Early look at lineup for Canada match
TORRANCE, Calif. -- This much is obvious after spending the past few days hanging around the U.S. hotel as the national team neared the end of its three-week training camp in Southern California: Jurgen Klinsmann isn't taking any chances.
It's about the only thing that's been clear to observers here lately.
The U.S. coach and his players are in full secrecy mode as the U.S. prepares to shift its operation to Houston, where the Americans will face Canada at BBVA Compass Stadium on Tuesday night (9 ET, ESPN2/WatchESPN) -- their final match before the final round of World Cup qualifying commences in Honduras on Feb. 6.
Since Monday, the Yanks have permitted media members to watch exactly one on-field session. Friday's intrasquad scrimmage was closed. So was the practice match against Club Tijuana's reserves earlier in the week. Even the basic details of those tuneups -- who played, who scored -- have been treated like state secrets.
In a way, they are. Even though only one or two players who will start in Houston have a realistic shot of getting minutes when the first string is summoned from Europe ahead of the trip to Central America, Klinsmann & Co. have little to gain by offering extra insight into the experiments with tactics and personnel taking place outside Los Angeles.
Still, a few nuggets of information have emerged. We learned that the U.S. beat the Xolos by a 3-0 count, with young, uncapped striker Will Bruin scoring two goals. We know that Matt Besler and Omar Gonzalez have been paired together in the middle of the back four.
Beyond that, it's difficult to confirm much.
But that's not to say that we haven't been able to gather intel during conversations with players and coaches this week -- just that it required a little reading between the lines. So here's a look at how the Yanks may line up in Texas, the areas the team has focused on ahead of the game and which camp participants have upped their stock this month.