Takeaways from the United States’ World Cup Qualifiers against Honduras and Panama

Takeaways from the United States’ World Cup Qualifiers against Honduras and Panama

The United States beat Honduras and drew with Panama for an important four points in World Cup qualifying, but the United States should have taken the full six points from these two games. Bruce Arena reverted to an overly conservative lineup against Panama with both Michael Bradley and Jermaine Jones in the center of the midfield, and Arena’s center back choices, Omar Gonzalez and Tim Ream, looked bad against Panama. With Jones in the midfield, the U.S. lost the passing skill and attacking flair they showed with Christian Pulisic as the Number 10 behind Clint Dempsey and Jozy Altidore.

Here are some of the big takeaways from the United States’ two World Cup qualifiers against Honduras and Panama:

Bruce Arena Is a Bigger Proponent of Skill Soccer than Jürgen Klinsmann

Bruce Arena is a bigger proponent of skill soccer than Jürgen Klinsmann, which is strange. Klinsmann is one of the all-time leaders in World Cup goals as a striker, but he never fielded the players and formations needed to really attack opponents. In every game that Arena has coached for the United States in his second coaching stint, he has fielded proactive lineups with as many technical and creative players as he could fit into the lineup. Arena had multiple injuries to deal with against Panama, so that lineup was not as technical, creative, and attack-minded as his Honduras lineup. Nevertheless, Klinsmann’s lineups were never as bold and attack-minded as Arena’s, who used to be known for always using the 4-4-2 formation with two defensive midfielders, except for his use of Sebastian Lletget as the other central midfielder for the LA Galaxy in 2016. With the U.S., Arena’s preference has been to use two forwards with three attacking midfielders and only one defensive midfielder, and Arena was even bold enough to let Christian Pulisic be the team’s Number 10 over both Benny Feilhaber and Sacha Kljestan.

Christian Pulisic Should Be the United States’ Permanent Number 10

As soon as Christian Pulisic was allowed to play the Number 10 role, he attacked opponents directly with speed, skill, and vision, and he created four goals for Clint Dempsey in two games. To be fair, one of Dempsey’s goals was a free kick, but Pulisic directly set up three of Dempsey’s four goals. Pulisic has already displayed a full array of passing and attacking skills in the Bundesliga, and as one media member put it, the fact that Panama instantly chose to hack and push Pulisic around was the ultimate sign of respect for his abilities.

Bruce Arena must focus on improving his defense

The United States was without three of its four defenders against Panama, but nevertheless, both Omar Gonzalez and Tim Ream just looked not good enough to be playing for the U.S. Perhaps Ream was just a little nervy at times, but Gonzalez is not quick enough and fast enough to be starting. Arena will have to commit to using Walker Zimmerman and Steve Birnbaum when Geoff Cameron and John Brooks are out, and Arena must also look for some more center backs. Andrew Farrell is one option because his combines the defending, speed, and skill on the ball to play at the international level. Surely, the U.S. has some other center backs as well.

Clint Dempsey Looks Like He’s Still in His Prime

Fresh off of recovering from an irregular heartbeat, Clint Dempsey played like a monster against Honduras and Panama. Deuce benefited from playing with Pulisic, but all of Dempsey’s goals except the fourth one required a ton of skill; the fourth goals required coolness in front of the goal more than anything as the goal was all Pulisic’s work. Not only is Dempsey’s touch and finishing looking sharp, but physically he looked light on his feet and fast. Dempsey has never been lightning fast, but his overly all athletic ability has been underrated as many mischaracterized him as mostly a toughness player. Dempsey has stood out as an American for his skill on the ball, trickery, and clinical finishing, but his continued ability to run all game and beat people in a foot race are also important.


Who Should the United States against Panama?

Who Should the United States against Panama?

Whatever Bruce Arena does, he should be sure not to change the attack-minded nature of the United States’ lineup that beat Honduras 6-0. Arena only used one defensive midfielder, Michael Bradley, as opposed to using a defensive midfielder and a box-to-box midfielder, and this allowed the United States to overload its lineup with attacking players without having too little defensive coverage in front of the defense.

There’s no reason to change goalkeepers, especially since Brad Guzan isn’t even on the roster, so Tim Howard should start in goal again. However, the rest of the defense will have some changes as one of the two starting center backs, John Brooks, is unavailable. Arena was using Geoff Cameron at right back, but Arena may need to move him back to center back because otherwise the center of the American defense may be too week.

The U.S. could start Cameron with Tim Ream, and this would give the United States two athletic and technical center backs to try to get three more points against Panama. Omar Gonzalez is a decent center back, but he frequently looks prone to be wrong-footed or outfoxed with lateral quickness and speed. Likewise, Matt Besler, the only U.S. center back option, is fast but somewhat mediocre for international play. If Arena wants to be really bold again, then he could use Walker Zimmerman who is fast enough, technical enough, and aggressive enough to make for a quality center back in international play. Compared to Gonzalez and Besler, Zimmerman is likely harder to get past and more intimidating for attackers.

In the Front Six, which would include the defensive midfielder, the three attacking midfielders, and the two forwards, the United States should change as little as possible from the lineup that pounded Honduras. For one of the first times ever, the United States looked like they were playing skill soccer, and that lineup produced quick passing, creative play, and goals. Since one of those starters, Sebastian Lletget, cannot start against Panama due to injury, Arena should let Paul Arriola start at right wing over Alejandro Bedoya. Arriola is playing great for Club Tijuana, and Arriola plays the type of free-flowing soccer that Clint Dempsey, Christian Pulisic, Jozy Altidore, and Darlington Nagbe play.

Here’s who the United States should start against Panama:

Goalkeeper: Tim Howard

Right Back: Geoff Cameron

Center Back: Omar Gonzalez

Center Back: Tim Ream

Left Back: Jorge Villafaña

Defensive Midfielder: Michael Bradley

Right Wing: Paul Arriola

Attacking Midfielder: Christian Pulisic

Left Wing: Darlington Nagbe

Forward: Jozy Altidore

Forward: Clint Dempsey


The United States Routs Honduras with Attack-Heavy Lineup

The United States Routs Honduras with Attack-Heavy Lineup

Bruce Arena fielded an attack-heavy U.S. Men’s National Team lineup with only one defensive midfielder, and it allowed the U.S. to destroy Honduras 6-0. Previous coaches of the United States, including Arena, were always reluctant to field lineups with multiple creative attacking players who could facilitate possession and proactive play, but Arena’s lineup allowed for lots of combination play and goals. He started Sebastian Lletget, Christian Pulisic, Darlington Nagbe, Clint Dempsey, and Jozy Altidore all at the same time. American soccer fans have been waiting for the United States to beat a decent opponent with skill instead of just hustle and heart for a long time.

Max Bretos of ESPN commented on social media during the game that Clint Dempsey had been waiting for five years for a player like Christian Pulisic who could feed him passes and combine with him, and how true this is. Dempsey and Pulisic were also combining with Lletget, Nagbe, and Altidore, who displayed a massive improvement in his ball control and deftness in tight spaces with little time to think and react.

Even without Bobby Wood starting, the United States was stretching the Honduran defense as Pulisic, Dempsey, Altidore, and Lletget all took turns making runs. Arena deserves lots of credit for fielding such an attack-minded lineup, and the decision to use Pulisic as a Number 10 or attacking midfielder rather than using Sacha Kljestan was key to opening up the Honduran defense and getting the most out of Altidore and Dempsey.

Arena was also fairly bold in his decision to let Jorge Villafaña start at left back where he displayed attacking skill going forward along with the endurance, speed, and defending to mark Honduras’ attackers. Villafaña always slowed up his attacking counterpart either by getting in front of him or dispossessing him. Even when Villafaña was beaten or out of position, he recovered enough ground to prevent any dangerous advances on the USA goal.

The United States will be without Lletget for the next World Cup qualifier against Panama, but Arena should be praised again for calling up Paul Arriola to replace him, as Arriola brings many of the same attacking and technical qualities that Lletget brought to the right wing. Alejandro Bedoya did a fine job of subbing in for Lletget after Lletget was hacked and injured, and using Bedoya against Panama would be acceptable since he showed more impact and effectiveness than in recent previous appearances.

Whether the coach of the United States uses Kellyn Acosta in the midfield with Bradley or goes with Bedoya or Arriola in a line of three attacking midfielders, the U.S. should have more than enough quality, speed, and verve to beat Panama on Tuesday in Panama. Look for Arena to field a similar type of proactive lineup again, even if that means using Acosta as a central midfielder to be Bradley’s deputy because Acosta brings aggressive, direct, and skillful play to the team.

Big Bruce overloaded the USA lineup with technical and creative attacking players against Honduras. Will he do it again against Panama, and will it signal a change in the United States’ playing style?

Attack Key for the United States against Honduras

Attack Key for the United States against Honduras

The attack will be the key for the United States to beat Honduras in the upcoming World Cup qualifier in San Jose, California. The American defense will be in disarray without any of the normal starting right backs available to Bruce Arena, and the United States must use a creative and fast attack to beat Honduras.

The U.S. will be without its best center forward, Bobby Wood, but Jordan Morris can offer more speed and more aggressive direct play than Jozy Altidore who plays with less urgency. Because Wood is unavailable, using Morris allows the United States to get behind the Honduran defense and create scoring chances.

Clint Dempsey, Christian Pulisic, and Sebastian Lletget are all available to play as the line of three attacking midfielders behind Morris (if he starts over Altidore), and among those three, look for Dempsey to play as the playmaker in the middle with Pulisic and Lletget possibly flanking Dempsey.

Darlington Nagbe is another wing option, but so far, Nagbe has only played left wing which is where Pulisic, the better player, usually starts.

The United States cannot claim that they are forced to field a weakened attack with those players because those players are by and large better than what the United States has been able to field over the last couple of decades. Sure, the United States had Landon Donovan and Dempsey as wings, but the overall skill and speed of the attack wasn’t as good as the four players the United States has available against Honduras.

Arena has Michael Bradley and Kellyn Acosta to play as the defensive midfielder and box-to-box midfielder behind the line of three attacking midfielders, and that’s too much overall skill and athleticism to reasonably complain about. The United States do have some shuffling to do in the defense, but the attack should be able to compensate for it.

It will be interesting to see just how courageous Arena will be with his lineup. Will he trot out the likes of Alejandro Bedoya, Sacha Kljestan, and Altidore, or will be really look to field an aggressive and technical midfield and attack?


October 2013 USMNT Roster Proposal


Joe Benny Corona (Photo: Evan Habeeb/USA TODAY Sports)
Joe Benny Corona (Photo: Evan Habeeb/USA TODAY Sports)


Since the United States has already qualified for the 2014 World Cup and since Jürgen Klinsmann is frequently fond of talking about throwing players into the cold water, he might as well use the upcoming World Cup qualifiers to let the new or young talents in the player pool join the Polar Bear Club with swan dives and cannonballs.

As the United States Men’s National Team has already qualified for the 2013 World Cup, Klinsmann should use the final two World Cup qualifiers to test the player pool, in order to see who should start or be on the roster with the U.S.’ strongest players like Tim Howard, Michael Bradley, Jermaine Jones, Geoff Cameron, Clint Dempsey, Landon Donovan, Jozy Altidore, and Aron Jóhannsson.

On the other hand, another coaching philosophy would be to use a mixture of the best of the most-proven players with new players.

World Soccer Source proposes calling up the following players to test out the depth and talent of the American player pool:


CENTER BACKS (4): John Anthony BROOKS, Shane O’NEILL, Andrew FARRELL, Amobi OKUGO






USMNT Starting XI Proposal: 

Guzan; Yedlin/Farrell, O’Neill, Brooks, Klute; Cameron, Joya; Corona, Hernandez, Diskerud; Agudelo/Boyd.



Since the United States has already qualified for the 2014 World Cup, there’s no reason to call up Tim Howard, Michael Bradley, Clint Dempsey, Landon Donovan, Fabian Johnson, Jozy Altidore, or Aron Jóhannsson because all of these players have thoroughly demonstrated an ability to perform at the highest level.

These October World Cup qualifiers should be used to test out newer players who have demonstrated a real potential to possibly improve the United States Men’s National Team.

Geoff Cameron, Andrew Farrell, Amobi Okugo, and Shane O’Neill play at least one more position than where they’ve been designated in the roster listed above. Cameron, Farrell, and O’Neill play center back, outside back, and defensive midfielder, whereas Okugo plays as a center back or as a defensive midfielder.

Since Cameron could use some minutes as a defensive midfielder with the national team, World Soccer Source has proposed calling him up to this roster, which is without many of the regular U.S. starters.

Gyasi Zardes is a striker that has been frequently playing as a wing for the LA Galaxy this season, and José Villarreal can play as a second striker or as an attacking midfielder.

Proven-performers like Benny Feilhaber, Jonathan Spector, Eric Lichaj, and Freddy Adu fall into a different category than the players listed above as players who have performed at the highest level under Klinsmann because Feilhaber, Spector, Lichaj, and Adu are players Klinsmann has simply frozen out of the national team without a clear reason, even when he needed them.

The point of these October World Cup qualifiers should be to see who should start with players like Geoff Cameron, Jermaine Jones, Michael Bradley, Clint Dempsey, Landon Donovan, Jozy Altidore, and Aron Jóhannsson.

The United States needs a right back, a left back, a center back, and a playmaker, but the United States also needs to know the best group of 23 players and the best Starting XI. There’s no way to learn these things without testing out players in the upcoming World Cup qualifiers and friendlies, and the United States has already qualified for the 2014 World Cup, which allows Klinsmann to focus on evaluating players more than the result of the games.


Who Should the USMNT Start vs. Mexico?



Joe Benny Corona (Photo: Evan Habeeb/USA TODAY Sports)
Joe Benny Corona (Photo: Evan Habeeb/USA TODAY Sports)

Jürgen Klinsmann finds himself in a difficult situation as Michael Bradley is injured for the United States Men’s National Team’s crucial World Cup qualifier against Mexico, especially since Klinsmann has relied on a combination of Michael Bradley and Clint Dempsey to fulfill playmaking responsibilities for the United States Men’s National Team, as opposed to using a true playmaker.

For all of Klinsmann’s talk about this not being the time to experiment, the defensive back four that Klinsmann used against Costa Rica was a makeshift back four including Michael Orozco, who was blamed for the loss, besides not being responsible for a single Costa Rican goal.

The game was lost in the midfield, and Costa Rica was one goal away from victimizing the United States with a goleada.

With Michael Bradley injured and Geoff Cameron, Matt Besler, and Jozy Altidore suspended, Klinsmann replaced those four players with Joe Benny Corona, Clarence Goodson, José Torres, and Brad Davis.

There’s no way for an objective observer to look at the replacements called in and not be concerned. While Joe Benny Corona has proved his skill and worth against top competition in the Copa Libertadores and against Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brad Davis, Clarence Goodson, and José Torres never really have.

The United States needed a right back, a defensive midfielder, a talented first striker, and a playmaker to face Mexico, and Klinsmann was incapable of making the selections that were necessary with the exception of Joe Benny Corona.

Once again, Klinsmann will be using a makeshift Starting XI where the outside backs will likely be scrambling, and the center backs likely won’t be agile enough to keep up with Chicharito, Oribe Peralta, and Giovanni Dos Santos, among others.

As Klinsmann called up Clarence Goodson, it’s very possible that he will start with Omar Gonzalez at center back, but maybe, just maybe, Klinsmann elects to start Orozco at center back to keep up with Mexico’s speed and skill on the ball.

Looking objectively, Goodson and Gonzalez do not really have the agility, skill, or overall speed to keep up with Mexico’s attackers.

If Chicharito, Peralta, Dos Santos, and Reyna or Aquino all start for Mexico, then the American defense is in trouble, if Klinsmann uses Orozco, Gonzalez, Goodson, and Beasley as his back four.

Circumstances dictated that Jürgen Klinsmann should have called in a dynamic defensive midfielder to play in place of Michael Bradley, and Kyle Beckerman definitely does not have the physical gifts to keep up with Mexico’s attackers without fouling them.

If Jermaine Jones elects to constantly push up, then Beckerman will be forced to hold off superior Mexican players who can beat him with speed, quickness, skill, or all three.

Nevertheless, Klinsmann’s likely strategy is to start Jermaine Jones and Kyle Beckerman in front of a back four of Michael Orozco, Omar Gonzalez, Clarence Goodson, and Fabian Johnson.

Klinsmann could go with something else, but his past history, his recent roster replacements, and his comments to the press seem to make a deviation from the formation described above unlikely.

There is an argument to be made that since Clarence Goodson wasn’t on the original roster (presumably because Geoff Cameron, John Anthony Brooks, Omar Gonzalez, Matt Besler, and Michael Orozco were), then Orozco is more likely to feature at center back with Omar Gonzalez.

Either way, divining Klinsmann’s Starting XIs is total guesswork.

In front of the players prognosticated above, the USMNT is sure to use Landon Donovan, Clint Dempsey, and either Eddie Johnson or Aron Jóhannsson.

With Joe Benny Corona and Mix Diskerud on the roster, Klinsmann could start Diskerud alongside Jermaine Jones, or he could start him in between Donovan and Dempsey as a central attacking midfielder, which would then mean that Fabian Johnson would be started at left back.

Another option is for Klinsmann to use the following Front Six: Jones, Diskerud; Donovan, Corona, Dempsey; Jóhannsson or Eddie Johnson. This option would relegate Beckerman to the bench and Fabian Johnson to left back.

There is really no way to predict whether Klinsmann will start Diskerud or Corona or both in some capacity, nor is there any way to accurately predict his Starting XI, given all of the problems against Costa Rica, the roster additions, and the need to neutralize a talented and motivated Mexican national team.

Nevertheless, looking at the roster, it appears that Klinsmann plans on starting the following Starting XI:


World Soccer Source believes that Mexico poses a major threat to the United States and that major changes are needed to beat Mexico.

Possession was a problem against Costa Rica, and the United States needs to use a faster and more skilled defensive back four to face Mexico.

Starting Fabian Johnson at right back and Edgar Castillo at left back may be the best the United States can do with this roster.

Using Michael Parkhurst and Michael Orozco at center back gives the United States defenders with the skill, positional sense, and quickness to do a better job of containing Mexico’s attackers.

Both Mix Diskerud and Joe Benny Corona need to be started to allow Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey to have teammates who can maintain possession and play on their level.

The 4-6-0 formation used against Costa Rica was a bad idea, and the USMNT would be smart to start a talented and in-form European goal-scorer like Aron Jóhannsson.

Jóhannsson should create plenty of scoring opportunities for himself, and he should put himself in good positions in order to receive final balls from Jones, Diskerud, Donovan, Corona, and Dempsey.

World Soccer Source would like to see the Starting XI below:



A USMNT Front Six with Dempsey, Holden, and Corona


Photo by John Todd/ISIPhotos.com
Photo by John Todd/ISIPhotos.com


After seeing Geoff Cameron and Michael Bradley partner well together as something close to a defensive midfielder partnership, the next step for Jürgen Klinsmann is to start three attacking midfielders in front of them against Honduras.


While Cameron and Bradley do much more than breaking up the opposition’s possession and helping to protect the defensive back four, starting three dynamic attacking midfielders such as Clint Dempsey, Stuart Holden, and Joe Corona would give the United States Men’s National Team the chance to see how the passing could be improved even more from the Panama game without taking any real risks.


Playing as a left midfielder with the freedom to roam around the field is not a new or unnatural role for Dempsey, and Holden and Corona are attacking midfielders who have plenty of experience plus all of the tools to help the USMNT continue to improve its possession and passing ability.


Starting four defenders and two defensive midfielders (even of the more box-to-box variety) is considered by many to be a fairly defensive line-up, therefore starting Dempsey, Holden, and Corona in front of the two defensive midfielders is hardly an overly attack-minded line-up.


These three attacking midfielders gives Klinsmann the chance to see his vision for the U.S. national team go to the next level.


Klinsmann had to like the type of passing and off the ball movement he saw against Panama, and using Holden and Corona provides him with the chance of taking his vision of proactive soccer to the next level without using inexperienced or unproven players.


Starting Corona is a decision that Klinsmann needs to make, if he’s serious about taking the United States national team to the next level.


Based on the type of combination play Altidore and Dempsey were displaying against Panama, the next logical step is to play someone like Corona behind them, in order to give them the types of final balls they are looking for.  Nice chemistry between a first and second striker poses a real threat to a defense, but a playmaker behind players of Altidore and Dempsey’s skill level is even more of a threat.


Although Dempsey in this system would be starting as an attacking midfielder on paper, Dempsey will be looking to slip behind the Honduran defense and provide support for Altidore.


Holden and Corona aren’t liabilities as starters, but if people view them as somewhat risky, the risk cannot be much more than minimal.

The USMNT’s Christmas Tree Option Against Honduras



With Clint Dempsey and Jozy Altidore up top, the USMNT can use the Christmas Tree Formation against Honduras. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
With Clint Dempsey and Jozy Altidore in attack, the USMNT can use the Christmas Tree Formation against Honduras. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)


The Christmas Tree formation, a.k.a. L’albero di Natale, is a tactical option against Honduras next Tuesday.


With Geoff Cameron, Jermaine Jones, and Michael Bradley all possessing strong technical and defensive abilities, these three players in a line of three in front of the defensive back four could neutralize Honduras’ technical ability and speed while also stuffing the midfield with technically-skilled midfielders who like to circulate the ball around quickly.


Using Cameron, Jones, and Bradley is much different than the three defensive midfielder formation that Jürgen Klinsmann used to use with the United States Men’s National Team because all three players have a superior combination of athleticism and skill than Danny Williams, Kyle Beckerman, and to a lesser extent, Maurice Edu.


On paper, this Christmas Tree formation looks overly defensive, but given the playing style and skill-level of Cameron, Bradley, and Jones, these three defensive midfielders don’t just sit back and play defense; all three are able to facilitate possession soccer and play incisive through balls and final balls.


These three midfielders started at the same time employs a military strategy called “rapid dominance” which is often referred to as “shock and awe.” The presence of three midfielders of the size, athleticism, and ball control of Bradley, Jones, and Cameron should be able to easily dictate the tempo of the game against Honduras by simultaneously using defensive prowess and technical ability as a weapon against Honduras.


Many observers commented on how Cameron knew how to stay back deeper against Panama in order to let Bradley go forward more with the attack, but Cameron provided excellent passing throughout the game, in addition to surging forward when the opportunity presented itself. Cameron showed that he knew how to go forward and track back without being caught out of position.


With Jones, Bradley, and Cameron covering for each other and picking their opportunities to go forward, the USMNT has the opportunity to disrupt the passing rhythm of Honduras while still playing one-to-two touch soccer.


As the line of two players in front of Bradley, Cameron, and Jones, the U.S. has the option of using Clint Dempsey plus one other player. Some people will call for Graham Zusi. Others will call for Fabian Johnson, and still others will see this as a time to insert Stuart Holden. The boldest choice of all and the one with the most potential for exciting and effective attacking play is Joe Corona.


With the formation proposed above, Joe Corona playing with Clint Dempsey behind Jozy Altidore presents the United States with the chance to give Corona a bigger role with the national team, and this role can further improve the display of quality team passing that occurred against Panama.

Geoff Cameron’s Commanding Performance


Geoff Cameron was everywhere against Panama. (Photo: ISIphotos.com)
Geoff Cameron was everywhere against Panama. (Photo: ISIphotos.com)


In Brazil, at least on the Seleção, the midfield destroyer or the cabeça de área, wears number five, whereas this role is often associated with the number 6 in Europe.


Nevertheless, Geoff Cameron played this role for the United States Men’s National Team against Panama, but Cameron went above and beyond the midfield destroyer role with his elegant passing and attacking forays.


Cameron was one of the most noticeable players on the field against Panama due to height, physique, tireless running, and his excellent technical play.


Against Panama, according to Major League Soccer’s official site’s Chalkboard feature, Cameron completed 47 of 56 passes, recovered the ball 11 times, made 7 interceptions, made 6 clearances, won five tackles, and delivered one assist.


While Panama isn’t one of the elite soccer nations, it is nevertheless an athletic and skilled national team that is an appropriate barometer of the skill of a player. Against Panama, Cameron showed how he is a complete midfielder and a commanding presence on the field.


Cameron received praised for the chip he floated to Eddie Johnson, who controlled the pass and finished with excellent left-footed technique and coolness in front of the net, but Cameron produced 90 minutes of one-to-two touch soccer characterized by graceful inside and outside of the foot passes that kept the ball circulating in the midfield and encouraged a higher-caliber of passing than even the Jermaine Jones and Michael Bradley combination could deliver.


Cameron’s smooth athleticism and refined fundamentals have been on display for years, but the game against Panama raised his public profile among many Americans and others as he showed how a defensive midfielder role didn’t restrict the defensive midfielder to merely playing defense and sitting back.


Somewhat like Clint Dempsey, Cameron lives for the big games, and Cameron isn’t willing to try things whether they be 40 yard outside of the foot passes or headed shots from 25 yards out to catch the goalkeeper off guard.


Jermaine Jones is a Champions League and Bundesliga veteran and a different type of player than Cameron, so both players are excellent overall footballers with a lot to offer.


Cameron’s performance presents the USMNT with the opportunity to unleash Michael Bradley, Jermaine Jones, and Geoff Cameron against an opponent at the same time, if tactics called for it. While using all three in a starting line-up would be the so-called Christmas Tree formation (4-3-2-1), the formation wouldn’t be without skilled passers and talented defenders.


Cameron could be started in place of Jones, but there could be a time where an opponent will need to be confronted with three powerful and technically-skilled central midfielders who each offer a complete set of midfield skills and qualities.