Starting XI Really Irrelevant for the USMNT Against Mexico

By Douglas Smith
USMNT V Mexico DeAndre Yedlin
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The last week heading into tonight’s USMNT match against Mexico has gotten quieter by the second, but there is still a buzz ahead of taking on a rival. Julian Green is sure to make his debut tonight after his one-time switch was processed quickly. Maurice Edu should see the field for the first time in over a year with the national team. With a few players on the team still on the fringe to make the plane to the World Cup there should be plenty of substitutions, making the starting XI will just a sample of what to expect.

Green and Edu will probably have to wait until the second half to see the field as they battle for spots on the World Cup roster. Another player expected to come on as a substitute is Luis Gil. Chris Wondolowski and Clarence Goodson are the other players with good chances at minutes. Coach Jurgen Klinsmann lost a couple players when their club held them back, so his choices are more limited now, perhaps making the starters a foregone conclusion.






This is a standard starting lineup for Klinsmann who likes to make tactical changes in the second half. Eddie Johnson would be a target for Graham Zusi crosses, and the chemistry has to be rekindled between Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey. Klinsmann could go with more of an experiment and give Green more minutes, but that would likely mean that Donovan comes off or plays on the right given Green’s preference for the left side.

This lineup features at least nine men with World Cup roster spots. DeAndre Yedlin joins Green, Edu and Wondoloski as players on the outside looking in. Expect to see a lot of different faces tonight as Klinsmann eyes his preliminary roster that is due in a little over a month. Fans often analyze the starting lineup to a fault, but that analysis should be on anyone getting playing time.

Douglas Smith is a soccer writer for Follow him on Twitter @DFresh39, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google

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