How will USMNT line up vs. Guatemala in Columbus?

AP
4 Comments

Following the 2-0 defeat to Guatemala last Friday in Guatemala City, the U.S. national team is in dire need of a win.

[ VOTE: Should Klinsmann be fired? ]

In Columbus on Tuesday night only a win will do for under-fire USMNT boss Jurgen Klinsmann, as another defeat would make it incredibly tough for the German coach to guide his side through to the Hex, the next round of CONCACAF qualifying for the 2018 World Cup.

With several injuries in defense, big name players under-performing and others nursing knocks, we could see some intriguing lineup selections from Klinsmann in Ohio.

[ MORE: Fallout from U.S. defeat in Guatemala ]

Feel free to select your best XI in the comments section below, but here is three to contemplate.


Option 1 – Best possible XI

— Guzan —

— Yedlin — Cameron — Gonzalez — Castillo —

—– Bradley —–

— Bedoya —  Dempsey — Zardes —

—– Altidore —– Wood —

Option 2 – All-out attack

— Guzan —

— Yedlin — Cameron — Gonzalez — Castillo —

— Nagbe —  Bradley — Zusi —

— Dempsey — Altidore — Wood —

Option 3 – JPW’s pick

— Guzan —

— Yedlin — Cameron — Gonzalez — Castillo —

—– Nagbe — Bradley — Zusi —–

—– Dempsey —–

— Altidore — Wood —


CONCLUSION

Going for a narrow shape in midfield will be the way to go. In order to get the ball through to Altidore and Wood quickly, the U.S. must get Dempsey on the ball as much as possible.

In goal, Tim Howard started last Friday but Brad Guzan will be in net as they continue to split time. In defense, expect Geoff Cameron to start at center back with Omar Gonzlaez, while DeAndre Yedlin will drop back to right back.

Midfield is the key area on Tuesday and Klinsmann should allow Bradley to break things up in the holding role and then release to Dempsey, Graham Zusi and Gyasi Zardes in more attacking areas. With Alejandro Bedoya likely out injured, bringing in Zusi to the squad points towards him starting. Maybe Klinsmann throws in a wild card and starts MLS duo Ethan Finlay and Darlington Nagbe, or maybe even 17-year-old Borussia Dortmund starlet Christian Pulisic? At this point, what has he got to lose?

Playing Jozy Altidore (if he’s fit to go, he should start and play the first hour) and Bobby Wood up top makes sense because the U.S. needs to win, big time. Why not go for it and put Guatemala under pressure from the start?