How USA Will Line Up Against Austria

John D. Halloran@JohnDHalloranContributor IINovember 18, 2013

How USA Will Line Up Against Austria

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    Following its 0-0 draw with Scotland on Friday night, the United States men's national team is now set to face Austria in the second of its two November friendlies. The match will take place Tuesday, Nov. 19 in Vienna with kickoff set for 2:45 p.m. ET. The game will be televised by NBC Sports and UniMas.

    Here is how the U.S. is likely to line up for the match.

Goalkeeper: Tim Howard

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    With fellow USMNT goalkeeper Brad Guzan not in the squad due to injury, there is little doubt that Tim Howard will get the gloves again. Howard was strong in the U.S.' shutout of Scotland, looking particularly good on his save of Robert Snodgrass' free-kick in the 53rd minute of that match. He also captained the squad against Scotland.

Right-Back: Eric Lichaj

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    With Brad Evans putting in his second sub-par performance in a row, it's time for head coach Jurgen Klinsmann to start looking for depth at right-back. Steve Cherundolo is still recovering from injury and Timmy Chandler is apparently in Klinsmann's permanent doghouse.

    Geoff Cameron is certainly worth a look at right-back, he starts there week in and week out for Stoke City in one of the best leagues in the world, but Klinsmann sees him as a center-back. Michael Orozco could also get a look, but as Klinsmann saw fit to use Lichaj as Evans' sub in the Scotland match, it makes sense that Lichaj gets a longer look against Austria. 

    It would be Lichaj's first start for the USMNT since the summer of 2011.

Center-Back: Geoff Cameron

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    It's debatable who had the better game at center-back against Scotland between Geoff Cameron and Omar Gonzalez. Gonzalez had one bad pass that Mix Diskerud couldn't handle in the second half that almost led to a Scotland goal, but Cameron also missed a tackle in the first half that resulted in Scotland's best chance of the game.

    Surprisingly, Cameron—who is widely considered one the U.S.' best players on the ball—also had more lost possessions over the course of the match than Gonzalez. Gonzalez was also instrumental in the match for the U.S. in the air, clearing service after service into the U.S.' penalty area.

    Still, Cameron rarely gets games at center-back as he usually plays on the right for his club, so Klinsmann won't want to miss the chance to get him another game there.

Center-Back: John Anthony Brooks

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    U.S. fans were excited when John Anthony Brooks was included on the roster for these November friendlies. After playing for the USMNT in August's friendly against Bosnia, he didn't play in the September World Cup qualifiers, despite a call-up, and missed the October qualifiers due to injury. 

    As a dual national, Brooks is still eligible to represent Germany, and his call-up for these games indicates he is leaning toward the U.S.

    Klinsmann will want to help solidify that decision and give Brooks the start both because he'll want to keep him interested in playing for the U.S. and because Brooks has the potential to start for the U.S. in Brazil should he commit to the USMNT.

Left-Back: DaMarcus Beasley

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    There's still a contingent of U.S. fans who loathe the idea of DaMarcus Beasley as the U.S.' left-back, but like it or not, barring a major injury, he's going to Brazil. Beasley put in another solid, if unspectacular, performance against Scotland, and without Fabian Johnson or Edgar Castillo on the roster, he's almost a guaranteed starter for the U.S. on Tuesday.

    One out-of-the-blue scenario, however, could have Beasley dropped from the roster or playing left wing as Eric Lichaj takes the left-back duties. Lichaj has played left-back for the USMNT before and for Aston Villa in the English Premier League in the past.

Holding Midfielder: Michael Bradley

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    Many fans were disappointed by Michael Bradley's performance against Scotland, but only because it wasn't as dominant as usual. Bradley still completed 69 of his 77 pass attempts and ran the U.S. midfield.

    Barring injury, he's in.

Holding Midfielder: Jermaine Jones

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    Jermaine Jones' performances for the U.S. are usually wildly inconsistent, but his performance against Scotland was just average. He had a few missed tackles, but nothing out of control. He completed 48 of his 55 passes, but none of them were particularly impactful. Additionally, holding midfielder partner Michael Bradley always seems to have his worst games when he is partnered with Jones.

    In the end, it really doesn't matter how Jones performs. He is a favorite of Klinsmann and starts regardless of his ups and downs. It would be a shock if he were left out of the starting XI.

Attacking Center Midfielder: Mix Diskerud

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    Against Scotland, Sacha Kljestan was given the reins as the U.S.' playmaker and was, unsurprisingly, unimpressive.

    Kljestan is better when playing in a deeper role and lacks the attacking flair needed to be the U.S.' No. 10. Mix Diskerud is the obvious choice and played in the attacking center midfield role in both the September and October World Cup qualifiers.

    If Klinsmann, however, reverts to a 4-4-2 variation, look for Aron Johannsson to be given the start up top next to Jozy Altidore.

Outside Midfielder: Alejandro Bedoya

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    After going a year and a half unable to get a call-up from head coach Jurgen Klinsmann, Alejandro Bedoya has quickly become a Klinsmann favorite. Bedoya used a strong Gold Cup to get called into the September and October World Cup qualifiers and has started the last four games for the U.S.

    None of his performances have been particularly strong over that stretch, and on Friday against Scotland he gave the ball away more times than anyone for the U.S. save Brad Evans.

    Still, it's hard to imagine who else Klinsmann would play on the wing ahead of him.

Outside Midfielder: Aron Johannsson

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    Aron Johannsson is not a natural winger, but neither is Eddie Johnson—and after Johnson's poor performance against Scotland, he's sure to be dropped from the starting XI. If Johannsson can prove his value on the wing, it would help his chances at playing time with Jozy Altidore the likely starter up top and competition for Johnson at the striker position as well.

    Brek Shea was bright for the U.S., as usual, as a second-half substitute against Scotland, but is not a complete enough player, nor fit enough, for a starting role.

Striker: Jozy Altidore

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    Fans will point to Jozy Altidore's lack of club form, but they should remember his goal scoring for the U.S. this summer and his hat trick against Bosnia in August. Johannsson looked bright off the bench against Scotland, but it is questionable whether he has the physical requirements to be successful as the lone striker in the U.S.' 4-2-3-1 setup.

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