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USA vs. Ecuador, Copa America 2016: Starting Lineups Prediction

Who do you think gets the start?

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The United States men's national team topped Group A of the Copa America Centenario with a 1-0 win over Paraguay (and some help from Costa Rica).

With the win, they earned a spot in the quarterfinals against Ecuador at CenturyLink Field in Seattle, Washington.

U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann used the same starting lineup for the first three matches, but he'll have to make a change with DeAndre Yedlin suspended after receiving two yellow cards against Paraguay.

Here's who I think Klinsmann will utilize against Ecuador:

The 4-4-2 worked against Paraguay and we'll see it again Thursday night.

Bobby Wood and Clint Dempsey, whose increasing chemistry appears to be blossoming into a fruitful partnership, will occupy the striker roles.

Alejandro Bedoya and Gyasi Zardes will start on the wings. They put in a lot of work on the defensive side of the ball and should continue to start. Michael Bradley and Jermaine Jones will continue to man the center of the midfield, with Jones playing more of a box-to-box role.

Brad Guzan, coming off a stellar performance against Paraguay, should again be in goal, having temporarily silenced the doubters. Expect Fabian Johnson, John Anthony Brooks, and Geoff Cameron to comprise 75% of the back line. They've performed well during the Copa America, and appear to be the first choice defenders through the 2018 World Cup. Klinsmann may be tempted to move Cameron to fullback, but I doubt he'll tinker with a successful center back partnership this late in the tournament.

Who will take Yedlin's spot at right fullback? The options appear to be Michael Orozco and Edgar Castillo, and I believe that Klinsmann opts for the former. Orozco hasn't been a factor at the club level for Xolos, but he one of Klinsmann's preferred players, even earning a spot on the original Copa America roster over Castillo.

It's important to note that several players bring a yellow card into the match, and will be suspended for the semifinal if they receive one against Ecuador. Caitlin Murray of FOX Soccer questions whether this will lead to changes in the lineup.

Klinsmann has always said that once the U.S. enters the knockout round, it's a whole new tournament -- and Thursday against Ecuador may be the time to make some changes.


If Klinsmann opts to give a break to Jones, the team's oldest outfield player at 34, Nagbe would be the best candidate to replace him.

Other positions that could see changes include replacing Bedoya with Graham Zusi along the right flank and saving Wood for a possible semifinal with Chris Wondolowski slotted in to partner with Clint Dempsey.

Tune in at 9:30 p.m. Eastern on Thursday to see if the United States can advance to the semifinals of the Copa America.

Do you have a prediction for tonight's starting XI? Let us know in the comment section.