More Bad News For The USMNT

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When it rains, it pours – and let me tell you, we’re in a fucking storm.

The United States needs a win in the worst way after laying an egg in Guatemala City.

If they lose, Russia could be just another cold, snowy place and Jürgen might be packin’ his bags for Germany.

Defense

The USMNT’s defense was all out of sorts in Guatemala. They hung Howard out to dry on two cheap goals. Granted, it was a funky lineup, but the buck’s gotta stop somewhere.

Two players who could help – center-backs Matt Besler and John Brooks – have both been ruled out of the second leg of the qualifier. You might remember John Brooks from his World Cup heroics.

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Yedlin should start at right back. Yes, he’s capable of playing right wing, but he’s more valuable on defense.

The only two starters I’m willing to put in pen are Yedlin and Cameron. It’s eeny meeny miney mo for the other two spots. I’d like to see Brinbaum out there, though.

Midfield

The midfield didn’t play much better than the defense. It was a breakdown between Bradley and Diskerud that led to Guatemala’s second goal.

guatemala second goal

Fabian Johnson, whose creative inclinations and technical ability were so badly needed in the first leg of the qualifier, has been officially ruled out for the second leg in Columbus, OH.

Without Johnson, I don’t know who’s going to get the ball into the final third of the field.

Bradley has his hands full with defensive responsibilities.

He’s a holding midfielder first, not an attacker. He certainly has the capacity to be dangerous in the other team’s end but it’s unrealistic to expect him to be productive without help in the midfield.

Mix Diskerud proved himself to be the antithesis of creativity.

He’s a decent player but he did not play well against Guatemala and I don’t expect to see him out there for the second leg.

Alejandro Bedoya – another of the USMNT’s attacking midfielders – is doubtful for the game.

I honestly don’t know who Jürgen will stick in the middle to complement Bradley. Kyle Beckerman is always an option, but he too is defensively-minded.

Maybe Darlington Nagbe?

Or perhaps 17-year-old Christian Pulisic, just added to the roster.

Who?

I’d never heard of the kid before today, but fuck it, start him.

Forwards

The US squandered some golden opportunities in the first leg. If these boys want to make the World Cup, they better start aiming for the net instead of the keeper.

It’s tough to say who will start with Dempsey up top. Could be Wood, could be Altidore. Shit, Jürgen might even call his own number.

The term “must win” has become hyperbole in sports media, it’s do or die time for the United States and Klinsmann.