The United States defeated Paraguay 1-0 in the final group stage match of the Copa America Centenario to help them advance to the knockout round of the tournament.
The U.S. Men’s National Team also got some help after Colombia lost 3-2 to Costa Rica, propelling the United States to first place in the group.
As the Group A winner, the Untied States will face Group B runner-up Ecuador in the quarterfinals on Thursday, June 16th.
U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann used the exact same lineup in each of the three group stage matches, but he will be forced to make at least one change in the knockout round after DeAndre Yedlin got a red card in the Americans final group stage game against Paraguay.
Goalkeeper – Brad Guzan
Guzan had a good game to help lead the U.S. to a shutout win over Paraguay. The U.S. will need him to continue to give strong performances if they want to advance in the knockout stages.
Left Back – Fabian Johnson
The back line has led the United States to back-to-back shutouts and Klinsmann will probably try to keep as much consistency between the back four as possible. This means we can expect Fabian to start at left back once again.
Center Backs – Geoff Cameron and John Brooks
John Brooks was the man of the match against Paraguay last week after he put in a masterful performance. His highlight of the game was stopping a 3-on-1 for Paraguay by making a great sliding challenge to knock the ball out of play. Cameron has also played well alongside Brooks, and deserves to start for the U.S.
Right Back – Michael Orozco
Orozco came on as a sub when Yedlin got his red card against Paraguay. Yedlin is suspended for the Ecuador match, and it appears that Orozco is Klinsmann’s next choice to fill in.
Left Mid – Jermaine Jones
Jones has been incredible for the United States in this tournament, and he is a must start for Klinsmann at this point. The only worry about Jones is the possibility that he gets worn down from playing a lot of games in a short period of time.
Center Mid – Michael Bradley
Bradley was poor in his opening performance against Colombia, but he has done better the last two games. He still hasn’t quite performed as well as he’s capable of, but hopefully that changes in the knockout round.
Right Mid – Alejandro Bedoya
Bedoya is not a flashy player, but he is an effective one. Bedoya said he had flu-like symptoms during the game against Paraguay, but assuming that he is feeling better, he should be in the starting lineup against Ecuador.
Left Wide – Bobby Wood
Wood has played well in this tournament, and he has certainly earned himself a spot in the starting lineup against Ecuador.
Striker – Clint Dempsey
Dempsey scored again against Paraguay in the final game of the group stage for USA. He was also subbed out early in the second half after the Yedlin red card, so he should have fresh legs for this game.
Right Wide – Gyasi Zardes
Zardes assisted the Dempsey goal against Paraguay, and he continues to put himself in dangerous positions on the field. The question with Zardes is whether or not he is able to convert these chances into goals.
Klinsmann seems to be all about consistency in this tournament, so the only change I expect to see to the lineup is Orozco filling in for the suspended Yedlin.
We will see on Thursday whether or not the lineup consistency is able to pay off for the United States.