How will USMNT line up vs. World Cup champs Germany?
Following the stunning late 4-3 win over the Netherlands in Amsterdam last Friday, the U.S. national team is eyeing up another significant scalp as it finishes up a brace of friendlies on European soil.
[ RELATED: Klinsmann reacts to US 4-3 Holland ]
Coming up on Wednesday the USMNT face Germany in Cologne as Jurgen Klinsmann’s squad continue their Gold Cup preparations against the world champions. Granted, Germany has left the likes of Manuel Neuer, Toni Kroos and Thomas Muller off its roster but they will still possess a huge challenge for the young U.S. side to overcome.
Klinsmann surprised quite a few people with his young lineup against Holland last week. But despite the U.S. struggling defensively to contain the Oranje, a late -- and totally unexpected -- flurry of goals saw them snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. PST’s Kyle Lynch was in Amsterdam for the game and it was pretty awesome to see that fighting spirit up close.
Here are a few options Klinsmann can take to line his team up from the start against Germany, as the German legend has already stated that the U.S. will “take the game to Germany” from the start.
Possible USMNT lineups
Option 1 – First choice (4-4-2)
—– Guzan —–
— Yedlin — Brooks — Orozco — Shea —
— Johnson — Williams — Bradley — Zardes
—– Johannsson --- Agudelo —–
Option 2 – Youth movement (4-3-3)
—– Cropper —–
— Yedlin — Brooks — Alvarado — Shea —
— Morales —
— Williams —– Ibarra —
—– Agudelo --- Wood --- Morris —–
Option 3 – Mix and match (4-2-3-1)
—– Guzan —–
— Evans — Orozco — Brooks — Shea —
— Bradley —– Beckerman—
—– Zardes —– Morris —– Johnson ----
------ Agudelo -----
With Klinsmann’s comments claiming he will go for it against Germany on Wednesday, I’d love to see the U.S. start with two up front and option 1 in my three projected lineups makes the most sense. Juan Agudelo did not feature against Holland and you have to expect the New England Revolution forward to get some serious minutes against Germany. John Brooks did not have a good game against Holland, despite scoring, so he needs a strong performance. Putting Michael Orozco alongside him makes sense. DeAndre Yedlin made a difference from the bench vs. Holland so it would be good to see him start at right back with Break Shea on the left.
In midfield Danny Williams deserves to start after smashing home his first U.S. goal vs. Holland and having him snapping away alongside Michael Bradley could be a good recipe, just like it was for the recent friendly in Switzerland. Fabian Johnson on the right flank is dangerous with him cutting inside and Gyasi Zardes will have to continue to learn how to develop as a winger and track back on the left. Up top Agudelo’s pace could do some damage and pairing him with Aron Johannsson could see the latter make a much bigger impact as holding the ball up isn’t his greatest strength but combination play in the final third is.
Options 2 and 3 combine to give youngsters a chance to shine and other players who have yet to feature. Those options also have a much more compact lineup as Klinsmann may shut up shop and try to let Germany break down the U.S. rather than going at them. However, the more open style of a 4-4-2 in option 1 would be my preference to not only see how some younger guys can cope with Germany but also if Bradley, Johnson and Johannsson can step up to the plate and lead the U.S. to another shock win.