SAN DIEGO – US national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann has picked his captain for the next set of games, which include the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
He just hasn’t told anyone who it is yet, including the player he’s decided upon.
Klinsmann and the national team are currently here in Southern California with the US preparing for a pre-Gold Cup friendly on Friday against Guatemala at Qualcomm Stadium (11 pm ET, NBCSN, LIVE chat on MLSsoccer.com).
When asked Tuesday at the team hotel if he had selected a captain for the upcoming stretch of games, Klinsmann replied with a laugh, “Yes, but I haven’t communicated it yet to the guy, so that will wait for a few days more.”
Potential options to wear the armband are Landon Donovan, who leads the squad in appearances for the US, and Kyle Beckerman, who has captained the national team in the past and seems to be a favorite of sorts with Klinsmann, and who will almost certainly be starting every game as a holding midfielder.
Other experienced players who could serve as captain include DaMarcus Beasley, who recently earned his 100th cap, or defenders Clarence Goodson and Oguchi Onyewu, both of whom have extensive tournament experience with the US.
Klinsmann was also asked about the potential lineup for the friendly Friday. Although the coach did not tip his hand as to which players would feature, he made it clear that the Guatemala game would be a dry run for the Gold Cup, at least at the start.
“We will start with the lineup that is to be considered the lineup for the Gold Cup,” he said. “Our strategy is always to start the strongest team possible.”
With that established, the coach did make clear that he would take advantage of the occasion by substituting freely.
“We have six substitutions available, so we want to give as many of the sub players as possible game time,” Klinsmann explained.