Howard hoping for more of same from USA

United States goalkeeper Tim Howard has talked up the formation utilised against Nigeria ahead of their FIFA World Cup opener on Monday.

After adopting a 4-3-3 system against Azerbaijan and Turkey, coach Jurgen Klinsmann switched to a 4-2-3-1 formation for their final warm-up match.

Klinsmann paired Jermaine Jones and Kyle Beckerman in a holding midfield role, with Michael Bradley more advanced in support of striker Jozy Altidore as the USA defeated Nigeria 2-1 in Florida on June 7.

Howard is hoping Klinsmann sticks to the same formation when the USA kick-off their Group G campaign against Ghana at the Arena das Dunas in Natal.

"I think Michael and Jermaine have a lot of different tools," Howard told reporters.

"One thing about playing Kyle in there is that he frees those guys up. Kyle is probably the most natural number six that we have.

"I think Michael and Jermaine will tell you that, because they have tools that can be used on the flanks and can go forward. Obviously they help out defensively, but with Kyle, you always have that rock.

"I think that allowed us to get higher up the field, not only with the goals, but it allowed us to press higher and recover balls quicker."

Howard added: "It seems like we played well against Nigeria within the formation with him (Jones) tilted to the left side.

"It seemed to work, but obviously he can play different positions.

"Michael Bradley can play different positions, so it's less about where they start and more how the games flows and basic defensive responsibilities."


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