Keepers - Brad Guzan (Aston Villa, England), Tim Howard (Everton, England), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake, USA)
Defense - DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla, Mexico), Matt Beslar (Sporting KC, USA), John Brooks (Herta Berlin, Germany), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City, England), Edgar Castillo (Tijuana, Mexico), Brad Evans (Seattle, USA), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy, USA), Michael Orozco (Puebla, Mexico)
Midfield - Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake, USA), Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes, France), Michael Bradley (Roma, Italy), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg, Norway), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim, Germany), Jermaine Jones (Schalke, Germany), Graham Zusi (Sporting KC, USA)
Strikers - Jozy Altidore (Sunderland, England), Clint Dempsey (Seattle, USA), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy, USA), Aron Johannsson (AZ, Holland), Eddie Johnson (Seattle, USA)
12 straight wins.
39 goals scored (24 of those goals scored by players on this squad)
11 goals allowed (6 in 2 friendlies against European competition)
7 goals each by Altidore & Donovan during this streak
Mouth-watering number aren't they? I would not be surprised if this was the complete roster that we take to Brazil. A big concern in this game is the number of USMNT players that come in on a yellow card: Altidore, Bradley, Cameron, Dempsey, Evans, Howard, Johnson & Jones. Card-happy Mexican referee Marco Rodriguez will be working this game, a guy that has averaged 5 cards a game since August 2012. With a major game against Mexico less than a week later, the US will have to tread carefully in Costa Rica.
Questions coming in:
1. With a yellow to his name already, does the US hold back one of their regular starting CM's (Jones or Bradley) to save them for the Mexico game?
2. Does Brad Evans has RB locked down or will Cameron be given one more look?
3. Does Donovan start?
4. If Donovan starts where does he play?
5. Do we see either of the non-cap-tied US players (Brooks & Johannsson) play?
Donovan for Zusi at Halftime
Johannsson/E.Johnson for F. Johnson at 65th-70th
IF the US is up
Beckerman/Cameron for Jones 85th-90th
IF the US is tied or losing
Bedoya for Jones 85th-90th
If one team is running away with it I can see Brooks getting cap-tied. I will stand by keeping Donovan on the bench. If it ain't broke don't fix it...plus he was dynamic off the bench in the Gold Cup in 2011. He and Dempsey kinda play the same spot and I don't think you can pull Clint or Jozy for that matter. In truth DaMarcus Beasley is probably at greatest risk, Fabian Johnson is just as likely to be forced back into defense as he is at playing midfield. Zusi and Fabian do not generally play 90 minutes for the national team in the midfield (Zusi has only played a full 90 once, Fabian has finished 7 games thought most of those were at left back) so it is safe to assume they will get subbed out and with Zusi just getting back to full fitness he may go as early as halftime.
I think the winning streak continues and continues decisively with a 3-1 win, the only goal for Costa Rica coming of a (you guessed it) set piece. Jozy, Clint and Landon each score.