Who should the USMNT start vs. El Salvador?

USMNTvsCuba (ISIPHotos.com)


With the group stages behind them, and the opportunity to experiment with lineups and players at different positions behind them, Jurgen Klinsmann and the U.S. Men’s National Team must now focus on identifying the best possible U.S. Gold Cup squad as the tournament’s knockout rounds kick off this weekend.

Klinsmann’s decision to call in four new players, including Matt Besler and Eddie Johnson, suggests he is ready to shake things up a bit in the lineup, and also means some group stage regulars won’t get the nod starting Sunday against El Salvador.

Besler is a lock to start, while Eddie Johnson seems a safe bet to slot into a left midfield role. What Klinsmann will have to figure out is which central midfielders to start, who to partner with Besler, along with a few other lineup decisions that should be a bit easier to make.

Who will get the starting nod vs. El Salvador? Here is SBI’s projected USMNT starting lineup for Sunday’s quarterfinal:


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

Eddie Johnson————-Stuart Holden————–Joe Corona

——————————Kyle Beckerman————————-

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

—————–Matt Besler—————-Clarence Goodson———

——————————-Nick Rimando——————————

Some thoughts:

Nick Rimando is the veteran goalkeeper with experience in big matches, so he has to get the nod in the knockout rounds.

Michael Parkhurst should start at right back, and the alternative to him might actually be Michael Orozco, who was solid in the group stage at centerback.

Kyle Beckerman gets the call over Mix Diskerud, who had a good group stage, but doesn’t provide the same omnipresent cover in midfield that Beckerman does.

Corona was stellar vs. Cuba, then came on as a sub and had an impact vs. Costa Rica. He absolutely should get the nod on the right wing.

Eddie Johnson over Jose Torres and Edgar Castillo? While we could see Torres getting the nod, I just don’t think Klinsmann brought in Johnson to be a bench option.

What lineup do I think fans would select if given the chance?

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

Eddie Johnson—Stuart Holden—-Mix Diskerud—-Joe Corona

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

—————–Matt Besler—————-Clarence Goodson———

——————————-Nick Rimando——————————

And what lineup would I start if I were given the task of selecting a lineup? I would probably go with this lineup:

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

Eddie Johnson————-Stuart Holden————–Joe Corona

——————————Kyle Beckerman————————-

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

—————–Matt Besler—————-Michael Orozco————

——————————-Nick Rimando——————————


What do you think of our projected lineup? Which of the three lineups listed would you prefer? Who are you absolutely hoping doesn’t start? Who are you praying does start?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in CONCACAF Gold Cup, Featured, U.S. Men's National Team, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

180 Responses to Who should the USMNT start vs. El Salvador?

  1. SanFran415 says:

    Definitely think we see Beckerman start in the 6 hole. We missed his defensive presence and calmness.

    I think Wondo gets at least one.

    • Kevin_Amold says:

      Did we miss his defensive presence? Costa Rica threatened only a handful of times, if memory serves.

      I agree he will start, but I think we did okay without him.

      • mack says:

        Completely agree. We continue to play this way. Beckerman isn’t really needed until mexico.

      • Andrew says:

        Beckerman can give us a better offensive presence. Not because of his offense, but allowing Holden and the other mids to be more committed to the attack. I don’t think people think of that. Having a defensive mid isn’t just about improving the defense, but it can help the offense too.

        • OPMG says:

          You just won the internets. It’s like having a shot blocker in the NBA. It allows the guards to get right in the face of the guy they’re guarding and run the floor because they know if they get beat they’ve got somebody to back them up. Simple concept.

        • bryan says:

          we all know that. but looking at the stats, Beckerman did not result in more offense. in fact, you can argue the exact opposite. yes, he, himself had some nice @ssists and no one can discredit that. but when looking at the offense as a whole, statistically, having Beckerman in there didn’t make a difference overall. we were just as effective without him.

          either way, for or against Beckerman, you can make a strong argument. which is very cool.

          • ehh…small sample size…ruined by the level of opponent. Any stats you got from those games really don’t mean much.

            • bryan says:

              BS. So long as you only compare stats from the same tournament, which we are, then you can absolutely use them to justify decisions. How can you even argue otherwise? For example, it’s not like people are saying Mix should start over Jones for the A team simply because Mix played well in the Gold Cup.

              It’s apples to apples and comparing stats from any Gold Cup player against another Gold Cup player is fine.

        • Matt says:

          I thought Holden combined better with Mix since he had another guy to pass to in the midfield. He’s on an island when playing in front of Beckerman.

          • Thatkidnandez says:

            The US also looks more composed and much more attack orriented when beckerman is off the field.

    • BigRockr says:

      Not sure about that but Beckerman did actually pass the ball forward last time he played.

    • Josh D says:

      Agree. But I severly disagree with Ives about dropping Mix. Holden has had two poor starts while Mix has crushed in each performance. Holden just isn’t ready for a full 90 and against a countering ES, we need someone who can influence the middle.

      Holden has had his best games off the bench. I think we see Mix and Beckerman.

      • Judging Amy says:

        Agree. Mix has looked better than Stu who is still a bit rusty compared to his ridiculous form before his injury. Mix and Stu give u different looks tho. Nice to have two such great players entering the pool again.

        • biff says:

          Me three. At this point, Holden, I think, could have more impact off the bench. Contrary to what some think, it seemed to me that Holden and Mix did not mesh well together against Costa Rica. I would rather see Mix teamed with a deep-lying Beckerman and allowed to join in on the attack at will.

      • KingGoogleyEye says:

        This, I think, is exactly the reason to start Holden over Mix. If Holden becomes fatigued, you can replace him with Mix at any time. But if you start Mix and bring in Holden at the half, then you can’t bring Mix back on the field if Holden lags after 30 minutes.

      • Snack Time says:

        Mix needs rest. He basically has a huge sign on his back that says “Foul me – I can take it!” which was probably put there secretly by Nigel De Jong. I think he makes the bench, but with Shea and EJ still on the team, I believe Torres will be the replacement for either Holden or Beckerman. If for some reason we get ourselves into a rut, Mix will come on.

  2. Rik says:

    Could also see EJ start up top with Wondo and move Landon to LM. Or, start EJ and Landon up top and have Wondo off bench. But this works.

    • Josh D says:

      Why move Donovan away from the hole? We don’t play a 4-4-2. We’ve played a 4-1-3-1-1. Donovan plays a role behind the striker and given the freedom to roam.

      • Waterlewd says:

        All lineups posted by Ives are 4-4-2. The rest is just tactics. Having Donovan up top allows movement between Corona and Johnson, less so with Holden. What is a “4-1-3-1-1″? Looks like negative 2 to me.

        • bryan says:

          Josh is right, tactically, our formation ends up as a 4-1-3-1-1. Wondo up top with LD roaming behind him. then three mids with the forth hanging back. you could also argue that when Mix/Holden are in, it’s a 4-4-1-1-.

          • Waterlewd says:

            One big problem I see with the formation and tactics is Holden and Donovan are basically playing the same position. Unless Holden drops deeper and the formation turns into a 4-2-3-1 with Donovan in the hole.

            • bryan says:

              i disagree. Holden and Mix have been playing the #8 role (like Jones/Bradley). LD has been much further forward. look at the heatmaps and it becomes a lot more clear.

              it’s like this:

              ——BACK LINE AND GOALIE—–

              • Waterlewd says:

                Dude, I was talking about Ive’s Project Lineup with Beckerman the #6 and Holden in the #10. I thought that what all this 4-1-3-1-1 was about using those same players. I’m excited to see what happens and how this plays out.

              • bryan says:

                oh ok i see what you are saying. i thought you were referring to the 4-4-1-1 i was talking about.

                on paper, yeah, it seems Holden and LD are playing similar positions but as we have seen live, they end up playing much different roles. Holden gets a lot more of the ball.

          • beachbum says:

            not necessarily regarding LD roaming behind Wondo

      • Waterlewd says:

        If El Savador put 10 behind the ball, then Donovan needs to look for space behind and stretch their lines to open space for our midfielders to operate. He’ll need to operate off Wondo looking for runs in the channels. This will open up space for the other midfielders to pick our way through a crowded midfield, get the ball out wide and put in some good service and get some players into the box. If El Salvador attack, then you could see Donovan in the hole to orchestrate some counters. I feel like this is somthing we learned in the Costa Rica match.

      • beachbum says:

        in just the last game both LD and Wondo were stuck on that Costa Rica backline, and after that first half he started to pop up all over from that high position back into space

  3. Chris Dos says:

    I agree with your choice of line up, which is Orozco over Goodson..

  4. Sergio of SF says:

    I like your lineup IVES. And I would really like to see a Besler and Orozco tandem in the center of defense. Especially since they are both pretty good on the ball. And Orozco is also very good in the air. He also seems to find the ball with his head often on set pieces.

  5. Vic says:

    Johnson up front and Donovan in Mid. Wondo may be good for this game, but he will prove to be a bad option for the USMNT for the world cup. He scores vs nobodies but will never be a threat against a good team, sadly only Altidore gives us that, and Eddie Johnson’s speed. NOT WONDO.

    • Nigel Tuffnell says:

      Chelsea are a terrible team, aren’t they?

    • Dennis says:

      How quickly we forget the cries that Altidore couldn’t score against anyone.

      I am confident that if Wondo gets starts that he will score goals, but if he doesn’t get playing time, he certainly won’t. For all the whining about Wondo not scoring against “quality” opponents, he has hardly had enough time to prove much. He had one substitute appearance in 2011 vs Spain in a 0-4 loss, and one substitute appearance in 2011 vs Chile in a 1-1 draw these were the only games he played for the USMNT against what might be called “quality” opposition. This nonsense about him not being able to score against quality teams has a ring of truth only because coaches have not chosen to play him against such teams. It is true if you don’t play you can’t score, but not that you don’t have the ability to score.

      There are too many here who want to jump on the bandwagon repeating things others say because it makes them look clever. The ONLY way to know whether or not Wondo, Altidore, Gomez, Johnson, Gordon, etc. will score against any team is to actually play them. JK gets the job of predicting the future and choosing which will actually get a chance to score. I am pretty sure that even he would admit it is, at best, an educated guess.

  6. Ben says:


    Corona – Mix – Landon

    Holden – Beckerman

    Beasley – Besler -Orozco – Parkhurst

    • Dinho says:

      I like this!

    • the unmistakeable Ronaldinho says:

      I Like the thought of playing Wondo with LD underneath and Eddie Johnson on the left. Wondo is ever present in the box and makes those dangerous sneaky runs to the near post that have been so successful. EJ can not only attack from the left wing, but most importantly, will be able to pinch in when the ball is coming in from right giving us another man/threat in the box. Torres never really did provided that threat. El Salvador will likely sit back for the majority of the game and having an extra threat to attack crosses will be very useful.

      • Dennis says:

        Agreed, there are a lot of people commenting here who seem to think that all a striker needs is outstanding athletic talent or great skill. It is not so. There are countless forwards who have been very successful because they were very good at anticipating plays, moving to good spots and hitting simple little p@sses to the back to the net. I once heard it described that a good forward is like a good bicycle thief, you don’t notice he’s around until the bike is stolen.

    • Travis says:

      I like it a lot, but I would switch Landon and Corona.

    • DCUffda! says:

      No EJ as lone striker.

    • Thatkidnandez says:

      Orozco for Parkhurst and put goodson in.

  7. The Other Jeff says:

    Makes sense to keep Wondow up top and put EJ on the left. We’ve scored goals once the ball bounces into the box, but the left wing has been pretty empty excepting only when Beasley and Donovan go there.

  8. Bruce Arena says:

    Huge fan of how the fan lineup always excludes Beckerman. On point, Ives.

    • Dinho says:

      And Parkhurst!

      • bryan says:

        i get why no Beckerman. but why Beltran over Parkhurst?! so strange to me. i’m not even sure i have seen anyone ask for that.

        • zztoppppp says:

          I’ve seen quite a few people call for it. I would prefer it myself because when Parkhurst is out there I get nervous about him slipping up on defense. Beltran may not offer much going forward but is consistent in the back.

          • bryan says:

            i’m confused by this. if anything, Parkhurst has shown to be very solid on defense (aside from his nap against Belize) while getting forward he has failed. look at his stats, defensively, very strong. but he consistently made bad passes or lost the ball when getting forward. everything i have read, including SBI, has said Parkhurst has been good defensively while not offering enough going forward.

          • bryan says:

            i’m confused by this. if anything, Parkhurst has shown to be very solid on defense (aside from his nap against Belize) while getting forward he has failed. look at his stats, defensively, very strong. but he consistently made bad p@sses or lost the ball when getting forward. everything i have read, including SBI, has said Parkhurst has been good defensively while not offering enough going forward.

            • Dinho says:

              Beltran, too, has been fine defensively. But, that’s it.

              For me, if he’s not playing centerback, Orozco should be on the field. He has that bit of bite that is lacking from the rest of the backline.

              He can’t offer less going forward than Parkhurst or Beltran (none existent). So, there’s no loss.

              And, who knows, maybe Orozco will provide some semblance of attack….and not give the ball away when he tries to go forward (read: Parkhurst)

              • bryan says:

                agreed. if it were up to me, i’d start Orozco at RB. he is very familiar with that position.

              • beachbum says:

                whoever the RB is will have Zelaya running at him a lot, and the CBs need to be aware of his runs from the weakside to the near post

    • blokhin says:

      Yes, furthermore, I’d choose between Wondo and EJ, not both


      El Salvador would bunker up, I imagine and Beckerman does not help to solve that issue, whereas vs Mexico or even Costa Rica he would be more helpful in a two-way game, or when the opponent dominated possession.

      I’d rather bring him in for either Holden or Mix when U.S. gets a lead in the second half to protect it, versus start with him and have to gnaw on my fist for 60 minutes, while watching him p@ss sideways or backwards, or worse, try to needle through a packed defense …

      plus, Wondo did a bad job staying onsides versus a high-line that CR deployed. EJ would be better with balls played over the top or to corners to unlock a tight D

      • peterprinciple says:

        Are you mad?
        1. Wondo better at what he does than Castillo.
        2. EJ better at both.

        Best lineup (especially considering the liklihood of facing a “conservative” approach from El SAL, ) would include the better attacking players. So I play Landon and Wondo up high. I play Becks and Mix in the center. Obviously I like EJ on the LM and JC on the RM. I let Lando drift back and Mix drift up to create seperation in the attack. Gimmie Beasley-Besler-Goodson-Orozco across the back.

        I could see Landon on the left though, I think there is a possible opening there on the “A” squad for the big round of qualifiers in September, and He could just start playing there now.

        • peterprinciple says:

          Plus EJ is another home run threat over the top if that becomes something that is needed.

    • beto says:

      if i may speak for the fans; beckerman’s stock is rising but everyone loves mix. also i bet most fans would rather see Orzoco continue getting starts at RB.. no one (outside of utah) is calling for Beltran..

      • bryan says:

        Beckerman’s stock is the same as when he came in. not rising. Mix’s stock is rising. Corona’s is. Holden’s is, granted he already had a bunch to begin with. Orozco and Torres too.

        Beckerman has had some great play, but i think everyone knew he could bring that type of game to the group stage. he’s capable of doing it against any team in this competition to be honest. so that’s why i’m not sure his stock is rising. he was already proven.

    • Addage says:

      It’s because Beckerman is calm on defense and comatose on offense. If El Salvador has 10 playing defending the box, Beckerman makes 11. He plays defense for both teams.

      • Dennis says:

        Gee, silly me, I thought Beckerman had assists vs Belize and Cuba. 2 assists in 120 minutes, not bad for a defensive-minded mid. Man, if you want to criticize someone, at least be real.

  9. KingGoogleyEye says:

    Strong possibility that it will be Besler and Orozco at CB. Kyle and Stuart to start, with Mix replacing Stuart after the half. Just not sure who the impact sub is with this roster….

    • bryan says:

      with EJ, Shea, and Bedoya there is certainly a lot of speed off the bench.

      • KingGoogleyEye says:

        I am assuming EJ starts on the left, Wondo up top. I recognize Shea and Bedoya on the bench, but I don’t think they can be relied on as impact players (the way EJ or Gomez would). To be clear: yes they can make an impact, but are they reliable? Maybe Bedoya would open the middle up more with runs down the wings; i.e. an indirect impact.

      • KingGoogleyEye says:

        I am @ssuming EJ starts on the left, Wondo up top. I recognize Shea and Bedoya on the bench, but I don’t think they can be relied on as impact players (the way EJ, Wondo, or Gomez would). To be clear: yes they can make an impact, but are they reliable? Maybe Bedoya would open the middle up more with runs down the wings; i.e. an indirect impact.

        • bryan says:

          for sure, i get your concerns. but i think out of the bunch, they are the best bet. and against the teams in this Gold Cup, there is no excuse for them to not have an impact.

          i’m just banking on EJ not starting.

  10. Del Griffin says:

    Have the silenced Altidore-haters transformed directly to Wondo-haters, or is it a whole new faction?

    • John says:

      Seriously… I don’t understand why some people root against certain players. Shouldn’t we want as many guys playing well going into next year as possible?

    • Dinho says:

      If there were a better option at right back, I’d start Orozco in the middle with Goodson. But, considering it’s either Parkhurst or Beltran, I’d put Orozco at right back.

      I like the idea of a 4-2-3-1 (like the “A” team uses). Here you go

      LD Mixx Corona
      Holden Beck
      DMB Besler Goodson Orozco

      • Del Griffin says:

        Love this one. No one has any love for Johnson though? I liked what I saw from him.

        • Dinho says:

          Not saying I don’t like him, but big games = experience in goal.

          Johnson has how many caps? 3? Not ready yet.

        • GW says:

          Johnson needs more work. He was very nervous, understandably, and tentative, not good in a keeper.

          And for such a big guy he’s not very good at commanding his area and dealing with crosses. He can’t kick a ball much past the half way line and often was kicking it out of bounds in the US half.

          And he never punted the ball almost certainly under direct order.

          But he is very young and could be a dominant keeper in about 6- 8 years.

          I can’t see him playing any knockout games for the US unless he is the last keeper standing.

      • beto says:

        +1 dinho, thats my lineup too. LD will become the second striker if needed or he can control the game from the midfield.

        i have a lot of respect for wondo, but his future role (if he is to continue contributing to the USMNT) is the poacher off the bench. bring him in after the defense has been unsettled and to capitalize on late game opportunities. this role fits him perfectly while I would rather see guys like LD, Mix, Holden, EJ, torres play in the beginning of games as they are more pace and flow setters.

      • beachbum says:

        the A team does not use a 4 2 3 1 since before the Germany game, and neither has this team

      • Fan Futbol says:

        +100. Love this lineup.

        Although I could see Wondo instead of EJ. With a midfield of Mix, Holden, Beckerman, we’ll control the game and there will be a lotta balls coming into the box.

        I was down on Orozco before this tourney. But he’s looked sharp and is a header threat in the box. Give him a go at right back.

    • BigRockr says:

      I like Wondo. He’s like a re-incarnated Brian Ching.

      • Jeff says:

        I think a Ching would be a nice luxury to have at least come off the bench for a twenty or so. I don’t think he and Wondo play much a like at all.

      • GW says:

        Other than having played for the Dynamo, Wondow and Ching have nothing in common as players.

    • peterprinciple says:

      I’m new- FWIW, always loved Jozy, not impressed by Wondo on this level (he would dominate me for sure though). So new faction?

  11. Thatkidnandez says:

    I would like to see Michael Orozco at right back with Besler and Goodson at cb. Michael Parkhurst has delivered great assists but he looks really shaky at times. Tony Beltran to me just doesn’t cut it at rb. I prefer torres on the wing instead of Johnson and in my opinion shouldnt have been called up as for gordon. Klinsi shouldve kept Jack Mac in the mix and should have gotten a look against Guate, Cuba or Belize. Hamid should start and make this game his test.

  12. Thomas says:

    If I was able to pick the team:
    GK: S.Johnson
    RB: Beltran
    CB: Besler
    CB: Orozco
    LB: Beasley
    RM: Corona
    CM: Holden
    CM: Torres
    LM: E.Johnson
    CF: Donovan
    ST: Bruin

    • Dinho says:

      Bruin? Really?

      How long have you lived in Houston? And/Or Is Will your cousin or brother?

      • Jeff says:

        With players like Landon, Holden, and Torres in his projected lineup, I think Bruin would be a nice fit.

      • Thomas says:

        16 years, I don’t think he is my cousin or brother. But I do have account on Ancestry.com.
        But if he doesn’t play well in the first half you can always sub on Wondow. Wondow has been better in the 2nd half of games this Gold Cup anyways, or JK could sub on Shea and put E.Johnson at striker.
        And it’s not that strange if JK thinks of E.Johnson has winger then Bruin is the second choice striker behind Wondow and in front of Gordon. And yes I am being biased, but I don’t think Bruin has played a single minute in the Gold Cup and he played like 17 mins of garbage time vs Guatemala.

        • Dennis says:

          Well, Wondo did not play in the first half of 2 of the games in which he scored in the 2nd half and he scored a hat trick in one of the first halves he played, hardly enough data to extract a pattern.

          • Thomas says:

            I agree, but from I have seen I think Wondow is a better 2nd half player. But look at Shea in the past couple of his USMNT games he is best used as a “SuperSub” and I think that’s his role for the USMNT going forward.

        • Dinho says:

          No offense, but 16 years is all I needed to hear. (I have family in Houston, so there’s no ill will)

          This is a big game. Bruin is very raw. We need guys that have shown that they can step up (and done already). Bruin is not that. And, candidly, I don’t think he ever will. Agree to disagree.

          Also, I think Gordon is in front of Bruin in the pecking order. So, if any big target forward-type is going to start, it will be Gordon, not Bruin.

          • Thomas says:

            Why would I take “offense” from someone I have probably never seen, and you read the rest of my comment anyways?
            If Bruin is below Gordon in the pecking order why did JK picked Bruin over Gordon for the group stages?
            I do agree Gordon is better at hold up then Bruin.
            How do you know if Bruin can or cannot “step up”? He hasn’t even played a total of 45 mins for the USMNT.

            • Dinho says:

              I would imagine JK picked Bruin to get him exposed to the process, training, and to get some more time to evaluate him.

              JK knows what Gordon offers, which Gordon has showed in qualifiers. I stand by my comment that Gordon plays before Bruin. We’ll see.

              Regardless, go USA! Right?

              • Thomas says:

                1st Go USA!!
                But what did Gordon show in the his one touch with the USMNT that he can put in a cross where he was way out of position.
                I could be wrong but I think Bruin has had more touches than Gordon in USMNT play and more mins. so I think JK would know more about Bruin. Since again Bruin was called in call in above Gordon just like in the January roster which Gordon did not make, and I do not think he was injured.

            • SJ says:

              I think Wondo(w), EJ, and Gordon are all in front of Bruin in the depth chart. If we didn’t see Bruin in the group stage, why do you think he’ll start, or even play, in a knockout game?

              I think he is there for cover and to see what it takes to be an international–read the same as Jack Mac. I hope he continues to improve to where he can be an option for every USMNT call up. Juergen likes to bring talent along slowly so we don’t have another “Adu” moment.

              • Thomas says:

                I 100% agree that E.Johnson is above Bruin in the depth chart at the striker position no doubt, but Johnson is also above Shea and Torres at left winger. JK sees Eddie Johnson as a left winger. I don’t know why I think only couple people know. Can we please remember Gordon has only had ONE TOUCH(I think) with USMNT how does that put him front of guy JK has seen in camp twice over a guy who today marks his second call-up.
                I know Bruin starting is weird, but he is not behind a guy who has had, to my knowledge, ONE TOUCH( I think, again I could be wrong). But I do know Bruin has had twice the mins has Gordon.
                To summarize, I trust Johnson at LM way more than Shea, Torres, and with Johnson at LM I believe the depth chart for this GC is Wondow-Bruin-Gordon. Probably cause I am biased I would like to see Bruin start, and get more than 17 in game. And It wouldn’t be the weirdest thing JK has ever done with the USMNT.

  13. John says:

    Where Klinsmann’s plays Landon and EJ I think could really say a lot about what his plans are for both of them in the future.

    • louis z says:

      well, so far he has LD as the SS and EJ as the LM, why should things change in the knock out phase. JK doesn’t change things when the going is good.

  14. Dinho says:

    Meant to post this separately, not in reply to anyone…

    If there were a better option at right back, I’d start Orozco in the middle with Goodson. But, considering it’s either Parkhurst or Beltran, I’d put Orozco at right back.

    I like the idea of a 4-2-3-1 (like the “A” team uses). Here you go

    LD Mixx Corona
    Holden Beck
    DMB Besler Goodson Orozco

    • beto says:

      +1, my comment above too

    • beachbum says:

      as posted above, the ‘A’ team hasn’t used that formation since before the Germany game.

      • Frank says:

        I’m almost positive they used the 4-2-3-1 (or 4-4-1-1 however you’d like to look at it) for all 3 WCQs

        • beachbum says:

          they list it that way on TV but was Jozy up top alone? No, he was paired with Clint. Best way to tell is when they reshape on D. Two guys up high initiating pressure, either a 4 1 3 2 or a 4 4 2 as it plays out even tho the TV always shows the formation as a 4 2 3 1.

          it’s THE difference in the team since the Germany game imo. Jozy as the lone wolf up top has struggled for the USMNT, whether as a lone target or initiating the D pressure (he’s often called lazy by folks when he’s asked to be the lone striker initiating the high pressure).

          first tried it in the Germany game and it worked great and never looked back since

          • Dinho says:

            I appreciate that distinction, and, to be fair, it’s a different dynamic with the “A” team because Deuce can play the attacking mid/second forward so well. There’s no one on this squad (except maybe LD) that can adopt that position…

            If it were up to me, in a standard 4-4-2, this is my preferred lineup:

            ———— Rimando —————

            Subs (depending on form and scoreline): Castillo for Torres, Beckerman for Holden or Mixx, Wondo for EJ.

          • Fan Futbol says:

            When Jozy and Clint play forward, Clint occupies a spot slightly behind and to the right of Jozy, no? They’re usually not level. Heat maps could prove me wrong, but that’s how I think of it.

          • Bac says:

            I have heretofore named our senior team’s formation the 4-4-Deuce… He ain’t a striker, he ain’t a winger, he ain’t a midfielder, he’s just a dam good dude who plays up top and makes good things happen over and over for the team I like….
            So hence going forward I refer to it as the 4-4-DEUCE

            • beachbum says:

              I LOVE it…good call

            • peterprinciple says:

              DUECE is such a key player, what he does really helps break down a bunkered in opponent. He poaches goals, he strikes from distance, He scores of sets. We need to train a few more players like him. Maybe Stu can adopt some of his game, maybe even Mix. Maybe even Brek. Dempsey was mercurial as younger player like Brek is now.

          • louis z says:

            I don’t think the lineup on defense tells anything. where else would you expect for clint and Jozy to be?

          • louis z says:

            I’m not so sure, Clint has been down in the middle of the field to suggest he was part of the midfield. Clint was close to Jozy only when our crossing game developed some bite.

  15. curva sud says:

    I find it quite interesting that Gonzo has no been mentioned once in the article or thread so far. Not saying it’s not right, just interesting.

  16. Bac says:

    Here we go again… usmnt lineup crystal ball prediction time….

    Otherwise known as ” I have no idea what lineup JK will choose so it’s Budweiser time”

    • beachbum says:

      hahaha…he likes to mix things up that’s for sure

      • Bac says:

        I think he wants me to drink more

        • Dennis says:

          Some enterprising bookie needs to open up the line on who will start for the US. There seems to be enough uncertainty tempered by bits of rationality that everyone thinks he knows what will be yet gets surprised.

  17. Brian says:

    If they play a 4-4-2 I’d rather see Bedoya get in at RM than Corona. Bedoya stays outside and drives to the corner for crosses and doesn’t leave Parkhurst stranded by cutting inside and losing the ball the way Corona does.

    • Andrew says:

      I agree. Other than the pass that initiated the goal sequence against Costa Rica, and the goal Corona scored after the ball deflected right to him, I don’t understand why everyone is so big on him. You could also put E J on the right and put in Castillo or Torres on the left

      • bryan says:

        Well if the overwhelming majority of soccer journalists and fans disagree, chances are you may want to reevaluate. If not, no biggie. It’s your opinion.

  18. Josh says:

    I’d switch LD and EJ and put Mix in for Holden.

  19. Michael says:

    I like Mix and Holden…EJ will provide some width and so will Corona so it wont be as clogged in the middle like it was the last game for these two.

  20. beachbum says:

    would hope that Edgar gets to start at left mid, to me he’s earned that as much as Joe has on the other side, leaving EJ as the impact sub off the bench with LD and Wondo up top. would also like to see Orozco at CB and see what he can do with Zelaya, a true test to assess him at the position

  21. beachbum says:

    would hope that Edgar gets to start at left mid, to me he’s earned that as much as Joe has on the other side, leaving EJ as the impact sub off the bench with LD and Wondo up top. would also like to see Orozco at CB and see what he can do with Zelaya, a true test to as$$ess him at the position

  22. bryan says:

    i personally hope EJ does not start over Torres. i’d rather have his speed off the bench up top to be honest. with Shea as a sub for Torres.

    also, Mix/Holden!

    tough spot with Orozco though. i think i would like to see him at RB.

  23. Nate Dollars says:

    ives, i think that the “fans’ choice” lineup would have besler and orozco at CB.

    orozco’s been great so far, and he is strong in the air, so don’t know that we’d be missing goodson that much, especially against el salvador.

  24. Bobb says:

    Ives why are you a Mix Diskerud hater… take a look at his OPTA pass charts compared to Beckerman over the last four games.

    • Ives Galarcep says:

      I’m not a hater Bobb, I just put things into perspective and don’t choose to ignore variables because they don’t fit into a tidy storyline. Diskerud has done well, but he has also had the benefit of coming into matches late where the opponent clearly wasn’t playing the same way they did when they began. Having fresh legs come into matches and take on inferior, and tiring competition should provide a good showcase for a player. Diskerud has his chance to shine vs. Costa Rica, and while he started well, he didn’t really turn in a full performance that would lead me to believe he will be the starter in the knockout rounds. If he gets his chance and starts in the knockout rounds, and does well then I’ll say so. Until that time, I won’t be joining the bandwagon just because YOU think I should.

      • beachbum says:

        that Costa Rica test was a good one, not an easy team to break down

        could help Stu in the same ways if he came off the bench, playing against tired legs, but either way we probably agree it’s not been a bad thing to have either in there so far. I’d argue both have done better in the sub role and if things were tight in the 2nd half Stu is the guy off the bench to change the tempo in our favor for me

        but it’ll probably be Stu-Beckerman

        • Bac says:

          Probably so.. but there’s another possibility. If JK expects El Sal to bunker, I wouldn’t be surprised by a Stu/Mix start…
          2 reasons-
          With Besler in town he’s gotta have more confidence in the back line, without the need for Beckermans strength of sitting in front of the back 4
          And if fresh legs are needed to kill off the game and protect a lead, I can see him saving Beckerman for just that purpose…
          Just a thought…

      • louis z says:

        so are you implying Holden had a better CR game than Mix based on your formation…

  25. CamRahn Bay says:


    I want to see Orozco at RB… Parkhurst and Beltran do nothing for me, and I feel Orozco can offer something in the attacking 3rd. Torres consistently plays well in first halves; bring on Shea or Castillo to infuse some energy in the second half. Mixx for Holden is another sub, with the last one being Wondo for LD or EJ… Preferably LD (with the game in hand) since he has played all 270 minutes of the tournament so far.

    P.S. This is an honest question: Will Gordon even play? Seemed like an odd selection to me.

    • ed - houston says:

      i like it, not a fan of EJ on the wings, but up top yes

    • GW says:

      “Parkhurst and Beltran do nothing for me, and I feel Orozco can offer something in the attacking 3rd”

      Parkhurst has been solid defensively. This has freed up Orozco.

      • Dinho says:

        Freed up Orozco? To do what? Defend well? Get his head on set pieces? I don’t get this comment.

        Parkhurst is like a scared puppy out there. No thanks.

      • CamRahn Bay says:

        A solid point… While Parkhurst hasn’t been flashy, he has been solid outside of one defensive gaffe that may or may not have been his fault on one of the goals in the first two games.

        I guess I just prefer outside defenders that are constantly involved in the attack; more free to roam (much like DMB has done). Perhaps moving him to the outside diminishes that possibility, but I feel that Goodson and Besler can be solid, last line defenders that don’t get involved in the attack other than set pieces.

    • Dinho says:

      I could buy into this lineup, but I still think Holden can play the defensive role and we don’t need Beckerman. I’m not hating, I just don’t see natty dread on the squad next year so I don’t see the reason to play him now.

      • CamRahn Bay says:

        My case for Beckerman (trust me, this is tough) is that he fills a much needed gap that I felt was quite evident against CR. I don’t think Mixx or Holden are defensive minded midfielders at all, and when forced to play there they are out of position and don’t look right. Beckerman, while boring, is quite steady and plays an important role for us in halting attacks and filling space.

        Beckerman is like your grandparents. Never really pumped to see them and don’t really appreciate them, but when they’re gone, you miss ’em.

        • bryan says:

          I disagree there was an evident gap as a whole. yes, sometimes they both would get caught too far forward, but Holden and Mix had a ton of interceptions and recoveries.

          i don’t think you are wrong to want Beckerman, he’s obviously done well. but i just disagree with the idea you put out there about how we need him.

  26. JH says:

    I like EJ’s skill set well enough but not on the wings, where he takes a serious back seat to Torres in terms of crosses in. Wondo has been playing really well in that role up top and could use all the good service he can get, much like the Altidore-Zusi combo.

    • Dennis says:

      I have been impressed with Torres ability to make good serves off dead balls, not so much when he is pressed in the run of play. I’m not sure if that is because he does’t survey the field to pick out targets when he is expecting pressure or if he is panicking when he is about to serve and has pressure coming.

      • peterprinciple says:

        Too slow, in thought, recognition and action. Which is silly since he is so damned skilled with the ball. This line-up does put Torres out, since Shea is most likely LM sub.

  27. Ben says:

    I don’t like EJ as LM. It’s obvious he doesn’t have the skill set for that position. He can’t cross and isn’t a great passer. EJ had great speed, makes decent runs and had slightly above average finishing ability. Play EJ as a forward and move Donavan to LM or have EJ replace wondo and play shea, or torres at LM.

  28. Joe A. says:

    I wouldn’t be so sure about EJ starting just yet. Besler on the other hand should start.. its hard to say whether it’ll be over goodson or orozco.

    • Thatkidnandez says:

      Orozco can play RB. He played rb for puebla.

    • peterprinciple says:

      I agree, but EJ is another level above most of these guys (save Landon and, well just Landon- this is a real B squad and EJ is a solid B starter right now in the US pool).

  29. Vic says:

    I would really prefer Castillo or Bedoya. Both have a good left foot and can take people on. Castillo is a little quicker and Bedoya is a better passer. LM is the best position for both in my opinion.

    I also think the fans would prefer a natural left footed player at LM like Castillo or Bedoya. Klinnsmann is an expert at playing players out of position, the fans generally don’t prefer that. Although Klinnsmann is doing less of that. No more 3 def mids.

    • Thatkidnandez says:

      Castillo should keep playing at LM maybe a venture at forward would work. He used to play as a forward.

    • peterprinciple says:

      castillo has shown heavy touch EVERY time he has been given a chance to play mid with the nationals. When he runs up from the back, running onto balls and dribbling, he has been electric at times, but he can not be counted on to maintain possession in tight spaces- which all mids need to do at times.

  30. Jose says:






    Subs: Wondo, Holden, Shea or Castillo

    • Jody says:

      This one looks the best to me. Agree with the subs, too.

    • Slowreno says:

      This! I’m on the fence with Holden or Mixx starting, but leaning towards Holden. Why? Holden IMO has the greater chance on making an impact in the squad in the next year and Klinsmann will want to see him in a squad more similar to one he’d be paired with the A team.

  31. meck says:

    i like ives version the most

  32. USMNT Fan says:

    Wondo is most efficient when used as a 20 minute substitute who can score goals. Start EJ at forward to improve the link with midfielders.

    • biff says:

      Eddie is most efficient when used as a 20 minute substitute who can score goals. Start Wondo at forward to improve the link with midfielders.

      • Dennis says:

        I say start the guy who has demonstrated he can score goals consistently for over 3 years at a faster rate than anyone else in this squad against defenses that are almost identical to those the other forwards on this team faced. (I don’t think SJ’s defense which is the only one Wondo hasn’t had to face is any better than LA’s, Seatle’s or Huston’s) He has now scored 6 goals in 15 appearances for the USMNT for 0.4 goals per game which is higher than either Donavon’s or Dempsey’s s strike rate, and Wondo still hasn’t averaged even 1/2 game per USMNT appearance.

        What does he have to do to catch a little slack?

  33. louis z says:

    I think against ES he starts both Mix and Holden, why? because ES is not going to attack that much but defend as hell, we need our creative players to break their defense, having Beckerman is just going to make the attack more difficult.

  34. Brain Guy says:

    I read that the ES squad includes the guy who punched Boyd and *bit* Diskerud and Adu in the Olympic qualifying tournament. Will the US remember?

  35. biff says:

    I am hoping that Klinsmann has brought in Eddie Johnson in order to use him as a forward, instead of playing him out of position yet again as a winger. At this point, we have three bona fide left wingers with Beasley, Castillo and Shea, plus Torres, who Klinsmann has been playing in recent games as a left winger. I will be very surprised to see Johnson starting Sunday at left wing over one of those four players. Just one time I would like to see a starting LB/LW combination pairing Beasley/Castillo, preferably with Beasley as the LW. It appears to me that Beasley, bless his heart, is starting to lose steam as LB. I don’t expect him to be playing there much longer, yet Klinsmann is too stubborn to give DaMarcus a chance at left wing, preferring instead an out-of-form Brek Shea or a central midfielder Gringo Torres.

    • louis z says:

      actually, I’m hoping JK starts EJ as the LM, he seems to be more productive than as a forward, specially when ES will be packing it in. EJ as a forward needs lots of space to get going which is not going to be available up on top. From the wing he will have chances to come inside and force the ES defense to shift and hopefully open up for one of our boys.

      • Joamiq says:

        EJ isn’t actually better as a left mid. It seems that way because he’s been better for the nats lately than a few years ago, but that’s just because he’s a better player now, and has played a lot more left mid for Klinsi than forward. EJ can still get space up top. If Wondo starts, he’ll be the one leading the line. EJ can run off of him.

        Besides, I’d rather give Landon the extra space to operate and cut inside than EJ. And his defensive workrate will allow Beasley to get involved going forward, which never happens when EJ is playing in front of Bease.

        • louis z says:

          of course he is better player now, specially at the wing, and yes he mostly plays the wing under JK so why would anyone think JK will change that. not sure on your line of thought.

        • biff says:

          good point. I neglected to even mention Donovan as a bona fide left winger. That could work, moving Donovan over to the left and EJ behind Wondo as a withdrawn striker. Actually, as an advocate of using only one striker in a 4-2-3-1, I had been thinking more in terms of starting Wondow with EJ on the bench if needed to add a second forward or to replace Wondow if W fails to deliver. While I would be happy with Landon on the left, I still very much want to see Beasley given a chance to show what he can do as left midfielder before we see DaMarcus give up a key goal because I think it’s coming. Simply too much to ask to convert a 31-year-old foward/winger to left back at 31 years old.

    • Dennis says:

      I kinda agree with biff. While I don’t pretend to know how well EJ and Wondo might play together, or not, using them as forwards allows Donavon to get out wide and run at defenders. That is a strong point of LD’s game, being up top centrally in a crowded box where there is lots of physical contact is not his favorite place. If the opponents drop a lot of defenders badk and in, I don’t think LD will find a lot of joy in the mash pit. Whether LD starts on the left or the right is immaterial, he will move from one side to the other as play dictates and he can serve balls to those guys who are better at handling the physical pounding,

  36. Brett says:

    Stick to that 4-1-3-2

    Beasley, Besler, Orozco, Beltran across the back, Beckerman holding in front. Torres, Corona, Holden in a trident behind Donovan and Eddie Johnson. First sub – Wondo for EJ. Second sub – Mix for Beckerman. Third sub – Castillo for Torres.

    Beasley and Beltran need to get forward early and often and make ES pay for bunkering in. We snatch a goal and they have to come out, then we can put in a couple more and just ride out the rest.

  37. Rags in DC says:

    I would start EJ. Up top with Landon and play Torres on the left wing…

  38. Thatkidnandez says:

    I would like to see Michael Orozco at right back with Besler and Goodson at cb. Michael Parkhurst has delivered great service but he looks really shaky at times. Tony Beltran to me just doesn’t cut it at rb. I prefer torres on the wing instead of Johnson and in my opinion shouldnt have been called up as for gordon. Klinsi should have kept Jack Mac in the mix and should have gotten a look against Guate, Cuba or Belize. Hamid should start and make this game his test.

  39. MLS_Soccer_Talker says:

    Off topic. I wish an MLS team offered Fito Zelaya a contract. Dynamo tried to, but low balled the guy. LA should of trialed this guy. Better option than Rogers IMO.

  40. Joamiq says:

    Start EJ at forward and Landon at left mid. This should be a no-brainer. Landon’s workrate is more useful in midfield, and EJ’s lack of defensive awareness plays better up top. Putting a defensive liability ahead of a fullback who is useful going forward in Beasley makes no sense.

  41. chris_thebassplayer says:

    Cover your eyes Quake haters.

    El Sal is going to bunker…I’d like to see a couple of good box players up top, with Paco, Stu and LD raining in accurate crosses. Gordo would probably be better as a late game sub, but I’d rather put them on their heels early if they hang back.






    I don’t think this is a good game for EJ unless El Sal steals a page from CR and plays a higher D line. But I don’t think they can pull that off… so there probably won’t be a lot of space behind the D to run into…EJ doesn’t link well in combo play…sounds harsh, but I think he would be a dead end on the field. He is good in the air, but he isn’t a good hold up forward. Maybe use his speed if we play Mexico in a wide open game. If you played him with Wondow up front the chemistry would be horrific.

    As always, it will be interesting to see what JK puts together for this one…

  42. rainORshine says:

    3 games in 8 days. weak opponent. rest donovan (among others)