With the U.S. national teams crucial 2018 World Cup qualifier against Mexico just over 24 hours away, how will Jurgen Klinsmann’s side line up?
That’s a question we’ve all been asking ourselves as the clock ticks down.
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With some injury issues and lack of form, Klinsmann has some big decisions to make. Below is a look at who I’d pick to start in the crunch game in front of a fired up crowd in Columbus, Ohio.
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Let us know if you agree and who you’d pick by getting involved in the comments section below.
JPW’s starting XI for USMNT vs. Mexico
—– Howard —–
— Yedlin — Gonzalez — Brooks — Johnson —
—- Bradley —- Jones —-
— Bedoya — Kljestan — Pulisic —
—– Altidore —–
Klinsmann has already named Howard as his starting goalkeeper and after his heroics for Colorado in their PK shootout win against LA last weekend, plus Brad Guzan not getting playing time at Middlesbrough, no complaints here.
In defense the big name missing is Geoff Cameron. He’s been a beast at center back alongside John Brooks but Cameron is missing through injury which is a big blow for the USMNT. I’ve slotted in Omar Gonzalez because of his previous big game experience over Steve Birnbaum. Matt Besler may start too, but he is all left foot and so is Brooks which could provide some balance issues in central defense. DeAndre Yedlin and Fabian Johnson are the two clear first-choice full backs.
In midfield I’d take the experience of Michael Bradley and Jermaine Jones in the holding roles. That would give the U.S. a solid base to build from but I would be slightly worried about Jones’ penchant for roaming around which may leave Bradley with too much to handle defensively. In front of them I’ve gone for an interchanging trio with Alejandro Bedoya, Sacha Kljestan and Christian Pulisic. Bedoya and Pulisic will have more license to get forward and support the lone striker and could switch flanks whenever they wanted.
Up top, the big man, Jozy Altidore. He is on fire for Toronto FC in MLS and once again he will be the go-to man for the USMNT in a big qualifier. He rarely lets Klinsmann down but with Bobby Wood breathing down his neck for a starting spot, Jozy knows he needs to deliver in Columbus and his hold up and link up play must improve.