United States is facing Argentina in the semifinals of the Copa America Centenario at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas.
Jurgen Klinsmann, for the first time this whole tournament, is facing some serious lineup issues. Jermaine Jones, Bobby Wood, and Alejandro Bedoya will be missing the match for their actions in the quarterfinal against Ecuador.
Here's who I think Klinsmann will utilize against Ecuador:
Despite Wood being out, the USMNT should still line up in the 4-4-2. The wingers have proven to be necessary on defense, and are needed against Argentina.
Brad Guzan, who's had a standout tournament (that will undoubtedly interest a few scouts), is again minding the net at keeper.
Fabian Johnson is at left back, John Anthony Brooks and Geoff Cameron play at center back, and DeAndre Yedlin returns to the right back position. Although he sat out the Ecuador match and Matt Besler performed well in his absence, Yedlin has "earned" his fullback spot and Klinsmann should again defer to him.
I envision Klinsmann selecting Graham Zusi to replace Alejandro Bedoya and sticking with Gyasi Zardes. Michael Bradley and Kyle Beckerman will play at the two central midfield spots. Bradley has played as more of a six, but will venture forward more with Jones suspended.
Grant Wahl of Sports Illustrated sees Kyle Beckerman as one of the key players against Argentina:
Let’s be honest: Limiting Messi will have to be a collective defensive effort by the U.S., but Beckerman in particular is going to have to play the game of his life if he fills in for Jones as expected. Maybe that means having Beckerman man-mark Messi, maybe not. But the U.S. can’t be chasing shadows against the best player in the world, one who’s in terrific form during this Copa América.
Clint Dempsey has earned a starting spot for the rest of eternity with his performance this tournament. As for replacing Wood, Chris Wondolowski will step in. This won't be a popular choice, but Klinsmann's choices rarely are. Maybe Wondolowski can find some World Cup redemption against Argentina.
People want to see Darlington Nagbe and Christian Pulisic start, but it's not going to happen this tournament. Maybe in the future, but not this time.
The winner of the match heads to East Rutherford and the loser is off the Glendale. Tune in at 9:00 p.m. Eastern on Tuesday to see who is advancing to the final.