Who should the USMNT start vs. Cuba?

USMNTvsBelize (JaneGPhotography)


The U.S. Men’s National Team faces another match on Saturday where they are expected to win handily, but as they prepare to take on Cuba at Rio Tinto Stadium, Jurgen Klinsmann finds himself with some tough lineup decisions to make.

As much as the 6-1 win vs. Belize was a quality overall team performance, the fact that the U.S. team is in the midst of a three games in eight days stretch makes it very likely Klinsmann will use the Cuba match to rest some starters from the Belize match, and give some players who sat out that match a chance to impress.

The trio of Herculez Gomez, Stuart Holden and Oguchi Onyewu didn’t start vs. Belize, but if they are healthy, you have to think that group will get the nod.

There are several other tough lineup choices to make. Do you go with Brek Shea on the left wing, or bring Edgar Castillo back? Do you give DaMarcus Beasley a rest? Do we finally see the Stuart Holden-Mix Diskerud tandem in central midfield? Will Klinsmann start all three Real Salt Lake players on the roster in front of their home crowd?

So who do we see starting vs. Cuba? Here is starting lineup we can see taking on Cuba for the USMNT:


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

Brek Shea————–Stuart Holden——–Landon Donovan

————————–Kyle Beckerman—————————

Edgar Castillo—————————————-Tony-Beltran

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

—————————Nick Rimando—————————-

Some thoughts:

Why no Mix Diskerud? The fact he just went 90 minutes suggests to me that Klinsmann isn’t planning on starting him vs. Cuba. That doesn’t mean he won’t start vs. Costa Rica. Beckerman needs to have a strong game if he’s going to keep the defensive midfield spot.

We originally listed Herculez Gomez on the bench, but it’s tough to see him out of the lineup if healthy. If he isn’t healthy, look for Alejandro Bedoya to get the nod on the right wing, with Landon Donovan playing up top.

DaMarcus Beasley is the U.S. captain, but he’s also not getting any younger, so we can see Klinsmann giving him a rest in this game, and giving Edgar Castillo a chance to start at left back.

And who wears the armband if Beasley isn’t on the field? I’d imagine it would be Kyle Beckerman given how much Klinsmann respects him, and the fact this game is at Rio Tinto Stadium.

Why no Jose Torres or Joe Corona? This gives them both a rest before the Costa Rica match, and we could certainly see either or both of them as second-half substitutes. If Brek Shea isn’t fit enough to start, then we could see Torres again, or Beasley in at left back with Castillo on the left wing.

Tony Beltran gets the nod over Michael Parkhurst here, but not strictly based on Parkhurst’s game vs. Belize. Parkhurst wasn’t at his absolute best, but still should get the nod in the knockout rounds. Here we have Klinsmann giving Beltran a look, and in front of his hometown fans, while Parkhurst gets a rest.

And if Klinsmann ignores concerns about resting players? Here is a lineup we could see:

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

Jose Torres————-Stuart Holden——-Landon Donovan

————————–Kyle Beckerman—————————

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

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

—————————Nick Rimando—————————-

And if U.S. fans were allowed to pick the team? Here is the squad we would probably see:

————-Herculez Gomez———Jack McInerney—————-

Brek Shea—Stuart Holden—–Mix Diskerud—Landon Donovan

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

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

——————————-Nick Rimando—————————-


What do you think of the projected lineup? What changes would you make to it? Who are you glad to see on the projected squad that you hope starts on Saturday? How much would you love to see our Fan’s Choice Projected lineup?

Share your thoughts below.

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152 Responses to Who should the USMNT start vs. Cuba?

  1. Steve says:

    Who is going to captain that side?

    • SaboCM says:

      I would imagine Landon with that type of lineup

      • JC says:

        I wouldn’t be shocked if Beckerman was captain, though I think Landon should be in that lineup

        • Rector & Carlisle says:

          Interesting and accurate two sentences:

          “Beckerman needs to have a strong game if he’s going to keep the defensive midfield spot.”


          “And who wears the armband if Beasley isn’t on the field? I’d imagine it would be Kyle Beckerman given how much Klinsmann respects him…”

          So he might not be good enough to play on this A- squad but he is good enough to be its Captain.

          Is he like this camp’s Tony Hejduk: limited skill, great work ethic, great in the locker room?

          • Freegle says:


          • The Imperative Voice says:

            He had a sweet cross so panning him as this generation’s Chris Armas is a tad unfair. I first remember seeing him in the first game the Dynamo ever played and he would dance down the sideline with the ball, and had a hammer shot goal in a losing cause. I was impressed.

            Now, I think Holden should start in his place in more serious games, and may even have headed him off at the pass in terms of the midfield pecking order for the qualis. But that’s because he’s a better soccer player with more skill and soccer savvy, not because Beckerman stinks the way some would suggest. A lot of that talk sounds to me like people who don’t even want to have a DM in there, a destroyer, who just have a problem with people who play that way.

            I mean, I would like Holden ahead of him because I watched him go back and do the dirty work right along with going forward, a combo that makes the more defensive Beckerman surplus.

            But I don’t get the level of criticism of Beckerman when it’s Torres and Corona who are being routinely handed the playmaking chores and are either ineffective or anonymous. Those are the middies driving me up a wall and playing themselves out of the A squad.

            • Justin El Matador says:

              +1 on this.. Very insightful on Beckerman and Corona/Torres lack of attacking impetus, especially the former’s IMO (Torres a deep-lying Mid with good touch/passing, but not an incisive player).

              You have to believe with a view towards Brasil, Klinsmann is looking for 2 box-to-box Mids like MB90 and Stu. In fact, the whole potential front 6 could challenge for major honors next year, but it’s the 2 CB’s and our RB position thatis our Achilles heel.

          • The_Trawler says:

            I presume you mean Frankie Hejduk?

            • Rector & Carlisle says:

              Always look forward to taking a break from work and seeing how my thought-provoking discussion started on my last break is coming along.

              I guess I should take down my posting on another site about Frankie Soprano.

          • atleticodemadridfan says:

            Hejduk / Beckerman – the rainbow hippie delegation.

      • Mueller says:

        I can’t see Landon being in this tournament . Its got to be Herc or Beckerman.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      That’s why I think Beasley plays is he was picked as captain. The captain will presumably be a regular. I’d play the first team against Cuba, eg, Gomez, Gooch, Holden, Donovan, Beasley. He can rest — if at all — for CR with advancement secured.

      I also think Beasley is one of the borderliners like Holden who has a lot to prove here.

      Also worth noting that with the ability to sub players for the knockouts, game 3 might be some of the subs’ last chances to impress and stay.

      • Matt says:

        We shouldn’t rest anyone good during the Costa Rica game because if we are tied at 6 points, we will want to win or tie that game to avoid having to play Honduras in the quarters. Would much rather play the A3 or B3 team instead and face the winner of Honduras/Costa Rica in the semis.

      • Josh D says:

        Mix playing the full 90 doesn’t disqualify him from starting in my mind. The reason Beckerman was sent to the bench early was due to the fact he was playing very poorly. Mix is young and in in-game form. He can handle three games, especially if he gets subbed out around the 70th mark for Beckerman, who’d come in to control the game.

        I’m not sure the line up is a 4-4-2 or has been. Donovan has been given the liberty to drift wide and switch sides at random, while Gomez or Wondo when they play stay quite central for the majority of the game. I think it’s a 4-2-3-1 or 4-2-2-1-1.

        I hope Beasley gets a rest. That man has played almost nonstop it seems. Castillo should replace him and Shea should replace Torres.

        Although I prefer Gomez to Wondo up top. I think it’s hard to justify benching a guy who has had four goals in two games. He’s on a streak. Might as well wait until he burns out. Sorry Gomez.

        Don’t think Parkhurst needs a rest. He’s rested on the bench enough in 2013.

        My lineup:


        • Wondo putting in a starlike game against Belize and Guatemala does not mean he should start over Gomez. Its the worst kind of logic and I can’t stand seeing it. Gomez, if healthy, is clearly the starting striker for this team. Those four goals shouldn’t do much for Wondo on the depth chart. If they give him confidence that’s great and he might get another against Cuba, but Wondo is a sub at absolute best against any real competition in this tournament.

    • murph says:

      Hey Ives: Sorry to jump the line, but my two bits…

      Does anyone else want to see Shea revert back to left wing back?

      Second bit, with Jürgen finally taking my advice and fielding two teams; shouldn’t we have regularly scheduled and featured games against the two…?

  2. USMNT says:

    I watch the gold cup if for no other reason to see fringe or young up and comers play with a mix of veteran talent. Get to see if they are contenders or pretenders.

  3. Raymon says:

    I would start Wondowlowski over Wondolowski.

  4. Jon says:


    • Kingly Alexander - Sankt Pauli! says:

      Yea but Beasley just came off a 90 min game and really hasn’t had a break all seasos, so I’m in agreement with Ives that he’ll probably start on the bench

  5. Kingly Alexander - Sankt Pauli! says:

    Brel Shea was pretty horrid last game. When faced with a defender 1 v 1 on the flank he has no creative skill to get past his man. But this has been the case his whole career he relies soley on his physical traits and this has been the case since his days in Dallas. On top of that he’s still a very inconsistent crosser.

    He should’ve been converted to LB a long time ago. But Landon on the left to replace Shea and bring in Gomez in at the forward spot.

  6. Dinho says:

    While I think Shea has been awful, I can see him starting in this game to get him some more game time and regain his confidence/fitness.

    I wish this game was not at Rio Tinto (no offense RSL fans), but I would prefer to see a lineup without Beckerman starting. But, I think you’re right, Ives. We will see Kyle back in the starting XI.

    I don’t think we see Holden playing 90. I hope that he plays only 45, so that he’s fresh for the game against Costa Rica and the knock-out rounds, the latter of which I hope he can go 90.

    And, I don’t think Beltran can do much worse than Parkhurst. For me, he was the worst player on the field against Belize (and I’m including the Belize players in that group).

    I also could see Landon getting a rest in this game. Then, you’d have Wondo and Herc up top.

    Go USA!

    • beachbum says:

      agree with your thinking on Stu; if he starts I would bet it’s in the Costa Rica match. But Coach throws the surprises all the time out there. we’ll see

      • Dinho says:

        Yes, he does. As an example, it wouldn’t shock me to see Beltran starting. Although considering how bad Parkhurst was, I’d probably be happy to see that.

  7. Dan says:

    Costa Rica will be a much, much more challenging match. We could start any 11 and win comfortably against Cuba. Hell, put Bil Hamid and Sean Johnson in center midfield.

  8. biff says:

    Definitely see Wondow starting tomorrow. No way can Klinsmann a guy who has scored four goals in two games. Wondow is on fire. I don’t see Klinsmann going with Gomez as a dual forward. Instead of Gomez at forward, I think we see either Torres, Mix, or Corona–or possible of two of those three minus Shea.

    With all due respect for Gooch, Orozco was very good against Belize and, in my mind, earned the start against Cuba. We need another young CB badly for WC 2014 and as long as Orozco plays well in the Gold Cup at CB he should keep the spot for testing and development. Like Wondow, I think it would be a mistake to bench Orozco and break his rhythm. Let’s see if he can do well for a second game in a row.

    Makes sense to play someone else at left back, like Castillo. Speaking as a big fan of Damarcus, I am still highly skeptical of his long-term potential at left back and I would love to see Klinsmann test him at left wing against Cuba.

    • downintexas says:

      With all due respect I would have looked good against Belize. Gooch will get a start to see who he does.

    • the unmistakeable Ronaldinho says:

      I think Klinsmann sees that Onyewu has a much higher ceiling than Orozco and will give him every chance to succeed. Center back is a huge question mark in our team and in form Onyewu has potential to be a starter. We haven’t seen that form recently but Klinsmann is giving him the chance to make a statement for more looks. I can’t see him being left out of the starting 11. If he falters we can bring Orozco back in to the fold. If it pays off it could be very positive for Onyewu and the US moving forward.

      • USMNTfan says:

        Gooch on the A-squad will never result in something positive for the USMNT. That’s like saying that Agoos was a great player.

        • The_Trawler says:

          That was good. And I am laughing.

        • the unmistakeable Ronaldinho says:

          At his best he is the probably the best center back in the pool. I realize we haven’t seen that in a while, and may never again, but its worth giving him a try to see if we can help resurrect his career. Its absolutely an option worth exploring.

    • the original jb says:

      I thought Orozco did well also. Why not start Orozco and Gooch for Cuba? Goodson gets a rest.

    • Mo says:

      I think Orozco should be slotted in at RB. Parkhurst has been terrible.

  9. zztoppppp says:

    I wouldn’t mind seeing an Orozco-Onyewu pairing tried out in this game, just so that we will have seen what every possible CB combination looks like before heading into the tougher part of the competition.

  10. Vic says:

    No chance fans would pick Brek Shea to start in my opinion. I think fans would rather see Bedoya.

    • Ives Galarcep says:

      Not really. I’d take that bet all day. Not saying Shea’s a smarter pick, but far more fans would want to see him than Bedoya.

      • Dinho says:

        Not me.

      • ChrisTheLSUTiger says:

        Not me, either. Shea has really yet to impress me in a US jersey. I’ve seen Bedoya do more for us (he looked good in the last Gold Cup) and I think he’s a more technical player.

        • HoboMike says:

          If Shea hasn’t impressed, Bedoya hasn’t impressed, only even more so.

          I’m not counting his goal against Belize.

          • Casey says:

            You mean Guatemala? And yes I would rather see Bedoya out there. Brek isn’t bad off the bench but I don’t want to see him start.

      • biff says:

        I don’t wanna see either Shea or Bedoya starting, gosh darn it. I wanna finally see DaMarcus Beasley start at left wing on the USMNT with Castillo at left back. Just one time. Give him a chance, Jurgen, and see what happens.

      • chris thebassplayer says:

        I’d rather see Shea. He’ll have 2-3 raw talent moments in a game that Bedoya can’t reach. There are a lot of smart quick thinking forwards and mids on the roster. The challenge is to see if Shea can improve his decision making playing with the smarties that are surrounding him. It’s an ideal situation for him to try to get on the same page with Stu, Torres, LD, Herc and Wondo…guys that let the ball to the work.

    • JC says:

      +1 for Bedoya over Shea. I actually think Shea gives the team more and has a MUCH better chance at helping us out in Brazil but I think fans want to see players we don’t get to watch as much. Gatt, Mix, and Bedoya are harder to watch compared to Shea.

  11. Reid says:

    Has anyone heard numbers of tix sold for Tuesdays game yet?

    • Freegle says:

      not exact numbers but I’ve been told that they opened up a couple extra sections due to demand.

  12. Rik says:

    I’ve given up trying to predict starting XI’s with this roster, but I don’t see how LD starts anywhere other than up top with the way he’s played in the last two games. Also think we’ll see Corona again.

    • biff says:

      probably, as Corona seems to be the only player on this team will go face-to-face with an opposing player who goes in for a dirty studs-up tackle on one of his teammates. Warmed my heart to see the kid do that against Belize

  13. Matt says:

    I would rather see Shea than Bedoya

  14. Jeff says:

    They sould get rid of diskerud for Shea and move Donovan to the middle with Holden and play Shea on the wing

  15. euroman says:

    I would assume we will see what JK feels is his best 11 are but Beaz doesn’t play the vice Captain Goodson will get the arm band..

  16. Dinho says:

    Considering giving LD, Beas and Disk some rest and the current form (or lack thereof) of others (Shea, Parkhurst), this is my preferred lineup:

    —————– Wondo ————– Herc ——————
    Bedoya ——– Holden ——- Torres ————–Corona
    Castillo ——– Goodson —– Orozco ———- Beltran
    ——————– Rimando ———————————

    But, Ives, your lineup is probably what we will see.

  17. Ryan nanez says:

    I feel bad typing this cuz I thought I’d never wish injury on anyone, but I really hope beckerman gets injured. I’m just ridiculously tired of him being in the picture period. Constant bad performances and he still gets to start. He must be blackmailing klinsmann or something.

    • paulwp says:

      dude, that’s messed up. This is how he makes a living. A little overboard I think.

      I think Ives broke it down well in the last podcast. He is who he is. Let’s stop wishing he was someone else. He’s great at taking the ball away, and then passing it back to someone else for creativity. Was he helpful against belize and guate… not at all. Will he be against CR and Mex? probably. He’s probably the second best pure HM we have in the pool behind Edu, and because of that stands a good chance of making Brazil. It’s like wishing LD was better at goal-keeping. It’s not his job.

      Let’s just all get off Beckerman already. (and whether Beasley should play LM instead of LB while we’re at it. I’m over it. I get it, everybody knows that it’s his ‘natural’ position. JK wants a LB that has the ability to press forward and the speed to still get back on counters. At LM he wants someone who can provide width in the attacking third with deep flank service, which is not DMB’s strength. geeze, get off it already).

      and while I’m on a rant, stop cutting and pasting your comments from every other thread. Do we really need to complain about the same stuff on EVERY message board? be creative enough to come up with something original!!!!


    • whoop-whoop says:

      You should feel bad typing that.

    • Georg says:

      Beckerman completed 49 of 53 passes I the first half of the last match and had a sweet cross to set up a goal. What match were you watching?

    • Shaggie96 says:

      I’m an RSL fan, but I also try to be as objective as possible about Beckerman’s play with the nats and I just don’t understand the vitriol about Beckerman. I was trying to watch his play closely on Tuesday because there is so much crap being spewed about him here, and while I didn’t see a stellar performance I sure didn’t see a performance worthy of this type of criticism. I think I counted two or three giveaways, but one of them was after a good takeaway and he had no passing options anywhere around him. The team still scored three goals in the first half and Belize had no dangerous chances other than the goal they scored which had nothing to do with Beckerman.

      I get that he’s slow. I get that he has strange hair. However, he is a solid tackler. He intercepts passes, he’s generally good in possession and overall he’s an accurate passer, if not often an incisive one. Most importantly he knows his role and performs it to the best of his ability which is why JK likes him. Do I think he’s a starter on the first team, no, maybe not even a sub. At this level, however, he’s a fine player and he’s getting way too much criticism.

      • biff says:

        You are absolutely right, Shaggie96. Weird, all the hate for Beckerman. Cannot figure out where it comes from. but as noted above, the game chalkboard supports quote strongly your comments. Beckerman had a good game agaisnst Belize, and if Michael Bradley had the same stats some fans would be proclaiming him as man of the match and giving him a 9 rating.

        link to mlssoccer.com

      • Thebumswillalwayslose says:

        Well said.

        • wfrw07 says:

          Many fans see plays like this:

          link to youtube.com

          And I know in the course of a game every player does something that they probably wish they could take back, but when Beckerman does something bad, it is REALLY bad.

          • Shaggie96 says:

            That was one of the plays that I was thinking about and no doubt, it was cringe worthy, but it didn’t hurt the team and in reality, his mistakes rarely do. I also wonder if the artificial turf had anything to with the couple of passes he really mishit.

          • biff says:

            lol. well, ah, hmmm.

      • Toadvine says:

        I cannot speak for everyone, but from my part it’s mainly frustration with continually playing on older player who is at his ceiling (a fine ceiling for a B- teamer) rather than scouring the pool for someone younger who might have an upside or playing someone who is still an unknown quantity. It’s the opportunity cost of playing him that frustrates me.

        • away goals says:

          Beckerman is valuable even though we know he’ll never again contribute to a full strength usmnt.

          He does an adequate job stabilizing the midfield, which allows jk to properly evaluate the other new faces in the lineup.

          If you throw some young unknown quantity into that role, we get a bunch of breakdowns and it’d be impossible to make useful comparisons between corona, bedoya, shea, et al.

        • GW says:


          We are a year away from the World Cup. Beckerman hasn’t been playing for the USMNT for a while and none of your young unknowns have shown up.

          If there were a better alternative to Kyle at this time JK would be trying him out. That should be obvious.

      • Paul says:

        Beckerman plays the role JK asks of him. He plugs the hole and creates opportunities for the CM to move up and get more engaged in the offense. We’ve always deployed a player in that role.

        I can see some criticism of his chances of going to Brazil as being legitimate. He’s behind a few CMs in my eyes, so why play him? But he’s in mid-season form, and is helping the team progress in the GC. There’s really no one else right now in mid-season form who can be called into that role.

        • Broward says:

          Yes, he plays the role of slowing the game down to a snails pace, back-passing away all momentum before turning the ball over in our half, and being a step behind everyone. My pass stats would be amazing if 80% of my touches are backwards, yet he still turns the ball over. He is a GOOD MLS player. Doesn’t belong on the field for any US squad. And don’t tell me about a practically I defended cross against a local JV team. In all honesty, he probably wouldn’t even start FOR Belize.

  18. StevieBob says:

    I like the U.S. fans lineup! That has my vote for sure. Although, I’d rather have Landon for Jack up top and Bedoya on the right flank. DiskerUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUd!

  19. Joe Dirt says:


    With Holden playing forward and Beckerman playing deeper.

    Take off Beasley in second half for Castillo, to give some rest to Run DMB to keep him fresh for Costa Rica and Knockout rounds.

    Lets demolish Cuba. Anything less than six goals would be failure!!

  20. Goalscorer24 says:

    What time does the game show on FOX Soccer? On the blogs they say 3pm Eastern (Noon Pacific time), but when I go to Fox soccer it shows the Costa Rica game at noon, and the US game at 5pm.

    • Joe Dirt says:

      Coverage starts 3pm on FOX not FSC. We got promoted to network tv. Woot Woot.

      • Hunt Daddy says:

        Does that mean we have to listen to Gus Johnson?

      • jake says:

        And the whole country gets to hear Gus Johnson do soccer and scream wildly for each US shot or anything close to a shot. I promise there will be lots of chances so we’ll hear a lot of it.

  21. Jeff Carter says:

    I say go with the back-ups/guys who haven’t gotten lots of PT recently. I would hope that Donovan, Beasley and Mix don’t see any action against Cuba, no sense in taking the risk

  22. Dennis says:

    JK probably should not rest players just yet. If the US wins vs Cuba, they are assured a place in the quarterfinals. The USA should go all out for the win and rest players later against CR. Assure advancement first, then worry about tomorrow. Sure, it would be nice to see how well some of the first choice players do against CR, but there will be opportunity to see them against better competition than Belize and Cuba in the quarterfinals. The CR game should be a game that does not matter so much except for the bragging rights of winning the group and possibly a weaker QF opponent. It makes no sense to take even a small chance on losing to or tying Cuba and facing a must-win game vs CR.

  23. HoboMike says:

    A big LOL on the “if the readers could pick the lineup” lineup.

    Could we get one of those for every game?

  24. Chris says:

    Klinsman has shown in the past he doesnt really rest players often, so id go with this lineup


    A couple notes- I thought orozco looked sharp and deserves to continue starting
    -last chance honestly for parkhurst, im not a huge beltran fan so im sticking with parkhurst and hoping it was just one bad match
    -Holden will push forward quite a bit against a bunkered in cuba
    -Shea and Corona get the start put i wouldnt mind seeing mix and bedoya in those spots
    -Donovan looks sharpest up top next to a scorer, so therefore no spot for gomez with wondo really in form

    What do you guys think?

    • Dinho says:

      Although Klins has shown that, he hasn’t had a lot of luxury games like Cuba to have that opportunity. That said, I hope we don’t see Beckerman. (Although I know we will).

    • JB says:

      wouldn’t mind if wondo came off the bench…

    • biff says:

      yep, totally agree on Orozco and Wondowlowski. That said, I like Gomez a lot and hope that he can make the WC 23 team.

      • Chris says:

        Oh i still like gomez over wondo, but its hard to bench someone the game after a hat trick, even if its against belize

  25. Sandtrout says:

    Ives’ lineup just MIGHT be a good enough lineup to beat Cuba. (S/O)

    I can’t believe how strong this Gold Cup roster is.

  26. Bac says:

    I predict that we will be oddly confused-scratching our collective craniums- when the initial starting lineup is announced, that it will only mildly resemble what we have seen or predicted…. only to be pleasantly surprised by the end of the game by the initial decisions and subs utilized…(minus all anticipated & somewhat required banter regarding all players with Rasta hair)
    Book It

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      It helps to have our level of attacking talent and overall quality, plus we’ve hardly been playing Mexico the past few weeks.

      I think he’s been having his cake and eating it too because you could argue some of his starting choices vs. subs were uninspired…..Torres and Corona keep getting starts, I don’t see how they’re ahead of Holden even in rehab. I’m not comfortable giving credit for starting the wrong ones and then subbing in someone far superior. If the team is that much better with subs maybe you started the wrong people.

      • Bac says:

        I was throwing out more sarcasm and half joking more than anything else… I have no idea what lineup he’ll start.. but you make good points, especially about Corona who I think has underwhelmed

        I was hoping for a better showing from Bedoya by now- maybe incomplete-we may see him get a longer run out with the starting lineup

        I wouldn’t be surprised to see Stu come on at halftime again vs Cuba, but ready to take the reigns the rest of the tourney

      • away goals says:

        Just because beckerman has been starting doesn’t mean jk rates him above holden.

        Holden is coming off an absurdly lengthy injury layoff. I’d wager his halftime debuts have been planned, rather than in-game responses to poor play from beckerman or torres.

        I wouldn’t be surprised if he makes another 45 minute appearance off the bench tomorrow, before starting against costa rica.

        • Toadvine says:

          Klinsmann really likes Beckerman for some reason. It doesn’t make tons of sense to play a holding midfielder against Cuba. They are going to be sitting way back.

          • wfrw07 says:

            There is one reason. Against most opponents, we will need to play one. It can be beneficial to a guy like Corona or similarly inexperienced players to play the system that we play. I don’t know how much good it does to play something radically different as we try and see what guys will fit in our system.

            Long term gain for a slight short term loss (and even though I don’t rate Beckerman and wish he wasn’t playing, the “loss” is 12 goals in two matches).

        • The Imperative Voice says:

          I think you can make that argument based on Belize, which he acknowledged he sat a few knee problem players for.

          But then he still has to explain running out a team for the Guatemala game that could barely manage to score a goal, followed by the second half deluge. People say they got tired but I thought it was just a sea change in our quality…..I didn’t think Corona and Torres were that more effective as their half progressed.

          • away goals says:

            Even if jk is certain that holden is better than beckerman and torres, there was no urgency to start him against guatemala,

            He was planning for 7 matches in three weeks, the first 3 of which would barely be competitive.

            It makes sense to to ease holden toward a full 90 minutes.

            Getting a couple 45 minute cameos is a good start. Maybe he starts v cuba as a dress rehearsal for costa rica. Comes off after an hour.

            Now if a fully fit holden doesn’t start in a knockout game, that’s when I’ll get extra-tasty critical.

      • GW says:

        “. If the team is that much better with subs maybe you started the wrong people.”

        Not necessarily. It could mean the game was over by the time the subs came on. Things are very different when you are down to a team you know is superior to you. Both Guatemala and Belize were broken by the time the US subs came on.

        JK doesn’t believe subs are inferior to starters in the sense that he expects them to perform as well as the starters.

        • Broward says:

          We are all now dumber for that statement. The US held relative control in a close score against Guatemala until the subs came in. They took out Beckerman for Holden and the attitude of the midfield changed immediately. The next few subs finished it off. That first one made all of the difference between mediocrity passing around crap and quality slicing through and taking advantage of opportunities.

  27. AlexH says:

    Why not give LD a rest as well? He’s as old as Beasley, and more importantly it would give JK the opportunity assess LD’s contribution to the team by comparing the team’s performance against comparable (i.e., equally lousy) competition with and without him.

  28. The Imperative Voice says:

    Shea Landon
    Holden Mixx
    Beasley Gooch Orozco ?

    Play the first team this game and then the scrubs for Costa Rica. Revamp the roster and reconfigure for the knockouts. I don’t think C1 or C2 matters because you end up on the same half of the draw for the knockouts. The team in the other half of the doubleheader for the quarter would still be your semi opponent, so it’s 6 in one hand half dozen in the other, and it’s unlikely we’d face Mexico til the final, I assume they do enough against Martinique to avoid A3.

  29. whoop-whoop says:

    Probably the biggest surprise so far to me, is how good Holden has looked. Sharp. Aggressive. Ambitious. Coming into the tourney, I had very modest expectations as to what I would see in his form and how much he would be used. I now find myself thinking he is one of the keys to the US hopes to win this thing. (Along w/ how the defense holds up to increased pressure, still a big ? there… ) His experience, speed on the ball and the rapport I’ve seen between he and Donovan will be a huge + to get by the likes of CR, PAN, MX. Being that this is his first run of competitive games in quite a long time, it would be ideal to sit him for this one… 2nd half sub only if needed… it ought not be!

    • Dennis says:

      I would agree if either team had applied more pressure on the US midfield. Holden had tons of time, as did Torres and Diskerud and each of them looked good when they had time to get their heads up. When the US finally faces an opponent (CR) who is capable of pressuring the US midfielders and backs, we will see which of these guys is for real at the international level, but not before that. I was encouraged that Holden did not seem at all gun shy and despite a few errant passes vs Guatemala he still looked good (for example on his assist to Donavon, Holden was dribbling forward into traffic and the ball Holden played forward to Wondo was terrible, it was bouncing and was not that close to Wondo who made a great play by going to ground and touching the ball perfectly into the path of Holden who then had time and hit a great cross to Donavon) On the one hand it was good team play and a great setup, on the other it was a bit of out of control and paniced before Wondo settled the ball for him. Of course, lots of successful attacking soccer is composed of nearly busted plays and dribbles that are almost stopped so it may just be par for the course.

  30. SBl TroII says:


    Beas and Goodson rest, while Beckerman and Parkhurst are banished to bench.

    After we’re up by 3 Coach K can experiment…
    Subs: JackMac for Gomez, Wondow for Torres, Bedoya for Donovan (Gooch takes captaincy over).

    • Jerrod says:

      I like it, a lot.

      I’d be ok with Wondo getting the start up top because of how hot he’s been lately though.

      • SBl TroII says:

        That would be fine, but Gomez will need to sub in at least to stay sharp for Costa Rica.

    • Dinho says:

      I can roll with this….against Cuba.

    • biff says:

      I’m surprised not to see Timothy Chandler penciled in at right back :-)

    • Broward says:

      I like it, but can you banish Goodson to the bench forever also? I think Eddie Pope would start now, at his age, over Goodson.

      • Dennis says:

        No, I’ve seen both Pope and Goodson play against strong opponents and Goodson, who may not be quite as fast as Pope once was, is positionally better, he is better in the air than Pope was, and despite his slender frame, he is harder to knock to the ground than Pope was.

  31. Paul says:

    I’m in agreement that JK will rest a few key players. It’s only 2 days off, and 2 time zones of travel. Depth and fresh legs is key.

    Cuba will bunker, so the outside backs need to be able to move up field. I can see Castillo handling this role for Beasley. As for Beltran, I’d give Parkhurst a rest, In the middle, give Goodson the day off, and start Orozco and Onyewu.

    Beckerman can handle the DM against Cuba. Like before, if the offense sputters, sub him out. Holden played a half in the last game, so let him get a start in this game.

    I like Donovan on one wing, but the other is a tossup between Bedoya and Shea. If past performance drives the decision, go with Bedoya.

    Gomez and Wondo make sense up front. Wondo is a finisher and requires service. Gomez is a hustler, and should provide opportunities for Wondo to score.

    • CamRahn Bay says:

      Isn’t it 3 days off and 1 time zone?

      I agree with everything else you said though; well put.

      • jake says:

        Maybe he meant looking forward to CR on Tuesday in Hartford?

        • Paul says:

          Jake, you are correct. I guess I wasn’t clear. There’s going to be some tired legs in the second half on Tuesday. But it affects all of the teams in our group.

    • Dennis says:

      Why rest anyobne for this game? Winning assures advancement, a loss or a tie means we have to get a result vs CR. Better strategically to clobber the minnow with the best weapons available, Winning the group is just for window dressing and given the way the other groups are going, might not even guarantee playing one of the weaker teams in the QFs. Rest no onefor this game.

  32. Wispy says:

    As much as I think Beckerman is a step slow for the international game, I don’t mind him getting starts right now. I don’t think he will sniff Brazil, but it appears as if Klinsmann is starting him now to begin games in a slightly more defensive posture; once it’s established that we’re controlling possession and don’t need a true #6, he brings Holden on. I would love that plan of attack next year in Brazil. Start Jones and if it’s apparent that we need both him and Bradley to help shield the CBs, leave him in. If not, pull him for Holden and attack a bit more. Why not practice that plan now at the Gold Cup, using Beckerman instead of Jones, and see how the team adapts?

  33. Eric says:

    Please no more Beckerman, the US moves the ball so slowly when he’s in the game. Would definitely like to see some more of Holden, don’t really care who he partners with but it might as well be Mix right now, it’s only Cuba after all.

    • Oog says:

      He plays like he does at RSL. RSLs style is possession and slow buildup and Beckerman does a fine job at distributing the ball to where it needs to go. This is what Klinsmann sees him. Beckerman is a role player, no more. He’ll move the ball slow but he’ll complete the passes that he needs to.

  34. khanh says:

    what happen to Jack Mac? Is he injured? We should play him.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      I think he’s in the classic first cap situation of the call being fairly honorific and maybe he gets time or maybe it’s just an experience. Hall has been called twice and never made the dress roster.

      I don’t think it helps that the games have been walkovers and there is no big reason to be frustrated with the status quo….yet. I expect as the tournament progresses and we play tougher teams a more realistic view of some players may become appropriate. At which point Jack I can make his case.

      I also think there may be call for him today in a blowout or CR in any case because it’s marginally meaningful. I know people want us to finish first but I think resting the first team, weighing whether we need to add, and trying the second string are more useful than CR overkill. We will probably have to beat Honduras in one of the two games on our half of the draw anyway. So whether it’s a quarter or semi is no big whoop to me.

    • Kevin_H says:

      Klinsmann rates him behind Gomez and Wondolowski, and has said it will be unlikely Jack gets much playing time since there are only three subs.

  35. Hunt Daddy says:

    I’m not even gonna try to guess tmw’s actual lineup.

    A couple thoughts, though:

    – Why would you rest a ton of players in the 2nd group game when you have to win? Cuba isn’t great, but they aren’t necessarily a gimme like Belize/Tahiti.
    – If Goodson and Onyewu is the CB pairing Klinsmann has to play with a 6 (prob Beckerman)
    – Parkhurst has been very poor at times over the past 2 matches, will Klinsmann pull him from the XI or stand by his man in an attempt to build his confidence. I think he gets the nod.
    – Torres has been ok against weak competition, but hasn’t outplayed any of his CM counterparts. How many more chances is that guy gonna get?
    – I want to see Brek Shea and Bedoya get extended run outs. Their limited mins so far have come when the result of the match has been a foregone conclusion and incredibly open. It’s hard to get into the flow of a game when there isn’t one. Shea desperately needs a confidence boost.

    • wfrw07 says:

      – Because any 11 of our players can beat Cuba, and we have a cross country flight and less rest time against a better opponent in the third match.
      – A number 6 will be played regardless of CB pairing
      – I think Beltran plays because of the first point, and for the home town crowd
      – A few more at least. He hasn’t been stellar, but he been pretty solid. Even when you score six, everyone isn’t going to be a star.
      – I don’t disagree, but even if they both start tomorrow, not sure what it tells anyone. But if they both started, it wouldn’t bother me in the least.

      • Hunt Daddy says:

        Point taken regarding the cross country flight/time zone difference, but I still don’t think there need to be wholesale changes made. God forbid, a tie vs. Cuba sets up a must-win match against CR. That’s not a situation anyone wants to be in.

        Also, a number 6 won’t always be played. The alternative is two 8s who share responsibilities, which Klinsmann favors.

        I worded my point on Torres poorly. What I meant is that he has been outplayed by his MF competition (Holden, Diskerud) so I don’t think he should be handed a starting role automatically.

    • Dennis says:

      Shea does not need time in games where his size and speed let him make runs up the wing and cross the ball (the art of actually making better crosses 100% of the time is something better left to the practice field). Shea needs to be in games where he must do something else when he faces defenders who can stop his runs. Too often, when faced by capable defenders, he tries to do what works against weaker defenders, and the result is a turnover at a bad place and time for the US. He must become a better judge of when to play safely and when to try to use his speed. Until he does, I do not expect JK or Stoke to give him a lot of time against good opponents. OTOH, he is not as bad as Adu in that regard since he, unlike Adu, does not always try the most difficult, flamboyant play.

  36. Cairo says:

    I want Torres in the holding mid role with Holden in front of him. Otherwise Ives’ 1st lineup is fine with me

  37. beto says:


    _only two players that went 90 the other day (Goodson & Rimando)
    _rest but keep on bench; Donovan, Mix, DMB, Parkhurst, http://WWW..
    _time to get the Goodson_Gooch combo ready for bigger games
    _stick with the 4-2-3-1 that is working so well with the A team.. and fits this group very well too
    _don’t look past Cuba too much, they still have a full roster… as of friday afternoon…

    • Hunt Daddy says:

      I agree on the formation. Aside from winning the tournament, the secondary objective of this Gold Cup is to ID players who can contribute to the A team. The best way to figure out who those guys are is to attempt to play in a similar style to the A team.

    • Broward says:

      Why don’t we get the Goodson-Gooch-Parkhurst combo going and see is anyone actually gets marked! That would be a great answer to the question “how do you lose to Belize.”

  38. Rich says:

    I realize Belize (formerly British Honduras) and Guatemala have been having a border disagreement for decades, maybe centuries. I watched the game last week and swear I saw us playing Guatemala. Why is everyone talking about our game vs Belize? They are not the same country. Is everyone confused or they just don’t know the difference? Who DID we play?

    • Turgid Jacobian says:

      We played Guatemala in a friendly last week before the gold cup started. Then in our first game of the gold cup we played Belize. Dude just check ussoccer-recent mathes are all noted on the website.

  39. chris_thebassplayer says:

    I think Ives is right with some starters getting some rest against Cuba. Costa Rica is the first quality side we’ll face and I think we will go with the best starting 11 from that point on. I don’t think LD starts this one.





    I think Orozco is a better option than Gooch at CB, but this is another chance to see Gooch before the bigger games.

  40. John Lowe says:

    I expect shea and holden to get the nod. I don’t think stroke would have been willing to release shea unless they were promised he would get significant minutes. Holden was only held back last game due to the turf.

  41. Jim says:

    I’m really bored waiting for this game. Interesting topic of discussion, if the United States had the right feeder program and soccer was our main national sport, I think it would be highly probable that we would be the best country in the world at soccer. Can you imagine if a player like, say, Calvin Johnson (Megatron) had grown up playing CB his whole life instead of football. I mean he would literally, single-handedly render crossing into the box completely useless for the other team, not to mention he could probably keep pace with most attacking players. Or lets say someone like Derrick Rose had grown up playing left wing. For the sake of argument lets say his technical skill in soccer had the same ceiling as it did in basketball. Again, he would be able to outrun pretty much anyone he came up against and would be taller too in addition to this highly impressive technical ability. You also have to keep in mind that their physical development would be more sport specific and not based on there current sport, i.e. Calvin Johnson wouldn’t need to be 235lbs.

    • Oog says:

      It’s always interesting to think about players from other sports playing in soccer. We have some great talent in other sports that I think would cross over well into soccer. Oh well, soccer, at least for the foreseeable future, will still be #4 or #5 in sports in the U.S.

      • Jim says:

        True, not to mention if it was the top sport in the country, NCAA would probably be a top development league and the SEC would be a soccer power house as opposed to a football power house. One can only imagine.

        • Brad says:

          I usually don’t chime in on this topic, as it is a little silly and often way off base, but I am at work, and bored.

          I have always thought that an NFL corner, would make a good wing back, of holding mid. Imagine Darelle Revis or a young Champ Bailey chasing around a Hazzard or a Messi. And it wouldnt be a reach to say Adrian Peterson could fit the bill for a #9.

          I think my biggest complaint with these threads is the bigger is always better idea. Lebron as a CB….how many world class CBs can you name as tall as him? How about Patrick Willis as a CB?

  42. Brad says:

    I would really like to see Torres in the 6 role. Beckerman wont be on the WC squad, and I think that this is the exact situation to see a a holding mid, with better ball/positional skill.

    I would field a 4-1-4-1 to play wide and make Cuba cover a little more width, and give Stu and Mix a little more pitch to work with in the middle. (Its going to be packed) I don’t feel really strongly about anyone else, except I would give Orozco the start, and if he doesn’t put a foot wrong, give him the game against the ticos (with Goodson). I didn’t think gooch looked great against guatemala, and I have more faith in Goodson than others here..