Who should the USMNT start vs. Jamaica?

USA Starting Eleven


The U.S. Men’s National Team are in Kingston ahead of Friday night’s showdown vs. Jamaica in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying and they are fully aware that the U.S. has never won a World Cup qualifier there before.

So who will Klinsmann turn to in an effort to break the five-qualifier winless drought at ‘The Office”?

Don’t expect too many changes, if any, from the lineup we saw start in the U.S. team’s 4-3 win vs. Germany. That might sound surprising given the struggles of Omar Gonzalez, but it seems more likely that Klinsmann keeps Gonzalez partnered with Matt Besler in central defense for Friday’s match than shake things up after starting Gonzalez in both of last week’s friendlies.

Klinsmann could turn to Geoff Cameron to replace Gonzalez, but that seems a more likely move for after the Jamaica match if Gonzalez struggles.

Herculez Gomez is a wild card in the equation. He was considered a good bet to start before a nagging injury forced him to miss both recent friendlies. Now he seems more likely to feature off the bench, if at all, against Jamaica.

So what will the starting lineup look like vs. Jamaica on Friday? Here is our projected USMNT lineup:



F. Johnson—-Jones————–Bradley———–Zusi




Some thoughts:

Fabian Johnson left the Germany match with hamstring tightness. If he can’t play, then Brad Davis seems the more likely option to start while Eddie Johnson would work well as an option off the bench in case the team is trailing.

It should be noted that Jamaica’s right back looked extremely vulnerable vs. Mexico on Tuesday, which makes you wonder whether Klinsmann might prefer the speedier Eddie Johnson to Davis in the event Fabian Johnson can’t start.

Brad Evans played very well against Germany and should get the nod at right back over Geoff Cameron, seems unlikely to start vs. Jamaica (unless Klinsmann decides he has seen enough of Gonzalez).

Beasley has locked down the left back spot for the immediate future. If Fabian Johnson is healthy he will play in midfield and Edgar Castillo simply didn’t look sharp vs. Germany.

Subs off the bench for this bench? Eddie Johnson is one and Terrence Boyd is another unless Herculez Gomez can play. Klinsmann could go with Johnson, Boyd and Gomez in the second half regardless of score. If the Jamaican heat wears on Jermaine Jones, we could see Sacha Kljestan in the second half.

What do you think of our projected lineup? What lineup would you go with against Jamaica? Think this team can win in Kingston?

Share your thoughts below.

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204 Responses to Who should the USMNT start vs. Jamaica?

  1. SanFran415 says:

    To help this discussion a bit–

    Doug McIntyre ‏@DougMacESPN 3 Jun
    Fabian Johnson, subbed at half v GER (hamstring), will be avaialable for #usmnt Friday at Jamaica (via @BrianSciaretta).

    • Judging Amy says:

      Good. If he’s back to his usual form, we could look even better than against Germany.

  2. Travis says:

    Think there is a formatting issue, I assume you have Fabian out wide on left and Zusi on right? Right now the formatting has it looking like a 424

  3. Guest says:

    Doesn’t matter they should win this game regardless. No disrespect to Jamaica but they played like some youth academy players, Jamaica has excellent athletes however. Mexico didn’t look all that good either but they still managed to string together a few decent passes and generated more dangerous scoring opportunities. The U.S. should collect all 3 points or I will be disappointed.

  4. Rik says:

    Yup, this is what I’d go with.

    Backline needs time to gel and Besler/Gonzo had their best performance together in a rough away game, so why change it now? If Gonzo struggles, Cameron becomes obvious for Panama game.

    As much as I ragged on Evans at RB over and over, he more than held his own vs. GER. Jamaica is much faster, but if anyone’s used to a bouncy field, it’s Evans.

    Hoping Fabian really can play and it’s not just rhetoric. It’s happened before and he put himself out of commissions during warm-ups.

    • Guest says:

      Gonzalez and Besler were caught ball watching a lot in the second half against Germany, which is a real suprise after they played decently in the first.

      • Rik says:

        Some of that was probably being up 4-1, but definitely not an excuse. Have to be tuned in for 90 on Fri.

    • Kevin_H says:

      I had a seat near the corner flag (1st balcony up), with a perfect view to see Evans during the second half. I don’t know how much the cameras showed, but Evans seemd to be consistently in the right place and was directing those near him when on defense. Admittedly I’m a new fan to soccer and my knowledge is limited (at best), but he really appeared to read the game well. I was pleasantly surprised considering I never even heard of the guy.

      • Cash says:

        Welcome the greatest sport on the face of the planet. Before the hackjobs, trolls, and a-holes come at you on the attack, that is very good insight. Sounds like you are picking up the science behind this great sport quickly. Enjoy the ride, it is 24/7/365 and you will rarely have a day or two pass without a good game to tune in to, or at least some nice gossip, news, or transfers taking place somewhere around the world. Ives is hands down one of the best individuals and sites to stay abreast of everything. Brazil 2014 USMNT 4LIFE!!!

      • DCUnitedWillRiseAgain says:

        I concur…I was definitely in the Evans wtf??? camp, but he made a believer out of me … at RB. He can play midfield in MLS, but keep him at RB for the USMNT please…

      • Steve-o says:

        KevinH, I was sitting In the same section row 5 in front of the big usa flag and saw everything you saw. I’m a long time soccer player/watcher and I completely agree with what you said about evans. He’s definitely a smart player And deserves to start.

        • Jacknut says:

          I have to add that Evans surprised me as well. I used to think he had pictures of Klinsmann dressed in women’s clothing or something like that.

          Now I can see he belongs in the pool and may even be CONCACAF-good.

          • Artie Armstrong says:

            If it leaked that Klinsmann liked wearing women’s clothes, wouldn’t that be seen as a positive in today’s society? Get him some glowing puff pieces about his ‘bravery’, couple magazine covers, the works.

          • Jamie Z. says:

            To be fair, I’ve seen those pictures, and Klinsmann looks FABULOUS.

      • ChicitytoDc says:

        I was 2 rows behind you!!! Btw for all the MLS haters its time to finally admit there is some pretty good talent being cultivated through our American Soccer League

        • Shane says:

          I see Brad Evans’ friends and family have realized that Klinsmann has resorted to taking fans’ advice.

    • dude says:

      Agreed completely. This back line should get another shot, for some real cohesion to develop.

      At this point, Gonzalez and Evans should be under the most scrutiny- Gonzo because he hasn’t looked entirely adjusted to the speed of play and the higher level of movement by attackers- Cameron may do better if this game isn’t a decent showing.

      Evans played very well- and way above most, including my own, expectations, but he’s going to be playing in hostile environment with a lot of intensity, some athletic opposition and- let’s face it, he might not consistently be able to perform at that level. We don’t know. We’re going to find out.

  5. Guest says:

    Doesn’t matter they should win this game regardless. No disrespect to Jamaica but they played like some youth academy players, Jamaica has excellent athletes however. Mexico didn’t look all that good either but they still managed to string together a few decent passes and generated more dangerous scoring opportunities. The U.S. should collect all 3 points or I will be disappointed.

  6. bold says:

    Brad Davis has been solid these past few weeks, I’d be surprised if he doesn’t start. Also interested to see if Evans continues his good form at RB and if altidore shows up or not

    • Lost in Space says:

      Davis IMO has been not been solid. He’s been slow of foot and thought. Against a quick counter attacking type team like Jamaica I don’t want him anywhere near the field, let alone the starting XI.

      • THomas says:

        Not attacking you personally as o lot of people so it. But why do people continually say ‘IMO’? I’m assuming somebody isn’t typing in your place and replacing your opinion with theirs. So why say it?

        • Lil' Zeke says:

          I actually appreciate the humility. May we mentally preface all your future posts with “I have no notline to God, but…”?

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      I say this as a Dynamo fan….what’s he done?

      But I expect him to play some because there are only so many cards in the deck, and the time for experiments is done. If Fabian is out I expect lots of PT, in fact.

      • DCUnitedWillRiseAgain says:

        Davis has yet to impress me for the USMNT. He is too slow, and hasn’t shown the prodigious accuracy that we tend to expect from him. Zusi on the other hand just gets better and better.

        • DCUffDa! says:

          Zusi looks better when the Left side demands attention and forces the opposing midfield to give him space. When he’s not given space and under more pressure he’s not as effective and prone to giving the ball away and providing poor service.

        • Brett says:

          Accuracy of passing depends heavily on chemistry with the one receiving the pass. If the ball goes to a certain spot 5/5 times but the runner runs to five different places, it makes the passer look like they only one accurate pass.

          This is why players tend to look better for club than country, because they spend far more time training with their club and so have a better understanding of when and where runs will be made by specific players.

        • The Imperative Voice says:

          My experience as a Dynamo fan is he runs hot and cold, obviously hot often enough where he is a prized MLS player, but sometimes the service disappears, and he’s not a burner where he gets things done flying down a sideline. He can play decently centrally but probably not at Bradley’s level to bother with it.

      • bold says:

        Understandable but people just want to look at the fact that he’s too slow or that he’s not dynamic enough. But really it’s not about that, sometimes you have to look at what a player doesn’t do that really sets him apart. It’s not always about what you can do to help your team but rather what you do to not hurt your team. And combine that with experience and being deadly on set pieces he may not be at the top of the pecking order but he does deserve a place on the bench imo.

        • DCUnitedWillRiseAgain says:

          Not getting forward to provide another option on attacks hurts the team by costing them a better goal scoring opportunity.

        • GW says:

          I was at the game on Davis’ side of the field. He was much more assured than he looked in previous cameo appearances. I don’t see much of him but he seems to be the kind of player that needs a little time to get settled.

          His set piece deliveries were better.

          The US were focusing on keeping possession by the time he got in and I thought he everyone worked well together in that regard.

          I suspect the reason you aren’t seeing the counter as much is unless it’s clearly right there they are opting for possession.

          He should be just fine if he plays.

        • The Imperative Voice says:

          The theoretical upside that interested me was dead ball ability and crossing. I’ve not seen that and I have the basic concern that he lacks the speed at this level to create the space to cross, and he’s not the only one we have who can hit a dead ball, nor our most consistent on them.

          So most of the upside is gone, at which point I should favor intangibles and soccer IQ over someone else with upside?

      • dude says:

        I don’t think it helps that Zusi is more of a hustle, cross, and switch the point of attack player rather than a real speedster or a player who will blaze past an opponent one on one. With Brad and Zusi on the wings, the attack stalled- not enough movement, dynamic play, or penetration. As such, Belgium were able to smother Altidore and the two of them without much contest.

        What is more surprising to me is that Davis has not found a way to make his pin point service into a weapon. He has the ability, almost in the style of Beckham, to pick a player and find him with an accurate long ball- the US could use that, and it would give the opposing defense something to worry about. Right now, he has to be deep in the opposition’s third to get the cross in- he’s not strong enough in any other department at this point to get away with that.

        • The Imperative Voice says:

          Yeah, I’d like to see some sheer speed on the wings. To me international play favors people of unusual attributes, speed, height, skill, etc. It’s not enough to do your job and hustle around. 95% of people in a qualifier show up ready to play like that.

    • kelso says:

      I don’t think Davis has played well for the USMNT.

      Whenever he gets the ball the play usually dies with him. He rarely combines with other players and rarely gets the ball in a position to whip in a cross, which would seem to be his only real strength at the international level. Admittedly, the latter is not really his fault except that he’s more likely to be behind on the break due to speed.

      I don’t think he should be playing at this point and would rather have F Johnson or Gomez out there. Here’s hoping LD returns to form and Klinsmann cuts him some slack.

  7. StevieBob says:

    I’d like to see EJ start over Davis if Fabian does not start or gets injured. We’ve only seen EJ play for half a game or less and he has had some great moments. I’d love to see what he could do with 70 minutes and playing with Altidore and Dempsey.

    • beto says:

      +1 if Fabian is anything less than 100% for this game EJ should start a LW. after watching Mexico attack their RB all night I could see a smooth and fast attacker like EJ doing well in that role.

      • louis z says:

        FJ and all euro players don’t do well in the humidity and heat of the Caribbean. I say start EJ he seems to do well in the heat and have FJ in the last 25 minutes. Same thing for JJ, too bad we don’t have Edu to cover form him, Sacha may have to do since I don’t see JK going with Corona for these games.

        • John says:

          Heat shouldn’t be a major factor because the game is at night.

          • bryan says:

            it’ll be a low of 82 on Friday night with 76% humidity. to be honest though, DC was 95 and just as much humidity this past week. it’s been tropical weather there but without the scenery.

        • D'oh D'oh says:

          Based on what I saw from Jamaica v Mexico, and Sasha’s recent outings, I’m not sure he’s physical enough. Those Jamaicans are big and fast and now desperate to get points at home. I think we’re really gonna need Jones to be in his Shalke “destroyer” boots to start this one. Maybe as the game wears on bring on Sasha for dynamic passing, especially if we’re down or Jones tires.

    • bryan says:

      agreed. i’d rather have EJ against Jamaica.

    • Berto says:

      I agree as well. After scoring two goals on our last visit there, in a pressure situation none-the-less, EJ has all the confidence going into this game. If I remember right, it was a good performance for gonzo as well… Maybe a breakout performance for him as well. Stick with the same lineup as Ives suggests, and insert EJ for Fabian. Id like to see klinsi have the same lineup for once, just to say “yes, we are figuring out a winning recipe”. So I’m cool with FJ starting and EJ as a second half sub. No Davis please, no danger there.

  8. TomG says:

    I’m a little concerned about DMB against Jamaica’s powerful forwards, but Castillo isn’t exactly the Hulk back there either.

    • Judging Amy says:

      Good point. Germany almost had an early goal by their forward easily muscling DMB off a ball. Luckily he shanked the shot wide. But at least Beas should be able to keep up for speed.

      • OPMG says:

        It wasn’t their forward, it was their centerback (who happens to look like a giant compared to DMB) and it was pretty clearly a foul that didn’t get called. Beas is a twig, but he makes up for that most of the time by being fast enough to put himself in position to win the ball or draw a foul.

        • Judging Amy says:

          Ahh thanks for clarifying. And yes I agree that Beas’ big strength is his speed and recovery speed. As a wingback he shouldn’t be in situations where he is having to rely on his strength too much. Not like Gonzo or Besler.

    • YesItsNate says:

      Are Jamaicans really that much more “powerful” than Germans?

      I’m comfortable with Beasley in the current XI given his recent run of form.

      • TomG says:

        Not that much more powerful, maybe, though Beckford, Johnson, and Watson are all pretty big. It’s going to be a different type of game though. With the sloppy track there won’t be much possession or skill, so the game may boil down to sheer physicality and one mistake could mean a huge swing in points.

    • Trey says:

      Worried about Beasley not being able to stop Jamaicans when he held his own against Schurrle?

  9. Marky Bark says:

    Graham Zusi’s apparently going to play from in the stands.

  10. fischy says:


  11. Jordy says:

    I’m just super pumped that for the first time under Klinsmann we could see the same starting XI from the game before, and not only does it come at a very ideal time, but I am genuinely excited and hoping they make a statement with a 3-0, 4-0 victory.

  12. Dan M says:

    I like the idea of 4 strikers, but can’t we include DMB as a 5th?

  13. HoboMike says:

    The same starting lineup suits me just fine.

    I’m very happy Bradley is playing this time around.

    • malkin says:

      Indeed. It really is amazing how much of a different team we are when MB90 is on the field, even if/when his individual performance isn’t up to par.

  14. Thebumswillalwayslose says:

    Agree with this. Would be nice, for once, to see the same starting 11. The only question for me is if we see Cameron at CB instead of Omar. However, if we can employ the same high pressure approach Mexico did last night, Jamaica’s attack will be very one dimensional and I think Omar is well suited to deal with long balls played up to a target forward.

    • beto says:

      im split on Gonzo vs Cameron.. I think Cameron would do better vs. Jamaica than Gonzo, his speed, grit and size but I am pretty sure that Gonzo will continue to get reps with an eye on next year.

    • DCUnitedWillRiseAgain says:


      Klinsi probably won’t do it because he has a track record of sticking with non-working situations for far far too long (cough Danny Williams cough) but Besler and Cameron have been the most consistent to my mind. Goodson was awful in the Belgium game. Stopping in the D when the play is still going TWICE leading to a goal is absolutely inexcusable to my mind.

  15. Lost in Space says:

    I think we see exactly what Ives has up. That XI performed too well against the Germans not to be given a runout in this match. The only substitution I could even possibly see would potentially be Cameron over Gonzalez. Subs….I’d almost expect to see Jones subed at some point since he went 90 in both friendlies. After that my hope is that we don’t see B. Davis sub’ed in at any time. He’s way to slow to match up against the Jamaicans….If we need a LM sub we should try Castillo over Davis.

  16. PD says:

    I’m glad they’ve had a few days in Kingston to get acclimated. The Reggae Boyz will be playing for pride against a team that has shown it often plays to the level of their opponent. If the US can boss the first 30 minutes, this will be a good result. If they look aimless or fuzzy I think Jamaica could steal a result.

    • Dinho says:

      I would hardly call it “stealing a result” if Jamaica wins. It’s not easy to play at “The Office.”

      Remember, the USMNT has never won in Kingston in a WCQ. I’m actually praying for the US to “steal a result.”

      • malkin says:

        Agree. That said, anybody know how the pitch held up in the Mexico game? Andres Cantor tweeted a close-up picture of it a couple days ago saying it was in great condition and can’t be an excuse. Curious if that held true all game.

        • Luetchy says:

          Looked fine to me on TV. Both teams were able to ping the ball around. Jamaica’s first touch was horrendous, but I don’t think that was the pitch.

  17. bml says:

    That lineup makes the most sense.

    I’m really excited to see how we do in a real match and hopefully it will answer a lot of questions.

    Has our offense improved?
    Is Gonzo/Besler going to work?
    Is Evans THE RB?
    Can DMB hold his own against physical opponents?

    If I’m Jamaica, I’d be excited about playing against this back line.

  18. Carlos says:

    Watched last nights Mexico/Jamaica game. Our line up should be fine for this game. Comparing it to our last qualifier at the Office; we are stronger by a couple of personnel & Jamaica is weaker by a couple. But I’m wondering does Evans show as a better RB than Cameron? I would say Cameron has more experience there, but guessing practice reps show something different.

  19. Raymon says:

    This is showing on the IBeOut network right?

  20. The Imperative Voice says:


    I don’t buy the Germany-based hype. I suggest some of you Altidore-advocates go look at who’s scored on Jamaica the last two years’ worth of Games that Counted between the two teams (ie, Not Jozy).

    • Dw says:


      • The Imperative Voice says:

        How so? That’s 3 Jamaica goals in 3 games up front, and probably the best we can do from the roster pool at each line behind them.

    • OPMG says:

      I don’t think it’s too much to ask Jozy to replicate the runs and off the ball movement we saw the other day. He may or may not score, but that isn’t the only thing that made him so dangerous against Germany. He just has to occupy Jamaica’s centerbacks and things will open up for us.

      • The Imperative Voice says:

        I think playing the oft-sloppy Jozy is playing into Jamaica’s hands in terms of style of play. We already tried this away last year and it didn’t work. I’d use the more technical forwards who are more efficient finishers, so we can possess the ball and finish our chances. I think in the rough and tumble of CONCACAF Jozy tends to disappear because sloppiness is encouraged by physical play and then punished.

        • no jozy hate says:

          Why do you hate jozy? Did you walk in on him banging you mom?

          • Lil' Zeke says:

            Or, quietly wonder to yourself

          • The Imperative Voice says:

            I don’t hate him, I just have other options. Dempsey scores at a higher rate. Donovan scores at a higher rate. Gomez scores at a higher rate. EJ scores at a slightly higher rate. I know Jozy has some potential but it’s a results business and he’s not even the top 2-3 in terms of goals per game. So why start him ahead of other productive players?

            Because he’s some great holdup player? Not what I see. Because he’s a great finisher? Not consistently, not as often as some other candidates.

            I mean, if you have some scrawny .300 hitters who overachieve and some .250 hitter who should be great but isn’t, I play the .300 hitters who get the job done.

          • The Imperative Voice says:

            FIWIW, if I had made the same comments before Germany — and probably did — they would have been met by consensus headnodding. One game, one goal, and he’s changed? Even the “confidence” theories rely on substantial hopefulness because you can’t possibly know if it plays out that way. We’re all guessing and I just think I’m being more cautious given demonstrated history. Not like he’s Terrence Boyd where we kind of don’t know. He has a track record.

            • Nate Dollars says:

              don’t think you’ll see this, but yes, jozy does have a track record–of being very effective when used a certain way.

              which is to disagree with your “One game, one goal, and he’s changed?” notion. i don’t believe he’s changed at all; i think the tactics we used against germany (rapid, direct attacking, instead of slow, patient buildup) were in stark contrast to previous games.

              we’re all just assuming (praying?) that klinsmann will continue to have the team play that way.

            • Nate Dollars says:

              don’t think you’ll see this, but yes, jozy does have a track record–of being very effective when used a certain way.

              which is to disagree with your “One game, one goal, and he’s changed?” notion. i don’t believe he’s changed at all; i think the tactics we used against germany (rapid, direct attacking, instead of slow, patient buildup) were in stark contrast to previous games.

              we’re all just @ssuming (praying?) that klinsmann will continue to have the team play that way.

        • Drew says:

          Aside from the fact he was our leading goal scorer last world cup qualifying (09)? He created our only chance against CR in the snow? He was the only offense in a defensive Mexico game? Scored a world cla$$ goal against Germany? Oh and he scored 31 goals this year for club.

          You sir, are a troll

          • Nate Dollars says:

            he’s not a troII; in fact, most of his comments are spot-on. he just has an irrational dislike of altidore, kind of like my dislike of george clooney. we all have our struggles.

            that said, i also thought it was ludicrous how he said that jozy ‘tends to disappear’ in concacaf games. he certainly didn’t disappear under the previous coach.

          • The Imperative Voice says:

            You want to talk about 4 years ago? Leading up to his no-goals World Cup? The goals you are referencing were against Cuba, Trinidad (3), and El Salvador. None of those teams qualified.

            No goals this qualifying cycle. whatsoever. Let me repeat that. We have played 9 games and he has no goals. Meanwhile Dempsey has 7, and Gomez/Johnson/Boca(!) 2. But of course it’s trolling to point this out because he had an isolated goal in a friendly, his first goal in the run of play for us in 2 years.

    • Nate Dollars says:

      well of course you don’t buy it–that would mean admitting you were wrong about jozy.

      but yeah, let’s start a recently injured player instead, because who cares if jozy scored and assisted (and had a great overall game) against germany?

      now since gomez scored against jamaica, well…everybody knows if you score once against a team, they’ll never be able to stop you again.

    • Nate Dollars says:

      well of course you don’t buy it–that would mean admitting you were wrong about jozy.

      but yeah, let’s start a recently injured player instead, because who cares if jozy scored and @ssisted (and had a great overall game) against germany?

      now since gomez scored against jamaica, well…everybody knows if you score once against a team, they’ll never be able to stop you again.

      • The Imperative Voice says:

        He started the 2-1 loss in the QUALIFIER last year away, came off the bench at home in Columbus at the QUALIFIER. Guess which one we won?

        And, as you note, Dempsey scored away, Gopmez home.

        The year before when we won at Gold Cup, it was Dempsey again with Altidore scoreless as a starter.

        But we should ignore official game history — including qualifiers from the last round against the same team — in favor of a strange friendly where we beat Germany 4-3. Of course.

        • The Imperative Voice says:

          To be clear, these are our last three Jamaica games, each of which “counted” because they were either earlier round qualis or Gold Cup.

          This is the beauty of US Soccer’s lineup grids, where you can see who we’ve started in historical games. You can see what has been tried before and not worked…..

          • ATX_Colin says:

            To suggest Gomez is a far superior forward option to Jozy is laughable. As is stating Gomez is more technically sound. Does he do some things better then Jozy, he sure does. But given service and a full 90 to perform and Jozy will produce more in terms of goals and chances for others.

            • Mig says:

              I think this is an entirely valid argument. I also think it is valid if JK starts Altidore based on a good performance last game AND because Herc has been injured.

              I am not buying into all the Germany hype either, just like I didn’t count the Costa Rica game as anything other than a strong effort by the team. One off results with unusual circumstances do not make for reliable a$$e$$ments.

              That said, whichever combination of forwards JK plays, there is at least an argument for it at this point.

          • wfrw07 says:

            Yeah. How dare Jozy not score in the Gold Cup when he sprained his ankle and was subbed off a dozen minutes into the game!!!!

            And isn’t it possible that we won one game against Jamaica and lost the other because of where the game was played and not who started up top?

        • Mig says:

          I think this is an entirely valid argument. I also think it is valid if JK starts Altidore based on a good performance last game AND because Herc has been injured.

          I am not buying into all the Germany hype either, just like I didn’t count the Costa Rica game as anything other than a strong effort by the team. One off results with unusual circumstances do not make for reliable assessments.

          That said, whichever combination of forwards JK plays, there is at least an argument for it at this point.

        • Nate Dollars says:

          i can’t wait to hear your support for charlie davies the next time we play mexico.

          • CroCajun says:

            If we’re looking at past qualifiers to determine who should start at Jamaica then where is Brian McBride?

        • jjusa says:

          In regards to The Imperative Voice’s comment bringing up the previous games against Jamaica, you have to look at those games with some perspective.
          1)In regards to the Gold cup game I can understand some of your frustration with Jozy two years ago, but that game occurred before Jozy had developed into a proficient goal scorer on a high level of competition.
          2) The 2-1 loss against Jamaica was played with three CDMs not including Bradley (injured at the time) and no true wide midfielders thus severely limiting service to him.
          3) In the 1-0 victory against Jamaica ill give you that Gomez is likely superior at free kicks from 30 yards to Jozy. But I most also counter that numerous chances from the run of play were created (unlike the away game) due to the presence of Zusi and a formation switch that emphasized service from the wings. This type of formation/tactic would have greatly aided Jozy as he thrives when he is involved with build-up play early and often and actually receives service but he only played the last 10 minutes of the game

    • ATX_Colin says:

      So your buying the Gomez hype? Come now, your being silly.

      • malkin says:

        Yes. In the last 3 games against an arbitrary team, Gomez happened to score one very weak (goalie’s fault) goal about a year ago against a team that Jozy hasn’t scored against in those same three games. Clearly that’s a much more important fact than, say, playing the guy who was one of the best players on the field the last time the team played less than a week ago.

    • markwriter says:

      Imperative Voice is a great name.

      Jozy’s talent, his goal and assist against Germany, and his year in Holland earns him his spot.

      Repent from your hating.

    • IronyBear says:

      Didn’t Cobi Jones score against Jamaica or was that Ernie Stewart. We should start them.

    • jjusa says:

      If you are taking what people said about Jozy due to his performance against Germany as “hype” or some kinda of new buzz surrounding him you are getting the complete wrong impression. What people like Ives Galarcep and many other USMNT writers have been saying this whole time (which I have adamently supported) is that Jozy Altidore is a player that thrives when the offense is run through him. We saw against Germany that the tactics of Jurgen Kilnsman were just that. He was involved in build up play early and often, thus limiting his frustration due to being isolated, and he also received adequate service from the wings as evidence by his well taken goal. This is the first game under Klinsman that these tactics were employed to emphasize Jozy Altidore in the offense and as the number of goals proved IT WAS A PRETTY GOOD STRATEGY! So the perceived “hype” is basically people that had been advocating such a game plan all along saying I TOLD YOU SO rather than asserting new claims and attempting to “hype” up Jozy as better than he actually is.

      • Nate Dollars says:


        • richd3668 says:

          Also bear in mind that when Jozy left the game the team gave up several quick goals. This is not the first time this happened He brings a lot to the game beside scoring goals.

  21. Gary Page says:

    I think Cameron should be in there and would put him ahead of Brad Davis. Also, I’m still not sold on DMB at left back, would feel better if he and Johnson were reversed.

  22. Kingsly Alexander says:

    Ives, Im sorry but your completely wrong about Edgar Castillo vs Germany. He passing was very positive, he did a great man marking his man expect for a few errors, and was extremely positive. going forward. He was no more a vulnerability then Beasly was on a couple of his mistakes, and that’s with Beasly starting 3 consecutive games in the back where compared to Castillo’s…Im sorry. i don’t believe he’s actually had a start in his national team career.

  23. SBI Troll says:

    Ives, I think this is more like a 4-2-3-1 than a or 4-2-2-2, assuming that you didn’t actually mean 4-2-4.

    • Ives Galarcep says:

      It’s a 4-4-2, there was a problem with formatting that threw off the whole thing and made it look like a 4-3-3.

      • Coach Drew says:

        While you might say that there’s no big difference, I expect the squad to lineup in a 4-2-3-1 tonight, not a true 4-4-2. Why? Because Altidore will ALWAY be in front of Dempsey, while Bradley/Jones will both lean defensively. For the record, I think this is a good thing. By the way, I think this is one of the best, most cool-headed, well-informed comment threads I’ve read in a long time. Kudos

  24. Bac says:

    I see no surprises here… but here’s my question for you guys…

    What happens over the 3 game stretch if Bradley or Jones can’t go 90 in all 3 matches?

    Whether it be yellow card accumulation, injury, or even needing a sub in that heat… all the talk has been along the back line line and what happens if Fabian can’t go… but JJ & MB have been driving this bus…


    • Dinho says:

      Absolutely valid concern, and I think yellow cards are more likely the cause for their absence over injury (hopefully).

      What happens is…… we suffer. Sacha probably slots in, which is rolling the dice. Or, Corona? Williams? Holden? In short, Yikes.

      If Fabian can’t go, I think you’ll see Davis, EJ or Herc thrown in at left side of midfield.

    • Sands says:

      An excellent point. If either Bradley or Jones is out, Kljestan and/or (heaven forbid) Williams will get the nod and we’ll see very quickly how much we miss them (especially if it’s Bradley). Though, perhaps if it’s just to sub for the last 15-20 mins of a match, we could see Holden (which despite the rust, would definitely be a lot better than Williams and probably better than a fully in-form Kljestan too).

      • bryan says:

        That’s just silly to say Holden would “definitely” be better than Kljestan or WIlliams. Sorry, I just can’t stand comments like that. Until Holden is starting and playing regularly, you have no idea how he will do.

        Williams is still a solid CM option. He certainty wouldn’t help us create, but he would be an ok replacement. And despite Kljestan’s bad game against Belgium, he would probably do okay too.

        • Dennis says:

          Second the comment with regards to Holden. In his short time on the field he failed to have much impact and attempted a couple long serves that were off target. IF he were playing like before injury he can be an important player for the US, but that did not appear to be the case last time out.

          • bryan says:

            right, i agree. and even still, it was less than 10 minutes. let him get some time under his belt and once the Gold Cup is over, where he will likely start, we can talk about where he stands. until then, he is not “definitely” better than anyone.

            • Sands says:

              Fair enough, especially with regard to Kljestan, but Williams has been horrendous in nearly every outing for the MNT in the past year, so I would still rather see Holden in a cameo type situation at the end of a game than Williams.

              • the original jb says:

                All good points about the drop-off in center midfield after Bradley and Jones. I would like to add, however, that Williams’ best game for the USMNT was about a year ago against this same Jamaica team. Williams was a dominant #6 in that game, cleaning up messes, providing an outlet for the defense, and even getting forward and cracking some shots, including one that rattled the opposing goalpost. His form has been up and down since, but I wonder if going against this team might be the thing that could turn his confidence back around.

    • UMF 89 says:

      Does anyone know if MB or JJ are carrying cards from the previous qualifiers? How many do you have to accumulate before missing the next game? I guess the good news is if one of them reaches the limit, the next to two games are at home.

    • Bac says:

      Well there are 7 carrying yellow. Deuce, Bradley, Beasley, Besler, Zusi, and one of the Brads..(+ Edu)
      I’m shocked yet glad JJ doesn’t have one…(yet)
      This will be interesting to see what the bench looks like… with 6 outfield spots he can’t carry Sasha, Stu, and Danny W to choose from. Williams hasn’t played a game in months.. I don’t see Stu ever getting a start , just maybe a 10-15 min run out

      • louis z says:

        In my opinion if MB can’t play because of cards accumulation, then either Sacha or Cameron will take his place. I just don’t see JK going with Corona no matter how good he may be. There is always the chance that FJ may play next to JJ and have either Davis or EJ play the flank.

      • Sweet Melissa says:

        I very well could be completely wrong, but I thought JJ picked up a late yellow in the Costa Rica game, no?

        • Bac says:

          I looked at the usmnt website at the post game notes, for our sake I hope it’s accurate

  25. Kingsly Alexander says:

    Would Like to See:

    —–E. Johnson————————Dempsey———
    Beasley————–Jones(Pure 6)———-Johnson

    • Mat says:

      Klejstan starting? Please no.

    • joe blow says:

      worst lineup ever

    • zztoppppp says:

      I would be pretty upset if Klinsmann rolled this out.

      Also how does Kljestan warrant a start over Zusi?

    • 2tone says:

      Lol. Must be a Kljestan fan. Jones is 100 times better than Kljestan.

      • Shaggie96 says:

        Jones is in the lineup.

      • Kingly Alexander says:

        Lol? Lol I’ve been visiting this site for 8 yrs and have been a us soccer fan for 15. Ppl like u dont have decisive opinions on anything and judge our soccer pool and form on a week by week basis.

    • Kingly Alexander says:

      Bradley and kljestan have history and and whats more, perfect chemistry and comfort with one another let them pick and choose when to go forward, because their great at positioning themselves in put them selves in areas to make killer through balls.

      Let it be jones strick job to only Shepard the back and make those killer long balls( anyone recall his first game assist to altidore?) in a high tempo high pressing attack this is a lineup I’m craving to see. And yea I’m a kljestan fan, but only because his immense quality and work ethic.

    • John says:

      Having Bradley Kljestan and Jones on the field just creates too much confusion as to what everyone role is. Its not too different from the Bradley Williams Jones line up we saw in Honduras.

      • Kingsly Alexander says:

        It’s different then including williams. just like it was with edu. kljestan was the one who never had a chance in a three cm lineup, and in saying that, edu was horrible as a pure 6 as was williams,

        Having someone like Jones be a pure 6, a role who knows too well, gives kljestan and bradley the chance to show off their games. Im, not the only one sure of their cohesiveness on the pitch. In an ussoccer interview Bradley was more then adamant about potentially playing with Kljestan in the middle and was basically vying for him to get a start in the middle.

  26. Nate Dollars says:

    yo ives, are you not using “this11″ to display formations anymore? i thought it worked really well.

    • Ives Galarcep says:

      I hadn’t been for convenience sake, but after this latest formatting fiasco I might go back to it.

  27. bryan says:

    spot on Ives. i think Gomez ends up seeing a limited role in qualifiers. still good, solid minutes, but maybe only one start out of three. i think he’ll start at the Gold Cup.

  28. SanFran415 says:

    This game is going to be ugly due in part to the pitch. I’ll be more than happy with a draw and ecstatic if we pull out the elusive win.

    Whoever it is needs to be ready to press, press and press some more.

    • louis z says:

      The pitch looked pretty good. Mexico liked it just find. grass was a little long in the flanks but nothing like a neighborhood park.

  29. kelso says:

    I like the projected starting lineup given the available roster. However, I don’t really like the projected subs apart from Gomez; It’s not that I have other subs that I would make, but that I think all of the suggested moves are large dropoffs from the starters. I think Klinsmann should try to stick with the starters as long as possible and should only be making subs if if they players are gassed and can’t keep going.

    If we’re looking for a winner late, I would rather have the tired starters out there than any of the available subs apart from Gomez. Obviously a player’s in game performance on Friday night could change this opinion, but just my 2 cents at this point

  30. kelso says:

    I like the projected starting lineup given the available roster. However, I don’t really like the projected subs apart from Gomez; It’s not that I have other subs that I would make, but that I think all of the suggested moves are large dropoffs from the starters. I think Klinsmann should try to stick with the starters as long as possible and should only be making subs if if they players are g@ssed and can’t keep going.

    If we’re looking for a winner late, I would rather have the tired starters out there than any of the available subs apart from Gomez. Obviously a player’s in game performance on Friday night could change this opinion, but just my 2 cents at this point

    • Byrdman says:

      Wouldn’t be against Castillo at left mid if fj is tired and we need a goal. He attacks well. Hope he was just worn out from travel on Sunday

  31. chris thebassplayer says:


    A little more speed on the flanks. Cameron stays put and provides a better physical match up with the Jamaican forwards.

  32. wandmdave says:

    I realize he didn’t inspire confidence and Qualifiers aren’t the time to experiment but I would like to see Castillo again after some rest. If DMB didn’t have recovery speed he would have been deemed an awful defender at this point. His tackles and positioning been poor in my eyes. I think its just luck he hasn’t gotten burned for it yet. Going forward he’s been good and his effort is always A+ but that sounds more like LW or LM qualifications.

    • kelso says:

      I’m happy to have him play in the gold cup.

      DMB hasn’t been perfect, but Castillos positioning and tackling on Sunday were awful.

      DMB having speed to recover is a plus, not a negative, and his defense has been better than what Castillo has shown

      • wandmdave says:

        “DMB having speed to recover is a plus, not a negative, and his defense has been better than what Castillo has shown.”

        Without question but speed isn’t a permanent substitute for defensive positioning and tackling. I just can’t get behind DMB as the answer at LB long term. Castillo’s club form seems to have improved dramatically since he got his first chance to play for the national team and since then has been given only one audition on very very short rest and no training with the team. I just don’t want to write him off as a failure yet.

        • kelso says:

          yeah i agree, i just don’t think his next chance should be in one of the upcoming qualifiers prior to some NT experience elsewhere. These games are too important

          • wandmdave says:

            You’re right. I had forgotten he was already on the provisional Gold Cup roster. That probably would be the best time to give him a try.

    • Jesse says:

      Eddie Johnson should start after netting 2 headers against Jamaica last fall. As in the Mexico game headers seem the way to score against Jamaica in Jamaica.

  33. Mat says:

    Would be strange not to play a guy from the EPL though: Cameron. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s in there instead of Gonzo or Evans. The rest of the lineup seems pretty straightforward, though I can see JK putting Fabian back at the LB spot for more security defensively, and start Brad Davis in LM.

  34. Matt says:

    Not sure why sooooo many people to include Klinsi….are suddenly SOLD on Gonzalez as a centerback over Cameron.
    Cameron has been playing multiple positions …that are not his best position and doing so well vs much tougher competition than Omar & MLS.
    Gonzalez clearly needs to mature and face tougher competition…..while Cameron already has already done so.
    Cameron at Centerback as far as I am concerned.

    • Kev says:

      Not arguing against you but I think half of why people think it is best to keep Gonzalez is for consistency in our CB pairing – finally! That’s where I stand, anyway.

      it is getting to the point where we are a year away from the World Cup – if all goes well. The team has not seen a consistent lineup in what, 2 years? It is very important to have cohesion among our CB’s.

      Overall, I agree, Cameron is probably the better player. But I would vote to keep Gonzalez and Besler in there for Jamaica – especially bc it is an away game. Just for the cohesion factor. Hope they got their mistakes out of the way in the two friendlies.

      I think if Gonzalez or Besler, for that matter, has a bad game vs. Jamaica, then the swap should be made.

      I think you raise a good point though – the fact that Cameron plays in the BPL. Playing against top players in the world every week certainly has merit. I wish he played CB there though.

      • Dan says:

        He plays as a fullback and doing that 10 months out of the year really destroys your experience on playing CB…

        BEST cases scenario is Huth or Shawcross are sold and he becomes CB next season

        • ATX_Colin says:

          I agree, if he doesnt get regular burn at cb at stoke its hard to see him staying as a viable option at cb for the usmnt.

          • Matt says:

            I AGREE that we need consistency in our pairing — no doubt ! (Listen up Klinsi!)
            But….Boca has done it for years….shuttling between CB and LB depending upon the National team opponent and speed of the forwards, and our teams/depth at the time.
            It just seems to me that Cameron has palyed CB for much of his career….Dallas, and only recently –Stoke—due to a hair up the coaches ass….has been playing out of position at positions that he had played at before.
            I just believe –even with his position switching —that he has had a better overall player history than Gonzalez.
            I personally think Klinsi plays Gonzo due to the “potential” he ahs, but definitely NOT because he has earned it playing vs. top competition. MLS ain’t the BPL (I am NOT an MLS hater.).
            Gonzo needs more experience…I would pair Cameron with Gonzo or Besler, but not those two together.

      • louis z says:

        consistency to make errors that cost goals?

  35. Thebumswillalwayslose says:

    One other thing to consider. If I’ve got this right, and I’d like to think that I do, we’ve got 7 guys carrying yellows coming into this game: Beasley, Bradley, Besler, Davis, Dempsey, Fabian Johnson and Zusi. Another yellow for any of those guys and they’re suspended the next game. The only one on that list who we can afford to lose is Davis. We’ve got options to replace Zusi, although not to the same level, and we could probably handle if Besler had to miss a game. However, we can ill afford to lose Beasley and Fabian, and losing Bradley or Dempsey would be absolutely devastating even if the next game is against Panama at home.

    And yes, I’m just as surprised as the rest of you that Jermaine Jones ISN’T on that list.

    • Dinho says:

      This will give me nightmares. Thank you.

    • Dan says:

      As someone that is going to the Panama game I pray that none get yellow. ESPECIALLY Deuce and Bradley. Beasley and Johnson are critical. Zusi and Besler are replaceable at a cost. And Davis is worthless so who cares

  36. paulwp says:

    I would like to see cameron and gonzalez and CB. I understand that Gonzo has looked worse than Besler, but I think the experience/talent combo of cameron and gonzalez would be perfect. Also, it’s hard to put Gonzo’s dominance in the air on the bench… (though he makes it easier when he keeps losing his men on sets)

    • GW says:

      Gonzo was not dominant in the air against Germany. His bad play should see him dropped against Jamaica but probably won’t be because Cameron has not looked good lately either.

      But the real reason to keep Gonzo out there over Cameron is that Besler blew hot and cold against Germany and he seems to fit better with Gonzo.

      If JK decides Gonzo needs a break , I suspect you will see Goodson and Besler. Goodson can more readily replace Gonzo’s aerial presence and Besler’s mobility covers for Clay’s immobility.

      Still, Besler reminded me of Tim Ream at times in the Germany game.

      • Lil' Zeke says:

        Come one, who’s “dominant” in the air against Germany? First time out the chute?

  37. beckerman4lyfe says:

    I dont lik dis lineup. I was hopin for sometin lik dis:

    —ed johnson—

    thats how you gone beat jamaca

    • Dan says:

      That has to be the single stupidest lineup I have ever seen in my life…

    • Luetchy says:

      no beckerman? child, please.

      • Lil' Zeke says:

        But he occupies the most vaunted field position of all: right there in dude’s name

    • bryan says:

      TERRIBLE. you have EJ isolated up top, meaning his speed is not being used. you have DAVIS and EVANS, two of the slower guys on the team, helping out with width in the midfield. then you have Goodson and Omar together, possibly the slowest CB pairing ever…against Jamaica, known for their speed.

    • SJ says:

      I demand Freddy Adu in this line-up

  38. zztoppppp says:

    I like the idea of keeping it the same as it was against Germany.

  39. Dan says:

    Besler/Gonzo over Cameron? Isn’t Cameron are hottest defensive prospect or has Stoke already ruined him?

  40. Guest says:

    We should win regardless, are team should be able to handle all of the CONCACAF teams when healthy. Provided we give the right effort and the right players, tactics are selected.

    • Barack Obama says:

      Well, you never know. Mexico barely beat them. And that team also tied Mexico at Azteca. To say we should win outright underestimates the Rasta Boys and overestimates OUR team

  41. Dank says:

    While I agree that he played very well against Germany, I’m still not sold on Brad Evans as our starting right back. I guess we don’t have many ‘natural’ fullback options against Jamaica, but I sure do wish Lichaj or Parkhurst or Sean Franklin or Sheanon Williams or any other real RB was slotting in there.

    • GW says:


      Why are you not sold? Evans is a makeshift solution but national teams often are full of makeshift solutions because they are basically short term propositions. This team is together for 5 games and then won’t play together again until the fall. If Evans plays again, then all he needs to do is fake it for three games until a real right back, if ever, comes into the picture.

      So right now I’m pretty sure any national team manager worth his salt is worried about the next three games not the fall.

      By the way, there is one other allegedly “natural” right back on the roster and that is Fabian. And Parkhurst should be available.

  42. SJ says:

    Anyone else not completely sold on EJ’s tracking back on D if he were to start?

  43. Drew says:

    Mr. Gonzalez it’s your last chance… don’t F it up

  44. Dos a Cero says:

    Whomever starts….If you are within 20 yards… TAKE A LOT OF SHOTS.. preferably low

    That’s all

  45. Johnny says:


    • wandmdave says:

      What makes you think Jones will make a good CB?

      • wandmdave says:

        He has many strengths but discipline doesn’t tend to be one of them.

      • Johnny says:

        He’s a good all around player, he’s tough, and he’s quick. I’ve always been a fan of putting your best guys on the field, and with the roster we have for the upcoming game, I don’t think anyone has really cemented themselves at the CB position. Also, I don’t think the tandem of he and MB90 give us the best creativity in the midfield. However, he might be a good bocanegra-type player on defense.

    • SBI Troll says:

      Three midfielders on the back line? C’mon man!

      • Johnny says:

        Hey…it’s the national team. Everyone plays out of their usual position. :)
        But it’s really not that much of a stretch to put some midfielders in defense (as opposed to putting a forward on the back line). Midfielders are usually you’re most versatile players, and they’ve probably played defense at some point in their careers.

  46. Bean says:

    I’d like to see Geoff Cameron moved back into the central defender role. A pairing with Beasler would be preferable.

  47. chris_thebassplayer says:


    The key for me will be having speed on both flanks. Cameron plays as a strictly stay home LB providing a better physical match up with the Jamaican forwards. If we don’t have speed and savvy on the flanks, it will be too easy for Jamaica to shutdown the service from the flanks and clog the middle.

    • DCUnitedWillRiseAgain says:

      After that cross to Jozy in USA vs. Ger, you don’t put Zusi on the RW? Crazy.

  48. KJ says:

    Everyone is taking too much from one game. I predict after the next 2 matches these newcomers will go back to being hated. Not saying we’ll lose, but those players might perform poorly.

  49. Brett says:

    If everyone is healthy and ready to go, I’d come out in a 4-4-2. Jamaica will want to play a very narrow game and try to run around us on the break, so we must stay compact and link together for long periods of time. The easiest way to do this is to simplify the shape and mark clear roles for each player.

    Dempsey and Herc up top in a classic hold-up/run-off partnership. Both can link with the midfield, both can work back on defense. Jozy is in form but his work rate is not ideal for this type of match. If he starts, he will be gassed at 20 minutes in and the team will suffer. He can come off the bench as a sub if we need to make a tactical change.

    Left to right in the midfield: Davis, Bradley, Jones, Zusi. Zusi not my first choice to patrol the right side, but Klinsy called him in and there’s no one I think is head and shoulders above him. Obviously, that’s Lando Commando’s spot when he returns. Davis over Fabian because the key to this formation will be keeping the shape. Fabian will want to cut inside too much, and Davis has a left foot to provide more difficult crosses to defend from the left. I still don’t love the Jones/Bradley partnership. I think Jermaine is actually the backup to Bradley’s position, but Holden isn’t fit and Kljestan gives the ball away too often.

    Left to right on the back line: Beasley, Besler, Gonzo, Fabian Johnson. Beasley and Fabian will provide the speed on the flanks to keep Jamaica honest on their runs outside, as well as give some juice to the attack when the lines step up. Besler/Gonzo isn’t the most ideal partnership I can think of, but they have a better sense of communication than any other pairing we could put out there. Which brings me to the goalkeeper…

    Guzan over Howard. I was really impressed by Guzan’s ability to boss the defense in Azteca. Howard loses his composure and does not communicate especially well with his defenders, leading to a lot of mix-ups, finger pointing, and arm flailing as the ball rolls into the net. It’s not a matter of Guzan being “better” than Howard, he’s just the better choice for this team.

    Subs will depend on the flow of the game, but if Jamaica starts to bunker in I could see us moving to a 3 man back line and bring in Cameron for Davis and push him back alongside Gonzo and Besler. This lets us push Beasley (left midfield) and Fabian (central midfield) up into the attack. Bring in Jozy for Herc, who would have put in a lot of work pestering the Jamaica defense. Save the last sub for an emergency, but tentatively it would be Eddie for either Beasley or Fabian.

  50. Shane says:

    I can see Beasley getting torched by McCleary. Fabian needs to be at leftback and Beasley at left mf.