On the evidence of recent performances, the United States' two best players will be missing for Tuesday's game in Columbus. Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore will be on the sidelines, with the former missing out because of a sprained ankle and the latter due to yellow card accumulation. Mexico will be pleased.
Jozy and Mikey are joined on the sidelines by Matt Besler and Geoff Cameron, also massive losses. The United States' defensive depth isn't exactly great at the moment with Steve Cherundolo and Brad Evans injured, while Timothy Chandler appears to temporarily be in the doghouse. Enter Clarence Goodson, who could start in the center of defense against El Tri.
That's not what I'm predicting, though. Here's what I think we'll see from Klinsmann.
United States lineup (4-2-3-1, left to right): Tim Howard; DaMarcus Beasley, Michael Orozco-Fiscal, Omar Gonzalez, Michael Parkhurst; Kyle Beckerman, Jermaine Jones; Fabian Johnson, Clint Dempsey, Graham Zusi; Landon Donovan
Questions and objections from my imaginary friend below.
DaMarcus Beasley still isn't a left back
I know. I'm over it.
Brad Guzan is better than Tim Howard
I know that too. I'm less over that, but it is what it is.
Michael Parkhurst can't even get on the pitch for a crappy Augsburg team and he starts?
I'm not entirely sure why we didn't call up Timothy Chandler either. Heck, I'd rather have Tony Beltran. But I've got a feeling Klinsmann will start four defenders who have been with the team since early last week and that Clarence Goodson is just for an emergency.
Is this really the best way to get our best attacking players on the pitch?
Quite possibly, though I'd shift Fabian Johnson to left back, drop Beasley and find a spot for Eddie Johnson in the team if I was running the show.
Beckerman over Mix?
I'm just guessing that Klinsmann is going to value experience over the potential for something really awesome from that position in this game.
Wow, seriously, looking at that back line is terrifying. Good thing Mexico sucks.
I know, right?