Who should the USMNT start vs. Nigeria?

USMNT Starting 11


The final official U.S. Men’s National Team match before the World Cup takes place on Saturday against Nigeria and Jurgen Klinsmann will have some difficult decisions to make regarding just what lineup to trot out in Jacksonville for that Send-Off Series finale.

Klinsmann could choose to deploy the starting lineup he sees taking the field against Ghana on June 16, or he could take one more look at some players who are on the verge of grabbing a starting spot, making the Nigeria match one final audition rather than a dress rehearsal for his best XI.

In my latest Goal.com column I laid out an argument for Klinsmann to start Julian Green vs. Nigeria. Not because Green was dazzling against Turkey, but rather because Klinsmann has steadily sung Green’s praises and the Nigeria friendly could offer a perfect opportunity for Green to show that Klinsmann’s praise is not misguided.

Realistically though, we probably won’t see Green start vs. Nigeria. So who will we see? Here is a lineup I could see Klinsmann calling on to take the field in Jacksonville on Saturday:







This is the lineup I see Klinsmann using against Ghana, and can definitely see him wanting to see this group against Nigeria. Yes, the U.S. has a closed-door scrimmage with Belgium next week to test things out in, but I think Klinsmann will want to trot this group out against Nigeria to see how it stacks up.

Now, if Klinsmann really does experiment on Saturday, here’s a lineup we could see:






Some thoughts:

John Brooks impressed against Turkey, and giving him a start could help him show that he should be considered for a start at the World Cup.

Kyle Beckerman has looked sharp when he’s been given the chance to play, but Nigeria would offer a significantly tougher test than he has faced in recent matches.

And finally, here is an experimental lineup I think some fans wouldn’t mind seeing:







What do you think of the projected starting lineup I listed to face Nigeria? Like the idea of Klinsmann going with his first-choice options, or think he should experiment?

Share your thoughts below.

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337 Responses to Who should the USMNT start vs. Nigeria?

  1. elgringorico says:

    Would love to see that 3rd lineup get a whirl. I know it won’t happen though. So is Chandler really that much in the dog house? I think he still gets the nod over Beasley.

    • Benny says:

      He’s not in the doghouse at all. After his knee injury, he really didn’t have a lot of games for his club side. He’s starting to get there. Beasley probably gets the start against Nigeria and ghana. But, because of his size and age, there is no way he will start all three group matches. We will see Chandler starting at some point.

      • Benny says:

        However, I rather see Chandler start against Ghana due to the physicality of the ghanians Let’s see what happens.

        • Benny says:


        • Del Griffin says:

          Is Ghana more physical than Portugal or Germany? I thought we wanted speed primarily for that game.

          • Benny says:

            A good argument can be made either way. But remember, Chandler is pretty darn fast for a big guy. Yes, Portugal and Germany are physical but not as speedy as the Ghanaians as a whole. It will be interesting to see what Klinsi trots out there.

          • Jesse says:

            That is what is missing in that argument for me. Certainly Ronaldo, Alves and Pepe are very physical players. Mueller, Reus pretty physical as well.

            • SingularityCup says:

              Ronaldo physical? Uhm, no. Yes he is physically gifted, but he is not a physical player.

              • bryan says:

                i actually disagree. Ronaldo can be very physical. it’s obvious not the main part of his game, it doesn’t need to be, but the guy plays a physical game a lot of the time.

    • slowleftarm says:

      Turning in a performance like he did against Turkey will get you in the doghouse. Or it should anyway. I’ve never been thrilled with having DMB at left back but I think he deserves another look at least.

      • WeAreGoingToBrazil says:

        Chandler was not nearly as bad as everyone seems to think. I rewatched the entire game and I saw 2 instances where he was pinched in too far, one of which he recovered in time and one of which he just about recovered and forced the player to take a shot from a terrible angle that Guzan easily dealt with. That last play at the end might leave a bad lasting impression to the fans, but he really played quite well overall

        • DGH says:

          We were at the game, and he was out of position almost the entire first half. I don’t know what Klinsmann asked him to do, but he continuously pushed way up the field and Turkey realized soon enough to just chip the ball over the defense on his side of the field creating repeated foot races between him and Turkey’s front line. The rest of the back line were great, but he came across as careless and aloof.

          • arsenal says:

            Well, you just invalidated your argument. I’m not trying to be mean, but we don’t know what Klinsmann asked him to do. Maybe he asked him to get forward, and if that is the case he did his job. He put pressure on the Turkish defense and made a cross, not the greatest, that lead to a goal. He did not play that bad, until he made the mistake that lead to the goal.

            Honestly, I think he was told to get forward because Fabian won’t be able to as much at the World Cup. The left side, with the teams we will be facing, will be the best chance to get forward.

            • DGH says:

              I was just saying what I saw, and being that he was directly in front of us, I was watching TC the entire first half. To be honest, it was confusing more than anything, and it almost seemed confusing to TC as well–he was often looking to the bench for validation/direction. But, if Klins does want want our left back going that far forward, I’d take Beas and his speed over TC any day.

              • Jesse says:

                Not sure if Beasley is actually faster than Chandler.

              • Bac says:

                The entire backline looked out of wack, and in the triangle the outside backs are expected to push up. Craig on espnfc said the other day, if you don’t play that diamond right, everyone will be out of position, that’s why most teams don’t play it anymore bc it takes a lot to make it work right..
                Pretty fair take by him..

            • Brian I says:

              To “Bac” Just want to add… Craig Burly has become my favorite soccer analyst/former player to listen to. Espn FC every morning before I head to work!

          • Hogatroge says:

            “We were at the game”

            Not a strong argument considering WeAreGoingToBrazil specifically REwatched the footage to analyze Chandler’s play and stated that it was better than people realize.

            People on soccer boards sure are stubborn.

            • Kelso says:

              Timmy chandler very clearly had a poor game.

              • bryan says:

                no, he didn’t. he had a poor 15 minutes that unfortunately for him was at the end of the game. and since US fans kneejerk reactions about everything, this idea that Chandler had a poor overall game is perpetuated. it’s insane.

              • bryan says:

                no, he didn’t. he had a poor 15 minutes that unfortunately for him was at the end of the game. and since US fans kneej3rk reactions about everything, this idea that Chandler had a poor overall game is perpetuated. it’s insane.

            • Adam says:

              I will take a “we were at the game” scouting report over a “rewatched the tv broadcast” report anyday. There is so much you miss from the tv broadcast as opposed to being at the game where you can view the entire field. The tv just shows the area where the ball is but the types of positioning errors which Chandler appeared to be making mostly began while he was not in view on the broadcast.

          • bryan says:

            i can’t stand these comments. no he wasn’t! being at the game means nothing if your opinion isn’t even remotely true. look at his heatmap and try to make a serious argument that Chandler was out of position the entire first half:

            link to mlssoccer.com

            further, look at Besler’s heatmap. if Chandler was SO out of position it would be entirely different.

            Chandler did not have a great ending to the game and did have a handful of positional issues, but RELAX with the hyperbole.

        • JJ says:

          Saying he played well overall except for that one play (which isn’t true btw, there is zero chemistry between him and the rest) is like saying Ricardo Clark played well against Italy except for his red card.

          • jesse says:

            Not similar at all really. Ricardo Clarks big blunder wasn’t a red card and wasn’t against Italy. So I don’t get your example.
            the statement that he played well outside of that blunder is true.
            just like Michael Bradley played well but had a couple of costly turnovers.
            I don’t know why people are so obtuse. Joe corona is great, but chandler is awful… Just absurd.

    • CplDaniel says:

      Chandler after getting beat, stood back AND JUST LET THE ATTACKER go 1 on 1 with the goalkeeper rather than close him down. Maybe from a different angle the decision might have been correct, maybe Chandler saw something that I didn’t, but from the limited view of the camera feed, Chandler would have been guilty of enabling through idleness a goal on a chance that he (IIRC) played a role in creating in the first place.
      It was so very disappointing.

      Chandler was supposed to be the Chosen One to save the US Wingback position, not destroy us by failing to close off an attacker in a 1 vs 1 opportunity against the GK!!

      • Bob34 says:

        Chandler didn’t just stand back after his pocket got picked. He defintely tried to run the Turkey player down then peeled off a bit when he realized he couldn’t prevent him from getting a shot off but could prevent him from crossing the ball… Other than getting his pocket picked, he actually played it quite well. All world class players get thier pocket picked on occasion. We’re way to harsh on oour players…

        • atleticodemadridfan says:

          Yeah – like Dempsey picking Sergio Ramos’s pocket in the Confed Cup – that was a serious mental blunder on the part of Ramos. Led to goal number 2, instantly,
          USA 2 – Spain 0
          S**t happens.

        • Sandtrout says:

          Chandler’s run away from the player with the ball was the right play — if he were playing hockey. Unfortunately, soccer goals are a bit bigger than hockey goals. Also unfortunately, two teammates had the potential cross covered. So, with this being soccer and his teammates being in position, he needed to chase that man down. He could have prevented a goal.

          • James H says:

            It was an interesting exchange because I thought Chandler peeled off when he saw Cameron (I think) take a step towords the Turk. But then Cameron decided to cover the far angle to the goal which then left the attacker with only Guzan to deal with – thank god for having Guzan there! But I sure hope we don’t see that again because a more clever finish gets in the goal.

      • DGH says:


      • Matt C says:

        I think TC thought that Bald Brad was going to come at the Turkish player a little more aggressively and he didn’t.

      • r.benjamin says:

        I love Beas. He’s truly a top 5 all time USMNT player.

        But I like chandlers physical attributes better. He’ll win the 50/50 more so than beas.

    • Hopper says:

      Chandler was awful in that last game against Turkey. I’d take Evans over him at this point.

      • Jesse says:

        Silly. Chandler was one of our best players for 60 minutes. Evans has never been that.

        • Hopper says:

          Either you’re smokin’ crack or didn’t watch the game. Chandler’s terrible positioning and bad passing lead directly to numerous chances for Turkey, not to mention the penalty.

          You really wanna see that in a World Cup? I guess you don’t care if we make it outta the group or not.

          • Mueller says:

            You think an average MLS right-footed midfielder is gonna be able to hold his own at LB in the World Cup against Ghana, Portugal, and Germany, yet he’s the one smoking crack? Get real bro.

            • Hopper says:

              I mean, Brad Davis is an average MLS left-footed midfielder who’s gonna be expected to hold his own in a World Cup against Ghana, Portugal and Germany, so why not?

              Get real “bro.”

              • danny says:

                I don’t follow MLS closely, but Brad Davis is better than the average MLS midfielder. I have heard a stat that he has more assists (setplays?) then any other player over the last few years.

          • Jesse says:

            Notice I didn’t say for 90 minutes. Chandler had a bad finish. I can also buy that he contributed to some of the disorganization at the beginning of the game as well. On the whole, he closed down spaces, he was both fast and strong in defense. He took some opportunities to get forward and had a hand in Dempsey’s goal. Yes, a good 60 minutes.

            • Matthew R says:

              +1 Also people make such a big deal about the fact that he was pinching in too much in the first half. I was also at the game and I was right behind the US Goal for the first half and Besler/Cameron kept getting beat on diagonal runs by the Turkish forwards so TC tucked in to help pick up those runs. Every time the ball was played over him he closed down the angle and didn’t let the Turkish winger get a shot on goal or even good service into the box with the exception of a few lapses at the very end of the game. I thought he played well other than those moments.

              • Gill King says:

                I thought that TC played pretty darned good, accept for the brain fart at the end, and I do think that he tried to recover properly. I also want his physicality (vice Beasley) in there, especially against Ghana.

                I don’t think that Klinnsman can have things both ways. By trying to play that Diamond midfield strategy, especially because we don’t have the chemistry and experience playing it together, and also wanting to push the fullbacks forward, because, then, as soon as the #6 loses discipline and starts moving up too, the Turks would send two attacking mids’ in and our backline was too thin. With the Turk attack easily getting wide the middle backs had to slide more to support that and got stretched too thin. A base 4-4-2 benefits us best imho while giving MB chances to advance and keeping Jones at home to support the d line better when TC and/or FJ try to come forward.

                I want JK to keep Chandler Besler, Cameron and Johnson together through the Ghana game with Green to be the 1st CB sub in.

              • Gill King says:

                correction, Brooks, not Green

              • Jesse says:

                I think the same way. Let’s get our back 4 some more playing time together. I like the starting back 4 from Turkey.

                Yes our formation was suspect defensively. At the same time those attacking backs were very involved in both goals. FJ scored one, TC assisted the other. I like our fullback attacking wide, I don’t think we want to give that up.

      • Bac says:

        U must have missed Evans’ last 3 games in qualifying and the SK game where he not only played bad but was slow and had to take guys down bc he couldn’t run with them.
        Appears plausible to me that JK thinks some guys on the backline were ok vs CONCACAF opponents but not enough for the WC.
        Chose speed and athleticism over experience and the “safe” picks.

      • bryan says:

        wow. this is ridiculous at best. go away.

    • sheldon says:

      Id like to see this for our starting lineup.


  2. CharlieG says:

    —–Dempsey – Bradley – Zusi/Bedoya——–
    —————Jones – Beckerman—————–
    Johnson – Besler – Gonzo/Brooks – Cameron

    • HoboMike says:

      Isn’t that the double-destroyer formation that everyone hated at the beginning of Jurgen’s time?

      • Nate Dollars says:

        no, he started out playing a 4-3-3 with 3 d-mids.

        • HoboMike says:

          Ah yes…Danny Williams at RW.

          • GW says:

            It worked.

            • don Lamb says:


              • GW says:

                Against Italy

              • Nate Dollars says:

                yeah, i recall the 4-3-3 ‘working’ in a couple (maybe?) of friendlies, and being goddamn awful when we played games that mattered.

              • GW says:

                They beat Italy 1-0.. That’s what I mean by working. Williams in midfield gave them another outlet so the defense would not have to boom clearances down field all the time and and prevented Italy from overrunning the midfield the way they like to.

              • BlatterSUX says:

                Italy? The scoreline says we won, but we were completely outplayed

          • bryan says:

            wasn’t that the “box midfield phase” which also gave us a look at Torres at LM?

            the 4-3-3 phase included Jones, Bradley, Beckerman, and Edu all rotating i think. what’s funny is that a 4-3-3 midfield with Jones, Bradley, and Beckerman doesn’t sound awful to me right now.


            • Robert says:

              Love the idea. What about..

              ————– Dempsey————-
              I’d love to see Johannsson get time on the wing with his pace. He started his career out there. Plus this would allow solid d without sacrificing the attack, imo.

              • PD says:

                Are you actually proposing the infamous “empty bucket” of the Fire Bob Bradley Era?

            • don Lamb says:

              Relying on Jones in any sort of way for ball retention, especially higher up the field, sounds like a nightmare to me.

    • Luke says:

      You have every single player who is or can play D mid on our roster playing at the same time.

    • Nate Dollars says:



      • Nate Dollars says:

        to clarify: i don’t think klinsmann *will* start this lineup. i think he’s settled on fabian at RB, for better or worse.

        But this is likely our best lineup, and i think we should be playing it as often as we can.

        • Increase says:

          Ya, I would like that as well but I just think Klinsmann is more worried about the right… so Chandler goes left. Meh, Maybe its just that Zusi and John will link up better than Johnson and Bedoya.

          • KingGoogleyEye says:

            Alternative explanation:

            I’m going to use a “grading system” just to illustrate my point, but please don’t get hung up on the grades.

            Let’s say that Chandler on the left is a 5 and on the right is a 6.

            Let’s also say that FabJo on the left is a 6 and on the right is an 8.

            You get the very best out of FabJo if he plays on the right, but not tremendously better than Chandler if he plays on the left = stay with FabJo on the right.

            • KingGoogleyEye says:

              (On the other hand, if you decide to bring Yedlin in late for his speed, I’d rather he replace Chandler than FabJo. Ai caramba, I’m talking myself in circles….)

              • Matthew R says:

                He could replace Chandler and then Johnson could move to the left and Yedlin would slot in on the right, no problemo

              • KingGoogleyEye says:

                Nah, then you’re messing with 2 defenders instead of only 1.

      • Nate Dollars says:

        as usual, playing like a 4-4-1-1 without the ball.

        cameron will practice cheating over to help chandler on the right (they’ll have to against portugal), and one of bradley/jones dropping back to catch the central runners.

      • Mueller says:

        It will probably be this with the exception of Chandler/Johnson reversed and Brooks will probably start over Besler.


    • Monkey Boy says:

      This is the best suggestion I could think of. We have a couple of competent options at RB, but our LBs still suck. Johnson is our best LB option (and RB), but both Cameron and Yedlin are better than Chandler and Beasley.

    • BlatterSUX says:







  3. EQeki says:

    My only request is start Johannsson, move Chandler to RB, and hope Brad Davis gets injured so Landon Donovan can replace him.

    • HoboMike says:

      Wishing for a national team player to get injured, regardless of reason, is asinine and juvenile.

      Make that your last post.

      • Bac says:

        Yea.. my “only” request is these “4” things to happen… that made a lot of sense…

      • Roman Lewandowski says:

        He said what a lot of people are thinking. Of course, actually posting it is a different issue.

    • Steve-0 says:

      +10000 – sorry brad :-(

      • ACLxDeuce says:

        Donovan is the answer to our left midfield problem. While I don’t hope for an injury to any player, I wouldn’t be upset if it happened so long as Donovan gets the call.

  4. KGB says:

    My wishful thinking but won’t actually happen line-up:






    • QuakerOtis says:

      I would not put that past Klinsmann. And it might be fun to watch, but in the second half.

      • WeAreGoingToBrazil says:

        No way we could play like this for 90 minutes. Maybe the last 20 if we’re down a goal but this team would get shelled on the defensive end

        • James H says:

          Yep, Green and Beasley alone would get bombarded. I don’t see this happening.

          • Jesse says:

            Way to offensive of a lineup. No defense on the left, no Jones to cleanup the middle.

        • KGB says:

          Oh I totally agree. This is a pipe-dream line-up, similar to one that Ives mentioned in a Pod not too long ago of a far too offensive “flashy” lineup without enough defensive bite.

          ….but I still want to see it :-)

  5. KingGoogleyEye says:

    I really hope Chandler starts at LB with Bedoya at LM. I think Chandler has more potential than Beasley (talking about this Cup, not just ‘the future”). But to unlock Chandler, he needs to have a good defender ahead of him: Bedoya.

    • Bac says:

      This is probably the the best reason to not give the Green the experimental start, but rather see him off the bench…that left side of the D needs to be tightened up first…

      Whiiiiiiich probably means nothing since I’m not the coach….

      • CplDaniel says:

        Left D has been getting really flakey in the 2nd half game. Makes putting green on at LM late in games a very risky decision. Leaves left-wing too undefended.

      • KingGoogleyEye says:

        Putting Green at LM could work, but only if we switch back to a 4-2-3-1. The extra CDM would mean that Chandler would have enough support when/if Green is not providing enough defensive help.

        And by “could work,” I mean “I would be comfortable with.”

    • Increase says:

      I agree because this seems like what should be our starting line up on the left. Bedoya and Zusi run forever… that’s why they are there. Then put two speedy attacking fullbacks behind them to overlap and do damage.

      I would rather see this in a 4231 set up for this game. I think the 442 isn’t stable enough to go a whole game using it.

      • Increase says:

        To specify, I think this is the starting line up for Ghana:

        —Bedoya–—––Dempsey ——–– Zusi——–
        —————Jones – Bradley —————–
        Chandler– Besler – Cameron– Johnson

        DMB might start over Chandler. I really don’t know who would be better there.

        • QuakerOtis says:


        • QuakerOtis says:

          The main reasons I have for wanting DMB to start over Chandler are that Chandler appears prone to mental lapses when tired, and I would prefer him as a fresh, overlapping attacker later in the game. Along those lines, if Chandler starts AND we need goals, it’s harder to justify bringing DMB on, even though, as I said, Chandler is prone to lapses when tired. Could be adouble whammy.

          • Increase says:

            Hmm, ya. I hope he starts DMB then tonight. That way we can get a good look at him against a good quality team.

            After that, based on what happened with DMB starting vs Chandler starting make a decision.

          • KingGoogleyEye says:

            QuakerOtis, I agree with what you say, but I also wonder how wise it is to switch any of the back four in a match. Yes, Chandler would have fresh legs and provide attack, but he’d have no feel for the defense.

            • Bac says:

              Most coaches don’t want to change a backline during a game unless absolutely forced to. I think it’s pretty simple, Fabian is a starter, and he’s 50/50 on DMB or Chandler, so he’s just playing those two as a like for like situation. They’re still finalizing a backline as a unit, so he doesn’t wanna flip flop their sides.
              But I’m not the coach.. I’d play Chandler right, Fabian left

            • QuakerOtis says:

              Fair point, especially once group play starts. But I don’t see how it hurts us to change out one defender; cohesion is important for sure, but these guys are pros. Seems to me they could do it, and any loss of cohesion is outweighed by a need to get forward, if that need is there.

              For Saturday, I agree with Bac. They need more time as a unit. I would like to see a half for each.

              I like that we’re mostly comfortable nitpicking this side though. The other spots are set.

              • Bac says:

                Yes, I’m hoping for a half each also. If Chandler came in and dominated maybe they’d be switched..but maybe DMB has done enough to stay in the starting conversation. The plus for Chandler is he’s got all the tools you’d want.. the plus for DMB is you’re getting the same effort fitness-wise in minute 90 that you got in minute 1…
                Either way I’m good with the choice of these 4 fullbacks.. speed and athleticism..regardless of who starts

              • KingGoogleyEye says:

                QuakerOtis: I can only say that it is dangerous to switch out defenders—hence, the reason you see it so rarely.

                It’s not about communication with each other—these guys are pros, as you say—it’s about having a feel for the flow of that particular match.

                Defenders can’t just follow a play book, they need to be psychic. It’s a sense that develops during the match and the next time those very same teams face each other, it will be a different sense.

                Attackers need to have a feel for each other; something they develop over time. They read each other’s minds and the attack flows smoothly. So attackers also need to be psychic—but they only need to read their teammates’ minds, not their opponents’.

                It’s also one of the reasons you see forwards subbed *in* so frequently: the defense can’t have a “feel” for him yet, so he’s unpredictable and gets into position to score.

        • James H says:

          I believe this is the way Klinsmann will start as well, and this is also probably his starting XI for WC – at this time. I think we’ll see Dempsey dropped back into hole for more of 4-2-3-1.

        • KingGoogleyEye says:

          Increase: yes, that is my preferred lineup too, although in a true 4-2-3-1, I would be fine with Bedoya, Green, or Davis at LM. If we have to do something other than a 4-2-3-1, then I prefer:

          –—–—––––––Dempsey —–—––—––

          –—–––—–-–– Bradley —————–

          Chandler– Besler – Cameron– Johnson

          Whether that’s called a 4-4-2 diamond or 4-1-3-1-1 or whatever. In this case, I don’t trust Davis or Green. (Note: a put Dempsey beneath Altidore just to show that Dempsey would be roving all over like he does.)

    • Jesse says:

      Fully agree with you King. That is the best left side defensively, which also gives us some freedom to run overlaps.

      • KingGoogleyEye says:

        I am glad we could agree on something :)

        (I mean that sincerely)

        • Jesse D says:

          lol, I think that’s why I pointed it out. Although, other than the JK/LD situation I don’t recall what else we might have disagreed on.

  6. andacagar says:

    Altidore———————————————-Johansen (Julian Green off the bench)
    Bedoya————–Bradley———————-Dempsey (he needs to be more involved)————-Zusi

    Please no Omar Gonzalez or Besler!!!!!!!

  7. KingGoogleyEye says:


    What’s with the 4-1-4-1? Did I miss something? I thought we were all 4-4-2 diamond now, or would revert to our 4-2-3-1.

    • Tony says:

      Agreed with you, where is this 4-1-4-1 coming from?

      I don’t necessarily have issue with it from a pure formation standpoint, but Dempsey doesn’t fit anywhere in that type of formation. And USMNT needs Dempsey on the pitch to be at its best. So I don’t see why we would use it.

      • KingGoogleyEye says:

        Dempsey fits if the 4-1-4-1 is more like a 4-1-3-1-1, and that plays to Bradley’s preferences a bit more than a 4-4-2 diamond anyway: in the diamond, Bradley is uncomfortably too far forward; he likes to hang back and then join the attack at a critical moment, not pull the strings up high.

        So a 4-1-3-1-1 is good for attack, but I think it exposes Jones’ weakness: positioning. He is a good destroyer, but he likes to apply his pressure higher up the pitch—around the circle—knowing that he has another CDM who will back him up. Even if he doesn’t win the tackle, he will put enough pressure on the opponent to force a hasty pass that the other CDM can intercept. That strategy doesn’t work when you’re the only CDM—there’s no one else to “flush the birds out” to. (This is, btw, where I think Beckerman excels over Jones.)

        • Jovins says:

          What? He isn’t weak positionally unless you’re specifically looking for that. The diamond midfield’s weakness is that one holder can’t control the entire space in front of the back 4 – you need someone incredibly mobile to even try, which Jones is.

          • KingGoogleyEye says:

            “[Jones] isn’t weak positionally unless you’re specifically looking for that.”

            As an attacking mid, that is exactly and specifically what I’d be looking for and what I would expose about Jones.

            Mobility doesn’t solve the problem, it just encourages ball chasing which will only wear Jones out. Positioning addresses the problem because it pinches the attack, predicts passes, and clogs up lanes—but doesn’t necessarily go for tackles (Jones’ strength).

            • Jovins says:

              You misunderstood. Unless you as a watcher are specifically looking to come out of the game with the idea that Jones is weak positionally, you wouldn’t have gotten that idea. When there are two attacking mids drifting inwards, one player can’t stop them.

              • KingGoogleyEye says:

                No Jovins, I understood perfectly. I just replied in that way to illustrate that it does not require a microscope or biased eye to see that Jones’ weakness is his positioning.

                Don’t take that wrong: I admire Jones and have long supported him on the team. But I don’t want him playing as the lone CDM, just as I don’t want Beckerman playing as a CAM or Dempsey as CB or Howard as striker.

                “When there are two attacking mids drifting inwards, one player can’t stop them.”

                Exactly. And that’s the problem: Jones tries to stop them by making a tackle. That’s his strength, so he tries to use it. But it’s not the right thing to do in that circumstance. Hence, he gets out of position.

                The right thing is to do is coordinate with the back line (that the lone CDM is there to protect) to pressure a hasty pass, pinch the passer, clog up the passing lane, and/or stand up the dribbler, etc. You don’t try to win the ball alone—in fact, you don’t even try to win it at all. You don’t have the numbers to win it. You can only slow things down and try to force errors.

  8. Josh D says:

    To me, whoever starts is who starts against Ghana. Nigeria is the Ghana practice game and so we need whoever is going to face them to face Nigeria.

    For that reason, I believe we’ll see a more conservative line-up:



    – I desperately want to see Aron get the nod. But Jozy did just enough against Turkey to earn a start. We’ll need his physicality and Aron has proven he can score off the bench, whereas Jozy can’t. On top of that, Jozy desperately needs a goal this game. “Pick up your head before shooting, son!!”

    – Ghana’s midfield is nasty. I anticipate Klinsi playing conservatively to start off so we revert back to a 4-2-3-1 with Bradley and Jones covering. Then we’ll see Klinsi unleash the Kraken in the second half (of the Ghana game). Hence I say we start with the 4-2-3-1 to practice it. We know we can change a game with our subs (mostly Aron and Mix) so that’s a strength for us and why we’ll absorb pressure to start off.

    – I’d prefer Chandler at LB because he’s more physical than Beasley and he’s more athletic. He’s not faster – I don’t think – but I trust his youthful legs over 90 minutes more than old-man-Beasley’s.

    – I know we won’t see it, but I’d actually prefer Beasley to come off the bench as a left winger. No one has claimed that spot so why aren’t we seeing what the guy with the left foot and who plays there for club can do? We know Chandler and him are pretty close at LB, so let’s see both out on the field, giving us overlap and left field covering? Face it: we’re desperate enough to keep experimenting.

    – I don’t see what anyone sees in Bedoya as a winger. He’s not creative and he can’t dribble past people and his crossing is iffy. I do start him as a winger here because defensively, he’s great. We’ll need wingers who can track back: that’s him and Zusi.

    – Dempsey to play a bit further back to offer linkup play with Jozy and wingers.

    – Green won’t start because he embarrassed himself against Turkey, falling over after kicking each ball. He’s talented, he’s just not ready and offering him up to the lions (Nigeria) for 60 mins will destroy his confidence. This World Cup is about getting him ready for the 2014/15 season with Bayern, not making him into the next Pele.

    • Nate Dollars says:

      yeah, my lineup was pretty much the same, except for switching fabian and timmy back to where they can help the most. that’s not likely, though, i know.

    • Bac says:

      Old man Beasley may not be a natural LB, may still only be 110 lbs soaking wet, but he’s got 90 minutes in those old legs..

    • Mason says:

      Re DMB at LM/LW.

      I like this idea, too. If you’re going to start Bedoya at LM/LW for defensive purposes, why not consider having one of your LB candidates play there, especially if he’s demonstrated comfort and proficiency at the position.

    • GW says:

      Mr. D,

      DMB has been playing left back for his club.

      • Josh D says:

        Thanks for the clarification. Is that new?

      • Nate Dollars says:

        no, left wingback. it’s a great position for him, because he can attack and also contribute defensively while still have someone cover for him most of the time. which he needs. because he’s not a natural defender.

    • Dinho says:

      Agree with the squad, but like Nate Dollars, I would like to see FJ and TC switch sides. TC is noticeably MUCH more comfortable on the right side. Based on FJ’s comments and the way things are going, I don’t see that happening either.

      And, I wouldn’t mind seeing Beasley at LM, but I still prefer Bedoya. Dude will have a tourney! Watch.

      • deno says:

        …….but Ronaldo.

        • Nate Dollars says:

          hate to burst the bubbles of lots of commenters here, but fabian isn’t good enough to stop ronaldo either. either way you’re going to have to double- or triple-team him, and it’s a lot easier to put two guys on a player when you’re not worried about a constant breakdown on the other side of the field.

          i’d rather have both fullbacks at a position they’re comfortable. fabian is good at both; timmy only looks good on the right.

          • QuakerOtis says:

            Fair point, but I still think you put your best against theirs. Can’t stop Ronaldo, so at least make his best side as difficult as possible. On the other hand, putting Johnson against Ronaldo (should) limit or eliminate Fabian’s ability to get forward. So maybe we do miss a little by having him on that side. We’ll see what happens.

            • Nate Dollars says:

              fabian’s attacking ability from the left is another reason why he should be there.

              if a combination of zusi/jones/cameron/chandler can stop ronaldo (and i think it can, if they play organized), then i’d much rather send fabian running up the other side than chandler.

              • QuakerOtis says:

                Ok, you win… but I’m not sure Jurgen agrees.

              • Nate Dollars says:

                i know he doesn’t. :)

                and honestly, i’m sure he sees something (or a lot of things) i don’t. it’s just frustrating, but that will easily change when we beat the crap out of portugal (i think we can).

            • Gary Page says:

              If we beat Ghana, a draw with Portugal may be enough to get through, so losing FJ’s contribution on offense to shut down Ronaldo is a good trade off.

              • QuakerOtis says:

                That was my thought too. And goal diff. Sad thing is, we could get our desired results, but if Germany hangs more on us than they do on Portugal, we’re probably out.

    • Ronster says:

      I see DMB in the same role as Cobi Jones in his later years with the USMNT…especially if we need to kill the clock IF we are ahead late in the 2nd half….

    • WeAreGoingToBrazil says:

      Agreed, I feel like off the bench Beasley/ Chandler (who ever doesn’t start at LB) could come in and play left wing and Yedlin could come in for Zusi/ Bedoya on the right wing. They’re all so fast and love to get forward, and they’re all used to playing as wing-backs so they’d have no trouble tracking back on defense

    • Jesse says:

      Josh, not sure if Nigeria is the true final tuneup like you suggest. Belgium probably is. I think JK will want to test something he has been trying to keep under wraps in that closed door game. We won’t know ’til the Ghana game, but I think he may have a wrinkle up his sleeve that he doesn’t want to let Ghana game plan for.

    • Mark says:

      It always surprises me when people say that we need Jozy’s “physicality” up top when I typically do not see him fighting hard to hold up balls or go in hard to challenge defenders. In fact, I see him literally pull up at the last second for most 50/50 challenges and he seems timid when jumping for headers or not jumping at all.

      When I think of players using “physicality,” I think of Jermaine Jones or Michael Bradley. I honestly think that b/c of his size people think that he will play hard but I just don’t see it.

      I think he makes some good lay-off passes though.

      • Nate Dollars says:

        i get what you’re saying (i think he’s especially soft on winning headers), but many opposing players and managers have commented on how difficult it is to play against him due to his physicality.

      • Jesse says:

        How many times to you see him and a Turkish defender tied up, or hitting the ground together, or Jozy boxing out a player to keep the ball? A lot! He is very physical with the ball.

        • Kelso says:

          Yeah I don’t get it. Almost every time Jozy touches the ball he gets a very solid should to chest bump on the defender as he collects possession. It buys him time and space to make a pass to the advancing midfield

    • Mueller says:

      “To me, whoever starts is who starts against Ghana.”

      They have a closed-door match against Belgium before Ghana. He will still probably be tinkering against Nigeria.

  9. Bac says:

    Ives, are you basing any of this on stuff you’ve heard thrown around amongst the guys you’re hanging around with? You think the 4-2-3-1 sits on the shelf for a few more days as the go to lineup like you said on the last podcast? Just curious how you came up with these possibilities.
    BTW, both of the last 2 Goal articles from yesterday are great reads

  10. Pgloerse says:

    A whole team of this guy…
    Nana Kwaku Bonsam

  11. Vic says:

    I guess if Klinnsmann wants to experiment he could start Aaron and Dempsey up front against Nigeria. However, I doubt we see that against Ghana. We need the physicality of Altidore, so maybe drop Dempsey to midfield and Aaron and Jozy up front. I would also like to see Mix get a start over Zusi, against Turkey he seemed really calm on the ball and made very nice passes to help with US keeping possession.

  12. iggy says:

    Less so than who we start, I think it’s more important that CD and MB don’t play another full 90.

  13. Adam M. says:

    I agree about Green. Bedoya, Zusi and Davis are all too similar to each other in their style. They all have acceptable playmaking abilities from a wide position, but they don’t offer speed and they have not shown a particular nose for goal. My concern is that the offense has looked too one-dimensional, too predicatable, if you play two of the three at the same time. Green, who has arguably earned two penalty shouts in his appearances by running at defenders, seems to add a different problem for the defense. The Nigeria game is a perfect opportunity to give him a start and find out over 60-75 minutes if he can be a difference maker.

    • Jesse says:

      Defense is important though, Green has not shown any ability to go back and play D. That will be a problem unless he begins starting along side Jozy, Charlie Davies style.

  14. Dennis says:

    I agree Green is perhaps the only guy on the roster who can dribble at defenders in tight spaces. That can cause the opponents concerns not presented by passing. The question is can Green contribute or at least not be a negative in other ways?

    • slowleftarm says:

      The answer is no. Fourth division players don’t belong at the world cup, nor is the world cup the place to develop players.

      • Jovins says:

        He’s not a 4th division player. That keeps being parroted by a lot of people who are upset he’s on the team. He could very comfortably start on a high level 2nd division team, and there were Bundesliga teams who were trying to get him on loan until Pep decided Green would develop better training at Bayern. If you don’t like him, that’s fine. But playing in the 4th division doesn’t make him a 4th division player.

        • Nate Dollars says:

          “But playing in the 4th division doesn’t make him a 4th division player.”

          yes it does, but i agree with you in principle. people throw out the “4th division player!” line because, while technically true, it’s disingenuous by making green’s club situation sound worse than it is.

          thing is, unless green got loaned out (which you’ve already addressed), his only options at bayern were 1st division or 4th division, because that’s just where the bayern reserves happen to play.

          (those same people never say “bayern reserves”, because that might make him sound good, and we can’t have that!)

          • KingGoogleyEye says:

            “while technically true, it’s disingenuous”


            “those same people never say “bayern reserves”, because that might make him sound good”


    • smartestonthepitch says:

      How do you know he can dribble at defenders in tight spaces? Please let me know where I can see evidence of this.

    • beachbum says:

      Dennis, I think that’s a good call. there’s no doubt he’s skilled, can see it just from his run outs with USMNT along with other things. we’ll see

  15. deno says:

    Has anyone actually seen the speed of Green? He hasn’t really looked very fast to me yet.

    • Jesse says:

      He looks quick. Maybe just a little bit faster than Bedoya. Way faster than Zusi and Davis.

    • quozzel says:

      He is VERY fast. He just doesn’t look it because he’s got a gliding gait that makes it look like he isn’t working very hard…but watch the tape, and you’ll see him just eating up ground and creating some pretty instant separation.

      You can question his “readiness”, but there’s no doubt, the kid has next-level, elite speed. I’m with Klinsmann in thinking the kid is a future gem…and it’ll be sooner rather than later.

      Just dunno if we’re going to get anything out of him THIS World Cup.

      • Diego's Maradoughnuts says:

        I hope you’re right. I’m bummed to say I felt very underwhelmed by his pace the other day, but I also felt he was playing very nervously.

        More generally, I’m not sure why everybody seems so concerned about getting more offensive firepower on the field. The attack looked very good and probably could have done without a left winger at all. More attackers doesn’t always mean more offense. Somebody has to win the ball and work it to them. They can also get in each others’ way. I thought the spacing, and the quality of the and transition into the attacking third was really good. No need to crowbar somebody into the lineup just because they are an attacker.

        The defense, on the other hand, might benefit from some reinforcement.

  16. Steve-0 says:

    In the early days of jk, i recall him saying that the beat time to score a goal is the 70th min and beyond bc players are tired and you want to be the team that works hard and pushes through. Thus his sub strategy seems to be start with a strong team and then throw in your impact players which may suit a late green sub. So ives, you might be on to something here.

    • Quit whining about soccer in the US says:

      The best time to score a goal is the 70th min, so let’s put a player who has no experience and no idea where he is supposed to be defensively, against very good competition with tons of experience ?

      Bizzarre thinking and completely wrong.

  17. formerlyanonymous says:

    The only reason Cameron should be on the bench is for rest. There’s little way I can see him not being on the pitch.

    • Jesse says:

      +1 I think he needs to be a starter on this team.

    • Joe C. says:

      I thought I was taking crazy pills there for a second. Dropping Cameron to the bench seems like crazy talk to me. Even if we stick him at RB and swap FJ over to LB, he needs to be on the field.

  18. Shurls says:




    This is what I would really like to see. Maybe have Zusi in Aron’s spot and bring Aron off the bench when the game opens up a bit. Then we can bring on Mix for a little creativity. The only thing that worries me is Chandler for 90 minutes….Seems to lose focus around 75th minute

  19. Vic says:

    I’m pretty sure Klinnsmann will go with his World Cup starting lineup in the first half to give them one final test together. In the second half I’m sure we’ll see alot of substitutions. However, you don’t use your final warm up for the World Cup to experiment too much.

  20. Brew says:

    Hey Ives,

    Not sure where to ask this so I’ll ask it here. Any chance you’re going to do another Q&A soon? So many questions out there about the World Cup, MLS, new signings, new soccer teams? We long for your expertise out here.

  21. deno says:






  22. Joe says:

    If we are playing a diamond in the midfield and we are wanting to use the wide areas for our outside back why don’t we see something like this….




    If not Johannsson up top with Alitdore then Dempsey and bring in a Zusi or Mix at the point of the Diamond. This allows Bradley to fill get forward into the attack but also lets him drop to help develop the build up play since he has been dropping next to the defensive point of the diamond anyway

    • Matt Bk says:

      Jk wants to cross the ball in to Ja and Aj etc. This doesn’t fit at all w his plans. Gz and Bd will Start as expected.

      • THomas says:

        With a diamond the width and crosses are generally supposed to be supplied by the fullbacks bombing forward.

        • Joe says:

          How many from the run of play crosses have we seen from Zusi Beyoda or Davis so far in the two friendlies. And do we think that MB and Jones aren’t capable of putting in a quality cross if the flow of play puts them in a position to do so

  23. bryan says:

    i was trying to choose a formation i would prefer, but you know what, i don’t even know. i’ll be happy with any of those for various reasons.

  24. Ben says:

    Yedlin should be given a look, especially given the speed and athleticism that Nigeria possess. Yedlin’s looked good in his two cameo’s and I think Chandler has fallen out of favor after his lackluster performance against Turkey.

    • Jesse says:

      Chandler at this point in his career, is twice the player Yedlin is.

      • Quit whining about soccer in the US says:

        Maybe so, and I am not for Yedlin starting.

        …but Yedlin is twice as fast. There is a chance he is the fastest player on any roster.

        • Jesse D says:

          Robbie Findley and Marvell Wynn are fast. There is a reason Olympic sprinters don’t become elite soccer players in off years.

  25. Alex H says:

    I still would like to see the common sense back line of Johnson-Besler-Gonzo-Cameron. Provided Gonzo is fit, we should it least try it.

    • AMP says:

      I would like to try this also. I mean, Besler hasn’t looked very comfortable, so if Gonzo is on his game, he might make that back line function a little better, and provide an aerial prowess on defense, and offensive set pieces. That said, it may too late. I get the impression that Killa Cam has gotten almost no work in camp outside of the RCB position, and he needs to be on the field.

  26. StanCoville says:

    Don’t forget — This is not the last chance for Klinsi to see the starters he wants. He has his closed-door game against Belgium, who is an attacking team similar to what the US will see in the group. That game will be the true litmus test – kudos to Jurgen for planning that so well and shrouding it (and our lineup) in a bit of secrecy.

    • Nate Dollars says:

      yep, i wouldn’t be surprised if he saves his starting lineup for that game. thought it was a little odd to have the last friendly be closed-door (usually it’s just the first couple scrimmages), but it makes a lot of sense.

      • NolaJ says:

        Crazy thing about that Belgium game is that it’s likely to be a preview of our fourth game. I don’t see Belgium doing anything other than winning group H. Makes the roster decisions for that game interesting on a whole other level.

  27. THomas says:

    This is the lineup I’d use if I was playing FIFA14…




    • Nate Dollars says:

      like! but i’d use a 3-4-1-2, moving dempsey closer to goal. would’ve loved to see this is they’d had time to work on it.

      • THomas says:

        Ya I’d be good with that, slide Dempsey up and Bradley down a line. It could flow into so much.

      • Autolycus says:

        I really like this type of lineup too. It puts the highest number of our better players on the field and in positions where they fit. As the game wears on, a lot of those players are also versatile enough to change formations as the situation dictates, especially with subs.

    • Jesse says:

      No Goalie, that is pretty gutsy. If we are really playing FIFA 14, give me Eddie Johnson in place of Johannsson and Donovan in place of Bedoya. Need a little speed to threaten in that game.

  28. JC says:

    Best line up imo if we are set on going two strikers is:




    I believe Altidore and Johannsson should see about equal playing time. Altidore may be better off coming off the bench, so that he could use his strength against tired defenders. Anyhow, nothing wrong with starting Altidore and then subbing in Johannsson.

    Cameron needs to be one of the CBs–anyone starts other than him, and I would be shocked. I really want to see Brooks start as I think he offers more than Besler.

    I believe Klinsmann is looking for a reason not to start Beasley. I would too. I would not mind add beasley as a sub if we need to bring our lb more into attack mode, but I do not see this as a starting move.

    • Jesse says:

      Johannson is a reasonable sub for Altidore, I don’t think it works very well the other way around. Altidore has not proven to be very good off the bench. It usually takes him a while to get in the flow. I think you let him wear down the opposing defenders with his strength all game then bring on Johannson. I don’t understand why suddenly Besler is out of favor though. He has been our most consistent centerback. Brooks has been our most inconsistent.

      • JC says:

        I feel he was badly exposed v Turkey. Time and time again Besler made it easy to be attacked down the middle. Now during halftime Klinsmann did say that their defense was being exposed because Turkey was running midfielders down the field, but this is something that Besler and company should be able to communicate on the field, and not necessarily have to wait until halftime to adjust. Maybe it was just one game, but I would like to see what Brooks can do with a start v Nigeria. We kind of already know what we have in Besler, give Brooks a shot for this game.

        • Jesse says:

          I don’t think 1 game before the world cup is the time to figure out what you have. That time has come and gone. Now is the time to get your starters as many reps together as possible.

          • JC says:

            I agree with this comment that the starts should get reps, but I feel you don’t just “settle” for Besler so that he can get reps. In two games Besler has not played well. In the first warm up game he had a bad pass that lead to a shot, which Howard saved. Game 2, well….not good. I do not think Klinsmann has decided on his back 4 yet except for johnson and cameron. I believe the other 2 spots are still up for grabs. Tonight’s starters will for sure be interesting.

      • Ali Dia says:

        Re. Alitdore. Yes– I think if Jozy plays the way he did agaist Turkey, he’s likely to play 90 min every game. I see AJ coming on for one of the wing players to give defender a different look, particularly if Jozy has been successful in wearing them down. Somewhat like the B&H game. Seemed like this could be effective if Jozy has a good game.

        • JC says:

          Jozy definitely had a better game 2. In a two strike formation I wish he would play less with his back against the goal, but I suppose most of that is by design.

  29. Eddy says:

    DMB should be the back up. He looks shakey whenever the ball is at his feet. He has the same hot potato syndrome Sascha K has in mid field. Chandler has been solid for someone who is playing out of position ( he is a RB not LB) . Klinnsman feels that Fabian ( who is naturaly a LW LB) should be on the right presumably to check Ronaldo. Chandler faded at the end and his mistake in the 90th minute led to turkeys sequence and penalty, but his run and cross led to Dempseys goal as well. Everybody was faded at the end and the mistakes in general are a product of lack of reps for the back line. They need more time together, unfortunately we are running thin on that.

  30. Troy says:

    In the Ghana vrs USA game it won’t be about line up though. Just saying.

  31. Brett says:

    Jozy needs a rest and is not hunting goals. I think Klinsmann goes bonkers and deploys The 4-3-3/4-2-3-1 and starts Green and Johannsson flanking Dempsey. Mix underneath with Bradley and Beckerman. Back 4 of Fabian, Brooks, Gonzo, Yedlin.

  32. corrine says:

    ————- —–IceMan——

    • Ali Dia says:

      ————- —–Holden——

  33. beachbum says:

    to answer the question of who should start, whoever is going to start the fist game vs. Ghana

  34. grant says:

    I think we should field a defensive line-up. I think this one would work best against Ghana and maybe Germany.






    • Birgit Calhoun says:

      I would not start anyone who is absolutely needed for the Ghana game. There is a really good chance that someone gets hurt in one of those two coming game before the World Cup. I would definitely not start Green. But I presume you are joking. So if that’s the case, maybe all the players who have not yet played should be in there so they can get some experience. For me the joke is that the team could not possibly have felt a sense of team-spirit. They have not had the time it takes to adapt to everything.

      • beachbum says:

        good post, thanks.

        on who to start, and if not running out the first game starters (your reasons make sense to me) when will that Ghana group play together, in the closed door match? or not even then because of the injury threat?

      • Chad says:

        I agree, these friendlies have proven more harm than good for several teams/players…this is way too risky.

  35. Brain Guy says:

    Is it possible that JK would opt for an unconventional lineup to deceive Ghana and its scouts? He could then use the Belgium scrimmage to make his final adjustments. Or am I overthinking this?

    • beachbum says:

      definitely possible if Jurgen thinks it’s more important to be cagey than to run out his best group and let them get settled and tested. The US is a good team whatever he does here tho imo

      • LIl' Zeke says:

        I’m also expecting the planned injury that opens the door for Landon’s role to be finalized behind closed doors

        • AMP says:

          You crazy, and JK would be too, if he wants to change so much with one or two closed door scrimmages. Being obfuscated to your opponents is much less important to me than having your team properly prepared.

  36. White Kix says:

    Donovan and any other 10 guys. Heck, even 9 would be better than what Klinsmann is throwing out there.

    • White Kix says:


      You could start Agudelo up front and drop LD to left mid. Either way, I would take that squad over any Klinsmann has at his disposal.

      • beachbum says:

        I don’t know about that, the US team is good. could LD have made it even better? we’ll never know but the answer seems blatantly clear to most

        what sucks to me is the discussion which has evolved from all of this: if the US does well, Jurgen was right. I think that understanding is off target

        I expect to either be attacked for that comment or completely ignored

        • Bac says:

          Sounds familiar…

        • Jesse says:

          Absolutely right beachbum.

        • Mason says:

          “I think that understanding is off target.”

          I think you sound like someone who could be given the moon and would ask for the stars.

          • beachbum says:

            good for you Mason. you seem to know everything when you post so this must also be accurate

            • Mason says:

              My point is that the attitude you display with that sentence indicates that there is no way to please you. You have my pity, because you’ll never be happy. Unless the team goes to the Final, you’ll say, “This team would have been better with Donovan.” I suspect you would even then.

            • Mason says:

              I suppose I’m wondering why you’re even going to watch. You’ve gotten really invested in JK being wrong for having left LD off. It seems like you’re either be disappointed because the team does well – vindicating JK’s decision – or the team will do badly – vindicating you, but leaving US Soccer in a worse off place.

              • beachbum says:

                wonder away, I find that amusing that you’re thinking so much about me. my position is clear however you choose to view it

        • White Kix says:

          Beachbum, I would say that if any success is attained in Brasil, that it will be inspite of Klinsmann, and not because of him. A lot of people here like to talk about the US just not being good enough. I would say that Klinsmann’s team is not good enough, but the US is good enough. I belive we have the players and ability to truly be a top ten team in the world. However, our World Cup squad is not that.

          • Mason says:

            Challange: Build a 1-23 and name a starting XI that’s good enough to be a top 10 team.

            This should be good…

            • Jesse D says:

              Can we choose any German who isn’t cap tied, assuming JK will be able to find a long lost American ancestor?

      • Brashwinder says:

        Hmm what would be the best USMNT lineup without using the 23 going to Brazil?


        Bench: EJ, Gomez, Evans, Sean Johnson, Magee, Williams, Gil

        • Mason says:

          Forget the WC… Where does that team finish in the Hex?

          • Donald of chester says:

            I think they would do pretty good actually… To agree with above posters, any success attained during the cup will be in spite of JK’s roster decisions, not because of them(the debatable choices obviously). Personal bias aside it is evidently clear that LD could help this team in one way or another and it’s disappointing that it won’t happen. As a supporter all I ask is that we put our best team out there and let the chips fall where they may.

          • Nate Dollars says:

            this past cycle? 1st place.

    • Vic says:

      My lineup of those that weren’t brought:

      Donovan EJ

      Castillo Torres Corona

      Garza Parkhurst Goodson Lichaj

  37. dan says:

    Rather see Chandler again over Beasley. Also we need to stop this silly diamond, it exposes the backline considerably. Lastly, I don’t see why Gonzo doesn’t get one last look, he looked fine against Azerbaijan

    • Jesse says:

      I agree with you on Chandler. Maybe Gonzo as a sub, but at this point we need more reps with our starting defense. Gonzo doesn’t appear to be in that mix.

  38. Birgit Calhoun says:

    I would like to see one of those line-ups to not contain Altidore but instead Wondolowski especially in the game against Belgium with a two forward formation.

    • Francois says:

      Wondo over Jozy? You’ve lost the plot if you think wondo should start, he misseda sitter in the first game, and couldn’t connect with the rest of the team.

      • Birgit Calhoun says:

        Do you know how windy
        it is at Candlestick Park? Have you ever played soccer? I have. I may be a woman, but I have some understanding of the game.

        • Waterlewd says:

          I may be a woman too; the doctors can’t tell.

        • Francois says:

          I played in collegiately and grew in San Francisco, so yes, I am versed in the subject(s). The wind had nothing to do with Wondo playing his header right at the keepers legs, and his inability to hold the ball in traffic and connecting with teammates, which is requisite in our system.

  39. James H says:

    I don’t think this game w/ Nigeria should be about experimenting so much. This is a warmup match for what is likely the USA’s most important game, so JK should be starting who he thinks he’ll be starting against Ghana, in the formation he believes he’ll use against Ghana. At this point, it is about getting that best XI as much time and chemistry together, at least for 60 mins or so. If things go well against Nigeria, then Klinzy will know he’s set. If it doesn’t, then the closed door against Belgium we’ll be used to address those issues.

    In many ways, the first 60 minutes of this match might be the most critical for the US prior to Brazil that you will get from a friendly. I suppose Klinsmann could get all poker faced and play the bench, but then what usefulness would this match serve in looking towards Ghana? Hopefully, Nigeria will be used as a solid indicator for JK and the staff, assuming he comes out with his Ghana lineup.

    • Chad says:

      From an idealistic perspective I agree…though there is the risk for potential injuries.

      With considering this risk, I’d start the guys who will get less playing time during the WC. Though, I’d prefer we weren’t risking our players this close to Ghana in the 1st place.

  40. Jesse says:

    Wow Ives! Brooks was not that good. You want to bench Cameron now?

    You have Green starting against Ghana? Are you projecting these decisions for soccer reasons?

    Neither Brooks or Green have shown anything that resembles them being ready to start at the World Cup.

    They may both be our future, I hope they are, but they don’t look ready to the task.

  41. Pingback: Juergen Klinsmann says US cannot win this year’s World Cup – Los Angeles Times - Sexxy Sports Network

  42. Mark says:

    This would have been my starting lineup if I was the coach. (but I’m not, I know)

    ——————————— Jones ————————————-

    • Kelso says:

      Bradley does not belong on the outside and Boyd does not deserve a spot on the 23. Zusi has also earned a starting spot.

  43. Tordondo says:

    Cameron and\or Besler > Brooks – Period

  44. El Comandante Klinsmann says:

    What a bunch of delusional retards I see in here. Pretending that Green is a seaoned and proven player that will save tha day for their hopes for a miracle WC performance.

    Green is a squatter. Drill it!

    • Jesse says:

      The name calling isn’t necessary, but I agree that Green isn’t ready.

      • Tordondo says:

        Why so nice – “delusional retards” is an understatement, and actually quite a complement for some of this cretins.

        • Kelso says:

          I think Ives argument is sound though, if he deserved a spot on the roster he should’ve started one of the three games. Honestly I was kind of expecting it against turkey. I wonder how many players have gone to a World Cup with 0 starts for their team.

          • KingGoogleyEye says:

            Only if his intended role is as a starter or potential starter—which is unlikely. It’s more likely that JK views Green as a late sub option; thus, no reason for him to start. He played the role against Turkey that he will likely play in Brazil.

  45. Chucks says:

    Julian Green + 10 probably

  46. apw says:

    I wish we would let Timmy get his 100th cap in the Ghana game, now that would be special. I assume though we probably need him in there to work with back line though so he’ll play vs Nigeria, maybe Rimando gets the second half just to reward him.

  47. ACLxDeuce says:

    How can Chandler or Davis ever be played again?
    link to twitter.com

      • Nandez says:

        Brad Davis is going to crap himself when he sees ronaldo running at him. His marking is worse than Castillo. At Least castillo had his speed.

    • addage says:

      Best to remember that Jozy scored a goal off a Davis corner kick that was disallowed by the East German Judge.

      • Baptista says:

        Wrong. He fouled the keeper and handled the ball, both infractions. He will never be allowed to score that way unless he was playing Rugby.

        He needs to better position himself in order to score goals. That’s part of being a good striker.

    • USfan90 says:

      if you see the picture, you can see that two guys of Turkey are outside. Plus people remember that JK is playing Chandler in the wrong position he is left not right. He is doing what Bob Bradley did before and that is not playing guys in their right position that they feel comfortable.

  48. Duke says:

    Green does not deserve to see the field again until after the WC is over. I’ve watched him closely and he simply is nowhere near being able to contribute… anything.

    JK reminds me of another arrogant, pig headed public figure that makes mistake after mistake but will never change his position on anything… no matter how wrong it is. There are major problems with a small number of picks he’s made and there is no way he will make a change before it’s too late. Instead, we will get the snot kicked out of us and know what? It won’t be his fault.

  49. TGA says:

    Beasley is done. Just a cheerleader now

    • Nandez says:

      My question is why doesn’t Klinsi start beasley at LM instead of Davis and his peg of a right leg and atrocious marking.

      • Baptista says:

        I have many questions for Klnsmann, such as why did he not include the best US soccer player of all times? He cut him before we had a chance to see him in action in fear that he would have no option but to include him in the last 23. Imagine if that player had scored a couple of goals during these warm up matches.

        You all need to look at how Uruguay included 35 y/o Forlan. That’s respect for your fans and your country. Oh wait, I forgot this is not Klnsmann’s country.

        • Baptista says:

          Sorry to you all, and to Diego Forlan, for being stupid Jajajajaja

          • Baptista says:

            The real Baptista here. There’s a moron hijacking names in this site and blaming it on me, apparently.

        • Nandez says:

          I understand that you’re still upset about Landon man but we all were. I’ll admit that I was one of those who bashed on klinsi’s decision but who didn’t? We all need to move on and support the US. If we really want landon in Brazil all we can hope for is an injury in the coming days, which is terrible but that’s the only way. Klinsi just wanted to show the world that he could put the best US soccer player in his place, which in my opinion is wrong. He knows his egotistical plan backfired and was automatically unpopular but Klinsmann’s ego isn’t going to admit his fault. The surprising part is that Forlan plays in Japan and was called up to me the age isn’t the shocking part. Then again forlan has always been a great player. Talking about uruguayan players there was one of my favorite players Sebastian “El Loco” Abreu who was 33 in south Africa and played a crucial role from them.

  50. soccerhorn says:

    I think Omar should get the start. Not sure how he dropped from number 1 CB to number 4, but with the shambles the back line has been so far, Klinsmann should be taking one last look at his former golden boy.

    • Nandez says:

      Besler looked terrible against turkey

      • Baptista says:

        Omar will look worse. His mistakes are highly costly.

        • Matt says:

          Agreed…..Gonzo has a lot of POTENTIAL, but really is OVER-RATED.
          Besler & Cameron need to start and build cohesion.

          • Matt in Bk says:

            I like Omar, he brings a threat to score on corners. But you’re right about Cameron and Besler, they look like the starters, and will continue to improve by playing together.

  51. Nandez says:

    Julian Green situation reminds me of when Sven Goran Eriksson called up Theo Walcott to 2006 WC despite walcott not playing a minute for arsenal.

  52. Tim F. says:

    Boyd and Donovan up top

    Brek Shea and Joe Corona as wingers for pace and crossing; Torres as central midfielder supported by Edu as d-mid

    Backline of Ream and Goodson as CBs, Evans as RB and either Parkhurst or Castillo as LB

    Howard or Guzan in goal unless you want to avoid potential injury in which case start Rimando

  53. Baptista says:

    Is there anybody in this team who DID NOT contribute one single minute to USMNT WC qualification campaign?

  54. Steve says:

    What I would love to see and believe would give us best chance to get out of group






    Tuck Jones in and give him marking responsibilities and allow Johnson to get foward. Play Bessler at Left Back(don’t know why he hasn’t done it already)!!!!!!!! Let Dempsey play underneath the two fowards. Can use Davis as a wider player and use for set pieces(even though I’m not a fan). Thoughts?

  55. Chu says:

    No matter whoever is employed to play in midfield betwaeen gh AND the USMNT, there is surely going to be running behinnd the defensive midfield and I feel that is where the battle would be won. Dempsey against Muntari essien or acquah/ bradleyand jones against dede, kevin and kwadwo asamoah. This could be a high scoring game given the fact that the 2 teams are defensively weak and attackingly strong

  56. Alex H says:

    I don’t get all of the love for Brooks. He hasn’t played a meaningful minute for the team, he hasn’t done too well in the meaningless minutes (1/2 against Turkey isn’t enough) and we have people who have shown they can step up when it matters. I like Brooks but the WC is not where I want to see debut. That said Klinsi will probably start him at striker (or keeper) because that’s just how Klinsi rolls.

  57. Ethan says:

    I’d like to see Green can do too, but the last warm-up before the World Cup isn’t the time to be experimenting with unknown commodities–it’s the time to play your best 11 and let them gel before the real games start. Which is the problem with how JK’s handled this whole thing. We essentially have zero idea of what we have in Green. Why? Because JK hasn’t played him in any actual game situations (minus maybe 60 total minutes, during which he’s not looked particularly impressive). Let’s face it, Green’s spot on the World Cup is a gift to tie him to the team for the future. You can argue whether that’s appropriate (I don’t agree with it), but let’s not argue that he’s going to contribute this year, or that he should be taking valuable minutes away from other players who actually can help us in 2014.

  58. That_Guy says:

    Donovan Dempsey


    Beasley Dempsey


    This is who i think should be starting. Just saying

    • That_Guy says:

      Let me add “-” to show more of my image

      Donovan——— Dempsey


      Beasley ———–Dempsey


  59. senor says:

    Black hole Shea, won’t you stay away from the TEEEAAAAAAm. Black hole Shea won’t you stay awaaaaaaay.

  60. QuakerOtis says:

    Germany looking much, much better on the ball this week. Armenia isn’t looking too bad either.

    • QuakerOtis says:

      Ouch! Reus with a nasty looking ankle roll. Does not look happy, down for a few minutes… crying as two trainers help him hobble off.

      • bryan says:

        he looks hurt. he couldn’t put any pressure on that left ankle. yikes.

        • KingGoogleyEye says:

          If there is one more of these then we’re going to be able to create an “injured eleven” lineup: Falcao, Ribery, Montolivo, Montes, Reus….

          Please let there be no more.

  61. Remy says:

    Due to his versatility, speed and overall awesomeness, this is the lineup that will win us the world cup, according to his fans because there’s no US team without him,






  62. Ryan says:

    Cameron is a clear starter in the back. Besler and Beasely have no secured spot. So mls fans need to shut up. Chandler, brooks, cameron, johnson should be our back line.

    • Tyrone says:

      Besler has been the only constant starter along the back line, so if you are talking about a secured spot, his is as close as it gets.

    • JC says:

      +1. This is the same back 4 I suggested in my lineup suggestion.

  63. 1776croatswede says:


    Prediction: 3-0 OR 4-0 USA

  64. Jack says:

    Ives reporting Davis appears to have a hamstring issue, not training with the rest of the team right now.

    • Brain Guy says:

      Paging Mr. Donovan. Pick up on line 2.

      • Remy says:

        Not happening. He has been a distraction to the team and a thorn on Klinsmann’s side. We don’t need any more circus. Plus even if he calls him, Donovan will not be dressing for any of the games. He will probably call Corona, Shea or Boyd.

    • Ethan says:

      Oh man. not wishing injury on anyone, but gotta say it would be fascinating to see what JK would do if Davis can’t go. If he didn’t bring in Donovan, i think there would be a full-blown fan and media meltdown…

      • Jack says:

        Imagine if he brought in Shea out of no where and not Donovan. I think he is training with Orlando at the moment for some reason.

  65. MiamiAl says:

    After seeing Reus go down to injury today, I wouldn’t risk any of our starters

    Wondo, Iceman
    Davis, Mix, Beckerman, Green
    Beasley, Gonzalez, Besler, Chandler

  66. Dennis says:

    Chandler made some mental mistakes mostly in the 2nd half. It is hard to tell if that was because he was tired (fatigue makes fools of us all and ruins concentration) or if his speed of thought and concentration are not up to international level defending. If it was tiredness, a couple weeks of training can make a big difference. If his brain is not wired for it, it will be a long time before he is ready.

    Physically, I think he is stronger than Beasley. I just hope JK can tell if it was tiredness or a lack of the right defensive mentality that was the problem for Chandler in the Turkey game.

    • Fredo says:

      Chandler has consistently made mistakes in games for the USMNT. I’d go with it’s his brain.

  67. Josh says:

    I think we should have the lineup as follows



  68. giedris klivecka says:

    JK is about as astute a tactician as Twellman ,so either one would get about the same results from this team. Speaking nonsense to eager believers is the right thing to do, and JK knows his strengths (tactics is not one of them) and he certainly knows his audience. It is absolute stupidity to take a talented but WAY underprepared player (Green) and expose this 18 year old, slight of build, teenager to the pressure -cooker and potential failure of being exposed in the WC. A GOOD coach would be patient, introduce him gradually to top-class soccer And have him ready for 2014. This kid is no Pele or Maradona and even they had much top level exposure before their WC debutes. Most of this other lineup nonsense is meaningless. We are talking about a bunch of modestly talented players (none of them top tier) that will probably show better than they should. Just a thought about Beasley. If the USMT is behind with 20 min to go, Put him at left back and let him attack with speed and play 3 in the back and take some risks. Try it against Nigeria. Its called tactics.

  69. giedris klivecka says:

    Another observation . Saying the USA will not win the WC is bogus ,gutless and a red herring. To guarantee that we will advance, now THAT IS balsy and letting it all hang out. But we know That this coach is not like that at all. There is no “Follow me into the battle boys” in this coach