We’ve already told you who we would start against St. Vincent & the Grenadines, a few times, in fact. Now it’s time to delve into the mind of the one person who matters: Jurgen Klinsmann
During the Copa America was the first time in his reign as United States men’s national team manager that Jurgen stuck with a consistent starting XI. Unfortunately, due to injury and suspension, that Copa lineup has been decimated and is no longer an option.
There are many decisions to be made about the lineup to take on Vincy Heat. First and foremost, Clint Dempsey’s absence opens up a big chance for another striker to step in a fill his spot as the team’s go-to goal threat. Copa starter, Gyasi Zardes, is also out.
John Brooks is also not available due to injury leaving a question mark along the back line.
Then you have Michael Bradley who is suspended for this match thanks to yellow card accumulation. That’s four Copa America starters who are unavailable for this match, leaving Klinsmann with some important decisions to make. Here’s what we see him settling on for this match:
Both Jozy and Bobby Wood are in fine form for their clubs. It’s time to see what they can do as a partnership.
Klinsmann has a tendency to play it safe with his selections. It doesn’t get much more safe than Graham Zusi and Alejandro Bedoya on the wings. Both are reliable defensively, but are less dynamic attacking threats as options like Christian Pulisic or Paul Arriola would be.
Sacha Kljestan’s inclusion on the roster is interesting. It wouldn’t make much sense to call him up after all this time and not give him the keys to the midfield with Michael Bradley out. Everyone wants to see Darlington Nagbe get a chance, but for some reason, Klinsmann just doesn’t trust him yet. Kljestan’s veteran experience and club track record will likely earn him a start.
At the back it’s pretty straightforward. Besler is the most experienced defender to replace Brooks. Omar Gonzalez wasn’t even named to the Copa America roster. It wouldn’t make much sense for him to jump into the lineup ahead of Besler, who was and contributed quite a bit.