Who should the USA start vs. Trinidad & Tobago?

Jose Francisco Torres 1 (ISIphotos.com) 

                                                                                  Photo by ISIphotos.com

You can say it. The U.S. national team's performance on Saturday in a 2-2 tie vs. El Salvador was disappointing, at times terrible, and hardly confidence-inducing. The great two-goal comeback was inspiring, and it showed great heart, but it's safe to say that any more performances like the one on Saturday and the Hexagonal will suddenly become more difficult for the United States than most people could have imagined.

The best part about Saturday is that it's just four days before the next qualifier, on Wednesday vs. Trinidad & Tobago in Nashville. That's a quick turnaround time which should hopefully help the U.S. team try and forget Saturday's terrible display and look toward playing better at home.

The biggest question now is just what will Bob Bradley do to his lineup in the wake of Saturday's draw. Tim Howard and Oguchi Onyewu are expected back in the lineup, which should provide a big boost, but Bradley has other decisions he must make.

So what lineup could we see on Wednesday night? Here is one possibility (along with a lineup I would love to see at this point):

Projected USA lineup






This lineup makes plenty of sense because A) Sacha Kljestan just hasn't looked good in recent games and was terrible vs. El Salvador, and B) Jose Francisco Torres was very impressive in his second-half performance on Saturday.

Jonathan Spector should get a chance at left back because the way heath Pearce is looking these days T&T's Carlos Edwards could have a field day against him.

So what's the lineup I would like to see on Wednesday? It is a bit of a departure from what the U.S. team normally does, and I acknowledge that it has little to no chance of happening, but here goes:






With Dempsey seeing time on the left flank for Fulham, using him there for the US team wouldn't be a stretch at all and it would allow Donovan to attack from the right wing, where he could go at defenders as well as provide some service.

The other option is to use Donovan on the left. Yes, I am aware that Landon Donovan isn't left footed and not really someone who has been used on the left flank, but considering the non-existent service the U.S. team has been getting on that flank anyway, it could serve the U.S. team well to let Donovan attack from that flank ala Thierry Henry, allowing him to take people on and cut inside where he can wreak havoc.

Beasley at left back has been something discussed on the past on SBI and it is worth a look right now because A) Beasley's attacking qualities are suffering miserably right now and B) Heath Pearce is just plain awful. Beasley has the speed to deal with Carlos Edwards and the different position look might just help Beasley get past Saturday's poor showing.

Jozy Altidore has made things happen when he gets into the game, and while I will acknowledge that he didn't exactly play great the last time he got the start (at Trinidad & Tobago coincidentally enough), he did set up the U.S. team's loan goal in that game. With Ching holding the ball up and Altidore running off him, the U.S. team just might find its best forward combination.

What lineup would you like to see Bob Bradley use vs. Trinidad & Tobago? What do you think of the above lineups?

Share your thoughts below.

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142 Responses to Who should the USA start vs. Trinidad & Tobago?

  1. sean monaghan says:

    I wouldnt mind seeing this






    If Beasley doesnt prove himself (again) take him out,put in torres and put LD on the left like ives said.

    Does anybody else think frankie should wear the armband??

  2. Anthony says:

    I like pulling Pearce and Spector out of the Ives Preferred Lineup, but instead of Beasley in the defense, why not go with DeMerit? I know he’s a center back, but at least he plays defense.

  3. tedhill says:

    I would play the 4-4-2, which is really more like a 4-4-1-1 with Donovan being the striker playing just behind the center forward Altidore. I still don;t know what to do with the midfield. I think Torres has earned the right to get a strat along side Bradley in the center. Dempsey can stay on the right side, but that left side needs something other than Beasley. I don;t know the answer. I like the back four that Ives thinks we will see. Onyewu will be back and I would replace Pearce with Spector.

  4. Katatonia says:

    tfc fans are bad ass

  5. ThaDeuce says:

    I like your second line up because we share the same players, but why go with a 4-4-2 again? We ended the game in a 4-3-3 and I think it makes the best since.
    I like the first one too, but again, why the 4-4-2 instead of the 4-3-3?




    This I think is a talented and offensive group of footballers capable of keeping possession in our opponents half and imposing their will on the game. Also there should be plenty of space to pass in their half because of all the players there. Yet Torres, Dempsey, and Bradley are all very defensive minded and offensive minded, so I do not think our defense will suffer. I hope this is what we come out of the gate with. One possibility I would agree with, swap Beasley with Spector like we did the other night.




  6. Colin Ferguson says:

    I like both of Ives’ lineups, but in the experimental formation, why not switch Dempsey and donovan? Dempsey plays on the left a lot for fulham and has shown more of an appetite for cutting inside and taking people on than donovan has recently. Let donovan put in crosses with his strong foot on the right wing.

  7. biological says:


  8. Tom P says:

    .I put in Pablo over Bradley to destroy T&T midfield flow and start him paired with Torres.

    I put in Pablo over Bradley to destroy T&T midfield flow and start him paired with Torres.

    Spector must start period. He is better than any of the players in our back row rotation when heatly period no matter what anyone else may argue.

    Sasha K. is just not an international caliber player and Bradley is so inconsistent. In truth I find most people much more sold on his talents then me.

    You can accuse Pablo of many things on the club level but someone name one national match where he didn’t bring it 120%. He is like Heydude- he puts on the national kit and boom-something comes over them-which is how it should be!!!!!!

    Also Bradley picked another stupid, total avoidable yellow vs. El Salvador

  9. Dave says:

    I think that first line-up is exactly what we’ll see, unfortunately.

    Regardless, the key for the US in this game is not the line-up-it’s the posture on the field. I wanted to throw my damn shoe at my TV watching us let EL SALVADOR!!!! take it to us. We played right into them-didn’t control the ball in the midfield by knocking it around, bypassed the mids altogether by just booting it up the field, which more than half the time gave the ball right back to El Salvador.

    I really was dumb-founded that BB would go w/ BONEHEADED TACTICS like this. El Salvador had 1 chance to get anything from us and that was for us to play the way we did, SCARED, timid, not pushing the play, controlling the tempo-ABSOLUTE JOKE. If we were a serious footballing nation, Bradleys nuts would be on the chopping block right now after that display.

    So I don’t care what the line-up is, we need to get players UP THE PITCH-that means you BEASELY. Control the ball in the midfield and get our oustide backs running around the outside-yeah Heydude can’t cross the ball for (crap)but he’s never going to stop making those runs-forcing the defense wide to cover him-opening the channels for Jozy, Clint, Lando,etc.

    Kljestan and Califf OUT, Altidore should START but probably won’t and Beasley needs to get a FIRE lit under his butt.

    We need to win this game at least 3-0 and send a message.

  10. mb says:






  11. BFBS says:

    4-3-3 with Spector as the left back would leave us awfully narrow (since in a 4-3-3 the fullbacks need to be flying up and down the sideline while Spector is really a center back). I would be optimistic with Ives’s projected line-up (meaning the first).

  12. Isaac says:







    I’d love to start Torres but I think the underperformance of Donovan lately is more important. He needs two bigger strikers in front of him. This way the center backs are more obligated to cover them and Donovan has more freedom around the 18 yard box. Donovan does well when he is given space to create.


    Torres for Ching(slide Donovan to forward,switch to 4-4-2/4-5-1)

    Adu for Dempsey

    Johnson for Donovan

    Posted by: Isaac | March 30, 2009 at 09:16 AM

  13. Eric Griesheimer says:





    Dempsey has played on the left flank, I think it makes since to put him on that side and let Landon run on the left.

  14. boltman says:

    DMB needs to play left back. Yes he got beat on a cross for the second goal, but up to that point, I thought he was playing well on defense. Moving DMB to left back has been a discussion on message boards for years!

  15. crash2180 says:

    Ives, Bob Bradley just read your line up and laughed…

  16. Mike says:




    It’s time to see Spector at CB. He wouldn’t be a drop-off from Bocanegra at that position and we need Boca at leftback. Hejduk fills in for Cherundolo until he gets back.

    It’s time to give Torres a start. The rest of the midfield is fine.

    Additionally, while I appreciate Ching’s workrate, he just doesn’t produce the goods. Link Altidore up with Donovan right behind him and you have two explosive forwards who could wreak havoc on the best of defenses.

  17. A.S. says:

    I like Ives preferred lineup at the forward and midfield positions. I really question why Bradley is so reluctant to use Bocanegra at left back. We need a left back desperately, and one of our players plays left back for a very good team in Europe. So naturally, Bradley seems not to even consider this possibility. It is baffling to me.

    I would move Boca to left back, and pair DeMerit with Gooch at center back.

  18. Isaac says:


    Spector is a center back but he always does a good job of getting up the flank when he does play as a wing back. He even takes a couple of shots. He’s by no means a stay at home defender.

  19. Mike says:

    The 30 minutes of Beasley playing left back on Saturday convinced me that he should never, ever play there again.

    I particularly like Sean’s lineup, and take Beasley off at halftime for Torres (no matter what). Or, Ives’s first lineup is also spot on. No Pearce, no Sasha, no problem for me.

  20. A.S. says:

    I would also consider benching Michael Bradley and starting Pablo in his place. Pablo is just much more composed on the ball than Bradley is. He doesn’t have Bradley’s scoring ability, but what we really, really lacked on Saturday was compsure bring the ball of the field. And Pablo is simply better than Bradley at that.

  21. Dave says:


    doesn’t matter who starts. We need to not play scared and IMPOSE our dominance every time we step on the pitch. Control the ball in the midfield and get players forward. Ching up top by himself ain’t gonna cut it.

    Klejstan, Califf and Pearce out, Gooch, Spector and Torres in.

    I’d also like to see Altidore in from the start-sacrifice Beasley or Ching.

    No more Long-ball bologna. Knock it around-we are the giants of CONCACAF, we dominate the minnows-I wish someone would remind BB of that-embarrassing against El Salvador.

  22. arkjayback says:

    Ives, that would be one my favorite US lineups, and almost exactly what I have proposed. I wouldn’t mind Adu starting instaead of Ching though. Donovan never went back and demanded the ball against El Salvador, something Adu would certainly do.

  23. Patrick says:






    I think Altidore proved he deserves the start over Ching. I think Torres should be given the holding/distributing midfielder position until he proves otherwise. I think Adu and Altidore combine very well together, and they are both very familiar with Bradley. Torres, Bradley, Spector, and Hedjuk should give Dempsey and Donovan the ability to sneak inside from time to time.

    Subs: Guzan, Demerit, Pearce, Edu, Beasely, Ching, Johnson

  24. hc says:

    Here’s my 2 cents-fantasy lineup:


    —————— Bradley—————–
    ———— Torres——– Edu————-


    ——————- Howard—————–

    I would play a 4-3-3: attack on the flanks to get around and behind the bunker defenses that these “weaker” CONCACAF teams will probably now play(after ES success on Saturday).
    Torres and Edu would be holding midfielders, Bradley, an attacking mf.
    I prefer a back line that is big and physical against T&T.

  25. michael says:

    Ives, you hit the nail on the head and this is why I visit this site daily. I think your projected lineup and the lineup you’d like to see are spot on.

    I am okay with Ching starting. He played well in the Mexico game and can do well as a holding forward. I think he would be so much better if he played with some aggression. He just seems too laid back.

  26. DCDeacon says:

    I’m a huge fan of Beasley, though I have to say playing him at left back is a stretch and I’d rather see Spector. Beasley was directly responsible for that second goal. Instead of being patient and containing his man, he was overly aggressive, got beat, and his man got off the scoring cross. If that’s how he plans to defend, we’re better off with Spector there. I like the idea of Dempsey and Donovan on the outside with Altidore up top and Torres in place of Klejstan.

  27. frank from sf says:

    it’s easy to see why beasley isn’t starting for rangers. please! no more in the nat. team there’s better players.

  28. milkshake of despair says:

    Does anyone here question if Boca is getting rusty at CB since he’s been playing LB at Rennes? He did not look that good himself Saturday and do you contribute that to working with Califf? Crowd noise? or Rust? or all of the above? I think it was a combo of noise and familiarity with Califf, but want to hear other opinsions.

    I for one thought the crow had an obvious effect on the whole team. I wonder if the team has tried training with crowd noise blaring on speakers like some NFL teams have been known to do.

  29. JeffM says:

    I have to say: I think Torres is getting a bit over-hyped on this board. I thought he played well against El Salvador, and I’m optimistic about his future, but I’m also a bit surprised that so many people are starting to view him as a mortal-lock starter.

    Let’s remember: we Nats fans tend to suffer from a bit of “grass is always greener” syndrome. We always tend to assume that the guy on the bench is better than the guy on the field. We were all clamoring for more Charlie Davies until the Sweden match – same thing for Robbie Rodgers. Everyone hated Ching, but he puts together a couple of good performances and the noise about Kenny Cooper dissipates. Kljestan was the darling of this board for a while, and now the pendulum has swung the other way.

    My point is this: let’s not make snap judgements for small sample sizes. Let a player amass a body of work before we annoint him savior or bum. I think Torres has a future with this team, and I’d personally like to see him start (in place of Beasley) on Wednesday, but let’s not proclaim him the Messiah just yet.

  30. gmen04 says:

    torres has to get a start after his performance and SK’s failure to impress.

  31. Army of Dad says:

    I think Ives is right on with the lineup we will see. I would like to see his second one, but I don’t see BB doing that much of a change.

  32. JP says:

    Whatever lineup we put out there, Bob Bradley needs to loosen the reins and let these guys create a bit. They had the look of a team that was restricted until desperation forced them to cut the chains loose.

  33. Chase says:

    Things that I hope to see:

    -Boca at LB

    -Spector at CB (or in some capacity on the field)

    -Torres in CM

    -Jozy playing an important role

    Things that I better not see or I will be sent into a fit of rage:

    -Klejstan, Califf, or Pearce in the starting line-up

    -Onyewu not playing again because BB and the staff are overly cautious about a potential injury

  34. rednow.red4ever says:

    Wake me up when Bob finally calls Cooper in….

  35. wally says:

    I think maybe we’re onto something with the Altidore Ching combo up front. I liked the way they played off each other in el salvador. It’s becoming clear that their skills are completely different – ching holding up and passing and altidore running at goal.

  36. Dave says:

    Hey Jeff, well-said.

    There is certainly a lot of knee-jerk reactions after a pathetic performance, but I think a lot it is actually well-founded, though those expounding it may not be putting forth the correct arguments.

    I’ve said for a while now that Klejstant can’t hack it at this level-frankly I think if you play center midfield in MLS that should almost automatically disqualify you from playing the same position at the international level-the speed just isn’t there, the thinking-Bradley had a howler on Saturday but was head-and shoulders above Klejstan. Torres has been playing week in week out at a top Mexican side. He was COMFORTABLE on the pitch-frankly the opposite of Klejstant-so you’re right-it’s too early to start blowing him, but he’s definetly the better option to Klejstan-especially in matches like El Salvador-not being able to hold down the midfield KILLED the US-and Sacha was exhibit A.

    Ching: I think the issue that most people have w/ Ching, and that I share, is that against a top team in the world-he’s frankly not even CLOSE to good enough-because he’s not dangerous-he’s a terrific role player, holding the ball up and laying it off, but even El Salvador knew that they didn’t have to man-mark him because he wasn’t going to threaten the goal-so for the first 70 mins, Ching would get it and lay it off to a double or triple teamed Dempsey or Donovan and we know how well that worked.

    So we want to see someone in that spot, Jozy in particular who can do the basic things that Ching does so well, hold it up, get more players into the attack, but also turn the ball and go AT the defense.

    For me, it’s not as much about individuals as it is about the philosophy. BB’s tactics on Saturday were deplorable-he put out a team and strategy to TIE and that is frankly inconcscionable-it’s not right so it doesn’t really matter who we put on the field if that’s the system and attitude we’re going to have-ALL of our players are better than what El SALVADOR or TT have to offer-big test for me for BB on WED. If we want a shot next year-he needs to go SOONER than later.

    Gulati needs to offer Mourinho 10mil a year to come over.

  37. Homey Boehme says:

    As long as Ching and Califf do not start, I will be happy.

  38. RK says:

    I would really love to see Jozy start, because I want to see if he can improve on Ching.

    My gut feeling is that the result would be a wash — that Ching doesn’t get a chance to shine because he is alone, up top, never getting service.

  39. Tim Pramas says:

    Beasley was one of the players at fault for El Salvador’s second goal. I’m not sure why playing him at left back would be a good idea.

  40. madmax says:

    Clark ———- Pablo

    If you go to 4 defenders Frankie replaces Clark. Adu replaces Dempsey if his tank is empty and slots in behind Jozy.

  41. milkshake of despair says:

    I’d like to see the stats from this game like they posted for the Mexico game. Number of touches, completed passes, headers won, etc. I barely knew Landycakes was even in the game. I’m curious how many touches he had. He did one of his disappearing acts.

  42. Tony in Quakeland says:

    I could live with either line up. I definately want the Beasley to left back move to happen – NOW instead of the week before the world cup. But in the projected line, Ching holding up the ball with three attackers behind him could be very interesting.

  43. randall says:

    i dont want to see kljestan or pearce for a long time based on the way they wet their pants saturday. torres came on and played like he was on the better team (something most of the starters failed to do), was composed on the ball, and drastically changed our ability to keep possesion- he should be rewarded for that.

    im resigned to ching being there- cause lord knows a u.s. forwards ONLY job is to “work hard”- but at least play jozy with him. stevie wonder can see that our attack is better by multiple whole numbers when hes on the pitch.

    id like to see edu just to see how hes progressing, but im not clamoring for a start or anything.

    beasley at left back seems inevitable to me, but until theres a clearly better (or at least comprable) option in the midfield im not sure when we make that move. maybe play torres on the left of a 3 man midfield, pinched in with beasley behind him?

    other than that id just like to see spector somewhere. i agree hes not a natural fit at left back if we are looking for that position to get forward and give us width, but behind beasley i think it could work. it definitely cant be worse than pearce was saturday.

    so my no-chance-in-hell wish of a formation/starting 11 would be…







  44. Tom in Newark says:

    I can’t see Spector getting thrown in the deep end on the left side. Also, nobody tries harder than Ching; but he isn’t cut out for international soccer. Give Jozy a chance up top with Donovan. Torres was a revelation. He gets the start over that turnover machine Kljestan.

    Jozy – Donovan

    Beazer – Torres – Bradley – Dempsey

    Pearce – Boca – Gooch – Spector


  45. Jamie Z. says:

    I’m seeing a lot of Altidore/Ching up top. Do those two have much experience playing together? I know it’s hard to tell with these things, so I’m not going to dismiss it until I’ve seen it, but I’m not sure how I see those two linking up together.

    Torres impressed everybody, and I’d love to see him get the start, but I’d warn against expecting miracles. Everybody will have off night, and whether Torres’ off night comes Wednesday or at Azteca or the Confederations Cup, I entreat people to give him a break.

    DaMarcus was awful this weekend. I don’t know what that means for Wednesday, but I wouldn’t mind seeing him or Spector at left back. I was more than happy to see Pearce over Bornstein, but he’s just not international quality, I fear.

    To everybody who keeps putting Torres on the left: Torres is not a winger. Deal with it. I’d rather see Sacha out there in a pinch.

  46. Ryan says:

    There is no feasible reason to start any of these players:





    You guys continually praise Hejduk, when in fact he was worthless for all but 2 minutes of game time.

    The lineup should look like this:








  47. hdtv says:

    i dont think ching and altidore can play together. they are both size and hold up forwards that need to be partnered with a faster, more skilled player. i see them having the same problems that tandems like adriano – ibrahimovic have. we need a tandem more like rooney + heskey
    i think they each need to be partnered with a speed forward in the mold of charlie davies. id like to see that, but since davies isnt in the lineup and johnson is the only other option and im skeptical, i think we have to stick landon as the second forward, though id much rather see him in the middle somewhere. here’s the lineup id like tos ee given bradley’s roster choices

    beas – donovan – dempsey
    bradley – torres
    spector – gooch – boca – hejduk

    here is my ideal lineup, though i admit it might be more a thing of the future

    altidore – davies/johnson/speed in general
    donovan – torres/feilhaber – bradley/edu – dempsey
    spector – gooch/boca – parkhurst/demerit – dolo/simek

    good standard 4-4-2. speed and power up top, defensive destroyer + possession player in the mid, speed on the flanks and backs, and power center D coupled with a smarter and better positioned player.

  48. joel says:

    Torres should get some more looks!!!!

  49. Shane S says:

    What I want to see (and I will be there!):

    Spector: But at LB? No. Alongside Gooch with Boca at LB. Heyduk should keep his place at RB. I’m still not convinced he will be the guy at SA 2010, but after Mexico and El Salvador, the ‘dude deserves the spot.

    Edu: Playing at some point in the midfield. Bradley is a very good player, but he’s a hothead and on a yellow card now. Mastroeni is workmanlike but not the future.

    Altidore: I think he should start in place of Ching. Ching has a good work rate and plays his heart out, but his first touch is not particularly good. So what if we have to play with the ball on the deck? Donovan, Dempsey, and Beasley playing attacking mid just behind Altidore play that way!

    And BTW, let’s give credit to El Salvador–they played a good match and took their chances. Guzan needs to put his act together; for both the USMNT and when I have seen him play for Villa, he has been less than inspiring.

  50. Tim from Texas says:

    I love the idea of Beasley at the left back. Lets have it!!! also Donny on the opposite flank would have the perfect compliment in Hejduk. Lets see Altidore get a start already as well!

  51. Mingjai says:

    I like Ives’ 4-1-3-2 lineup a lot. If they don’t go with that, here’s what I would consider trotting out:






    I wasn’t initially hot on going with Mastroeni, I think if Beasley is going to be playing left wing back, then it might not hurt to have destroyer-type defensive mid playing along side Bradley.

    Dempsey is slotted at left wing, but given how well Donovan and Beasley play together, I would have Donovan and Dempsey switch sides periodically.

    I’m very confident in Torres controlling the attack in the midfield after seeing his play on Saturday.

  52. RK says:

    milkshake of despair: I’ve been wondering what the breakdown of possession was, US v El Salvador. I have yet to find it.

  53. Dave says:

    Ryan, if we are to have a shot at anything meaningful at WC10, that is the lineup we MUST have on the field-though I think maybe Parkhurst for Edu in central defense if he develops enough beforehand-he’s got the positional sense and ability on the ball to match Gooch’s physicality-same could be said for Edu I suppose, I just prefer Parkurst personally.

    Spot on brohem.

    And no credit is due to El Salvador-that second half was one of the most disgraceful showings I’ve ever seen-really should have been 10+ minutes of stoppage time.

  54. Patrick says:

    Beasley at left back? You guys have to be joking. The definition of crazy is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Lewis, Convey, Beasely…

  55. J says:


    ————- Dono

    Altidore ——– ———- Dempsey


    Spector—-Boca—– Gooch ——Hedjuk


    I like this because Ching can hold the ball for an on rushing Dono,Altidore, Dempsey, or Bradley.And Spector and Torres need to be given a shot,Kljestan and Pierce have certainly not nailed down the position.

  56. Seriously? says:

    I actually care less about the line-up than I do about how they’re told to play. This is the first time when I’ve seriously questioned Bradley as the coach. You can’t really question a coach when a player makes a bad decision, or has a bad game, but the whole team looked clueless and scared to go forward when in posession, which makes one have to wonder how they were prepared for the match, what they were instructed to do.

    As for players, if it’s going to be Donovan and another more forward player up top, I would like to see Altidore. Ching has never consistently impressed me for any period of time, and he’s not that deadly a scorer, as he showed when he had a chance to win it, and all he could do was hit the ball straght at the keeper’s chest. As for other changes, I can’t see anyone doing worse than Kljestan did, so it’s almost immaterial if it’s Torres or whomever, it will be an improvement.

  57. sread says:

    I’m not sure how much tougher a side T&T are than El Salvador but the fact is we are at home and should impose our will FROM THE BEGINNING. If I see the US playing their little ‘pass back’ defensive, apprehensive style like they did on Sat., I’ll turn that rubbish off. Most my fellow UNAT posters have gotten it just about right–if we are the dominant force in CONCACAF we really need to demonstrate it emphatically when possible. I mean, guys like Jose Mourinho are commenting on our NAT team and complementing certain aspects of our game before we go out and drop points to an inferior squad. Road matches or not, we need to establish some sort of identity because up till now, we haven’t exactly found our own style. We can’t change the CONCACAF or the flop style of our Southern neighbors, so we need to be as impressive as we can whenever possible.
    We can win with a lot of variances to the lineup so I’m not going to put anything different although there are two things that I would like to see from here on out:
    1. Howard always in goal…always, always.
    2. Some form of a 4-4-2. It’ll give Ching someone to work with up top and avoid another meltdown in the middle when 2 or more Midfielders are having an off night.

  58. JSM says:

    Ching Altidore

    Dempsey Torres Donovan

    Bradley Edu

    Spector Bocanegra Heijduk


    Let Onyewu rest another gaem, let Beasley watch and learn,. Why not go with a 3-man back line and Bradley and Edu covering. Then we can concentrate on attacking. If we didn’t have such strong d-midfielders, I wouldn’t want this. But we do. Both Bradley and Edu are great at linking the back with the front. This is somehting that should be considered.

  59. joe says:

    The only position Beasley should be starting at is left out. As in left out of the 18. He’s lost it. He tried so many AYSO-esque moves trying to beat defenders it was embarrassing. And it was his touch of a rapist that set off the counter that led to ES’s fist goal 75 yards from goal. How does a guy who gets no minutes in a crap league start for our National team?

  60. beckster says:

    I like Issac’s line up the best but several work. The most important things are to:

    – get Spector in at left back

    – find a place for Altidore up front with ching and let Donovan play in the center just behind them

    -No Sacha

  61. Tim says:

    Aside from line-ups, Hejduk needs to be wearing the armband. Time and time again, this guys comes through in some shape, form, or fashion for the MNT. Granted, he has had poor performances in the past, but EVERY SINGLE MEMBER of the current pool has. Hejduk, more often than not, steps up when he needs to. The US looked uninspired on Saturday, and they need somebody to motivate them. I thinks that’s Frankie.

    That aside, I think Beasley needs to be left out of the starting line-up. He’s just not in form, and his give-away on Saturday directly led to the first Salvadorian goal.





    I know, I know, it won’t happen. But it’s what I’d like to see.

  62. mike ruze says:

    Any Line up that has Altidore and Torres in and Sacha, Ching, Guzan, and Beasley out.

  63. spencer says:

    I don’t know how some cannot give Spector a start. He plays on the best team of any field player. He starts, and yet he can’t play for our team? Maybe he’s just too good.





  64. Chris May says:

    Ives, you put up exactly the same lineup as I was emailing my friends about, except I had Torres on the right wing and Donovan in the middle, but either way…

  65. Drew2 says:


    I like your “ideal” lineup to some degree, but don’t you think Beasely was a disaster at left back on Saturday? Theoretically you would think he would be perfect as a tenacious, fast, hard working winger with increasingly obvious issues contributing to the attack as a midfielder. But his instincts seemed way off to me.

  66. Curtis Spiteri says:

    Sean M. from post #1, I like your idea.






    Someone get this over the Coach Bob.

  67. rob says:

    ives i like your line-up and i want more TORRES


  68. DC Josh says:






    I don’t think Beasley deserves to be benched here. I say, give him 45 minutes at left back and if he sucks bring in Spector, switch donovan and dempsey if the left side is lacking. Anyone who knows anything about soccer understands the teamwork involved with the outside mid and fullback, they need to work together to attack and overlap.

    It’s all about overlapping, which is something we NEVER do. If you look at the best teams in the world, they all A) constantly move off the ball, and B) overlap. Those two combinations will lead to spreading the defense out and opening gaps to exploit.


  69. Mark says:

    One of the things I’ve always found admirable about some of our veteran guys is that when they aren’t getting a lot of playing time, they still managed to put in good performances for the Nats. Beasley had a terrible game, but I’d give him another try since he’s earned that in my opinion. Pearce, however, has had a string of subpar performances, so I’d sit him for now. He had the talent as he showed last summer, but his form is just not there at the moment.

    Unlike others, I’m not ready to start Torres yet. He played a very good 20 minutes against a completely gassed team that kept everyone behind the ball. I’d like to see him make another substitute performance against T&T, and then get a start later in qualifying, preferrably against a team desperate for a result. He looks like he’ll be a useful player, so looking forward to seeing more of him in the future.

  70. Bob says:

    I like Jozy in the super sub role. Don’t think he can bring it for 70-90 min. yet.

  71. Sushant Rao says:

    What does Spector usually play for West Ham? I thought he played Center Back. I think putting him as left D doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense to me.

    Rather, I think Bocanegra may be a better bet as he plays left back for Rennes (please correct me if I’m wrong).

    Also, here’s the formation I’d like to see at some point (if we get up 2 goals OR if we are down goals)

    Altidore – Donovan
    Adu – Torres – Dempsey
    Beasley or Boca – Gooch – Boca or Spector – Heydude

    Obviously if Beasley is left D, then Boca is in the middle. If Boca is left D, then Spector is in the midle.

    Watching us lob balls into the box and hoping for good things isn’t a recipe for success. I think the way the first goal played out (Ching holding the ball, taking it wide to Heydude who then crosses it back into the box for Altidore) is more likely to produce goal-scoring opportunities. Now, it was a lob that got the ball to Ching in the first place, which means we need a better way to serve our forwards.

    This is long way of saying that we need Adu & Torres. I think a combo of Adu on the left wing (supported defensively by Beas & Boca) with Torres in the middle means that we have some good passers in the mid-field. I realize there are some Adu skeptics, but seeing how well we passed with Torres means that we need more passing.


  72. Steve says:

    I’d love to see:







    Let’s run the offense through our best player (Donovan), let’s tell Beasley he has competition for the LM position, let’s have guys on the wings (Dempsey & Torres) who can actually provide service, and let’s have two guys up top (Ching & Altidore) who can do something with the service.

  73. Russ says:

    I cannot believe that anyone who follows the US would EVER again want to see a left midfielder playing at left back.

    Why not?

    Do you remember, only a couple of days ago, Beasley getting burned for the set-up of El Salvador’s 2nd goal?

    Not convinced?

    Do you remember our World Cup, in essence, being over in 2006 after only 8 minutes, because Eddie Lewis was 40 yards out of position leading to the Czech Republic’s 1st goal?

    There are only 2 reasonable left back alternatives: Spector or Bocanegra (with Califf, Demerit, or Spector in the middle).

  74. Joe In FL says:








    I know there is no way Bob would start Adu. The reason I thought of this lineup was the fact that we used it against Italy in the WC Mastro in front of the defenders and behind the midfield.

  75. Mike says:

    How many times do we have to see Donovan not getting service before he is moved more into the midfield. Would love to see that experimental lineup w/ DMB at left back and Donovan on the right wing. Dempsey on the left wing allows him to attack diagonally using his strong foot. Don’t think having DMB at left back really hurt the U.S. at all last game.

  76. Hood_Rich says:

    Beasley sucks. The guy is only good for speed and open spaces. If there is no space, he cannot dribble. If he tries to make a short pass, it is usually errant or has bad weight behind it. His inability to have a good touch prevents him from being able to perfectly weigh a ball for a passing game.
    I watched the game again for analyzing certain players and it was evident he didn’t
    belong out there on Sat. night.

  77. andrew says:

    I think donovan needs to be in the midfield. I like him more in the center of the park so he can stay involved. He can pull is disappearing acts when he is on the flank or sometimes the game wont come to him. IN the middle he is forced to be involved.

    I have thought about going to a 3 back system and we simply dont have the backs to do it currently in our pool. As some have pointed out Boca didnt play that well but I am going to attribute that to Califf and how miserable he played. It is hard for a CB to show as good when he is surrounded by Pearce and Califf, Boca simply had too much ground to cover.

    I dont think Hedjuk is our answer for 2010 but at this point it is his spot to lose in my eyes. Yes, he really didnt do much for 85% of the game but no one did. He seems to step up when we need him too.

    Yes, beasley got beat for the serve but that happens to every back, hedjuk or Guzan need to make that play. Really hedjuk should have won that header. You also cant judge beasley’s performance at LB from that game as it was a different situation and he was asked to get forward a lot more than play defense given the game situation.

    I like this lineup or somethnig of the sort. Torress was just very composed on the ball and i think he brings a different type of style to our team.





  78. T.R. says:

    From Patrick: “Beasley at left back? You guys have to be joking. The definition of crazy is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Lewis, Convey, Beasely…”

    Thank you! Get over Beasley as a left back. He’s too small to cover the guys who would be from Europe playing in the World Cup. Yes, we are qualifying against different teams, but Spector can handle regional and European teams. Anyone notice how Spector has the ability to be positioned across a back four by his different clubs, but you don’t see Beasley making clubs as a left back? If he could play it, you’d think the clubs would try him there. I can’t imagine his past and present clubs have always been stocked with guys at that position. I could see Beasley at LB in MLS.

    The benefit of a Spector is the ability to play these different positions, as well as to play good defense in the air–something the US lacks from LB options and many of the RB options.

  79. Matt says:





  80. Justin says:

    Like most people I would like to see Donovan brought back into the midfield. No use having him play striker if we can’t get him the ball. When we get in trouble I want the ball at the feet of our best player as much as possible. Donovan needs to take over for Klejstan.

  81. For those of you fans who worship the ground Torres walks on, I disagree, or at leats am not convinced yet. Adu, who has convinced on occassion, should be on the starting elf (11), and I am all for Spector lining up in the back over Pearce.

  82. Tom Turkey says:





    Why put out anyone but your best players?
    They may play a little out of position, but make sure they are on the field. That is why boca on the left ’cause he is more versatile than spector. Altidore has played well when in games so he deserves the start, and same for torres. Also, Bradley has been a goal machine, and intense, so he must be in the attack. Adu is enough of an X-factor to play over DMB considering Beasley’s poor form, and it would be nice to see Edu at defensive mid, but seems like there just isn’t the room in the lineup.

    While there are question marks, it is nice there there is talent enough to be having the debates about who should see playing time (as well as healthy competition for the roles).

    Finally, playing in Tennessee will be heaven sent after that hostile cage-match in El Salvador.

  83. T.R. says:

    Adu is a bit like Blanco for the Fire now. You’ll need a guy to provide him cover. Dempsey has made great strides this past EPL season on his defensive game. Donovan makes the effort to track down guys and wait for support. Ching and Beasley play very good defense for their positions. Adu needs to improve this side of his game if he wants to start in meaningful games.

    I wish Adu was more enthusiastic to play in Beasley’s position, but he only seems to want Donovan’s position or akin to it. Early in his career Beasley played on the right to get on the field, and Dempsey was deep in the midfield. A more well-rounded Adu would result in more playing time on a team like the US.

  84. ThaDeuce says:




  85. Hood_Rich says:

    Torres played well and turned the tide for us by linking the defense with the attacking third by distributing ground passes. Before he came on, we didn’t look like a dominating side and were getting desperate by launching balls over the top. We shouldn’t have to play like this because we do have players who can handle the ball. So JFT steps in, and intelligently distributes (see things down happening down the line) rather than just passing mindlessly to an open guy.

  86. ThaDeuce says:

    I’m keen on tinkering with the back four, but I cannot make informed comments because I have not seen Spector play center back and I have not seen parkhurst or demeritt play at all.
    It sounds like a good move to have Spector at center back and bocanegra at left back, but I’m not so sure how well that would work out. Boca and Onyewu have been paired for years and surely have some serious chemistry. To tear that apart and all that work they have put in together is not something to be taken lightly. If Spector can jump right in without missing a beat, then go for it, but I’m not sure it is as easy as that sounds.

  87. ThaDeuce says:

    Oh yeah, but it sounds like Bornstein will be playing left back instead of Pearce or Spector. Why not? He is a natural left back. I might prefer to have Spector on the field, but I think this is something that will take some time to tinker… a few games to get out the kinks.. No worries, we have over a year to be ready for the world cup!!!
    link to ussoccer.com

  88. Mike Caramba says:

    I wouldn’t mind seeing Ives’ lineup. People talk plenty about Brian Ching’s work that doesn’t translate to goals (and I agree with most of these assessments), but I think it’s been proven that he’s much more effective with another forward. Donovan is supposedly providing this role, but I think we can all agree that it’s just not the same.

    Good picks. It probably won’t happen, but I’m going to keep my fingers crossed…

  89. Rekro says:

    I’m seeing too many crazy line ups and not enough common sense.
    If Bob Bradley has any brains in his head he’ll start Torres over Sacha, and pair ching with Altidore up top.

  90. DJ Barnett says:

    If the US really wants to put that horrible performance behind them then why not all out attack just for the hell of it. Let forget the terrible defensive effort by playing our most attacking team as possible. Everybody likes Christma, here we go:


    Adu Donovan

    Torres Bradley Dempsey

    Spector Boca Gooch Hejduk


  91. Göteborg Matt says:

    Bob Bradley will start Heath Pearce at left back on Wednesday. And that will be the sign, for all you Bradley defenders out there, that his personnel decisions are based on long since past performances. I hope I’m wrong. I really do, because Pearce was lost. Not as lost as Danny Califf who looked like he was running with a limp he was so slow, but lost nonetheless.

  92. Angel says:






    Is time to show some good Skill and technical game Bradley, Stop with the regime of telling them not to come out the routine or Skin of your style of futball. And yes it is fine to do what you had been practicing but them again let them be creative and let them play their own style of futball. Let then run free be more aggrassive, control the ball and used the one step pass when they are double team. Bob is time to show some world class futball and not the American Way. Please Bring Wilder Cabrerra (US U17 Coach)to coach the USNMT we need that Latin Flavor.

  93. ——Altidore———-Ching——

    I like the idea of Altidore and Ching playing off each other. Beasley just isn’t getting the playing time to start, and I worry about his size in the back. Torres really impressed me versus El Salvadore as well as Hejduk. Like Beasley I worry about Hejduk’s size, but his performance the past couple of games should be good enough to warrant a start ahead of Cherundolo. I think this gives the United States a balance attack and defense.

  94. m@ says:

    USMNT supporters who still don’t understand what Ching brings to this particular team either are letting their personal bias against Ching get in the way or have a puerile understanding of attacking tactics.

    Shredding a defense with jaw-dropping dribbling definitely takes talent, but applying the vision and the movement (on-ball and particularly off-ball) necessary for holding play and the subsequent passing combos is, in many ways, more complex due to the multi-player coordination required. Because this is not an individual feat, some may trivialize the contributions of each involved player; and the dynamic complexity may be too esoteric for some to appreciate.

    We will one day have a forward who shreds his way through defenses in jaw-dropping fashion, accumulating obscene amounts of individual accolades and personal recognition along the way. Until then, take time to appreciate the subtler side of soccer found in Ching-Hejduk-Altidore-goal.

  95. Tom says:


    Aren’t you being a little dramatic. You do know that half the teams in the HEX qualify for WC ’10 and we are in first place.

    I think we would have to play alot crappier than last Saturday to miss out.

    Who cares about the lineups. BB isn’t listning to us anyway.

  96. Rick Kline says:

    I don’t know why DMB is so sacred. Your lineup I would like to see is good, except I would put Spector as left back and DMB on the bench.

    He doesn’t deserve to start now and maybe in the future too.

  97. Goalscorer24 says:

    Klejstan, and Pearce need to have a seat. I would be happy with your projected USA lineup. If coach Bradley does not at least do that then he needs to go. As far as your proposed lineup, I like it overall, but I don’t like Beasely at left fullback. He got torched by El Salvador for the cross that lead to the 2nd goal when he was playing left back. He is not a defender and he is small. I would prefer to see Spector.

  98. Josh in the SLC says:

    Hate to be the bearer of bade news but Bornstein just got called into camp……..

  99. milkshake of despair says:

    Can’t believe Bradley is bringing in Bornstein. It could only mean he plans to start him, otherwise why bother? Think about it, if he planned to start Spector, Beaz or Boca out left, he always has Pearce off the bench. With Bornstein being called in it can only mean him or Pearce is starting with the other one being first off the bench.

    Talk about going backwards.

  100. Josh says:

    I would much rather have Spector at left back against T&T. I am not opposed to trying Beasly at LB, but save it for a friendly.

  101. CG says:

    From m@: “USMNT supporters who still don’t understand what Ching brings to this particular team either are letting their personal bias against Ching get in the way or have a puerile understanding of attacking tactics.”

    Couldn’t say it any better than that.

    For those of you posting line-ups with our “best 11″ and have Adu in there… I don’t see it. Adu is not one of our best 11 players right now, and probably shouldn’t even be on the bench.

    I have serious concerns about Beasley as a left back. At this point, I have serious concerns about Beasley as a left anything. His confidence is shot, he doesn’t take guys on anymore when he should, and speed will only get you so far as a defender. I like what Bradley does in the middle, but also have serious concerns about him as a 90-min defensive mid. Until he learns what to do (or more appropriately, what not to do) in each third, we will be vulnerable to several opposing free kicks from 25 yards each game.

    Spector has played plenty as a marking back for the Hammers. I’d be pretty pleased to see Ives lineup with Spector on and Beas off. I think Andrew was the first to post it here. Bradley will learn. He’ll just have to buy a few post-game drinks for Howard in the meantime. Edu is also a long term possibility there if he continues to develop. If Dolo is healthy, I choose him over Hejduk every time.

  102. ThaDeuce says:

    :Yes I agree, I do not think Bornstein will be our answer to the left back quagmire. However, I would venture a guess that he will perform better than Pearce.

    I think I would prefer to see Bocanegra moved out wide and Spector as CB or just putting Spector at left back. I even think I would prefer having Beasley at left back all of the time, that way he could get really good at it.

  103. fenel says:

    playing beasley at left back would be a big mistake for the nats. He’s too casual of a defender. He let the salvadoran player crossed an unchallenged ball which led to the second goal. When he messes up up front, it’s still 0-0, but when he messes in the back, the whole team suffers.

  104. Dave says:

    I do not understand the clamour for Beasley to play left back. As far as I am aware, he has no club experience in this position, and is a poor to modest tackler. While it may be attractive to think about the offensive opportunities it provides, rule one for a defender is you have to be able to defend; once that is done you can think about going forward.

    Remember Lewis against the Czech’s in the World Cup?

    Beasely’s brief spell at the end of the game playing full back was not a ringing endorsement of his suitability to play left back.

    Let’s get a solid defender in that spot and forget experimenting with non defenders in a critical defesive positions.

  105. alex says:

    I second the idea several other commenters have presented that Donovan needs 2 bigger forwards in front of him to operate. With T&T’s center backs preoccupied with Jozy and Ching, Donovan will have a lot more room to operate.

    That should work in theory, but the reality is that there will likely be a defensive midfielder locking Donovan up all game. However, this isn’t bad either. People don’t seem to recognize the off-the-ball work Donovan does sometimes, even if it’s just pulling a defender or 2 away from the play. He opens up alot of space for others to come forward and shoot.*

    *See MB’s second goal against Mexico.

  106. Jon M. Roberts says:

    Bob Bradley needs to talk to his players before the initial quick and tell them we are already down 2-0, an start torres and altidore, if that does not work out, then he can always go back to his normal eleven, lacking dolo.
    I just hope that nashville fans can bring it on and pull their weight as the twelfth man, why nashville????? Football in NASCARland??? I hope we can pick some better spots next time around

  107. EA says:

    “I cannot believe that anyone who follows the US would EVER again want to see a left midfielder playing at left back.”

    But Russ,

    It’s awesome when I do it on FIFA ’09! In fact, if we 9 forwards on the field, we’ll be awesome.

    This is the internet. Things like the real world and common sense have no place here.

    Here in the real world, Mastroeni will start for Kljestan, Gooch and Howard will return. Everything else will be status quo. That gives us the most reliable chance to get points, which, I assure all of the dreamers that want the hotshot from the (wherever) league to play… that is ALL we are trying to accomplish.

    If we get a 2 or 3 goal lead early, you may see Altidore, Adu and Torres.

  108. ThaDeuce says:

    “Bob Bradley needs to talk to his players before the initial quick and tell them we are already down 2-0, an start torres and altidore,”

    HAHA awesomeness.

    I resent your Nashville comment however, it is a very cool and cultured city. Ever heard of Vanderbilt? Lots of Rock-n-Roll flows through Nashville as well.

  109. T.R. says:

    “[Bornstein] is a natural left back.”

    Can’t agree. He was a forward in college. Bradley drafted him and put moved him to LB, but he is reportedly being pushed up to LM for Chivas. His position is still in flux.

    I’m hoping Bornstein is only coming in to back up Spector.

  110. Ron Mexico says:

    Ching and Califf are just not good enough and should not ever feature in a meaningful match. Everyone seems to realize it re Califf, for some reason Ching continues to have pockets of supporters for whatever reason (like his MLS play or whatever). He just isn’t good enough to feature internationally and doesn’t bring enough to the table. Jozy is the future but is also better right now.

    Pearce and Kljestan were awful on Saturday and probably deserve a seat this time around. I wouldn’t mind using Freddy off the bench, not sure about him starting but I think he could add something as a sub.

  111. Flipstar508 says:




  112. vic says:

    This may be getting too far ahead, but do you think the presence of Francisco Torres and Michael Orozco could give some calmness to the team when they play Mexico at Azteca? The team seemed jittery when playing El Salvador, as though the crowd was unnerving them. Would this depend on how many of the Mexican players are actually from the FMF as opposed to Euro players. Maybe throw in Bornstein too.

  113. mike says:

    We have a whole team of central midfielders and no left back. Maybe we should get away from the 4-4-2.



    or this maybe


  114. Barry U says:

    Hey I know Frankie was great at times on Saturday but I would like to see Spector at RB. He plays that for his club today and in the future from reports I’ve seen. Let DMB go at LB. Jozy and Ching up top and Torres for Sacha.

  115. madmax says:

    ————————— Jozy ————————
    ————————– Donovan ———————–
    —– Torres ——— Bradley ——- Dempsey—
    ——————– Clark———Pablo———————-
    ———-Boca——— Gooch————Spector—-

    First subs, Frankie for Clark if you go to 4 in back. Adu for Dempsey behind Jozy if Clint is out of gas.

  116. jpc says:


    1) Torres should be the permanent Defensive Midfielder on the team. I have yet to see him turn the ball over in the defensive third or midfield. Plus, he’s a better defender than Bradley. While Bradley covers more ground, Torres is a smarter defender, and a better tackler (Bradley has a lot many brash tackles that are completely uncalled for). Offensively he really reminds me of Claudio Reyna, always making the right decisions, and tougher than you think

    2) I still want to see Beasley on the right and Dempsey on the left. It adds another level to their game, and makes them 3 dimensional players by adding the possibility of them cutting into the middle of the field, rather than guys that run up and down the field

    3) I like Brian Ching, but come on, put the kid in to begin with for christ sake

    4) Spector should be at right back, period… Anyone who thinks he would’ve gotten abused like Hejduk did on that goal is kidding themselves. Plus, he’s a better attacking player due to his skill level, despite Hejduk’s somewhat over hyped attacking mentality and athleticism

    5) I’m not a huge Bornstein or Pearce fan, but until Wynne or cherundolo are at right back, and Spector can slide to the left, I like bornstein b/c he’s much more athletic and skilled, and he looks to overlap into the attack. Although Pearce has a cannon shot

    6) GET FREDDY IN THERE. The kid is dangerous everytime he plays. It’s not his fault he plays for a bunch of retards (much like Altidore)

  117. Adam says:

    Jozy Landy

    Torres Bradley Dempsey


    Spector Los Gooch Hejduk


    Does anyone know when Cherundolo will be healthy again? Frankie has played well, but I think he’s a card machine and a liability as anything more than a sub in SA.

  118. Joe Williams says:

    “USMNT supporters who still don’t understand what Ching brings to this particular team either are letting their personal bias against Ching get in the way or have a puerile understanding of attacking tactics.

    Shredding a defense with jaw-dropping dribbling definitely takes talent, but applying the vision and the movement (on-ball and particularly off-ball) necessary for holding play and the subsequent passing combos is, in many ways, more complex due to the multi-player coordination required. Because this is not an individual feat, some may trivialize the contributions of each involved player; and the dynamic complexity may be too esoteric for some to appreciate.

    We will one day have a forward who shreds his way through defenses in jaw-dropping fashion, accumulating obscene amounts of individual accolades and personal recognition along the way. Until then, take time to appreciate the subtler side of soccer found in Ching-Hejduk-Altidore-goal.”
    I hate to be completely rude here, but the quoted post borders on laughable. Insinuating that Ching should play alongside Altidore and then criticizing others’ knowledge of attacking tactics is bad enough, but the second paragraph takes it to another level. The problem with Ching isn’t his inability to create or run at defenses, it’s that he isn’t close to effective enough as a target/holding type of player. In other words, if he was a better target man then it would be fine. The fact that he isn’t highly skilled or creative is immaterial.

    The vast majority of us realize that there’s more than one way to skin a cat and readily appreciate a buildup through a string of clever passes. Ching had a couple of moments of success in his role against El Salvador, one of them leading to a goal, but it wasn’t nearly enough against an opponent of that caliber. We don’t begrudge Ching for his lack of skill or creativity, the problem is that he isn’t good enough in the role he’s asked to play. Your inability to realize the underlying reasons for the anti-Ching sentiment make me question your level of fan sophistication despite your best efforts at pedantry.

  119. Kevin says:

    Everyone agrees that we are the beasts of Concacaf, so let’s impose our will and athleticism on teams. I know it’s unusual, but fun to watch.







  120. Angel says:

    Kevin – I like your Format but Bob Bradley never going to play a 3-5-2 he is too discipline and too conservative. he doesn’t like to risk but I can tell you this, If the USA Qualify as 2nd or 3rd seed we need request the firing of Sunil and Bob Bradley and get them fired.

  121. CG says:


    I can appreciate that you disagree with m@ (and me since I quoted him) but why exactly is Ching not effective enough as a target striker? According to you he only has a few moments of success in that role. Yesterday one of those moments led to half of our offensive output. Do I think Ching is a savior? No, but we had what you and others are clamoring for in the interim between McBride’s retirement and Ching’s ascension to permanent starter – multiple small forwards. That usually resulted in a 4-5-1 with a lone, deserted (and often ineffective) striker. The US isn’t alone on this one either. Just ask Emile Heskey about the reasons for his return to the national team.

    Altidore may be the future in this department, but right now I think Ching is better. I still like Jozy/Donovan/Dempsey/etc. running at defenders, not backing them down.

  122. Brett says:

    Bornstein is a better LB option than Beasley, so I’m glad he is called in.

    Pearce has to be done in my estimation. His form has been terrible lately and he isn’t even getting minutes for a 2nd division club. Bornstein at least offers an attacking option as well as not being atrocious defensively.

    I guess I’d go with


    I’m giving Bradley a night to rest and perhaps a sub appearance. Beasley needs to sit. He barely plays at Rangers and did not look good against EL Sal. Heydude gets the love over Spector, but I think we all agree we need Dolo back in the mix.

  123. andrew in tampa says:

    For the Ching apologists: Can you see Ching being an offensive threat against WC caliber talent? No. A few times in the first half he had a chance to go at defenders and he turned around and went in the other direction. Also a few times Donovan had a counterattack and Ching didn’t have the pace to catchup to join in the attack. Playing Ching at forward is like playing with four defenders and six mid-fielders. he is not a viable offensive threat on the international level. I would love for him to prove me wrong.

  124. Aaron says:

    It’s time to pull Beasley off the field. He has been frankly lackadaisical for years. Perhaps, the same could be said for Donovan at the national level. The US had NO drive against El Salvador. It appeared as if the ball and players moved in slow motion, and our lack of basic SKILLS was atrocious. Players sitting on the bench in foreign countries do NOT deserve the start over hungry starters in the MLS. Period. While Kljestan might need a few years to rise to the level of international play, there is no excuse for continually playing Beasley, an overrated player who had ONE successful run at the national level when he was an ambitious lad. Pull Beasley, start Altidore, perhaps start Pablo with Bradley to gain some midfield composure, throw Boca at left back, try Spector in the middle, and for the love of Science, pull players that aren’t doing jack-all on the pitch!!!!!!

  125. Patrick says:

    JOZY MUST PLAY! He might not play for his club at all this season. Just to give him a boost, play him for 70 against T+T.

  126. papa bear says:

    sadly, Ive’s first projected lineup is probably what we’ll see. Although I don’t even know if he’d pull Kljestan out. He had all the reason in the world to not start him on Saturday and still did. I dunno. I hope Torres is put in place of him though.

    Ching has got to go. I’m sick of us playing with a glorified center back as a striker. I admire his willingness to grind it out defensively but the difference between Altidore and Ching were very apparent within 5 minutes of Jozy’s introduction into the match. Jozy is dangerous and has a great nose for goal and finding open spaces. Ching is great at allowing himself to get jammed up in a quagmire of people in the box and doing nothing. If Bradley insists on starting a lone striker formation, that striker should be Altidore.

  127. Ron says:

    Ching Altidore

    Dempsey Torres Donovan


    Spector DeMerit Gooch Hedjuk


  128. Johnny says:


  129. Jags98 says:

    If you all are talking about sitting Pearce & Califf, you have to include DMB. I dont care how good you think he is, for his showing the other night he has to sit. He is expected to be a leader and show more than the other two. He did not and it must not be rewarded. He needs time to sit and get his heart back into it. This will be good for us all…

  130. Jags98 says:

    Same for Kljestan, you scream to pull him out then DMB has to go first. He an elder and had a worst game.

  131. j stevenson says:

    it’s not just last Saturday, it’s been the past 4 years. How Beez is still up at the national level absolutely blows my mind. Then again we did have klesnatch starting, so I guess anything is possible with BB. We know we’re stuck with Beez for years still. I guess it may be better to keep him at mid, and just write off the left side for ever creating anything. I wouldn’t want him giving up meaningless balls in the back third rather than the front 3rd where he does now.

  132. Matt says:

    I was just wondering where all of you coach and how many matches you’ve won since you all obviously know so much more about soccer than Bob Bradley does.

  133. steve says:



    Adu Torres Bradley Donovan

    Bornstein Gooch Boca Spector


    Frankie is poor despite his 15 minutes of heroics…he may be a good guy, but he needs to be on the bench..such a poor decision as far as personel that he brought into camp..are you telling me Stuart Holden or Freddy couldn’t do what Beas has done?? At least Freddy can trap a ball…Danny Califf over Demerit???? where is Parkhurst? Marshall? Anways, the team I put up in the best collection of soccer players available in camp and not one is playing an unfamiliar position..

    NO BEAS AT LEFT BACK!!!!!!! I am tired of the Ashley Cole references!!

  134. Andrew says:

    Earth To BB- Ching is NOT gonna win us WC2010. At some point in time, you have to give Altidore and Adu and Torres a change to start and play!

    Prediction: we go three and out in Confederations Cup, BB finds a new job!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  135. fas says:

    brian ching doesn’t produce goals. get him off the field.

  136. Dennis says:

    Spector has not looked that good for West Ham after returning from injury. He looked tentative, his tactical decisions were poor and he suffered from lapses in concentration. I do not see Bradley starting him, but he will see time late in the game if it is not too tight.
    I doubt Adu or Altidore will start, but Altidore might and Adu could some time late.
    I am sure Bradley will spend some time with Pearce, Klejstein and Beasley in an attempt to learn why each under-performed. I suspect that Bornstein will replace one of them and Torres another.

    I would like
    Donavon – Altidore – Dempsey
    Bornstein – Bradley – Torres – Adu
    Bocanegra – Onweyu – Hejduk
    but suspect that is a bit on the young side. Perhaps slip Mastroeni in for Adu and reshuffle by pushing Torres out right.

  137. Nic D "The Texas 2 Stepper" says:

    My Line Up:








    I wouldn’t mind DMB getting the start in front of Jozy. BUT if he does not perform he gets yanked at the half. The same goes for Deuce. I would move Jozy right and sub Adu on the left allowing he and Landy to switch roles in the midfield and the wing.

  138. Nic D "The Texas 2 Stepper" says:

    One more thing!

    STOP THE CHING HATE! Sheeeeesh!

    I am not a “huge fan” BUT the guy does what he does well. He rarely turns over the ball when he gets service. He gets fouled in the positive third of the field and even a blind dog can sniff a bone.

    CHING is the American HESKEY!

    People have been criticizing Capello for including him in the England team. They are wrong and he has been Wayne Rooney’s best friend. His size draws attention from the CB’s and even causes the Fullbacks to sweat abit. The “boy” Rooney benefits when Heskey plays. When the ball goes wide, Rooney gets lost in the shuffle because of the “threat” of Heskey. The same strategy will work for the US when we get the ball wide and PROVIDE SERVICE!

    Ladon could have huge games if we could get consistent attack and service from the wings/flanks.

    Oh yeah! TnT is not particularly stout at fullback.

    Keep Ching in!

    For Now . . .

  139. Nic D "The Texas 2 Stepper" says:

    One more thing . . .

    Torres/Mastro could be a great pairing in the middle and I would say the same for Torres/Edu

  140. mike says:

    Neither Danny Califf nor Jay Demerit should ever see time with the USMNT, they are both slow, awkward, and terrible. Spector at left back seems obvious unless he sticks Bornstein there, a good decision as well. Would like to see Donovan in the central midfield where can impact the game by running with the ball. Altidore should obviouly start, and what about Adu for Beasley? Nobodys mentioned that but that would give us flank play on the left, Adu’s service with Altidore’s head? It’s worked before.

  141. Dennis says:

    Against T&T, scoring should not be the problem. That means the first concern is defense. Bornstein was called in because Bradley obviously saw what we all saw in El Salvador. He will replace either Pearce or Beasley. I suspect a flat back four with
    Borstein, Bocanegra, Gooch, Hejduk.

    Spector has not been that strong at West Ham. Unless he did exceptionally in the training sessions (probably did not since he saw no time on Saturday) he will not start.

    There are lots of options in midfield, I would prefer a mix of grit, experience and skill. that means
    Donavon, Bradley, Mastroeni, Torres (Edu and Adu will be subs)

    Up front, there needs to be some strength
    Altidore or Ching and some skill Altidore or Adu If speed is important, Johnson could be used, but he has failed to impress lately.

    So for who will actually start:
    ———-Dempsey — Ching —
    ——Donavon–Bradley — Torres

    Subs used likely Altidore, Edu, Spector, Adu or Johnson

    It would be fun though to see a back 3 and an all out attack,
    –Altidore– Johnson–Adu
    Bornstein – Gooch -Hejduk

    But it will not happen in a game that matters. Maybe latter in qualifying when the USA is already in.