The biggest question U.S. fans have been asking in advance of Saturday's CONCACAF Gold Cup final has been answered: Yes, Landon Donovan is back in the starting lineup.
Where is he playing? Only a select few know, and they aren't saying.
“The team is not providing that information,” national team spokesman Michael Kammarman said shortly after lineups were distributed in the Rose Bowl press box about an hour before the U.S.-Mexico game is set to kick off.
Head coach Bob Bradley, it appears, doesn't want anyone to know what his alignment will be nor who will fill which roles, at least in attack.
Forward Juan Agudelo is back on the bench, so Bradley's primary options up top, of the 11 players in the lineup, are Donovan and Clint Dempsey. The U.S. has used a 4-2-3-1 formation the last two games.
The big surprise in the starting XI is Freddy Adu, who made his first appearance in nearly two years in Wednesday's semifinal victory over Panama, starting the sequence that led to the game's lone goal, by Dempsey.
Donovan came off the bench in the last two games. He was kept out of the lineup for the quarterfinal last weekend in Washington against Jamaica after attending his sister's wedding in Southern California the day before, and the U.S. played so well in that match that Bradley made no changes for the Panama game.
Sacha Kljestan, who started the last two matches, is on the bench for the Mexico game.
Defender Carlos Salcido (heel) and winger Andres Guardado (ankle), who were questionable with injuries, are in Mexico's lineup.
The full lineups:
U.S.: Tim Howard; Steve Cherundolo, Clarence Goodson, Carlos Bocanegra, Eric Lichaj; Michael Bradley, Jermaine Jones; Alejandro Bedoya, Freddy Adu, Clint Dempsey; Landon Donovan.
Mexico: Alfredo Talavera; Efrain Juarez, Rafa Marquez, Hector Moreno, Carlos Salcido; Pablo Barrera, Israel Castro, Gerardo Torrado, Andres Guardado; Giovani Dos Santos, Javier Hernandez.