In their first match since the 2014 World Cup, the United States Men’s National Team faces off again the Czech Republic Wednesday night in Prague. Manager Jurgen Klinsmann has named a relatively young and inexperienced side for the friendly, with 13 World Cup players (including Tim Howard, who is taking time off from the national team) being left out of the roster for the match against the team being captained by Arsenal midfielder Tomáš Rosický.
Here is my projected starting lineup ahead of the friendly:
Goalkeeper – Brad Guzan
Klinsmann has stated that he intends to play both Guzan and Nick Rimando during the match. Although both Americans are slated to play 45 minutes each, I’m going with Guzan to start because the Aston Villa keeper has been outstanding so far during his three matches in the Premier League this season (including a man of the match award in a 0-0 draw against Newcastle).
Defense – Fabian Johnson, John Brooks, Tim Ream, Timothy Chandler
With Geoff Cameron, DaMarcus Beasley, Matt Besler, Omar Gonzalez, and DeAndre Yedlin all being left out of this team, a back four of Johnson, Brooks, Ream, and Chandler makes the most sense. Other defenders Greg Garza and Michael Orozco could very well receive playing time at some point of the match as well.
Midfielders – Alfredo Morales, Alejandro Bedoya, Joe Corona, Mix Diskerud, Julian Green
Depending on which formation Klinsmann goes with today (I’m going with a 4-2-3-1), Morales and Bedoya could be used as the two central midfielders, with Bedoya in more of a box-to-box role and Morales in the holding position. Corona, Diskerud and Green should be in the three attacking midfield positions, with Diskerud being utilized in the number 10 role and Corona and Green on the wings.
Forward – Jozy Altidore
Altidore is almost certain to start today, as Klinsmann has named the powerful striker captain for the match. Altidore has only played 30 combined minutes in three matches for Sunderland so far this season; however, the 24-year-old always seems to play better for his country.