What lineup will Jurgen Klinsmann use tonight in his USMNT debut against Mexico?
We'll all have to wait and see of course, and another thing we'll have to wait and see about is what players Klinsmann will rely heavily on during his time as US coach.
Might those players be on the field tonight against Mexico? It's not only possible but likely that some key players from the Klinsmann era will be on display from the start. Take a look at previous US coaches' debuts and you'll see some coaches who jumped right into it with some players who would be key in their respective cycles.
Bob Bradley's first match
USA 3:1 Denmark
at Home Depot Center, Carson, Calif.
* Both Bornstein and Clark would go on to play in the 2007 Gold Cup, 2007 Copa America, 2009 Confederations Cup and 2010 World Cup. This was their first cap for the US.
* Donovan also did the same but he was already an established player.
Bruce Arena's first match
USA 0:0 Australia
at Spartan Stadium, San Jose, Calif.
Armas 46), Eddie Lewis (Ben Olsen 73), Clint Mathis (Mark Chung 69), Joe-Max
Moore, Cobi Jones, Roy Lassiter (CJ Brown 90+), Brian McBride
* This was a radical shift, since this match featured only MLS players.
* Jeff Agoos, Clint Mathis, Joe-Max Moore, Carlos Llamosa and Cobi Jones went on to represent the US at the 2002 World Cup while Eddie Pope, Eddie Lewis and Brian McBride played for the US in both the 02 and 06 World Cups.
* Ben Olsen didn't make the US roster for the 02 World Cup but was in Germany for 2006.
Maybe it's too far to look back at this but just for kicks... (draw your own conclusions)
Steve Sampson's first match
USA 2:2 Uruguay
at Cotton Bowl, Dallas, Texas
USA: Jurgen Sommer, Lawrence Lozzano (Zak Ibsen 46), Alexi Lalas, Paul Caligiuri,
Jeff Agoos, Cobi Jones, Mike Burns, Chad Deering (Ante Razov 46), John Kerr, Jovan
Kirovski, Ernie Stewart
Anyway, it might seem like there's an established hierarchy of players on the team that Klinsmann takes over from Bradley, with guys like Landon Donovan, Clint Dempsey, Carlos Bocanegra, Tim Howard *the* unquestioned stars of the team and their respective positions. And it might seem like youngsters like Brek Shea, Edgar Castillo, Michael Orozco, Tim Ream, Jose Francisco Torres, Bill Hamid and Juan Agudelo are perhaps too young and inexperienced to rely on right now.
Maybe, but the first group of players will all be well into their 30s in 2014. Someone's going to have to step up and fill those other roles. Klinsmann's probably well aware of it all, and maybe pegging some of these youngsters as key players right from the start.
It's not like it hasn't happened before.