Tonight’s under-23 lineup in Nashville will push the “fascinating” button for a bunch of different reasons. Where does D.C. United utility knife Perry Kitchen end up? What does the midfield triangle look like (because manager Caleb Porter moved the pieces around a little in pre-qualifying friendlies)?
Is team captain Freddy Adu tucked behind the striker in Porter’s 4-3-3 or used along the wing?
And who is keeping goal? This is a big one, because Porter has two MLS starters from which to choose: D.C. United’s Bill Hamid (in the photo) and Chicago’s Sean Johnson.
Hamid started in the recent 2-0 win over Mexico; Johnson came in for the second half, when ball handling became a bit of an issue. Based on that, Hamid will get the start. But who knows?
Actually, U.S. under-23 goalkeeper coach Eric Yamamoto knows. Here’s a quality Q&A from USSoccer.com with Yamamoto, with lots of useful insight on the young U.S. goalkeeper scene. Don’t forget, national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann has looked at both of these guys (Hamid and Johnson) as long-term possibilities. Because whether we like it or not, trusty Tim Howard isn’t going to be around in the U.S. player pool forever.