The U.S. national team take on Jamaica in Atlanta on Wednesday with a spot in the Gold Cup final on the line.
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Jurgen Klinsmann’s side have eased through to the final four of the tournament which crowns the champions of CONCACAF, but they now face a lively Jamaica side as the Reggae Boyz have looked strong and disciplined during their run to the semifinals.
Klinsmann has mixed up his team throughout the tournament so far, but he will select his strongest XI for a tough test against the Caribbean outfit. No question.
Here’s a look at who he may start with, as the U.S. will face the winner of Mexico vs. Panama in the final in Philadelphia on Sunday.
Possible USMNT lineups
Option 1 – First choice (4-4-1-1)
—– Guzan —–
— Johnson — Brooks — Gonzalez — Beasley —
— Bedoya — Beckerman — Bradley — Zardes —
—– Dempsey —–
—– Johannsson —–
Option 2 – All-out attack (4-3-3)
—– Guzan —–
— Yedlin— Gonzalez — Ream — Johnson—
— Beckerman —
— Bradley —– Bedoya —
—– Zardes — Dempsey — Johannsson —–
Option 3 – Mix and match (4-2-3-1)
—– Guzan —–
— Yedlin — Gonzalez — Brooks — Beasley —
— Bradley —– Beckerman—
—– Bedoya —– Dempsey —– Zardes —-
—— Johannsson —–
Option 1 seems like a dead cert to happen. Brooks and Gonzalez have looked the most solid partnership, just about, but Tim Ream can count himself unlucky to not be starting. Klinsmann made a point of Fabian Johnson’s versatility on Tuesday during his press conference, so expect the Monchengladbach man to line up at right back and veteran DaMarcus Beasley to play at left back. In midfield Kyle Beckerman and Michael Bradley will hold down the center and the only slight unknown is where Gyasi Zardes will line up. Will the LA Galaxy forward start out wide or partner Clint Dempsey up top? A 4-4-1-1 formation will give Klinsmann’s side plenty of solidity but with Dempsey playing just off Aron Johannsson, they should cause Jamaica’s defense plenty of problems.
Options 2 and 3 are unlikely, but 2 might work if Klinsmann wants to go for it from the start and race into a big lead at half time. Jamaica has shown that they are goal-shy so far in this tournament, but it could be difficult for the U.S. to break down a defense anchored by Leicester City captain Wes Morgan. With a spot in the 2017 Confederations Cup on the line to the winner of this tournament, Klinsmann will likely go with experience on Wednesday as he can’t afford to slip up against the stubborn Reggae Boyz.