The U.S. men’s national team play Italy in Genk, Belgium on Tuesday to end their 2018 campaign.
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Over his 13-month spell in charge interim head coach Dave Sarachan has introduced more debutants than any other USMNT head coach in history in their first 11 games at the helm, and he is expected to give a few more youngsters a chance to shine for the Stars and Stripes.
Weston McKennie, Kenny Saief and Luca De La Torre are all out of the squad due to injury, so Sarachan has 23 players to choose from.
Italy boss Roberto Mancini has hinted at a much-changed lineup for the Azzurri, so we could see the U.S. experiment a little in what is expected to be Sarachan’s final game in charge before a new permanent head coach is put in charge.
Below we take a look at a few options for Sarachan at Luminus Arena on Tuesday.
Option 1: Possible USMNT lineup (4-3-3)
—– Horvath —–
— Moore — Carter-Vickers — Long — Villafana —
—- Acosta —- Adams —- Gall —-
—- Weah —- Sargent —- Pulisic —-
Option 2: Possible USMNT lineup (3-4-2-1)
—- Horvath —-
—- Carter-Vickers —- Long —- Brooks —-
—- Moore —- Adams —- Delgado —- Acosta —-
—- Pulisic —- Lletget —-
—– Sargent —–
Sarachan talked up Evan Horvath last week and it would be cool to see the youngster who plays in Belgium for Club Brugge get another shot to play for his national team in Belgium. We know what Brad Guzan can do, so why not give Horvath some minutes? In defense, the lack of another left back leaves Sarachan with a problem. Does he play Jorga Villafana for the second time in a few days ahead of his monster trip back to the West Coast to play for Portland in the MLS Cup conference final? Probably not. Yedlin could slot over to left back, or maybe Sarachan switches to a 3-5-2 or 3-4-3 formation and has someone like Acosta or Adams who can get up and down the flank. Ahead of their Eastern Conference final showdown, giving Guzan, Aaron Long and Tyler Adams a rest may also be beneficial too.
In midfield Tyler Adams, Lletget and Delgado should all get a run out after not starting against England, while up top Josh Sargent is no longer an injury doubt so Christian Pulisic could support him and Tim Weah in attack with Bobby Wood given a rest. I’d go with Option 2 from above and play as many players who didn’t start or feature against England at Wembley as possible. At this point, get as many players international experience and hand over the reins to the next man (ahem, Gregg Berhalter).