Who should replace Yedlin; how should the U.S. line up versus Ecuador?
U.S. men's national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann selected the same starting lineup for the team's three group-stage games at Copa America. But as a quarterfinal showdown with Ecuador looms on Thursday night, he will no longer have that option. DeAndre Yedlin's two yellow cards early in the second half of the USMNT's hard-fought victory against Paraguay means that Klinsmann will have to come up with a way to replace the speedy right-back.
That task is complicated by two factors. First, there's no other player on the squad whose primary position is right-back. Timothy Chandler, who originally would have slotted in as Yedlin's backup, was injured at the end of the Bundesliga season, and his replacement, Edgar Castillo, is a pure left-back. Secondly, despite fielding the same starting XI each of the first three games, the USMNT has lined up three different ways over the course of those matches: They've evolved from playing a 4-3-3 formation to a 4-2-2, and even in the 4-4-2, Alejandro Bedoya and Gyasi Zardes switched winger roles with Zardes starting on the right before providing the game-winning cross against Paraguay from the left-wing spot.
Even assuming that the other 10 starters remain unchanged, whichever imperfect right-back option Klinsmann choses will have to be, in large part, based on how the team plans to attack Ecuador. Here's a look at three personnel/formation options to use in lieu of Yedlin, including analysis on the strengths and weaknesses of each....