Thursday nights win against Trinidad & Tobago may not have been particularly easy on the eyes, save for Christian Pulisic’s magic.
But Bruce Arena and his squad did exactly what was needed got 3 points and has the USMNT right back on track in the Hex.
Now here we are just two short days away from playing Mexico at the Azteca, the same Mexican side that finally broke through the fortress that is Columbus, Ohio and sent the USMNT into such a tailspin Jurgen Klinsmann was removed from his coaching duties.
Its been 6 long months since that chilly November night and the time has finally come, a chance for sweet, sweet revenge. Lets take a look at the players who in my estimation, Bruce Arena will go with Sunday night.
Goalkeeper: Tim Howard- Obviously
Left-Back: Jorge Villifana- He has been steady as steady can be for the USMNT, expect another solid performance Sunday Night
Center-Back: John Brooks- Clearly the most talented defender in the player pool, look for Brooks physicality to pay big dividends in this game.
Center-Back: Geoff Cameron- A man who in my opinion should be wearing the captains armband, but that’s neither here nor there, look for Cameron’s poise to rub off on the rest of the back line (hopefully)
Right-Back: DeAndre Yedlin- Needs to keep his head early, an early yellow card changes his entire game, look for Yedlin to keep bombing forward and whipping balls into the box
Here is where things get a bit dicey, expect changes from Thursday simply because I expect a more defensive strategy from Bruce.
Left-Mid: Fabian Johnson- Would love to see him insert himself into the game more, however a lot of his work Sunday will be helping Villifana deal with the Mexican attack.
Center-Mid: Kellyn Acosta- Why? one simple reason Michael Bradley needs help, Acosta will be the attacking mid to Bradley’s very defensive mid.
Center-Mid: Michael Bradley- This is a game Michael needs to shine in, his work clogging the midfield will be the difference between winning and losing, and that is exactly why he will be partnered with Acosta, he simply cant do it alone.
Right-Mid: Darlington Nagbe- How can you keep this guy off the field right now? He drives the ball forward to create chances, and has a high defensive work rate, he has a tendency to drift too far inside but that can be easily corrected.
Another area things get dicey, because Nagbe has forced his way into the squad and Acosta is in to help cover the center of the park so yes somebody needs to sit and that guy unfortunately is Clint Dempsey.
Center Attacking Mid: Christian Pulisic- I’d like to see Pulisic play as the primary playmaker on Sunday. He should have the freedom to roam the field and do anything he can to create chances, he will be making runs of Alitidore’s all night long.
Forward: Jozy Altidore- Jozy will be playing up top by himself to start the game on Sunday, he will be asked to do the same thing hes done on numerous occasions, hold the ball and wait for his teammates to join the attack. Jozy has at least one assist in him Sunday night.
There you have it the starting XI I believe Bruce Arena will go with on Sunday night vs El Tri.