Who should the USMNT start vs. Mexico? (UPDATED)

USA Starting Eleven

Photo by John Todd/ISIPhotos.com


COMMERCE CITY, Colo.– The U.S. Men’s National Team is set to travel to Mexico City today and one of the things head coach Jurgen Klinsmann will be pondering on the charter flight south is which 11 players he will turn to in order to try and deliver the first U.S. World Cup qualifying victory at Estadio Azteca in history.

The memories of Friday’s snow-covered triumph are still fresh, and while it was one of the more impressive group performances in recent memory for the U.S., it is difficult to envision Klinsmann staying with the same starting lineup.

Tuesday’s match against a desperate Mexico team will present far different challenges than Costa Rica presented in the snow here on Friday. There won’t be snow to slow down the ‘El Tri’ attack and Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez will present a much tougher defensive problem than anyone on Costa Rica.

So if you are Klinsmann, do you keep your back four together and tinker with the midfield, or do you reconstruct the defense with personnel better equipped to deal with Mexico’s dynamic attack?

Klinsmann also has to deal with how to construct his team without Jermaine Jones, who is now out with an ankle injury.

Here is the U.S. lineup we could see face Mexico at Estadio Azteca on Tuesday:


—————Jozy Altidore———Herculez Gomez————–

—————————Clint Dempsey—————————–

—————Sacha Kljestan——-Michael Bradley—————-

—————————-Maurice Edu——————————

DaMarcus Beasley———————————Geoff Cameron

—————Clarence Goodson—-Omar Gonzalez————–

—————————-Brad Guzan——————————–


Some thoughts:

The injury to Jermaine Jones severely limits Klinsmann’s options because it means if he does want to tinker with his defense and start Maurice Edu at centerback then he would most likely be starting Kyle Beckerman as a pure defensive midfielder. If Klinsmann keeps the back four the same, then Edu should start in that deep-lying midfield role, though he could start in a more advanced position in order to make way for Beckerman.

Why is Beckerman an option? Mexico is a very dangerous team, and and Klinsmann will look to try and frustrated ‘El Tri’ with a strong defensive wall, and the fact is he rates Beckerman (much higher than most U.S. fans do). Consider the lineup that started in the U.S. win in Azteca in August, which included Jones, Beckerman, Danny Williams and Jose Torres playing behind just two pure attackers (in Landon Donovan and Herculez Gomez).

Does that mean I think Beckerman starts? Not necessarily. I think we could see Kljestan get the nod ahead of him. Kljestan has qualifying experience, has played next to Bradley before, and brings an attacking element to central midfield. Kljestan also has experience playing at Azteca (he started in the 2-1 loss to Mexico in the 2009 qualifier at Azteca).

So why not Zusi? He didn’t fair all too well in the snow and while Klinsmann could theoretically give him another look, he seems more likely to be a bench option.

Clarence Goodson and Omar Gonzalez were excellent on Friday, but the snow left Costa Rica settling for aerial balls that the tall tandem could cope with easily. Mexico’s attack is built around speed and timing, which could leave a Goodson-Gonzalez tandem vulnerable. With that in mind, we could see Edu deputized into a centerback role, but with Goodson and Gonzalez having played so well on Friday do you sit one of them or do you deploy Edu in front of the centerbacks to provide some protection, and look to patrol the area Giovani Dos Santos likes to roam in?

One name I’m hearing plenty of people recommend is Joe Corona. He’s a very talented young player, but asking him to make his first start against Mexico at Azteca in a qualifier seems like a bit much. An appearance off the bench seems like a much more likely option.


The only player who started Friday that isn’t on this projected lineup is Graham Zusi, who struggled to make an impact in the snow. Edu should step into the lineup to provide a defensive boost, while Zusi could give the team an option off the bench.


Eddie Johnson could earn the start on the left wing in a 4-3-3 if Klinsmann decides not to play a pure defensive midfielder as a shield in front of the back-line. At the very least, Johnson should be an early second-half substitute.


So who would I start against Mexico? I would give this lineup a look:

—————————-Jozy Altidore——————————

—————————-Clint Dempsey—————————–

Eddie Johnson———–Sacha Kljestan———Herculez Gomez

—————————-Michael Bradley—————————

DaMarcus Beasley———————————Geoff Cameron

————–Maurice Edu————Omar Gonzalez————–

—————————-Brad Guzan——————————–

Why do I like this lineup?

Edu’s speed and athleticism gives the back-line better balance against Mexico’s quick attackers.

While Michael Bradley is one of the best passers and more than capable of playing a more advanced role, there isn’t a better option to ask to police the area in front of the back four than Bradley. Klinsmann needs to have Bradley harrass Gio Dos Santos and force him out of his comfort zone.

Kljestan can be a good central fulcrum. He hasn’t had the best cameos lately but he has experience in matches like these and has the quality. If not Kljestan in that spot, then Zusi in the role, with Dempsey pushed forward a bit more. Why no Corona? This isn’t the game to throw him into as a starter.

Johnson and Gomez can do the dirty work on the wings, and put pressure on Mexican fullbacks in order to keep them from flooding the flanks.


What do you think of this projected lineup? What changes would you make to it? Would you consider starting the same lineup that beat Costa Rica?

Share your thoughts below.

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248 Responses to Who should the USMNT start vs. Mexico? (UPDATED)

  1. ChiTown says:

    I fully expect to lose, so he’s welcome to put whatever he thinks will snag a point.

    • Nate says:

      As long as our boys all look as GQ as Jermaine Jones does in that picture above we’ll fashion our way to at least a point against El Tri

      • euroman says:

        Jones has gone home to Germany with a bad foot so that might make it easier to figure this out.

        • Luetchy says:

          Mo Edu now starting

        • RB says:

          Too bad, as we could have used him at Azteca.

          Also tends to kill the point of reading many of the line-ups suggested below.

        • Dennis says:

          I think it will look a bit like the CR-US game but:
          Lack of quickness probably means Edu at CB instead Goodson.
          Injury means replacing Jones, probably with Beckerman.
          Zusi is likely out in favor of Kljestan but maybe Johnson

    • Fast Cheese says:

      It may be wise to not expect to win, but Ives’ lineup is the exact lineup I’d go with as our best chance to win, rather than just draw. Kljestan is a box to box central midfielder. He plays extremely well in that role in Belgium, and whatever defensive ability is lost with playing him instead of Jones can be more than made up with Klestan’s skill on the ball and forward distribution. E. Johnson gives us actual speed and width (in mediocre crosses), and with Gomez playing the other wing, and with two forwards and Bradley holding deep, we stand a chance of actually controlling the ball, and creating real scoring chances.
      If we sit back and play two defensive midfielders, Mexico will one touch their way through our limited back line. But, unfortunately, we all know that’s exactly what JK will do. Sigh.

      • keithbabs79 says:

        Unfortunately, like most of our fringe starters (Edu/Becks/etc), Klejestan just doesn’t perform as well on the international stage as he does for his club.

        • Fast Cheese says:

          But that’s only because JK, and BB before him, keeps playing central midfield playmakers on the wings in favor of two defensive midfielders. Feilhaber, Kljestan, Zusi, Torres. We as fans keep wondering why these guys, who have so much talent, struggle on the national team, but the answer is simple . . . our coaches keep playing them out of position. Put Kljestan in his playing position in the middle of the field and then see how well he plays for the US. In fact, have JK commit to one defensive midfielder (Bradley or Jones) and one more offensive central midfielder (Kljestan, Feilhaber, Zusi, Torres, Holden . . . Adu?) with actual wingers out wide in a 4-4-2, and any of those struggling “fringe starters” would thrive. But JK, despite promises to the contrary, plays scared, and uses the midfield as a fifth or sixth back.
          Of course, most rational observers would say the Hex is not the time to experiment, and they’d be right. JK should have been aggressive and risked more losses in meaningless friendlies ironing out this style of play over the past year. But if we’re going to write Mexico up as a loss anyway, I agree with Ives. Stick Kljestan in central mid with actual wingers out wide and see what an actual attack can accomplish.

    • Two Cents says:

      Yeah, it’s difficult to think of getting points as our team continues to drop players due to injury. But, even though it is unlikely, we do still have a roster of players that can do the job.

      Since Klinsmann hasn’t really opened up the offensive flood gates, I highly doubt he will against a team with the firepower that Mexico has. However, I hope he doesn’t go so defensive that no one in the middle of the park can do anything but pass to each other back and forth and not move forward. There has to be some form of outlet to actually press forward and/or have quick counter attacks

      I’m thinking something along these lines:


      We obviously don’t have much in the way of a Right Winger, but we can use Johnson as a speed option on the right side that will also roam around the goal when we have possession in the attacking third. Shea will add some physicality on the left and should be able to provide Demspey and Altidore some good crosses. Bradley and Edu in the middle, with Bradley venturing forward more and Edu being more of the destroyer, playing behind him. Don’t mess with the back line and of course Guzan in goal.

      • Micronesia Justin says:

        Can’y see Klinnsman sitting Gomez at Azteca given his experience in FMF. Also why I could see Corona getting a surprise start.

        • Josh D says:

          I agree. Corona is already adapted to the situation and offers a lot more energy.

          • CroCajun1003 says:

            Guys, a match between Tiajuna and Club America in league play is not the same as a WCQ between Mexico and USA in Azteca.

            Giving Corona his first start in Azteca would be really throwing him into the fire. Not saying it won’t happen, just saying he isn’t quite as “adapted” as everyone seems to think he is.

            • Gary Page says:

              Corona has played in the Copa Libertadores against Corinthians (the world champions club) twice. Plus he has the experience of playing against most of the players on the Mexican team over the last two years. I think that is more valuable in this game than even high level European experience. Corona should start instead of Eddie Johnson. Otherwise, I like Ives’ lineup.

    • Jordy says:

      Unleash the Kljestan!!

  2. Nate says:

    Please no… I hate the 3 DMid alignment. It makes our attack way too narrow. To beat Mexico we need to be able to possess and knock around the ball a little. Obviously the game plan will be to absorb pressure and counterattack, and that is much easier with Zusi than either Jones or Edu.

    • Span16 says:


      Too narrow and too slow to deal with mexico’s quick interplay. That being said….I don’t have a solution that is better.

      • biff says:

        +2 I would be very surprised to see Klinsmann go back to the bad ol’ days of three or four d-mids. Jones and MB paired up great as dual Sixes against Costa Rica and I think that is what we see again in Mexico City.

      • fischy says:

        I feel exactly the same. This lineup will let Mexico run wild, especially dos Santos. However, I’m not thrilled with the winger options available. I don’t know that they would do better.

    • Eric says:

      That’s sort of how I feel. I think two holding midfielders are fine–and necessary, at the Azteca–but a trio of Jones, Edu, and Bradley provides zero width, and with Andres Guardado in form, Cameron at the very least will have his hands full on the right flank, so where would our width come from on counterattacks? I’f we’re gonna field three defense-first midfielders, I’d rather see them deployed in a 433:


      That way, with Deuce’s and Gomez’s work rates, we stand a chance at having some width to our counters.

      • Lance Williams says:

        I think Beas and Cameron wide make all the difference here and that is why I think Eric’s line up works

      • divers suck says:

        After reading these comments thus far, what DIDN’T everyone understand about Jones being injured and not available? Did Ives change the article since everyone has commented? What am I missing?

        • WG says:

          Ives updated the article to reflect JJ’s missing the game in Mexico City injury after many of the posts.

    • Josh D says:

      It was that combination that led to our only win away to Mexico. So let’s stifle them again, make them go wide, just someone please mark their strikers.

    • Steve-o says:

      I hate to disagree but these comments suggesting a 1 or 2 mid system are wrong. Mexico needs a win and they will come firing, especially through their wing play. the key is to double up on gio and guardado, and limit the service to chicarito. The best way to do this is with 3 d-mids instead of expecting our wings to drop back constantly. Also mexico is weak in the middle so we csn exploit that too 3 d-mids and remember bradley can play box to box on offense too. This defense first / quick counter strategy is what worked in august with the winning goal coming from the direct speedy run from brek and the finish from the third man runner in orozco. So a 4-3-1-2 with bradley playing box to box would work for most of the game. Then later we can change it up depending on the situation.

  3. 2tone says:

    Not a fan of this line-up. It will cause the same problems as before, and really this type of line-up has not put up good results.

    But whatever the USMNT is playing with house money right now. No one expects the US to get a result in Mexico. So I am fine with whatever he puts out.

    I will add that under Klinsmann the USMNT has not lost to Mexico.

    • Felix says:

      This lineup is terrible. I understand the logic behind it – but it will leave the exact problems we have seen repeatedly. No service to our forwards who will be stranded up top while our 3 d-mids run around being ineffective.
      To be effective against Mexico with our personnel, you need to have the ability to defend stoutly and counter-attack effectively. That means speed on the wings, and midfielders who can see and hit a good ball to break down stretched out teams pressing to attack. I’d would stay close to what we saw on Friday, except I’d substitute EJ for Zusi (for pace) and Edu for Goodson (for athleticism to keep up with Mexico’s dynamic attack).

      • biff says:

        Unlike some others, I thought Eddie Johnson looked good in the snow against Costa Rica and added an attacking element and a desire to go one-on-one that we were lacking before he came into the snowball fight. I would not be unhappy to see Jozy start on the bench as our Super Sub and Eddie get the start up top as the lone forward. Plus, Eddie and Clint have a real rapport, work great together as we saw in the WCQ game in KC last autumn.

        I would be shocked if Klinsmann sits Goodson after his excellent performance in Denver.

      • charlie says:

        i agree 100%

        ej dempsey gomez
        bradley jones
        beasley edu omar cameron

        • biff says:

          yeah, I could live with that one.

        • Jonny A says:

          This is the line up I would prefer as well. Edu offers a better balance with Omar against Mexico. EJ will work hard and give us better option on the counter. I am concerned about Dempsey’s ability to go 90 this game, so having Zusi available off the bench as an option will be helpful.

        • Steve-o says:

          The problem with ej dempsey gomez in the 3 formation is they would not drop back to help out on defense. the key to this game is to double up on gio and guardado and stop the service to chicharito. Otherwise Cam and beas will be left one on one. Thus a defense first / quick counter strategy will work like it did in august with 3 d-mids.

        • Beto says:

          +1 that is my lineup too

    • Pirithous says:

      You can say it’s problematic to put 3 more defensive central midfielders out there, and I agree, especially in light of what we want to move toward as a soccer nation. But it’s hard to say that it has not produced results — the two most high profile wins of the Klinsmann era (at Italy and at Mexico) both employed something like what is above (with Jones, Bradley and Williams against Italy, Jones, Beckerman, Williams against Mexico). The formation is especially bad against weaker opposition, where we would be better off trying to be more pro-active, but perhaps COsta Rica is an indication that we have learned that lesson. But, we have been able to grind out 1-0 wins with the type of formation above more than once, and I think it gives us our best chance in the Azteca.

  4. supergrandefilms says:

    I would prefer to stay with the last lineup and go with an offensive approach as our best defense.
    It was exciting to see the entire team attack and defend as a fluid unit. Edu as a sweeper is a solid tactical idea; I just don’t know if he can really track Dos Santos.

  5. Jason says:

    I like the idea of deploying a DMF/extra CB against Mexico, but I think I’d rather see Jones in that role, with either Zusi or Shea on the left. Everything else looks about as good as we’re going to get right now. A few lucky bounces, and that lineup COULD sneak a point out of Azteca!

  6. Todd Marsch says:

    I kind of agree with the concerns about lack of width, but I think the blueprint for getting points in Mexico (as shown by the US win last summer and Jamaica’s recent draw) is to clog the middle, force the Mexicans to rely on crosses, use your superior height to clear those crosses, get some big saves from your gk, and try to hit them on the counter every once in awhile. I think it would make sense to use something like the starting lineup above, and then (assuming we can keep it tied), bring on someone like Shea or Corona in the 2nd half.

    • Robbie says:

      I agree from a tactical stand point. Clog the middle with 3 d-mids in the first half and to start the 2nd.

      Around the 70th minute, swap one of the d-mids with a more offensive player like EJ and go score a goal. JK would need to change the formation at that point to something like the one we saw against Costa Rica. This would give JK options also, on who to sub off, and who to bring on to bolster the attack.

      I think this would be our best strategy to earn points (plural).

  7. Todd says:

    Please no Beckerman. He is too slow for the national team. I like To start in Zusi spot to run at the Mexican defenders. If not Shea then Corona. No bunker soccer.

    • Todd says:

      *Start Shea in Zusis spot. Or Corona.

    • greenerpitch says:

      Not just too slow, he has a tendency to get assists often – for the opposition. Way too many giveaways.

    • supergrandefilms says:

      Completely agree – NO BUNKER SOCCER…!

      • supergrandefilms says:

        U.S. 3 MEX 2

        Winning goal – Bradley.

        • Lil' Zeke says:

          Really? Our most productivity there ever?

          • supergrandefilms says:

            Lil’ Zeke-
            Michael Bradley is one of our most important players.

            He plays big in big games, especially against Mexico. He scored against them in 2009 (WCQ) and in 2011 (Gold Cup).

            It’s very possible and I hope it happens again.

    • Broward says:

      Seriously….Beckerman is a liability on the bench. We have several options that are better than him and don’t even get a call up. I would deputize several defenders to move up to mid instead of bringing Beckerman into camp, unless Jurgen just wants to show everyone else how much better than Beckerman they are. He has never met an offensive pass he likes and continually leads to a regression in the attack. I have never seen anyone playing at this level so prone to playing a ball to the keeper from the oppositions penalty box.

  8. Blokhin says:

    same line-up please, if we get a lead in the second half, then let’s go defensive, but an overly defensive set up that just punts the ball away plays right into Mexico’s hand of coming at the defense in waves, with little threat of a counter.

    Width can spread the players out and allow USMNT to keep the ball a bit more and counter more effectively than a congested middle


  9. biff says:

    After the 4-2-3-1 worked so sell against Costa Rica, with one forward and three attacking midfielders, why would Klinsmann revert to two forwards (Jozy, Herc), one attacking midfielder (Capt. Clint) and then two d-mids faking being attacking midfielder (Jones and MB) and only one true Number Six (Edu). If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. I fully expect Klinsmann to stay with the 4-2-3-1, but maybe removing Zusi for someone else and possibly moving Beasley up front as left winger.

    Maybe something like this:





    • Steve-o says:

      What worked against CR will not work against mexico as they have 3 goal threats vs just the 1 saborio for CR. thus i hate to disagree but your lineup with 5 attackers is way too offensive and we will be exposed leaving one on one against their wingers. The key to this game will be to double up on the wings and stop the service to chicarito. Then go on a quick counter attack and grab a few corners or free kicks.

  10. biff says:

    Or, if Klinsmann keeps Beez at LB, maybe something like this one, which I would love to see:





    • crocajun1003 says:

      I really like the idea of Corona stepping into the mix, but against the toughest opponent in Concacaf in the toughest location in Concacaf? That’s a big ask for anyone, especially a young player like Corona.

      Corona yes, but let’s give him a run out in a less hostile situation before we throw him into the fire against El Tri.

      • biff says:

        yeah, U R right. Corona’s lack of international experience is definitely one side of the coin. But the other side is that at the club level he is playing against a whole lot of Mexicans and has played in Azteca, not to mention flying down to South America to play in very hostile situations in Copa Libertadores matches. And Klinsmann said last week sometimes you gotta throw ‘em in the deep end. But, yes, would be a risky move to start him and probably better to bring him in late if we need an equalizing goal. But I have such high hopes for the guy and (and Castillo) and would be pure bliss if Corona is finally the guy to come in an excell as ACM.

        • Robbie says:

          I think its more likely we see him as a second half sub, but I would love to see how he responds to starting against Mexico at Azteca.

          I’m not sure where exactly his best spot to be deployed is with this group would be, but I think something like this would be interesting:

          ————————- Jozy ———————–
          —- Gomez ———————— Dempsey —
          —————- Corona —– Bradley ————
          ———————— Jones ———————-

          • whoop-whoop says:

            He’s still not 90 min fit… Dempsey will need to be subbed out…. think Corona has a chance to be that guy. I’m hoping so. Right kind of player in the right situation. Kid already has a running start with his form, lets give him a push and see if it takes him to the next level. Tell you, he’s fearless and brings an element we are sorely missing in the middle.

        • louis z says:

          I disagree, I think Corona is ready. Four things going for him…1) he has played big games before, last one just last week vs. a Brazil team and last season championship. 2) he has played against most of the Mexican team. 3) he started to play DM for his team, so he can also defend. 4) He has played at the Azteca before.

      • iheartscotch says:

        hmmm…. when i first looked at this line up I liked it a lot. then crocajun made some decent points and was okay with scrapping it. BUT since we have nothing to lose as we will be huge underdogs in azteca I say we mind as well throw the dice and toss him out there and see if he has balls of steel.

      • YEDLINS HAIR says:

        Do you not watch soccer corona PLAYS LIGA MX! He is exposed to the Mexican players jeez also he has experience playing at the Aztecs from when XOLOS PLAY AMERICA smh

  11. Amru says:

    I wouldn’t change much from Fridays win except put EJ in for zusi to give us some speed on the counter and possibly play edu at CB. If klinsmann goes back to the 3 DM look I’m going to lose it, it’s completely counter productive

    • biff says:

      True. And it won’t happen, because Klinsmann has not asked us, the USMNT fans, for permission to make such a stupid move and if he would ask us for permission we won’t give it. Does he really think he is the boss or somethin’?

  12. MikeG says:

    Cameron Gonzo Edu Beasley

    Jones Bradley

    Gomez Dempsey Corona


    • MikeG says:

      Jones and Bradley apply double pressure on D while linking up with the attacking mids with possession. Aquino and Reyna are the threats on the wings and must be dealt with in the game plan. Respect your opponents. This is the reason why Jones and Bradley are dual pivots. Also, I expect the USA to make a game plan of counter attacking against Mexico. Mexico will control a lot of possession against the USA. I would not mind Beasley playing LW just to put him a part of the counter attack game plan. Corona is a wild card and he may just provide unpredictability and creativity to be a part of a counter attack at RW. Empty Bucket game plan all the way.

    • clevelandfc says:

      This is it. Goodson is too slow for this game. Bradley,Gomez,corona,Gomez are all use to playing here. But we really need Adu in the back for athletisim and beasley for his speed and experience.

    • whoop-whoop says:

      I like it. Doubtful Dempsey goes 90, so when he is subbed out, slide corona to middle, bring in Shea. What does concern me is defensive cover on the left. This game will be different in ALL respects from what we saw in COL. Have a feeling Beasley is going to need lots of help.

  13. 2tone says:

    My educated guess. Klinsmann stays with a 4-2-3-1, but replaces Zusi with EJ.

    EJ provides speed going forward which will allow an outlet for Bradley and Jones to pass to.

  14. Old School says:

    This is my Starting XI against Mexico:


    • Old School says:

      People seem to be fawning over Beasley for his performance at LB. He wasn’t a liability and showed flashes of his recovery speed but I don’t trust his defending against the Mexican attack.

      Futhermore, I think Beasley’s attacking prowess could be a huge asset that we’ve been missing on the left side.

      Not a fan of Edu in the midfield. In fact, I think his distribution is downright awful and we can not afford to be losing balls in the midfield. However, he has the capability of being a solid defender and I think slotting him in at LB could be a good presence for the backline.

      I see some starting XI’s above not including Goodson. I’m absolutely puzzled by this. He was easily the MotM against Costa Rica and has earned a spot against Mexico.

      • Scott says:

        I wrote my comment (far below) before I read the comments section. I like your thought process and would agree if Edu can handle LB. Not disagreeing, just ignorant on his abilities at LB. Your lineup solves my RM dilemma. I was reluctant to break up the Herc/DMB pairing. On the CB issue. Goodson was not only sound against CR, he is that experienced, calming presence for whomever he plays with at CB.

      • Goalscorer24 says:

        I too am not totally sold on Beasley at left back after one game in the snow. Hope I am proved wrong!

      • Lil' Zeke says:

        Yeah I’ve seen lots of posts with Goodson easily “MotM” — oh wait, those were all you. Anyway, great though he was on Friday, he’s not little and quick as would come in handy marking Mexico. Want to swap him for some tall guy?

        As for Beasley, you’ll get good defensive play wherever you want to station him on the left against a Mexican opponent with whom he’s very familiar.

        • Old School says:

          “Yeah I’ve seen lots of posts with Goodson easily “MotM”

          In fact, I was not alone. I just don’t drink the koolaid or run this site.

          Please take the time you’ve already allocated and go back to confirm, if you’d like.

          • Lil' Zeke says:

            Well at least you have DMB in your lineup for Azteca. I guess that’s as much of an “attaboy” as we can hope for.

            • Old School says:

              While we’re handing out “attaboy” awards, appreciate the note taking you’re doing on all of my posts.

              Just make sure you get them right the first time.

    • slimkid32 says:

      I definitely think this is a possibility, but flopping sides with Edu and Cameron. There were reports of Edu getting reps and the right in practice before the CR game. Also I believe Cameron has also played on the left occasionally for Stoke.

      • Scott says:

        Haven’t heard anything, but I think that you could put Jeff anywhere and get an honest days work out of him. It seems that you can find better, but the list is alway far shorter above than below. His big fault seems to be getting over comfortable in tight situations. This leads to sometimes questionable passing choices. Nothing that can’t be worked out in a few tape sessions for most intelligent players.

      • slimkid32 says:

        And the more I look at this line-up, the more I like it. DMB and Herc would both provide cover tracking back on the wings and providing threats going forward on counter attacks. I believe JK has recently stated that he is more likely to take some chances with squad selection for the away matches, but I do think the line up Ives has provided is most likely the one we will see and to be honest, I don’t really mind that line up anyways. I know Mo doesn’t have a ton of fans on these boards, but his athleticism matched with his current form, brings a different dimension to the “d mid” trio compared to what has recently been seen with Danny Williams.

  15. Beckerman is not a bad option because fitness will be an issue at Azteca. He is already acclimated to high altitude playing.

    • greenerpitch says:

      So is my friend’s grandmother that lives in Flagstaff, but she shouldn’t be in the starting XI. Beckerman is a nightmare every time he dons the USMNT kit. Always does more harm than good for our team.

      • Pirithous says:

        Well, Beckerman was on the pitch for 90 when we beat Mexico in the Azteca last time. Doesn’t mean that he should be out there again, and it doesn’t mean that he played well in that game (I happen to believe that he did his job quite well in that victory, but opinions could vary). It does mean that the hyperbole about how bad Beckerman is should be toned down — whenever he is out there, he has a job, and he does that job well (whether we need to designate one of our 11 players to do that job or not is another question).

      • Kamphgruppe says:

        Silly to say someone ALWAYS does more harm than good. I don’t think Beckerman should start but he is an asset to the team for sure.

      • CCJC says:

        Lol! That was f’n funny!

  16. chris says:

    I’d go with


    * I would start corona because I don’t think Shea is fully healthy yet
    -I would have liked to see Gatt get called up because we could of used a RM that can play both ways and be a threat on the counter and I would have liked to see Lichaj in this team ’cause I don’t think beasley

    • crocajun1003 says:

      Love the formation. The rub is who is that third CAM? Zusi/Shea/Corona/Johnson? And whether or not to go w/ Goodson or Edu at CB.

  17. Casey says:

    I saw keep the formation at 4-2-3-1 but tinker a little bit. I’m worried about Beasley’s defense against El Tri, but maybe move him up on the left and shift Herc on the right. Then the back 4 is where it gets tricky. Maybe put Edu in CB because he’s a little faster than Goodson, but then we might have to play Morrow at LB. I dunno, that part is tricky.

  18. JW says:

    I think we’ll see Edu in the back line, and might see this:


    No idea on the right back. Beckerman, if unspectacular, puts in deep- blue collar shifts. This isn’t what I would put out there, but it is a formation that aims for a 1-1 draw that I could see Jurgen von Coldplay use.

  19. THomas says:

    I get it, but before the snow got too deep, the 4-2-3-1 provided the best combination play we’ve seen to date. I think it’s got to stay the same, minus Zusi who didn’t provide much.






  20. chris says:

    I’d go with


    * I would start corona because I don’t think Shea is fully healthy yet
    -I would have liked to see Gatt get called up because we could of used a RM that can play both ways and be a threat on the counter and I would have liked to see Lichaj in this team ’cause I think Beasley will be far from a lock down LB in Azteca and brining in a defender who has played LB against Mexico in a meaningful game in a hostile environment and played well would let Beasley play his natural position

    This lineup probably makes too much sense so I bet jk goes back to 3dms

  21. john.q says:

    i say keep the same exact lineup as friday. zusi is the only weak link but we shouldnt hunker down in azteca. best to keep the pressure up.

  22. bizzy says:

    You can’t fault anybody given the conditions of the pitch on Friday. Zusi didn’t play well? Well he doesn’t train to play in a blizzard!!!…lol. We need to stick with the team we had VS Costa Rica, there seemed to be some chemistry in all areas of the field. Also we don’t need another DM on the pitch against a superior and talented team desperately in search of 3 points, like Mexico

    • Austin says:

      +1 on saying zusi didnt provide in a blizzard, i also believe the weakest player out there was cameron to be honest(even though i love the ex dynamo player) he made too many careless passes that were picked off in very sticky situations. But besides that the only thing id change is shea for gomez

    • Pirithous says:

      I don’t quite follow your logic — it seems like those conditions (against a superior team in a tough road environment where they are desperate to impose themselves on us) are EXACTLY the conditions where we could use a third DM. I don’t like it, personally, and I would rather see us try to be more proactive, but anyone prone to use all three of Jones, Bradley, and Edu would seem to have an especially good reason to do it next Tuesday.

      • Bizzy says:

        Pirithous, the logic is “THE BEST DEFENSE IS A GOOD OFFENSE”….in other words we need to think offensively. We should not go into Azteca to play defensively, waiting until Mexico scores then react or play counter attack most of the game. Playing defensively against a team like Mexico is not going to help us because with their talent pool they are going to get theirs….so we need to be in a position to get ours. They are stronger in offense than defense so we need to plan to exploit their weaker area rather than their strongest, especially since Honduras exposed their defense a little, coming back from 2 – 0 down. Having attack minded LM/RMs in a 4-4-2 or another forward in a 4-3-3 is the only way we will come out of Mexico with points……because an experimental LB, an inexperienced CB and 3 Defensive Midfielders is not going to stop Mexico for scoring anyway…..so we just need to be in the best position to score too, take the game to them and hope Guzan, Beasley, Goodson, Gonzo and Cameron bring their A-Game in terms of DAMAGE CONTROL

      • Steve-o says:


  23. Brad C says:

    I think there’s a chance Edu goes in for Goodson since “Little Sweet Pea” and Dos Santos are so quick. They would burn Goodson all day.

    Also, I don’t like Ives’ line up because we don’t have any width.

    And I want Klinsmann to tell Jones to stay back and let Bradley be the DM with permission to push forward. I like Jones’ passing ability and vision but I think Bradley is better going on offense…

  24. Greg says:

    This game is the hardest to earn points in by far. We need to be compact defensively, and Jozy needs to be able to hold the ball whenever we do get possession. Corners and set pieces need to be precise.

    The key will be Damarcus Beasley. If he can overlap with Deuce, Jozy, whoever else is on the left, he can provide width and maybe some crosses. I don’t expect much offensively from Edu, so we need a wide option.

    If we are chasing a goal, Shea and E. Johnson need to come in. Leaving a 3rd sub in case we do get that goal and we need an extra defender (Besler or Beckerman, as much as it pains me to say his name)

  25. Kamphgruppe says:

    I like the same lineup but replace Zusi with Eddie Johnson. I think his size and strength will be an asset vs. the smaller Mexican players. I think we have to attack like Honduras did and throw Mexico off their rhythm rather than sit back and absorb pressure.

    • MikeG says:

      Different situation now and different game. Mexico is sitting on 2 points after two games. Honduras did well attacking Mexico. Jamaica did well attacking Mexico in Azteca. Those were different games and different circumstances. Mexico will be playing out of there minds on offense and applying pressure on defense. The USA is not known for one vs one play and we tend to lose those battles. Mexico will be attacking the Alamo and we need to make a stand…then counter them.

  26. Colin in MT says:





    Cameron had some trouble locking down that right side because Zusi was not getting back to help cover. Herc on the other hand did an incredible job tracking back to cover for DMB. I’d start Herc in his usual Santos spot to help lock down that rights side with Cameron. It may not be popular, but I think Davis would do a good job helping DMB solidify that left side. He provides more cover than Corona. I thought Goodson played well against CR, but as others have said, he doesn’t have the speed to play against Mexico’s forwards. Edu did well last summer in CB with Azteca and provides the speed and athleticism needed.

    If we can hold Mexico off the board for the first half with solid defensive play, then we could sub in a Shea for Davis in the second half. Maybe Corona for Dempsey or EJ for Herc to threaten their back line.

    I really think Bradley and Jones can play the dual holding mids well. I think they showed it against CR on Friday. They seem to have a better understanding of each other.

  27. Scott says:

    So many holes, so few plugs. I think that team chemistry will be the most important factor. Put the 11 in that will best work together and let the chips fall where they may. 1 benefit to not changing anything from the CR game is that they literally just survived the storm. Both the weather and the 2nd half CR attack. I am a Zusi fan, but the one change that I would make is RM. Corona maybe? Haven’t seen much of him myself, but he is probably my pick. Jozy has a chip on his shoulder and is in form. Dempsey is the poacher. Herc just referred to DMB as his brother. Jones and Bradley seem to be figuring out the Who goes forward thing. (Might have to credit JK for that one) Goodson and Omar seemed to work well enough, but if unhappy with one or the other, slide in Edu for speed and physicality (and his last performance at CB against Mexico). Cameron ate up defenders…just coach him on the sometimes faulty passing. Guzan is a given.

    • biff says:

      I thought Cameron was good also, do not understand the bad reviews on the guy. I mean, two bad passes in a snowstorm–well stuff happens. He made a couple of great defensive saves and played like a man possessed and I would rather see him at right back than that other guy (and I ain’t referring dolo)

    • Lil' Zeke says:

      There’s something to be said for this… reward performance, create stability and team self-identification. But coach may also see it as an ooportunity the jerk everybody around.

      • dibo says:

        From here on out I am hoping for a more consistent approach regardless of the opponent/conditions. It looks like the coach wants two way starting players, especially on the flanks – players who are not just runners but complete soccer players. I’m impressed with the work Gomez puts in in that regard. Zusi is not there yet, but he has the potential to be that complete player, and I can’t believe it, but Beasley is showing well. Shea is a better attacker than he is a defender. More attack minded players (EJ) are great for substitute roles, but consistency on both sides of the ball should be the standard for a starting player. Would like to see us win 2-1, but I know we could also lose badly.

  28. Wispy says:

    Obviously, if the US goes with a narrow lineup like Ives posted, the thought is to play the game like we did against Spain at the 09 Confed Cup: clog the middle, force the ball out wide to Guardado et al. and make Mexico try to beat us with crosses. And then hope Goodson and Gonzo win every single ball in the air like Gooch and DeMerit did against Spain. I see the theory, but 90 minutes is a LONG time to keep Chicharito off of all those crosses.

    • Lil' Zeke says:

      I have found Omar very reliable in that role (albeit against lesser competition) and I can’t say Goodson’s not looking strong. Chicharito is scary though. Hopefully we’ve permanently gotten inside his head c/o his last inexplicably jittery outing at Azteca.

      • Brad C says:

        But Little Sweet Pea relies on beating his man to a spot through his quickness, he’d be a little less effective standing among the taller Goodson and Omar. But he’s quicker than both of them so odds are he’ll get on the end of one of the crosses…

    • Steve-o says:

      Agree – gonzo and goodson can win the aerial battle vs chicharito. But the key is to stop the service and wing play from gio and guardado by soubling up on them with our atrong d-mids.

  29. MikeG says:

    Either a team attacks or counter attacks. Mexico is sitting with 2 points after two games. The pressure is on Mexico. They will come with guns blazing. They see the USA as ripe for the pickings and vulnerable in defense. We can use that to our advantage by getting them on the counter attack when they ‘over’ attack. We will have our moments and we need to make the most of them on the counter attack. We will need a total team defense approach (including the forwards) and a fast transition counter attack with speed. Mexico tends to have there center backs near the bottom of the center circle. An attack on the wings or a chip pass over the middle would be ideal points of attack. Also, we cannot afford to absorb too much offensive pressure against Mexico. This will not be good for the USA. We will need to limit as much as possible the possession Mexico will have. One great strength the USA has is midfielders applying double pressure with the backs. A tie is a victory for the USA, but 3 pts is the real prize.

  30. G. Bean says:

    It’s going to be a tough loss, but be prepared for it. Not too many teams can win against Mexico in Azteca. A win will be nice, but not realistic.

  31. twewlife says:


    With all due respect I really don’t like your lineup. Here’s why:

    1. Goodson is to slow to keep pace with the Mexican attack. Yes he had a stellar game on Friday, but a Swallow does not a Summer make. I’d prefer to see Gonzalez take that spot any day.

    2. Edu can’t distribute and his touch is plain lousy. He just can’t provide positive balls via a linking roll between the defense and midfield. If you play Edu in the holding midfielder slot you might as well just cut the fuss, and go all retro with a stopper formation. Given the absence of Williams, I’d prefer to see Jones / Bradley sharing the holding slot with Zusi and EJ manning the wings.

    3. Dempsey does not play well in an attacking midfield roll. That’s not his game and it never ways. I’d much rather swap out one of the striker’s and throw Dempsey in the whole. Given the tenor of the match, and the complete absence of consistent distribution up top, you have to take Gomez over Altidore. (Gomez is simply better at pressing Mexico’s back line and has a better work rate).

  32. Nathan says:

    Well, no Jermaine Jones on Tue per his Twitter.

    • alabamafutbol says:

      In case anyone missed it, he also posted an image of the reason why- that injury from the CRC game looked like a bullet hole in his shin. He’s a warrior for going the full 90 for us

  33. atd says:

    Spot on with the lineup.

  34. Nathan says:

    With Jones’ absence, I guess this means we will definitely see Goodson with Edu and Bradley in front of the back line. I wouldn’t be shocked to see Beasley pushed up to LM and Morrow back at LB. We will need to counter to relieve pressure, and Gomez can move to RM instead of Zusi.

  35. ACS says:

    With Jones out,


  36. PD says:

    let’s assume the rumors are true and there is no EJ or Jones available.



    Edu functions as a very deep lying #6 making up for the lack of speed between Goodson and Gonzalez and also provides cover for forward runs by Cameron and DMB. Bradley sits a little deeper than the lineup above suggest, with Herc providing a lot of flank play from either side while Deuce drift centrally as he tends to do. having both Boys and Jozy up front providing holdup play and stretching the back line should make holes for Deuce and Bradley to have goes from distance, something Mexican keepers seem to traditionally struggle with against the US.

    potential subs: Corona/Deuce Davis/Herc Morrow/Beasely

    • 2tone says:

      EJ flew with the team to Mexico.

      • PD says:

        in that case I’d be tempted to leave off Boyd and add EJ.

        60+ subbing Shea Corona and Boyd for Herc, Deuce and Jozy.

    • MA1 Rodriguez says:

      This group is best way to beat mexico…size and speed up with Boyd and Altidore with Gomez and Dempsey interchanging when needed it.

    • Steve-o says:

      I hate to disagree but this lineup leaves us exposed in the wings with one on one vs gio and guardado. Dempsey and gomez will not come back on defense – this lineup is way too offensive and is asking to be scored on. It will lead to a game of who scores more and i fear we would lose that game vs chicharito

      • MA1 Rodriguez says:

        Gio no major problem, Guardado is too lefty and Cameron could focus a bit more on Guardado. We lose when we focus too much defense.

      • PD says:

        Dempsey and Gomez will not come back on defense? Not sure what matches you watch that support such a statement…

  37. Snack Time says:

    Jozyitis is spreading to everyone’s knees in the front row

  38. beachbum says:

    Coach played it great with the tactics in those conditions in Denver. The US played long balls into space and chased, smart in 2-3 inches of snow. will need some more good ideas for this one

    Goodson-Gonzo were top shelf paired in there but I wonder about that pairing for the Mexico game. If it’s them they’ll need excellent cover above them from JJ and MB so no little pockets of space above the 18 pop up. The 4-2-3-1 (and 4-4-2 as it has played out at times with this team) pairs them nicely in similar roles that they both excel at, also a nice decision to see from Klinsmann

    for me, 4-4-2 and set up a squad that could counter up the right side and keep them pushed back there, put Clint on the left and look to feed him crashing the box. I still don’t know who the best counter attackers are out there for this team, but probably EJ. And I love Jozy and defend him all the time here, but it’s tough to put him in the XI in a formation that leaves him alone up top seems to me, so either a formation that gives him a partner or start another player. otherwise I’d pair Jozy with Herc up top for this one. Another thing I prefer about the 4-4-2 is it takes Clint out of the hole and puts him in space; he’s fine inside and finds pockets and moves and looks to connect but I think maybe he could change the whole dynamic of the team out there in a role he’s shown well at before

    and target Gonzo on every set piece into the area, just force feed him in there, insist meaning pickling up fouls and winning corners are huge. Dominate the air offensively, and on D of course, but in front of goal…who is their matchup for Gonzo? They will foul him, so insist on going to him

    but w/ 4-2-3-1 Herc starts out left to provide cover with the second coming of DMB working that flank together again

  39. ACS says:

    One thing we have going for us is that weather conditions at game time in Mexico City will be ideal, below 70 and no sun bearing down. Don’t know how the smog will be but usually at those temps and the time of day it is not as big a problem. I don’t think altitude will be that much of a factor when you consider that Mexico had to playing at sea level in Honduras at 107 degree humid heat, which I think is much worse than playing in the snow.

  40. PedroVB13 says:


  41. wyofan says:

    I was at the game on Friday (fun game to be at) and obviously could see the movement of the players off the ball. Some thoughts:

    – I thought Zusi was out of position too much and missed too many opportunities to hit good crosses with tons of time at his disposal.
    – Eddie Johnson looks good on his initial moves, but doesn’t accelerate past the defender and serve a good ball once he beats them like Donovan can. It’s interesting to see live. So we need someone who can do that. Beasley would be nice to have there once we have more defenders back in action.
    – Altidore busted his butt chasing long balls down, time after time, even late into the game. I thought his work rate was phenomenal and his hold play quite good.

    So who would I start? Everyone but Zusi and then run someone for half hard and sub them for someone like Shea for the most of the 2nd half. Johnson? Corona?

  42. Jamie Z. says:

    Not to nitpick, but it baffles me when people project substitutes prior to the match—especially when they go so far as to suggest a priori exactly when should be introduced. Substitutions should be an ad hoc decision, no?—a decision arrived at according to the way the game is progressing and which specific needs need to be addressed as the match goes on. Or am I crazy here? I feel like every time people project or suggest lineups, there’s someone out there going, “We’ll need to introduce Freddy Adu in the 67th minute.” That astounds me. I wish I had that kind of incredible foresight. I don’t even know beforehand what the score is going to be, let alone what kind of tactical adjustments to make because of it.

    • Jamie Z. says:

      *when they

    • wyofan says:

      The point is that we have weak options at that the left mid and left back positions and if Shea isn’t fit for 90, then a ‘plan’ could be to sub him in there in the 2nd half. Of course, injuries and individual performances can alter the plan. But don’t you think coaches should go in with subbing scenarios ahead of time? Or should they just wing it?

      • Jamie Z. says:

        Well, I would certainly expect a coach to have all sorts of scenarios and contingency plans in mind—that’s his job—but this isn’t what people here are talking about; they’re talking about start such-and-such a player and then we’ll introduce such-and-such replacement at such-and-such a time in the second half. Which strikes me as patently ridiculous.

    • PD says:

      When I project subs, it’s usually assuming there are no injuries. Other than that I try to think of players that could contribute to a match against a given opponent in a proactive way but not for the entire 90. I imagine that most managers have a prioritized list of subs as well as a depth chart that addresses what if scenarios related to injury.

  43. steve-o says:

    We should not select the Mexico line-up based on the performances from the Costa Rica game. The CR game was snowy and scrappy and thus, the less technical players who play long ball better than short passes looked better. This is why the CR line-up will not be as effective against Mexico.

    Against MEX, there are several keys to this game: (1) MEX will have more possession than us and we’ll have play a defense first / quick counter strategy, (2) MEX has more goal threats than CR with 2 speedy wingers + Chicarito, and thus (3) we have to double up on the active side wingers with side-to-side D-mids working together with the fullbacks. (4) MEX is weak in central mid so on offense, we can go right down the middle and sacrifice our wing play.

    Because of these reasons, I think a formation with 3 D-mids would work against MEX like it did in August. We’re not going to out-play MEX at home and should expect less possession, but we can play a defense first / quick counter strategy. So here’s my starting line-up:

    ——— *Jozy*— Herc
    ——— Dempsey
    — Edu— Bradley— Jones
    DMB— *Goodson*— Gonzo— Cam
    ** this means I’m not sure about this player for this game – see why below

    ON DEFENSE, Beasley at LB will face a speedy Gio (who plays his best games against us), and Cameron will face a tricky Guardado (who’s in good form). Chicharito will face 2 taller CB’s than in the Honduras game so he’ll be less effective in the air. But since he also has quick feet, we may need a CB with quick feet too. This is why I’m a little worried about a *Goodson*-Gonzo combo but both are also good at last ditch efforts. Also, you can stop Chicarito by stopping the service from the wingers. So if we double up on the wingers with 3 D-mids moving side-to-side, we can contain the active side wingers and stop the service to Chicharito.

    ON OFFENSE, we can keep 3 guys up top to play a quick counter with 1 or 2 D-mids going box-to-box and acting as the third man runner. This is how Orozco got the winner in August. *Jozy* deserves to start but personally, I don’t like him for this game because the key is to use speed and quick passes to break through their high line. His hold up play might work for us, but if he’s too slow and not effective, than sub him for a harder working striker like Boyd OR a 2nd speedy striker/winger like Brek whose direct play won us the game in August. Finally, if we’re losing and need a goal, then definitely sacrifice one of the D-mids for another striker. If we need more service, then sub in a middie like Zusi.

    • steve-o says:

      Well, I just read Jones is out for the MEX game, so maybe we can try Beckerman in for Jones. And as the game wears on and some players tire out, then sub him or Edu off for someone more offensive like Brek or Zusi.

      • MikeG says:

        I can see Beckerman take Jones spot. I can see Edu take Jones spot too with Goodson taking Edu’s spot.

        I think a major priority would be for Edu to mark Chicharito the entire game. I believe this takes more importance.

    • beachbum says:

      interesting thoughts, enjoyed your post. one question is if we play the three dmids how do we attack and exploit what you describe as a Mexican weakness in central midfield?

      • Steve-o says:

        With patience on defense and lots of quick counters in attack and diagonal runs from our strikers to compensate for the lack of width. We know mexico needs the win – we also know they will try to outplay us with lots of possession. We play defense first and disrupt their flow – then go for a quick counter by leaving 3 attackers up top with little defensive responsibilities. There will be less flow to our game with a clear split between offense and defense. But its kind of like how inter and chelsea beat barca. The key to mexico is to contain their wingers by doubling up on them and limiting the service to chicarito. Then go on quick counters with direct play and a late third man runner. This is how we won in august with brek’s direct play and orozco’s late run.

        • Steve-o says:

          We cannot try to outplay a good possession based team like mexico UNLESS we think we can. On a good day at home, we can but not on tuesday. It’d belike watching arsenal try to outplay barca.

          • beachbum says:

            above just a few posts I wrote I’d set up the team to counter, never suggested anything about a possession oriented attack. I asked about exploiting their weakend central midfiled; diagonal runs will attack their backline and width so I’m still not getting this part of it, but maybe we can play up thru the middle there with Clint pulling the strings and MB pushed a little forward to connect meaning Beckerman drops back to initiate distribution?

            anyway, you want a rerun tactically of what happened last year down there sounds like. That historic win could also be called very fortunate but I hope that it can be accomplished if we go about it the same way

            • Steve-o says:

              I know you didn’t say anything about possession but i just threw that in there to prove a point that you don’t fight fire with fire unless your fire is bigger.

              To beat a weak mid, You don’t have to do anything special – thats my point. As you said, with dempsey in the hole and bradley making the incisive passes, you can bypass the mid and split the defense. Also to clarify what weak means, their mids are not necessarily weak in strength but weak as in sloppy marking and tackling. For example salcido is being played out of position in mid and played with dempsey at fulham as a fullback so they know each other well which is good and bad but i trust dempsey to win that battle. Then you also need good runs from the strikers with variation like diagonals and drop backs to confuse the mids. This is where gomez excels but jozy does not although ill still give jozy the start

    • wyofan says:

      I don’t know how it showed on tv, but Altidore was a hustling beast up front Friday night. He constantly put the Costa Rican defenders under pressure. I coach my daughter’s team and I kept pointing out to her how effective high pressure can be. While he didn’t win many balls directly, he forced lots of errant balls out of the back. I came away a true believer in Jozy. I used to think his work rate wasn’t high enough up front.

      • Steve-o says:

        Agreed – I usually hate on jozy but he deserves to start. But i suspect he may not be as effective against Mexico and if so i would sub him out first because this game suits an out and out running type striker.

        • beachbum says:

          which is an interesting take given that Mexico has traditionally looked to foul Jozy hard and often which works well for this team’s makeup given their aerial supremacy in the area. Just give him some support from one flank or the other, pick a side to attack so he’s not alone up there

  44. USMNT Fan says:


  45. John says:

    I like Ives line up but with Jones on a flight back to Germany I’d replace him with Kljestan. I think he gives you a little more going into the attack then Beckerman would. However if you go with Edu over Goodson then I can see Beckerman playing that holding mid role.

  46. MikeG says:

    Edu will have to mark Chicharito on the back line. Edu will have to get on Chicharito’s leg and ride it the whole game 90 + minutes.

  47. slowleftarm says:

    Why not just play the same XI that put in a pretty good performance two days ago?

  48. Andy says:

    With Jones out injured, we have to put Edu in the other D-Mid spot. That leaves only Beckerman on the bench (can’t afford to start all three even if you wanted to).

    Zusi needs to be replaced. Shea and Johnson are the options there and may facilitate moving Gomez to the other side. Defensive balance is the major thing to consider here.

    Otherwise, we’re forced to stick with the lineup that won in the snow.

    • Bertolucci says:

      I agree with inserting edu, however think zusi can help Cameron on the right. Gomez and Beas made an interesting pairing… I’d like to see them in decent conditions

  49. solles says:

    LOVE the new badge

  50. The Imperative Voice says:

    Klinsi needs to call in some people because Goodson won’t cut it for Mexico but without Jones being replaced in the pool you can’t move Edu back or sub a DM, complicates making lineups.


  51. Bertolucci says:

    If we are playing with house money, why not discuss a 4-1-4-1 and look for a tie. Porters tactics vs Seattle last week

  52. MikeG says:

    Corona had been playing well and scoring goals in Copa Libertadores. In all honesty Gonzo was put into the fire without a Shepard against Honduras. In a counter attack game plan there is low risk and high reward for Corona. Corona has a feel for a lot of the Mexican national team players from league play. Corona will not back down from one on one challenges. I see Corona showing something Mexico will have to pay attention to and draw an extra defender to him and this should create some space for a U.S. attacker to get into (overlap for example). Corona may not be 90 min fit…I do not know, but I know he can be part of a 45 min game plan…same with Brek Shea. Brek Shea and Joe Corona could be difference makers for the U.S. on attack even if only in the second half.

    • beachbum says:


      haven’t seen him in the Copa but if he’s playing well JJ going out may be his opportunity

  53. bottlcaps says:

    At issue for the US team is limiting service to the box and Chicharito. We all saw how dangerous Mexico was in the later parts of the previous Mexico game at Azteca. I think when the altitude started wearing at the US, Mexico was able to get good service into the Box and Chicharito for their most dangerous attacks that were only stopped by some supreme goalkeeping by Howard.

    Should the US stymy the balls into the box, Mexico will have to beat the US backline.

    I think the keys for the US are the corner backs, Beasley and Cameron. Beasley was excellent in the previous Azteca game, but ran out of gas (oxygen) and was running anaerobically towards the end. The US will have the height advantage should they go with Goodson and Gonzales. Although Edu does not have the height of Goodson, his experience in Scottish football wear aerial and route one ball is prevalent, will help the US defending the box.

    As for the Offence. I would not play Altidore up front alone. Many people point to the CR game to show his work up front. What they missed was that Altidore was a defensive foil. Balls lofted to him from the US end were meant to get the ball out of the US end were they were constantly giving it away, to the CR end where is Jozy could not get and maintain the ball, CR would have to then get it back into the US end, eating up time. The only good thing here was that Altidore was sometimes effective of holding the ball. But remember, this was not mounting an attack. per se, although US players did get up field fast enough to do something, especially with EJ, Altidore was used as a defensive let off, not as an attacking weapon. Big difference. Altidore need a good passer, If Donovan was here he is ideal, but he and Gomez are getting some Chemistry…go with it.

    That said the US will have to mix up it’s offense, sometime going aerial with route one balls, other times bring it through the midfield and then alternatively up the flanks.

    Mexico will try and drive the US into the middle and force them through the congested middle and avoid giving the US the flanks where the US height in Gomez, Altidore and Dempsey give them an advantage. This puts a lot of responsibility to the US winger who need to bring the ball up the flanks and cross well to the forwards. When Shea is Playing well. his attacks from the wing are resourceful and courageous. Unfortunatly, I don’t think Shea is in the form he needs to be…but maybe off the bench… Runs by Beasley from the back, could be key.

    • MikeG says:

      Gomez and Beasley played well and combined well when they were both on the left side. I would like to see that continue against Mexico. Some chemistry started there and I’d like to see the chance to see if that chemistry gets stronger against Mexico. I see the prospects for overlapping between Gomez and Beasley. I liked the dual DM of Jones and Bradley, but should we continue that then Beckerman can play Jones’ spot. Beckerman can mark against Mexico and not necessarily go both ways (stay at home near the circle). We are blessed to have a handful of players who can play more than one position at in international level.

  54. ThaDeuce says:


    • MikeG says:

      I’m all for that formation too. Many variables to consider.

      • ThaDeuce says:

        I’ve changed my mind. lots of good options, i can’t wait to see what we do!
        ———–Altidore (target man)
        Gomez (defensive responsibilties on the left)
        ————-Dempsey— (center control with shared defensive responsibility on the right)
        –Klejstan———-Bradley (defensive wingers that can possess the ball and pinch in when needed)
        ———–Beckerman—– (stays put)

        • ThaDeuce says:

          If shea is healthy, he could start over klejstan. if not, shea, corona, and boyd are offensive options for substitutions and Gonzo backs up defense.

          Can’t wait for Holden to get back!

        • ThaDeuce says:

          defense gets the ball to wingers who then find deuce or the forwards. attack goes from wingers through deuce. i think i’d rather have shea than sasha.

          • ThaDeuce says:

            and beckerman can play defense, you don’t have to worry about him venturing forward. he can frustrate an offense.

  55. Excellency says:

    People seem to forget that we will be playing at 7000 ft.

    I wud start the game like this:


    Agudelo is not in camp so I dont know who would play up top. shea??? We need a greyhound who can finish to pin back the Mexican defence. That is how Jamaica played and they did fine. Mexico will be gassed at 70 so I would bring Dempsey, Jozy on in stages and have them nicely warmed up by the 70′ mark and go for the win.

    If we wanted a fast cb who can pass out of the back and has a good air game, scores on corners, we might have called up Hedges long ago, like last August. Not saying I wud play him here, that would not be my strategy. And if we want a fwd/mid who can play defence /offence in a 451 we might think of somebody like Wenger who has good scoring touch, has pace and can finish and started life as a defender. Gatt would be somebody who defends wide and stretches defences like Mexico’s

    Why not be ready for any contingency? JK’s rosters always seem to have big holes in them.

  56. beachbum says:

    sure shakes things up with JJ out.

    like your updated lineup Ives, giving Sascha the opportunity. the arguments for him and Corona both make sense right now for this game imo. Coach has shown he’ll throw guys into the fire on the road which means Joe has a chance with his experience maybe

    on the projected lineup, the backline could be Edu the destroyer with Gonzo-Goodson, or Edu-Gonzo with Beckerman or MB? If Beckerman gets the call if Edu plays CB then Klestjan or Corona could see lots of minutes

    how fit is Shea? is a supersub role his this game?

  57. Thatkidnandez says:

    Break Shea is the new Mexicutioner! Landon your title has is being borrowed

  58. the U.S has no chance in this game. Mexico is going to be motivated enough after losing for the first time in the azteca in august. they circled this game for retibution. Now that they drew their first two games, their gonna be more motivated than ever. I expect a mutli goal lost 2-0, 3-1. the line that would never happen but i would choose.

    the goose
    cameron gonzo porn goodson run dmb
    edu the beast “bradley” klesjan

    gomez atliScore altiggggggggggoooooooollllllllllll

    • ThatKidNandez says:

      Excuse me the mexican press is eating them alive right now! You forget Azteca turns on their team! I think I am one the few USA fans that think the US can win.

  59. I don’t know wh people don’t like Goodson more. He started against Italy in the vicotry there, he is our most expierience, most solid best cb, he’s not flashy but he’s solid, i’d take him over gonzo or edu or cameron in cb any day

  60. Bob B says:

    <blockquote cite="there isn’t a better option to ask to police the area in front of the back four than Bradley. "

    I disagree. Bradley tends to chase the ball– see the last Gold Cup where he chased the ball and Mexico just knocked it to Dos Santos who had acres, no hectares to run into. Guess who was supposed to be policing that area?

    Ask yourself this: Did Dos Santos have a monster game? Did Bradley play well after it was 2-0 USA? I want Bradley on the field. He’s an exceptional player, but he won’t be shutting down Dos Santos because he chases the ball. Someone else has to play that role.

  61. Isaac says:

    Ives, I think you’ve taken a slight mis-step; Kljestan didn’t play in the Azteca in 2009… He played in Columbus in 2009…

  62. chris thebassplayer says:

    4-2-3-1 same line up as last time with Edu replacing Jones and Corona in place of Zusi on the right.

  63. MA1 Rodriguez says:

    Easy throw Edu on Dos Santos.

  64. Jeter says:

    If Jurgen isn’t gonna play Brad Davis then let him stay home in Houston and support his club.

  65. heath says:

    Zach Loyd needs to be brought back up. He could help us out as left or right back!

  66. sir coble says:

    cameron——– edu————————–beasley
    ———– beckerman——–bradley————

    MO: Have edu chase little pea with goodson and gonzo attemptin to double up on crosses.
    Give Cameron and DMB freedom to play as wingbacks
    Beckerman and Bradley to play a double (pivot) piston with bradley doing most of the offensive runs.
    Gomez and Johnson should run their socks off.

    potential subs: Gomez/Johnson/Cameron/DMB would be gassed. Dempsey not in game shape
    Save two for the firstthe four four listed.
    One for either Dempsey/Beckerman either Corona or Kljestan or Davis (late set piece heroics )depending on the game is going.

  67. wichin says:

    I don’t understand all you saying that Corona is not ready for the AZTECA. He is used to playing in the pressure filled Azteca and other pressure filled stadiums in Mexico. Give him more credit. He will do well to control the ball and look to score. So much better than Sasha…

  68. MikeG says:

    Edu on Chicharito’s leg like a dog and Beckerman explaining the wonders of dreadlocks to Dos Santos up close and personal over 90 minutes to the point we see Dos Santos with dreadlocks in the next game. We need some serious marking and Bradley is not known for his marking ability. I can see Beckerman and Bradley as a DM pair ‘marking’.

    • MikeG says:

      Bradley is not known as a marker, but he can apply double pressure on defense very well. This suits him..winning the ball, start a counter attack, and then run to support them.

  69. Primoone says:






    This midfield lineup should not get overwhelmed considering Hercs and DMBs backtracking ability and ball winning in the midfield as well as being anchored by Junior. Going forward, duece gets carte blanche and should be able to iether combine with Corona or Josi. Not very offensive but able to create chances…the main feature is the ability to thwart the counters and speed up the gut

    • ThaDeuce says:

      That right flank gets torched and deuce never gets anything but long hopeful balls.

      • primoone says:

        You are spot on with that assessment. However, watching Santos and Puebla play the last few seasons, I can tell you that Herc and Beasley contain extremely well for their teams when the right or Left backs need help with a speedier opponent. Also, the further the ball gets pushed out into the wings the better. They may get crosses into the box but you need to keep them out of the middle because they will get by our two center-backs. My money is on our boys winning the ariel battle all night long…Omar…goodson…Cameron…Edu? Money.

        Not very many teams get to impose their play on Mexico at home. I put Clint in the box because he will have 1 or 2 brilliant moments, personally I would rather those moments be inside the box. Now remember, if there isn’t that much service going to him, he can drop and interchange with Corona but you keep the defense honest with Josi and that second forward.

  70. Bizzy says:

    Playing 2 players in experimental positions, that haven’t played there for their clubs except for the national team, filling in areas were we have problems even at full strength, against the best team in CONCACAF?????
    Its funny that Beasley has been in the US pool for so long, with a lot of international experience but Snubbed time and time for MLS caliber players (….e.g for the likes of Shea, Beckerman etc), even though he has the talent needed to be on the team and blends perfectly with everyone around him,……..won’t get selected until we are in crisis. Now everyone is on the DMB ban wagon….
    Playing Edu in the back with no experience….against a team like Mexico?? When we have Oguchi Onyewu????
    1. His Market value – 3,500,000 euros. link to transfermarkt.co.uk (I wonder why)
    2. 66 USMNT caps (….not 2, not 4) and still training/playing at the highest level
    3. Plays/Trains/Subs on a team that is currently 6th in La Liga (not a Player/sub for a 19th place 2nd division La liga team or Experimenting).
    4. Plays and trains with the team with plans, preparation and schemes to stop the attacks of Messi, Villa, inesta, Ronaldo, Benzema, Falcao, Negredo, Soldado etc…….not training to stop a Magee, Keane, Henry, Earnshaw, Cooper, Wondo, Bruin or Johnson
    5. If you can even be on the bench for Malaga, battling for play time and making the first team against Weligton (team captain), Demichelis (37 Nat team apps – Argentina), Lugano a (72 Nat team apps – Uruguay), on a 6th place La Liga team….you should AT LEAST make the bench on the USMNT.
    No CB currently in our pool is receiving his LEVEL of training…..and in a game as important as Mexico, in Azteca, against the best team in the region….you play an inexperienced DM?? If we change the line-up against Costa Rica and not just substitute one player for Jones (Edu or Sasha) we deserve to lose

    • Scott says:

      Gooch? He is old, slow and not getting much playing time. Actually, not even getting much bench time. As for “Playing Edu in the back with no experience….against a team like Mexico?? When we have Oguchi Onyewu???? “…The last time we saw Edu at CB was fairly recently during our only win, ever, at Azteca stadium. Training time is not game time and we already have many better options.

      • the unmistakeable Ronaldinho says:

        I disagree with parts of this. I really think Onyewu is our most talented CB. He isn’t playing right now, so I agree with leaving him off this roster. However, he could still have a big time role to play if he sorts out his club situation.

  71. DC Josh says:

    Ives, while your second lineup is more progressive and interesting, I just don’t see Klinsmann running with it (which I’m sure you would agree). But I like it better than the first. I do like having Edu next to Gonzalez, but I think the USMNT will be playing so deep there won’t be much space behind them to run into. Of course, this has been a problem against Mexico at Azteca–relieving pressure. But I like the athleticism of Edu. I also like putting Bradley in front of the back four to add defensive grit. He is our best midfielder (better than Jones IMO) and should be the only man deployed to handle Mexico’s attacking mids.

    Another concern I have is playing out of the back. Omar looked very shaky with the ball at his feet against Costa Rica, and I remember instances where Edu looked the same in the past. We can’t afford to simply boot the ball up to Jozy, or lose the ball in our defensive third. So possession out of the back will be key as well. We can’t counter unless we get a good release ball into space.

    Finally, I felt Zusi played better than you give him credit for Friday night. He did not have his usual impact, but I thought he gave a lot of effort defensively, and we could use his help on the wings defensively against El Tri. Gomez is a monster on the field–deadly finisher in the box, hustles back to help on defense, great on the ball. Zusi has the same hustle, so I would keep him on the other side and bring in Eddie Johnson or Sacha in the 2nd half once he begins to wear down.

  72. Dave says:

    Kljestan is a giveaway machine. I can’t believe that he still gets the call up, let alone how he gets on the field.

  73. Vic says:

    Not sure why anyone would suggest starting Klesjtan over Corona. There will tight marking and little space in Azteca. Losing a technical player like Jones that provides skill and space for his teammates could be a big blow. Corona may not have national team experience but he has experience playing against the Mexican players and experience playing in Azteca. In addition Corona also has skills to pass in tight situations which we will face tomorrow.

  74. JC says:

    Goodson Gonzalez
    Cameron Edu Beasley
    Corona Dempsey
    Gomez Altidore

  75. Dick Tracy says:

    I think its all about work-rate.

    In this situation you are hoping to steal a point, so I think you send in a lineup like this:


    • Dick Tracy says:

      DMB at LB is fine too if you are starting Brek Shea at left-wing.

      Once again, this line-up is solely based off a high potential team work-rate.

  76. RB says:

    Mexico may have some back line issues of their own, with Maza Rodriguez and also Torres Nilo suspended for this game…

  77. Vic says:

    Not sure why anyone would suggest starting Klesjtan over Corona. There will tight marking and little space in Azteca. Losing a technical player like Jones that provides skill and space for his teammates could be a big blow. Corona may not have national team experience but he has experience playing against the Mexican players and experience playing in Azteca. In addition Corona also has skills to pass in tight situations which we will face tomorrow.

  78. Chupacabra says:

    Jozy and DMB look like Dr. Evil and Mini Me in that photo.

  79. JJ says:

    Dempsey is the captain, the only way he’s coming out is by injury plain and simple.

  80. the original jb says:

    Think most would agree that this will be the toughest match in the hex. Also dealing with an even worse injury bug with Jones out. For me, this is the game to play the 3 Dmids, clog the middle, stay compact defensively, counter if the chance presents itself. And if we can withstand the initial pressure, they will get frustrated and maybe the fans turn on them like they did in last year’s friendly. That will be the time to maybe make an offensive substition and push for a goal. This is why I would prefer Ives first lineup. I just don’t think you can afford to put Eddie Johnson on a wing, when you know we need help defensively. Maybe bring him on late if we need a goal or want to push for a win.

    • Big Chil says:

      I agree that this is a good match to clog the middle, force Mexico wide and use our height and strength at CB to clear the crosses. However, I think we do start EJ on the left wing. He is the tall, strong, fast type of player Mexico struggles against. EJ is an excellent target for far post crosses with his head, and he could put one in for us. Shea as a sub for EJ. DMB & EJ together should be able to put in the defensive work on the left, as should Cameron & Herc on the right, and with Bradley and Co. clogging the middle, we should be alright.

  81. Withdrawn Striker says:

    Sorry, but it is “fared” not “faired.”

  82. ri says:


  83. Vic says:

    Cameron Goodson Gonzaeles Beasley

    Bradley Edu

    Corona Dempsey

    Johnson Gomez

  84. Ty says:

    I think Perry Kitchen would be a great anchor in the midfield. He is technical and hands down one of the best defenders we have!

  85. the unmistakeable Ronaldinho says:

    Personally, I think the back line has to stay the same. Mexico will be a different challenge than we faced on Friday, but I think the old paralysis by analysis could bite us with too much tinkering. I’m not completely sold on the 3 defensive mids setup many are arguing for. I agree we need to stay compact and will be on the defensive, but we can do this without 3 defensive mids. Playing Bradley, Edu, and Beckerman is inviting more pressure on us defensively. A player like Kljestan has a bit more skill and passing ability than Beckerman and has proven he can be a good center mid in the champions league. People questioning his ability really need to take than into consideration.
    Mexico will out possess us, but there isn’t a need to sit on the edge of our 18 the full 90 mins. We can have a go at them, when the opportunity arises, and Kljestan’s passing range will help with countering Mexico. Personally I would go with the first lineup that Ives suggested.

  86. Ryan B says:

    I predict we win 4-0 with goals from Jones, Donovan, and a brace by Bocanegra

  87. David says:

    I feel like that second line up leaves our left flank over exposed. I don’t trust that Beasley’s performance would have been as good against CRC without the snow. There isn’t many other options to put there instead so I’d try to shield him with a midfielder with more defensive chops than Johnson. I still don’t trust Johnson to do all the dirty work Gomez (and Altidore more and more) is willing to do. I think he’ll leave Beasley high and dry way too often.

  88. Big Chil says:

    With our win and Mexico’s two draws, there’s a lot more pressure on them than us. I was at the game on Friday night. It was crazy having 3-4″ of snow on the field. Feels like that may be the tough bonding experience the team needed to gel. No pressure on us going into Mexico. We can survive a loss and still be relatively ok in the standings at this point.

    I’m feeling a draw, 1-1, and we finally give Jozy a good serve and he puts it in. Post-Tuesday standings:

    Panama 5
    Honduras 4
    USA 4
    Costa Rica 4
    Mexico 3
    Jamaica 2

    The Mexican fans and press go into meltdown mode.

  89. Gary Page says:

    Too many posts to read, but after the first 50 or so that i read, many people fail to realize an important fact. Mexico desperately needs this win. A draw will be like a win for the US as it will keep the US above Mexico in the table and will cause all sorts of concern amongst Mexican media, fans, and players. Given that, you know Mexico will come out playing extremely aggressive attacking soccer. With our makeshift lineup, there is no way we can control possession so that we will have to absorb the pressure and hope for success on a counter attack. Mexico is missing two starters in the back due to card accumulation, so they can be vulnerable, especially if their backs go too far forward. Thus, we need to play a defensive strategy and try to get the counter attack goal and then hold on. It is the only strategy that makes sense and remember that a draw will be a great result for the US.

    • Son of SBI Troll says:

      I say go with some fresh legs, but with a strong defensive approach:

      –Gatt—-Adu—-R. Clark—–Holden——-
      —————T. Meola—————————-

      I really think this can work, you guys. Especially since it will balance out Mexico’s “must-win” mentality.

      Actually, I just put this in here to give myself the opportunity to type the word “Davies” into a projected USMNT lineup. A form of catharsis. I can barely see through the tears.

      • SBI Troll says:

        Son, I taught you better than that. Now finish your homework, boy.

        • Son of SBI Troll says:

          But Dad… You always taught me that Gooch was the future of American Soccer? I don’t even know what to think, or who to trust, anymore…

    • beto says:

      indeed fullback is one of the best positions to watch for both teams and you have to like the US’s right side match up of Cameron-Gomez vs. Guadado-Salcido. The left side should be attacked by Aquino and Meza, much less firepower over there.

      Goodson-Edu-Gonzalez back three, I am lining Edu up as a CB/CDM, vs. Chicarito and Gio will be the battle! If that can be won then I like Dempsey, Gomez and Altidore to keep the game close.

  90. Big Chil says:

    O/T but the draw for the U-20 WC was just completed. USA got a tough Group A with France, Spain, and a CAF nation TBD. I assume Ives will post on this shortly. (Get to work!)

  91. Jay89 says:

    – ———-bradley————–

    This would be the for the best.

  92. beto says:

    —Aquino—–Dos Santos———-Guardado-

    i really think we line up okay vs. them. If Gomez can keep Salcido busy then Guardado vs. Cameron turns into a great matchup that we have a chance at winning. Chicarito will score, its more about keeping him to the same amount that Dempsey can equal out.

    Guardado vs. Cameron
    Dos Santos vs. Edu

    Dempsey vs. Ayala/Moreno
    Hernandez vs. Goodson/Gonzalez

  93. Peaton says:

    Ives, RE Zuzi: Do you think that the Colorado game was a good barometer of performance in Mexico City? That game seems like an anomaly, which is not to say that we should not congratulate strong performances from that game, but it was a not your average qualifier. Given that Zuzi is a more technical player he was at a disadvantage. Of course, he is on the periphery of the starting 11 so seeing a more defensive midfield makes sense given how Mexico is probably at a better moment of form.

  94. What do the stats say? says:

    The data shows we are a weaker team than Mexico. We are weaker because of our defense. That being said, our current defense is not much weaker than the Boca, Cherundolo, etc. scenario.

    So how do we win? Focus on a defensive effort with 5 backs. Offensively, play the counter attack.


    Cameron, Edu, Gonzo, Goodson, Beasley

    Johnson, Bradley, Kljestan or Zusi (historical data shows no difference)

    Gomez, Dempsey