USA lineup vs England: Projected USMNT starting lineup

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

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Gregg Berhalter has some big decisions to make, most notably if he can get both Brenden Aaronson and Gio Reyna into the starting lineup without having an impact on the balance of his team.

Also, he could now rest players knowing a win against Iran in their final Group B game guarantees a place in the last 16. It will cause him plenty of headaches and could force him into a last-minute change of plan.

It also depends a lot on the approach of the USMNT, as they could sit back and look to counter England or perhaps they go all-out with a high-press which 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 their draw against Wales.

Below is a projected USMNT lineup against England.


Projected USMNT lineup vs England

—– Turner —–

— Dest — Zimmerman — Ream — Robinson —

—- Adams —- McKennie —-

—– Reina —–

—- Weah —- Wright —- Pulisic —-

Alternative USMNT lineup vs England (if you rest players on a yellow)

—– Turner —–

— Scally — Zimmerman — Long — Robinson —

—- Adams —- Musah —-

—– Reina —–

—- Weah —- Wright —- Pulisic —-


Analysis, options and tactics

First up there are two options here: 1) you play your strongest lineup to try and beat England. 2) you know a win against Iran in the final group game definitely gets you into the last 16, so you rest three key players (Dest, Ream and McKennie) who are on a yellow card. The two options are shown above.

The back four and goalkeeper picks itself although after his costly error against Wales, perhaps Walker Zimmerman could come out and Cameron Carter-Vickers could start? Berhalter could also go with a back five to stop England’s wingers, especially if the Three Lions plan on going back to a back three. Also, Sergino Dest should start at right back but he looked very rusty after his recent injury and Berhalter may worry about Raheem Sterling running at him on the counter.

In midfield there is one big decision to make: will the trio of Musah, Adams and McKennie start again? Adams definitely will but if Berhalter wants a more attacking lineup, he should probably leave one of Musah or McKennie out. I’d probably leave out Musah as he struggled a little against Wales but McKennie could easily be left out as he struggled too and is obviously battling his way back to full fitness.

If Berhalter does go 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 obviously wasn’t happy about not playing against Wales as he told reporters he was 100 percent fit but Berhalter wanted to use Jordan Morris off the bench ahead of him. It was quite likely Berhalter was saving Reyna from any potential injury as Wales were extremely physical. Aaronson could easily start out wide in this game but I’d expect him to be a really good impact sub in the second half.

Up top I would bring in Haji Wright for Josh Sargent. He would give the USMNT a focal point up top and although Josh Sargent did well on the USA’s goal against Wales, the ball didn’t really stick with him up top. Wright will allow the USA to get further up the pitch and take some pressure off as England are expected to have plenty of the ball and the USA will play in more of a 4-5-1 formation for most of this game.


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