The United States Men’s National Team suffered a disappointing loss in the Copa America Centenario, falling 4-0 at the hands of Argentina.
Not only was the scoreline extremely disappointing for the Americans, but their overall performance in the game was absolutely dreadful.
The United States struggled to keep any sort of possession, and they were completely outmatched by Argentina for the entire game.
The U.S. now turns their attention to the third place game, which will be a rematch from the group stage against Colombia. The game will be played on Saturday June 25th.
The third place game is essentially a glorified friendly, so I would expect and hope that head coach Jurgen Klinsmann sees this game as an opportunity to experiment with some of the younger, less experienced players.
It is difficult to predict what Klinsmann will do with the lineup, but here is the lineup I would play against Colombia.
Goalkeeper – Brad Guzan
Guzan did not have a great game against Argentina in the semifinals, but I do not believe there is any reason to switch goalies for the third place game.
Left Back – Matt Besler
I think Klinsmann should use this game as an opportunity to see if Besler can adequately play left back. The U.S. desperately needs someone to step up at this position to allow Fabian Johnson to play further up the field.
Center Backs – John Brooks and Geoff Cameron
Brooks and Cameron may very well be the center back pair for the rest of this World Cup cycle for the United States. It is important that they get as much playing time together as possible, so they can get more comfortable playing with each other. This duo should be one of the strengths of the United States National Team moving forward.
Right Back – DeAndre Yedlin
Yedlin should be the right back for the foreseeable future. He is still learning, and I think the more experience he gets playing against strong opponents like Colombia, the better he will become.
Left Mid – Fabian Johnson
It is no secret that Fabian is a better player as a midfielder than he is as a defender. This game is a great opportunity to see if Besler and Fabian can be effective together on the left side of the field.
Center Mids – Darlington Nagbe and Perry Kitchen
Klinsmann has been reluctant to start Nagbe up to this point, probably due to his lack of experience at the international level. There is no better time to give him some vital experience than in a third place game, since there is not too much at stake.
I would also use this game as a chance to take a look at Perry Kitchen in a defensive midfield role, especially since Michael Bradley and Kyle Beckerman have struggled in this tournament.
Right Mid – Christian Pulisic
Pulisic is probably the best prospect the United States has had in quite some time. I think Klinsmann was smart to not rush him into the lineup in the group stage or knockout round games, but I think a third place match would be a great game to give him an opportunity to start. Hopefully we see him in the lineup on Saturday.
Strikers – Bobby Wood and Gyasi Zardes
Clint Dempsey has had a marvelous tournament, but we already know Clint is still a great goalscorer. I would go with the younger options, Wood and Zardes, and give them another chance to prove themselves.
This third place match against Colombia is a great opportunity for Klinsmann to experiment with the lineup before World Cup qualifying resumes in September.
Hopefully Klinsmann decides to use this game to test out the young players and experiment with his lineup.