Skip to content

Jurgen Klinsmann gets his lineup selection spot on again

Jun 19, 2013, 8:35 AM EDT

FBL - WC2014 - QUALIFIER - USA - HON Getty Images

As the United States completed the 1-0 win over Honduras to pick up the full 9 points out of 9 possible in this round of World Cup qualifying matches, one thing became clear: not only has Jurgen Klinsmann found continuity in the U.S. lineup sheet, but also has fully capable backups in positions where needed.

In Salt Lake City, Klinsmann’s selections saw a slow yet methodical work rate on the pitch, plugging away at the Honduras defense until it cracked, with the opposition offering a few shots in return yet ultimately little danger.

Los Catrachos attempted to play for the 0-0 draw, funneling the U.S. into the middle where it remained considerably less dangerous than out wide.  It was a clear tactical maneuver, and worked for the entirety of the first half and into the second half.

Klinsmann’s lineup selection, however, continued to pick away until the dam gave way, and Jozy Altidore poked home from close range for the goal and three points.

Let’s look at the main talking points about the lineup Tuesday night:

– Klinsmann reinserted Jermaine Jones into the starting eleven, replacing Geoff Cameron who sparkled against Panama.  This was the easy route, as it would have taken serious guts to bench a healthy Jones, stick with Cameron and hope for more than just a one-hit wonder.  The main benefit of Cameron in the middle was allowing Michael Bradley leeway to venture forward into the attack.  With Jones back, Bradley disappeared again, but Jones was instrumental in the middle.  He fed the ball out wide, something which Honduras specifically attempted to prevent.

As the match went on, Jones pushed harder and harder to get the ball to Graham Zusi and Eddie Johnson on the wings.  The boss made the right move here.  It’s wonderful to know that Geoff Cameron is there when we need him, and he’s probably got a better long ball than Jermaine. But Jones is the guy and his point guard play in the beginning of buildups made the difference.  Jones had a few wonderful runs on the ball as well that pressed deep into the Honduras territory.

– Graham Zusi returned, replacing Fabian Johnson on the wing, and allowed Johnson to move back into left back.  It’s not exactly tactical brilliance considering this was the first choice setup before Zusi missed out against Panama for yellow card accumulation, but the two paired wonderfully yet again and it proved a number of things.

First, Fabian Johnson has established himself as the clear first choice left back.  DaMarcus Beasley has had an up and down (but mostly up) last year with the USMNT, but Johnson’s ability to cover the back and contribute out wide up front makes him an invaluable asset in the starting lineup.  It’s why I named him Man of the Match against Honduras.

Second, Zusi again provided both during open play on the wings and on set pieces.  The U.S. has proved its most dangerous when the ball is either out wide and crossed in, or on set plays.  Ever since Landon Donovan took his sabbatical, Zusi has been at the forefront of both those situations, and his accuracy has not only given the U.S. a venomous attack, but it’s also contributed to revitalizing Jozy Altidore’s international career.

– It must be pointed out that now eight members of Tuesday night’s starting lineup are sitting on a yellow card, and thanks to this idiotic rule, a number of them will most likely end up with another in the next few matches and be forced to sit out one in the near future. Those eight are: Jozy Altidore, Matt Besler, Michael Bradley, Brad Evans, Clint Dempsey, Tim Howard, Fabian Johnson, and newly Jermaine Jones.  In addition, Geoff Cameron has himself a yellow as well.

Just by the nature of their positions, Besler, Evans, and Jones are probably the most likely to end up with a second.  Clint also early last night looked like he was on a mission to get his second, but settled down when he realized the referee wasn’t having it.

Thanks to relatively clean play, the U.S. has a full squad for Costa Rica on September 6, but Klinsmann will no doubt have to shuffle a few things going forward.  Mexico follows that on September 10, but the U.S. can theoretically clinch a World Cup berth with a win in Costa Rica and some help, so it remains to be seen how important the matches down the stretch are.

Latest Posts
  1. Amid all the noise, United States coach Jill Ellis got the tactics right on Tuesday

    Jul 1, 2015, 12:12 AM EDT

    150630 Ellis Getty Images

    Jill Ellis takes a lot of criticism, but she got it right again on Tuesday, moves that got the U.S. into the World Cup final.

  2. Dos Santos rumors show us what the “core player” can mean to growing MLS

    Jun 30, 2015, 11:50 PM EDT

    Felipe Baloy, Giovani Dos Santos AP

    It’ll be an interesting story to follow as it unfolds across American soccer’s top flight.

  3. Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup roundup: Union, Orlando, Chicago move on as Charlotte bounced

    Jun 30, 2015, 11:20 PM EDT

    Orlando City's Kaka moves the ball against the Columbus Crew at the Orlando Citrus Bowl on Saturday, June 30, 2015, in Orlando, Fla. City won, 2-0, in the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open Cup. (Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel/TNS via Getty Images) Getty Images

    For 32 glorious minutes, we thought there was a good chance we’d see a third-tier side in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup’s quarterfinals.

  4. Three things learned: United States advances over Germany in epic Women’s World Cup semifinal

    Jun 30, 2015, 10:47 PM EDT

    USA v Germany: Semi-Final - FIFA Women's World Cup 2015 Getty Images

    The United States played its best soccer in two years with a victory over Germany in an epic win over Germany.

  5. Did Landon Donovan throw shade at Jurgen Klinsmann with celebratory USWNT Tweet?

    Jun 30, 2015, 10:03 PM EDT

    during the FIFA Women's World Cup 2015 Semi Final match between USA and Germany at Olympic Stadium on June 30, 2015 in Montreal, Canada. Getty Images

    Either Landon Donovan is emotionally removed from last summer’s World Cup roster omission drama, or the USMNT legend just passive-aggressively lashed out at former coach Jurgen Klinsmann.

  6. Argentina 6-1 Paraguay: La Albiceleste thump Los Guaraníes to set up blockbuster final vs Chile

    Jun 30, 2015, 9:38 PM EDT

    Argentina's defender Marcos Rojo (2-L) celebrates with teammates after scoring against Paraguay during their Copa America semifinal football match in Concepcion, Chile on June 30, 2015.    AFP PHOTO / NELSON ALMEIDA        (Photo credit should read NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images) Getty Images

    There will be a blockbuster final to the Copa America, as Argentina thumped Paraguay to cruise to the final.

  7. With the World Cup on the line, the USWNT gave us a vintage performance to savor

    Jun 30, 2015, 9:21 PM EDT

    USA's midfielder Carli Lloyd (R) fights for the ball with Germany's defender Saskia Bartusiak during their 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup semifinal match at Olympic Stadium in Montreal on June 30, 2015.    AFP PHOTO/NICHOLAS KAMM        (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images) Getty Images

    With one brilliant 90-minute performance, the United States reasserted itself as the best team in the world.

  8. United States defeats Germany, advances to Women’s World Cup final

    Jun 30, 2015, 9:00 PM EDT

    lloydscores Getty Images

    The U.S. is headed to the final for the fourth time in seven tournaments.

  9. Gervinho’s requests for helicopter, private beach end transfer interest of UAE club

    Jun 30, 2015, 7:04 PM EDT

    gervinho AP

    The Ivorian international, 28, appeared set for a 4-year deal worth about $14.5 million.

  10. FOLLOW LIVE: Copa America — Argentina and Paraguay battle for title date with Chile

    Jun 30, 2015, 6:41 PM EDT

    Argentina v Bosnia-Herzegovina: Group F - 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Getty Images

    There hasn’t been a single clean sheet kept in a match-up of these two teams since 2010. Should be a fun one.

  11. WATCH LIVE: The USWNT takes on Germany in the Women’s World Cup semifinals (Lineups, Live Stream)

    Jun 30, 2015, 6:12 PM EDT

    aaaalloyd Getty Images

    Lauren Holiday and Megan Rapinoe return from their yellow card suspensions to play starting roles in Tuesday’s Women’s World Cup semifinal.

  12. Reports: Galaxy on verge of landing El Tri star Dos Santos as “core player”

    Jun 30, 2015, 5:51 PM EDT

    VILLARREAL, SPAIN - DECEMBER 21:  Giovani Dos Santos of Villarreal in action during the La Liga match between Villarreal CF and Deportivo de La Coruna at El Madrigal on December 21, 2014 in Villarreal, Spain.  (Photo by Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images) Getty Images

    There’s haves, have nots and have a lots, and the Los Angeles Galaxy are in the final category.

  13. Knee injury forces Brad Davis out of Gold Cup; USMNT set to add Greg Garza

    Jun 30, 2015, 4:45 PM EDT

    HOUSTON, TX - MARCH 28:  Brad Davis #11 of the Houston Dynamo sits on the pitch during their game against the Colorado Rapids at BBVA Compass Stadium on March 28, 2015 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images) Getty Images

    A long-standing right bone bruise will keep the Houston Dynamo midfielder out of the upcoming Gold Cup.

  14. Report: Sepp Blatter will not attend Women’s World Cup final

    Jun 30, 2015, 4:04 PM EDT

    FIFA president Sepp Blatter gestures as he speaks during  a press conference on May 30, 2015 in Zurich after being re-elected during the FIFA Congress. Blatter said he was "shocked" at the way the US judiciary has targeted football's world body and slammed what he called a "hate" campaign by Europe's football leaders.  AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI        (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images) Getty Images

    An incredibly-confident man who branded himself the “Godfather of women’s football” certainly won’t relish sitting this one out.

  15. WATCH LIVE: Quarterfinal spots up for grabs in US Open Cup fifth round

    Jun 30, 2015, 3:45 PM EDT

    US Open Cup trophy Getty Images

    How to stay in touch with all the Open Cup action in Tuesday’s four games.

  16. Nigel Pearson fired as manager by Leicester City

    Jun 30, 2015, 3:11 PM EDT

    Nigel Pearson, Leicester City FC Nigel Pearson, Leicester City FC

    Foxes decide to fire Pearson despite the greatest of “great escapes” during the 2014-15 season.

  17. Top goalkeepers Hope Solo, Nadine Angerer clash in USA-Germany semifinal

    Jun 30, 2015, 2:20 PM EDT

    OTTAWA, ON - JUNE 26: Hope Sollo of USA smiles during the FIFA Women's World Cup 2015 Quarter Final match between China and United States at Lansdowne Stadium on June 26, 2015 in Ottawa, Canada.  (Photo by Lars Baron - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images) Getty Images

    The two best goalkeepers in the world square off in the Women’s World Cup semifinals.

  18. NBC Sports to air Barclays Asia Trophy as Arsenal, Everton and Stoke head to Singapore

    Jun 30, 2015, 1:29 PM EDT

    PremierLeagueNBC

    Find out how to watch the preseason tournament in Singapore live, here.

  19. How should USWNT line up against Germany in World Cup semifinal?

    Jun 30, 2015, 12:43 PM EDT

    China v United States: Quarter Final - FIFA Women's World Cup 2015 China v United States: Quarter Final - FIFA Women's World Cup 2015

    With a huge World Cup encounter hours away, USWNT head coach Jill Ellis has a lot to ponder.

Featured video

PST Extra: Sterling & latest transfer gossip