I love throwing players into the fire and seeing how the iron shapes.

    Agudelo has been underwhelming lately but I think initially it was due to fatigue and now it’s more due to the players around him. He’s a creative, intelligent player and having players around him that are attack minded and play off one another is where he often thrives.

    I didn’t start Jozy, despite him scoring a few with his new club. Nothing is being handed to him for me, anymore on this level. I want him angry with determination….

  11. Brian says:

    Please keep Larentowicz out of the starting lineup that’s all I ask.

  12. Second City says:

    So used to putting Howard, that I neglected to entirely. Upon reflection, I actually wouldn’t mind seeing Hamid get the start against a Costa Rica without Ruiz.

  13. Alex says:

    Word hated it. Everybody loathes an empty bucket/double 6 4222, and than this shows up.

    My prediction is a 4231 (obviously) with Howard, Castillo, Boca, Goodson, Chandler. My 2 “holders” are Torres and Edu. My front 3 is either Shea, Donovan, Rogers or Shea, Kljestan, Dono. And my 1 is Altidore.

  14. Why would you put Jose outside? He needs to be in the central creative role. He is not a winger. Brek definitely needs to start on the left, with Kljestan or Landon on the right. Would much rather see Tim Ream play instead of Orozco, along with Teal or Agudelo over Jozy. Jozy is a lazy, lazy player, and I’m sick of watching him saunter around out there.

  15. Michael Stypulkoski says:

    I would go 4-4-2 with Howard // Castillo, Boca, Orozco, Chandler // Shea, Torres, Edu, Donovan // Jozy, Agudelo

  16. soccerroo says:

    I can see this. Not for the reason Ives gives but he and Agudelo coming off the bench create a tremendous change of pace to a game. Shea is still growing in his role on the national team and right now I think maybe better off the bench than as a starter.

  17. Jose S. says:

    That is the line-up I’m using in FIFA 11

  18. Michael Stypulkoski says:

    I should say, I think this is the best line-up, not taking into account the possibility of resting players for Belgium.

  19. J-man 1221 says:

    Larentowicz? What is he doing? This is what I think the lineup should look like:






  20. Tim says:

    So Agudelo has done nothing and is handed a start, while Jozy has scored a bunch already on a new team and he needs to sit and get angry. Totally makes sense to me (Sarcasm)

  21. J-man 1221 says:

    Looks pretty good.

  22. montana matt says:

    Right, why would we want to start Altidore, who can’t stop scoring goals with AZ right now? Instead we should totally start a ST that hasn’t scored in weeks, like Aguedelo or Bunbury.

  23. isma_el83@hotmail.com says:

    dont like the line-up…why would you want torres to play left wing??? klejstan been playing defensive mid at anderlecht,

  24. J-man 1221 says:

    Other lineup is better. LandON has to much firepower to be towards the back, and Edu should be a sub.

  25. Second City says:

    Shocking as it may be, I like Agudelo’s style of play with the national team better than Jozy.

    My apologies for not reading your unmade starting XI and not making it identical to how you didn’t make yours.

    Totally would have, probably.

  26. Brian says:

    Robbie Rogers in the middle? Kljestan as a winger?

  27. ME says:

    I like the idea of LD playing forward. I think we have enough quality in the middle to allow him to give us something more upfront.

  28. Alex says:

    Please tell me you mean to switch rogers kljestans otherwise that’s just silly playing 2 players out of position

  29. Sean says:

    Although I think he’s worthy, Shea looked gassed at the end of that US Open Cup match against Seattle. I say let him play the role of the game-changer in the second half.

  30. biff says:

    Torres plays better in the center, we saw that against Mexico…

  31. Brian says:

    How is Landon toward the back? He’s pretty much right on top of Jozy and about even with Shea and Rogers.

    I want Shea and Rogers pushed a bit higher to give Jozy more support

  32. Brian says:

    Torres is a deep lying play maker. I think he’ll match pretty good with Edu.

  33. biff says:

    like it.

  34. I think both of those guys have more upside than Jozy, and I want to see what they can do. And remember, he’s scoring goals at AZ. I’d be more impressed if he was scoring in MLS. According to Leander Schaerlaeckens (link to es.pn), all of those Eredivisie teams attack attack attack and play little defense, therefore making it a “padded stats” kind of situation. A lot of folks have said from the beginning of his move over there that he would score goals but not really be challenged the way he needs to in order to improve for the national team.

  35. malkin says:

    and in other news, water is wet :)

  36. danny says:

    +1. Makes sense. Ives’ lineup is baffling to me. It will be good to see Edu and Torres partnered in middle.

  37. Dinho says:

    I like it…if Rogers weren’t Klinsi’s fav… then this would be the line-up I think we would/should see.

  38. Andy in Chicago says:

    Hope my boy Torres can perform.

  39. Dan says:


  40. Dan says:

    The Mexico game really made me want to see more of Rogers* could also throw Torres or Kljestan there in the middle too…

  41. ManicMessiah says:

    Torres and Castillo on the left is not good for either of them. Torres will have to stay wide to cover for Castillo, but he won’t do it well enough so Castillo will be caught out of position a bunch.

    Unless the idea is that Edu covers Castillo and Torres would instead drop back to cover for Edu, but it never works like that and is probably unnecessarily complicated.

  42. Dan says:

    Also just realized Fabian Johnson will not be available…disappointed…but I’d have to stick Larentowicz in his spot.

  43. Colin says:

    The line-up in the article seems possible, but it seems like it plays several people out of position. It seems like Klinsmann would start Altidore with Agudelo or Bunbury or Agudelo and Bunbury together. The point is to see how the forwards play together and against international competition. It seems like Donovan would start either as a wing or in a more central midfield role. I find it more likely that Klinsmann starts:


    Chandler Orozco Bocanegra Castillo


    Donovan Pontius Shea

    Agudelo Bunbury/Altidore

  44. Dominghosa says:

    Agree. Torres is not a winger.
    Having two guys out on the win that belong in the central midfield isn’t going to work.
    No speed with Torres and Kljestan on the wings. That lineup could be beneficial for Castillo and Chandler to overlap and bomb up from the back. But you need great communication with the fullbacks and two central defenders and Edu to make that work. Don’t see it right now.

  45. dcm says:

    you guys do realize that Ives posts wacky line ups so he gets more comments, right?

  46. Cylo says:

    terrible midfield. 4 holding mids. Your basically giving no service to our forwards with no wing players in that lineup.

  47. Aaron in StL says:

    I think if you run that formation it definitely needs to shade more to the left as that side looks pretty shaky defensively

  48. BF says:

    likes…”Jozy is a lazy, lazy player, and I’m sick of watching him saunter around out there.”

  49. Thebumswillalwayslose says:

    I could see that happening but I think it’s a little too defensive for Klinsi to D-mid’s and then two guys out of position on the wings. I could see either a 4-5-1 like:


    LD – Klejstan – Shea

    Edu – JFT

    Castillo – Boca – Goodson – Chandler


    Or, a 4-3-3 like this:

    LD – Jozy – Shea

    Klejstan – Edu – Torres

    Castillo – Boca- Goodson – Chandler


  50. Post says:

    Obviously Brian you no nothing about the game of soccer or formations. Donovan isn’t a CAM. He has been tried in that position and it doesn’t fit. why would you put Torres (an CAM) in a more defensive role where he cannot distribute? He needs to be placed where “Landy” is and move donovan to rogers spot. Rogers does well on the bench! This is why you will not see this foramation.

  51. Post says:

    Rogers is an unfortunate relationship with Klinsmann. I don’t think he’s that good personally. I believe there are better right Mids out there for the US. Would rather see Donovan there with his speed and put Bunbury next to Altidor.

  52. Post says:

    Fabian Johnson is not going to play the next two games. He is not cleared by FIFA yet.

  53. Brader says:

    With that lineup he’ll have to come back and get the ball.

  54. hogatroge says:

    Rogers, even excluding the goal, surprised me during the Mexico match. His play for Columbus hasn’t been stellar, so I hear, but I haven’t watched much of it. It’s only a friendly, so I wouldn’t mind if he started. Let’s hope he can match his performance against El Tri.

  55. Edwin in LA says:

    This is what I would like to see:






    Could play Sacha to start with

    sine he’s in form now, but I’d

    rather see Pontius if Klinsmann

    wants to give Shea a bit of a rest.

    I’d like to see Goodsen and Ream in

    2nd half along with maybe some more

    of Bunbury+ Agudelo with LD, Torres,

    and good winger like Shea/Pontius etc

    Basically Larentowicz and Robbie should be the ones left off the 18 man game roster.

    I saw them practice yesterday, Robbie

    needs to work on those crosses, time

    to see Pontius, and with Jeff, lets

    face it he’s behind 4 or 5 people

    maybe even 6 with Clark if he gets

    back to form?

  56. rlw2020 says:

    Post, your harsh words and terrible commentary makes you look like a dumb@ss. LD is perfect for that CM/CF spot and Torres should be back in a central holding/distributing role. Im guessing that you play a lot of FIFA and haven’t watched a live game in a while.. or ur just dumb.

    Brian’s line up looks perfect, just not sure who will be at full health on friday (see Ives’ notes on Shea. or if Klinsy is planning on playing some players vs. Belgium and not CR..

  57. mike martin says:

    Heres our best 11 in my mind. in a 4-4-1-1 line up



    Shea Dempsey


    Chandler Boca Goodson Cherundolo

  58. Bobby says:

    This is MUCH better…wish we had Lihaj though for that left back spot…

  59. hogatroge says:

    Leander Schaerlaeckens is occasionally hilarious, but most people agree he’s not the best soccer analyst.

    I have to disagree about the upside. Jozy’s only 3 years older than Agudelo and has way more experience in every category. Plus, he played well for the US in his last several appearances and barring injury probably would have had another goal or two in the Gold Cup.
    His scoring ways at AZ have likely built his confidence, too.

    Also, Bunbury hasn’t looked too great all season.

  60. mike martin says:

    whoops. shea and dempsey outside wingers with bradley and holden in the middle

  61. francois says:

    No, sir, obviously YOU know nothing. Torres is NOT an attacking midfielder, he is a deep lying playmaker like a poor mans Pirlo. Landon can play as an Attacking midfielder as seen in the second half vs. Mexico.

  62. Union says:

    I think Ives (for once) is on point with that lineup. I could easily see it playing out that way.

    Quick aside, did anyone watch this? link to youtube.com

    You’ll be blown away by who seems to have the most technical ability. Hint: It’s the Germans.

  63. TomG says:

    I’m not sure why we would play a narrow box after last game showed us as woeful in that shape. Lando needs to be wide right with Rogers or Shea left giving us speed and width. Put Boca on the left with Goodson/Orozco centered. Orozco was much better than Castillo last match. Would like 4141 with Edu sweeping and Klejstan/torres in the middle since they are both pretty creative, though both prone to bad turnovers. It is not ideal, but without MB/Holden/Jones/Beckerman, it seems the best route.

  64. Randall says:

    I wonder if Michael Parkhurst will ever get a call up? He doesn’t have size but his positioning and anticipation is incredible. He has been consistently starting and playing well in the Danish league. Feel like he’s a better choice then Castillo, Orozco.

  65. rlw2020 says:

    looking at CR’s roster I would feel fine with Hamid in goal, either or both Bunbury and Agudelo up top and Pontius, Rogers and Ginger getting time in mid.

    We should be able to easily put down a team made of Saprissa and Scandiavian club players.

  66. montana matt says:

    eredivisie defending isn’t great (although it is probably better than mls) but it’s hard to discredit the number of goals jozy has scored recently. he’s scoring w his head, he’s scoring w his feet, and most importantly he’s gaining confidence. he’s clearly our best striker right now.

    don’t get me wrong, i like aguedelo and hope to see him off the bench, but the job is jozy’s to lose at this point.

  67. Cylo says:

    I always liked Parkhurst

  68. Dinho says:

    He’s a solid player. The problem is that he’s a bit “in between” at the international level.

    I don’t think he has enough pace to play as an outside back. And, I don’t think he has the size to play as a center back. Kind of stuck in the middle. I guess I could see him partnering with Goodson in the middle if Boca played outside left back…but that’s a stretch. If had Cannavaro-esque bite and leadership, he may get a shot, but I don’t see it.

  69. Angel FAN of USA says:






    He will probably start with something familiar from the Mexico game with maybe starting Kljestan or Spector. 4-1-4-1

  70. Tim says:

    IMO, Shea earned the start. Talk to him and see how he feels, he will say he’s ok; that’s just how he is. Toss him the start and be ready to bench him at half though.

  71. Tim says:

    I really like this.

    Use Beckerman in place of Edu, perhaps? Just the only change I see different than what I was setting up.

  72. Goalscorer24 says:

    Wow I like the intensity. Johnson looks good. Wish he could play in these friendlies.

  73. Tim says:

    Bradley and Dempsey aren’t even available for the CRC game I believe.

  74. KillerInstinct says:

    And torres has grown his role into the USMNT lineup????…doubt it.

  75. Goalscorer24 says:

    Hopefully Parkhurst has improved, becasue he stank on the Olympic team.

  76. The Dude says:


  77. Dinho says:

    Beckerman won’t be joining the team until Belgium.

  78. elgringorico says:

    Germans + Landy

  79. KillerInstinct says:

    With all do respect, Torres is way overhyped IMO…even when switched to a midfield position, he was a turn over machine in the Mexico game. I watched the Mexico game twice and counted 10 give aways he had just in the second half alone!!! If you notice Mexico attacked his side almost 70% time…not to mention he did not have much support with castillo being caught off his line various times. And since we truly dont have a left back, except for castillo in this game, probably it would be safe to have a speedy winger like Shea who has good recovery speed and support castillo, if he gets burned again. Not to mention, Shea also has one-on-one ability on the attack.I understand about mixing in some latin flair, but we also have to consider quality.

  80. francois says:

    I like either of these lineups, exactly what I was thinking.

  81. Cylo says:

    lol ginger

  82. KillerInstinct says:

    Pontius attacks the flank much better than Rogers…not to mention we would have two attacking wingers in Shea and Pontius, causing the Costarican team to spread themselves thin and create gaps for Donovan to take advantage of.

  83. Eurosnob says:

    This is so true re Torres. Ditto for Kljestan. I hope Klinsi does not put them both on the wing.

  84. Nic D "The Texas 2 Stepper" says:

    Mighty Ducks Style

    “Flying V”










  85. KNPonder says:

    The 4-3-3 lineup is exactly what I was going to put down. It may look more like a 4-1-4-1 if Donovan and Shea have to track back alot. I noticed in the Mexico match that Klins tried to have one true CDM positionally. I suspect that trend will continue. Hopefully we will see more of a 4-3-3 as we should be able to dictate things against CR. But who knows if Klins may try something different as he may still wan to tinker with guys in spots.

  86. Two Cents says:

    Even with Shea’s minutes for FC Dallas, I hope he still gets the start. He needs the experience to take above the solid MLS player to the international that we all hope he can become.





    I figure Spector has been playing, in midfield quite a bit, but I still like him at leftback over Castillo. Castillo looked terrible in Mexico game, while Fiscal looked solid. I figure, give Spector a shot.

    I added Klesjtan so we only have one CDM and Klestjan being a more attacking player, should be pretty good for the attack. Also, he has been playing a lot for Anderlecht, so that is also beneficial.

    Lastly, I say give Hamid a shot for this game, as Belgium is superior to Costa Rica, so we use Howard for the Belgium game and get some experience for our other keepers.

  87. danny says:

    Torres is not a CAM. Have you ever seen him play for Pachuca or even how he plays for the U.S? I’m sick of repeating myself. Donovan has experience playing withdrawn forward, which is similar to CAM- basically position him between Jozy and CM’s so that he can run at defenders.

  88. mike martin says:

    yea i meant best 11 in our playerpool. not for the 2 friendlies

  89. alex says:

    First, do you really think that a midfield with Edu, Torres, Shea, and Rogers are even remotely good enough to be our core? Just imagine this midfield trying to feed balls to LD or Altidore. Second, its upside down. That means that when you flip it left is right and right is left. So Chandler isn’t actually on the left? He would be on the right? Why did you do this?

  90. mike says:

    I for one would start chandler on the left side. i know its not his natural side but i really think chandler on the wrong side may still be better then whatwe have. try it out im some friendlies.

  91. Primoone says:







  92. RB says:

    “With all do respect, Torres is way overhyped IMO…”

    With all due respect, this is pretty funny, since just about all people do around here is harsh on Torres. If anything, he’s way over-criticized.

  93. sobetb says:


  94. euroman says:

    Of the two up coming opponents CR is by far the weaker so look for a mix of players to start and not THE best 11. With a long flight and a strong Belguim team waiting look for some very good players to be saved for that one. I would think the group that did well against a small quick Mexico team would get the run out. I don’t think too many players (like none) will go 180 minutes over these two matches. Northern european teams usually kick our butts so I think that is the match Klinsy will use his best and find out the most about our players.

  95. phlub says:

    Altidore — Donovan
    Shea — Kljestan
    Edu — Larentowicz
    Castillo — Boca — Goodson — Chandler
    Howard (wouldn’t make the trip if he wasn’t starting, Hamid subbed at half)

    Donovan played really advanced for Munich under Klinsmann.

    Rogers for Shea at half, though they played really well together in the last match even though they play similar positions for their clubs. So maybe Rogers subs in for a CM.

    Agudelo for Donovan at half.

  96. Brian says:

    Call me crazy, but I’d keep the exact line up, but substitute Castillo for Bradly, with Chandler going to the right wing and Castillo at left back, playing a 4-3-3, with Donovan, Altidore, Dempsey up top, and Shea, Holden, Chandler in midfield, and then your same other three backs.

  97. Louis Z says:

    I thought Donovan was playing like a CAM rather than a forward against Mexico. put whatever label you want. LD comes back for the ball and makes things happen, is that a forward or a CAM? I guess it all depends how you look at it.

  98. Louis Z says:

    IMO your lineup is as good as it can be for the players that we have for this game.

  99. Rich says:

    Anyone thinking Klinsi might go Chandler on the wing? When Cherundolo is with the team we have too many rightbacks and Chandler is wicked fast.

    I would like to see

    . Altidore Donovan .

    . Klijestan .

    Shea Chandler .

    . Edu .

    Boca Ream Goodson Spector .

    I like Torres but still think Sacha is a better passer in tight spaces and Gringo did give the ball away a lot against Mexico.

    I also think Ream is the future and nees as much work as possible.

  100. LAG SJB says:

    Attention haters!

    Ives did NOT include Ream in the lineup! Can we stop with the accusations of a man-crush and/or NY bias?!

    Thank you! That is all.

  101. Hood Rich says:

    Good lineup, except Spector in place of Larentowicz.

    No way Larentowicz coming in from nowhere and starting
    over a player like Spector. Spector should not be played as an outside back; no speed. He’s good in the middle of the field for his vision and passing.

  102. Nano says:

    I can’t see Klinsi not trying to win this game in the first half. I think he goes strong with the squad he has then expirements in the second half. I also think, Shea comes off the bench and gets the start against Belgium. We’ll probably see Ream, and Torres in the second half as well.




  103. freddino says:

    I hope Klinsmann sees players for what/how they are and not what other coaches have labeled them as.

    we are tied up on Robbie Rogers?? Torres?? Shea??? Guys that play (are not outstanding) for Columbus Crew?? Pachuca???

    Imagine if we had a player that last season:

    1.played MIDFIELD in a league like the EPL

    2.Currently Plays and goes full 90 for A TEAM in the CHAMPIONSHIP LEAGUE

    3.got an ASSIST in a 5-1 win versus Burnley

    4.SCORES A GOAL in 2-2 draw vs Everton

    5.Got 2 ASSISTS in 2-1 win vs Birmingham

    6.SCORED A GAME WINNER in 2-0 win vs Barnley

    7.Played an outstanding game vs MANCHESTER CITY (in Midfield)

    8.SCORED A BRACE against MANCHESTER UNITED in the Carling cup

    Well we do have this player….. JONATHAN SPECTOR…..Imagine if Bradley, Kljestan Rogers, Torres OR any other player on the team had a resume like this???? He’d be a guaranteed starter in midfield, not rotting in defense where he clearly doesn’t belong

    And he’s overlooked for players like Torres whose done nothing outstanding for Pachuca, Brek Shea (outstanding young prospect but still very green around the ears) and Rogers??? Brek is better but Rogers????


  104. Charlie G. says:

    I like this.

  105. MC Pharaoh says:






    Would be nice to see that. Rogers is fine instead of Pontius. I have just been hoping he’d be called in and be looked at in a wing position high up the field. He reminds me of a younger Dempsey. I hope to see him. Hopefully he has been impressing JK.

  106. john says:


    If we wanted a first choice lineup then Johnson for castillo and bradley for Edu

  107. blokhin says:

    would this line-up beat the USMNT has-beens?


  108. Tom R. says:

    Robbie Rogers obviously earned the start after his last stellar performance against Mexico so I expect to see him on the field with Torres, Shea and Donovan.

  109. beachbum says:

    I wonder about these things too

  110. beachbum says:

    wouldn’t mind seeing this lineup. I prefer Agudelo off the bench though, coming in fired up and making things happen vs. starting and, well, not making as much happen. He’s done well in that role off the bench, and I’d like to see him do that for both games. so maybe LD up top somewhere and Rogers or Sacha on the right?

  111. beachbum says:

    interesting ideas, especially on Edu/Torres/Sacha

  112. PanchoMiguelMoralesdeConejo says:

    Torres is not an ‘under the striker’ MF….if anything, you’d switch him an Edu having Mo play higher.

    I got to agree with Ives, Jurgen likes what Donovan brings as a 2nd striker. Secondly, my guess based on the first game is that Coach K is going to play with a solid #6, which means Larentowicz starts….really the only reason to bring him to camp was to cover for Beckerman….so the lineup is going to be closer to Ives projected lineup with the possible exception of a Shea or a Rogers getting a start. And it wouldn’t be a surprise to see ‘goodson over Fiscal-Orozco

  113. AV_13 says:

    Just got my tickets to the game!

  114. Mike says:






    Have LD moving freely and interchanging with any of the top 3. Edu sitting slightly deeper than Torres and splitting Boca and Goodson to create a back three while Castillo and Chandler push up when on the attack. It is what I would go with given the players available. Criticize, analyze, do what you all will. All I know is this time tomorrow, I will be at just about the 50, and 4 rows back watching our Yanks!! So excited, my first USMNT game!

  115. Mike says:

    To add, I wouldn’t mind trying Spector in for Edu.

  116. Felix says:

    I’m in 100% about Torres. The problem is the fanbase gets totally fixated on a certain player at a certain position and completely overlooks their faults/misplays. The are in love with what “they could be” instead of what “they actually are”.
    Yes, Torres could be a great linking, deep-lying CM, a poor-man’s Andrea Pirlo, the issue he is terrible on the defensive side which is an issue considering the space he prefers to occupy and he has way too many giveaways to justify his role.
    Unfortunately, we are going to have to watch him put in a fair-share of mediocre performances until the coaching staff and fanboys realize that Paco Torres isn’t the player he’s been hyped up to be – and that his game, as it now stands, does not translate to the international level.

  117. I’m really liking the 4-1-4-1 formations here. I think my ideal lineup would be:


    I’m not a big formation guy so I’m not sure exactly how a 4-1-4-1 would fit on a team level, but I think something like this really lets us take advantage of our personnel. Speedy backs up the flanks; Edu as a destroyer with limited offensive responsibilities; Torres or Klestjan as the deep-lying playmaker; true wingers in Rogers and Shea (Shea versatile, but playing great at FC Dallas there for now); more freedom for Landon to roam the field.

    Any thoughts?

  118. francois says:

    Has-beens?? More like never was or not yet for a few. And the answer is that Brian’s lineup would beat yours like a drum haha

  119. JJ says:

    I don’t want to read all of these so if this lineup has been said, sorry.

    – – – – – – Altidore – – – – – – – –

    – – – – Donovan – – – – – – – – – –

    Shea – – – – – – Torres – – – Pontius

    – – – – – Edu – – – – – – – – – – – –

    Castillo – Boca – Goodson – Chandler

    – – – – – – Howard – – – – – – – – –

  120. Seth G says:


  121. pd says:

    I’d actually switch torres and edu, but still have Edu in the DM role, just have Torres build play from deeper back.

  122. PD says:

    Plus a bajillion. Even with the glut f midfielders we have in the pool I have never understood why this guy has been a periphery player. you are spot on when you say if any other player had that kind of a seaosn they would be a lock to start.

    I would rather see him and Bradley fighting it out for a center mid spot than see him relegated to the back line.

  123. Philately says:


    Rogers sucks, but he scored last game, so you gotta play the hot hand. Otherwise, put your best players on the field. Front three can switch up.

  124. PD says:

    in Belgium I’d like to see (4-3-2-1):

    (subs: Beckerman, Spector, Agudelo)

    So I could actually imagine something like this tomorrow (4-4-2):


    I think it’s a lineup that could lose, but these friendlies are about trying things out. Hope Castillo gets is act together. Sucks about Lichaj….

  125. PD says:

    the more I think about it, the more I like a triangle of


    with those two guys behind Jozy he can use his size to play a really effective holding striker. Plus LD and Deuce can track back to assist Edu and allow Shea and Rogers to keep the field wide on the wings. and more narrow formation with a bit more of a defensive posture would see Shea and Rogers switched out for a MF trio of Spector Beckerman Edu.

    either way I think you get the youngsters in against Costa Rica. give them a taste of CONCACAF play.

  126. ——Altidore–Agudelo——




    Give Spector a chance in the middle. He reads the game better than Edu, is a better passer, and is also very strong defensively when tracking back, unlike when he’s 1 v. 1 with speedy wingers when playing RB.
    Chandler and Spector allowing Donovan the freedom to go inside and providing width and service from the right side, while Castillo and Torres do the same for Shea on the left.

  127. MJC-DC says:

    Please don’t refer Juergen as Coach K. As a terp alum it brings to mind a certain dukie ( a coach I respect), but still a dukie non the less.

  128. MJC-DC says:

    I like Pontius out wide as well, as a DC fan I think he has a tendency to pinch inside that hurts him. I believe he is at his best receiving the ball out wide left then attacking players towards goal on his right foot. Majority of his goals have come from this type of play. He really has been a threat, so much that MLS defense are paying extra attention to him now. I wonder how it will translate to play at the international level. Can he make that leap? That’s the question I want answered.

  129. MJC-DC says:

    That would be an odd midfield for a 4-3-3 playing two wingers in a much more central midfield position.

    link to worldsoccer.about.com

    This article is great about explaing the conventional 4-3-3. Specifically read the section on all around midfielders as that is the position that you are asking chandler and shea to fill.

  130. MJC-DC says:

    Does this 4-1-4-1 transition into a 4-3-3 when the team is attacking? If so I like the idea.

    Klejstan and Torres are not the ideal flanking center mids but so long as Edu is strong in defense it will allow them to get forward with confidence. Then LD and Shea can push out wide and attack the flanks and Jozy can provide a target in the box. Furthermore, give LD freedom to drift inside and back a little to facilitate the attack and ask shea to be more disciplined and receive the ball in wide areas before attacking towards goal.

    Potential subs

    Pontius/Rogers for Shea/Donovan. Bunbury seems to be built better for the central striker role but Aguedelo could surprise.

  131. biff says:

    “The problem is the fanbase gets totally fixated on a certain player at a certain position and completely overlooks their faults/misplays. They are in love with what ‘they could be’ instead of what ‘they actually are.'”

    Yep, that sums up quite well what we endured for years with Michael Bradley, who hogged 90 minutes every frickin’ game whether he was in form or not or getting club play or not. (i.e., except for the first-half in the June 4 Spain friendly, when MB got to relax on the bench as Edu-Jones were thrown to the lions in what looked to me to be a personal tactical move to justify Edu’s subsequent benching in the Gold Cup).

    I do believe MB has potential to be an important contributor to the USMNT, but he has not yet shown it. If he gets lots of minutes at Verona and works hard on improving his skills, like good ol’ Jozy has done in extremely difficult circumstances (Hull City, Turkey), then he might succeed in earning a steady spot on the Nats and I will support him 100%. Klinsmann, I think, is the best thing that could have happened to MB.

  132. MJC-DC says:

    Lineup I wish I could watch:


    I would also want to try Torres/Klesjtan maybe Spector or Fabian Johanson (haven’t seem any of his play) in place of MB (all to take the role of the distributor) and leave Holden as the tackler. Before you criticize Holden in such a defensive role remember who led the EPL in tackle without fouls prior to his injury.

    Down the road sub Chandler for Dolo. Haven’t made up my mind who would take over for Boca and for all I know John may not make it on the national level all remains to be seen. This is just who I, personally would like to see on the field at some point.

  133. biff says:

    oh, man. that is fun to watch. Donovan looks good. cannot wait to watch these guys in action…and i see beckerman at least gets to spend time in camp before the RSL game Saturday against Philly.

  134. Joamiq says:

    Fail. A USMNT lineup with Robbie Rogers cannot possibly be better than one without.

    Also, I’m pretty sure we can all think of worse lineups than the one Ives posted.

  135. Joamiq says:

    Not really. Ives gives his predictions in these posts, and he’s usually got a little inside info.

  136. Joamiq says:

    You’re more impressed by goals scored in MLS than in the Netherlands? That’s just… wow.

  137. No wai says:

    I love the fact that people put Orozco as a CB all the sudden. He had ONE average game against an average team. Remember the Olympics? No, you don’t, because none of you remember anything outside the last performance. He made an unbelievalbly crucial mistake as an outside back and cost us the game, but everyone here is ok to throw him into CB? Unreal if you ask me. Great skill, good player… but if you think he’s OUR CB, you’re really, really mistaken.

  138. DC Josh says:

    Ives, is that the lineup you think Klinsmann will trot out, or the lineup you would put together?

    Why does Ream sit the bench again? Orozco impressed against Mexico, but is he our future CB?

    I am very intrigued by the combination of Kjlestian, Donovan, and Torres with Jozy in front of them.

    Predicting a 3-1 win by the USA.

  139. froboy says:

    Amen, well spoken, as a fellow Terp alum I am with you

  140. Hood Rich says:

    Agreed! He is one of the most pedigreed players we have and overlooked by people who
    have no clue how to play soccer. That’s why
    its good we have a former soccer player like Klinsmann as coach because you can be assured he knows what kind of ability is needed to play at international level and win things.

  141. Andy says:

    Ives. Your projected lineup has no width; based on the teams Klinni has put together in the past, he views width as more important than Bradley did.

  142. Hood Rich says:

    Torres is a good player but when under pressure or not given time/space to work with, he makes bad passes or loses possession. Is he good enough to play in Mexico, yes because they do not press you full field. However at the international level, we’ve seen already that when he is always pressured, e.g. Costa Rica – USA WC’2010 qualifying and against Slovenia WC’2010, the guy cannot adapt.

  143. Shane says:

    “MB has potential to be an important contributor to the USMNT”? News flash Biff, MB already has been an important contributor, like in Mexico 0 – 2 MB in Columbus WC qualifier. The extent of denial regarding Michael Bradley is mind boggling.

  144. Shane says:

    100% spot on.

  145. Hush says:

    In Mexico they tend to defend a little open because of the quality of players with technical skills. You can’t pressure all the time in Mexico because the players tend to move constantly. Unlike the MLS, players in the Mexican league are not scared when the ball heads their way, pure fact. Torres does a decent job in maintaining composure when the ball is on his feet. Here’s his issue. If our USMNT players knew how to move around a bit more Toress wouldn’t have such a hard time distributing. Look at ADU for example. He must take on 2-3 players in order to create space for other U.S players so he can distribute to an open manl,… he is the only player in our pool who understands that he must be the one opening space for his lousy players who just stand around the 50yrd line like a bunch of Zombies. Torres isn’t ADU, he believes his U.S teammates will spread the field like his folks over in Pachuca, but sadly that is not the case. Look at Castillo against Mexico for another example. He tried coming out with the ball on the left side instead of kicking field goals like our USMNT players have been train to do so. He probably lost more than half of his possessions because our players don’t move away from their LINES. At Club America he has no issue coming out from the back or dishing out the ball… that is why he is on our roster today. We need a few technical players on the pitch, NOT a 100% ROBOT lineup. Torres isn’t the problem, it’s who is around him. Shea, Duece, Agudelo, Holden, and Adu would seriously make him look like XAVI if they were all on the pitch at the same time. “MOVING OF THE BALL IS THE KEY”

  146. primoone says:

    Hey Post…you are spot on. Those saying that you don’t know anything are the ones in denial about who actually performs well and those players that they would like to see get an opportunity. Funny how quickly the game changed when LD was freed from defensive assignment and allowed to roam. Torres played a more CAM role and what happened? Even the analyst, speaking in regards to that very tactical change, mentioned that it was the difference between the first half and the second half. Fact of the matter is that LD has been tried there and is much more effective on the wings or used as a withdrawn striker with more freedom to roam into the midfield if he chooses to. If you start Shea and Rogers on the wing along with Altidore, and give LD the CAM role…its going to be a long night.

  147. Dennis says:

    I Think this is more like who Klinsy will start. But I expect the shape will start out more like a 4-4-2 with Altidore and Donavon up top.

  148. Soccer Genius says:

    I don’t understand why nobody ever wants to try the 1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1. you would DOMINATE the center of the pitch.


  149. TimN says:

    I could see a 4-2-3-1 with the following starters:







    I could see Hamid getting the start mainly because “Why not?” We all know Howard is the starter until he decides he’s going to retire, so I think we need to get a look at who’s capable of filling in for him in case of injury or suspension.

    I also think Rogers and Shea performed too well in the last outing against Mexico not to get the nod. I wouldn’t be stunned if Bunbury or Agudelo got the start over Jozy. I’m still not convinced that Jozy is our best option up top. He has moments of greatness, but also has long spells of “disappearing.”

  150. Annelid Gustator says:

    He’s much better than he gets credit for. I’d be happy to see him on a wing, too–he’s faster than most people sesem to think. I’d be happy to have Landon, Edu, Kljestan, and Specs give a run in midfield. Kljestan is really getting back his mojo.

  151. Dennis says:

    Agudelo is 18.
    Hamid is 20.
    Altidore, Chandler, Bunbury and Shea are 21.
    Torres and Ream are 23.
    Castillo, Rogers, Edu, Orozco, Klejstian, Pontius, Spector are all 25 or less.

    I may have missed one, but that is at least 14 on the roster below the age of 26. Only Howard and Bocanegra are over 30. Whatever else you may want to say, it is a young team.

    That can be exciting in both good and bad ways.

  152. Hood Rich says:

    Yes, I agree that there are not enough players on the field with him that have high level of soccer acumen/vision.

    It’s because the majority of these players did not play unstructured/pick up soccer all their life. So they don’t “know” the game
    as someone would coming from outside the US.

    Would it make his job easier easier if others around him had high tactical awareness and moved off ball more cleverly, of course, but we have to face reality.

    Reality is that Torres when faced with pressure from bigger and quicker opposition needs to make better decisions than holding on and losing possession.

    The shape of the team is changing, rest assured Klinsi will look at soccer acumen first and foremost before any other attribute for a USMNT level player.

  153. J-man 1221 says:

    Whups, meant to switch Rodgers and Kljestan.

  154. J-man 1221 says:


  155. isma_el83@hotmail.com says:

    i would to see this line-up against costa rica

    link to this11.com

  156. bryan says:

    i would probably do the same, except i would rather see Sasha in Jeff’s position and Shea, Pontius or Rogers in. I know a 4-4-2 doesn’t generally have wingers like a 4-2-3-1, but I would rather see any of those three over Jeff.

  157. bryan says:

    i doubt we see JK use a 4-4-2 with wingers. he’ll likely use four central mids. also, Sasha plays in a deeper position for Anderlect, so I’d be surprised if he was in an attacking position.

  158. bryan says:

    traditionally, a 4-4-2 doesn’t have wingers, but rather, four center mids. having said that, torres didn’t look very good in the 4-4-2 last game. so it’ll be interesting to see the adjustments.

  159. bryan says:

    WRONG. torres is NOT a CAM…

  160. bryan says:

    only issue i see is Torres playing in that advanced role. but given the bench, there aren’t many options. sasha does not play in an advanced role either.

  161. bryan says:

    because a 4-4-2 doens’t typically have pure wingers. having said that, we all saw last game that torres didn’t fit well at that position within a 4-4-2.

  162. bryan says:

    but look at his lineup last game. not really much width in the first half. so i don’t think it’s crazy to think he may do something like that again.

  163. I’m exhausted from years of a failing 4-5-1. STOP insisting on this formation or any variation of it, it’s proven as a failure for the Nats and that fact isn’t going to change. Just because we have better MF than we do strikers doesn’t mean we should put them all out there. When we do play a 4-5-1 our lone striker is useless because the midfield plays around him and not to him which makes the game more of an 10 v 11. It’s ridiculous and doesn’t deserve any more looks. Why do you think we’re a second half team? Is it because at halftime we switch away from the 4-5-1…Hell yeah it is.
    This is the Klinsmann era so prepare for LD to be up top as a true number 10 (even though USSF has him listed as a Forward), Boca will no longer be asked to play LB when he brings much more to the team in the center and expect Klinsmann to start devoting a lot of time molding a few strikers. Right now I think he’s looking at his options with Jozy, Juan, Teal or a long shot with Davies. We will just have to wait and see. The good news is that Klinsmann will tell us in one of his many interviews.

    Hamid (why else is he called up again? Howard will start in Belgium)

    Expect Teal to be a second half sub most likely at halftime. Castillo and Shea will be overlapping allowing Castillos true talent to show as a wingback (remember Shea was a defender until recently) If Larentowicz is slacking Edu will be in at half.

  164. Darwin says:

    I am hoping that the Klinsmann era will be more about forcing players to adjust to different teammates and putting out the best 11 than worrying about who will play the best together and leaving the game changers out in the cold.

    I hope you, Ives, and myself will not ever be completely able to predict his lineups for FRIENDLIES.

  165. francois says:

    That line-up is something we might see in the future. I was thinking something like this or a 4-3-3 with Torres-MB/Fabian-Holden

  166. GW says:

    “Michael Bradley, who hogged 90 minutes every frickin’ game whether he was in form or not or getting club play or not. ”

    You say that as if it was MB’s “fault”.

    The man was asked to play and,as I assume any player would do, he kept on playing. In some places, a player who always answers when called is considered a good thing.

    If you have an issue with his playing time it’s not with him but with his manager.

    What did you expect, he should say “Uh dad how about giving Mo a run at my job, or maybe JFT should get a shot, I’m a little tired” If you think Donovan, Dempsey or any of those guys would say that you are sadly delusional.