By Bryan Zarpentine @BZarp on April 8, 2014
After last week’s 2-2 tie with Mexico, there are no more friendly matches left before USMNT coach Jurgen Klinsmann has to name his preliminary 30-man roster for the 2014 World Cup. Klinsmann has a lot of tough decisions ahead of him when it comes to putting the roster together and deciding on a starting lineup for the opening match against Ghana. With two months left before the start of the World Cup, here’s a prediction of the USMNT starting 11.
Howard is having a great year for Everton in the EPL and he looks ready to have a great World Cup in net for the U.S. this summer.
There's still no one that looks like a threat to take the left back job away from Beasley. Michael Parkhurst is a nice player, but he's not a World Cup starter, and unless Jurgen Klinsmann wants to move Fabian Johnson to left back, Beasley will be the starter when the World Cup gets underway.
Besler has firmly solidified his spot in the starting 11. He's been solid in the back time and time again for the U.S. and he has the speed needed to run with some of the strikers the Americans will face this summer, making Besler an essential part of the team.
Right now, Goodson is a more reliable choice than option than Omar Gonzalez. Gonzalez has good size to match up physically with quality strikers, but he has too many lapses that the U.S. simply can't afford in the World Cup. Goodson will bring the back line some much-needed experience and is the most dependable player Jurgen Klinsmann can put on the back line right now.
Cameron is playing too well in the EPL right now to not have a spot in the starting 11, and the best place to put him on the field is right back. Brad Evans has missed some time, including the Mexico match, due to injury, and while he has time to recover, that injury could take him out of form while Cameron continues to play well.
Despite not playing a lot of games with the national team recently, Johnson is still a playmaker on the left side that the U.S. needs this summer, and there's no doubt that he should be in the starting 11 for the World Cup opener.
Kyle Beckerman made a strong case for why he should be paired with Michael Bradley during the Mexico match, but Jurgen Klinsmann needs to stick with what got him here, and Jones and Bradley have been the center midfield combination for a long time, and that's the duo that's going to start in Brazil this summer.
Bradley showed in the Mexico game why he's the best American soccer player in the world right now, with the possible exception of Tim Howard. Bradley is obviously going to be in the starting 11, and he's going to be a catalyst for U.S. success this summer.
Zusi was a big part of the attack against Mexico, and his ability to send crosses into the box is an asset that the U.S. needs on the field during the World Cup. Some would give this spot to Landon Donovan, but right now Zusi is the better option and Donovan would be better served coming off the bench.
It's been a long time since Dempsey was in top form with the national team, but no one is better than looking awful for 90 minutes but being able to have one moment of brilliance that delivers a goal. As bad as Dempsey has looked in recent months, he has a knack for scoring goals and he's done so in the World Cup previously, and the U.S. needs to have him on the field.
This spot could still go to Jozy Altidore, but Johannsson is scoring goals for his club team while Altidore can barely get on the field, and Jurgen Klinsmann will have to go with the player that's in form and scoring goals. Klinsmann can easily bump Clint Dempsey up to forward and play a 4-4-2, and having Dempsey and Johannsson is a bad duo to have up top heading into the World Cup.
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