Fabian Johnson training almost exclusively at right back

Andrew Caballero-Reynolds

Fabian Johnson on the right?

It looks like Fabian Johnson will be playing right back for the United States at the World Cup. Johnson told Leander Schaerlaeckens that he has been training almost exclusively at the position in training camp, continuing the speculation that he will be there in Brazil.

Johnson played right back for Hoffenheim at the end of the season and had done so upon occasion before so the position isn't new to him. Jurgen Klinsmann has also experimented with him there so it's not completely out of nowhere that he's getting a look now, but to see him so locked into the position is a surprise.

Klinsmann has two natural right backs on his roster in Timothy Chandler and DeAndre Yedlin, while DaMarcus Beasley is the only left back besides Johnson, and he's a converted defender.

It is possible that Klinsmann is just trying to get Johnson as many reps as possible on the right because he hasn't spent much time there and theoretically can always go back to the left without an issue. It's also possible that Klinsmann doesn't believe in Chandler and Yedlin -- at least against certain opponents -- or, maybe most intriguingly, he wants to play with inverted fullbacks.

Just like Johnson could flip over to the right, Chandler could flip over to the left and give the Americans a new look. Chandler played left back for Klinsmann when the manager first took over so it wouldn't be unprecedented for him to play there, but he hasn't done it since 2011.

Right now, all we know for sure is that Johnson is playing a lot of right back. That then makes for a lot of questions, none of which we have good answers for, but Klinsmann sure has options.

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