The face of the Yankees Sorting with a chance to climb to the top of the qualifying table and Chelsea star Christian Pulisic is in good health but has just returned from a long-term injury.
Pulisic is the Americans’ best playmaker and that matters even more when Giovanni Reyna is unavailable due to injury, but will Berthalter choose to take him off the bench against Mexico and see this what does this mean for Jamaica next week? Will it be two underwater appearances? Can Pulisic start both? Play neither?
[ MORE: Five things to watch in USMNT vs Mexico ]
Berhalter played a 4-3-3 during almost every qualifying, although he experienced Gold Cup formations and played a 3-4-3 against Mexico in the CONCACAF Nations League final.
It was a 4-3-3 in the Gold Cup final and while surprises are a good way to stumble the opposition, it seems unlikely that Berhalter will use his home soil against his biggest rival for throw a wrench into a plane he thinks he was. fairly successful through six qualifiers.
Sergino Dest joins Reyna as an absence for these qualifiers while Berhalter has chosen not to call John Brooks for the camp, also leaving questions along the back line, and there is uncertainty as to whether Berhalter considers Matt Turner or Zack Steffen as a clear No. 1 goalkeeper now that both are healthy on the same camp.
[ MORE: USMNT vs Mexico preview ]
The safest bet would be a 4-3-3 with minimal lineup changes that beat Jamaica and Costa Rica. The only differences between the two starting eleven were Chris Richards for Miles Robinson, Zack Steffen for Turner and Timothy Weah for Paul Arriola.
Pulisic, of course, is the other big question among possible starters, while Gianluca Busio’s play in the middle with Venezia – who just upset Roma with the American playing very well – will give Berhalter a reason to consider whether the Sporting KC alum should start or Musah.
And Kellyn Acosta started in the CNL and Gold Cup finals against Mexico, going the distance in both.
Let’s try after the jump:
What will be the lineup of the USMNT against Mexico in the big home qualifiers for the World Cup?
Turner became more consistent with New England and helped shut out Mexico in the Gold Cup final. Steffen will debut in Jamaica
Scally — M. Robinson — Zimmerman — A. Robinson
For better or worse, Berhalter has not shied away from giving players their first WCQ starts in big spots and he also seems to take fair reviews seriously, and he has heard a lot about Scally’s success at Gladbach throughout. by not being called for the last qualifying round. That said, he preferred DeAndre Yedlin as a full-back replacement in his last outings. Scally is perhaps more similar to Dest. Miles Robinson takes over Richards and Mark McKenzie.
Acosta — McKennie
There are reasons to deploy Musah on Acosta, but the Mexican midfielder’s common sense with Hector Herrera and Andres Guardado can make the threat more attractive to Berhalter. Plus, it could free McKennie to help with the attack in case Pulisic doesn’t start.
Weah – Pepi – Aaronson
Paul Arriola’s experience in Mexico and against Mexico is not to be underestimated, but he hasn’t been at his best in the last few playoffs while Weah has done enough to ask why he hasn’t seen more of time. Weah and Aaronson’s combo – plus McKennie – should grab attention and give youngster Ricardo Pepi more room to apply his skills against a nation that finished second when he chose his national team allegiance.