HOUSTON - JUNE 22: Carlos Bocanegra #3 of the U.S.A. celebrates as the final wihistle blows as the U.S.A. defeated Panama 1-0 at Reliant Stadium on June 22, 2011 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Jurgen Klinsmann said on Monday that Carlos Bocanegra will captain the United States on Tuesday versus Jamaica. Using our powers of deduction, we can conclude that Bocanegra will also start the match, bringing him back into the starting XI after being omitted in Friday's loss to the Reggae Boyz.
Clarence Goodson started in Bocanegra's place on Friday and played pretty well, but he picked up a yellow card. It was his second in as many matches, and earned him a suspendion for Tuesday's clash. That opened up a space for Bocanegra, but it was never a guarantee that the veteran would start.
There were concerns about Bocanegra's form and that is what might have kept him out of Friday's match. Some have wondered about his fitness, but he was quick to point out that he has been playing for several weeks in Scotland so his fitness is not a concern and U.S. Soccer confirmed that he was available, just not chosen by Klinsmann. The form concern comes not from any bad matches by Bocanegra, but that his matches were in the fourth division with Rangers so it wasn't much of a test of his skills. His move to Racing Santander should clear up that problem, but that doesn't do him any good this week.
Meanwhile, Michael Orozco Fiscal was sitting there and waiting to play. While the idea of Orozco Fiscal starting might cause nightmares for U.S. fans, Klinsmann rates the defender. He also recently scored the winning goal at Azteca, checking off the experience and confidence boxes that Klinsmann values. To think that he wasn't at least in consideration to take Goodson's place is naive.
But it is Bocanegra who will get the nod. He will bring a calm to the back line and certainly some leadership. That could prove vital with the team in a frenzied atmosphere with their backs against a wall, a situation it hasn't been in for a while. For many on the field Tuesday, it will be the first time they played in an international match that is nearly a "must win" and having Captain America lead the way can only help.