Who should the USMNT start vs. Honduras?



MIAMI– Now that we know who has been called into U.S. Men’s National Team camp, it is time to start thinking about which 11 players Jurgen Klinsmann will call on to take the field in San Pedro Sula to face Honduras on Wednesday.

The Hexagonal World Cup Qualifying opener will be a stiff test, and Klinsmann is sure to turn to his veterans to try and grab a result in Central America. There isn’t much of a mystery about most of the starting spots, though there are one or two that could raise some question marks.

Right back could be up in the air, with Steve Cherundolo injured. Timmy Chandler is expected to start, but Michael Parkhurst has experience in qualifying matches.

Defensive midfield could be a battle between Danny Williams and Maurice Edu. With Edu getting regular minutes at Bursaspor, and Williams struggling for playing time at Hoffenheim, the position is up in the air.

So who will Klinsmann turn to? Here is our projected starting lineup for Wednesday’s qualifier:



What do you think of the lineup? Who would you include in the lineup that didn’t make our projection? Do you see this lineup getting a result in Honduras?

Share your thoughts below.

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283 Responses to Who should the USMNT start vs. Honduras?

  1. Al DiFranco says:

    I think it is a solid lineup…I would prefer Danny Williams over Edu at the 6, and probably Gonzalez over Bocanegra next to Cameron in the back…but wouldn’t be surprised if Klinsmann went with the more veteran group like you are suggesting.

    • Bartian says:

      +1 … couldn’t agree more – Danny has shown promise in that spot each time we’ve tried it (just please NOT on the wing!!) and we need to make a move to the future with OG as Boca has really seemed to struggle of late. I also wouldn’t mind putting Zusi in for Jones – I think that would make for a very creative midfield.

      • Adam. says:

        Only problem is that Williams hasn’t been playing much at all for Hoffenheim lately, while Edu has gotten minutes in Turkey.

        • beto says:

          +1, as of the past 2 weeks danny has been relegated to the hoffenheim bench and mo has found a starting spot at bursaspor. I can’t say that I have seen their games but the boxscores infer that one is on good form and the other is not.

          Also something i have noticed is that Danny Williams is excellent at home (vs. Hon in Miami, vs. Guat in KC and vs. Jam in CLB) but terrible on the road (@Italy, @Russia, @A&B, @Jam).. Mo has recently had some good games @Mexico and @Russia and in the past… maybe its just a coincidence but if i was a betting man, which i am, I would start Edu over Williams on the road as long as he is getting better minutes with the club.

          • David JS says:

            I agree with most everything you said, but I must point out that in almost all the road games where Williams has struggled he wasn’t playing as the #6 (Russia being the only exception). He clearly sucks as a wide-mid, but for the past 12 months IMO he’s looked better than anyone not named Michael Bradley as the d-mid. Hard to tell which one is the better choice in Honduras considering their current club situations, so I’ll have to trust Klinsi on that one. If it were me, given the limited information we have as fans, I’d prefer Williams but my guess is it will be Edu.

        • Tyler says:

          Edu has only played in one game since moving to Turkey. There’s no real difference in playing time or match fitness between the two.

    • Old School says:

      Solid line-up.

      However, no Maurice Edu please. He’s careless with the ball and I haven’t been impressed with any recent performances in quite some time.

      Put Bradley or Jones at the #6 and let’s add some offensive bite in the Edu replacement. There’s being cautious for a tough Concacaf road match and there’s being impotent.

      I don’t want to see the 3 defensive midfielders ever again. It literally never works. Least of which Edu involved.

      • PD says:

        Edu was responsible for two goals against Russia. He has a great work rate and doesn’t get carded. Not sure what more you could want other than him starting for Stoke.

        • kb says:

          Turning the ball over isn’t a great work rate. I agree that an offensive-minded MF would be more beneficial here (hence the Torres inclusion, gulp). Otherwise, we’re playing for 1 point.

          • Hogatroge says:

            Not sure you’re being objective.

            Mo’s last few appearances for the US dating back to the Azteca friendly have all been positive. As mentioned above, he initiated the sequence that led to both US goals against Russia, right after Danny Williams had a stinker.

            Danny hasn’t been dressing for Hoffenheim while Edu has logged 4 games (3 of them 90′ performances) since the winter break.

            You need to start judging people on current form and not outdated reputation. People seem to forget that, before his slump, Mo played well for the Nats, and he’s been playing well since.

            • Nater says:

              Just have to push back on the Williams stinker in Russia. The turnover on the re-start happened because Jozy ran DIRECTLY behind him and clipped his kicking foot. watch the replays. It shook Williams a little for the rest of the game, no doubt.

        • Old School says:

          If work rate/no cards were the objective, there’s a bunch of “try hard” guys in our pool to field a starting XI.

          However, outside of the Russia performance you’ve referenced (that I missed), I don’t recall a single solid performance on the part of Edu.

          I couldn’t care less of his Stoke situation, I’m referring to the Nats.

          Also, sidenote: I don’t feel like Bradley/Edu play well together. They don’t appear to have a good chemistry/feel for yo-yo’ing, as they both hover too often on the backline at the same time.

          I don’t dislike him as a player but there are better options.

        • USA 4eva says:

          +1 and couldn’t agree more if that “card” reference is to Jones. He’s a liability

      • TGA says:

        how about Landy Cakes

      • beto says:

        a midfield of:
        would be enjoyable to watch but im not sure at Honduras is the best time and place to try it out.

    • Dimidri says:

      I just don’t get starting Jones there….I like him but if he can’t beat out 2 players who play way less than him on worse teams (Edu and Williams) for the #6 role than he should be on the bench, he plays best for the US when keeping it simple.

      I’d much rather see Zusi/Kljestan/Torres start next to Bradley.

      • slimkid32 says:

        Jermaine is no #6. He is strong and IMO underrated offensively. Our #6 covers a ton of ground, breaks up passes, and provides cover for the back four, none of which is his strength. He gets lumped in as a 6 because he is such a tough tackler, but that doesn’t define his game.
        He is a normal starter for a good team in a top league. At some point Zusi or Torres or somebody will be his successor, but for now I do not see him losing his spot.

      • Hogatroge says:

        While Jones isn’t necessarily an attacking player, he is too good to bench and offers more from that role than do Edu or Williams.

        That said, there’s gotta be a formation that prevents this problem from occurring.

      • David JS says:

        Klinsmann has made it clear he doesn’t see Jones (or Bradley) as #6’s. So starting Williams/Edu in that role in no way reflects on Jones. Bradley and Jones have proven they work well together playing the box-to-box role, with both getting forward well while not overexposing the #6 and backline. I’d be shocked if we don’t see Bradley and Jones starting together with a d-mid (probably Edu) sitting behind. Klinsmann does not view such a lineup as “3 defensive midfielders”, regardless of what many SBI posters seem to think of it, but I think he does recognize it as the most responsible lineup for an important away WC qualifier.

    • Eli says:

      Gonzales isn’t ready to take over for Bocanegra, plus no one yet has stepped up to take over Boca’s leadership

    • Darwin says:

      Edu >> Williams, period…end of sentence.

      Both are inconsistent and Williams has a higher ceiling, but Edu is getting it done in one of the most hostile leagues in the world. He also brings more experience and versatility.

      Lest we forget that his ball over the top provided Agudelo with an assist against Russia and that he was robbed of a legit game-winning goal against Slovenia in the 2010 FIFA World cup by the blind referee Koman Coulibaly.

      Come on people.

      • slimkid32 says:

        +1 Couldn’t agree more

      • Z says:

        I agree with Darwin. There have been games when the USMNT just can’t seem to attack the goal and Edu has stepped up and provided nice feeds to give the team chances to score.

        When I was watching the Canada-US game on 29 Jan 2013, nobody on the USMNT seemed to want to attack the goal even though the Canadian GK wasn’t very good. I kept thinking, if Edu were playing he’d at least attack. I know JK wanted to see passing and a controlled offense against the Canadians, but I kept thinking–“Just put the ball on goal and take your chances with the GK and possibly getting a rebound.”

    • Tony in Quakeland says:

      My issue with Williams is that he has looked best in games where there was little or no attacking pressure. So I’m really not sure what we can expect from him

      Frankly, (and I can’t beleive I’m saying this) Beckerman was the strongest player in the first half against Canada and deserved to be rewarded with a call up.

      • Z says:

        I agree with Tony. I am not a big Beckerman fan, but I think he was the best player in the first half against Canada. After a couple games last year, I swore Beckerman should never play another USMNT game. Now I think that against some slower teams, he may be an acceptable option as a substitute.

        I don’t think Beckerman would be a good choice against Mexico or Jamaica who have too much speed to expose Beckerman’s relative lack of quickness. If Honduras doesn’t have a lot of speed, Beckerman might have been an option as a substitute.

        • Ray Hudson says:

          Being the best player from the USMNT’s 5th choice squad against Canada is like being the thinnest kid at fat camp.

    • CplDaniel says:

      Except for that short free-kick giving away a goal! I agree with Beto that Williams shows up better at home than away. I think that Edu’s experience and current playing time with the club puts him over Williams for the starting spot. Mo might also get another look at CB though and Williams starts at DM.

    • Dennis says:

      I suspect Honduras will not want an open game. They surely have seen how tough a time the USA has against bunkered defenses. (Jamaica, Canada, pretty much any CONCACAF minnow) When the US has played a team that carried the attack, like Italy, Russia, MExico, Argentina the US did pretty well.
      I like that the suspected wingbacks can get forward (so long as Klinsmann doesn’t clip theri wings) and Gonzo and Boca will be weapons on corners. This projected midfield lineup is not the one I would choose to unlock a packed defense, I would rather see Torres or Zusi instead of Edu as one of the 3 mids. Bradley can play pretty good balls into the forwards as can Torres

    • Bobeto says:

      I think this is a safe lineup for the first match. I am not an Edu fan but he has been involved in many Celtics vs Rangers matches that this atmosphere should not shake him. I would rather see him as def. mid then the scary defender experience JK tried earlier. I believe the US goes as Dempsey goes…So lets hope Duece has a great game. Go USA!

  2. Jeff V says:

    I really think its about time to replace Boca, but I agree that it may be an easier call at home.

    • Old School says:

      I think Besler is that option in the near future, not Gonzalez.

      • Eric says:


        Besler brings a lot of the leadership, smarts, and intangibles that Boca does, and as a left-footed CB, he should slot in perfectly well in Boca’s LCB spot on the US back four. Gonzalez I see as inheriting Clarence Goodson’s role of roving #3 CB in the pecking order behind Besler and Cameron while challenging for a starting spot.

        • Josh says:

          Maybe it’s just me, but I’m really excited about the fact we have at least three seemingly capable CBs. I like your idea of Gonzalez being able to step in for either Cameron or Besler in any situation. I don’t know we’ve ever had the option of capable CBs so hopefully Besler and Gonzalez continue to grow.

      • Dick Tracy says:

        Totally agree.

        He plays LCB at SKC too. He is left-footed. He is a natural leader.

        I see Besler breaking in before Gonzo, But maybe they’ll utilize Cameron at the 6 to open up a place for Gonzalez.

        • Travis in Miami says:


      • soccerhorn says:

        Besler is 5’10”. Gonzalez is 6’5″. Biesler is flavor of the month. Gonzalez is a weapon and has the silverware to prove it.

        • Old School says:

          Bocanegra is, what, 5’10/5’11?

          Until either Besler or Gonzalez prove themselves at the international level, the “flavor of the month” title can be applicable to both.

          I’m not sure what Gonzalez winning “silverware” with the Galaxy has anything to do with his performance at this level. That statement kind of puzzles me.

          Both players appear to have potential at claiming a solid spot on the backline for years to come. That’s a good problem.

          Right now? Besler appears much more comfortable on the ball. Gonzalez appears to much more superior in the air. Which trait does Klinsmann favor right now? I think his call up reflects this.

    • Juan says:

      I agree about Boca, his lack of speed hurts us and now is the time. We have a lot of better options on this roster

      I also agree about Edu. I don’t get JKs luv fest with him. Im shocked, and pleased that he didnt take Beckerman but I dont get the Benny snub? He’s far more talented than Sacha or Torres

      • Hogatroge says:

        See my above comment re: Edu.

        He’s played well recently for the USMNT (despite not getting PT last year at the club level), and has started to go 90′ every week for Bursaspor.

        In contrast, Williams showing vs. Russia was very poor and he hasn’t been playing for Hoffenheim.

        • JC says:

          If you’re using the Russia game to justify Edu’s spot, I’ll counter-argue with the game Danny Williams had against Jamaica which in my opinion, was outstanding.

          • Alex says:

            Russia > Jamaica

            I’ll take a good performance against Russia over a good performance against Jamaica any day of the week.

            • Juan says:

              We dont have to beat Russia to qualify, we do need to beat Jamaica

              • Alex says:

                If you can do well against Russia, you can do well against Jamaica. No, they’re not the same type of team, and I’m not saying Williams isn’t good enough to start or play, I’m just saying that if you don’t want someone to justify Edu’s spot using the Russia game, then don’t justify Williams’ spot using the Jamaica game. Keeping the logic consistent, that’s all.

          • r.benjamin says:

            This game is in Honduras. It’s going to be a scrappy ugly affair. For this reason I rate Edu more for Weds but not for later games. Mo is athletic and strong. I doubt we will be maintaining any possession or passing around them. We get points if we can outlast, out jump.. Be quicker to the loose ball.

        • FCD says:

          I’m not sure which games you were watching, but I’ve seen all of the the USMNT matches over the last year and can’t say I’ve seen Edu play “well” in any of them including the match in Mexico – perhaps “less poor” is a better description. He finishes well, but has no composure on the ball and is a turnover machine – not a good quality for a DM.

          • slimkid32 says:

            I do agree that composure on the ball can be an issue at times with Mo, but in the #6 role his main job will be to break up attacks and provide cover for the back four. Both of these things I believe Mo does very well. His physical abilities allow him to cover a lot of ground in a hurry and which is complimented by his positional sense. I would also be curious to see his passing %. I suspect he is not the “turnover machine” people claim he is.

      • Z says:

        Sacha Kljestan = Benny Feilhaber >> Torres

  3. Eric says:

    Can we please never again see a lineup that has Bradley, Jones and Williams together? Bradley should be automatic, and Jones/Williams should be decided based on form. Three defensive mids is terrible.

    • HoboMike says:

      Bradley. Is. Not. A. D. Mid.

    • Al says:

      Thats fine how you say it, he’s a defensive minded Mid that can go box to box. anybody who says he’s an attacking mid does not know what they are talking about.

    • Since 82 says:

      I cannot agree more. If we see a lineup with any variant of that type of midfield … I will scream. Then people will go, why doesn’t Jozy score …

      • beto says:

        if the #6 plays well it allows MB and Jones or whoever is in the #7-8 roles to feed the front three instead of becoming 3 CDM’s clogging the middle.. I wouldn’t say MB was a DM vs. Guatemala.. but if he hast to be then he will.. i agree when he isn’t comfortable going forward into the attack the forwards don’t get any service and struggle to do anything..

      • Amru says:

        +1 and lol

    • GW says:


      Bradley and Jones are on the list of the 13 best outfield players eligible for the USMNT .
      I don’t know if Williams is on that list but if he plays in a big game it is pretty likely Bradley and Jones will be somewhere on the field with him.

  4. Matt says:

    How does the yellow card situation work? I assumed they would be wiped clean after the last round, but I guess not.

    • Eric says:

      No, the yellow cards carry over into the Hex from the semis round, so players like Bradley and Dempsey who are sitting on yellows need to be careful, otherwise they’ll be suspended for the March 22 fixture against Costa Rica, which would be a terrible blow for building momentum in what is already a steep first half of the Hex. It’s a big reason why I was so upset at Dempsey in the last semis game against Guatemala…his yellow card was unbelievably stupid and unnecessary, and it almost guarantees he’ll have to sit out one of the Hex games at some point.

      • Josh says:

        Agreed that Dempsey and Bradley need to play smart on the yellow situation, but at the same time if any of the one-yellow players get a yellow early on, I’d much rather it be in the first game. We need the full roster against Mexico,

  5. Stephen M says:

    Really don’t like having Jones and Edu as the other two midfielders. The USMNT severely lacks creativity coming from the midfield and I don’t see any young players in the national pool who can fill that need. It is a concern going forward.

    • Eric says:

      Zusi and Mix should be able to grow into that role over the next few years, even though neither are true #10’s. The US has done reasonably well without having true #10’s for quite a while (not counting Donovan because he’s a winger/forward more than a central trequartista), and this cycle should be no exception.

      • Alex says:

        Plenty of countries do well without a “true no. 10.” I always hate seeing this discussion; if you read guys like Michael Cox, an authority on the evolving tactics of the modern game, you’d find pretty quickly that the “true no. 10″ hardly exists any more. You’ve got guys like Xavi and Iniesta who can play the ball better than anyone in the game but who are pretty clearly not “sit underneath a striker” guys. Messi is on another level, but I still wouldn’t call him a true no. 10; he’s not a simple creator, he’s a scoring machine. Mesut Ozil may have a case to being the closest thing in today’s game, but Cox likes to call him an “inverted winger;” he’s a guy who does play behind the striker, but benefits from cutting inside from wider positions to combine with a striker playing higher up.

        This is all pedantic. I know what you’re saying, and I agree with it. The US lacks creativity, whether it be a “true no. 10,” a deeper passer, an “inverted winger,” or whatever you want to call it. I just don’t like seeing that term thrown around like it’s the Holy Grail of soccer players.

        • slimkid32 says:

          Fantastic comment

          • Bonghits says:

            I’m not even clamoring for a “true #10″; I just want to know where the service is going to come from. Who’s going to make the plays? Essentially, Ives has projected 3 strikers up top, and 8 defenders behind the ball. I realize this is a road game, but I thought Klinsmann was above the defend-and-break-on-the counter approach.

            Dempsey is no playmaker. He doesn’t provide helpers–he takes on defenders one-on-one. Bradley has developed and improved his passing over the years, but he’s doesn’t even come close to playmaking.

            I hope they prove me wrong, but I doubt they will.

            Who’s going to feed Altidore and Gomez?

            • slimkid32 says:

              I feel Bradley and Jones from midfield, and Johnson and Chandler from the fullback position are more than capable of “feeding” the forwards. It is so easy to constantly blame the service for our inefficient offense, as people tend to focus on whoever is on the ball. However, it is the poor movement off the ball that is at least part of the problem, if not the majority. I do not remember ever saying to myself, “Man, Jozy is making fantastic runs and keeps getting into dangerous positions… If we could only get the ball to him.” You may not agree fully with that but it is definitely worth a second glance.

              • Bonghits says:

                You’re right about a few things: I don’t completely agree with what you say, and, Jozy isn’t the ideal paradigm of off the ball runs and continual motion.

                That said, what world-class striker doesn’t depend on midfield linking and decent service?

                “Jones”!! Seriously? The man has all the ball skills and touch of a neandrathal. If we’re relying on him to feed Altidore, Dempsey, Gomez et al., we are in deep deep yogurt.

  6. Kevin says:

    I really would prefer Beckerman over Edu, but that ship has sailed… other than that, I think the USMNT should be able to get a point at least with the above. Here’s hoping

  7. CroCajun1003 says:

    I like this formation due to the fact that we brought in ZERO speed options on the wings, however I’d like to see Jones put in the DMid spot w/ Zusi in as CM next to Bradley.

    This formation would rely on the F. Johnson and T. Chandler providing width in the attack, which plays into their strengths.

    The above formation is a great option, however I’m fully expecting Kilnsman to throw us some curveballs.

  8. Scott says:

    I favor….


    E. Johnson Dempsey

    Bradley Jones


    Johnson Bocanegra Cameron Chandler


    Boca’s time is coming soon, but on the road in Honduras in the first game of the Hex is probably not the time for 2 young CBs.

  9. Freddie Footballer says:

    With Cherundolo out, Chandler gets cap-tied. This is huge. I wonder which of Evans or Parkhurst gets the backup right back spot to Chandler? I’m guessing Parkhurst.

    • Josh says:

      I don’t think it will matter, neither will play. I can’t imagine any situation (barring injury) where JK would sub out Chandler.

  10. mcvdb says:

    I think you’ve got to play defensively looking to steal 3 pts on the counterattack or with a 2nd half offensive substitution. I’m OK with 3 Def Mids to start the game on the road, and look for increased offensive output as the game progresses/allows. Point on the road and 3 pts at home!

    • Gary Page says:

      A very sensible outlook. You know Honduras will be amped up at the start of the game and will try to score quickly, so you need to blunt their attack early and then put on offensive pressure in the second half.

  11. HoboMike says:

    That is the lineup that I could see Klinsmann going with (or Williams instead of Edu). Don’t really mind it – the important thing is to come away from this game with at least a point and I think this group gives us the best ability to do this.

    Will it be sexy? Most definitely not. But it will be practical.

    That being said, I would love to see Torres and Jones sitting back while Bradley pushes forward.

  12. Abe says:

    What about Zusi instead of Jones, and Jones instead of Edu?

  13. ChrisTheLSUTiger says:


    Bradley plays box to box.

    • Colin says:

      +1, I was thinking that as well, just took me a while to type.

    • mcvdb says:

      I could go with this too!

    • Jesse D says:

      I’d choose the exact same 11 but I think that Formation puts too much pressure on Altidore to hold up the play. I think Altidore is best when paired with a speedy forward (ala Charlie Davies a few years back). Herculez bores me to death. I like your inclusion of Eddie Johnson but I’d put him up top Altidore. Herc should be used as the super-sub, nobody else comes off the bench expecting to score like he does.

    • Josh says:

      I like it, but I’m not sure having Johnson in the midfield is a good idea. Until I see him have a positive work rate for an entire game and not just goal scoring opportunities, I’m not sold on him attempting midfield.

      • ChrisTheLSUTiger says:

        Since it’s a 4-2-3-1, Johnson is a winger more so than a midfielder.

        As for the argument about Altidore, he plays up top for his club team. While I too wish we had CD9 back, we have to work with what we’re given and if we could just improve service to Jozy I think we would see him score like he is in the Dutch league.

        • pburns1587 says:

          “If we could just improve service to Jozy”

          The problem with that is this lineup of players is not built for that. It is built for a strong target man to hold up play to get numbers forward into the box. Not for a poacher-type striker (think Van Nistelrooy / Herc) who plays nearly offsides the whole game, looking for service to score.

    • kirk says:

      I would rather see this.

  14. dailyminefield says:

    Like it with the exception of Jermaine Jones, would rather see a more creative player in the middle of the field.

  15. Eurosnob says:

    SBI, this projection makes a lot of sense for a tough road qualifier in terms of players/formation that Klinsi is likely to pick. The line up has many physical, defensive-minded players and plenty of experience.

  16. Colin says:

    I dont like what I see from the USMNT when they field three cdm’s. I understand that we lack the attacking wide player but we can off something more dynamic than what the thre cdm formation has proven. I would propse a 4-2-3-1, leaving Bradley and Jones/williams as the two cdm, and an attacking three of EJ, Clint, and Zusi, and Jozy up top. I think EJ and Jozy would support eachother well, while Zusi and clint would be more of a link between midfield

  17. Lake says:

    Gotta start to phase Boca out somehow but I don’t think a road qualifier in Honduras is the time to do it. Gotta have some experience on that back line with all those (internationally) green folks projected to start. Would love to see Tim Howard’s face if JK were to tell him that his back line was going to have < 20 caps combined.

    Would love to see Jose in the mix but I don't think he makes the cut. JK loves the physicality from Jones and honestly I think you need a guy like that to get under the skin of the opposition.

    I'm not buying into Altidore until I see some international production. He is lazy when he plays for the US. Hoping that changes because the guy has real talent, that much is obvious.

    • CroCajun1003 says:

      We’ve got our first official Altidore hater of the thread. Take a bow, friend.

      • Jesse D says:

        lol, I just don’t see that he is “lazy”. He isn’t supposed to be Michael Bradley, that’s not his job. Altidore doesn’t have elite acceleration and his long stride makes him look slower than he is. Jozy is a big strong striker, with surprisingly quick attacking moves. I think the lazy critic’ of Altidore is based on his defense but that isn’t his role.

    • Gary Page says:

      As I keep pointing out, gee, he has something like 20 goals so far in all competitions. Does that mean he would be in Suarez’s class if he wasn’t lazy?

    • TheFrenchOne says:

      what took you so long?

    • Lake says:

      Just sayin’ fellas, maybe he doesn’t fit into out scheme. Something isn’t working. I’m sorry. I’d rather see Boyd up there for the future. If he can start producing for the USMNT I’ll shut up and back track in a heartbeat.

      • CroCajun1003 says:

        You got a guy netting 20 goals in a top flight euro league you gotta play him. If he’s not scoring goals for you, you’ve got to reevaluate your system. The guy has obviously displayed he has the ability.

        To say he magically becomes “lazy” when he puts on the USMNT jersey is ridiculous.

      • Alex says:

        It’s just your use of “lazy” I think. I don’t believe laziness is Jozy’s problem at all. Frankly, I think it’s the lack of midfield production, which we’re just going to keep seeing again and again if we keep playing 3 of Bradley, Jones, Williams, Edu and Beckerman. Don’t get me wrong; I love what some of these guys, especially Bradley and Jones, bring to the table, but offensive production out of that group isn’t as high quality as what Jozy gets at AZ. The guy’s not Messi or Ronaldo, he can’t do it all himself.

    • shuttlehead says:

      Dead wrong. Been watching AZ matches online. what has impressed me the most is Jozy’s touch, vision, and decision making in and around the box. Everyone knows about his finishing, but AZ has some talented offensive players (adam maher in particular) and Jozy’s interchanges are resulting in some absolutely beautiful goals in which he was the second or third assist.

      What isn’t clear to me is if Jozy and Herc’s games can coexist.

  18. Al says:


    Chandler____Cameron____Gonzalez____F. Johnson
    _________J.Jones______M. Bradley______

    • Colin says:

      Ya, I like this, as it avoids having the three cdm’s

    • Michael Stypulkoski says:

      I’d be interested in seeing something like this, but not on the road in Central America. Maybe in Columbus, especially if we’ve already secured qualification with a game or two to spare. But we have to look at this game pragmatically, and the first order of business is to at least earn a point.

      • Al says:

        I see your point mike, i know that they say that a draw is honestly what they look for on the road in concacaf qualifying so yes hopefully they try it at least once or mod it on wed some how. I dont want us being to defensive, that always backfires on us don’t you agree?

      • Alex says:

        This isn’t THAT radical of a formation. I agree that we probably wouldn’t see it in Honduras but it’s not like we’re busting out a 3-4-3 or something really out of the ordinary.

    • Tommy says:

      Al, I agree completely. I actually posted this lineup on a previous link, and the more I think about it, the more I like it. I really think this group has the potential to be both stout defensively and creative offensively. Zusi can tuck inside and support the middle if need be and both Chandler and FJ can provide an attacking presence along the wings. If we get a lead, bring Edu in for EJ and switch to the triangle that Ives posted above.

    • Z says:

      One thing I will say. I’d rather have Edu coming on as a substitute in the second half than Zusi coming on as a sub. Not that I think Zusi should necessarily start over Edu. But I think Edu gives the team more options as a sub than Zusi.

  19. az says:

    how bout jones at the 6 and sacha or zusi up with bradley?

  20. El says:

    That lineup provides absolutely no width, with 3 holding mids.

    • Al says:

      Ives cannot be serious with that lineup, there is no way.

    • THomas says:

      The width comes from our fullbacks. That’s the point of playing Johnson and Chandler, they’re good going forward. And when they do, that’s the point of having 3 ‘holding mids’ who can then drop back to help defend.

      • Colin says:

        that s the answer on paper but it never pans out on the field

      • slimkid32 says:

        Yep! That is how a 4-3-3 works. And it is the formation that allows for our best players to be on the field at the same time.

        • Al says:

          We have never had our best XI on the pitch at the same time. When we do maybe we will win some real matches that count on the world stage.

          • slimkid32 says:

            Obviously I will agree to disagree. There is no one who got left off this roster that is a hands down approvement over one of the projected starters. There are players who are people’s preferences but no OBVIOUS omission. All that being said, it does show how far the US has come when we are able to discuss who and who should not be starting.

            • slimkid32 says:

              Ha! Oops! Improvement not approvement

            • Robbie says:

              Only 1 who comes to mind for me is landycakes. He brings qualities no other player in our pool can. If landon decides he wants to be part of the team, he starts and we’re better.

          • Riggity says:

            That’s because we only play 1 GK at a time. Our best 11 would have 3 on the pitch

    • Z says:

      I think the whole roster fails to provide width. I would prefer to see a Landon Donovan/Brek Shea/Josh Gatt as an option for the wings on the roster. I know Donovan is unavailable. I would have dropped one defender and taken another winger.

  21. AC says:

    Have this feeling the usual attempt at 4-3-3, and then a switch to 4-4-2….Don’t feel comfortable with Jones so far up field as his offensive attributes are below par….If he does start up field, I can see a lack of service to the forwards….

  22. AC says:

    Howard-Chandler-Cameron-Gonzalez (but probably will be Bocanegra since hostile away environment)-Johnson-Jones-Bradley-Sacha-Gomez-Altidore-Dempsey……….Crazy part is I’m now used to seeing this team without Donovan…..Never thought I’d say that

  23. Vic says:

    Don’t think that will be the lineup.

    The defeince is set with Johnson Boca Cameron and Chandler. Jones and Bradley definately start in midfield. Dempsey will definately start. I think Williams or Zusi beat out Edu. And Gomez beats out Altidore. Although Altidore and Edu may start, Klinnsmann doesn’t rate them as high as this webiste does.

    • Z says:

      There is no way Gomez is beating out Altidore. As a coach, you can create mismatches with advantages in speed, height, quickness, or strength. Hercules Gomez doesn’t have an advantage in any of these areas versus prospective defenders. Most likely Altidore will have an advantage with his height and strength against Honduras.

      Hercules Gomez is the Everready Bunny. He works hard and doesn’t stop trying, but he’s not going to create a problem with match ups.

  24. Steve says:

    I think that’s probably a pretty good prediction.

    If this is the lineup, the key for the match is going to have to be the play of our fullbacks, Johnson/Chandler. If they are bombing up and down the pitch and getting crosses into the box, we are going to have a good game. If the reins are kept tightly on them and they do not get into the attack, we could be in for a nail biter.

    Without true wingers, or a playmaker in the 8, we have to have offensive input from Johnson/Chandler to be successful.

    • Z says:

      Steve nailed it. The lack of true wingers is going to force the L/R backs to contribute to the playmaking. That is precisely why Soccerhorn’s prediction in this post that Bocanegra might play L/R back is just not possible. Bocanegra can’t contribute to the crossing like Cherundolo can, although Bocanegra can be an option on set plays near the goal.

  25. Pingback: The Morning Kick: EPL weekend roundup

  26. Mike says:

    Unfortunately for us our three best central mids that aren’t DM are Bradley, Jones, and Sacha. All 3 of them are more box-box then creative. We really should only ever play one of those 3 and then a creative central mid like Mixx, Corona, Benny, Adu, etc.

    • slimkid32 says:

      I agree but we should play our best players, and I don’t necessarily feel a creative MF is needed for the 4-3-3 to work. Right now Liverpool is playing great attacking football with out a real creative force in the midfield. I’m in no way comparing L’pool to the USMNT, just pointed a system similar to ours that is working.

  27. THomas says:

    I like this. We’ve done well in a 4-4-2. And with our fullbacks good at getting forward, they can provide the width a diamond midfield would have trouble creating. It could also turn into a 4-3-3 with Dempsey playing the false 9.

  28. Freddy says:

    I would start our Mexican based players as I feel they would be unfazed by the atmosphere San Pedro Sula. Johnson is our top LB no doubt, but he doesn’t play regularly in this sort of environment like Castillo does.





    • Freddy says:

      This would have been a good game for Beasley to be called in for. He’s playing regularly even though he’s not scoring much for Puebla these days nor is he as quick as he used to be but he’s still an experienced player that would be great off the bench.

    • Eli says:

      I like your point on Castillo being used to this environment over Johnson. Would like to see more of him anyway.

    • Adam says:

      This doesnt make much sense to me. You do realize that Johnson plays his club football in Germany, he is used to playing games against in away stadiums with hostile crowds. Why would he be intimidated by Honduras exactly?

    • Alex says:

      What, Euro-based guys have never been in a hostile atmosphere?

      • Freddy says:

        I’m not saying he hasn’t, but the hostile atmospheres are way different when you compare Europe to Central America. Johnson has played in front of 80,000 rabid BVB fans in Germany but the atmosphere in San Pedro Sula is a different world that he’s more likely not accustomed to like Castillo would be at this point.

        • Freddy says:

          Basically my point is Castillo would be in familiar surroundings unlike Johnson (who imo is the better LB).

    • Byrdman says:

      While San Pedro sula is tough its Azteca. We drubbed this last time 3-1 at their place. Don’t oversell the environment. Tough for sure but Fabian is the man. I like Castillo but play the best players.

    • Z says:

      The last I checked, the projected weather at game time was going to be 82F, clouds and sun with a chance of a shower. A few days later in San Pedro Sula, temperatures are going to be in the low 90s Fahrenheit. The game will feel warm to the European-based players on the USMNT, but at least it won’t be 90F. Those that play in Mexico shouldn’t have a problem with the temperature.

  29. Travis says:

    Not in love with this lineup, think it will play much to narrow and Honduras will be able to just muck up the middle. I know the flanks aren’t our strength but you can’t just abandon them entirely. I know it is about getting our best 11 out there but this would be so incredibly narrow

  30. Gary Page says:

    I have the feeling that all the people complaining about the 3 defensive mids don’t understand the strategy of international soccer. You are on the road in a very hostile situation against a good team. Although Klinsmann keeps talking about getting the 3 points, you know he will be happy to get a draw. If the US gets the 3 points it will probably because of a successful counter attack combined with good defense. The way you advance in international tournaments is to draw on the road and win at home.

    • DC Josh says:

      Each time he has trotted those three out on the field they looked atrocious. They all play the same position, so they are always on top of each other. There isn’t even enough physical space for those three on the field. 2 DM’s max is all you need.

      I understand how bad our back line is defensively, but still…

  31. ford says:

    Not the biggest fan of Jones starting with the other two mids…I’d rather see Torres or Davis on the left..

  32. bizzy says:

    I guess in Klinsmann we trust and we’ll just have to see where this goes But right now we are suited up like we are going up against Scotland, Russia or Denmark…..Not a Central/south American team……
    Torres….instead of Feilhaber or Diskerud? Or Corona? Who plays in the same league on a better team. When lwas the last time Torres even trained with the team?.
    4-3-3 instead of 4-4-2….against a team like Honduras? Playing with the notion that our strikers are going to track back to help on defense….making them basically ineffective up front. How are we going to control the game with 3 defensive minded midfielders against a quick south/central American style of play with speed, counter and dribbling?
    3. Where is the creativity? Where is the individual skill? Where are the players than can keep their MF and CBs honest on the flanks, hence opening up the field/game. Edu, Jones and Bradley….they are all some of our best players but all 3 at the same time….again? When we play teams south of the border we should be playing with the likes of Corona, Feilhaber, Orozco, Torres, Freddy Adu, Castillo, Beasley, Agudelo, Diskerud etc…..guys who play with or are use to handling other players with similar skill sets in La Mix, or have been effective against Mexico.
    4. Boca in Defense? He’s is too slow in an all out sprint and lacks the quickness, we’ve seen him get beat time and time again, once his good sense of positioning fails that lane is wide open……He’s a good player, very dangerous at set pieces with his aerial ability but he lacks speed and ability to quickly track back when beat and is going to be one of the weak spots in the US defense

    But again like I said in Klinsman we trust…..

  33. ArsenalFire says:

    I think Ives lineup is what we will see. EJ is brought in for Gomez if we need more left side attack. This lineup is more flexible than you might think and can be easily adjusted whether we are up, (SK in) down (EJ, then Zusi in) or even. (lots of younger fresh legs) I fully expect a defender to score, if we score at all.

  34. Steve says:

    Are we going to be able to watch this thing?

    • Lake says:

      Believe it’s on beIN Sport, I’m trying to check with BWW and other places to see if they’ll be showing it. Otherwise I might have to resort to “other” measures.

    • Al says:

      Just watch it online they have every game on. from every league

  35. David M says:

    I know this is not going to happen, but frankly Guzan has had a better season than Howard.

    • Eli says:

      Can we really even count how many games we have either been in or won simply because of Howard? Guzan will get his time, but after Brazil.

      • David M says:

        Oh, I don’t disagree with that, but Guzan has looked better in the EPL this season.

        • Jesse D says:

          Which EPL have you been watching Guzan’s team is getting relegated in half because of how many balls are in the back of the net. Guzan has been benched from time to time as well. At the same time Howard continues to by solid between the posts on a very good Everton team.

          • David M says:

            Huh? What have you been watching? When was Guzan benched? He’s played in every league game since taken over for Given early in the season.

          • beachbum says:

            Jesse, it appears you are the one who hasn’t been watching the games

        • Dennis says:

          I don’t know if I would say Guzan is better, but he definitely has had to stop a lot more shots than Howard.

    • Lake says:

      This is a ludicrous comment. Howard is one of the best keepers in the world and has saved our back line numerous times. Also, his Everton are currently in the top 5 in the EPL and Aston Villa might get relegated. Yowza.

      • beachbum says:

        Big Tim Howard fan here, but the comment is not ludicrous. not sayong Guzan should start either

      • A says:

        Howard is no longer one of the top keepers in the world. Not even close and I love Timmy.

        And you know there are 10 other players on the field that decide a team’s point total?

      • Z says:

        The last I saw a list, Howard was ranked around 19th best GK in the world. Guzan wasn’t on the list. Furthermore, Tim Howard has the bulldog mentality you want for for a WCQ.

  36. Pat says:


  37. Eli says:

    I have Sasha over Edu since his form at the club level has been so good and Maurice is still getting his feet wet in Turkey. And Jones is so overrated all he is good for is yellow cards and I like what Torres is doing down south.

    • DC Josh says:

      I’m a fan of Jones. He has aggression that no one else has on the team (except Timmy when someone effs up in the box). True, he might as well start each game with a booking, but his presence and experience makes a huge difference.

  38. Brian says:

    Klinsi should have give Gonzo a few call ups prior to this so he had a little more experience under his belt.

    • Brett says:

      Yea – that would’ve been great while he was working his way back from a torn ACL. The only match he would’ve been fit for was Russia and at that time he & the Galaxy were fighting through the MLS playoffs…

      • Brian says:

        Remember, Gonzo tore his ACL in Jan 2012 but Klinsi has coached the US starting since Summer 2011. He could’ve given him a run out in any of the 5 games in Aug/Sept/Oct of that year instead of experimenting with Michael Orozco Fiscal.

  39. kar says:

    Reading the article, I think the lineup is a projection of what JK will use. I’m curious what lineup SBI / Ives would like to see employed . . .

    While I doubt it will happen, I like the idea of Edu on the bench, Jones playing deeper and adding some creativity a la Sacha, Zusi or Torres into the middle with Bradley.

  40. Eric says:

    My best guess…


    F. Johnson—-Boca–Cameron—-Chandler

  41. ChiTim says:

    I’d like to see Torres over Jones, Gonzo over Boca and EJ over Gomez eventually. Jones feels like he is always a liability in these away games. I know he hasn’t received a lot of ejections but it isn’t for lack of trying.

  42. biff says:





  43. Turd Bradley says:

    The lineup he should use if he wasnt a super cocky german. For the first time ever in my NATS lifetime I am not 100% confident we will get through the hex. I have no idea why and maybe its because we have no more beloved Landy or what but I don’t trust JK for a second. I don’t know how to describe but I feel really scared and weird.

    If I was the coach: 4-4-1-1

    Keeper: Howard (although I do think Guzan is better right this second)

    LB: Boca
    LCB: Besler (If your good enough then your good enough)
    RDB: Cameron
    RB: Chandler

    LM: Fabian Johnson
    HM: Williams
    Go grab the game by the scruff of the neck mid: Bradley ( should be captain)
    Sh!t Mid: Jones

    Playing just behind Jozy: Deuce
    Striker: Jozy

    • Riggity says:

      Boca on the left? No thanks

      • David JS says:

        seriously..Boca is slower than slow at this point. Playing him at LB would be suicide. Do you not remember the game in Kingston? Turd, you’re absolutely crazy if you think that’s a good idea.

        • Z says:

          Let’s all say it in unison. Bocanegra will not play anything but center back. 1) He is too slow 2) We lack wingers, and L/R back must provide crossing passes without the normal wingers.

          See Steve’s comment 04 Feb 12:09PM

    • Applequist says:

      I’m with the Turd. I am very afraid.

  44. ed - houston says:

    i like the line up even though Edu has not done much lately to get the nod, let alone start.

  45. ex_sweeper says:

    I hope that Klinsmann has done his homework on Honduras. Without any Quakes players in the roster, would someone PLEASE tell coach that Victor (El Muma) Bernardez has a lethal cannon of a free kick from as far out as 30 yards from goal. He kicks it so hard there isn’t time to move. Love it for our team, don’t want to see this bite us in a qualifier.

  46. Ed says:

    4-3-1-2, just for fun:

  47. Cairo says:

    What I think we’ll see:


    What I would do to hold the ball up a little, play wide, and then cross in..

    ———————-Tally Hall (jk)—————–

  48. Dick Tracy says:

    My lineup (considering I don’t appreciate Edu or Beckerman):


  49. Felix says:

    Who should start and who I would like to start are two different things. I think Ives’ lineup will be fairly close to what we will see. I also think alot of the Omar love is a bit premature. I want him to grow into this role as well as everyone else, but I think starting in the Metropolitano in San Pedro Sula is a huge step for him yet. I’d be more comfortable with Bocanegra for the time being, especially since ‘Dolo won’t be on the right.


  50. bryan says:

    i’d seriously consider playing Jones as the #6 instead of Edu. then bringing in Sasha or Zusi to play where Jones is currently slated in this projection. not because i don’t like Edu, I just think we need more offensive bite.

    i’ll also be curious to see if he uses Chandler as a right mid given the cover at RB. doubtful, but possible.

  51. DCUnitedWillRiseAgain says:

    You know, if Bocanegra is really healthy and Gonazales/Besler are as good as we think, I would not be shocked to see Cameron played as a fullback (like he does at Stoke) and either Johnson or Chandler moved up to play wing. Most likely Johnson. Like this:

    Cameron Gonzales Bocanegra Chandler
    Klejstan Bradley Jones F. Johnson
    Altidore Gomez

  52. Who cares, it's all speculation says:

    I like most of it. Replace Boca with Gonzo, Edu with Willams, and Jones with Kljestan, and I’m stoked. It’s hard to say what will happen, but I’m nervous.

  53. The Imperative Voice says:

    We are insufficiently ambitious. Why stop at 3 dms when we can go with 4?

  54. slimkid32 says:

    Ok I’m about to get slammed here and I’m O.K. with that. Consistently on these comment boards people are complaining about the 3 d-mid system and how we have this plethora of D-mids on the team. I am of the belief that we actually lack #6’s. MB is no #6 and has shown lately with Roma that he can be an integral part of the attack. Even early in his career, MB was a more offensive minded midfielder with Heerenveen, scoring 16 goals in 57 appearnces. He possesses all of the offensive tools to be the #8 going forward and seems to be getting with each passing day. Jermaine Jones seems to get labeled a #6 but really doesn’t fit the mold either. He tends play as a box-to-box MF who can sometimes lay back, but never as a straight six. I believe he gets the label from his physical play and hard tackling. He is more than capable offensively and has the ability to play great balls forward. Jones is a regular starter for a good team in a top league and who is playing Champions league football. I feel he has more than earned his spot. Our #6 has to be able cover a ton of ground, break up passes, provide cover for the back four, and distribute the ball forward to the other MF’s or forwards( basically just providing outlet in order to maintain possession). For me, we only have 2 players that fit the mold, Edu and Williams. Beckerman also fits, but I do not believe he will make the cut. After those guys, I do not really see anyone coming up through the ranks, so it could become an issue moving forward. As for the lack of creative midfielder, I am not of the belief that we have a creative midfielder in the pool that merit any significant playing time. I agree that we have creative midfielders, but none are ready and some never will be. The last thing we need is to throw these in too soon. Give them time. Look to Freddy Adu for an example of that. That being said I do not feel a creative force is needed in our midfield to be successful. Creativity can be shown in other ways, like in our movement off the ball, not just with the ball at our feet. At this level the ability to move off the ball is just as, if not more, important as what a player can with the ball. Which, IMO, is why guys like Wondo are not making the cut, because they lack the natural ability to make incisive runs into the right spots, at the right time. Of course, it is much easier to blame the service, but good service cannot exist when players are not getting into dangerous positions. I feel sometimes we want to make our team into a team that we want to see as opposed to the team that, quite frankly, we have. We are what we are.

    • Judging Amy says:

      Disagree with a lot of your points but good argument and well stated.

      Agree on MB. I think Jones is a very good player and a lock starter but disagree with him being a significant offensive weapon. He plays very defensive at Schalke. Next to guys like La Focita (Farfan) you can really see that Jones is more of a defensive mid imo.

      I agree with the general statement that creativity isnt just found with th e ball at your feet but getting creative, or attack minded guys on the pitch is essential. Ill concede its a common problem most national teams (finding creative players to fuel your attack) so its easier said then done.

      • slimkid32 says:

        Noted at schalke he plays in a deeper lying role alongside Roman Neustadter, who is more of true dmid or #6,but still gets forward some and has IMO underrated passing ability and vision. Xabi Alonso plays the same deeper lying role but I’m not sure he would be considered a #6( However I’m not saying JJ is Xabi). I would argue that he is a well rounded midfielder and is not a #6, especially within the USMNT since he would not be playing alongside anyone. He just cannot cover the amount ground necessary by himself like Mo and Williams can.

        • slimkid32 says:

          BTW, I appreciate the props even though you disagree with my views. There tends to be a lot of yelling and screaming on these boards, so well done. These are all ideas I have been pondering the past month or so and I needed to get them out. Plus, it gives the board a different and fresh perspective to discuss.

  55. 2tone says:

    1 Point on the road, and more fluid attacking football at home to get 3 points. I wouldn’t begrudge Klinsmann at all for going more defensive minded on the road. If you can get three points then so be it, but gettting 1 point is all good.

  56. DC Josh says:

    That lineup is HIGHLY defensive. Only 3 attackers on the field. I would like to see Torres, Kjlestian, or Zusi in place of Edu, and move to a 4-4-2. The times of 3 dirty-work defensive midfielders is over.

  57. Eric says:

    I really doubt that the formation ends up as Ives has projected. Much better odds that it’s a 4-3-3 with Dempsey on the left and Gomez on the right.

  58. dan says:

    Anyone else here worried that Cameron has been pretty shitty at CB ever since he joined Stoke and has been a Fullback?


    • slimkid32 says:

      Actually stoke has one of the best CB combo in the EPL. He gets a lot of credit for being part of the starting XI playing at fullback

  59. Excellency says:

    The problem with playing Gomez, Dempsey and Altidore up top is that they end up playing on top of each other.

  60. Ali says:


  61. EndangeredMD says:

    Praying not to lose…….

  62. Soccertes says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw this lineup but with Torres in place of Jones, perhaps even with Jones playing the # 6 spot in place of Mo Edu. Torres is reportedly in very good form, while Edu has only played 4 games of late. Jones also is one (always realistic) yellow card away from suspension.

    Regarding formation, I don’t see a 4-3-3 without true wing MFs, but who knows. The Canada game may prompt JK to search for ways to open the midfielf against a presumably packed-in opponent. In that case, I think we need Zusi on the right and maybe Torres on the left cutting in at MF. Fowards would be EJ and Herc, both of whom are familiar with the wider role up front. Demps plays the middle. Either way, a 4-3-3 will have to find much of its width from Fabian and Chandler. I think these factors make a 4-3-3 a riskier proposition and less logical as a starting formation as opposed to the safer 4-4-2. Only way I see a 4-3-3 is at the half if we are struggling for goals because of a clogged midfield.

  63. Wispy says:

    I like Ives’ lineup . . . until we have to take a corner or a set piece. Who takes those, Bradley? He’s capable, but he’s better at trying to get on the end of one.

  64. Dan M says:





    Jurgen talks about a creative formation, but when he needs results the teams’ shape doesn’t look a lot different than under Bunker Bob.

    • Soccertes says:

      That is intriguing (if not formation-wise). It just might work.

    • JimB says:

      Nice, that’s an intriguing lineup. I like the overlapping potential of Johnson and Davis on the left hand side. The only thing I worry about is movement up front with both Deuce and Jozy up there. Jozy’s workrate has improved, but I think a Gomez, Altidore pairing up top might allow the US to play a higher line and put added pressure on Honduras. You can always move Deuce up in the 70th or so once Gomez has run his (and Honduras’ D’s) lungs out.

  65. dan says:

    My lineup:
    Jozy Herc/GAM
    Torres/ Kljistin Bradley
    Johnson Boca Cam Chandler

    Honduras’ best players are all defensive and Jozy plays best with a partner up top with CD in the hole. Would like to see the lineup reflect the one away to Slovenia. Bradley played on the right of a diamond in that game, similar to how he plays with Roma. He can bring Chandler into the offense that way and also drop back next to Jones when needed. I would like to see Torres play that role because its not DM or AM or on the wing but rather someone who circulates the ball. I do think people underestimate his tackling ability to. Could also maybe see Castillo brought on as a late sub in the left inside mid role. The only true width on the roster are Johnson and Chandler so let them get forward and have Jones cover. Don’t care what Klinsi says he is not a number 8.

  66. fliffy says:

    I long for the day when playing for one point against Honduras is not considered a valid strategy, regardless of venue. Why are we scared of everyone?

  67. Gord Downie says:

    ————-J. F. Torres—————-

    • fliffy says:

      Interesting. This would be a very positive attacking formation. I think I like Castillo, but I need to see more. Torres has been disappointing lately for the national team. I know some are hopeful that his form is improved. I need to see it to believe it. I don’t like his touch or vision from what I’ve seen.

  68. Bellus Ludas says:

    Solid line up and probably smart on road, but I would like to see us take some risk and keep the ball in Honduras!

    E.Johnson – Altidore – Dempsey

  69. Tobin says:

    Why does Jones keep getting starts? He’s a walking red card waiting to happen. Are the commentators so resigned to Klinsman’s man crush on Jones that we have stopped complaining about his persistent spot in the starting lineup?

    If Jones never plays another minute for the USMNT, I’d be happy. As it is, I will continue to look forward to the games he misses with yellow card accumulation.

  70. Joamiq says:

    Please, please, please, let this not be the actual lineup. Klinsmann has tried this attacking 6 of essentially three holding mids and three forwards before, and it has failed spectacularly. There’s not enough of a link between the forwards and the midfield. If this is really the lineup we see, we’re in for a long afternoon.

    • Joamiq says:

      To be clear, I don’t mean that the US will lose with this lineup. And part of how effective the attacking 6 is will depend on how high or deep Klinsi plays the backline. If he does what he tends to do in CONCACAF, though, he’ll deploy a deep line, the d-mids will have to hang back so that there’s not too much space between them and the backline, and the middle of the field will be wide open for Honduras. Even Bradley can’t cover it all alone. Klinsmann has to put this team in the best possible position. That means deploying a midfield that has more defined roles and that can effectively link up with the forwards and provide them with service. That will be very difficult with the lineup that Ives expects to see.

  71. soccerhorn says:





    • Dinho says:

      I hope this is a joke.

    • Z says:

      You must be kidding with that configuration. There is no way Bocanegra should be playing anything but central defender–he just can’t run box to box and offers the team no offensive help if playing L/R back. I think Bocanegra will start because mentally he is tough, but physically he is getting to be a liability. I like him as a player and he can help the USMNT during the WC qualifiers, but there is very little chance he will go to Brasil.

      Who is the defensive/holding midfielder in that configuration? Disaster.

  72. Jeter says:

    This upcoming game has Brad Davis written all over it. He’s familiar with the latin style of playing, he speaks spanish, he’s creative on the ball, delivers great service, and is more consistent than Grahm Zusi. I see Brad Davis being the determining factor in the game vs. Honduras. Plus, the captain of Honduras is Brad’s teammate, Oscar Boniek Garcia, so with them two battling in the midfield should be fun to see. Garcia is crafty and would eat up Jones, Zusi, and even Bradley in the middle.

  73. Lil' Zeke says:

    Damn… missing me some Landon Donovan. Ball comes his way, stuff’s possible.

  74. Z says:

    There is nobody on this roster to take the “Coby Jones” role of coming in late and making very fast runs on the wing late in a game when we may need a goal. The closest person on this roster to fill that role is Eddie Johnson, but he really should be kept in reserve to back up Altidore. Besides, Eddie Johnson is much better in the air (getting headers) and would be better at getting closer to the goal rather than running deep into the corners.

    In the past, DaMarcus Beasley has filled that “Coby Jones” role at times. Having Donovan, even as a substitute, would have been helpful. The USMNT needs a guy with either very fast speed or very good height to fulfill that role for the late-game winger. I would have preferred to see either Josh Gatt or Brek Shea on the roster strictly for that role to create lots of energy and scoring chances near the end of the game. Create a mismatch using either speed or height. I know Gatt and Shea have problems controlling the ball at times, but their enthusiasm and youthful bursts of speed near the end of the game could open the field for other US players.

  75. chris_thebassplayer says:

    I think we need to have better protection for the CBs…4-2-3-1. MB and Jones as deep Dmids…I’m a little worried about our flank mid speed and defending, but I think most of the trouble will be up the middle with only one Dmid in front of the back four.

  76. deuceman says:

    My starting 11: Howard – Timmy Chandler, Cameron, Gonzalez, Fabian Johnson – Jermaine Jones, Michael Bradley – Brad Davis, Clint Dempsey, Graham Zusi – Altidore

  77. jay says:

    i like you set up except
    1. replace Bocanegra with Gonzales
    2. replace Edu with Zusi
    3. replace Gomez with EJ… pairing Altidore with EJ upfront would be lethal with high ball from Zusi/Bradley from the flanks.

  78. Big Red says:

    I have a feeling we might get to see Klinsman whip out the Cameron – Edu center back duo again. They are the only two center backs in shape right now and their performance in Mexico City last year was epic plus they were just teammates for four months. I think it’s 50/50 but has to be running through Klinsman’s mind.

    • jay says:

      good call out on pairing Edu with Cameron. Cameron is a concern to me. saw his weekend play at Stoke, he nearly scored an “own goal”! Cameron had this problem last year with USMNT too.

  79. jay says:

    want to congratulate Ives that his prediction on USMNT roster was 95% correct. this is very good. i wish our “economists” have better record. except for Sasha and Torres both Ives deemed as “Long Shot”, his prediction was all correct. not bad. let’s give credit where credit is due.

  80. ilikefreddyyesadu says:

    Interesting discussion about USMNT on the Locker Room show on BEIN Sport last night. Worth a watch if you can catch it on replay. They spoke with Jurgen as well. It was great seeing the extended coverage that the other networks don’t normally provide. One of the panel members went as far as to call this our best team ever while another insisted that Honduras should be an easy win. Can’t say they were most informed opinions but the arguments were interesting…

  81. JJJj says:


  82. Eddie Vedder says:

    What time is this game on?

    Which channel?

  83. JJ says:

    i like that JK bringing in possession players like torres it shows that he wants to keep the ball in hondorus reall excited and i hope torres starts

  84. andrew says:

    i don’t like the lineup for future games, but based on the circumstances i am ok with it, maybe slotting in eddie johnson for gomez to add some width. i think he would link up with altidore a little better and draw defenders out of the middle. i havent been in love with that trio of defensive-minded midfielders when used in the past, but coming away with at least a point from this opening match is important to get started on the right foot. as others have suggested, maybe its a good strategy to start defensive to frustrate the hondurans and keep the crowd (slightly more) quiet. Then early in the second half bring on some attacking reinforcements if the score is 0-0 and we have had solid possession. also, i wish gatt was in the team because there are know other natural wide men with pace; he would be a nice change-up if needed.

  85. Gaelen says:

    EJ Altidore <–Dempsey

    Torres Jones Bradley

    Johnson Cameron Bocanegra Chandler

  86. Rags in DC says:

    This looks about right for Klinsi.

    One big note – I really miss the out and out speed we used to have on the flanks. While I get he’s picking players he thinks will deliver a more incisive ball, I still miss the blinding speed we used to have on the wings. I hope Lando comes back rested and Gatt and Shea grow into their games and become contributors.

  87. PD says:

    I agree with this lineup. It would be great if we could jump out to an early lead and get some other players on the field (Kljestan, Gringo Torres, Omar), but that backline is looking awfully new and shiny as it is, so I agree that Boca needs to start and probably wear the armband.

    I also wish Jones would play as a more traditional stay at home defensive mid (Edu’s role), which would allow for another more creative player to take the field (Zusi).

  88. SoyDeMetro says:

    I find it interesting that so far there is only one comment about the personnel of the opponent. I would think that this would play a role in the coach’s thinking about who to play where.

  89. Brett says:

    Jones, Edu, and Bradley aren’t a good mix in the middle. There will be too much space between our forwards and midfielders. We will be forced to throw our fullbacks into the attack and will probably get burned at the back. Jones would be the odd man out for me, replaced by either Zusi or Torres.