The USMNT really needs something to feel good about after a long string of disappointing results and even worse performances. In an effort to get things turned around, Jurgen Klinsmann appears to be ready to switch formations - again! - to some version of a 352.
There are good reasons to do so: There are plenty of players who fit the bill as wingbacks in the player pool, and the US generally has more players suited to counterattacking play than to the possession game that Klinsmann started out wanting to see. It's a pragmatic move, but is another formation change the right move?
Here on B&RU, we're mostly just excited to see Perry Kitchen and Steve Birnbaum get their first-ever caps. It'll be a good learning experience, because Chile's relentless attacking mindset and high pressure are a test for just about everyone.
Kickoff time: 6:00pm EST
Venue: Estadio El Teniente (Rancagua, Chile)
TV/Streaming: In English, the game's going to be on Fox Sports 1. In Spanish, you have two options: Univision Deportes and UniMas. If you're going to stream it, Fox Sports Go and FoxSoccer2Go will have the game in English, while the Univision Deportes app is your Spanish option.
USMNT Starting 11: 3412 - Nick Rimando; Steve Birnbaum, Jermaine Jones, Matt Besler; DeAndre Yedlin, Michael Bradley, Mix Diskerud, Brek Shea; Clint Dempsey; Bobby Wood, Jozy Altidore
Chile Starting 11: 343 - Johnny Herrera; Osvaldo Gonzalez, Jose Rojas, Juan Cornejo; Gonzalo Espinoza, Erick Pulgar, Marco Medel, Diego Valdes; Bryan Carrasco, Roberto Gutierrez, Mark Gonzalez
Match previews: Let's start by giving you the full USMNT roster as well as Chile's roster. Charles Boehm summed up the matchup for MLSsoccer, while Matt Doyle took a look at the potential strengths and weaknesses the US will have playing a 352 (not to mention some of the general requirements for getting a 352 to work). Here on SB Nation, Ryan Rosenblatt is looking for improvements in the spine of the team.
Prediction: This being Klinsmann's USMNT, I never know what to expect. Well, that is, I don't know what to expect in terms of his lineup. I do expect some trouble today, because a 352 requires months to adapt. Here's the thing, though: The USMNT keeps changing formations, so we keep struggling. A diamond takes a long time to adapt too, and since the national team isn't together all the time, we're talking about months rather than weeks.
Chile is a good example of that, playing a formation that was tricky at first but is now second-nature. This isn't Chile's best side, so they won't have their normal fluidity. They didn't have to spend much time introducing new concepts, though, so they should be far closer to their best than the USMNT is. As such: 3-1 Chile. Let's juts hope Kitchen and Birnbaum get to play their best positions.
What are you drinking?: I'll be home in time to have a beer for this one, so it'll be a Red Hook ESB for me.
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