Gregg Berhalter has used the same starting lineup for three of the U.S. national team's four Gold Cup matches, but the challenge of short rest and a dangerous opponent in Jamaica should lead to at least a modest shake-up in personnel.
After Sunday's 1-0 quarterfinal victory against Curacao, a match that ended with a win, but finished as a lackluster overall performance, Berhalter has some serious decisions to make. Once again, he must consider whether to stick with Gyasi Zardes as his lead striker or insert Jozy Altidore into the leading role he was expected to fill when the Gold Cup began.
The case against Zardes was made stronger by his poor showing against Curacao, and the quick turnaround time from Sunday to Wednesday could give Berhalter the excuse to turn to Altidore, who didn't play against Curacao, and has made just one start in the Gold Cup.
Another player who may have cost himself his starting spot after a poor showing against Curacao is Tyler Boyd. The New Zealand-born winger had been a pleasant surprise since making his USMNT debut in June following completing a one-time change of association with FIFA. He turned in strong performances against Guyana and Trinidad & Tobago, but struggled badly against Curacao, which could open the door for Jordan Morris to get the starting nod against Jamaica.
Morris is no stranger to facing Jamaica in the Gold Cup, having scored the winning goal to defeat the Reggae Boyz in the 2017 Gold Cup final.
— Ives Galarcep (@SoccerByIves) July 3, 2019
Berhalter will also need to consider whether to keep the same defensive lineup in place. The quartet of Tim Ream, Aaron Long, Walker Zimmerman and Nick Lima has yet to concede a goal in the three matches they have started together, but Jamaica's speed, led by Leon Bailey and Darren Mattocks, could lead Berhalter to make a change, with Matt Miazga a good candidate to step into the lineup for Zimmerman.
The short turnaround time from Sunday's quarterfinal to Wednesday night could also lead Berhalter to consider inserting Wil Trapp in place of Michael Bradley, who came into the Gold Cup having recently been sidelined by a hamstring injury. Berhalter could also decide Bradley's experience and presence in the middle is too valuable to risk sitting him.