Who should the USMNT start vs. Costa Rica?

USALineupGhana (JaneGershovich)

Photo by ISIPhotos.com


With the two easy group stage matches out of the way, the U.S. Men’s National Team now faces their toughest test of the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup when they take on Costa Rica on Tuesday night.

Just who will Jurgen Klinsmann turn to in his starting lineup for this one? He has some difficult decisions to make, at every area of the field. Up top he can go with red-hot Chris Wondolowski or established USMNT regular Herculez Gomez. In central midfield he has Stuart Holden and Mix Diskerud to choose from. Then in the back-line he can choose from a variety of players there, such as Michael Orozco-Fiscal and Tony Beltran over projected starters Oguchi Onyewu and Michael Parkhurst.

One thing is clear. The time for experimentation is over. There will be no more resting regulars or rotating players. Klinsmann will lock in his preferred starting lineup for the rest of the tournament against Costa Rica, which could be the toughest opponent the Americans face before the final.

So who will Klinsmann turn to against Costa Rica? Here is our projected USMNT starting lineup:


———Chris Wondolowski———Landon Donovan—————–

Edgar Castillo————-Stuart Holden——————–Joe Corona

—————————-Kyle Beckerman——————————–

DaMarcus Beasley————————————Michael Parkhurst

—————Clarence Goodson——–Oguchi Onyewu—————–

—————————–Nick Rimando———————————-

Some thoughts:

No real surprises here, with Wondolowski getting the nod over Herculez Gomez. That one makes sense given Wondolowski’s hot form, though Klinsmann won’t be afraid to bench him in favor of Gomez if he feels Gomez is the better match-up vs. Costa Rica.

Stuart Holden looked a bit fatigued against Cuba, but he still gets the nod here over Mix Diskerud. Kyle Beckerman will have the No. 6 role, that much is pretty safe to project, but the battle between Holden and Diskerud is a good one. We see Holden getting the nod here, and through the rest of the tournament.

Edgar Castillo is not a good defender, but he contributes to the attack, and he can form a solid flank partnership with DaMarcus Beasley so we give him the nod here over Jose Torres.

Joe Corona has started both matches this tournament, and you could wonder about fatigue, but he’s coming off his best USMNT match to date, so it’s tough to see him sent to the bench for such an important match.

Who would I start vs. Costa Rica? The same group listed above. I would think about Michael Orozco at right back, but would give Parkhurst the runout.

And who would the majority of fans probably trot out against Costa Rica? This group most likely:

————-Chris Wondolowski———-Herculez Gomez——————

Alejandro Bedoya—Stuart Holden—–Mix Diskerud–Landon Donovan

DaMarcus Beasley————————————————Tony Beltran

—————-Clarence Goodson———Michael Orozco-Fiscal———–

———————————-Nick Rimando———————————-


What do you think of our projected lineup? What changes would you make to that group? Would you rather see the “Fans XI” projected squad face Costa Rica?

Share your thoughts below.

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

  1. tomdart says:

    i’ve been surprised bedoya hasn’t gotten more time so far

  2. SanFran415 says:


    • dha says:

      The correct spelling should be Wondo3lowski, where the first W in the name is placed rotated 90 degrees to the left, as if to made to look like the numeral “3.”

    • The Other Jeff says:

      US Soccer missing a golden marketing opportunity – Wondowlowski replica jerseys.

      • Riggity says:

        Let’s be honest, he’s had a great run but he will probably be forgot about in a year.

        • Todd T says:

          A year….try 3 games. Then next WCQ he doesn’t get picked.
          It is too bad seems like a nice guy.

          • JRP says:

            It really isn’t too bad. If he isn’t needed at the WCQ level he isn’t needed. He has played well and deserves the attention. But if the coach doesn’t need him in Brazil it is not an insult. There are six good players who play his position.

            • ozotkd says:

              I would also add that Guatemala, Belize, & Cuba aren’t really teams we can rate him or the US Team high on as those 3 teams are not great at all. Now vs Costa Rica if he can score and be dominant as well as the US team then my view will change on him & the team. CMON USA!!!!!!

  3. Dave says:

    Ives, I like that you’re showing two lineups lately: projected and fan. It’s good touch.

    • Travis says:

      +1, i really enjoy seeing what you feel the fans want, which is usually true if these comment sections are anything to judge by.

      • krazymunky says:

        Fans want to see the A team!

        • William the Terror says:

          George Peppard is dead and Mr. T never liked soccer.

          • whoop-whoop says:

            Definitely MacGyver…
            That dude F’n loves the game.

            • Jake says:

              He can score a goal… in the snow!

              • Fan Futbol says:

                Ives is a boss. He knows his subject, does great reporting, and always is willing to mix it up in chats and in comments with his readers. Love that he’s acknowledging the fan line-up; touches like that are why SBI is a must visit on the interwebs.

                He’s wrong about Beckerman, though. Jeff Agoos all over again. Good guy. Good MLS player. Not quite international quality.


          • PD says:

            I ain’t gettin on no pitch!
            I pity the fool who say otherwise.

    • bb says:

      He’s probably tired of seeing fans post “this is what I think the US should do”. so he just saves everyone the trouble, haha!

  4. blokhin says:


    • keithbabs79 says:

      I also prefer the Holden and Mixx line-up. Mixx looks confident and hungry. Becks looks like his old self: nervous and overwhelmed.

      • dikranovich says:

        keith, by becks, do you mean Beckerman? he has been one of our best players this tournament. he has pretty much controlled both of the last two games.

      • Grubbsbl says:

        Beckerman really gets a lot of negative comments and I don’t get it. He was the only midfielder prepared to tackle and defend in the first half against Cuba. Regularly gets the ball into good positions for our attackers. Heck he even contributed a great @ssist of an early ball last game. We can’t demand a possession oriented offense and then get frustrated at the guy whose job it is requires him to sit deep, collect the ball and find the next available teammate.

        And your use of “nervous,” really makes me question if you watched the match. Or even have seen Beckerman play over a series of games. For the most part US fans get upset with Beckermam’s relaxed and slow play…

        • Neruda says:

          Two assists to wondo in two games. Beckerman and wondo are forming a good understanding and of course klinsmann has noticed. Costa Rica has a lot more legit offensive weapons and beckerman knows the tendencies of saborio so he can do a lot to disrupt the cr attack.

          • Lance says:

            The same Costa Rica that needed an OG to get by Belize? This is not the WCQ team thats here

        • bryan says:

          yeah, my issue with him is he plays the style too slow. he’s a nice fit because he plays there for RSL, but it’s a slower pace and you can tell. sometimes he isn’t urgent enough.

          either way, the guy continues to get the job done, so it’s hard to complain when he does start. that said, i’m still on the Torres/Holden train.

          • Grubbsbl says:

            I get your argument about the lack of urgency. I can’t really argue against it. To make that next step Beckerman would need to increase his speed of play. And I am by no means saying Becks should start over Bradley, Jones, Cameron -though I would prefer Becks over Edu any day of the week.

            The Torres/Holden pairing would probably look great on paper and FIFA but would most likely struggle against CR. Holden looks to me a player returning from injury who is still afraid to tackle. Can’t blame him for that, that trust will come with games. And Torres plays just as slow and relaxed as Beckerman, with limited defensive results. This team has the best attacking options in the tournament, we can afford one player whose job it is to break up play.

            • bryan says:

              I disagree and if you look at the stats from Torres and Holden, they have been just as effective on defense as Beckerman. and i have to say i 100% disagree that Torres is as slow as Beckerman.

              and again, i understand the argument you are making and it’s 100% valid. my point is, i think in this tournament, even against CR, Holden/Torres would do just fine. it’s hard to really argue either way, because essentially any combo in the mid would be worth seeing.

              • Grubbsbl says:

                Holden is a great two way player. No doubt. Just not sure he is ready for that responsibility at the moment. I used to be a huge JFT fan, but I’ve moved on after his unimpressive preformamce in WC2010. I see what your saying as well, and wouldn’t be upset if Jürgen tried this lineup. I’m just a bit of a JFT skeptic, would love to be wrong though.

              • bryan says:

                idk man, Holden has had just as good of defensive stats as Beckerman so far and even better offense. further, Torres and Holden will share that responsibility, and Torres has also been solid at CM.

                i agree, in 2010 he wasn’t great and i still don’t like him at LM. he had a great year and i think his level is much higher than 2010. 95%+ passing rate against Guatemala when at CM helps too.

          • addage says:


            When Beckerman get the ball you can count of 4 things: pass left, pass right, pass back. Oh yeah. You can also rely on no pass forward. Opposing defenders can take a breather confident that no one will show up in their space with the ball.

        • HyperboleAside says:

          That’s because relaxed and slow generally has no place in international play.

          • Grubbsbl says:

            Really? A wide array of teams at the highest level use cautioned build up play to strangle the life out of the opposition (Of course Spain and Italy can attack with pace when needed). The US has pace in other places, sometimes it’s good to have a disciplined shield in front of your two CBs.

        • Socom 2 says:

          We dont need a defensive midfielder against any teams in this tournament!

        • Yevgeniy says:


        • dha says:

          I am not a Beckerman fan, but I would DEFINITELY start Beckerman against Costa Rica. You want a true defensive minded midfielder especially in the beginning of the game. Besides, Beckerman has been in many of these important games before and I don’t see him getting rattled.

          As I commented many times, Beckerman’s weakness is against really fast teams (e.g. Jamaica) and really skilled teams (think: Spain, Germany, Argentina, Brasil). But against the mid-level CONCACAF teams, Beckerman can be effective.

          • bryan says:

            are you saying CR is a mid-level CONCACAF team? and if you are, that’s the argument everyone is making for NOT playing him. players like Holden, Mix, and Torres are all MORE than capable of holding down the midfield in this Gold Cup.

            this is one of those things you can use the same argument both ways.

            • dha says:

              Any team that can compete for the three automatic WCQ 2014 places from CONCACAF is a mid level team or higher.

              I think the USA and Mexico are the upper level CONCACAF teams.

              Honduras, Costa Rica, and maybe Panama are mid-level CONCACAF teams. This isn’t meant to be insulting. Those three teams can beat the USA on any given day! In other words, these three teams can beat the USA even if the US is having a good game.

              But if Klinsmann is really confident or wants to send a message to other teams that the USMNT is going to be an offensive-minded juggernaut, he could choose to come out with Diskerud/Holden and hope that they both don’t wilt in the tremendous heat in Connecticut.

              I’m a bit more cautious and think the game is going to be played more slowly on Tuesday. I would start Beckerman.

              • bryan says:

                ok, just wanted to get your definition so we are on the same page. but you didn’t address my point that you are using the same argument as the people asking for Beckerman to be left out. both reasons are, “we do(n’t) need him because this Gold Cup is full of 2nd tier teams.”

                i just thought it was a good example of when one argument is essentially being used to argue opposite opinions.

      • Josh D says:

        I agree. Mix has played far more consistently this tournament, though Holden had a fantastic Guatemala game. Mix just works better with Holden and with Beckerman. Whereas, Holden and Beckerman couldn’t reach each other well.

        I’d love to see a Holden/Mix combo. That’s why I vote for Ives’ option with the exception of leaving Parkhurst out. Beltran does absolutely nothing for me. I’d also move to the 4-2-3-1 formation Klinsi has used. Move Donovan into the hole and Gomez out wide.

        • JRP says:

          You had a chance to rip on Rimando, too. What gives? Sabo shouldnt be starting for Costa Rica either, right?

          • OPMG says:

            Rimando led DC to a title, so Josh D can’t bring himself to hate on that. I get some of the Beckerman hate, he hasn’t played amazing, but Beltran over Parkhurst is a no-brainer for me. Not even close.

      • Georg says:

        Keith you really don’t watch the matches do you? Watch the play not so much the names on the jerseys. You may start to learn the game.

  5. Brain Guy says:

    I’d go with Torres over Castillo on the left. Castillo’s last turn out on the wing featured way too many turnovers.

    • SanFran415 says:

      He directly created 2 goals and indirectly a third.

      • Sandtrout says:

        Agreed. Castillo attacks with such abandon, I’m sure he freaks out opposing defenders, even if he does lose the ball a good portion of the time. If you lose the ball one out of three times but create a goal-scoring chance one out of three times, I think you’re doing great. (Yes, I made up those proportions, but they’re not that far off, I think.)

      • Brain Guy says:

        Sorry guys, I think I’m behind by a game. Castillo more than made up for that bad one.

        • Jesse D says:

          Castillo still stinks though. Alejandro Bedoya is better and none of us talk about him with excitement. The fact that he loses it 2 out of 3 times, is probably about right, unfortunately he doesn’t create a goal scoring opportunity the other 1 time. He creates one here or there, but certainly not often enough to warrant him starting of gomez on the left wing. At least Shea has potential to be good some day. Castillo is what he will always be, good enough to play on the B when options are limited.

  6. Matty says:

    Gah, im biased, I know. But I do not think Goodson should start. Or be with the senior team during the WCQers or the WC.

    • Reboot says:

      I’m with you.

    • CamRahn Bay says:

      I prefer Goodson over Onyewu, but that is like picking between getting punched in the face or kicked in the stomach. I’ve enjoyed watching Orozco he could play a role for us in Brazil.

      • Paul says:

        Right now, I’d have Goodson a notch below Onyewu and Orozco, but it’s pretty close. I’d like to see how Orozco pairs with Onyewu in a game against a quality opponent like CR.

  7. Rik says:

    Would love to see Bedoya. Yes, it’s the hardest game until maybe the finals, but with a QF spot locked up, it’s the last chance to get an extended look at him with a little less pressure.

    • Paul says:

      I agree, but at this point, he is probably just getting spot duty. JK could’ve subbed him for Shea last game and put in a natural CM like Torres instead. I thought also he’d get more playing time.

  8. Ben says:

    I don’t see how Orozco doesn’t start. I’ve dumped on him plenty in the past, but I think he has been the most consistent central defender for us in this tournament so far.

    • Dank says:

      Agreed. Gooch had some shaky plays against Cuba, including that one play where he got stripped in the box and was lucky not to concede a PK and red card on his subsequent lunge.

  9. Colin in MT says:

    I’d prefer to see Orozco paired with either Goodson or Gooch. For me, Orozco is more of a Besler type CB – cerebral, positioning, quickness, distribution, etc. I think pairing Goodson and Gooch leaves us exposed to opposing forwards who make smart, timely runs (Arrieta). They are too similar to one another and don’t compliment each other the way Orozco does

  10. PSU says:

    No Brek Shea?!?! I kid, I kid. I like the lineup, but Holden’s fatigue did concern me. I’d rather see him as a sub for the last 30 minutes.

    • dha says:

      Play Brek Shea for 15 to 20 minutes maximum, and tell him to run his a*s*s off. He is a very intimidating guy when he has fresh legs and the defense is tired. He is tall and strong. I’ve said many times that Brek Shea should never start for the USMNT because if he ever were to make the USMNT for the WC 2014, he would only play as a late game substitute. That’s the only practice the USMNT needs to give him. It’s not up to the USMNT to give him game time to get ready for Stoke City.

      • Chicago Josh says:

        In trying to come up with the worst USMNT performances in recent memory, Shea tops the list:
        2013: Brek Shea vs. Cuba (for pure incompitence vs a poor opponent)
        2011: Jonathan Borenstien vs. Mexico (a hand in giving up 4 goals)
        2012: Danny Williams vs. Russia (wretched game)
        He needs to be sent home to work on the basic parts of his game…and start seeing a shrink. Seriously.

        • GJJ says:

          Ricardo Clarke vs. England in 2010 WC? Right this way to the goal Mr. Gerrard…….

          • Brian S. says:

            I’m not a Clark hater but he was much worse against Ghana. He was pulled after 32 minutes. That has to be a WC record for non-injury sub

            • Jesse D says:

              I agree with you on Clark v Ghana. I wanted Bradley fired for starting him. I knew it was going to kill us the moment I saw the starting lineup. But don’t forget Castillo against Germany. That was the worst 15 minutes ever.

            • Mike R says:

              That early sub cost us the game IMO,
              And ultimately set the stage for Bradley’s firing

    • PSU says:

      And I like what Shea brings. That performance was just so bad. I could have done just as well out there. Hope he can turn things around, but this was his chance to turn it around this tournament. Maybe he’ll get another chance during Stokes preseason.

  11. Jonny says:

    With the trip to the quarter-finals booked, why play a line-up like this is the final? Why not rest a few key players?

    • Brandon says:

      If we finish first in group A, we’ll probably play Martinique in the quarterfinals. If we finish second, we’ll probably play Honduras in the quarterfinals. I’d rather play the former.

    • Andy says:

      If you win this game you get a much easier quarterfinal matchup. Players were rested prior tto playing Costa Rica

    • OU says:

      It is risk v. reward, which side of the bracket would you rather be on- if you risk throwing a B- team out there then you could end up facing Honduras in the quarters instead of Martinique, El Salvador, Trinidad & Tobago, or Haiti

    • Freddie Footballer says:

      I’m with Jonny. Bring Donovan in in the 60′. We need to rest some starters for the quarters. I don’t see how getting a tie vs. CR is that hard.

  12. Felix says:

    I’d switch out Orozco for Onyewu, he’s played fairly well this tournament. Other than that, I’d stay with your lineup….. maybe Torres for Castillo.

  13. Zac Mac says:

    Beltran for sure. Even if he’s still learning to come into the attack, he’s more solid defensively and more athletic than Parkhurst. Also would love to see more Mixx!

  14. Mike Santoro says:

    If JK already knows what 4 players he’s replacing after the group stage it could throw some curveballs in his player selections. For example if he agreed to send Shea back to Stoke after group stage Id imagine he’ll start so JK can get one last look at him. Ditto for Mixx with Rosenberg (will have Europa league games)

    • ChicitytoDc says:

      I think we are on the same page. In additon as the Brek Shea proponent that i know Klinsi is you gotta believe it hurts him to see Shea stunk it up the way he did the other day. As for Mixx i think he’s playes himself onto that Bosnia Roater which is all you can ask at this point

    • dha says:

      I would love to see Bocanegra called up for the last couple games. I think the defense settles down with his presence in the back.

      • the unmistakeable Ronaldinho says:

        Much more likely to see either or both of Besler and Gonzalez. Both lack international tournament experience and it will serve us well next summer if they have a run through a knockout tournament under their belt. Obviously the Gold Cup is not the World Cup, but its the best we can offer them prior to next summer. Same goes for Zusi.

  15. Ryan nanez says:

    I don’t think Holden was actually fatigued. I just think he had no chemistry with beckerman. I’d love mix and Holden tandem in the middle, but since beckerman is obviously gonna start cuz he must be blackmailing klinsmann. Then I’d go with mix and beckerman

    • WildDrawFour says:

      Agreed. Need some data on the Diskerud/Beckerman pairing when the opposition has fresh legs. Can Mix pick apart an active, chippy Costa Rica?

    • Josh D says:

      I agree. Holden just looked out of sync with the game, not just Beckerman. Whereas, Mix came in and immediately started dictating passing lanes.

      There’s a big gulf between coming on as a sub and starting. Holden still needs to be worked in a bit. I hope to see him and Mix together. Thought against Costa Rica, I’m sure Klinsi will choose defense first AKA Beckerman.

    • Josh D says:

      I agree. Holden just looked out of sync with the game, not just Beckerman. Whereas, Mix came in and immediately started dictating p@ssing lanes.

      There’s a big gulf between coming on as a sub and starting. Holden still needs to be worked in a bit. I hope to see him and Mix together. Thought against Costa Rica, I’m sure Klinsi will choose defense first AKA Beckerman.

    • John says:

      I think how many times Corona p@ssed back to Holden and missed him made him look bad. It seemed like Holden was constantly recovering those mistakes and never got into a full rhythm. People have also kind of over looked it was pouring for the first 15 mins and no one looked that great.

    • Bac says:

      Agree with everyone that he did look out of sync compared to the first few games, but agree with Ives that he got tired.. watched the replay again on fsc… watch the last 5 mins before he got subbed… he hit a wall and got dead legs-looked like hit him fast- then he just looked winded
      Will be interesting to see if he gets the start or comes off the bench

  16. Dennis says:

    I don’t think we’ve seen enough from the opposing teams’ attack to learn that much about Parkhurst/Beltran or Goodson/Onyewu/Orozco but the Beasley/Castillo choice does seem settled.

    In central midfield, the US has, so far, pretty much ruled, but there has been so little pressure that who can play against good pressure and still get his head up to fuel the attack going forward is far from settled. I just can’t tell due to the lack of pressure which of Holden, Diskerud, Torres or Beckermann will actually be the best choices.

    Up top, it is hard to argue against a Wondo/Donavon pairing. Again the strength of the defense they have faced in the last 3 games is in doubt, but both did perform better than Gomez and for whatever reason JK did not see fit to give Jack Mac a run out.

    Outside mids Castillo and Corona seem the natural fits (especially since Beasley is in the back), but Bedoya and Torres have done OK there and while Donavon had more impact up top, he is certainly very capable there.

    Bottom line, I think the expected lineup Ives has will be what we see but am not so sure it will be Onyewu over Orozco; JK could justify picking any 2 of the 3 CBs. Personally I would go with Goodson and Orozco.

  17. bryan says:

    that 2nd lineup is just awful. yuck. i like the first one much more and i agree that it’ll be Corona at RM. i also would start Orozco at RB but since we didn’t see him there, i think Ives is right in that we see Parkhurst. and of course, you all know i would rather see Torres/Holden in the middle.

    i think the Castillo/Torres question at LM is an interesting one. curious to see what JK does.

  18. Joemybro says:

    Ives, what do you think the odds are that Shea goes back to Stoke after this match and JK calls up Chris Pontius to replace him? Can’t see any other reason that he put Pontius on the call-up roster as a late add.

    • Josh D says:

      I think it’s guaranteed Shea goes back to Stoke. And I don’t think that is a reflection on how poor he played. Him leaving was planned all along.

      I think Zusi is on the stand-by roster. As a DCU fan, Pontius isn’t close to being the player he’s been the last two years.

    • Travis says:

      Was Pontius on the preliminary roster?

  19. Philly Union Rule says:

    Ives, did you see how shaky Onyewu is on the ball? This is against the 3 worst teams the USMNTwill play against(your words when discussing Wondos explosion). How does he still get the start???

  20. ChrisB says:

    What more does Mix have to do? I think he has been the key factor and nobody has controlled the game better in this tourney. As a whole he has performed for the USMNT in every opportunity, and usually with very limited minutes.

  21. Freddie Footballer says:

    I don’t see why we put our best our there in this game. Sure we want a strong squad, but we are in the quarters. Only need a tie. I’d give Donovan a rest and bring him on the 60′ for example.

  22. PBJOHN says:

    Call me ignorant, but where is Zac Whitbread? Hurt? Off the national team radar? It seems like he could be useful.

  23. AlexH says:

    I really like the fan selected line up because it is most likely to give us the attacking soccer that JK promised when he took over. Why not go for it now that advancement is secured in a tournament that really doesn’t mean much anyhow? If not now, when?

    • SanFran415 says:

      This tournament means a ton. It’s the first step toward earning a spot at the Confederations Cup–one of the most important international tournaments in the world due to it giving teams a taste of the World Cup venues and day-to-day as well as competition against the world’s best in the same environment they’ll play in the following year.

      And if we win this game we get to play a bad team like Haiti. If we lose this game we play Honduras.

  24. the original jb says:

    I feel like having wrapped up a spot in the quarters already, there may some minor experimenting. It would be a good chance to play a guy like Bedoya, for instance, who hasn’t had much of a chance and probably deserves it. I also think it would be smart to give Donovan a game off, he’s played every minute, and been the most critical part of our offense. And we’ll want him there for the last (hopefully) 3 matches.

  25. Alex says:

    Friends don’t let friends start Gooch

  26. dha says:

    ————-Chris Wondolowski———-Herculez Gomez——————

    Alejandro Bedoya—Stuart Holden—–Mix Diskerud–Landon Donovan

    DaMarcus Beasley————————————————Tony Beltran

    —————-Clarence Goodson———Michael Orozco-Fiscal———–

    ———————————-Nick Rimando———————————-

    There is a danger to playing the group shown above. What happens if one of the strikers (Wondo/Herc), or if Diskerud, or Holden are hurt during the game? Who would you bring in?

    Wondo and Herculez would be a great combination of if you knew both could complete the game. I have a feeling Herc will be the better player against Costa Rica. I love his tireless efforts.

    Likewise, Holden and Diskerud are very similar and need to be the backups for each other.

    If you want to play Herc and Wondo, don’t play both Diskerud and Holden at the same time.

    Furthermore, Onyewu gets too much blame for the goal scored by Cuba. The blame clearly belonged to Castillo. I would feel much more confident with Onyewu at center back. Costa Rica, unlike Cuba, will be much better with crossing passes, and Onyewu is great in the air.

    I doubt Beasley will make the same error Castillo made against Cuba. If the RB and LB do their job defending, I am confident Onyewu and Goodson can handle the middle.

    Another interesting aspect about the current USMNT team is that the passing from Diskerud and Holden to the forwards relieves the RB and LB from some of their offensive responsibilities. Of course, it’s still nice to get the RB and LB involved offensively, but if the game warrants that the RB and LB concentrate on defense, I think Holden or Diskerud can still deliver adequate offensive passing.

  27. SBI TroIl says:


    *Why no Holden? He can come in for Beckerman in the 55th or 60th minute and stay fresh for Martinique.
    *I would also take Donovan out if we have a two goal lead near the 65-70 min mark for Gomez. Allowing us to see how Wondo and Gomez play together.
    * Use the final sub to take Corona or Torres off for Bedoya.

    Also I’ll give Orozco some love, as he is our best defender and our most underrated threat on corners or free kicks.

    • Falls City Outlaw says:

      I like you sub logic. Interesting line-up!

    • Jody says:

      With the way Torres floats centrally, Beasley would have more room to attack up the sideline. Gooch has looked mediocre considering the quality of opponents, and Diskerud looked quite a bit better than Holden in the Cuba game.

      I would also like to see Bedoya get some time, as Corona has not impressed (other than that killer goal)

  28. b Shurley says:

    What I’d like to see and I know that it will not happen


    What I think we will see


    LD will come off early for Gomez
    Mixx for Holden and Torres for Castillo

    • dha says:

      Nobody such as Landon Donovan is coming off early against Costa Rica unless he is injured, the USMNT has a two goal lead with just minutes to go, or he is playing terribly. I think everyone on the team considers Costa Rica a must-win game. Klinsmann needs to make sure that he has a lineup that starts that won’t require more than two substitutions barring injuries.

      There is no room for experimenting with players against Costa Rica.

  29. Turd Bradley says:

    Brek Shea is so bad

    • John says:

      He had a rough outing but he was starting to put it together in the last 15 minutes of the half. I wonder how differently we would look at things if Gomez or Corona connect on his cross, around the 33 minute mark as one probably should have. Corona I thought had a pretty poor first half, as you can even point to him as creating the turnover that starts Cuba’s counter on the goal. However Corona scored a great goal in the second half and that’s all anyone is talking about. Everyone is just being a little quick to jump all over him.

  30. Toadvine says:

    I expect to see Mix start over Holden, who looked fatigued and is playing his way back into fitness.

    • David says:

      I agree. Mix is in the middle of his season and looks really sharp. Holden looks like he will get there once he gets back to regular action at Bolton.

  31. chris thebassplayer says:




    Stu plays deeper than previously…

    We might have a 4-5-1 look with Wondow underneath Herc.

    I think LD would be more effective and have more space attacking from the flank, especially when he cuts inside under the forwards. At forward he’ll have a guy on his back non-stop.

    • chris thebassplayer says:

      Last minute edit…I think JK gives Gooch one last shot to state his case…Orozco slides over to RB.

  32. Bobb says:

    Question for Ives: What would it take for Mix Diskerud to break into your starting XI?

    Apparently being one of the four best players for the US for three games in a row is not enough, so I’d just like to know what it would take for him….

    • Jesse D says:

      I like Mixx and hope he continues to improve, but guy should have scored by now. He has had a lot of opportunities to strike on goal and has yet to hit the twine. He isn’t good enough defensively to help against stiff competition, and isn’t good enough offensively to beat out Holden. He is what he is, right now, our first midfielder off the bench. If he had more pace, it be fun to see him try left wing.

      • Toadvine says:

        I don’t think that’s really his game. He gets open and facilitates ball movement better than anyone in camp in the midfield.

      • Zztoppppp says:

        It’s not like he hasn’t taken any chances in goal-that near miss against Cuba would have been an absolute beauty. But it’s not like he plays the role of a consistent scoring threat or holding midfielder. He works the center of the field and picks defenses apart with his pinpoint passing, I think he deserves the start against Costa Rica.

  33. Brett says:

    I know it’s pretty late to be tinkering, but I wonder if anyone has ever thought about trying Holden at right back. He’s got the work rate to get up and down the pitch, he’s a willing tackler and he reads the game well, and he puts in a better early cross than anyone in the entire pool, A team included. Parkhurst is obviously not an answer, but Holden as a right back could unseat Brad Evans easily.

    With Beckerman solid in his destroyer role, and Mix or Torres in front of him, it would be a shame to leave Holden on the bench when he has so much skill, and we NEED to find a way to get Stu into the starting 11 with the A team. Why not try it?

    • Dennis says:

      It would be a roll of the dice. Holden is an aggressive player who wants to get forward. I think the mindset you want from backs is to defend first, then make forays forward and recover. Most midfielders have the skills to play outside back, some lack the required speed and a whole lot lack the mindset to defend first.

      • bryan says:

        this is why i think, long term, Holden/Mix isn’t realistic. not yet anyway. but Torres loves to sit back deep. i’m not saying it’s 100% Holden/Torres would be great, but i’d like to see it.

  34. Beto says:

    Same lineup different formation:

    -I wouldn’t mind seeing Orozco in for parky or gooch
    -Bedoya, Gomez and Mix all desirve minutes off the bench.. LD might be due for a break then put in Bedoya

    • Jesse D says:

      If you are going to use Corona, I agree he just isn’t fast enough and doesn’t have enough dribbling technique for the wing. The problem is he just turns the ball over too much to play the most important attacking position on the pitch. I’d rather bench him and bring in EJ to play the right wing spot.

  35. Bean says:

    Whoever ends up playing, I fully expect people to freak out.

  36. Big Chil says:

    Did Costa Rica bring its A team, the same they’re using for WCQ? Anyone know?

  37. GJJ says:

    Neither Onyewu or Beckman give me a warm and fuzzy.

    • Philly Union Rule says:

      Beck’s has got to give you either warm, or fuzzy. He is playing great. Gooch just can’t get rid of the ball fast enough, imagine him in serie A??? No no no.

  38. CCJC says:

    I may be in the minority, but I’d rather see Goodson partnered up with Orozco-Fiscal. Just not feeling Gooch. Unfortunately, he hasn’t been the same since the injury suffered in 09. On the flip side, pleasantly surprised on the recent form of Chris Wondogoalski.

  39. biff says:





    • biff says:

      * Corona has been getting better each game. Love his style and his determination and can see that he already is becoming a field leader. We saw that with the studs up dirty challange on Diskerud against Belize and Corona putting his face in the face of the dirty tackler. Corona is developing into a stud and he might be the surprise for WC 2014 that some of have been waiting for.

      * Let’s face the facts. Diskerud was much better against Cuba than Holden. No need to rush Holden. Klinsmann needs to slow down. Holden should not be starting, but rather a second-half sub for the rest of the Gold Cup. Holden can work his way back fully at the club level, not during summer camp with the USMNT.

      * Orozco has impressed in his two outings. Need to see what he can do against a better team. Folks, we need at least one more young CB for WC 2014. Will Orozco be the man? Hell, I don’t know. But we won’t find out with him sitting on the bench. Now is the time to test him.

      * Castillo was excellent during the second half of the Cuba game after he no longer had to contend with the train wreck at left wing that was Brek Shea. I really want to see a pairing of Beez/Castillo on the left side. Castillo’s defensive efforts at the midfield against Cuba were excellent, he made some great tackles and broke up plays around the mid-field levels that could have been dangerous if not stopped early.

      * Feel bad for Herc against Cuba. There was a total disconnect between the midfield and the attack in the first-half and the only service was bad passes and bad crosses. Herc worked hard to create chances. Not really fair to blame him and until I see him play poorly in a better line-up I still see him as a key member of the team. That said, do not see how Klinsmann cannot start W, who is on fire.

      • John says:

        To just judge Holden to Diskerud in that performance isn’t really fair at all. Cuba wasn’t able to keep up the same level of ball pressure to any degree. It’s not some coincidence everyone had such a better second half. Its simple, Cuba just ran out of energy much like they did against Costa Rica.

      • Toadvine says:

        I agree with all of your points. I don’t think he’s saying anything negative about Holden, just saying that he’s still regaining fitness, which is perfectly understandable.

        Totally agree about Corona. He’s getting more confident and assertive and he has an edge we don’t always have.

        • biff says:

          of course I am not criticizing Holden. I like him as a player and a person and wish him all the best in the world and hope he can return to his previous form. Just saying that Klinsmann needs to be careful and not try to move too fast with Holden’s rehabilitation after two years of injuries. No need to rush this, and pushing too fast could be very counter-productive as it was with Break Shea and his awful performance on Saturday. Shea is now going to fly back to Stoke devastated into a club situation with a new coach. IMO, Holden’s weak performance Saturday should be triggering warning bells and Klinsmann should revert back to what he was saying earlier in the summer when he invited Holden, that he would not take risks–and in my opinion starting Holden at this point is taking a big risk.

          All that said, and as I said in my original post, it was quite clear to me that Diskerud was much better on Saturday than Holden and I think Diskerud earned the right to start today.

      • Jesse D says:

        Corona a stud? Maybe in collegiate soccer. He isn’t physically gifted enough to be a real threat based on pace, and I don’t think I’ve seen a truly creative or skilled pass or dribble from him yet. The goal was a great little strike. He has some skills, but never ever enough to be a star at the US national team level.

  40. Matt C says:

    Tough to make comparisons about who played better amongst Torres, Holden, Mix and Beckerman.

    The two games we’ve played the second half subs have performed better than the first half tandems. I suspect that’s in large part due to the fitness level of Guat and Cuba.

    On Wondo, i’m a fan, and i’m glad he’s scored a bunch of goals recently. However, i see him as player who can get the goals we need against teams that will bunker. Poach goals. He’s got a gift there. However, i’m not sure he has (or can) produce against teams that don’t bunker and where expect more ouf of our forwards than finishing balls sent into a crowded mixer. We expect build up play, target play, assists…etc… Not sure that’s Wondo’s strength at the INTERNATIONAL level.

    He seems like a great guy and i”d love to see him succeed and to be proven wrong.

    However, for now i put him in the category of US forwards with Twellman and Kreis. Successful at the MLS level against MLS defenders.

    • Dennis says:

      Kreis scored only one goal for the USMNT in 14 games, Twellman scored 6 in 30 appearances. Gomez has 6 in 23 appearances. Jozy has 17 in 60.

      Wondo now has 6 in 14 and he averaged less than 40 minutes per appearance. That old song “Can’t score Internationally” might be getting old.

      We’ll see how things go in the next 4 games.

      • bryan says:

        i hope he gets the chance against CR because scoring against Belize, Cuba, and a “IDGAF” Guatemala side isn’t going to prove much. but he deserves to get a good look against some better teams in this Gold Cup to REALLY prove he can score at the international level.

  41. Chris H says:

    First post on the SBI, been a longtime usmnt fan though and always wondered what happened to you, Ives, after you sadly disappeared from the ESPN site.

    That said, if JK starts Beckerman, which he probably will, I would be ok if he allowed Torres/Holden/Mix to combo in front of him. Maybe like this…

    ——————–Wondo – Dono—————————–

    That seems possession and attacking minded without sacrificing defense. I’m sure Holden could handle playing out wide, as well as Torres, they also pinch in and give room for Beasley and Beltran to overlap.

  42. Cairo says:

    I really wish we would see Landon at Left mid a little bit, simply because that’s a position of need for the Nats that he could potentially fill. I personally think he has to start for the full squad, and Klinsy’s playing him up front makes me wonder if Clint Dempsey will move back to midfield and Landon will play striker. Landon is definitely a better passer than Clint, and Clint has always shown that he can score from the Wing (which he doesn’t really play anyway, as he’s going to roam to the middle of the field.
    My preference for the match, with full knowledge that this will not happen:


  43. Myett says:

    Ives giving Mix Diskerud no love….damn what else does the guy have to do?

    And count of me on the Mix / Holden tandem…once we start playing teams like Costa Rica that wont bunker in, Beckermen is going to be in trouble

  44. Kev says:

    Joe Corona had the game vs Cuba that made me think, “Ok, there it is, this kid is legit.”
    I think his touch was awesome last game and his confidence is showing. Would like to see him build of off that and start again.

  45. Paul says:

    I’d expect this game to be very similar competitively to the WCQ game. CR is much stronger than either Belize or Cuba. I would expect the late game fatigue we saw in the last two games.
    We’re also in the middle of another heat wave here in the Northeast. Fitness and tactics are keys to the game.
    – I’d expect Gomes to start for hustle, and matchup problems with CR. Bring on Wondo as a 2nd half sub.
    – You need a true #6 against CR. Beckerman has earned the start. Torres will get run over defensively in this role.
    – Holden gets the start at CAM. I’d expect a 2nd half sub at CAM for Mixx. Mixx has looked better mostly because he’s been a late game sub against tired, weaker opponents. Holden right now is a better 2-way player.
    – I’d go back to Parkhurst and Beasley at RB and LB. They have the fresh legs and both link well with the midfield.
    – Corona starts with Castillo on the wings. Probably Torres off the bench if needed. Shea can pack up. I have no idea why Bedoya sits, but trust JK’s judgement.
    – CB is the most interesting. Goodson has the fresh legs, but I’d put Orozco just ahead of Goodson right now. Onyewu as always poses matchup problems, and wins a lot of aerial battles, which will limit the CR attack. But is the weakest with distribution. It’s a toss up.

  46. beachbum says:

    think you nailed it Ives, even the possibility of OrozcoFiscal

  47. Isaac says:

    I’m sorry, but Stuart Holden should NOT be starting, in my mind. Diskerud has looked good, both starting and coming off the bench. Lets keep Stu coming off the bench and get his recovery going at a good rate, not lightning pace.

  48. Joel J says:

    I say with qualification in the bag, we rest some guys as this is a tournament, subbing them in if necessary. What we should do is of course not what I’d like to see, so I have 2 rosters:

    What we should do, with rest and gaining confidence in mind:

    Wondo Gomez
    Torres Diskerud Beckerman Bedoya
    Beasley Fiscal Goodson Parkhurst

    First subs: Donovan, Shea, Holden, (if Donovan isn’t needed Jack Mc)

    My best 11 (right now):

    Wondo Donovan (I like Gomez more, than Wondo, but he’s hot and play off Donovan very well)
    Torres Beckerman Holden Diskerud
    Beasley Goodson Fiscal Parkhurst

    1st Subs: Bedoya, Gomez, Castillo

  49. Trey says:

    I’d like to see Mix and Holden start together in midfield,they’ve looked good together when paired. Is costa Rica the time to start both of them? Idk.

  50. Al says:

    Wondo Donovan

    Corona, Holden, Beckerman, Diskerud

    Beasley, Orozco, Oguchi, Beltran


    (Torres, Parkhurst/Gomez(whoever is needed) and Castillo – at mid – off the bench)

  51. dave sf says:

    Klinsman should continue to mix it up. They have advanced to the next round and they need to save their legs. I would like to see the following start the game:
    Bruin, Mac, Bedoya, Wondo, Mix, Torres, Shea, Ashe, Goodson, Parkhurst, Beltran, Johnson.