The U.S. men’s national team take on Guatemala on Friday in Nashville, Tennessee and Jurgen Klinsmann must have so many formations and combinations flowing through his mind.
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Plenty of regulars are missing and plenty of youngsters have stepped up in recent matches to give JK a selection headache of epic proportions.
Following the huge friendly wins away to Holland and Germany in June, there is a real feel-good factor flowing through the USMNT right now.
Below are three possible starting lineups for the U.S. for a tricky test against Guatemala, as the final tune-up before their Gold Cup campaign kicks off in Dallas next Tuesday promises to be a good indicator of Klinsmann’s preferred starting XI.
Possible USMNT lineups
Option 1 – First choice (4-5-1)
—– Guzan —–
— Yedlin — Brooks — Gonzalez — Ream —
— Bedoya — Diskerud — Dempsey — Bradley — Johnson
—– Altidore —–
Option 2 – Unlikely lads (4-3-3)
—– Guzan —–
— Chandler — Alvarado — Ream — Evans —
— Beckerman —
— Zusi —– Morales —
—– Zardes — Wondolowski — Johannsson —–
Option 3 – Mix and match (4-2-3-1)
—– Guzan —–
— Garza — Orozco — Brooks — Johnson —
— Bradley —– Beckerman—
—– Yedlin —– Dempsey —– Zardes —-
—— Altidore —–
Simply put, there are a ton of options for Klinsmann for this friendly. Heading into the final warm-up game before a crucial Gold Cup campaign, you would think he already has his first XI in his mind. However, some strong performances from the likes of Aron Johansson and Gyasi Zardes up top against Guatemala will leave him with some tough decisions. Option 1 is my strongest possible XI, but the likes of Zardes, Beckerman and Johannsson can feel a little hard done-by to be left out. I think for the first Gold Cup game against Honduras, that is the line up Klinsmann will go with and it allows Dempsey and Bradley to support Altidore, while Bedoya and Johnson can switch flanks whenever they want. Very flexible lineup with most of the experience in the roster out there on the field. However, where does Tim Ream fit in? Is he a center back or left back in Klinsmann’s eyes? With no Brek Shea and only the likes of Greg Garza, Brad Evans and Timmy Chandler able to slot into left back (not their natural positions) if needed, I think it’s time Ream got a solid run at full back. Brad Guzan is in the shop window following his demotion to the bench for Aston Villa, so expect him to start. And, as always, it will be interesting to see if DeAndre Yedlin starts at right back or is pushed further forward as a winger.
Let us know how you think the U.S. will line up vs. Guatemala in Nashville on Friday.