How will USMNT line up vs. Guatemala?

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The U.S. national team face Guatemala on Friday in a big CONCACAF 2018 World Cup qualifier.

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Jurgen Klinsmann’s side have four points from their opening two games of Round 4 of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying and can’t afford to slip up away in tricky conditions in Central America.

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Below we look at three alternative lineups which Klinsmann may go with in Guatemala City. Feel free to select your best XI in the comments section below.


 

Option 1 – Best possible XI

— Howard —

— Yedlin — Cameron — Besler — Johnson —

—– Bradley — Beckerman —–

— Bedoya —  Dempsey — Zardes —

—– Altidore —–

Option 2 – All-out attack

— Howard —

— Cameron — Gonzalez — Besler — Castillo —

— Bedoya —  Bradley — Johnson —

— Dempsey — Altidore — Wood —

Option 3 – JPW’s “most likely” pick

— Guzan —

— Cameron — Gonzalez — Besler — Castillo —

— Bradley — Beckerman —

— Yedlin —  Dempsey — Bedoya —

— Altidore —


CONCLUSION

So, there are a few moving pieces here. First up, goalkeeper is a huge issue as both Tim Howard and Brad Guzan haven’t been playing regularly in the Premier League. Guzan has come back into the mix for strugglers Aston Villa the last few games and has looked sharp, so that may get him the nod seeing as Howard hasn’t played a game for Everton since Jan. 24. The GK position has always been so strong for the U.S. but right now it’s not looking too good.

In defense Edgar Castillo could come in at left back after impressing with Monterrey in Liga MX and Klinsmann has certainly talked him up in recent interviews. Fabian Johnson would be a great option at left back but he’s just coming back from injury and will be better used in midfield, while DeAndre Yedlin‘s form has been very up and down at Sunderland but he should start at right back. In midfield the picture looks very settled with Michael Bradley anchoring things, plus the likes of Alejandro Bedoya and Clint Dempsey around, with Gyasi Zardes out wide.

Up front, the big question is will Jozy Altidore start after overcoming his recent injury, or will red-hot Bobby Wood lead the line? They could start up top together both given the fact that this is a World Cup qualifier on the road in a very tough environment, the U.S. will look to keep it tight early on. Plus, Wood is a great option to have off the bench.