Who should the USMNT start vs. Panama?

USMNTvsJamaica2013 (ISIPhotos.com)


SEATTLE- Just when Jurgen Klinsmann had finally settled on a regular starting lineup for the first time in his tenure as U.S. Men’s National Team head coach, the U.S. boss has to make some new decisions.

Jermaine Jones (concussion) and Graham Zusi (yellow card suspension) will miss Tuesday’s World Cup qualifier vs. Panama and Klinsmann has a myriad of options to replace them. With Jones’ central midfield spot, he could turn to Geoff Cameron, as he did in the win vs. Jamaica, or he could call on Sacha Kljestan or even Stuart Holden.

Replacing Zusi could be a bit tougher, though he has some wing options to turn to. He could start Eddie Johnson on the left, and go with either Fabian Johnson or Joe Corona (or even Sacha Kljestan) on the right, or he could just insert Corona or Kljestan on the right, with Fabian Johnson staying on the left.

Klinsmann has to know Panama will come to CenturyLink Field playing for a draw, and with the Canaleros expected to pack numbers back, figuring out the right combination of wingers will be very important.

With that in mind, here is the lineup we see Klinsmann turning to against Panama on Tuesday night:



E. Johnson——-Dempsey———F. Johnson





Some thoughts:

Fabian Johnson didn’t have his best game against Jamaica, but he’s still a quick winger who is naturally right footed so playing on the right shouldn’t be a problem for him.

Stuart Holden isn’t likely to be 90 minutes fit just yet so it’s tough to see him as a starting option to replace Jones, even though long-term a Holden-Bradley combo is one we could see down the road when Holden is completely healthy and fully fit.

Joe Corona is a popular option to play on the right wing as well and Klinsmann could go with him against Panama, which would likely mean the bench for Fabian Johnson.

In case you hadn’t figured it out, all of these variations include Eddie Johnson in the starting lineup. I just can’t see him not starting in Seattle. He has played well when given minutes and Johnson would surely be up for the challenge of playing in front of his home fans.

Geoff Cameron seems the safe bet to start in central midfield after his solid showing off the bench vs. Jamaica, but you have to wonder if he’ll be able to keep up with the shifty and technical Panamanian midfield. The fact that Blas Perez won’t play is going to severely limit Panama’s attack, which might make Cameron a bit of a safer play. He looks like a good bet to start over Kljestan.

Here is a lineup I am sure USMNT fans would love to see, but isn’t likely to be seen just yet:


E. Johnson——-Dempsey————Corona




Who would I start vs. Panama if I were head coach? I’d probably go with this combination (I would normally always pencil in Fabian Johnson, but his shaky showing vs. Jamaica has me wondering if Corona isn’t the better option):


E. Johnson——-Dempsey————–Corona




What do you think of our projected lineup? Who would you start vs. Panama in place of Jones and Zusi?

Share your thoughts below.


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

  1. Marvin says:

    Anyone know if natural grass will be used for this match??

    • USSoccerHomer says:

      yup. temp grass field installed late last weeks. sounders/whitecaps played on it the other day.

      • The Imperative Voice says:

        What a joke.

      • Scott says:

        Rule needs to be, “no USMNT games without a natural grass field”. If you want turf, don’t cry about not having games. I would rather play on turf and have this game played on turf, than play on temporary grass. Complaints already coming in about the field conditions.

      • Mark says:

        Start Terrence Boyd! (please?)

    • jake says:

      Yes. Seattle played on it on Saturday night. Didn’t look fantastic.

      • Charles says:

        Was at the game, I thought it looked fine.

        Can’t wait for Tuesday !!!

        • Hogatroge says:

          You didn’t play on it.

          It got less than stellar reviews.

        • Scott says:

          Many of these temp grass fields looks good, however, they tend to be slow, lumpy, unbearably soft fields when you play on them. Talk to players, they are hated more than turf. Turf is at least predictable.

  2. bryan says:

    i think we see this or we see Corona at RM. either way, i think i’ll be ok.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      I’m not sure if Cameron is laterally quick enough, or quick enough on the pass, for the job, but you’d probably have to call up new people to fix the problem. But we had a few days to do it. So it is what it is, and it’s preferable to Holden or Kljestan, who are really AMs IMO.

      Now we’ll hear how Holden was a CM for Bolton, but that team has floundered down to Championship mediocrity. Just like I don’t think it’s Cameron’s right spot, it’s not his either. I don’t think he suited to it in fighter mentality, nor do I think I want to risk him getting hurt again.

      I’d play Fabian and Corona wide with EJ off the bench. Basically Ives’ v.3. I do wish some new callins had been made — or were made in the first place — but it’s basically a made-bed situation.

      • JustinV says:

        Sorry, but your just wrong about Stuart Holden except your last point. When Holden went out with his knee injury in March 2011, Bolton was in 7th place, he had been on numerous EPL best XI’s, and was leading (or very near the lead at the time) the league in tackles. He was voted Bolton Player of The Year despite missing the last 2+ months which saw Bolton drop to 14th. Say what you will about how bad Bolton has fallen off since his injury, but that really is no reflection on the player he was before that. He was considered one of the best CMs in the Premiere League and a good part of that was for his tenacious defending.

        So Stuart Holden may never be that player again, but to say he isn’t suited to it or doesn’t have a fighters mentality shows a lack of understanding of just who he is. Don’t let the bleach blond hair fool you.

        • Hogatroge says:

          I know The Imperative Voice is a Dynamo fan, so I think maybe you’re misinterpreting his comments.

          Holden’s a great player, but he’s not a dedicated defensive mid-type and he’s also not fit enough to play a significant role for the team now.

          • chris_thebassplayer says:

            I think he is a very good defender in midfield. He’s just coming back , but when he’s fully fit he could be a twin 6 no problem…but he also has the ability to make plays up field. He’d be more of a high distributor than an attacker at ACM…If he’s fully fit and still has his step…he’s good wherever you put him…because he makes great decisions with the ball.

          • Bean says:

            Holden was the strongest tackler in the EPL before his second injury. It’s what he’s known for–a strong D-Mid. He led the EPL in tackles for some time between his injuries.

      • the unmistakeable Ronaldinho says:

        I think you’re over analyzing this. Cameron was a starter at CM multiple times for Stoke and played quite well. I’m sure he is a capable player there. I think your analysis of Holden is way off as well. That “fighter mentality” you say he lacks is often pointed to as one of his greatest qualities.
        The injuries/suspension is not overwhelming the squad. We have plenty of options to fill in both holes. No need for further call-ups.

        • Hogatroge says:


          Cameron’s last few USMNT appearances at RB have been subpar, but as is the usual, people on this board have pretty short memories.

          Cameron put in many solid shifts as a CB for the Nats over the past year and a half. He put in plenty of solid work for Stoke in the midfield.

          It’s only since they moved him to RB that he’s struggled a bit…understandable because he’s used to playing centrally and the responsibilities are different.

      • GW says:

        Holden’s great run at Bolton was all about him being a box to box all action, be everywhere do everything kind of midfielder. And as JustinV pointed out, he was near to top of theleague in tackles. Much was made of his great “engine”. At the time he and Donovan were graded out as the two most fit USMNT players.

        He isn’t that guy anymore, but if he were you better believe he would be a great replacement for JJ..

      • Brett says:

        Stu’s size might not make him ideal for a defensive role, but his work rate, vision, and soccer IQ make him effective at breaking up movements.

        One could argue that Stu’s absence is one of the biggest reasons why Coyle’s bunch dropped out of the Prem. They looked like a decent side with him, but as soon as he went out they plummeted and haven’t stopped since.

        • Ramon says:

          Holden’s size generally speaking may be an issue at D Mid, but Panama is not a big team.Sanchez is about 5’5. So for this game Stu probably would work at D Mid.

      • Bean says:

        Stuart Holden is known in the EPL as a tough tackler. His stats, and reviews point toward being a very strong tackler and a weak passer. Before his second injury, he led the league in tackles. It’s what he’s known for. He is a tough D-Mid, or at least was when healthy.

  3. Old School says:

    Borrowing the acronym previously used: ABS (Anyone but Sacha).

    Would prefer to see Cameron slot in the midfield with Bradley.

    • Neyland says:

      Loving the ABS.

      • TomG says:

        I’m not completely against Sacha. Against Belgium was, I think, the only time we’ve seen him play his natural CM role and looking bad against guys like Dembele, Fellaini, and Hazard isn’t too surprising, but I’d rather see Cam back there to free up MB to range forward.

        • The Imperative Voice says:

          I’m going to point out the 2010 year where Cameron played CM for the Dynamo until he got hurt is basically a franchise low point. Only time we didn’t make the playoffs since they moved. You don’t want to flatter that period with imitation.

          Cameron has long limbs, slow explosiveness, long turning radius, and likes to turn upfield and take people on rather than keep it simple. He is not a prototype DM. I’ve always felt he was more of a wing or CB player where you can play in space.

          He would be a better choice than SK but Holden would also be and I think he’d be a poor choice too. Why do I even bother with players whose bad showings aren’t too surprising? That’s a loooooooooow bar. I realize the opportunity to supplement the roster is past but we can still do better. I mean, the Belgian connection misleads because most of the elite Belgian players are actually in the EPL.

          • Old School says:

            “I’m going to point out the 2010 year where Cameron played CM for the Dynamo until he got hurt is basically a franchise low point. Only time we didn’t make the playoffs since they moved. You don’t want to flatter that period with imitation.”

            Let’s keep things in context.

            That was a year removed from Stuart Holden’s departure and two years removed from De Rosario…so putting any of that on Cameron is ridiculous.

            That entire team was in a huge transition and lost it’s two best players.

          • bearusky says:


        • Smacking says:

          I also think we’d see a better version of Sacha if he was paired with Bradley as opposed to Jones. Those two had some decent chemistry a few years back.

          • Old School says:

            Hey, that’s a very point.

            • Old School says:

              *good point

            • beachbum says:

              agreed, good call. I remember him paired with MB vs. Spain in the ‘friendly’ after the Confed Cup, and they were at least kind of bright on a day when Spain thrashed us and took out some frustrations seemed to me

              I bet we see Cameron tho at home it’s possible a more attack minded midfiled could get the call

              I’m glad Perez is out

          • the unmistakeable Ronaldinho says:

            One of Bradley’s best qualities is that he brings out the best in players around him. Not sure the same can be said for Jones. I’d prefer to see Sacha get the call but have faith in Cameron if we go that direction.
            I’m much more curious as to what we see on the wings. Castillo and EJ seem like the obvious picks and Corona has that unknown quality still. Klinsmann seems to like Brad Davis as well. All bring a different skill set to the table.

          • PD says:

            Excellent point.

  4. Nate says:

    Yellow card trouble for the US so far:

    B. Evans 6/7/13 @ Jamaica
    B. Davis 3/26/13 @ Mexico
    Beasley 3/26/13 @ Mexico
    Besler 3/26/13 @ Mexico
    Deuce 10/16/12 v Guatemala
    Edu 6/12/12 @ Guatemala
    F. Johnson 6/12/12 @ Guatemala
    Bradley 6/12/12 @ Guatemala

    Zusi 9/11/12 v Jamaica
    6/7/13 @ Jamaica
    (misses game v Panama 6/11/13)
    Jones 9/7/12 @ Jamaica
    10/12/12 @ Antigua & Barbuda
    (missed game v Guatemala 10/16/12)
    Goodson 6/12/12 @ Guatemala
    9/7/12 @ Jamaica
    (missed game v Jamaica 9/11/12)

    • biff says:

      According to official Concacaf statistics, Goodson has only one yellow card, meaning that he would be suspended a game on his next yellow. Concacaf does not show him getting a yellow September 7, 2012, in Jamaica. Where do you see this?

      Here is the link to Concacaf Topscorers/Disciplinary (yellow/red cards) list, showing Goodson with only one yellow.
      link to concacaf.globalsportsmedia.com

      Goodson’s Yellow June 12, 2012
      link to concacaf.globalsportsmedia.com

      No Yellow for Goodson September 7, 2012
      link to concacaf.globalsportsmedia.com

      • Ives Galarcep says:

        There was some confusion about this after that game. I was in Kingston for that one and remember being told that Goodson did receive a yellow. Would be interesting to see if somehow he didn’t receive one.

        • biff says:

          I do not remember Goodson getting a yellow that game, which was not one of Goodson’s better games. None of the news reports on the game or soccer web sites listed Goodson as getting a yellow. There was, I think, only one source for the yellow care and that was US Soccer. And, if I remember correctly, Goodson flew back to Europe the next day and did not go to Kansas City for the rematch with Jamaica.

          I guess a journalist could telephone Concacaf and ask if the stats on the Concacaf Web site are correct. And, if they are, then the next question is why did US Soccer announce he had a second yellow card and a suspension and then put him on a plane back to Europe.

      • Nate says:

        I got all these from the US Soccer site. I would say it’s surprising they don’t agree with CONCACAF, but perhaps it’s par for the course that CONCACAF would get this wrong?

        6/12/12: Yellow #1 at Guatemala

        9/7/2012: Yellow #2 at Jamaica

        9/11/2012: Suspended versus Jamaica: “Goodson was suspended for the match because of yellow card accumulation but will be available for selection in the USA’s next World Cup qualifier.”

      • Nate says:

        CONCACAF has also apparently never heard of Edu, even though he’s played in eight of our ten qualifiers. Wha?

  5. Chris Dos says:

    Well Ives, you’re hardly ever wrong. That been said, I don’t like the projected line-up. I’d rather see Corona

    F Johnson—–Cameron——Bradley—–Corona

    I think EJ will still have a chance to impress in front of his home fans as a super sub.
    But EJ is not a 90min guy

    • Dinho says:

      He’s not a 90 minute guy on the wing, that’s what you mean, right? Because I agree.

    • Josh D says:

      I like Ives’ line-up, however, benching F. Johnson and playing Beasley at LB means Beasley is a better LB than F. Johnson which I don’t buy at all. Sure Beasley has played well, but F. Johnson is far better defensively and probably even offensively. Especially considering the amount of game-time Beasley has had, I can see him benched.


      Or keep Beasley at LB and put F.J. in at left wing. I think he’s a better passer and dribbler than E.J. But I’ll trust that E.J. starts.

      • beachbum says:

        I don’t believe it means that DMB is a better LB, it means backlines from the GK thru the DMids need to gel and establish chemistry for the best results, particularly in international games I would argue. However, seems clear to me from past performances that Fabian is the best LB in the US pool for some time so no arguments there

        since JJ is out already, perhaps another switch to that back 7 would be unwise but who can tell? Klinnsman rolls the dice so you may be right that Fabian starts. Biggest reason I think Fabian doesn’t start is he looked gassed pretty early in the Jamaica game albeit in a different position

      • beachbum says:

        hey Josh, I have a reply to your comment that is now 4.5 hours awaiting moderation

  6. Omar Little says:

    Why does Jozy always insist on standing in these pictures? Too much of a G to crouch? Can we put him in the backrow then?

    • TomG says:

      I think the straight leg bend always makes the butt pop a bit more. It looks like JJ appreciates it, though OG seems to prefer Zusi’s crouch.

  7. Geno says:

    I agree with the projected lineup, but:
    Does Cameron have the (anticipation) speed to stop the counter, or will he clumsily get himself a card or two?
    Starting F Johnson will answer questions about him. I predict he will do well.

    • bryan says:

      Cameron is likely to stay back like a true #6, i doubt he would get caught up field during a counter unless there was a set piece.

      • r.benjamin says:

        I like the Cameron ‘experiment’ at Defensive Mid. I think he as the physical tools to do well there. Assuming he sits in the #6. He can make the tackle and has the class enough to make the simple pass. He just needs to stay focused and in position.

        In the EPL games I’ve seen him play, I think its his lack of speed/quickness that is his weakest point. His tackle and ability to play out of trouble seem to be his strong points. perfect for a CM who stays home.

    • Bean says:

      Geoff Cameron has done well in match ups against Luis Suarez, Stirling, Evra, Baines, etc.

      He is a top 5 tackler in the EPL. I think that he’d do good against Panama.

      • atd says:

        Wow — hadn’t realized this, and of course it turns out to be true. Only one defender in the league (Zabaleta) had more tackles in 2012-2013 than Geoff.

        • The Imperative Voice says:

          You understand the method of Stoke’s play, right? I’m sure the Dynamo rack up tackles too sitting back.

          • Bean says:

            I understand good tackling, whether the uniform is orange, or striped, or blue, a tackle is a tackle. When I see Cameron dispossess very quick players with relative ease, and pass the ball out of pressure, I know that he’s not out of his depth in football like you suggest.

          • atd says:

            And yet no other Stoke player ranks in the top 25. C’mon, man.

      • louisz says:

        good point.

      • John says:

        So how many players on the field will be in the same position they play for there club? Four or Five?

      • atd says:

        Another statistic: Michael Bradley’s pa$$ing percentage was third among Serie A midfielders (min. 10 starts).

      • TomG says:

        Yes, no worries about Cam in that role defensively.

    • Byrdman says:

      FJ has struggled in the heat. Probably not much like this in Germany. But the climate should be a little more to his liking in the Northwest. I expect a really good from him

  8. chuck says:

    I don’t see any way F. Johnson isn’t in the starting line up.

    • louisz says:

      me too. if anything, his less than stelar games have been a combination of post injury and never playing well in tropical climate.

      • Hogatroge says:

        I agree. He’s had a few mediocre outings lately, but only Honduras was objectively poor. He needs to be on the pitch because the quality is definitely there.

        That said, he’d better get used to that heat and humidity. WC’s in Brasil after all!

    • Max says:

      Agreed. He seems to be our best defensive option at LB and honestly I don’t understand why we he hasn’t been in the backfield with Beasley at mid. I think Beasely’s done a decent job there but man it just looks like he is going to break in half any time he’s touched. And it’s not like Johnson wasn’t getting forward or making overlapping runs like Beas. Wouldn’t it be better to have them both at their natural positions?

  9. Sno Fro says:

    I read that JK sent Fabian on vacation, he has returned to Germany and is not available.

  10. Michael F. SBI Mafia Original says:

    I would love to see Corona. I know you should NEVER say this but I don’t see us losing this game even without Zusi and Jones. So Carona gets my vote. Fabian was shaky and why not see what Carona can do? We have three subs!

  11. Rik says:

    Are we really saying to not start Fabian after months (years) of begging for him to return to midfield? Come on. He had two very strong appearances and one shaky one vs. JAM with a bum leg. Even a 50% Fabian opens up space and gives us width (and wits) that can help create chances.

    I’d love to see Fabian and Corona as the wingers, but think EJ will get the start on his home turf (pun intended). Do hope we see Corona at a certain point in this game though.

    • bryan says:

      yeah, i hate the knee jerk reactions. let Johnson have a solid set of games there. he should not be taken out of the starting lineup. if anything you swap him and Beasley. you don’t put EJ in and bench Johnson…

    • bryan says:

      yeah, i hate the over reactions. let Johnson have a solid set of games there. he should not be taken out of the starting lineup. if anything you swap him and Beasley. you don’t put EJ in and bench Johnson…

    • biff says:

      hey, Rik. Some of us have not been begging Klinsmann to put Fabian in the midfield. (so no over reaction, bryan :-) We have argued for months that Fabian should be left to play his strongest position, left back. I admit, Fabian might yet prov us wrong in future games. But he did nothing to change our minds after his anonymous left wing performance against Germany followed by a flop-of-the-match performance against Jamaica. What makes you think he was injured? I rather doubt that Klinsmann would have played him unless he was fit.

      • bryan says:

        over reaction is saying to not include him in the lineup at all. which i only say because 2/3 lineups don’t have him in it and there are plenty of people not starting him in their lineups.

        it all means nothing, but i take it as a sign of the mentality. and to bench johnson seems like an over reaction.

        • the unmistakeable Ronaldinho says:

          The options to replace Zusi and Jones are interesting. There’s a pretty good argument to be made about pretty much all the guys who are in contention. Personally I think I’d go with Johnson and Kljestan but wouldn’t care if it ended up being an different combo.

          The talk of taking Fabian Johnson out baffles me. Surely we can forgive a couple quiet games from clearly one our most talented players. He didn’t light it up as so many of us expected but dropping him to the bench seems like an overreaction. Keep the faith in him for at least 1 more game unless there’s an issue with his hammy that we don’t know about.

          • bryan says:

            agreed. and i’d switch him and Beasley for a game before i would bench him.

          • Bac says:

            Agreed, and I think he fares better against the team that doesn’t try to use their brute strength out of desperation. I’m surprised more wasn’t brought up about that in the Jamaica game, there was a ton of forearm shivers that went unchecked in that game..

      • beachbum says:

        well said biff. Fabian is the best LB this team has had in years and years. that DMB has stepped in and played admirably makes it a little interesting, but I think if DMB continues to play well that Klinnsman will eventually flip the 2 and allow them to still work together. Maybe this game, who knows?

      • Stever says:

        Commentators mentioned a tight hamstring as the reason he came off during the Germany game, and he came out against Jamaica, presumably for the same reason. I could see the logic of resting him for this game and hoping he’s healthier for Honduras.

        Would love to see Corona in at RM and DMB at LM – but only if F Johnson is able to go at LB.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      FJ over EJ this isn’t even difficult.

  12. RJ says:

    We have seen what good service from Zusi has done for Altidore. To me you have to pencil in Brad Davis to have someone out there who can cross.

    • bryan says:

      Corona can cross.

      “If Joe plays, he’s a tricky winger,” said Howard. “He gets up and down, he provides good service, he likes to keep the width but also come inside, a bit like Graham.”

    • StevieBob says:

      Davis? I can’t get behind that one. Corona, FJ, and EJ are all better players (in my opinion).

      • RJ says:

        better overall? sure but I think for the purpose Davis is your best fit. You really want to start the young Joe Corona in a WC qualifier? Not the time to test him out right now.

        • Dinho says:

          It’s a home game against Panama. We are not talking about the Azteca. I think you start him. He has played in big games before – Copa Libertadores – and done well.

        • bryan says:

          i think it’s a perfect time to test him. like Dinho said, home game. he’s a depth option on the roster and his number is now be called. i mean, this is exactly why he was brought in. to provide cover in the event of suspension, bad play, or injury.

          • chris_thebassplayer says:

            He’s played big games…we’re at home in a rockin stadium, he’d be on the flank, not up the spine…the game has some pressure, but not do or die…perfect scenario to play him at RM and evaluate him.

    • DanO says:

      I agree with this. We’re gonna see a bunker, which means lots of passing on the periphery, and midfielders working with wide defenders on overlaps to create crossing opportunities. Will probably have a few free kicks as well. Davis is one of the best crossers on the team, a good dead ball delivery guy, and disciplined defensively (even if not the most athletic).

      • beachbum says:

        with Perez out, the bunker makes sense. they’ve still got Tejada I think, he’s no picnic

        on corners, if Davis doesn’t play, probably MB takes them ? and then the set pieces, perhaps itwill dpend on what kind they are? service or shots? will be interesting to see what Coach does and if it works

    • JC says:

      I can see it happening. With Zusi down, Davis is easily the next best on corners and set pieces.

  13. kmac014 says:

    Why not put F. Johnson at LB for these projections over beasley?

    • TomG says:

      I second that. I love DMB’s fight and never say die attitude but he gets beat A LOT and puts us in a ton of dangerous situations. If Jermaine Johnson could strike a cross worth a damn Jamaica might have scored a couple extra goals.

  14. fliffy lefoffelif says:

    I’d be happy with either Cameron or Holden to replace Jones. Actually, I’d be pretty thrilled if it’s Holden. The wings are still a mess though. E. Johnson, F. Johnson, Corona, Klejstan? Youch. I guess if it were up to me, I’d be optimistic and go with F. Johnson and Corona since they’ve had fewer opportunities to disappoint me so far.

    • Hogatroge says:

      I don’t think you’d be too thrilled with Holden.

      There’s no way he is fit enough right now to handle the pace of the international game for more than 60 minutes (and that’s being generous).

    • whoop-whoop says:

      I like the idea of Holden filling in….. just don’t think the reality would pan out so well. Still too early, particularly to ask him to play DM where he well may need to come in with some strong tackling. Perhaps as a late sub with a lead, we could put him on the wing and help maintain possession. Regardless, his time will come Gold Cup which is why he was called in at all. I actually think Sasha as the stay at home defensive mid with Bradley going forward might work well to link the defense with the offense.

      I hope they leave DMB and FJ right where they were. Think they’re just starting to form an understanding, so no need to put an unknown there and possibly expose Beasley. I said in a previous post and will say it again, I think Corona in for Zusi could work quite well. Zusi has done good work there 2 ways… no doubt though, Corona has a quicker step, more imagination/bigger bag of tricks on the offensive end. Best game I’ve seen him have w/ Xolos was playing the RW down a goal against a bunkered team/10 in the box. Put together a remarkable game with a variety of whipped crosses, deftly lobbed balls over the top, runs etc. trying the break them down. Good time to give him a shot.

  15. Andy says:

    Perhaps it is just me, but I am more concerned about a thin bench than who starts. Seems scary thin on what appears to be a rough pitch. Maybe that is just being overly pessimistic, but the boys seem to give up a lot of late goals.

    That being said, I want to see Corona get a chance and I want to see EJ in front of the home crowd.

    • Dan says:

      I agree, the bench is incredibly thin. That pitch in Seattle is pretty bad, it was horrible for the Sounders game, sliding and chunks flying.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      I’d like it if it seemed like JK was reacting to roster depletion, yes. It’s going to be another game a week later after this.

  16. Gary Page says:

    I still fee better if Beasley is playing left wing and F. Johnson left back. This is where they play with their club teams, why reverse it? DMB had trouble in Jamaica and got turned and beaten several times. I know that Panama doesn’t have the same kind of players, but I would rather go with someone who has more experience in the back than DMB. As a winger he can bring more to the attack, certainly as much as F. Johnson. So, you put DMB at left wing and EJ on the right.

    • Gary Page says:

      Oops, feel better, not fee better.

    • RJ says:

      Fabian Johnson played Left Wing for his club at the end of the year. Its his natural position so either way someone is out of position.

      • TomG says:

        No, he’s played a lot more LB than LM in the Bundesliga.

        • Brett says:

          Where he plays more is not necessarily his “natural” position.

          I think he looks most comfortable as an attacking midfielder, but the needs of his club put him on the left and usually in defense.

          I don’t like him much as a defender.

    • Kevin_H says:

      I think Fabian is quoted as saying he prefers the midfield. I don’t know where he’s performed better for his club, but maybe we should take that into account.

      • Hogatroge says:

        He is a converted midfielder, but has played most of his Bundesliga minutes over the past two years as a LB.

        In the last few matches of the season, he played left mid. They were not his best.

      • Nate Dollars says:

        he has performed better, by far, at LB than at LM for hoffenheim. which is why it is not surprising that he hasn’t impressed for the usmnt in the midfield lately.

        and as far as preference goes, well, i always preferred playing striker, but my teammates preferred that i stayed back and quit choking on scoring chances. : )

  17. beckerman4lyfe says:

    MAn, no jones jr gona kill us man.

    this is what shuld start:


    • Andy says:

      This isn’t real life.

      • somidscr21 says:

        I was totally confused too, then I saw his username and it made things much more clear. Anyone who backs Beckerman like that clearly doesn’t live in the same world as us.

    • JC says:

      Cocaine is a helluva drug.

    • TheFrenchOne says:

      bath salts will mess you up bad

    • beckerman4lyfe says:

      OH my bad, i forgot mike bradley, i put him in there over holden then. And nah man, i cant be messin with them bathsalts, they too hard for ya boy.

    • Hogatroge says:

      Man… I was getting excited there for a second thinking you might not spell a single player’s name right. Thanks for letting me down!

  18. zztoppppp says:

    I would like to see Corona in place of Zusi for this one, but I have no problem with EJ on the left and FJ on the right.

    • JC says:

      EJ is a Sharped Dress Man but I don’t know if he has the Legs to go a full 90 minutes without getting worn out like a pair of Cheap Sunglasses

    • JC says:

      EJ is a Sharped Dress Man but I don’t know if he has the Legs to go a full 90 minutes without getting worn out like a pair of Cheap Sunglases

      • MN Footie says:

        I’m unsure about EJ playing wing, because I question his ability to go the full 90 minutes.

        I imagine he’ll give it all of his loving, and all his shots and crosses, too. I mean, he’ll give it all his loving, but he may be so tired that he lets up before the game is through.

  19. Dan says:

    Eddie Johnson? I don’t like him at all in the CAM position in a 4-2-3-1, we need another player thats is MUCH MUCH more a playmaker rather than Johnson. Davis doesn’t cut it either tho so perhaps we just do a 4-2-2-2 with Altidore and Johnson up front instead? I dunno… Donovan would’ve come in handy right now…

    • somidscr21 says:

      Where does Ives have him listed in the CAM? I only see him out wide, which I think he does fine in.

      • William says:

        »I only see him out wide, which I think he does fine in«

        This. Yea, he will be fine out wide. I have no worries with him there.

  20. Bumby Hemmingway says:

    Have there been any thoughts on Fabian Johnson returning to left back?

  21. jake says:


  22. Thebumswillalwayslose says:

    Somewhat related question – given the injuries to Edu, Shea and Williams that had them sent home, can Klinsmann replace those guys with alternates? I know he called 26 originally (minus the whole 3rd keeper thing), so we’re at the typical 23 right now. However, with Jones concussed, Herc Gomez not able to go yet, Stu Holden not really 90 minute match fit and roughly 8 guys on yellow card watch, we’re getting nerve-rackingly close to being really, really thin for the Honduras game. Can he backfill those 3 spots vacated by Edu, Shea and Williams with alternates after things shake out from the Panama game? Or is Klinsi locked in to his original roster calls? Just curious.

    All that aside, here’s where I’d go for Panama:
    —- Jozy – Deuce —–
    DMB — MB — Corona
    ——— Cam ————-
    FJ – Besler – Omar – Evans
    ——— Timmy ———–

    Bench: EJ, Boyd, Sacha, Holden, Castillo, Parky, Guzan

    • Dinho says:

      this works for me.

    • Rags in DC says:

      I would love to see this lineup. Even replacing corona with stu or klejstan, I love the left side here. I’ve never seen corona play, so have no clue about what he offers.

      • jim in Atlanta says:

        Why do people keep calling for Stu? smh, then out of position at that followed up by Sasha as a winger once again out of position?


    • beachbum says:

      good thoughts in your post, thanks. I like your lineup

  23. Dinho says:

    I think you put Cameron back in the middle and start Corona.

    I know it’s a big deal to give Corona his first start in a WCQ, but as I said above, this is a home game against Panama. This is not the Azteca (read: Besler).

    Corona offers more creativity than Sacha and we will need that to break down the bunker defense that we are likely to see. Not saying Sacha isn’t good, but he is not a dynamic player, and (although with the U-23s), we have seen Corona show some flair.

  24. ANM says:

    While I take your point about E. Johnson at home, I kind of feel like his skill set is best suited for second half substitute scenarios, both when needing a result and protecting the lead. I actually think this might be a good situation for Brad Davis to come in on the left, with F. Johnson on the right. For Altidore to be effective, I think you really need a Zuzi-like player to provide him service, and Davis as the best shot for that. Bring on Johnson to protect a lead, or to change things up if it’s scoreless at the half.

    I liked Cameron’s, er, cameo against Jamaica, but–and I’m sure I’m in the minority of posters here–I’d prefer to see Kljestan in a starting role. Kljestan has disappeared against world-class center midfields, but I think Panama at home is the ideal situation in which to deploy him. Cameron’s versatility is such that I’d prefer him as a bench option, to be brought on if there’s a lead that needs protecting or if a red card forces a crisis.

    • Amru says:

      +1 I’m glad I’m not the only one that thinks Sacha should get the nod ahead of Cameron. Panama is likely to sit back and Sacha offers more going forward then Cameron would. To play Cameron would be too conservative for a home game IMHO.

      • away goals says:

        Cameron might not offer creativity on his own, but he does give bradley the chance to push farther upfield.

        If you run sacha instead, bradley will likely have to sit deeper to do the dirty work.

        So indirectly, cameron could be the more offensive choice.

  25. JC says:


    F. Johnson——-Dempsey————–Corona




    JK doesn’t mind taking chances (Omar, Besler, Evans, Beasley at LB). Corona starts.

    • Stever says:

      I think this line-up is highly likely as the one Klinsi would use-although I’d personally flip DMB and F Johnson.

  26. CConk says:

    Technically it will be a 4-4-2 but I see it ending up coming out like this.
    –beasley———Corona or Fabulous Johnson–

    Let Beasley move up and show he still has it on the left wing. Let Dempsey float behind Altidore and pick up the scraps. Let Bradley link the attack and defense and have Cameron slow down any quick counter. Give Castillo a chance to hold the left again. I think he will fare better against Panama than Jamaica. Let Corona or Johnson play on the right. They are both young and want to go at players regardless of it being their “natural” position. I’d love to see Holden in on the right and that would change the left back spot with Beasley staying there, but I’m not sure he’s ready for international speed yet. I’d love to see him come in if we end up a couple of points up. I am optimistically hoping for a US goal fest. As long as we keep the middle of the pitch and move the ball well I think it will happen.

    • Dinho says:

      I’m sorry. Castillo has not earned the chance to start at left back. Left side of midfield…. maybe, but even then, why break up the Beasley/FJ continuity for a mediocre defender.

      Don’t get me wrong, Castillo is decent going forward, but we should not sacrifice just to give him (another) chance. I see Castillo as a sub for FJ (if the hammy doesn’t hold up). Not as a starter in the back.

      I may be talking out of both sides of my mouth here b/c I’m saying that Corona should start at right side of midfield. But, Corona hasn’t disappointed (yet) and we will need some creativity in this game.

      It is these exact situations where guys have stepped up (Davies, Evans, Besler), so let’s see if Corona can do the same. Castillo has failed in that respect.

  27. Sushant Rao says:

    Only problem with EJ on the left is that he can’t cross worth s**t from there. I’d go EJ on right and FJ on left and GC in the middle with MB.

    We’d need a sub for Jozy, possibly FJ and GC, which means EJ goes to F, Castillo as LM, Corona as RM and Holden as CM.

    • louis z says:

      If EJ starts in the LM position you can bet you bottom dollar that either FJ or Castillo play the LB position, why? because like you said EJ can not cross and neither can Beas.

  28. Steve says:

    The Zusi spot should be filled by the play that will provide the best service to Jozy. End of analysis.

    • Dinho says:

      Which is? (I think Corona)

      I think there was a step missing in your analysis.

    • Mark says:

      I’m worried that if we don’t have Zusi to provide “perfect” service to Jozy, he’s going to keep playing his lazy style and won’t fight for balls in the final third.

      Both of his last two goals have been a direct result of Zusi putting the ball on a platter, which frankly I would expect anyone on that team to bury.

      He actually bounced the ball off of his shin for the goal against Germany. And the goal against Jamaica was the easiest header possible.

      I sure would love to see him get a goal by striking the ball with his laces. I honestly can’t recall a goal he has scored for the Nats with his toe pointed down and striking the ball hard on the laces.

      • Dinho says:

        I do recall him dropping an absolute bomb in one game from about 25 yards. Couldn’t tell you when/who against though.

        • away goals says:

          guadaloupe in the 2011 gold cup. maybe other places too.

        • Brian S. says:

          If I’m not mistaken, it was against this very same Panama team in the Gold Cup and a bomb it was. Clearly Mark just wants to hate just to get a reaction and obviously has not watched any of Altidore’s club games this year.

      • OPMG says:

        You’re kidding, right? Now you’re unhappy cause he isn’t scoring 30 yard lasers every time he steps on the field?

      • Hogatroge says:

        Maybe you should rewatch the volley against Germany.

        Jozy had to check his run to meet the ball. It wasn’t a bad cross by any means, but your comment is still ridiculous.

        • mark says:

          I have. It clearly went off of his shin.

          The type of shot that would give me a favorable opinion about Jozy’s skills would be if he could score a goal like Dempsey’s in Honduras for example.

          Or, if you look back to minute 53′ of the Jamaica game Altidore whiffed on what, granted, was a difficult shot to attempt. He was completely wide open in front of net. If he would have made some connection he would have proved himself as a very talented striker. Or guess what…just head it. He did neither.

          I’m backing up my arguments instead of just calling you ridiculous.

  29. DCUnitedWillRiseAgain says:

    Moving F. Johnson to the right would be a terrible mistake. He plays on the left and didn’t do well there in the last game. Unless he has shown signs that his form has improved in training, he should be back at LB or benched. Beasley’s form has warranted moving him up into the attack more than F. Johnson imho.

    Evans Gonzo Besler F. Johnson
    E. Johnson Cameron Bradley Beasley
    Altidore Dempsey

    Weird. No Germanicans!

  30. Dinho says:

    And, (although it won’t happen), I would like to see Guzan play.

    Howard hasn’t exactly instilled a lot of confidence lately and (arguably) he was at least partially to blame on the Jamaica goal.

  31. DCUffDa! says:

    It smells to me like Corona will start on the Right. Cameron will pair with Bradley. and I would bet EJohnson will start over FJohnson due to the lingering hamstring issue. with FJohnson subbing in for EJ at the 66minute mark.

    but anyone that doesn’t think FabJohn is a more dynamic and more technically gifted player with the ball at his feet than EJ simply is delusional.

  32. mikeandike says:

    “I’m sure the line-up the USMNT fans would love to see”

    F Johnson-Besler-Gonzalez-Cameron

    with a healthy Dolo ultimately pushing Cameron inside and Gonzo to the bench

    • Brian S. says:

      If only life were this simple

    • scott47a says:

      Given the last few games, I think most fans would like to see Zusi on the field, which means Donovan on the left and either Beasley or F. Johnson on the bench.
      And I’m not sure that everyone agrees Cameron ahead of Gonzalez, to be honest. Probably about 50/50 on that one. Though I’m sure everyone wants Dolo back.

      • DCUffDa! says:

        A spry, fresh legged Dolo, sounds fine. But I would stake my reputation as a knowitalljackass, that barring a ridiculous run of injuries, Beasley will never start a game a Midfield for Klinsman. Nor should he. We’ve all been pleasantly surprised and pleased as hel that beasely has done well at LB, but he’s not that effective as a LM as you can see every time he takes the ball down to the end line and the best move he can generate is kicking it off the defenders legs for a corner.

  33. Sean says:

    The games against panama will probably be our toughest. Many pundits consider their coach to be the best tactician in concacaf. EJ is better as a sub, he provides speed against the tired attackers. We haven’t seen corona yet, and while I would like to, I think that JK swaps Fabian to the right and goes with Davis on the left. I also think Cameron starts with MB90.

  34. The Imperative Voice says:

    Cameron is actually a decent RM who broke into the league with the Dynamo there, had a GTG in his first home game. He only moved around to CB and DM because Kinnear often plugs problems internally rather than buying an outside fix.

    But then you’d have to find someone to play DM. Which I think basically checkmates that idea.

  35. JC says:

    I think his absence really shows how much Zusi has meant to this team lately. People were harsh on him when he started getting starts but he’s shown that his service to Jozy and his ability to track back on defense have really been invaluable. Way to go Zusicakes.

  36. LM says:

    I would love to see Holden get more playing time!

  37. Slowreno says:

    More of what I’m hoping to see than what we’ll see. I think Ives is on the $$ with what we’ll see.


    See you at the game!!!

  38. Al says:

    I personally would like to see


  39. GOYA-GOYA says:

    So, we Herculez Gomez is hurt, and Terrance Boyd showed his inexperience in the Germany game. Who is the sub for Jozy should he get hurt?

    GAM doesn’t start, but plays in the game as a substitute for either Jozy or Fabian.

    Corona and Fabian Johnson are your starters.

    • Dinho says:

      agree with this. (assuming you mean Cameron slots in at CM?)

    • zztoppppp says:

      I think Boyd would be the option if Jozy were to go down.

      Yes, he did look inexperienced in the Germany game, and he deserved the fussing Dempsey gave him, but I think he was just excited to try and score against Germany–he was super amped for that game, i.e. his twitter feed. I think if he were slotted in against Panama he would show a little better.

      • Hogatroge says:



        People don’t seem to realize how much Boyd wanted a goal against Germany. They don’t really care that he’s performed for the US U-23s and just finished a pretty solid professional season because it contradicts their poorly thought out opinions.

  40. Bac says:

    1. Cameron is a foregone conclusion-he starts next to MB
    2. EJ doesn’t start-
    He gives no defense
    He doesn’t provide the service on the left we need
    Jozy probably doesn’t go 90, & EJ is your best sub (Herc is out)
    3. Brad doesn’t start, too slow
    4. Holden is a sub only & is ahead of SK, and SK has lost his chance this round
    5. There will be no changes to the back line at this point-Its just not gonna happen…period

    Either Corona starts on the right, or Fabian starts on the right and Castillo on the left

    Book it

    • John says:

      Is Cameron really a foregone conclusion? A week ago Klinsmann is saying he views him as a center back and starts Evans over him at right back. Bringing in a more defensive player to close out a lead on the road is different then starting someone at home. I’m not saying it won’t be Cameron, I just wouldn’t be surprised to see Kljestan, Corona, Holden or even Evans moved in and Cameron playing right back again.

      • Bac says:

        It makes sense,don’t disagree… just using JK logic…. (HA),
        I’m just basing it off the fact that
        a. I don’t see JK changing the back line, and
        b. All the other pieces seem to fit best against our opponent…. From a holistic standpoint the only question mark trying to predict what JK will do tomorrow is Castillo or Corona.. they’re both quicker, will track back.. I just think they both fit- I bet we see Castillo & Cam

  41. rainORshine says:


    if you are really opposed to a 3-5-2, you can simply slide cameron into a DM spot and push bradley/kljestan forward a bit (and beasley/fabian back a bit)

    for me beasley and f. johnson are best options for width – superior in those positions to EJ and corona. this set-up gets EJ into a more natural position

  42. Charles says:

    Sorry to troll, but it is just too easy. Where can we find a guy that could play right wing ?
    In my selection I would prefer a guy with 100+ caps, a guy who wins a lot and the all time leading US National team scorer.

    I love all the guys people are suggesting…Wish Zusi could play, Corona rocking it in TJ, others, etc.
    But at some point it gets a little rediculous. He can’t even by Zusi’s backup ?

  43. paulwp says:

    Quick, unrelated question for the bigger soccer fans than I.

    I haven’t really watched many MLS games. I know Zusi plays on the left for SKC occasionally. Does he still have the same service touch from that side, or is there a significant drop off?

    • rainORshine says:

      generally, he is still serving with right foot. he will receive ball and set it up on right rather than trying to get around outside and serve with left

  44. PD says:


    Panama is going to test this team. We’re gonna miss Zusi and Jones.

    I’m concerned about the size of Beasely and Castillo in this match. Personally, I’d want to start a back 5 with 3 CB Omar Cameron and Besler, with Johnson and Evans pushed a little further up as wingbacks, but I don’t think that is going to happen. MB and Holdon Dempsey serving as more central and further up the pitch.

    Awfully conservative for a home match I know, but I think this contains the counter and addresses the size of Panama. Width would be totally dependent on Evans and FJ, though, and if Deuce drops too deep we lose his threat.

  45. macheath says:

    I would start Landon Donovan on the right wing. Oh–he’s not with the team? Gee, why did the coach decide that?

  46. Paul Miller says:

    Dempsey – Kljestan – E. Johnson
    Bradley – Cameron
    F. Johnson – Besler – Gonzo – Evans

    planned sub – If EJ can’t go 90, bring in Davis or Beasley
    If a CB goes down, move Beasley back (whether on the field or not)
    If a centerback goes down, move Cameron back, bring Holden in to DM

  47. ilikefreddyyesadu says:

    With what they’ve got:



    Can’t help but wonder if injuries didn’t have minor/major impacts:




    Called in: Jones, Davies, Omar, Cameron, DMB, Zusi, EJ, Guzan, Edu, Evans, Corona, Mixx,

  48. chris_thebassplayer says:

    FJ at RM…Cameron in for Jones…probably EJ on the left flank…I think he’ll rise to the occasion wearing the crest in front of his home town fans.

    I think we’re going to rip Panama, no matter who fills in…we’re poised for a break out qualie.

  49. adam tash says:

    eddie johnson
    donovan adu lee ngyuen
    castillo subotic besler yedlin

  50. Kildem says:

    The only Corona that fans should see is the beer. The starters should be Cameron and EJ and that’s it!!!! Case closed!!!!!!!!! USA 3-0

  51. Brett says:

    No change to the back line.

    Holden needs to play in Zusi’s spot on the right side of the trident behind Jozy. WIthout Landon and Zusi, he’s the only player we have who can deliver a quality cross from the right. Let Bradley and Cameron partner up in the middle.

    Jozy will not go 90 so we have to keep that in mind as well. I wouldn’t start Eddie, but I would bring him on in the 2nd half where his pace can cause problems. Early in the match there will not be much space so we will want players who are good on the dribble and link up well, so Fabian gets the nod over Eddie on the opposite side.

    Sacha better not play.

  52. Ramon says:

    EJ as a MF bothers me bc his defense is his downfall. I’d rather see Davis at LM and Fabian or Holden on the right.

  53. Sam says:

    Why don’t think get Marvell Wynne back in the team? They could use him as an enforcer on defense because of his strength…

  54. Sam says:

    Line-up is going to be rocky today. Where is Landon Donovan when you need him?

    • Ilikefreddyyesadu says:

      Hopefully they really won’t “need” him today but it sure makes sense to have him today. Good spot for Freddy Adu too.