NATAL, Brazil -- If it worked well once, why not try it again?
The U.S. national team deployed a unique starting lineup against Nigeria on June 7 that worked well together and showed great promise against the defending African champions. Now Jurgen Klinsmann will see if that same lineup can beat the team that has eliminated the Americans from the past two World Cups.
Alejandro Bedoya and Kyle Beckerman have been called on to start for the U.S. against Ghana on Monday, making up one-half of the American midfield, joining Michael Bradley and Jermaine Jones.
Clint Dempsey and Jozy Altidore will be deployed at forward against the Ghanaians, with Altidore hoping to build on the two goals he scored against Nigeria.
The back four is the same defense that looked so good against Nigeria, with Fabian Johnson and DaMarcus Beasley providing speed from the fullback positions, while Matt Besler and Geoff Cameron man the central defender slots.
Veteran goalkeeper Tim Howard mans the pipes for his second straight World Cup, with Monday marking his 101st match for the U.S. national team.
If there is a change in the set-up, it appears the U.S. will be deployed in more of a 4-4-2 diamond midfield than the 4-3-2- system we saw against Nigeria. Jones will be on the left side of midfield, with Bedoya on the right. They will be be sure to cover the flanks in two-way roles, but should start out in more advanced positions against Ghana.
The Ghana starting lineup is without Kevin Prince Boateng and Michael Essien, but does feature Juventus midfielder Kwadwo Asamoah and AC Milan midfielder Sulley Muntari, with Ayew brothers Jordan and Andre earning starts. Dangerous forward Christian Atsu is also in the lineup for the Black Stars, joined by captain and veteran striker Asamoah Gyan.