Preview: USMNT host Honduras

IMAGE, MATT KREMKAU FOR EMPIRE OF SOCCER

by PATRICK MacDONALD
Staff Writer

With Landon Donovan’s testimonial in the rear view mirror, the United States Men’s National can focus solely on the future as they travel to Boca Raton to take on Honduras in the second of their October friendlies.

Much like the previous friendlies, expect a mixture of young and old as Klinsmann prepares for the 2015 Gold Cup and beyond. Brad Guzan is one of the players to head back to his club after the Ecuador match. Nick Rimando will get the start against Honduras. No reason to speculate whether Klinsmann may take a look at Bill Hamid or Sean Johnson — it’s been predetermined that Rimando would get this game as Klinsmann settles on a replacement for Howard.  Guzan would appear to have the early lead, though Rimando hasn’t been too shabby himself.

John Brooks and Omar Gonzalez have been sent home to their respective clubs, leaving Tim Ream and Michael Orozco to be joined by Matt Besler at centerback. Orozco was a little better than Ream against Ecuador so he’ll likely be trotted out against Honduras alongside Besler. Blown offside call notwithstanding, Ream was OK enough that he’ll likely get a look against Honduras.

Tim Chandler and Greg Garza showed well on Friday night, so there’s no real reason to shift his starters on the wing, but there’s always a chance he may throw Chandler in at left back and let Yedlin play in his more natural position.

In midfield, Mix Diskerud certainly put on a performance that should make him the early front runner to pair with Bradley in 2018. Of course, Jermaine Jones could defy age and still be a factor in Russia, but that’s unlikely. What is likely is seeing Jones line up next to Bradley like they did in the run up to Brazil, relegating Diskerud and Bedoya to the bench with the former more likely to see some minutes off it. Yedlin will likely line up at right midfield after playing very well on Friday night. Incoming Graham Zusi could take over for the injured Joe Gyau on the left as well.

With Clint Dempsey arriving in camp, expect him to line up with Jozy Altidore at forward. Bobby Wood might get another run out, for as poor as he was against Ecuador, friendlies are where you make mistakes.

As for a result, the U.S. is going to win this one 2-0. So far Klinsmann’s post World Cup experimentation is paying off with the team playing very well against Ecuador and Czech Republic. The young guys are showing well and the future looks bright.

Projected Lineup:

Altidore – Dempsey
Zusi – Jones – Bradley – Yedlin
Garza – Orozco – Besler – Chandler
Guzan