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USMNT predicted starting XI vs. Canada: Here's how we take down the hosers

The USMNT is soaring into the Concacaf Gold Cup knockout rounds after twice matching their largest margin of victory in tournament history (back-to-back 6-0 results against Saint Kitts and Nevis and Trinidad and Tobago). 

But all that will quickly be forgotten Sunday night when the U.S. welcomes Canada to TQL Stadium in Cincinnati with the knowledge that anything less than safe passage to the semifinals will be considered an unmitigated disaster, especially against a Canadian team that finished behind Guatemala in group play.

While the U.S. has a weakened team without many of its biggest European-based stars, Canada has effectively returned to the international wilderness without the likes of Alphonso Davies, Jonathan David, Cyle Larin, Tajon Buchanan and Stephen Eustáquio. 

That hasn't stopped Canada manager John Herdman from talking a big game: "We haven't beaten them here (in the U.S.) since 1957, so we wanna be that first team, we wanna be that first coach, that first staff and we want our fans to experience that moment."   

This isn't a match for the U.S. to play conservatively; the Canucks are there for the taking. 

USMNT predicted starting lineup vs. Canada | 2023 Gold Cup quarterfinals 

USMNT starting lineup vs Canada

Predicted XI: Matt Turner; DeJuan Jones, Jalen Neal, Matt Miazga, Bryan Reynolds; James Sands, Djordje Mihailovic, Gianluca Busio; Jordan Morris, Jesús Ferreira, Cade Cowell 

Notes: Jordan Morris was dealing with a knee injury but is fully recovered. Jackson Yueill replaced the injured Alan Soñora in midfield, while Aidan Morris is no longer with the team for personal reasons. 

Goalkeeper: Turner started two of the group stage games while Sean Johnson recorded a clean sheet without making a save against Saint Kitts and Nevis. Turner showed why he's the No. 1 against T&T with a couple big moments, and he's the man from here on out. 19-year-old Gaga Slonina gets to continue his enjoyable learning experience as the No. 3. 

Defenders: DeAndre Yedlin and John Tolkin started against Jamaica, but it's since been DeJuan Jones and Bryan Reynolds at the full back positions. The 22-year-old Reynolds has been a buccaneering presence (scoring his first USMNT goal), while Jones got an assist against T&T. They've earned more minutes.

At the heart of defense, 19-year-old Jalen Neal has been a revelation and deserves the start, and he could be partnered alongside Matt Miazga or Miles Robinson, but Neal-Miazga is the burgeoning relationship. 

Midfield: The options are somewhat limited with Alan Soñora and Aidan Morris no longer with the squad, but James Sands, Djordje Mihailovic and Gianluca Busio have started the last two matches together and are ready for a greater challenge.

Forwards: Jesús Ferreira is the first name on the team sheet right now, and there's no keeping Cade Cowell on the bench after his breathtaking T&T substitute appearance. I think Cowell has to replace Alejandro Zendejas, who doesn't deserve to start this match after failing to shine in all three group stage matches.

Jordan Morris is now reportedly 100% after missing the last two matches, and I think you go with his frightening pace against a Canada backline that conceded two goals to both Guadeloupe and Cuba.

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