How USA Will Line Up Against Scotland

John D. HalloranContributor IINovember 14, 2013

How USA Will Line Up Against Scotland

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    The United States men's national team takes on Scotland on Friday in the first of two November friendlies. The game is being played at Hampden Park in Glasgow, Scotland, with kick off set for 3 p.m. ET and television coverage in the U.S. being provided by ESPN2, WatchESPN and UniMas.

    Here is how the USMNT will line up against its Scottish foes.

Goalkeeper: Tim Howard

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    With Brad Guzan not included in the squad because of an injury, U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann's decision at goalkeeper is a no-brainer.

    Tim Howard will take the gloves ahead of youngsters Bill Hamid and Sean Johnson, and it was even announced that Howard would be captaining the squad in the absence of the injured Clint Dempsey.

Right-Back: Brad Evans

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    Most USMNT fans would probably prefer to see Geoff Cameron, Eric Lichaj or even Michael Orozco get the look here—especially considering the game against Scotland doesn't mean anything—but Klinsmann likes Evans on the right and is unlikely to make the switch just for the sake of experimentation.

Center Back: Geoff Cameron

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    Klinsmann has repeatedly said that Geoff Cameron's best position is center back, and the game against Scotland is another opportunity to play Cameron in the middle—a position he almost never plays for club Stoke City.

    For whatever reason, Klinsmann has been hesitant to use Cameron on the right—his usual position at Stoke—and sees him as a central defender and emergency holding midfielder.

Center Back: John Anthony Brooks

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    Oct 15, 2013; Panama City, Panama; United States head coach Jurgen Klinsmann smiles before their game against Panama in a World Cup qualifier soccer game at Estadio Rommel Fernandez. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports
    Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

    It might seem cruel for Klinsmann to call in Omar Gonzalez, make him fly all the way across the Atlantic and then not play him, but John Anthony Brooks is a monster prospect for the U.S. who needs to start becoming integrated into the team as quickly as possible.

    Klinsmann has also shown his willingness to do this before, as he called up Gonzalez for the Gold Cup knockout rounds and then played him a whopping total of one minute over two games.

Left-Back: DaMarcus Beasley

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    With Fabian Johnson and Edgar Castillo out of the squad due to injury, this one is an easy decision. DaMarcus Beasley will get the start.

    However, don't be surprised if Klinsmann subs in Eric Lichaj on the left at some point—a position he has played for the U.S. and former club Aston Villa before.

Holding Midfielder: Jermaine Jones

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    Sacha Kljestan is in better form at the moment, but if one thing has become clear over the past two years of Jurgen Klinsmann's tenure as USMNT coach, it is that Jermaine Jones is as close to an "untouchable" as they come.

    Klinsmann loves Jones' physical presence in the middle, despite the fact that Jones continues to deliver wildly inconsistent performances.

Holding Midfielder: Michael Bradley

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    Michael Bradley is the U.S.' field general, best passer and most consistent player. He's an easy pick for the starting XI.

Attacking Midfielder: Mix Diskerud

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    Mix Diskerud has done as much over the past year to improve his USMNT stock as any other player in the pool. He was a fringe player at best last January and now looks to be a lock to go to Brazil.

    With Clint Dempsey and Landon Donovan out due to injury, Diskerud will get another shot at playing the attacking midfield position—a position he excelled at against Mexico as a substitute in September but was unremarkable at against Panama in October.

Outside Midfielder: Alejandro Bedoya

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    Alejandro Bedoya, like Mix Diskerud, turned a solid Gold Cup performance this summer into a regular spot in the U.S. lineup. But Bedoya has started the last three games for the U.S. and struggled to be an impact player. With Graham Zusi, Landon Donovan and Fabian Johnson out, Bedoya will get the nod again but needs to be more productive to avoid losing his spot once the "A" team is healthy.

Outside Midfielder: Aron Johannsson

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    With several of the U.S.' top wingers out injured, Aron Johannsson has a shot to impress. Klinsmann could just as likely start Eddie Johnson out wide or even Sacha Kljestan, but this game gives Klinsmann an important opportunity to see if Johannsson can thrive in a wide role. With so much competition at striker from the likes of Jozy Altidore, Eddie Johnson and Terrence Boyd, Johannsson needs a look as an outside midfielder.

Striker: Jozy Altidore

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    There's no question that Jozy Altidore's club form is concerning, but the big man has done more than enough in recent months to prove his value to the USMNT. Eddie Johnson, Aron Johannsson and Terrence Boyd are all nipping at Altidore's heels, but he's still the U.S.' best option up top.

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