Hope #1: That the United States can replace Bobby Wood.
Lost amongst the joy and happiness of Thursday’s result was the cold reality of who will not make it to Soldier Field. Although Michael Bradley and John Anthony Brooks avoided the dreaded yellow card suspension, Alejandro Bedoya, Bobby Wood, and Jermaine Jones will have to sit out.
Of the three missing out on this pivotal clash perhaps Bobby Wood is the most pivotal.
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His work with Clint Dempsey on the attack has been superb and despite Klinsmann’s dogged insistence at playing him a winger, he has found his moments when shifting to the center of the pitch.
Although the first name that comes to mind when replacing Wood is Chris Wondolowski, Klinsmann should look to Darlington Nagbe. As opposed to Wood, who is not a winger, Nagbe has shown that he can play the position with the Portland Timbers. It is not his best position but he can sub in a pinch.
Both Argentina and Venezuela have strong difficult defenses and finding the right piece to replace Wood will not be easy. But it will be essential to their success.
Next: Hope #2: That the suspensions will not make Klinsmann over-tinker