The United States thrashed Honduras, 6-0, on Friday in World Cup qualifying. After a win like that, most managers would run out the same lineup for their next match, but Bruce Arena won't have that luxury against Panama on Tuesday. John Brooks is out with a sinus infection, while Sebastian Lletget got hurt. Toss in Jermaine Jones' return from suspension, not to mention the changes that come from playing a different team and going on the road, and Arena has decisions to make.
What lineup will he go with in Panama City?
Goalkeeper: Tim Howard
Howard wasn't called upon much against Honduras, but he made the saves he needed to. It's pretty clear he's the team's No. 1 goalkeeper right now.
Mark J. RebilasMark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Right back: Graham Zusi
Once a winger, now a right back, Zusi has made the transition more smoothly than anyone would have imagined. He still has more to learn and can be somewhat of a liability, but he's adequate, and that's no small feat for a player who just moved to the position. With the Americans running low on right backs, he's the choice.
Mike DinovoMike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports
Centerback: Geoff Cameron
Cameron started last match at right back, where things were a bit shaky. He's better in the center and with Brooks out, the Americans need to get Cameron back into the heart of the defense. If Arena chooses to leave Cameron at fullback, Tim Ream is probably the choice in the center.
Kelley L CoxKelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Centerback: Omar Gonzalez
You would think that a 6-0 win would mean everyone played well, but that wasn't the case. Gonzalez had a rough match and there's a case that he shouldn't start against Panama. Arena knows Gonzalez well, though, and the centerback has played plenty well for the U.S. before. He gets another shot in this one.
All Villafana did against Honduras was step into the left back spot, which has been a problem for the U.S. for more than a decade now, and put in as steady a performance as the Americans have seen in a while. He was responsible defensively, kept shape, completed nearly every pass and turned a problem spot into one they felt fine about.
Copyright The Associated Press. AP
Central midfield: Michael Bradley
This is the easiest call for Arena, and it's the case pretty much every game.
Central midfield: Jermaine Jones
Jones was suspended against Honduras. The question now is whether he should come back into the team or whether Alejandro Bedoya, who played well on the right side of the diamond midfield, should get the nod. Jones doesn't exactly fit in the role Bedoya played, but Arena has praised him and, when he's at is best, can dominate matches so expect him in there. He'll play more centrally than Bedoya did, though.
Kelley L CoxKelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Left wing: Darlington Nagbe
Nagbe didn't do much that grabbed headlines against Honduras, but he had a few nice runs and, more than anything, kept the ball moving. He was an effective passer who allowed the Americans to keep the ball and pressure the Honduran defense. They'll need that in Panama.
Jake RothJake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Attacking midfield: Christian Pulisic
With Jones coming into the team, generally disrupting the diamond midfield, Pulisic would have to move out right for a balanced formation. However, Pulisic has shown he's a terror to opposing defenses centrally. The solution is to played unbalanced, with no true right winger. Zusi can do enough getting forward to allow for an option on the wing, but really this will be Pulisic with freedom to roam and just drifting right a little more than usual.
Striker: Clint Dempsey
A week ago, Dempsey was questioning whether he could play 90 minutes at the international level. Now he's coming off of a hat trick, so even if he could struggle with the short turnaround and travel, he's in the lineup. Arena just may have to sub him off at some point in the second half.
Kyle TeradaKyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Striker: Jozy Altidore
Altidore didn't score against Honduras, but his movement was good, his passing excellent and his pressing forced some turnovers. He's an easy choice.