What lineup should USA use vs. Spain?


Landon Donovan is hurt, as is Jonathan Spector. Jozy Altidore is home, as are Kenny Cooper and Robbie Rogers. the U.S. national team won’t have any of these players on hand to take on European power Spain on Wednesday in what is Spain’s final tune-up before it’s Euro 2008 opener against Russia on Tuesday. So here is the question.

What will Bob Bradley do?

Will he trot out the tear-inducing forward tandem of Josh Wolff and Eddie Johnson? Will he appease the masses, and inject some skill into the U.S. attack by starting Freddy Adu? Will he play a 5-5-0 and get Spain ready for Greece in the Euros (Kidding Greece fans).

Here is the lineup I think Bradley will use (and yes, the lineup I am hoping he uses):






I could also see Eddie Lewis at left mid, Beasley at right mid and Dempsey up top, but I do think it’s time to see Adu get a start. Now, if he still isn’t ready to start then I think you’ll see Dempsey in Adu’s spot, Beasley on the right and Lewis on the left.

I know some folks will hate seeing Johnson there, but I think he showed some glimpses against England and has the speed to at least require Spain to keep taps on him.

Who shouldn’t we see in the starting lineup? I just can’t see an argument for seeing Josh Wolff again. He just doesn’t bring much to the table.

I do think Mastroeni gets the nod to provide some ball-winning bite in the middle of the field, and to hopefully give Bradley some freedom to get forward.

So what starting lineup would like to see? Share your thoughts below.

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90 Responses to What lineup should USA use vs. Spain?

  1. Eric says:

    I’d be okay with your suggestions. With Donovan out, you have to have someone in there who can create chances and send in decent passes from the center of the field.

    If we are going with a 5-man midfield though, I’d almost rather see Bradley play more up towards Adu…as a true center mid.

    I was okay with Johnson’s play against England, and maybe having Adu play closer to him will allow him to have someone to work off of, and run the offense.

  2. randall says:

    minus donovan and the…hope altidore at least brings, id say lets split the difference.

    play our best attackers and give bradley all the d-mids he wants.






    sure, we will only get the ball across the halfway line five or six times- but at least that front line isnt guys who need service.

    the good ol empty bucket 4-4-2 without donovan and a midfielder who can hold the ball at all has no chance- why not?

  3. HomeyBoehme says:

    As long as Wolff does not see the field, I am ok. I cringe thinking about Torres and Villa just torching our backline. This will be a very stern test for our defense and keeper as they will see a LOT of action. Guzan plays a half since they are trying to get his nat team appearances up so he can get a work permit overseas.

  4. KP says:

    Not bad, but why not Edu over Mastroeni? Isnt Edu a younger more athletic version?

  5. Jim says:

    Playing an unwilling to mix it up Johnson as a lone target forward is a scary proposition. Can he hold up the ball and set up attackers out of the midfield or will he drift back in search of the ball and merely pass the ball back further into the back?

  6. jeff says:

    He needs to bench his brat. He got rocked up the middle against England.

  7. Amit says:

    Mastroeni speaks Spanish so he can get under the opposition’s skin with more than just his actions.

  8. Thom says:

    That is the best eleven we could put out there at this time in my view. I hope Bradley reads this web site.

  9. Christopher says:

    I think they should give Adu a shout this match. Without Donovan’s quickness and creativity the US needs Adu even though he will probably prove to be a little inconsistent at this level.

    I think Mastro is the right choice in the middle, he still has it and he’ll be more consistent and calm than our other choices. We really need help at this position. I wish Shalrie never played for Grenada.

    I would also love to see a different center back getting the choice but that won’t happen. We need to test out all possibilities as Bocanegra, nor Gooch, are playing their socks off.







    I’d also love to see someone other than Johnson (Cooper etc.) but they won’t get the run out.

  10. TBryantMU says:

    I’d have to say that I agree with your lineup, Ives, but I would prefer to see Demspey up front, Lewis at LM and Beas at RM. I personally don’t think we saw any kind of change in Johnson in the last game that qualifies him to start.

  11. DL says:

    I would love to see Orozco or DeMerit in there in place of Boca. We need some speed in the backline if we have any hope of containing the Torres-Villa-Fabregas trio.

  12. kpugs says:

    Doesn’t really matter what lineup SHOULD be in there. Bradley is going to trot out a B-team at best once again, and once again we’ll get handily beaten. As a fan just once I wish they’d consider our reputation as global laughingstocks and try to beat these big teams.

  13. rocky says:

    as long as Adu plays anything else is fine, i would like to see edu instead of mastroeni, he is too old and doesnt figure into are future plans. If josh wolff starts bob bradley should be fired immedietly, he is soo badd. I hope bradleys job is on the line because i dont think he knows what hes doing.

  14. Jeffrey says:

    Edu over Pablo. At the very least have Edu come in for him around the twentieth minute when Mastroeni gets his first yellow.

  15. Rocco says:

    I love the line-up. Only thing I can see an an upgrae is maybe Cooper up front, but he wasn’t called in.

    I actually think this squad my suprise Spain a bit.

    Pablo is a true killer and plays with that mentality that we need.

    The middle combo of

    Adu – pure attack & creativity

    Pablo – defense, ball possession & ball winning

    Bradley – a little bit of everything

    Might be a pretty good formula.

  16. Barry U says:

    Ives – I hope this is the line up also! Considering that the options up top are Jaqua/Wolff/Johnson/Dempsey (like him as a mid) then I think Johnson is the likely choice. He did have some flashes against England (I’ve watched my DVR copy about 5 times now)and I did a little digging and found that he has hit the net at least once for the Fulham reserves and was getting minutes if not starting after he was left off the first team. He is still relatively young at 24 so maybe Eddie might be benefiting from his new address and become servicable again by 2010 (I am really hoping here!). Also, I heard Dolo talking about how Spain is less physical than England so Freddy would be a good pick to start in this game. Gooch and Boca are in for a long night if El Nino/Villa get it going but the spanish defense is not Terry/Ferdinand so an attacking lineup would be ok I think. This could look like the Brazil game a few months ago. That game made us feel ok. Right?

  17. chris says:

    I would do this:





    I mean why not, they were a lot more fun to watch, and if we’re just going to lose anyway, why not lose with some flair?

  18. Mike says:



    Beasley Bradley Lewis


    Boca Demerit Onyewu Pearce


    Subs: Freddie for Eddie

    Jaqua for Johnson(Try him out)

    Mastroeni for Edu

    Califf for Pearce

    Cervi for Howard(got a good feeling)

  19. Pat the Red Bulls Fan says:

    Our free kicks last week were pathetic. This is where Adu can make a difference. As USMNT fans know its very hard for us to score during the run of play. I think it was Dolo against South Africa, IIRC that last did it.

    Will Jozy or Cooper be available for sunday?

  20. Save Ferris says:

    I agree with Ives’s lineup, but I would move Dempsey up top with EJ. EJ showed some signs of improvement against England, but he will get crushed as a lone striker. I would also prefer to use Adu as an attacking midfielder, use Lewis on the wing and keep Pablo on the bench.

  21. samir nasri says:

    wow..usa are going to get raped…

    that is such a pathetic lineup without donovan.

    why not try bradley in his normal winger-esque position in a of 4-3-3 with johnson at the top? maybe he can score some goals there instead of drawing reds..

  22. FulhamUSA says:

    Here is my ideal starting eleven:






    This lineup is similar to many people’s. The one change I would make is move Carlos Bocanegra to the right side and insert Jay DeMerit as center back. Why DeMerit? Demerit has a strong understanding of the position and is physically able to handle the position. Boaca has struggled as center back for a while now. This allows Boca to still be a vaule for the Natioal Team. Will it happend? Very unlikely! Coach Bradley is stuck in his 2-4-4-1 line up.

  23. Ted says:

    Ives’ lineup is probably the best we can hope with the current players available. I wouldn’t mind Pearce playing in midfield with Beas on the right and Dempsey up, Boca sliding over to left back and DeMerit partnering Gooch in the center, but I don’t think that lineup is necessarily better than what Ives posted, just different.

    Though I am close to saying “to hell with it” and have EJ play directly on top of Beas and stay there to try to keep Sergio Ramos and Puyol isolated. It might work…

    I’m also terrified of Sergio Ramos in this game. I think with how much Beas will be called upon to get things going with Donovan out, Ramos could shred our left side coming out of the back line. He just spent 38 games playing as a fullback and right sided midfielder at the same exact time. I’m pretty sure he can do overlapping runs by himself. Hold me.

  24. brentmcd says:

    i’ve said it before and i’ll say it again — all you people calling for bob bradley’s head need to chill out. look at the big picture. think about where us soccer has been — maybe some of you weren’t around for the really lean years when college guys and naturalized citizens played for the mnt? the program is going in the right direction — we’ve got a boatload of guys playing overseas; the domestic league is stronger than ever; soccer fields and stadiums are being built across the usa. does it really affect your self-esteem to lose to england or spain or argentina? get a life. bradley may not bring home the world cup trophy, but progress is definitely being made.

  25. daniel says:

    I like the enthusiasm and the optimism I’m reading, but I have to say that I think we’re going to get schooled regardless of the line-up. Spain will win most of the posession and we currently don’t have much spead to work our counter attack. I just hope they don’t run circles around us. I’d be pleased to see the U.S. loose 3-2, but it could easily be 3-0.

  26. Lloyd Heilbrunn says:

    Nice final roster, Bob.

    Definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results…..

  27. Rocco says:

    Bob Bradley,

    My criticism for him is not a result of any one thing he did. The question I had the other day was “Is the USMNT getting stale?” Meaning, we had Arena for 8 years, now we have Bob for 2 more. (An Arena Prodigy) That’s 10 years with basically the same system.

    At what point do we say, let’s bring is a fresh prespective outside of the current circle. I think we were turned down by Klinsman, already. So maybe we go down that road before WC 2010. Maybe we bring in a foreign technical advisor, someone with great interantional playing and coaching experience to help out Bob. And unfortunately I don’t think Nowak fills that role.

    Its done in business, politics, etc.

  28. brett says:

    daniel- the US would lose regardless of who they field, most likely… i would like to see a change in the formation and try some new things during friendlies… go with what works on the Quals, but these meaningless friendlies are simply practice and experimentation….. try a 4-3-3 Bradley… couldnt hurt…

    brentmcd- AAAAAKKK!! reasoning on Ives’ blog >.< shun the non-believer… SHUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUNNNNNNNNNNNN!!!

  29. tedhill says:

    Ives, I agree on the formation, and the back line. I wouldn’t mind seeing Guzan in the starting eleven just to see how he functions there instead of being a sub. The holding mids should be Mastroeni and Edu. Bradley has played a lot and we didn’t flow over Maurice and Pablo for nothing. The attacking mids should be Beasly on the left, Adu in the center, and Lewis on the right. For the forward, use Dempsey. This gives him and Adu freedom to attack and not as much defensive responsibilities. The wingers are experienced players who will know when to attack. With this formation we should score one, but still lose probably 3-1.

  30. Ted says:

    I don’t blame Bob for the players he has at his disposal. Selection politics play a huge part in his decisions, and since MLS doesn’t like international fixture dates, there isn’t much he can do.

    I remember, it wasn’t too long ago that a player sitting on the bench of some bottom tier second division club in Europe was a star for the US.

  31. DMee says:

    I like your lineup, Ives. I’d be happy to see that come out against Espana but demeritt for gooch.

    It’s going to be a rough go no matter what but I’m really looking forward to seeing gooch get smoked by el nino and villa.

  32. brett says:

    Rocco- its a slippery slope for BB….

    if he were to come in off the bat and try new things and loose some games, there would be people yelling for his head… if he were to come in and play the same game, yet win games especially away from home (which is happening), there would be people yelling for his head….

    the fact is regardless of how boring anyone finds his set-up, how drull watching a 4-4-2 might be, we have to keep in mind one thing… WE ARE SIMPLY NOT THAT GOOD YET AS A NATION… yes we have a few stand outs… yes we have potential players in the running… but we dont have the quality of most Euro nations have…

    yes we can beat the Swiss, Sweden and Poland… convincingly at times… but we are looking at England, Spain, and Argentina… these are not megar teams.. these are teams that even if we COULD field an A-Squad we’d still 9 times out of time wouldnt win…..

    simply put, the team is heading in the right direction, while it may not be the “world cup finals” its in the right direction of developing the sport….

  33. Tucsonian says:

    I would love to see an attacking possession minded 3-4-3:






    If we go down a goal, we can put on Jaqua for Adu, push DMB to LW, Lewis to LB, and Dempsey to RW. That would require us to adjust to the game though, which is clearly 10 years from now.

  34. Aguinaga says:

    “What’s your prediction for the fight?”


    “Yes, prediction.”


    After seeing US against England, this is unfortunately going to be very, very ugly. With the Spanish taking this game seriously as prepwork, 5-0 Spain is the low range. I’m all for scheduling games against world class opposition like this. But scheduling 3 games without the necessary depth to AT LEAST make the game competitive and worthy for the opponent is asking for a shameful performance by us, and asking them to not invite us back anytime soon, unless we are going to play their under-20 side. :(

  35. eric says:

    I’m going to argue for Eddie Lewis here. Not exactly where I wanted US Soccer to be in ’08, but the roster is what it is. I haven’t seen anyone else hit a free kick yet, and the US is way too feeble if we can’t threaten on set pieces. So play Lewis on the right wing, and puts Dempsey up to instead of Johnson. 4-6-0 anybody?

    As for Pablo, he’s on the list of players I’m through with at the National Team level, but if starting him makes the Double B comfortable starting Adu too, so be it.

  36. Fooism says:

    I don’t see the point of starting Mastro… he’s a red card waiting to happen. Clark, as bad as he played against the UK does all the same things as Mastro + more offense. The line up Ives posted is okay, but if Bradley doesn’t at least make the attempt to make runs out of the midfield then we’re going to be useless again. I am in the firm belief that Bob is telling both his center-mids to stay on the defensive side of the centerline. No other explanation I can think of for how different Bradley plays for the US from his club team.

    If Wolff sees the field against Spain Bradley should be fired on the spot because clearly he doesn’t get it. Also can someone with some pull get down to why Cooper, Altidore, Rogers, etc… are all not called in when this is a FIFA sanctioned international day? Or why we play high pressure against teams that know how to pass around us and are thus gassed by minute 60? Or what in god’s name Bradley saw in Wolff the first time?

  37. Rocco says:


    I agree we are definitely heading in the right direction. Just take a look who we trotted out in 92 against Spain.

    Vs. Spain

    March 11, 1992 – Estadio José Zorrilla, Valladolid, Spain – International Friendly

    ESP 2

    USA 0

    USA: 1-Tony Meola; 17-Marcelo Balboa, 3-John Doyle, 2-Janusz Michallik, 22-Bruce Savage; 20-Paul Caliguri, 16-Mike Sorber, 14-Brian Quinn, 9-Tab Ramos; 7-Hugo Perez (Jorge Acosta); 10-Peter Vermes (Earnie Stewart)

    Head Coach: Bora Multinovic

    Come on, Savage, Doyle, Michallik, etc. Good guys that have helped build the program, but they will probably tell you themselves we are leaps and bounds where they were. We definetly have a long way to go as well and probably will never come to the level of Italy, Argentina, Brazil as a whole …. but, I still have my reservations about the US coaches. Why not try an Italian or one of the great Dutch Coaches.

    I think these guys can give our guys a little help in the attacking end. That is really where we are lacking. No creativity, no attacking runs, no baseline attacks & crosses. No really great driven crosses, no great diagonal runs from our strikers. I can go on and on, but I think the playig field is becoming a bit more level even though its titled towards those other nations side. You can’t defend for 90 minutes, you NEED to attack. When you attack and keep the ball, guess what, the other team must defend.

    A lot easier said than done. We’ll see how this regime does in the next 6 months or so.

  38. Dominghosa says:

    Trying to stay on MLS clubs’ good graces shouldn’t be a reason this time around not to call in players like Cooper and Jozy. This is an international date and should be treated as such by US Soccer and B. Bradley.

    Matches like this, against a power like Spain, are supposed to give the best US players and best US players for the future experience.

    What’s the point of playing guys who aren’t considered the future of the team? Or those who will play role in WC qualifying?

    If these matches truly aren’t about results there shouldn’t be any minutes given to the old and/or hapless.

    No matter how much potential Johnson may seem to have or effectiveness some of the older players have (that includes Lewis, who has shown he’s still very effective, and Hejduk), they shouldn’t be called up.

    This is supposed to be about the future.

  39. Adam R. says:

    Bob has the best available players in camp. Some MLS clubs actually like to have their best players suit up for them instead of tramping off to Europe for friendlies.

    MLS players or no, the USA is not a squad who can throw caution to the wind and attack against Spain. Defend hard and look for goals off set pieces and counter attacks.

    No it’s not pretty, but the USA needs to learn how to win that way or they’ll crash out of every world up until Brooklyn Beckham dons the jersey.

  40. Dominghosa says:

    Trying to stay on MLS clubs’ good graces shouldn’t be a reason this time around not to call in players like Cooper and Jozy. This is an international date and should be treated as such by US Soccer and B. Bradley.

    Matches like this, against a power like Spain, are supposed to give the best US players and best US players for the future experience.

    What’s the point of playing guys who aren’t considered the future of the team? Or those who will play role in WC qualifying?

    If these matches truly aren’t about results there shouldn’t be any minutes given to the old and/or hapless.

    No matter how much potential Johnson may seem to have or effectiveness some of the older players have (that includes Lewis, who has shown he’s still very effective, and Hejduk), they shouldn’t be called up.

    This is supposed to be about the future.

  41. dc fan says:

    Play a 3-5-2.

    Go three CBs at the back Demerit -Gooch -Boca

    Then Cherundulo – Clark – Beasley. Dolo and Beasley provide width but have to help defensively – Clark sits in front of the the 3 CBs.

    Then play with four attacking players, Bradley, Adu, Dempsey, Johnson

    It would like like this:

    Demerit – Gooch – Boca

    Dolo – Clark – Beasley


    Dempsey – Adu


  42. Braden says:

    And, don’t forget that, although we lost to England at Wembley, we did have a few good opportunities. We lack a creative midfielder and a good finisher, but our organization and defensive shape were pretty decent. England scored the first on a blown marking and the second because of a silly give away in midfield. These are mistakes, but against most other teams they would not lead to a goal.

    I’m more confident than I’ve ever been before that the US will waltz through qualifying this year. Two cycles ago, I would have been shot on BigSoccer for uttering such nonsense. (And who knows, perhaps a few of you are loading the shotguns as you read) We really are a lot better than we’ve ever been before!

  43. Skinn says:

    Edu over Pablo. At the very least have Edu come in for him around the twentieth minute when Mastroeni gets his first yellow.

    Posted by: Jeffrey |

    I’ll second that.

  44. walter says:

    I like the idea of using 1 forward against Spain, however it needs to be Cooper, not Johnson. Johnson is not a lone striker, and as long as we are on the topic of Johnson, I have never seen a national team forward with so much speed who makes so few runs. It drives me crazy!!!!

  45. Ives – 4-5-1 again? You are doing this because you know I hate it.

    But that is probably our best shot at victory.

  46. Mark says:

    BREAKING NEWS: Fernando Torres ruined his new wardrobe this morning.

    He opened the newspaper when he was eating breakfast. When he saw Bob Bradley’s 20-man squad, he laughed so hard food splattered all over his new suit.


  47. Aquaman says:

    Clark and Orozco are not on the 20 man roster for the Spain game.

  48. Erik Abarca says:






  49. Felix says:

    I would love to see another combination of centerbacks, but we won’t see it. I just hope that if Onyewu and Bocanegra get torched, Bradley will see what alot of us Nats’ fans see, and try a different CB tandem. Other than that, I really like your lineup Ives.

  50. Erik Abarca says:

    Ives, you mention you can see DMB on the right. I dont see it as really being that bad, and i know we have limited options. But putting DMB on the right should be our last option. He will still be as good defensively but offensively not good. Every game I watched DMB play on the right side, the service was just not there. He just looks out of it. Just my 2 cents.

  51. John says:

    Oh dear Lord! If you play Onyewu and Bocanegra in the middle, Fernanado Torres will have a hat-trick in the first half.

    Need some speed at center half for this game.

  52. Jamie Z. says:

    BREAKING NEWS: Fernando Torres ruined his new wardrobe this morning.

    He opened the newspaper when he was eating breakfast. When he saw Bob Bradley’s 20-man squad, he laughed so hard food splattered all over his new suit.


    Posted by: Mark | June 02, 2008 at 05:54 PM


    I doubt any of the Spanish players know the difference between our A-team and B-team, and either way, I doubt it makes any difference to them.

  53. Danny says:

    That seems about right Ives. I would want to see Landon (if he were healthy) teaming with Adu behind Johnson. That might create a little more offense. To put him in I think you take out Mastroeni and slide Bradly to the center. He can sit back and hold the center-mid area. I think it’s time we moved toward a more offensive scheme. I’m still not pleased with sitting back with 2 holding mids. I think it’s a waste of talent. Our most talented players are: Adu, Landon, Dempsey, Beasley, and Altidore/Johnson. They all (or at least 5 of the 6) need to be on the pitch. This would allow that (again assuming Landon is healthy, which right now he isn’t).

  54. chris L says:

    i think we should use boca at left back and stick demerit in the center and bench pearce because pearce just sucks

  55. samir nasri says:

    since ives loves this kind of lead:

    yes. that sound you just heard was indeed david villa and fernando torres wikipedia-ing our potential starting eleven and then falling down laughing.

  56. bob says:

    since our forwards are our weakest link, we need to play where we’re best, in midfield. I think we’ll get pounded by their attack, so a 4-5-1 is in order with both Pablo and Bradley as DM, a combination of Beasley, Dempsey, Lewis on the wings, Johnson up top with either Adu as attacking central mid (though I doubt he’ll start him). Cherundolo, Pearce, Onyewu, and Boca in D with the goalies splitting halves. Brace yourselves, it’s going to be more than 2-0 this time

  57. NOLA soccer fan says:

    Can we see some new blood besides eddie johnson…he has proved nothing except that 2 or 3 years ago, he was incredible. now he is nothing like his old self.

  58. Will says:

    I’m happy with that lineup. I think it puts the best we have out there. I would however like to see Edu starting over Mastroeni, who just isn’t the same player he was a couple years ago (and that’s not good). Bradley however will definitely start Mastroeni…loves at least a couple veterans in the lineup.

  59. CM says:


    Your lineup makes perfect sense…Johnson (king of the backpass) gets to knock the ball back to our only offensive weapons!

    Otherwise, I’d like to see us in a 4-3-3





  60. WRONG says:

    ok so im going to ask again. someone name another team that plays 2 defensive midfielders at the same time? please, PLEASE, so that way i can sleep at night. anyone else see how are team was completely dominated because none of our defensive midfielders can hold possession? – now that isnt a bad thing, defensive midfielders arent supposed to, they are supposed to defend, but when you dont have anyone else in there to keep possession, its a problem. and anyone who is impressed by bradley’s goal total and thinks hes an attacking player is wrong – hes a great defensive mid prospect, but thats what he is, he has the potential to become a makelele esque player, but he’ll never be a gerard or lampard or ballack, etc. look at his goals – all poacher’s goals.

    i agree with what daniel said above, lots of respect for bob, but its more of the same, its bruce arena all over again, we are just a poor man’s england, and as we showed last week we are dead broke in comparison. these games are friendlies, lets field a lineup that can play somewhat attractive soccer and try to compete, not try to hunker down and only get beat by a goal or two. at this rate, we are obviously going to qualify, but unless we are in a group with 2 of the worst teams in the world cup we’ll be out after the first round. im tired of it, to progress, we need to take some chances, and hiring an international coach with international experience is a risk worth taking. and for the record, id like to see bradley try some diff center backs (boca hasnt earned that arm band in my mind), but i think more than anything id like the midfield situation to be resolved immediately. we are a step away to losing to mexico and maybe even canada.

  61. 311 says:

    Bob Bradley is a Moron!!!!!!

  62. Adam R. says:

    We did beat Poland 3-0 right?

  63. Chris says:

    We need to sack Bradley before the next world cup. He is not getting this team anywhere. Once you take a player, Josh Wolff, to your roster against Spain you have got to be kidding me.



    beasley donovan dempsey




    Start playing the U20 team that played so well in Canada. Who the heck was on the team that just got dominated in Europe U23?

    MNT humiliated by England. Get a grip US we need a new coach!!!!

    Let me know what you think fans……..

  64. Lloyd Heilbrunn says:

    “Trying to stay on MLS clubs’ good graces shouldn’t be a reason this time around not to call in players like Cooper and Jozy. This is an international date and should be treated as such by US Soccer and B. Bradley.

    Matches like this, against a power like Spain, are supposed to give the best US players and best US players for the future experience.

    What’s the point of playing guys who aren’t considered the future of the team? Or those who will play role in WC qualifying?

    If these matches truly aren’t about results there shouldn’t be any minutes given to the old and/or hapless.

    No matter how much potential Johnson may seem to have or effectiveness some of the older players have (that includes Lewis, who has shown he’s still very effective, and Hejduk), they shouldn’t be called up.

    This is supposed to be about the future.

    Posted by: Dominghosa | June 02, 2008 at 05:05 PM”

    AMEN!! Those who want to defer to clubs, talk to FIFA who actually has it right for a change with mandatory releases on Int’l dates.

  65. Wayne says:

    Lewis and/or Adu in the starting lineup gives us a dangerous freekick threat a la England with their Beckham.

    And enough with the over-exaggerated respect for Torres and Spain. Have some faith in what is still a strong U.S. squad. After all we have Timmy Howard in the net!!!

  66. Chris says:

    If you do not play first team soccer MLS or anywhere you should not be called to the MNT unless you are the next best thing. US needs to end Bradley’s tenure. The youth players are beginning to show some creativity with Nowak. They need to play now. Spain will make the US work for every ball before and after kickoff. I support US MNT but start producing soccer players not one dimensional machines.

  67. Murphy says:

    Ives your suggestion is right on. However, I can see Bradley making a change in the back and playing Califf or something for some unknown reason. Or starting Wolff on the right wing. Sometimes I just don’t know what that guy is thinking.

    Spain is definitely not as physical as England, so there is no reason not to see Freddy. Especially with no Donovan.

  68. papa bear says:

    Ives lineup is fine except for one GIANT problem. Michael F’n Bradley should NOT be playing d-mid.

    He ripped up Holland as a CM not a DM. It’s time Pappy Bob realize that his son is, in fact, a pretty good CM and NOT a GD MF SOB’n DM.

    It’s really time to stop this 2 DM bullsh*t already.

    OK I lied, one more glaring problem. Pull Gooch from centerback. Anyone who thinks he even has half enough pace to keep up with Torres is nuts. Orrozco is pacier and should be given the nod. It’ll be a trial by fire, but I think his athletic abilities are better suited to marking Torres.

  69. eric says:

    2 thoughts on ideas floating around:

    1 – Maybe Freddy can hit the free kicks, and maybe he can’t. He’s done it before with the U-20’s, but was awful against England on fk’s. I hate it, but I don’t feel like we have a decent option without Lewis in there.

    2 – Beasley can most definitely play on the right. He hasn’t had a great performance for the Nat’s there, but Rangers deploy him on the right all the time, he’s had some of his best SPL games there.

  70. Ted says:

    “ok so im going to ask again. someone name another team that plays 2 defensive midfielders at the same time?”

    Internationally, France (Makalele, Viera), Greece (played with three while winning Euro 2004), Mali and others

  71. FTK says:

    Dear Bob,

    For the love of all things football, please use Ives’ lineup. Don’t overthink things. We know what the celing of our 25+ year old players are. That celing is mediocraty and 3 and outs in the World Cup. Any chance of this country earning international respect lies in our children. Please give them a chance.



  72. jay says:

    Since Orozco isn’t on the 20-man roster, I doubt he’ll be the choice in back. But I totally agree with your sentiments, and a few months ago I posted something about how poor a matchup Villa and Torres were going to be. But I have to believe Demerit will play in this game. You don’t not dress him against England, then bring him to Spain and not play him. Why yank him around like that? Bob’s willing to let others play for a contract/work permit/better team. Anyway. If Wolff plays I’ll be disgusted. They need someone who can pass in the midfield, and I kind of liked the idea of bringing Eddie Lewis into a central role, alongside or in front of Bradley. At least it’d be something new, albeit ironically new since it involves an octogenarian. So, my overall (and probably useless) point is this:







    I obviously couldn’t pick between a few players. Does anyone wonder whether either Cherundolo or Hejduk could play on the left? It seems like finding a way to play them both would be beneficial. This is all stupid, since the chance of Bradley using the same lineup as he did against England (with Mastroeni for Clark) are about the same as the United States having a repeat result, or worse. That’s my bet. (Sorry about writing this novel, but to finish, isn’t it crazy how quickly the outlook for the USMNT has reversed following the Gold Cup final last summer? Kind of sad.)

  73. FTK says:

    Papa Bear Bradley is a “link” midfielder in Ives’ formation, not a Dmid. It’s an essential position to every formation that uses 5 mid fielders. Bradley prides himself so much on being a “box to box middlefielder” that he is asking out of Holland because they won’t let him play that there.

  74. josh says:






    I also wouldn’t mind changing Edu for Dempsey and Dempsey for Adu (with Adu as the first offensive sub).

  75. eric says:

    WRONG – without thinking about it, I do know the Dutch have moved to a 2 D-Mid system. I’m sure there are others.

  76. aristotle says:

    What lineup should USA use vs. Spain?

    Someone else’s.

    Seriously, it’s hard to get too excited over which lineup will cause them to lose by the least goals. It’s hard to see them losing by less than two goals.

    I can’t wait to see the wonderful world press about how good we are after three consecutive multiple goal shutouts. I’ll predict 3-0.

  77. Ben says:

    Mastro is the d-mid version of Josh Wolff. He had his moment in 2002 and it has been downhill on the international level since then. With the personnel called in, there is almost no other options than a 4-5-1, unless Bradley was bold and played Jaqua and Johnson up top with Adu directly behind them.

  78. brett says:

    Chris- so you want players who do not get 1st team time to not get called up, but you want to field alot of the U20’s from canada??

    lets see that leaves Jozy, Bradley, Rogers and Dax… i wouldnt mind seeing those kids get time… but im sure you are also expecting faces like Szetela Adu and Zizzo… but lets be frank, none of those 3 have gotten much of any playing time in the past few months, some havent seen PT in even longer…

    the funny thing is, if bradley were to experiment with the lineup, youd all call for his head when it failed…. if he stands firm with his lineup, you all call for his head…. he’s getting the results, he got us into Confeds, and he’ll get us into the WC….

    for all the “FIFA INTL’ DATES” people…

    when it comes to the faces of Jozy, Rogers, Alverez, etc… the reason they were not called in for these camps is simple… with the olympics looming overhead, you’d be seeing some of the big names gone for several months between these friendlies, the france tourny and then the olympics… this’ll aggitate the friendship between the MLS and the USSF… later on when we get a friendly against a big name like Brazil that doesnt fall on a FIFA date, the MLS teams will be simply tell the USSF “NO”.. its all politics, learn to accept it…

    Bradley is giving some faces a look on defense…. he’s mixing up some vets like lewis, Hedjuk and Pablo for exp…. he has seasoned players like Gooch, Dempsey, Boca, LD, Beasley, and EJ… and current faces like Adu, Bradley and Edu

    we simply have to accept that we are not as good as we think… the youth players are getting time in some form with the nats whether its senior squad or youth… they are also getting time with their clubs… all of this is preperation for WCQ, Gold Cup, Confeds, Copa (if invited) and WC (assuming WCQ works out)

  79. brett says:

    Ben- i would love to see jaqua get a nod… he may not be the most gifted but i like his style of play… he’s smooth with the ball… always was my fav. with the fire…

  80. Royce says:

    Hey Ives and everyone else on here:

    For my sanity’s sake, please don’t remind me that Bradley left home the sakes of Altidore, Cooper, and other players with higher upside for the sakes of who?? Josh Wollff?? Nate Jacqua??? Are you kidding me!! I’ve been trying to withhold comment, and have been fairly patient with US Soccer and Bradley for some time, but after embarrassing displays at [earlier] Copa America and [recently] against England and [soon to be] Spain, I can’t take this anymore. Oh goodness, I was so disgusted and embarrassed at watching our team play against England, and know that we are likely to see more of the same against Spain so folks, get your vomit bags ready. But let’s say Bradley wants to compete…. To answer your question, I really like your lineup with the exception of Heath Pearce and Bocanegra on the left. (wait, I just looked at the 20-man roster and now realized how exposed we are down the back left… like Torres, I now have to change…WTH). Alright, well, the only change I’d make is to try out DeMerit alongside Gooch. Otherwise, I completely agree with your lineup and hope Bradley comes to play tomorrow… otherwise, I’d like to see Edu come on for him sooner than later.

  81. royce says:

    one more thing, i must say that while ej’s performance last wednesday was tough to accept, he was clearly the most dangerous american on the field and has shown tremendous improvement….

    ok, i’m done

  82. brett says:

    Royce- if you dont want to be reminded why bradley left them off the euro roster, then stop bringing it up…. its not rocket science…

    what defensive lineup do you think the US could place that would hold Torres at bay?? he’s going to get his chances… i remember in Copa that Bornstein kept Messi at bay for nearly 60 min… which is a feat amoungst any, but lets be frank here… these are world class forwards and they’ll find a way to create chances…

    so please, go ahead and produce a lineup that would dominate the field…one that could compete regularly… b/c quite frankly we are not at that point yet.. not saying we’ll definately lose with our TOP team, but we will definately rely on quite a bit of luck and fortunate misplacing by the spanish squad regardless of who shows up on our roster…

  83. Scott Monette says:

    Well, lot of good ideas out there. Here is my two cents.






    In this line up I see Duece as more of the target and EJ as the second forward. We throw out the bucket and put Adu in the middle of the park to run things. This will be his baptism of fire. MB has defensive role only. He made so many bad passes, I don’t want him forward at all.

    Just keep it simple, an attacking lineup, two wingers a DM and an AM with two strikers. We have creativity(adu)…speed (EJ maybe DMB). Width with two wingers.

    Now with a standard 4-4-2 with wingers we force the flow of the spanish attack to the wings initially, as they will be in a 4-2-3-1, their creativity in attack comes from the center(Xabi, Xavi Alonzo) to the wingers, then to Torres or Villa. We must find some are to break that attack route. Both our wingers are good at tracking back and helping out with the defense. If we can bend a bit and force the inital play to come to the wings where either dmb/dolo or Lewis/Pearce is waiting. That is the best matchup we will have. Hopefully, they will start to grow frustrated and start to play over the top to Torres directly. That is favorable to having them pass the ball around us all day….Now the FB’s of spain give me pause and could undo my whole idea, but pick your poison. Do you trust us to win the middle of the park with MB and Pablo? Trust the FB/Wingers? Or Trust Gooch and Boca to beat out Villa and Torres?

    Really not to many options, but I stand by my idea to park two forwards in there half, go with only ONE DM, and put our hope in the Spaniards getting frustrated with there early attempts at wing play and becoming one-dimentional with playing long balls to Torres over the top. I know….wishfull thinking….


  84. Steve says:

    I fully expect Eddie Lewis to start and Beasley to sit. Eddie showed last wednesday that he can still get it done…and with Beasley just coming back from injury, you have to wonder if he’s ready to play 2 games within a span of 7 days. I see DMB coming in as a sub

    Another possibility would be having Eddie Lewis start at left back instead of Pearce and have DMB in the Left Mid role.

  85. JeffM says:

    I agree, Ives; your lineup is both what I’d like to see and what I think we’ll see. It’s pathetic, though, that I am advocating a lineup that features Eddie Johnson. Can we really not do any better? At the moment, the answer is “no”.

    The Nats are a completely different team without Donovan.

  86. brett says:

    JeffM- and that shows our true weakness.. we rely to heavily on 1 player…. id love to have LD in the lineup, but we really need to learn how to win without him against quality sides… just think if he gets injured before the WC, would it be a quick in and out??

  87. pj says:

    Here’s the line up:

    ———- Jacqua ———-

    Beasley — Adu — Dempsey

    —- Bradley — Edu ——



    And here’s why:

    Jacqua can’t be any worse than Johnson, and he was playing well with his club team before the season ended so give him a shot. If he seems uninspired enter Johnson.

    Beasley is returning to form and he needs to run the lines for us, but he never needs to take another free kick again. They were miserable against England which is where Adu comes in. And he’s creative, showed promise in the few minutes Bradley played him and provided instant life to our dying offense. I think he and Dempsey would be fun to watch together.

    Bradley the son is a stud, his father is not but that shouldn’t take away from his work for the team. And Edu needs to play vs this kind of quality side to improve, we know what mastroeni can do and he’s not going to be in the 2010 lineup.

    Hejduk was great when he came on, Cherundolo is usually pretty solid but he was getting raped up and down the flank vs. England. Torres and Villa will be no kinder than Rooney and Gerrard were… he’s going to have problems. I also think Demerit should get a half time substitution because I think our middle defenders are too slow to keep up.

  88. pj says:

    one more thing… Eddie Lewis should come on for Beasley at half time so he’s not overplayed and tired for the game vs Argentina. And where is Jonathan Bornstein? I would like to see him on the left handling Torres instead of Pearce… seemed like he did a good job against some stout competition like Leo Messi so he could be a good option if Bradley didn’t hate him.

  89. Brian says:

    Lets have some fun, see some kids and add some flare







  90. Angel says:


    Beasley———-Adu———–Eddie Lewis




    I would like to see what can Adu do in the starting lineup I think if he start can get to the rythem of the game. I like what eddie lewis did against England. Eddie J. and Dempsey can work close each other at front in the attack mode but I like to see Jaqua coming in on the second half for either eddie or dempsey, We need to give him some experience. I hope the USA play much better than what they played against England, Remember not to get Star Struck….GO USA lets give everything you got