Michael Parkhurst's move back to MLS has already paid dividends for the former New England Revolution and current Columbus Crew defender. Recently resigning with MLS after leaving German club Augsburg, Parkhurst will start at left back for the United States against South Korea today in Carson, CA at the StubHub Center.
USA LINEUP (4-2-3-1): GK Nick Rimando; LB Michael Parkhurst, CB Matt Besler, CB Omar Gonzalez, RB Brad Evans; LDM Mix Diskerud, RDM Kyle Beckerman; LM Brad Davis, CM Landon Donovan [C], RM Graham Zusi; ST Chris Wondolowski
USA Bench: Sean Johnson, DeAndre Yedlin, Benny Feilhaber, Luis Gil, Dax McCarty, Eddie Johnson, Eric Alexander, Clarence Goodson.
SOUTH KOREA LINEUP (4-4-2): Sung-Ryong, Jin-Su, Ju-Young, Kee-Hee, Lee Yong, Lee Ho, Jong-Woo, Min-Woo, Go Yohan, Keun-Ho, Shin-Wook
The only blemish from my predictions from this morning's preview is Davis getting the start over Eddie Johnson at the left wing/midfield spot. EJ is battling an abdominal injury according to ESPN's Jeffery Carlisle but is available off the bench despite missing a few days of training. Also Mike Magee is unavailable due to food poisoning, meaning the 2013 MLS MVP is still waiting for his first cap with the senior USMNT. I also like that Donovan has the captain's armband, hopefully putting and to any lingering doubts about his and Klinsmann's relationship.
Klinsmann obviously is going with the best eleven that he can put on the field and it's easy to understand why. Several of the players in the lineup today are still trying to secure starting roles (Zusi, Evans) while others are trying to secure roster spots and/or put themselves in the conversation for starting jobs (Parky, Beckerman, Mix). Brad Davis on the left side is probably too far down the depth chart to likely have an impact in Brazil but has always been a solid player and a good performance today could get him a call back to later 2014 camps. The Diskerud/Beckerman pairing could be a great pairing because Diskerud can go forward more freely with Beckerman holding down the midfield and that allows Mix to be more active in the actual attack.
It's a big day for Chris Wondolowski and Quake, Rattle and Goal's Evan Ream (of First Eleven and Pickup Soccer podcast fame) says it might be Wondo's last chance to impress in the build up to Brazil in what could be the most important game of his career.
Post your thoughts on the lineup in the comments section below and follow along during the match as well. It's a 5PM EST kickoff on ESPN2.