THE WSS USMNT XI (AUGUST 2013)
In a new series, World Soccer Source will propose a hypothetical United States Men’s National Team Starting XI that could possible improve the play of the United States.
Additionally, World Soccer Source will propose a Starting XI that is likely the first-choice of the U.S. national team coach.
For August 2013, World Soccer Source proposes the following Starting XI in a 4-1-2-1-2 Formation:
GOALKEEPER: Tim HOWARD
RIGHT BACK: DeAndre YEDLIN
CENTER BACK: Andrew FARRELL
CENTER BACK: Shane O’NEILL
LEFT BACK: Chris KLUTE
MIDFIELD DESTROYER: Geoff CAMERON
BOX-TO-BOX MIDFIELDER: Michael BRADLEY
BOX-TO-BOX MIDFIELDER: Benji JOYA
CENTRAL ATTACKING MIDFIELDER: Joe Benny CORONA
SECOND STRIKER: Clint DEMPSEY
FIRST STRIKER: Jozy ALTIDORE
The Starting USMNT Starting XI Formation above would line up as follows:
HOWARD; YEDLIN, FARRELL, O’NEILL, KLUTE; CAMERON; BRADLEY, JOYA; CORONA; ALTIDORE, DEMPSEY.
Jürgen Klinsmann has repeatedly expressed his desire to play proactive, one-to-two touch soccer where the attack starts from the back. This Starting XI aims to do just that.
DeAndre Yedlin and Chris Klute as the right back and left back bring electrifying speed and excellent technical ability on the ball. Both players look to get forward and both players have the defensive skills in addition to the speed to strengthen the USMNT’s ability to defend out wide.
Andrew Farrell is naturally a center back who has been playing as a right back. His comfort on the ball and his willingness to pass and go forward have been seen by everyone watching MLS closely, and this combination of athleticism and the ability to pass and dribble out of the final third, not to mention his keen defensive instincts and defensive fundamentals, make him a legitimate option at center back.
Farrell’s center back partner should be Shane O’Neill. O’Neill has received widespread praise for his overall skill-set and his defensive positioning and abilities. Like Farrell, O’Neill can play more than one defensive position, and Tab Ramos has praised O’Neill as the type of center back that the USMNT needs to be using.
The Front Six requires less explaining.
Geoff Cameron’s athleticism, passing, tackling, and overall technical ability are well-known, and there was a general consensus that he was more willing to hang back deeper to play the midfield destroyer role than Jermaine Jones.
Michael Bradley has developed into more of a box-to-box midfielder than in years past, and pairing Bradley with another box-to-box midfielder like Benji Joya could bring a nice balance of better attacking and playmaker abilities (Joya) and tireless running combined with strong defensive abilities and excellent passing skills (Bradley).
To be clear, while both Joya and Bradley attack and defend, Joya is better at playing final balls and setting up goals than Bradley, and Bradley is better at covering more territory to maintain ball possession than Joya.
The combination of two box-to-box midfielders who excel at different things and who both have a midfield destroyer behind them will help the United States to win the battle of the midfield.
Joe Benny Corona has proven to Klinsmann that he is a viable goal-scoring playmaker that can bring playmaking abilities that Dempsey and Donovan don’t have. Corona is a necessary and vital link between players like Bradley and players like Dempsey and Altidore.
Klinsmann’s Possible USMNT XI:
Tim HOWARD; Timothy CHANDLER, Michael OROZCO, Matt BESLER, Fabian JOHNSON; Geoff CAMERON; Michael BRADLEY, Jermaine JONES; Clint DEMPSEY; Jozy ALTIDORE, Landon DONOVAN.