The United States Men’s national team completed a historic 3-0 thrashing of Mexico Thursday in the Nations League Semifinal. They now look ahead to Canada in the final, who took care of business against Panama just before the Concacaf chaos. We saw four red cards and nine yellow cards, and that means two key USA starters, Weston McKennie, and Sergino Dest, will be suspended for the final. With that, let’s look at some options to replace those two, and then predict the Starting 11 USMNT lineup prediction for the Final.
USMNT Lineup Prediction Against Canada in Las Vegas
Eyes on the prize
Preview » https://t.co/KHDy7Jek2Z
— U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team (@USMNT) June 17, 2023
What to Do With the Suspensions?
The Sergino Dest replacement is much more obvious purely due to the lack of fullback options. Joe Scally, who saw 6-7 minutes of game time against Mexico, is the only other true fullback on the roster. It would take a formation change for someone like Auston Trusty or Walker Zimmerman to take his place, and I don’t anticipate BJ Callaghan doing that.
As for replacing McKennie, the most sensible option is Luca De La Torre. He’s already somewhat been touted as Wes’ backup, and he would slide straight into the double pivot with Musah really well. However, options like Brenden Aaronson, Johnny Cardoso, Taylor Booth, or Alan Sonora could also fit the bill, but would also require a little tinkering with the formation.
Folarin Balogun or Ricardo Pepi?
Everyone knows how hyped up Folarin Balogun’s debut was for the USMNT. A 21 year old goal scorer, who was the first American to score 20 or more goals in a top-five league. While he didn’t get on the stat sheet, there was a lot to like about his debut. He drew a lot of attention through the middle from the Mexico defense, leading to better opportunities for Pulisic and Weah.
Ricardo Pepi came on in the 74th minute, and five minutes later, notched the goal that sealed the deal. While not getting a large amount of playing time, he made the most of it and definitely has a case for the starting spot against Canada.
Predicted Starting 11
With all these things coming into play, here is how I’m expecting BJ Callaghan(or Gregg) to line the Yanks up:
GK Matt Turner
RB Joe Scally
CB Chris Richards
CB Miles Robinson
LB Antonee Robinson
CDM Yunus Musah
CDM Luca De La Torre
CAM Giovanni Reyna
LW Christian Pulisic
RW Timothy Weah
ST Folarin Balogun
Photo Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports, of a Giovanni Reyna Headshot, on December 3, 2022.
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