5 Things USA Coach Jurgen Klinsmann Should Test vs. Turkey
The United States men's national team has two more chances to fine-tune things before the daunting trip to Brazil for the 2014 World Cup, which will see them travel the most miles of any team.
When the Yanks head into Red Bull Arena Sunday to face Turkey, manager Jurgen Klinsmann should test a few things out—but if you think he is going to try a formation other than a diamond, think again.
In his press conference Friday in New York City, Klinsmann praised the diamond formation and how it fits his team right now:
"I think that the system right now suits a lot of our players based on their strengths."
Since he is clearly not changing his mind in regard to a new formation, here are five other things Klinsmann should try against Turkey.
Mix It Up in the Midfield
Inserting Mix Diskerud into the game earlier than the 71st minute to see what kind of impact he can have off the bench would be beneficial to the player and his manager.
In a small sample size of 19 minutes against Azerbaijan, the midfielder broke the deadlock by scoring his third career goal for the United States.
In reality, Diskerud will not score every time he comes off the bench in Brazil, but he can still contribute plenty of other things to the attack, which is why he should be handed an extended run out on the pitch against a better team in Turkey.
Start Aron Johannsson
With criticism of Jozy Altidore reaching an all-time high with every match in which he doesn't score, Klinsmann owes it to Aron Johannsson to at least see what he can do in a starting role.
Bleacher Report's John D. Halloran took a look at this exact topic earlier this week after the Alabama-born forward scored off of a Brad Davis corner kick against Azerbaijan.
Johannsson has not had a problem scoring all season at the club level, which would be enough to earn him a start on most World Cup sides, but Klinsmann has stuck with Altidore throughout his slump.
The worst that can happen with Johannsson starting up front is that he is inefficient and comes off the pine against Nigeria, and during the World Cup.
Give Kyle Beckerman a Test
One of the few outfield players who did not play a single minute against Azerbaijan was Kyle Beckerman, who is preferred in the defensive midfield by many over Jermaine Jones at the moment.
Beckerman, who started out as a surprise inclusion during the beginning of the Klinsmann era, has turned himself into one of the most consistent players at the international level.
With Klinsmann sticking to the diamond for now, handing Beckerman some time against Turkey, who beat Honduras 2-0 Thursday, will be the perfect test to see how he will cope with the two European teams in Group G.
The German Connection: Full-Back Edition
There is no doubt that there are still questions at both full-back positions, but the nerves of American fans have been eased a bit with the inclusion of Timothy Chandler.
Klinsmann noted in his Friday press conference that the 24-year-old has had a point to prove since returning to camp two weeks ago.
"He came in and was very well prepared. From Day 1 on, he proved his point that 'I'm back and I'm going for it now.' I think some teammates were possibly impressed about his shape and his commitment."
Chandler did play a full half against Azerbaijan, but he only played with Fabian Johnson for 17 minutes before Johnson left in favor of DeAndre Yedlin.
With all due respect to DaMarcus Beasley, who will be playing at his fourth World Cup, Chandler and Johnson are the best two options this team has at full-back given the opposition they will be facing in Brazil.
Handing both players an extended run together against a dangerous Turkey side would be the best test to date of how the German-born duo will perform as a unit.
Let the Kid Earn His Stripes
No one has a clue of what 18-year-old wunderkind Julian Green will bring to the table, if anything, at the World Cup.
It would be a dumb decision for Klinsmann to bring the young Bayern Munich star to South America and not play him for a single minute.
For Green to earn playing time in Brazil, he has to be tested against two quality sides like Turkey and Nigeria.
We aren't asking Klinsmann to start Green or even bring him on at the half, but a good 25 to 30 minutes on the pitch to prove his worth would suffice.
Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.
All quotes obtained firsthand, unless otherwise noted.
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