Who should the USMNT start vs. Costa Rica?

USMNT starting eleven

Photo by ISIPhotos.com


SAN JOSE, Costa Rica — The U.S. Men’s National Team has beaten Costa Rica three times in 2013, and if they are going to do it for a fourth time on Friday, they will need to make history in order to make it happen.

Unlike those previous three victories, the next clash with the ‘Ticos’ will come in Costa Rica, a place the Americans have never won a match before.

The U.S. aren’t dwelling on their winless history in Costa Rica. Not with a 12-match winning streak giving the team a boatload of confidence heading into Friday’s crucial qualifier.

Just who will take the field for that all-important match? There are a variety of options, and Jozy Altidore’s availability is still a major question mark. The right back spot seems Geoff Cameron’s to take, while Jurgen Klinsmann has a lot of decisions to make when it comes to who will man the wings.

Here is a look at the U.S. team we see taking the field against Costa Rica on Friday night.


—————————Eddie Johnson——————————

Fabian Johnson———Clint Dempsey———Landon Donovan

—————Jermaine Jones——Michael Bradley—————

DaMarcus Beasley———————————-Geoff Cameron

———————-Matt Besler—–Omar Gonzalez—————

——————————Tim Howard—————————–

Some thoughts:

Jozy Altidore did not participate in full training with the team on Wednesday in Costa Rica, and it is a safe bet that Jurgen Klinsmann will look to save him for the qualifier against Mexico in Columbus. He has a variety of options to turn to in Altidore’s place and our projection goes with Eddie Johnson, who filled the same target role at the Gold Cup. Deploying Johnson would help his established partnership with Clint Dempsey shine through, while allowing for the wing tandem of Fabian Johnson and Landon Donovan.

The defense seems a safe bet to be the same back four that started in the March qualifiers against Costa Rica and Mexico. Geoff Cameron should be a lock at right back, with the rest of the back four making sense. John Brooks impressed against Bosnia, but it would be tough to imagine Klinsmann starting him in a road qualifier in just his second USMNT appearance. Besler and Gonzalez have the experience and should get the nod in the middle.

What do you think of the starting lineup? What changes would you make to our projected squad? Think the USMNT can post their first win in Costa Rica this Friday?

Share your thoughts below.

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

  1. bryan says:

    given the news about Jozy, i think Ives is spot on. everyone wants AJ to start but it’s not gonna happen this game. and it’s clear Cameron has to be the RB now.

    i’m not even sure there would be much of a difference between this and what fans want. the biggest difference would likely be AJ in over EJ.

  2. Kevin Yancy says:

    Hasn’t it been two times that the USMNT has beaten CR this year?

  3. fischy says:

    I don’t see EJ getting a start, but I do see Zusi getting in. If it’s a 4-4-2, I would expect Donovan and Dempsey up top. Otherwise, it might be a formation like you suggest, but I’d guess Dempsey will be up top and Donovan playing below him, flanked by Zusi and one of the Johnsons, probably Fabian.

    • alocksley says:

      JK has been praising Bedoya recently. Might see him ahead of Zusi.

    • divers suck says:

      Take EJ out and you have nothing but hybrid MF/Forwards and not one target man up top. Don’t see that happening. EJ get’s subbed out for Iceman at the 60-70 minute mark I hope, unless the team is in the groove with a nice lead…then at 80 minutes or whoever is out of gas….

    • Adi from Oregon says:

      I agree and really like your idea of playing Dempsey and Donovan on top. Against CR the US will need offensive speed to win this very tough game. Both Dempsey and EJ are more opportunist and thus should not be playing at the same time. I would also play AJ for part of the game to again provide more US offensive speed and choose Bedoya over Zusi for the same reason.

    • GW says:

      It is this kind of game that explains why EJ is on the team.

      He is the only big physical, speedy presence to replace Jozy. And he has done it successfully before.

  4. John says:

    I would actually prefer Mix for JJ

  5. Thomas Guzman says:

    I understand Eddie Johnson has been on fire, but based off the small sample size, wouldn’t there be more reward in starting Aron Johannsson? He seems to have a higher ceiling then Johnson. But other than that, couldn’t agree more with the line up.

    • Felix says:

      People need to pump the breaks on Johansson – I know we’re all excited about his talent, but lets slowdown. How many forwards have we hyped up than discarded in the last 7 to 8 years.
      We have no idea how Johansson is going to handle playing in Costa Rica, we’ve seen other European-born Americans struggle with their first starts in Central America – Johansson might be better served coming off the bench once he has a little time to witness the action and atmosphere first hand.

      • TomM says:


        Plus our history shows that young forwards do better coming in late after our starters have fizzled.

      • Neruda says:

        Who’s on the hyped and then discarded list of forwards? Not disagreeing with the general statement just curious as to who people would include.

        EJ would be on the list but he’s been re-admitted back into the team.

        • Jacknut says:

          A short list:

          Of course, Altidore was never really discarded and Quaranta got a lot of hype but I can’t recall him getting senior team appearances during the hype period.

          • Todd says:

            Your forgot Charlie Davies

            • Todd says:

              I meant you not your,

              • OPMG says:

                Davies is a bit unique isn’t he? He almost died. It’s not like he just flamed out because he wasn’t as good as advertised or over-hyped. We didn’t really get a chance to see if he would pan out or not before his accident.

              • malkin says:

                At the same time, Davies hadn’t really done all that much. Obviously he scored the goal at Azteca, but that was more because of Landon’s ridiculous through ball than Charlie’s good-but-he-better-not-have-missed-it finish. The next thing you know, CD9 is hyped as the greatest thing to ever happen to US soccer, and he hadn’t done jack.

              • GW says:


                I agree that C Davies is overhyped. But he did do two things:

                He brought an aggressive , confident attitude to the forward position it had not seen in some time. This was very valuable even though it did mask Davies’ technical deficiencies.

                His speed alone stretched opposing defenses and took pressure off of our defense and gave room to our attackers. Davies did his bit to pin Ramos back in the Spain victory. You’d be amazed how just a little extra space can make a big difference.

                Once he left it was hard to replace him because even though you could find speedy guys, once the opposition realize they couldn’t score, they were ignored. Simple really.


          • Brian S. says:

            The only cap of note that I can recall for Quaranta was against Argentina when he went man to man with Messi and essentially locked him down all game. I believe that is where the hype started. Unfortunately, his off field issues eventually cost him.

          • Andrew in tally says:

            You left out teal bun army, Aj Sapong, Kenny Cooper, ..

          • Long Time Listener says:


            forgot Teal Bunbury

            and don’t count Agudelo out yet.

          • Felix says:

            I’d throw Kenny Cooper and Teal Bunbury on there too.

          • Left Wing says:

            None of those players were playing in a league as good as Eridivisie and scoring goals in consecutive games. BIG difference.

  6. Brad C says:

    Give EJ the start and sub in Aron J for him around 65 minutes…

  7. DUDEEROO says:

    Beckerman over Jones.

    • Justin says:

      I think people underestimate Beckerman rivaling for that starting spot, if Jones faulters I think Beckerman could actually take that spot. He had an amazing Gold Cup, when they took him out in 66′ for one game for Holden and Mix tandem, US started falling apart. People don’t realize how much he makes other people play better around him.

  8. StevieBob says:

    While I think Ives’ guess is a solid one, my bet is that there will be some surprises as always. This lineup would just make too much sense. I read Bedoya has been playing RB at Nantes. It wouldn’t shock me if JK put him there over Cameron. I’d rather see Cameron pair with Bradley in the middle, but I doubt that will happen.

    • blokhin says:

      agreed if it makes sense, the track record says there’ll be at least one wildcard that makes fans sweat…


    • Roberto says:

      Two weeks ago Bedoya started in the back. After the break he was on the right wing, where he made significant contributions. Last weekend he started at M again.

    • bryan says:

      jesus christ. the dude played one came as a wing back in a formation not even close to what the US plays and some people want him to play RB for the US. Bedoya is not going to play RB, stop talking about it.

      other than that, your point is fair. even though i think Ives is spot on, it’s fair to wonder if that lineup is too obvious.

  9. Matthew Schiller says:

    I like Ives’ lineup alot. This game will need veteran grit. That lineup can handle the atmosphere.

  10. Vic says:

    I agree that will probably be the lineup however, if I had the choice I would start F. Johnson at LB and Bedoya in mid. Johnson can still create on the overlaps and Bedoya is another option that can create goal scoring opportunities. I would also like AJ over EJ but he maybe a good option off the bench.

    • Justin says:

      I would prefer this too, but Klinsi has already stated he feels that the DMB-behind-Fabian combo is a strong lock for the top roster.

    • bryan says:

      this is something i also agree with. i think getting Bedoya at LM and pushing Johnson back would be fine. i like Beasley, but i think Bedoya/Johnson could be stronger.

      obviously JK made it clear it will be Beasley/Johnson for these games, but i’d like to give it a shot before the WC.

  11. Flimflam says:


  12. bottlcaps says:

    Why is Ives always pointing to a 4-5-1, with either Altidore or Johnson up top. The US plays better with a 442 and Landon,Donovan with his great form right now should be paired with Johnson up top. Lets not forget Johansson. He needs more minutes to integrate with the US players and formations. I think Fabian Johnson would be better served as a right back, his runs from the back are really good. Unless JK is auditioning Cameron for a Left back, move Beasley back into that spot he has been successful there.

    Johnson Donovan
    Johansson Dempsey
    Bradley Jones
    F. Johnson Beisler Gonzales Beasley

    • Nate Dollars says:

      i agree that we don’t play much of a strict 4-2-3-1 anymore, but when we’ve really shone, we’ve been playing more of a 4-4-1-1 (dempsey supporting) than a 4-4-2, so it really isn’t that far off of a 4-2-3-1.

    • Luke says:

      “Why is Ives always pointing to a 4-5-1″ Have you watched the USMNT since Klinsmann has been the manager? That is the preferred formation he has used almost every game, at least to start the games. Why would he all of the sudden change?

      “Unless JK is auditioning Cameron for a Left back, move Beasley back into that spot he has been successful there.” Why do you have Beasley slotted in at right back???

  13. OPMG says:

    I really don’t think EJ is that good, too slow of thought to do much more than run the channel. That said, starting ArJo is more of a risk. I agree that he should sub on after watching what this CONCACAF stuff is all about for a little bit.

    • TheFrenchOne says:

      agreed. the sum total of his contribution is a couple of step overs then try to blow by the defender with speed. oh and that thunderous header 16 seconds into the game… so if Jozy can’t start, i’m hoping to AJ, inexperience and all

      • MN Footie says:

        Right. And I’d have no problem seeing EJ comes off the bench. I’m not crazy about him as a player in general, but I can’t deny that he’s almost always contributed when coming in mid-second half. He’s at his best, I think, when the rest of the field has tired legs, and he can use his speed (which is his greatest, or perhaps only, asset).

        • GW says:

          Actually his greatest asset is his ability to score or help someone else score when it really matters.

          • MN Footie says:

            Yes, I agree. And I think he does that with speed. I haven’t seen numbers on this, but if someone could find some, I think his scoring rate recently is much higher in games where he’s come on as a sub during the second half. But that’s just speculation.

  14. Marvin says:

    The federation said via statement that coach Jurgen Klinsmann “is optimistic Altidore will be available for selection when the U.S. faces Costa Rica on Sept. 6 in San Jose.”

    Jozy starts , EJ/Bacon sub in later for him to rest to battle the Mexicants

  15. beachbum says:

    Ives makes sense to me with his predicted lineup.

    however would rather have LD paired up top somehow to capitalize on what he’s doing these days for club and country

    so unless Klinnsman goes with LD and Clint up top, LD is probably the one to slide outside, not Clint, since he’s better on the left and Fabian is going to play there

    maybe in Columbus it’s LD and Jozy up top, but perhaps neither will be there in the Costa Rica game? or depending on things, maybe LD moves there after subs?

    love Beasley, but perhaps best lineup is Fabian at LB with Clint left, Zusi/Bedoya right, and LD and Jozy up top? then EJ is the bench guy with speed and finishing, Beasley next up

    I would also play Beckerman ahead of JJ for this one, no knock on JJ, but Beckerman has been playing great all summer and excels in CONCACAF

    and the positive effect of the venue change away from the concrete surface of previous qualis cannot be understated imo

  16. Del Griffin says:

    ABJ should definitely get the start.

    That’s: Anyone But Jermaine

    • SoundersOff says:

      Makes total sense to sit your workhorse, champions league veteran, physical central midfielder on the road in a highly hostile, high altitude away qualifier where the opponent will be looking for revenge and pressing highly.

      Makes perfect sense.

      • beachbum says:

        he’s not the only workhorse, nor the only physical central midfielder, nor the only one versed in high altitude venues, etc.

        while your perspective is sound and JJ is appreciated for all of the qualities you mention and will most probably start, I want JJ available for the Mexico game, and Rodriguez is the ref on the road

        not so cut and dried as your snippy post pretends

        • SoundersOff says:

          That’s a different argument though and clearly not what the original poster meant.

          Rodriguez could hamstring us badly. I could see Klinsmann putting Beckerhman in if he’s worried about yellows… but I think in reality we will see Jones start and Beckerham as the backup for Mexico.

          • GW says:

            If JK is serious about winning the CR game he will start Jones. JJ is the enforcer and CR will pull stuff at home. But they might think twice with JJ there who after all, handled them very well in Denver.

            And besides win this and the US will beat Mexico with whoever is left that is card eligible.

            US fans have no faith.

            • beachbum says:

              makes sense, but can’t believe JJ makes it out of Costa Rica without another yellow, and Beckerman plays very well against them

              • GW says:

                My guess is JK will tell JJ :

                “try to be sensible about it but do what you have to do to win this game now card or not. Mexico will take care of itself.”

                That is why he is there.

    • away goals says:

      Agreed ABJ should start at ten different positions. Not eleven though.

  17. Mark Schofield says:

    Omar will implode again if he starts. He has had a critical failure every time except against Mexico. Why are you guys so high on him?

    Ed Johnson’s play again Bosnia was disgusting the way he loses the ball an then sits there an says, “oh well, you guys clean that up for me…..opps goal Bosnia”. Dont start him.

  18. biff says:




    Fabian J.—Besler—Gonzalez—Timothy Chandler

    • beachbum says:

      let them eat cakes!

      and I see you added our favorite player at RB

    • Cesar Calderon says:

      Chandler? lol

    • Nate Dollars says:

      agreed, except (obviously) drop chandler; lichaj instead.

    • biff says:

      Oops. yeah, Cameron at right back. I do think Beckerman is going to start over Jones, who I like but who has been in poor form the past few weeks. I also think not a snowball’s chance in heck that Bedoya starts over Zusi. If Altidore is not fit, I think Donovan up top. As for Fabian at right back instead of LM, probably won’t happen but I bet Klinsmann in the back of his mind is considering it.




      Fabian J.—Besler—Gonzalez—-Cameron

      • biff says:

        P.S. if Jozy starts, I think Donovan starts on the bench.

        • dan says:

          Showing your lack of soccer IQ :)

          • biff says:

            Well, dan, I try not to brag about it much, but since you bring it up I will have you know that my IQ is in the mid double digits.

        • TheFrenchOne says:

          “P.S. if Jozy starts, I think Donovan starts on the bench.” What’s one got to do with the other? LD compliments Jozy and provides quality service.

          • biff says:

            Because if Jozy is on top, I have no doubt who the next three guys are at the top of Klinsmann’s list. Zeus will not be a bench warmer Friday, nor will Fabian or Clint.




            See? No room for Landy-Cakes if Jozy starts.

            • biff says:

              that is, Donovan will not play with Jozy in the line-up unless Kllinsmann finally takes my advice and moves Fabian to right back, his best position which he plays for his club. Then Donovan can play LM and there is no doubt in my mind that Donovan is about 25-50% better at LM than Fabian Johnson.

        • Chris H says:

          I’m with biff-cakes on this one, I think JK is still going to show the world that he didn’t like Donovan’s beach time, and he will play Zusi over him. I’m not saying it’s right, but I don’t see JK benching Zusi. If Altidore doesn’t play though, JK will put in Donovan.

        • biff says:

          You got it, Chris H. That is exactly the point. Klinsmann’s comments a few days ago about the roster combined with his specific comments about Donovan indicate to me that he is going to give preference to the boys who played in the WCQ games in June and that he will especially prefer them over Donovan. Klinsmann loves Zusi and is not going to sit him on Friday. And on further reflection after my comment yesterday, I now think that probably Donovan will start on the bench Friday even if he is sitting next to Jozy Altidore, meaning we will see EJ up top. If USA is leading Costa Rica, I think chances are high Donovan does not see 1 second of game time. Klinsmann would love to get this win without Donovan. That said, if we are tied or down at 55-60 minutes, I have no doubt Klinsmann will swallow his stubborn pride and inject Landy-Cakes, his best player, into the game.

      • Long Time Listener says:

        Zusi sits. Does trust exercises behind the touch all game. You heard it here first.

    • SJ says:

      I’d start Adu over Zusi

    • ed - houston says:

      not a chance

  19. hartley says:

    @ Costa Rica]

    F. Johnson – Dempsey – Zusi
    Jones – Bradley
    Beasley – Besler – Gonzalez – Cameron


    [v. Mexico]

    E. Johnson
    Donovan – Dempsey – Zusi
    Bradley – Cameron
    Beasley – Besler – Gonsalez – Parkhurst

  20. Josh D says:

    Don’t like Eddie Johnson up top on his own. Against Costa Rica’s defense, he won’t offer much. Plus, any “established partnership” with Dempsey hasn’t shown through for Seattle. If anything, they try to occupy the same space and cancel each other out for 80% of the game. I do agree that Johnson probably gets the nod because Aron is so new. But I’d like to see us roll the dice, and I truly believe Aron’s game is far more versatile than Johnson’s.

    I also don’t like Omar starting. He’s been doing well recently, but he’s a liability at the international level. Brooks hasn’t played too much lately, so I understand his exclusion. However, it’s important that we cap tie him on Friday. Let’s get that little situation settled.

    Friday is going to be very exciting and I expect us to attack.

    • biff says:

      With all due respect to John Anthony Brooks, Gonzalez at the current time is a better defender and we need three points now. Brooks can be cap-tied later.

    • bryan says:

      JAB will be cap-tied on Friday around the 89th minute. i just don’t see him not coming into that game.

    • TheFrenchOne says:

      agree that the Deuce-EJ partnership does not really work as they are very similar in style and usually both end up slowing down the offensive build up cuz they’re too busy “trying sh!t” with all their step overs and such.

      • Ru says:

        Only caviat is that ej and ld stretch the field vertically. Dempsey, not so much, but certainly occupies defenders. World Cup goal heard round the world was very nearly Dempsey’s.

        I don’t like the step over one on one bs but I do like ej stretching vertically from Johnson/Bradley/ld outlets.

  21. Two Cents says:

    The proposed lineup looks good. It will all depend on where Altidore is at physically. Hamstrings can be tricky, which is why I was surprised he was already back in training. Maybe it was just tightness that kept him from playing for Sunderland over the weekend. Not sure how healthy he is to start on Friday, but besides that, this lineup looks exactly like what you would expect Klinsmann to do. I could see substitutions later in the game with Bedoya, Johannsson, and Mix coming on, depending on the the course of the game. Regardless, I definitely see them winning on Friday.

  22. Scott e Dio93 says:


    F. Johnson Donovan Zusi

    Jones Bradley

    Beasley Gonzalez Besler Cameron

    Yes, I would start Donovan over Dempsey, Donovan is more productive and more dangerous than Dempsey, Donovan carries the USNT, Donovan is scoring, while Dempsey barely has any impact with Seattle, at this moment.

    • danny says:

      I like this. and I think Donovan, FJ, and Zusi out there together counter attacking fast could provide some great chances. But, I just don’t see how Klinsman leaves Dempsey out of the lineup. However, I believe Zusi deserves to start, and then it comes down to whether you pick Donovan or Dempsey (alternatively if Jozy is hurt, you could start Landon and Clint as strikers, but I don’t think we’ve ever seen that?)

      • Scott e Dio93 says:

        Dempsey has been Klinsmann’s spoiled brat, Dempsey is good enough to play flanks (which Dempsey start it both World Cup) and Dempsey was great there. Dempsey was horrible vs mexico in Azteca, yet Dempsey continue playing. I am not anti-Dempsey, but Dempsey isn’t Messiah like some here make to be, especially after Dempsey’s failure at Spurs.

        • GW says:

          F++k Spurs.

          I only care about the USMNT

          Here’s what you need to know about Dempsey:

          In 8 US games this year he has 5 goals
          In 9 US games last year he had 6 goals

          Even if everything else you say about him is true, those numbers are why JK keeps playing him, because when the US needs a goal, especially a tying or winning one.

        • Landy Cakes says:

          he hardly failed at spurs. he started and scored 12 goals. he played quite well.

        • MN Footie says:

          “Failure at Spurs.” That’s a good line — who writes your material?

        • Quit whining about soccer in the US says:

          All aboard the Dempsey hater train, he plays in MLS so he must be worthless……supersub at best.

          Remember he washed out in Europe too.

  23. Cesar Calderon says:

    F. Johnson Dempsey Donovan
    Jones Bradley
    Beasley Besler Gonzalez Cameron

    I’d rather seeing Fabian as a LB since i don’t really trust Damarcus to play that spot, but Jurgen just said that he likes the Fabian-Damarcus combo on the left.

  24. John says:

    ———— Dempsey—————
    ———Jones—— Bradley———
    ———Besler—– Gonzalez———
    ————— Howard——————

  25. Kevin says:

    –Clint — LD —
    — FJ — Bradley — JJ — Zusi —
    Beas — Beasler — Omar — Cameron
    — Howard —

    Alternately, Put Cameron in the middle with Bradley and slide Parkhurst in at RB. It’s not ideal, but I like Cameron at Mid.

  26. joshw says:

    I’m expecting the unexpected. Would not be surprised if we started conservatively with the goal of getting to half time with the game scoreless. Would not be surprised if another marquee player (in addition to Altidore) started on the bench, so he could be brought on at 65′ once the game has simmered down. All of this talk about attacking and playing for a win at a place where we’ve basically had our @sses handed to us sounds naive. Klinsmann is bright, so the smack could be a ploy.

    • joshw says:

      ———— EJ—————
      ———Jones—— Bradley———
      ———Besler—– Gonzalez—Cameron
      ————— Howard——————

      Donovan for Beasley and Altidore for Bedoya @ 65′ and go 4-4-2

      ———— EJ—Jozy
      ———Jones—— Bradley—
      ———Besler—– Gonzalez—Cameron
      ————— Howard——————

    • Gary Page says:

      I do believe the US fans here sometimes get carried away in their expectations. If the US gets a draw I’ll be satisfied, a win and I’ll be ecstatic. Klinsmann may want to attack, but I think the smart thing would be to be ready to absorb the pressure their first half hour and try to wear the Ticos down and then start putting the pressure on the last 20 minutes or so. A 1-0 win is as good as any win. As an alternative, he might want to attack early to get the first goal and take the fans out of the game and put the psychological pressure on CR early on, opening them up for counter attacks. I think it depends on how he feels about the two teams.

      • MN Footie says:

        Yeah, I want to see the win streak continue just like everyone else, but I share your sentiment. I’d be very satisfied to get a point out of this one. That would put us at 14 with 3 games to go, and even if we tie Mexico on Tuesday, I have to think we get 6 points from the last two games. The very worst we could do with 21 points is easily win the Hex.

        Anyone expect that after the first Honduras match?

  27. Bac says:

    Over – Under is 309 responses to this post before Friday

  28. Vic says:

    I agree this will be the most likely lineup. Although I would like to see some minor changes I’ve been generally happy with Klinnsmann’s recent line-up selections. Much different from when Klinnsmann first took over the USMNT. I would want pull my hair out and yell at the tv when I saw the line-up. Anyone else feel the same way?

  29. Ryan C says:

    Very offensive but I think Bradley could handle it:

    OR the only 4-3-3 I’d like to see.


  30. zztoppppp says:

    If Jozy can’t go, I’d like to see Dempsey and Donovan up top together in a 4-4-2. Aside from the Gold Cup, Eddie Johnson has not impressed me one bit this year and he looked completely awful against Bosnia.

    F. Johnson—Jones—-Bradley—Zusi

    • zztoppppp says:

      If Jozy does go, I expect this.

      F. Johnson—Dempsey——-Donovan

    • EspinDOHla says:

      I like your first one:

      F. Johnson—Jones—-Bradley—Zusi

  31. Frank says:

    If Jozy can’t go, my first choice would be Johansson up top, but I’d put Lando up top, and slot Zusi into right wing before starting EJ. EJ just doesn’t bring anything dynamic to the attack position imho. Otherwise I like it.

  32. zztoppppp says:

    mayne them tico fans gonna regrt hustlin our boys at the airport.


  33. Tim S. says:

    I know it won’t happen, but I would love to see Donovan up top instead of EJ (if Jozy is a no-go). I would then put Bedoya (or Zusi) on the right. Landon has a better chance of causing consistent havoc than EJ, although EJ seems to have a knack for looking bad all game and make that one run he is able to finish off.

  34. soccerjohn says:

    I’d like to see the US take it to CR with an attack-minded 4-3-3.

    —F Johnson—–Bradley——Donovan

    • ATX_Colin says:

      Doesnt seem a smart choice given the opponent and environment. Plus, I think your wasting Donovan at that position.

    • Justin El Matador says:

      This is actually an interesting proposition, Soccerjohn. However, in a 4-3-3, you really need box-to-box midfielders holding it down, or at least a runner, a passer, and a shooter. The closest thing to that would be:

      • Justin El Matador says:

        And on the subject of interesting formations, could we see JK dropping the bomb ‘Nantes-style’ and going with this?… Very JK-esque to try it….


    • Luetchy says:

      Bradley must avoid a yellow and this would be a prime lineup for him to receive one as he would be the one fouling to slow the Ticos’ counterattack.

  35. kelso says:

    whatever happens I hope Bradley stays off the discipline list. We need him for Mexico.

    • bryan says:

      by far my biggest concern. im nervous just thinking about it. he’s going to have to be very disciplined given the ref and environment. and JK needs to sub him out if we have any kind of decent cushion on the score line in the 2nd half.

      • GW says:

        If the US is ahead, unless it is a blowout, I keep Bradley on till it’s over.

        No way I pull him.

        Because then the US is on 16 points and then it will be virtually impossible to keep the US from Brazil. If you pull Mikey and they come back to tie or even beat the US then it gets a little dicey.

        Once you have your foot on their neck you keep kicking them in the face until they stop moving. You don’t let them up.

        • bryan says:

          that’s a fair point. i would say a 3 goal lead, pull him with 20-30 minutes left. if only a 2 goal lead, pull him out with 10-15 minutes left. of course, if he gets a yellow in the game, then he plays 90.

          but idk, i absolutely understand your point. i just think having him for the Mexico game is crucial. even if we don’t NEED to win there (assuming we win in CR), it would be nice to celebrate our WC berth at home with a win and i think having Bradley gives us the best chance. not to mention, it’s Mexico.

          • GW says:


            With all due respect you are not getting with the program here.

            He has these 23 or whatever guys together and is telling them “okay, the US has never gotten points from an away game at CR before. That changes now. We beat CR, then we beat Mexico and finally we can celebrate”.

            JK is taking advantage of breaking all these “never before” taboos to show these guys that they can actually beat anyone. And I think it is taking.

            Since the 1998 World Cup I have always felt that what primarily separated the USMNT from the better results in tournaments was not so much talent, (the 1998 USMNT World Cup team was very talented but were too busy screwing each other’s wives and doing Prell commercials), but a strong belief in themselves and their abilities.

            The 2002 team had that belief and the 2006 team did not. The 2010 team was somewhere in between and this edition has a chance to better the 2002 team if they get a good draw and a little luck.

            The point is, it does not matter if the US loses all ten guys to yellows.

            I expect the US to beat Mexico because the US are home, it is WC qualifying and that is why JK spent the last two years building up depth.

            This team is good enough to beat Mexico without Mikey because they have learned to make do with what they have and still get it done. If this team actually believes they can’t beat Mexico without the Ex-Boss’ son then JK has failed and should be replaced right away.

            • D'oh! says:

              I agree with your statement regarding Klinsmann going for the win in San Jose, but other than that, I disagree.

              The 1998 US World Cup team had terrible coaching. We were playing a 3-6-1 which didn’t work. Then you explain our performance in the next 3 World Cups as precise measurements of our confidence? What about the draw, or a lot of other things? We beat Portugal 3-2 in 2002 in part because of a crazy deflection off a Landon Donovan cross. How is that based on confidence?

              You are really underrating Mexico. They could easily beat us with all of our players present. Without Bradley, who is the glue that keeps this team together, I don’t think we would win. I certainly wouldn’t be talking about replacing our coach.

              • GW says:


                “The 1998 US World Cup team had terrible coaching. We were playing a 3-6-1 which didn’t work. ”

                I said they lacked “a strong belief in themselves and their abilities”. It is the responsibility of the coaching staff to instill that in the team. They did not. They failed. You and I actually agree.

                “Then you explain our performance in the next 3 World Cups as precise measurements of our confidence? What about the draw, or a lot of other things? We beat Portugal 3-2 in 2002 in part because of a crazy deflection off a Landon Donovan cross. How is that based on confidence?”

                It would take too many words to “explain our performance in the next 3 World Cups”. If you want to get into a chicken or egg thing about which came first confidence, luck or sheer talent, then we can but at this level it simpler to note that the 2002 team combined their luck with their innate ability and confidence to get a good result, in a way that the 2006 team could not and that the 2010 team was somewhere in between.

                “You are really underrating Mexico. They could easily beat us with all of our players present. Without Bradley, who is the glue that keeps this team together, I don’t think we would win. I certainly wouldn’t be talking about replacing our coach.”

                “Can” is not the same as “will”. I agree with you that Mexico on top of their game is at least equal if not better than the US but I have watched all their recent games and, right now, they have no rhythm, no belief, and no confidence. They just look awful. I don’t think they can just flip a switch and get that back by the 10th.

                The Honduras game is key. If they lose or tie that they will come to Ohio either beaten down or fighting for their lives. In either case, I expect the US to beat them in Columbus, with or without Mikey, for all the reason I stated before.

                I think you have very valid arguments but at this point I see no reason for the USMNT players to be anything other than positive bordering on arrogant. That is how JK’s German teams were, the ones he played on. They always expected to find a way to win even against better teams. I see the USMNT heading that way and I’m all for it.

            • bryan says:

              I understand your point and I still respectfully disagree with it.

              • bryan says:

                and im only disagreeing with the idea to leave Bradley on the field if we are up.

                the rest of what you said i can’t argue with. i think this team will absolutely have that belief and i certainly don’t doubt we could beat Mexico without Bradley. i just wouldn’t risk it, personally.

            • beachbum says:

              with regard to accomplishing firsts, this team is carrying on what Bradley’s team began–first USMNT to win final WC group stage game, first ever USMNT international final, first time to win WC group in 60+ years, for example. Pretty big firsts in their own right

              • GW says:

                Yes, but you are addressing fans many of who don’t seem to remember that Clint did not always play striker.

        • LIl' Zeke says:

          Colorful metaphor… but what about your hatchet, what do you do with your hatchet?

        • KingGoogleyEye says:

          GW: I read through your exchange with bryan and D’Oh!. I see your point, but I still think it would be a mistake to keep Bradley on the field if the US has a significant lead*. There are just too many solid defensive substitutions that can be made. Going off of Ives’ lineup: Cameron could replace Bradley and reliably prevent any CR comeback, with Parkhurst at RB. Bedoya could come on for Deuce, with Donovan sliding into the middle and Bedoya at RM. Aron Bacon could come on for Beasley, pushing FabJo back to LB. Any/all of these changes would solidify the defense (while still providing serious offensive threat).

          * “IF.” I don’t think it will happen though. I predict only a 1-0 victory for the US off a very late goal. CR is too pumped, too angry, and also a pretty good team. They will run their guts out and finally succumb late in the match.

    • Beto says:

      Most definatly! Besides getting a result protecting Bradley, dempsey, howard and jj (tall task) from the ref is the main objective on friday

      • Long Time Listener says:

        Not worried about Howard getting carded. So what if he does? Guzan is arguably the best backup any position we have. He deserves a real match with real implications before this world cup to show Klinsmann what he’s made of.

        • Wade says:

          He was in goal for 2 clean sheets during the hex. The Snowclassico and at Azteca. Very important games I would say.

          But I would agree with you. No worries if he has to play.

      • Kevin_H says:

        I’m not sure if that was sarcasm, but protecting players on yellows shouldn’t even be a secondary objective. Right now Klinsmann is focusing only on winning the Costa Rican game, and rightly so.

  36. TheFrenchOne says:

    someone help me out here, but have LD and Deuce ever started a game up top together? such a set up would not really give us a good hold up/target man up top, but more speed/skill players. I know that’s not Ives’ line up, but a number of posters below have suggested this

    • Ryan C says:

      They started uptop in the first half of the last gold cup final with Bob Bradley I believe

    • Beto says:

      I dont think they have ever started together up top without a target striker btween. We have seen Dempsey-Jozy-Donovan before in a 433 and of course the two as midfielders and two strikers above them..

      Its not a bad idea, something like this:

      Doubt it happens ….

    • John says:

      I’m not sure if they have(its been awhile if so) but Dempsey played some as a lone striker at Tottenham last season. It might not be his best position but he can hold the ball up just as well as EJ. I think playing Dempsey and Donovan up top together will help us keep more possession in the first half. Wear down Costa Rica then bring on the EJ and/or Johannsson to break through. It also allows Donovan to really play his best position under the striker too. Just my take.

    • Excellency says:

      Neither one plays best when “leading the line”. EJ and Agudelo like that role. Dempsey likes running the channels tjat open behind the run of play and Donovan prefers space in midfield and diagonal runs to maximize options

      • beachbum says:

        Donovan plays wherever he asked to play, and I think saying he prefers space in midfiled is not accurate although he is good at exploiting space that he creates by pushing high and wide and then dropping into space. just parked there he is much easier to mark, he’s better roaming the field all over

  37. dan says:

    Deuce has absolutely no partnership with EJ right now in Seattle.
    EJ can’t help hold up the ball either, we really do need more depth at forward :S I want to see Johansson take part tomorrow, he is on terrific form

    • Slowreno says:

      Have to disaggree. EJ can play the holding roll. His current situation in Seattle is vastly different from what the Nats is. Seattle predominantly plays a 4-4-2 diamond mid without a true 10 (Dempsey is not) and with Martins out, Seattle hasn’t truly been at full strength yet. Additionally, Demps is essentially in pre-season form, give it time and he’ll gel there. Looking at who they (EJ, Demps) would be surrounded with in Ives realistic starting line-up, it’s just not a fair comparison. EJ’s score sheet stats for the US speak volumes to his productivity. He scores important goals and can be a handful to deal with for opposing defenses. While CR stacks humans around their box, the line-up above should be more than capable of dismantling them. If it’s not working then A. Bacon should get a shot later in the game if Altidore is resting for Mex.

  38. Excellency says:

    Ives’ line up, which has been projected by other reputable sources as well, is the boringly predictable one that, I maintain, is crafted to meet “expectations”.

    The line up is certainly good enough to win, so why complain?

    Let’s complain anyway, since I have nothing on the line and can be as stupid as I like without costing me a penny.

    Bradley and Jones dont play well together. Stand up like a man to your Bhagavad Gita moment, Jurgen, put Cameron and Bradley in midfield.

    Let’s see what Fabian and Donovan can do together – we need a speed threat right. Fabian to RB.

    That leaves right mid open. Put Aron Johannsson there and let us see what he can deliver from the wide left spot. Fabian does not score goals, Aron does.

    In the future, let’s see Klute called up and check out his credentials at lb.

    • Excellency says:

      Correction, that leaves left mid open, not right mid.

    • Long Time Listener says:

      While I am not always a fan of the “expected” lineups… and do enjoy entertaining flights of fancy from time to time… I was borderline with you until you mentioned Chris Klute and then I knew you were drinking the witches brew.

      • Excellency says:

        Ok, let’s go with Bealey. Good grief, after 3 years on the job to find a lb, Klnsmann gives us Bealey for the World Cup at left back. In 8 years, 3 cycles, not one person in America has stepped up to play lb better than Beasley. Incredible. I’ll have another swig of witches brew, tks

        • Ru says:

          Love Beasley because he attacks. He’s made great decisions over the past few months, even when they cause a penalty kick, and he the perfect bend don’t break guy. For what he lacks in defense he makes up on the attacking in IMO

          • D'oh! says:

            Defense is the priority for the left back. Beasley may still be the man for the job, but if so, it is because he can play good defense.

            • Long Time Listener says:

              Don’t think you are watching the same MNT the rest of us are. The full backs alternate in attack in Klinsmann’s system, but if one had to choose which side was more involved in leading the attack it would undoubtedly be the LEFT.

  39. Rimjob city says:

    Idk how I feel about Eddie, Fabian, Clint, and Donovan on the same field for the first time. Duece hasn’t impressed since his move to Seattle… I would personally prefer Donovan behind the striker with Bedoya on the right.

  40. Shark says:

    Jones….when is the nightmare going to end….

  41. Charlie says:

    Johansson. – Donovan.
    F. Johnson – Bradley – Zusi
    Beasley – Besler-Brooks – Cameron

  42. umbro says:

    the only reason I see to start jones with bradley is that jones is a yellow card magnet. Hopefully he will draw the attention of the concamexacaf ref and get the yellow instead of bradley.

  43. brian says:

    I am not so certain about Cameron at RB. With Bradley, Jones, and Cameron all on yellows we can not risk having all three out against Mexico. I actually expect Parkhurst to start with Cameron filling in where needed as a sub and against Mexico.

  44. Chris says:

    the only change i would make is zusi for beasley and move fabian to LM and then donovan to RM

    if altidore can go 75+ min play him, if not maybe a boost from the bench

    wouldn’t mind iceman starting up top but i feel its EJs spot for this one

    if we need a boost off the bench we have altidore, iceman, bedoya, beasley, diskerud, and even castillo, some good options

  45. derp says:

    “Deploying Johnson would help his established partnership with Clint Dempsey shine through…”
    This made me laugh, and laugh so hard…

    • Joe says:

      “Established partnership” was probably a little strong, but EJ and Deuce definitely have chemistry and familiarity.

      • Ru says:

        Familiarity probably but not sure there’s a Ton of chemistry. They occupy the same space and they both tend to run right at guys and take them on. It’s great, just not sure there is enough field.

      • Gary Page says:

        In addition to playing together with the Sounders and on the national team, I think they practiced together at Fulham for at least a season.

  46. EJP says:

    So I’m in favor of the Matrix in as keeper. Rimando can make the saves that bigger keeper make, but he also stops the hardest shots that are pure reflex.

    • Big Red says:

      Howard has had a dip in form this year. He is probably our third best keeper. Guzan has been a beast this year and I wish he would start. Too bad Howard is entrenched. He makes ordinary saves look so hard.

      • Showtime says:

        Howard hasn’t had a bad game in goal for the US in years. He should keep his spot as long as keeps performing for the national team.

      • Mike Santoro says:

        You mean coming into camp fresh off 2 straight shutouts in EPL games?

      • James says:

        Our third best keeper??? Behind Rimando? This is absurd. I just can’t imagine how people can think this way. Rimando is a good keep, for sure, but he’s not in the same league as Howard. Guzan is great, but the fact that he plays with a lousy defense and faces 15 shots a game gives people an inflated sense of his abilities. Howard has two shutouts in two games in the PL. I’m not sure how else you measure his form.

        • beachbum says:

          disagree with your take on Guzan; many of us have realized he’s the sh!t for many years now. I’m not saying he should start, but there is nothing inflated about people’s sense of his abilities. He’s awesome

          • James says:

            Guzan is a beast, no doubt, and he gives Howard a legitimate run for his money. I just think people who thinks he’s well above Howard are only watching highlight reels.

        • Bryan says:

          He had absolutely nothing to do in goal for his last “shutout” though

        • Long Time Listener says:


          Yet your statement of inflated sense of Guzan’s abilities is nearly as absurd. He is beast.

    • Nate Dollars says:

      now *this* is a classic case of ‘backup qb syndrome’. adrian, take note.

  47. baropbop says:

    This game is going to be very chippy. I wouldn’t be surprised to see either
    A. Jones on the bench
    B. Jones and Bradley both get yellows

    I also have a funny feeling that we could see Donovan at forward. That’s where he has been playing for the Galaxy and I wouldn’t be surprised to see JK give Altidore recovery time for Mexico.

    And as always, it blows my mind that anyone still wants JJ and MB playing together in the middle.

  48. Ben says:

    Aron Johansson


    Zusi Bradley Jones Donovan

    Castillo Besler Gonzales Johnson

    I know this lineup will never happen (Castillo) but I like how he gets involved in the offense, it would leave the back exposed. But, you would have two offensive minded Full Backs with some quality and speed. Cameron is a player who likes to have the ball at his feet and play a good pass, he’s not one for bombing up and down the line. That’s why I don’t like him in that position, and to be honest his best performances for the US has been at CB or CM. Given the last performance that JJ had, I would imagine that Cameron should get a look at CM with Bradley, but we all know how much JK loves JJ, and to be honest he’s a strong tackler and a tenacious defender in the middle. He’s good for the team.

  49. Jody says:

    Eddie Johnson. All he does is catch touchdo…erm…all he does is score goals.

  50. DC Josh says:

    I think Klinsmann will start John Brooks (why aren’t we calling him John Anthony Brooks anymore?) if he looks better than Omar in training.

    Let’s not forget about the shock of seeing the green Besler in the starting XI down at Azteca.

    • Clyde Frog says:

      The question is, why were we ever calling him John Anthony Brooks? He evidently doesn’t use his middle name any more than anyone else on the team.

    • AlexH says:

      I can’t imagine JK starting JAB on a road qualifier unless he absolutely has no choice. JAB’s situation differs from Besler’s in Mexico because a) JK absolutely had no choice and b) Besler was not “green” but rather an experienced player who was reigning defender of the year in MLS who had not yet been capped…big difference.

      • Eric says:

        I am with DC Josh on this one. JK may start John Brooks if better than Omar in training.

        Brooks is “green” on the international stage just like Besler was but Brooks has the skills to compete. I don’t think Besler being a “defender of the year in MLS” negates his greeness on the international scene. Brooks is not overall as experienced as Besler in terms of years but he isn’t that far off. Brooks being one of the best CB in the Bundesliga 2 last year and growing up through the ranks for years in quality programs shows some immense experience as well.

        Would be interesting to see Besler and John Brooks out there as I think they compliment each other in terms of how they play more than Omar does with Besler (even though we keep getting glowing stories in the media with quotes from Omar and Besler that they compliment each other so well). Omar is not adept at stepping to strikers/withdrawn forwards, Besler excels at bossing the line and cleaning up and not necessarily being the step up man either. Would like to see a Brooks/Besler pairing. Interesting that they both are lefties (though Besler is even more predominately left footed). Excited about the match no matter who is out there.

        • alocksley says:

          Omar is terrific at controlling anything in the air around the box. That’s why he is a good compliment to Besler, and why JK will probably start him vs a Costa Rica side that likes to whip in the crosses.

      • louis z says:

        I see it different…
        Brooks is in the roster as insurance. Besler will start in CR if he obtains a yellow, Brooks will start in Ohio. If Besler doesn’t get a yellow then Brooks goes back to Germany after the CR game.

        • Long Time Listener says:

          Either John Anthony Brooks or Aron Bacon starts against Costa Rica.

          I just have a feeling there will be a surprise and that same feeling points to one of those two scenarios…

          Cameron starting at right back–although that would be much less surprising.

          Jozy starting would also mildly surprise me at this point considering his “day-to-day” condition, Mexico looming, yellow card accumulation, etc…

          But any one of these “surprises” would be welcome by this MNT fan.

        • DC Josh says:

          There is no way Klinsmann makes starting XI selections based on yellow cards. Any coach who does that will be fired. The most important game is the next game.

          • beachbum says:

            opponents and/or team depth can be factors too

            I think JJ will start, but I also think he very well could get carded, and he’d be missed in Columbus in that situation. I like JJ in that matchup vs. Mexico and hope he’s available. Beckerman has played well vs. Costa Rica

  51. Paulo says:

    Is anybody else worried that we will lose these next 2 games? I mean, I’m not trying to somber the mood … but it’s a good possibility. One is against a team we’ve never beaten away. The second versus what could be a desperate (or, if they win against Honduras, a confident) Mexico.

    Plus we’re due to lose and snap the streak.

    I don’t have a good feeling about this.

  52. j says:


    If Altidore…

    Altidore Johannsson
    Dempsey Donavan
    Bradley Beckerman
    F. Johnson Besler Brooks Cameron

    Beckerman because he was awseome in the Gold Cup and with so many players moving forward, we’d need someone who knows his role and hangs back – a true defensive midfielder.

    Brooks and Johannsson because they need their trial by fire. Gonzales and E. Johnson if you want to be conservative. Or Jones or Diskerud for Beckerman if you find Beckerman and his dreadlocks just too unpalatable…

    Altidore seems to be MUCH more comfortable and effective when he has company up top. We’ve got 4 class forwards and world-class offensive power for the first time that I can remember… put it to use.

    If No Altidore…


    F. Johnson Dempsey Donavan
    Bradley Beckerman
    Beasly Besler Brooks Cameron

    I really like the 4-2-2-2 against Costa Rica with basically 4 forwards since Costa Rica is a very defense minded team who sit back and wait for the counter attack.

    • Brandolino says:

      there are just too many to ponder here.
      klinsy has shown his hand
      Beasley gonzo besler Cameron
      Fabian Bradley Donovan bedoya
      altidore Dempsey
      I would go with sacha kljestan instead of Fabian myself.
      im not sure jozy is available and if not then we may have to go
      with eddie, because no way Donovan plays that far forward today,
      but Donovan has good chemistry with eddie johnsons forehead
      and that can pay off as we can beat costa rica up and with
      power blasts from top of the box, but running it in behind them is
      about impossible with 8 guys back at all times

  53. Pingunça says:

    Dempsey in the 64th ricochetting off EJ’s lazy forehead.

  54. Mwing09 says:

    Anyone else worried about these yellows? I feel Bradley is smart enough to not do anything stupid in CR, but I wouldnt mind seeing Jones on the bench or subbed early for Beckerman/Cameron. We can beat CR without Jones-Bradley combo, dont know if we can beat Mexico without it though.

    • alocksley says:

      Don’t forget the ref is Mexican and we play Mexico next, with all these guys on yellow cards…

    • Dennis says:

      Yes worried! Still I would not hold back against CR. Of course disaster can strike wherein we lose to CR and Jones, Bradley, Dempsey, and FJ get yellow cards so can’t play vs Mexico.
      But I think you must have faith that the players can maintain discipline and that the 7 players with a yellow card will let their teammates do more of the dirty work this time.

      Still with most of the projected midfield on YCs, you wonder just how hard CR will come at them in an attempt to get a reaction.

    • MN Footie says:

      At least we’ve got the deepest player pool in the history of the team. Thank you, Herr Klinsmann.

  55. Josh says:

    Maybe I’m crazy, but I like Cameron as a defensive mid. Remember this game? link to youtube.com

    • Chicago Pete says:

      Ahead of who? Jones?

      • Josh says:

        For my money, yes. Jones is a terrible passer and a hot head. I’ve never understood the hype.

        I thought it was interesting to watch Cameron when he had the room to operate.

        • ATX_Colin says:

          Jones is twice the cm Geoff is, your just pining for something new. One good game doesnt put him ahead of JJ who has been consistent for club and country at that position.

  56. Quit whining about soccer in the US says:

    I don’t disagree with your lineup, but someone moves up top.
    There is no way the US goes with lone striker. So much better with two forward.

    And Josh below. I agree 100%, love Cameron and Bradley together in mid. I think this is a figure out the RB position. Evans is pretty good, can we have better…..and another thing to consider. Evans is injured a LOT.

    • Nate Dollars says:

      if this is the formation, it won’t play like a lone striker; dempsey will play as a supporting striker, with either bradley or jones pushing up.

  57. Turd Bradley says:

    Fellow Turds-

    Playing Eddie Johnson as the lone striker would be an absolute mistake in this case. He simply is not that good. Do we need our striker to score goals on his own this game. Our midfield will create chances on its own by quick passing combinations or drawing fouls. What we need our striker to do is be able to hold up the ball and let the midfield run in the time is right. The choice is so obvious to me that Johansson IMO. Such a more honest player. Makes better runs in the box, more clever in his pass and gets in better defense spots. Who cares he is brand new. If jurgi has a brain.

    4–2-3-1 formation or 4-3-3 if your asking USSF
    GK: Howard (not so sure there is that big of gap between him and Guzan, By next June Guzan may be the better gk)

    LB: DMB
    LCB: Besler
    RCB: Gonzo
    RB: Evans

    HM: Jones and Bradley

    CAM: Deuce
    RW: Landy
    LW: F. Johnson

    SK: Johansson

    Subs: Cameron into HM if result is in hand late
    Eddie: Uptop if we need a goal
    Bedoya or Zusi: if we still need a goal


    • YO says:

      I agree with your assessment of EJ, he may score a goal here and there but between his horrible first touch and negative play back which many times results in losing the ball and the other team scoring as it was the case in Bosnia.

    • dude says:

      I think the US is fully aware that they cannot rely on Eddie the way they can on Jozy, and that the weight of the team has shifted to Donovan and Demspey to either score or create excellent chances. That said, I agree that AJ would be the better choice.

      • Chris says:

        I have watched EJ play with the Sounders a lot recently, and the aspect of his game that impresses me most these days is his hold-up play. He’s very strong, and if you send a ball his way, more often than not, he’s going to win it and shield it. This is against some very physical MLS CB’s.

        Seattle has a pretty dynamic midfield, so EJ is used to playing off of the creativity of a talented bunch behind him. I don’t think he’s such a bad choice for a lone striker.

        Obviously, we’ll have to wait until tomorrow to find out if I’m mistaken.

        • Long Time Listener says:

          I agree–not as a sounders fan, but as someone who has really started paying attention to their game since Obafemi Martins arrived and Eddie started his resurgence there. Couple that with the absolute dynamite supporting Seattle enjoys, then Dempsey arriving and I find myself watching Seattle quite a bit actually. and Eddie has really improved in all of these aspects as Chris has pointed out. To put it quite plainly, I would say these are his strengths these days along with his aerial game.

          So crazy reading some of you guys sometimes–when it comes to a players newfound strengths you lot seem blinded by a player’s past shortcomings in that area; as if you haven’t watched a single minute of his recent form and are unaware of his improvements. But when it comes time to point out a player’s weakness, it’s “what he’s he done for me lately” and a general amnesia sets in when it comes time to keep in mind all that he was (and likely still is capable of.

  58. wva97 says:

    If Jozy can’t go, I think AJ will start. He showed enough against B-H to walk into a starting role, and I think Jurgen will play the best 11, and I think AJ is part of that 11 over EJ.

    For my taste, EJ is just too lax out there. Sure he’s dangerous at times, but when he doesn’t close down space and just jogs around or walks, well, I just can’t take that crap. Thankfully, Jozy kicked a similar habit over the past few years.

  59. Kent says:

    Here’s the problem. As long as we play 4-2-3-1, you’re completely eliminating the best player on the team (perhaps one of the best with one of two others) from contributing on offense. Bradley as a holding midfielder is a waste of his time and talent. I think we all know what he can do when allowed to go forward in a 4-4-2. If you want to try Johannsson at forward, how about Altidore and Johannsson up front. L to R Donovan, Jones, Bradley, Dempsey in the midfield. Beasley, Besler, Gonzalez and Cameron in the back. If you want to try Donovan or Dempsey at forward, fine. Evans can’t defend anyone 1v1 hence Cameron getting the nod.

    • danny says:

      You forgot about F.Johnson who’s a guaranteed starter. He will be a winger as Klinsman already said so.

    • Brandolino says:

      only jurmain is not on my starting squad other than that your spot on with your analysis

    • MN Footie says:

      Evans certainly can’t defend anyone 1v1 when he’s injured and not playing. Which, as it turns out, is his current status.

  60. Brandolino says:

    I don’t think of eddie as a real 9
    so I would put johannsson in there before id go to eddie, and with no shea as a super sub
    late, eddie will play that role tremendously especially the last 30 minutes in a zero to zero tie
    that’s going to be exciting, wish I could afford beinsports LOL LOL but I feel they don’t want
    americans watching the deal due to the obvious cheating that will go on, at least 3 americans
    will get yellows to axe them from the mexico bout, Dempsey Bradley and the most valuable
    of our players, therefore look for jozy to sit out this one. but hell start with mexico,
    klinsy has to do something special here to mix this up.
    he can go with Beckerman and brooks and dixerud late to seal the deal or Castillo
    but getting that goal on a team with everyone back, on the road where you have never
    won before, I think the USA players will get so jacked up that there is no way stopping
    johannsson dempsey
    Fabian Bradley Donovan bedoya
    Beasley gonzo besler Cameron
    not my starting 11 right now today id be
    jozy and johannsson
    kljestan Bradley Donovan bedoya
    goodson gonzo brooks besler
    and I can explain it all by saying only clint has not really looked in form yet
    so he cant be a starter, and Fabian and jurmaine have sucked and are not in form
    zusi still recovering in my opinion from injury somewhat bedoya high work rate and
    better each time out, brooks is ready, and goodson has to be out there, we need
    our best players on the field at all times, its just difficult to get clint in there for aaron
    until he scores a freakin goal in a game etc.

  61. Matt says:

    Why do all of you put LD on the wings, he should in the Gold Cup to be significantly more effective up top, in fact i would rather LD play the CAM over Deuce, Deuce has not had steller standout performances for the US team in a very long time. FYI scoring goals doesnt make a game a standout performance, Deuces recent goals were a matter of getting the right bounce or being in the right place, not about his individual brilliance. I would rather see a 4-4-2 with LD and Johannson up top and Deuce on the bench

    • somidscr21 says:

      What about the goal against Germany? That looked a great bit of individual brilliance.

    • KingGoogleyEye says:

      “Why do all of you put LD on the wings?”

      Because he is very good on the wing. Yes, he is very good in the center too. Fact is, he’s very good almost anywhere on the field. But if you put him in the center, then you have to push Deuce out to where Deuce is less effective, or bench Deuce.

      So this isn’t about pushing LD to the wing. It is about playing a formation that keeps LD and Deuce on the field at the same time playing position they are both good at.

      • beachbum says:

        so why not Deuce on the wing then? not like he can’t play there or hasn’t played there. Neither are currently playing that role on their clubs. LD has been absolutely tearing it up as a striker for club and country all summer.

        it’s fun to talk about. we’ll see what coach does.

        the other fun one imo is JJ or Beckerman is this one. I know this is the biggest game this year so far for the team, but with all those yellows out there, and Rodriguez calling the game on the road, it just may affect Klinnsman’s tactics and choices with Mexico on Tuesday. Talk about a big game

        • macheath says:

          Start LD on the wing, but he and Dempsey will be free to interchange. Only potential problem is covering back, as right back has been weak for us, and if LD goes inside, Dempsey will have to adjust wide, and also be alert to tracking back.

  62. Ryan says:

    I was just sitting here wondering why in the hell everyone is calling for AJ to start an away WCQ in Costa Rica when he’s only played like 20 minutes for the US, but then I remembered that I was reading the comments on SBI.

    • MN Footie says:

      It could be worse. You could be reading ESPN comments. Or better still, ESPN comments under an article about Alabama football.

      Actually, when rated against the average internet commentor (which isn’t saying much, I know) the SBI community passes with flying colors. There’s always a few nut jobs out there. And while I agree that AJ shouldn’t start– if Jozy’s out, we don’t have a ton of depth up top, so it isn’t that crazy to want to see how the fresh blood can do.


  63. Griff says:


    Was it Bedoya who flipped the bird from the bus?

  64. Eric W says:

    Hey Y’all – does anyone know if ESPN 3 or anyone else will have the game available to watch online AFTER the live broadcast? I know they sometimes make it available 24 hours later… Can’t watch tonight but don’t wanna miss it!

  65. Bac says:

    It’s game day guys, and after reading all the reports and watching all the interviews, I can honestly say I have no idea what lineup JK will choose to start this game.

    I feel confident the back line will be Beasley Besler Omar Cameron….
    I feel confident the central midfield will be Bradley and Jones ….
    with Fabian on the left….

    And I have no idea what the rest of the lineup will look like to start
    Jozys health? Who knows
    Dempseys spot? He’ll start, but in what position?
    Will Donovan start? If so where? I just don’t know…..

    All I do know is I CAN’T WAIT UNTIL TONIGHT!!!!!!!