Predicting the USMNT lineup vs Mexico

Jurgen Klinsmann announced the United States’ roster for their friendly on Wednesday against Mexico and it’s a doozy full of MLS players. Beckerman and Rimando both got the callup and we can expect them to be making an appearance in Wednesday’s match. I decided to have a go at predicting a starting 11 for the match based loosely on a combination of things I think Jurgen wants to see and things we’ve seen before on the USMNT.

Goal: Nick Rimando.

With no Brad Guzan in this lineup, it’s  pretty clear that Nick is probably going to be between the sticks on Wednesday. He’s not only a solid ‘keeper, he’s been Klinsmann’s go-to in the many of the friendlies since the World Cup. This is probably the easiest prediction of the bunch.

Also Called: Bill Hamid (DC United), William Yarbrough (Club Leon)

Defenders: Brek Shea, Brad Evans, Matt Besler, DeAndre Yedlin

All this talk about “Brek Shea left back experiment” be damned. It’s not an experiment anymore. He plays left back and does a damn fine job of it for Orlando. He’s been there with the USMNT for a while. It’s happening. Deal with it. On the other side I put DeAndre Yedlin. It’s true that Klinsmann has been playing DeAndre further up the pitch as a wide right midfielder, but it’s also true that the US’s fullback situation has been lacking for a while. DeAndre could be swapped out for Michael Orozco but we really haven’t seen much of Yedlin since he took his trip across the pond (edit: Heard today on Soccer Morning that Orozco was dropped for Perry Kitchen). Omar has been out of favor of late (and LA has been playing atrociously), so I dropped him from the CB slot in favor of Matt Besler and Brad Evans. Brad Evans at centerback? Surely you jest! Not so. Klinsmann has been repositioning lots of his players and throwing Evans in at centerback wouldn’t be the strangest thing he could do.

Also Called: Ventura Alvarado (Club America), Greg Garza (Club Tijuana), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Michael Orozco (Puebla)

Midfielders: Lee Nguyen, Kyle Beckerman, Mix Diskerud, Gyasi Zardes, Michael Bradley

You wouldn’t call Kyle up if you didn’t want him in that holding midfield slot. The bigger question is whether he’s playing at the base of a diamond, or next to another D-mid. I’m going with a 4-2-3-1 formation which seems to be what Klinsmann has been leaning toward of late, with two wide, attacking wingers and overlapping runs from the fullbacks. In that formation, you need a solid base, and you get that with Kyle. Arguably, lining up in that defensive role isn’t Mix’s best position, but with Kyle there, you know he will have more freedom to move forward. Michael Bradley isn’t a true #10, either, but that’s where Klinsy has been sticking him, so that’s where I’ve got him. On the wings I’ve got Gyasi — who’s been put there before — and Lee Nguyen — who we haven’t really seen much for the US side. Again, I don’t think Jurgen would have called Lee Nguyen if he didn’t want to see how he played, so I expect him to have a part in the game on Wednesday.

Also Called: Joe Corona (Club Tijuana), Miguel Ibarra (Minnesota United FC)

Forwards: Chris Wondolowki

Look, if you’re playing with wingers, you only have one target forward (with any experience in the USMNT) on this roster and it’s Wondo. However, swapping him with Juan Agudelo could happen and could be pretty fantastic if it does. Agudelo’s got more speed and versatility than Wondo the Poacher, but in a forward squad without Jozy, playing in a style the way the USMNT has been playing, I still think we’re likely to see a big target forward who can get into the right places in the box.

Also Called: Juan Agudelo (New England Revolution), Julian Green (Hamburg), Jordan Morris (Stanford University)

 

Who are your picks for the starting XI against Mexico?

 

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