How will the USMNT lineup against Trinidad and Tobago on Tuesday?

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The United States is likely moving onto the final round of World Cup qualifying, where it will join Mexico, Costa Rica, Trinidad and Tobago, Panama, and likely Honduras (There’s an outside shot Canada fills the sixth spot instead).

At stake Tuesday in Jacksonville is the top spot in Group C, thanks largely to Guatemala’s upset of the USMNT in Guatemala City on March 25.

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You could argue that winning the group is in some ways a defeat. While the Yanks and T&T would both prefer to earn all three points on Tuesday — a tie gives T&T the top spot —  the first placed team will open the Hex with Mexico at home and, probably, Costa Rica on the road.

While that also means that those matches are out-of-the-way, there’s a legit chance the group winner could find itself in a hole after a pair of matches.

Still, there’s little doubt the U.S. will go for the win, and Jurgen Klinsmann has a few things to consider when choosing his starters. DeAndre Yedlin is suspended through yellow card accumulation, and Matt Besler has returned home to be with his wife and newborn daughter.

John Brooks, Jermaine Jones, Clint Dempsey, and Gyasi Zardes will again miss out through injury, though Michael Bradley and Michael Orozco return from injury.

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There are so many challenges to this particular XI. Cameron has been an American rock and center back, so moving him to right back for Yedlin means the Americans would be down to their fourth and fifth choice center backs. That seems unlikely.

And what does Klinsmann do with a somewhat muddled midfield? Michael Bradley won’t be kept out of the lineup, and Kyle Beckerman, Alejandro Bedoya, and Fabian Johnson were all quite good against Saint Vincent and The Grenadines.

The most straight-forward changes would be this:

Howard

Orozco — Cameron — Birnbaum — Johnson

Beckerman

Zusi — Bradley — Bedoya

Wood — Altidore

Honestly, it seems fairly likely. Though some minor changes are possible:

  • Cameron goes to right back, and Omar Gonzalez pairs with Birnbaum at CB.
  • Acosta, Johnson stay on left, Bedoya moves to right mid, Zusi out.
  • Bradley lies deep, Beckerman comes out.
  • Bradley and Beckerman play deep; Wood, Bedoya, Johnson beneath Altidore.

Now those are all assuming that Klinsmann doesn’t opt to insert Sacha Kljestan and/or Christian Pulisic after scintillating turns as 66th minute subs against SVG. The idea of trying both of them before the Hex is more than for entertainment purposes.

Here’s a way Klinsmann could do it:

Howard

Orozco — Cameron — Birnbaum — Johnson

Bradley

 Kljestan — Bedoya — Pulisic

Wood — Altidore

What do you think?