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How will the USA line up vs. Germany?

Jun 24, 2014, 8:50 AM EDT

There is just over 48 hours to go until the USA face their final Group G game vs. Germany in Recife.

You’e already nervous, aren’t you? Don’t worry, as am I. Let’s try and quell those prematch nerves by speculating who will start and what formation the U.S. will deploy against Joachim Low’s German powerhouse on Thursday. Yeah… that should do the trick.

[ RELATED: World Cup news, analysis from Soccerly ] 

With the USA only needing a point in their final group match to punch a ticket out of the “group of death” and into the Round of 16, there’s a few different ways they could approach this. The main school of thought, especially if you listen to Jurgen Klinsmann’s comments, is that the U.S. will carry on with the status quo and play the same personnel and formation which has fared well vs. Ghana and Portugal. However, with Germany by far the strongest side they will face in group play and Klinsmann’s men only needing a draw, a more cautious lineup and approach may be followed.

Here’s a look at three different ways the USA could lineup vs. Germany on Thursday, with brief explanations as to why it could work. The midfield and attack have been tweaked in all three, with the USA’s defense staying the same after two solid showings so far.

Plan A: Stick with the tried and tested…

The simplest and most likely option, Klinsmann has already spoken about “going for the win” and sticking to his sides philosophy. Starting with the same lineup that drew with Portugal 2-2 in Manaus is the safe option, but is it the best option after his players suffered 90 minutes of draining play in the intense Amazonian humidity? It depends on if Jozy Altidore is fit and ready to come back into the lineup but more than likely he will be on the bench, at best, so the lineup will remain the same. (UPDATE: Altidore is officially out.)

——–Howard——–

Johnson—Cameron—Besler—Beasley

——–Beckerman——–

—Zusi—Bradley—Jones—Bedoya—

——–Dempsey——–

Plan B: Ultra-defensive 

After all, the Germans have scored six goals already during the World Cup and have the likes of Mesut Ozil, Thomas Muller, Miroslav Klose, Lukas Podolski and a whole host of other attacking talents at their disposal. Wowza. If the U.S. are feeling drained from their tireless opening two games, it may serve them well to sit back and soak up the pressure, then aim to strike Germany on the counter. After all, don’t forget, they only need a point to advance. A narrow 4-5-1 formation, with Seattle Sounders youngster DeAndre Yedlin coming into the lineup over Bedoya out wide could happen. Can the USA soak up German pressure for the entire 90 minutes though? It would be a big ask.

——–Howard——–

Johnson—Cameron—Besler—Beasley

—Yedlin—Beckerman—Jones—Bradley—Zusi—

——–Dempsey——–

Plan C: All-out attack

Maybe Klinsmann just goes all out for the win which would see the U.S. avoid Belgium in the last 16 and instead have a much more favorable tie against our old friends Algeria or perhaps Russia or South Korea. If Altidore is back fit, maybe he comes into the lineup from the start, more likely is that Johannsson or Wondolowski come in to partner Clint Dempsey in attack  with Zusi pushed higher. This would be a daring move against a stacked German side, but maybe one they aren’t expecting. A 4-3-3 formation close to the one we saw deployed at times during qualification and the Gold Cup a could work well, but it is also a huge risk.

——–Howard——–

Johnson—Cameron—Besler—Beasley

Bradley—Beckerman—Jones

Zusi—Dempsey—Johannsson

  1. cartrasuma - Jun 24, 2014 at 9:20 AM

    What formation did Ghana run against Germany? I’m voting for that one.

  2. geojock - Jun 24, 2014 at 9:21 AM

    I wouldnt mind seeing some fresh legs in the game after the straining effort of the Amazon game. Davis provides some calming presence on the ball and if we go the defensive route he would be good to take advantage of set pieces. I like Yedlins speed and fresh legs, but he makes me nervous as a starter against Germany. Definitely should be a sub though. Davis, Yedlin and Mix should all need to get some minutes if we are going to have the legs to stay with Germany. Please no Omar subs.

    • midtec2005 - Jun 24, 2014 at 10:01 AM

      You raise a good point, I don’t see many negatives to playing Davis instead of Bedoya. He certainly plays a good cross.

      • rafibomb10 - Jun 24, 2014 at 10:14 AM

        I disagree. To me Brad Davis is the last man off the bench. How he made the team, at 32 and slower than dirt is beyond me.

        I would like to see Mixx and Yedlin though. I can’t disagree with that my friend. Mixx is the truth!

      • kellybeck15 - Jun 24, 2014 at 11:55 AM

        Bedoya is a willing defender with pace and a high work rate. You need that to offset Zusi on the other side. Davis would grind the game to a half on that wing. He is a late game sub for set pieces, nothing more.

        Bedoya is out there for a lack of other reasonable options (Yedlin is a long way from being able to start out of position at the World Cup ).

  3. midtec2005 - Jun 24, 2014 at 10:00 AM

    I tend to think that a 4-4-2 with a diamond midfield, and Wondo next to Dempsey, would be more likely than plan C.

  4. rafibomb10 - Jun 24, 2014 at 10:16 AM

    I would love to see them trot out the Plan C 4-3-3, but I doubt it happens. It may be a little risky for possibly the biggest match it US soccer history. I coach my team the 4-3-3 so I am a little biased. I think it is more likely for Jurgi to go with the formation vs Portugal, but possibly a fresh set of legs or two. Bedoya just doesn’t do it for me. And in two World Cup games Super Zusi has two assists. I like that!

  5. bdh75gunner - Jun 24, 2014 at 12:39 PM

    ———————Howard—-
    –Johnson–Cameron–Besler–Beasley
    ——Bedoya–Beckerman–Jones
    ———Diskerud–Dempsey
    —————–Wondo (or Johannsen)–

  6. herogoesallin - Jun 24, 2014 at 3:41 PM

    the knee’s from all US players are already shaking. mighty germany will kick you out of the tournament!!!! all the soccer bandwagon fans in the US can conentrate on baseball and softball again.

    • midtec2005 - Jun 24, 2014 at 4:45 PM

      Cute

    • schmutzdeck - Jun 24, 2014 at 6:46 PM

      softball?

      Only if you are talking about women’s fast pitch.

  7. shardsoffire - Jun 24, 2014 at 6:32 PM

    I wouldn’t mind if Bradley sat on the bench this game.

  8. dreeekk - Jun 25, 2014 at 7:41 AM

    Dear Mr. Authori, Did you forget that Jones was yellow carded and won’t be playing vs. Germany ?

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