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How will USMNT line up in critical Copa America match vs Costa Rica?

United States v Costa Rica - FIFA 2014 World Cup Qualifier

SAN JOSE, COSTA RICA - SEPTEMBER 06: Clint Dempsey #8 of the United States reacts after scoring off a penalty kick against Costa Rica during the FIFA 2014 World Cup Qualifier at Estadio Nacional on September 6, 2013 in San Jose, Costa Rica. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

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Here goes nothing.

Jurgen Klinsmann’s goal of the Copa America Centenario semifinals will be a dead with a Tuesday loss against CONCACAF foe Costa Rica.

The good news is that Costa Rica was dominated by Paraguay despite a 0-0 score line, and is coming off a day less rest than the USMNT. And the Yanks have traditionally played well at home in meaningful matches against Los Ticos.

[ MORE: Copa America Today ]

Personnel changes often in the world of international soccer, so it’s hard to judge what most managers will do based on previous encounters between two sides. This is especially so with Jurgen Klinsmann.

Michael Bradley’s off-night against Colombia could be viewed in one of two ways: That he’s unlikely to have another stinker in his preferred position, or that the USMNT is better served with him more advanced. Your guess is as good as ours whether Klinsmann will see it one way or the other, but would you doubt him taking any excuse to revert to Bradley high up the pitch?

Klinsmann used Clint Dempsey as a center forward between Bobby Wood and Gyasi Zardes versus Colombia, a move that flummoxed and angered many given that Wood and Zardes are at their best at CF. The manager clearly thought what he’d lose from Wood and Zardes on the wings was less than what he’d lose from trotting Dempsey out as a false nine or any other option.

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There are so many ways Klinsmann can go against a Costa Rica defense that will be without Kendall Waston (red card), Giancarlo Gonzalez and Keylor Navas. Will he move Fabian Johnson up to the wing and risk Edgar Castillo or Matt Besler at left back? Perhaps something in between, like this:

Yedlin -- Cameron -- Brooks -- Castillo


Jones -- Johnson


Dempsey -- Wood

If Klinsmann opts for something closer to a 4-3-3, which we’ve definitely seen a bit, it could look more like this:


Yedlin -- Cameron -- Brooks -- Castillo

Zusi -- Bradley -- Bedoya

Dempsey -- Wood -- Johnson

Follow @NicholasMendola