BRIAN SCIARETTA - Monday, September 5, 2011
Following a disappointing loss to Costa Rica on Friday, the US national team will return to action on Tuesday when they take on Belgium at King Baudouin Stadium in Brussels.
US national team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann is still looking for his first win since replacing Bob Bradley last month. The US drew Mexico 1-1 in his debut before falling to Costa Rica 1-0 on Friday.
The US, who have not played Belgium since 1998, will field a strong lineup on Tuesday. Tim Howard is the unquestionable number one keeper and should start, but Bill Hamid could also earn some minutes in his first camp.
In the backline, Carlos Bocanegra and Brondby's Clarence Goodson could be the first choice central defenders, while Steve Cherundolo will likely return in place of Timothy Chandler who struggled against the Ticos.
Edgar Castillo is the only pure left back on the roster and should start again, but Birmingham City's Jonathan Spector is another candidate and may see minutes.
Kyle Beckerman rejoins the squad after being held out against Costa Rica. The 29-year old Maryland native had a strong outing against Mexico in Klinsmann's debut, however, Maurice Edu also remains a possibility to play significant minutes.
Also in the midfield, Clint Dempsey returns to the US for his first game under Klinsmann while Belgium-based Sacha Kljestan will probably start the match across town from his home stadium. Running the show should be Jose Franscico Torres who has featured prominently under Klinsmann thus far.
Jozy Altidore should start alone up top where his is looking to carry over his recent club success at AZ Alkmaar to the international arena.
Landon Donovan was left back in the US and will not participate.
For the hosts, Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany is amongst the big names head coach Georges Leekens has named to a stacked roster. Other names familiar to US players are Dempsey's Fulham teammate Moussa Dembele, Marouane Fellaini from Howard's Everton while Denis Odoi from Anderlecht will face off against teammate Kljestan.
Timmy Simons from FC Nurnberg may square off with Chandler while Daniel Van Buyten, who played under Klinsmann at Bayern Munich is likely to see playing time.
Arsenal's Thomas Vermaelen, who was initially named to the squad, was forced to pull out of the match due to an Achilles' heel injury.
In European Championship qualifying, Belgium currently sit in third place in Group A and trail Turkey by one point, though the Turks have played one fewer game.