USA vs England Lineup: Projected USMNT Starting Lineup

How will the USA stack up against England on Friday in their huge World Cup Group B game?

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Gregg Berhalter has some big decisions to make, especially if he can get Brenden Aaronson and Gio Reyna into the starting lineup without affecting the balance of his team.

He could also now rest his players knowing that a win against Iran in their final Group B match guarantees a place in the last 16. It will cause him a lot of headaches and might force him to change his plan at the last minute.

A lot also depends on the approach of the USMNT as they could sit back and watch England counter attack or maybe go all out with the high pressing that worked so well in the first half against Wales. However they line up, the USMNT will want more control throughout the game as they faded badly in the draw against Wales.

Below is the projected lineup for the USMNT against England.


Projected Lineup USMNT vs. England

—– Turner —–

— Dest — Zimmerman — Ream — Robinson —

—- Adams —- McKennie —-

—– Reyna —–

—- Weah —- Wright —- Pulisic —-

USMNT alternate line-up vs. England (if you leave the player on yellow)

—– Turner —–

— Scally — Zimmerman — Long — Robinson —

—- Adams —- Musah —-

—– Reyna —–

—- Weah —- Wright —- Pulisic —-


Analysis, options and tactics

Firstly, there are two options: 1) you play your strongest line-up and try to beat England. 2) you know a win against Iran in the final group game will definitely put you in the last 16, so you rest three key players (Dest, Ream and McKennie) who are on yellow cards. These two options are listed above.

The back four and goalkeeper are self-picked, although after his costly error against Wales, perhaps Walker Zimmerman could be out and Cameron Carter-Vickers in? Berhalter could also go with a back five to stop England’s wingers, especially if the Three Lions plan to revert to a back three. Sergino Dest should also start at right-back but has looked very rusty after a recent injury and Berhalter may fear Raheem Sterling running into him on the counter.

There is one big decision to be made in midfield: will the trio of Musah, Adams and McKennie start again? Adams certainly will, but if Berhalter wants a more attacking lineup, he should probably leave out one of Musah or McKennie. I’d probably leave out Musah as he struggled a bit against Wales but McKennie could easily be left out as he has also struggled and is clearly fighting his way back to full fitness.

If Berhalter goes with a more attacking midfield, then one of Aaronson and Reyna will start as a No 10. I’d probably go with Reyna given his ability to keep the ball, which will be key against England. The Dortmund youngster was clearly not happy not to play against Wales, telling reporters he was 100 per cent fit, but Berhalter was keen to use Jordan Morris from the bench ahead of him. It was quite likely that Berhalter saved Reyna from possible injury as Wales were extremely physical. Aaronson could easily start out wide in this game, but I would expect him to be a really good backup in the second half.

I would bring up Haji Wright for Josh Sargent. He would give the USMNT a focal point up top, and while Josh Sargent did well in goal for the USA against Wales, he didn’t really hold the ball up top. Wright will allow the US to get further up the pitch and take some pressure off as England are expected to have a lot of the ball and the US will play more of a 4-5-1 formation for most of this match.


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