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The U.S. men's national team has been missing plenty during the Confederations Cup, but one of the most glaring problems is a lack of attacking creativity. The poor form of Clint Dempsey and DaMarcus Beasley has left the U.S. midfield sorely lacking the necessary creativity to help spark the U.S. attack.
Enter young midfielders Jose Francisco Torres and Freddy Adu. Neither has seen a minute of playing time in the Confederations Cup, but now with the U.S. team all but eliminated heading into the group stage finale vs. Egypt on Sunday, U.S. coach Bob Bradley will be hard-pressed not to include one of these skillful midfielders.
Could Bradley leave both on the bench yet again? It's plausible, especially if he trots out the out-of-form Clint Dempsey again, but with the United States playing on short rest, it is tough to imagine Bradley not starting one of them.
So which of these left-footed skill players should get the call?
Adu has more caps, and has played in bigger national team games in his young career, but Torres has played more club soccer over the past year, emerging as a key player for Pachuca and playing well enough to start drawing interest from Europe. He also showed some impressive flashes in his start vs. Costa Rica earlier this month.
So why is it an either/or situation instead of both players playing? The fact is that neither Torres or Adu brings much to the table defensively and both bring similar traits to the table. A team can pick up the slack for one of them being in the lineup, but having Adu and Torres on the field together would require the U.S. team to have an all-world defensive midfielder (or two) playing behind them (perhaps we can see that when Jermaine Jones comes aboard).
So here' is the question. Which of these players would you insert into the starting lineup vs. Egypt on Sunday. Cast your vote below:
Who is my pick? I think Torres is the better option, but I also think the Gold Cup will tell us a lot more about where they both stand heading into the next stretch of World Cup qualifiers. Whether it is Adu or Torres, one of them needs to get the start vs. Egypt so we can see how they perform in a pressure match. We have seen enough in this tournament from veterans Dempsey and Feilhaber.
Who did you vote for? Why? Hoping both get to start? Would you rather see them getting steady starts in the Gold Cup to see how they do on that level, or do you want to see them against Egypt in a match with more pressure?
Share your thoughts below.