The United States' 2015 was a disaster, from a failed Gold Cup to a CONCACAF Cup loss. But things start anew this year. Jurgen Klinsmann needs to turn the team around, and he's said he wants to get younger as part of his continued evolution of the team. So with that in mind, as the Americans gear up for more qualifying and Copa America, we have completed our depth chart, position by position (full depth chart here). If this series has taught us anything it's that there are no absolutes when it comes to the depth chart. To conclude the series we each picked a preferred starting lineup. We'll each pick an XI that we'd put on the field in ideal circumstances and we'll talk about how we landed here.
Note: I do not think this team is especially good and it doesn't jump off the page, but I think it's as close as we can get to putting together a competent team that complements each other well until the likes of Matt Miazga, Rubio Rubin, Christian Pulisic and any other kids are ready to up the talent level of the senior team.
Once Bill Hamid is healthy and gets back to form, I think he's either the best goalkeeper in the pool or tied for it with more upside than either Tim Howard or Brad Guzan. DeAndre Yedlin has his issues, but having Alejandro Bedoya in front of him will help. With Tim Ream on the other side and staying home, Yedlin getting forward a lot won't hurt the team too much. That's especially true with a true holder in Geoff Cameron, who is a solid passer, can tackle and will do the best job in the Kyle Beckerman role. Ideally, he would be at centerback, but there's more depth there and I put a lot of value in defensive midfielders. He allows Fabian Johnson to function as an out-and-out attacker when necessary, lets Michael Bradley play as a box-to-box player without having to worry about what's behind him all the time, while the team's two best attackers have free reign up front.
As sad as it is to say, Tim Howard is past his best and Brad Guzan's form has been dipping for the last year-plus. Hamid wins by default for being consistently good and young. The right flank dynamic between DeAndre Yedlin and Alejandro Bedoya is vital to this lineup. Yedlin only works at right back if there's a responsible and disciplined player in front of him. Bedoya is perfect for that role. The left side is pretty straight forward with Ream a defensive player and only overlapping when needed and Johnson being the main attacking threat. Michael Bradley works at defensive midfielder with a more defensive-minded partner like Williams. It doesn't really matter what you classify Dempsey as, he's going to drop back and collect possession no matter where you put him. He drops behind Jozy and runs off of him.
It's not an ideal lineup. Nothing about this team ever is. Basically what I'm trying to say is, can we get in a Delorean and fast forward to the reign of Christian Pulisic?