USA vs. Mexico Friendly: Pre-Game Report
Klinsmann was reluctant to disclose a preferred formation. Naturally, he would rather wait to see what players he has and what he thinks is best for them.
Now's time to see what lineup and formation he believes is best for this team and this game.
First off, Klinsmann has chosen to take the names off of the jerseys. He believes it will help the team focus on the team and the country they represent. This idea is pretty common at the collegiate level, but it seems to come with mixed results. Still, it's evidence of the micro-level and details Klinsmann finds important. Will it have an impact? Nike might be upset. So much for charging extra for names on the back of jerseys (for fans that is).
Six players from the Gold Cup are in the starting lineup with five players that haven't seen the field for the U.S. in over a year, if ever.
Biggest changes: Michael Bradley has moved out of the defensive midfield position. This may improve his game and influence on the field, or it could have the opposite effect, and he may not know what to do in his new role.
Klinsmann is not as concerned about size: Jose Torres and Edgar Castillo have gotten the start. Donovan plays in the midfield to start. Michael Orozco Fiscal gets a start as well. He's definitely looking to the United States' Latin players. Also, the defensive changes may have more to do with athleticism.
Tactical Formation: Klinsmann has gone with a 4-5-1, two defensive midfielders much like Bob Bradley.
Mexico sits Dos Santos to start. Clearly Mexico's coach is looking to improve other players, protect Dos Santos, or work on other aspects of his team's game. How will it look if the U.S. doesn't perform well without Dos Santos on the field?
Also, what about Mexican fans that bought tickets in the hopes of seeing Dos Santos or Chicarito? A little disappointing.
The U.S. team doesn't seem overly emotional during the national anthem, nor overly stern, more calm, perhaps a little nervous.
The camera pans to Klinsmann as they finish the national anthem. He smiles. A fitting moment as the United States begins the Klinsmann era.
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