You probably don’t need reminding, but just in case you do, the U.S. national team face Mexico in a huge one-off CONCACAF Cup game on Saturday at the Pasadena Rose Bowl.
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The winner will represent CONCACAF at the 2017 Confederations Cup in Russia as Jurgen Klinsmann’s USMNT side are the underdogs against El Tri.
With plenty of struggles and a hangover from the 2015 Gold Cup failure, Klinsmann is under pressure and getting his team selection spot on will be crucial if the USA are going to get past Mexico in front of over 90,000 fans at the Rose Bowl.
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Below I suggest three possible starting lineups, then give my conclusion on how I think the U.S. will lineup.
Let us know if you agree by posting your own lineups in the comments section below.
—– Guzan —–
— Johnson — Cameron — Besler — Ream —
Jones —– Bradley
— Bedoya — Dempsey — Zardes —
—– Altidore —–
—– Howard —–
— Cameron — Besler — Ream — Beasley —
—– Williams —–
— Yedlin — Bradley — Zusi —
— Altidore — Zardes —
—– Howard —–
— Johnson — Besler — Ream — Beasley —
—– Cameron —–
— Dempsey — Williams — Bradley — Jones —
— Altidore —
I think Klinsmann’s choice is the way to go, although Tim Howard‘s presence in goal over Brad Guzan would certainly help strengthen the USA’s defense. A center back pairing of Cameron and Besler must happen, while having Johnson in at right back will be a boost and Ream’s size may see him get the nod over Beasely but the veteran is likely to start if fit. In midfield I’d go with Jones and Bradley sitting in front of othe back four and then that would allow, Zardes, Bedoya and Dempsey to support Altidore up top.
The final selection is ultra-defensive, but given the form of his team and Mexico’s attacking talents, Klinsmann may start more defensive and then change tact as the game goes on. Having all of your most-experienced players on the pitch will prove vital to succeeding at the Rose Bowl, therefore, even though the Mix-and-Match XI looks speedy and is dangerous, I’d expect to see “JPW’s choice” or “Stopping Mexico” to be more like the starting lineup on Saturday.