Following the USMNT’s 2-1 comeback win over Peru on Friday, an air of cautious optimism is once again sweeping through the air surrounding U.S. Soccer circles.
Perhaps that 2015 Gold Cup debacle was just a hiccup…
Whether or not that’s true, only time will tell, but what we do know is that Jurgen Klinmann’s squad have an extremely tough friendly game coming up on Tuesday in Foxborough, Mass. as Brazil (with or without Neymar starting) come to town.
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In the USA’s final game before their Oct. 10 Confederations Cup playoff with arch-rivals Mexico, Klinsmann will want to give as many of his potential starters for that massive game at the Rose Bowl a run out, even if the likes of Clint Dempsey and Matt Besler will be missing against the Selecao.
With that in mind, here are three potential starting lineups for Klinsmann at Gillette Stadium on Tuesday. Let us know what you think in the comments section below.
—– Guzan —–
— Cameron — Gonzalez — Ream — Garza —
Williams —– Bradley
— Bedoya — Jones — Zardes —
—– Altidore —–
—– Howard —–
— Spector — Alvarado — Orozco — Garza —
—– Cameron —–
— Morris — Bradley — Morales — Corona —
— Wooten —
Mexico on the mind
—– Guzan —–
— Cameron — Gonzalez — Brooks — Ream —
— Bedoya — Bradley — Jones — Zardes —
— Johansson — Altidore —
“Klinsmann’s choice” could well win the day, with Brazil’s attackers capable of slicing the U.S. defense apart. Expect a more defensive approach than the U.S. showed against Peru, where Klinsmann played a 4-4-2 formation with Gyasi Zardes as DeAndre Yedlin playing as orthodox wingers. Their extreme pace gave Peru all kinds of problems, more on that here, but is Klinsmann really willing to be that gung-ho from the start vs. Brazil? It would be surprising, so expect to see Bobby Wood come out of the team and Michael Bradley added to midfield to make a flexible 4-2-3-1 when the U.S. go forward or a 4-5-1 formation when they defend.
I like the “Mexico on the mind” selection, as most of those guys will start against El Tri next month in the huge Confed. Cup playoff. Yes, starting two up front could be risky, but in a one-off game where the U.S. must make a positive start, why wouldn’t you go for it? In that lineup, the only slight changes which could be made are Cameron slotting to center back in place of Gonzalez, who struggled vs. Peru, and Yedlin coming in at right back. The “Mix-and-match” selection is exactly what it sounds like, a hodgepodge of players who we already know are unlikely to feature vs. Mexico, but have little or no time in the Peru friendly, so Klinsmann may give them an extended run out.