Who should the USA start vs. Honduras?

DempseyPalacios (ISIphotos.com)

                                                                          Photo by ISIphotos.com

With the roster now selected, it is time to consider the options U.S. head coach Bob Bradley has when selecting his starting lineup in next weekend's World Cup qualifier vs. Honduras.

There weren't many major surprises in the group called in by Bradley, and there's little reason to believe Bradley will experiment with his lineup too much in a road qualifier against a team as strong as Honduras.

So what should we expect? More of the same group we've seen in most of the recent qualifiers. Here is the lineup we expect to see take the field in San Pedro Sula on Oct. 10:

USA Projected lineup vs. Honduras






Three question marks here:

Does the central midfield stay the same, or does Bradley turn to Benny Feilhaber or Jose Francisco Torres to provide more possession? Honduras' central midfield, with Wilson Palacios and Hendry Thomas, is one of the toughest in CONCACAF, and that's without Amado Guevara (suspended). Neither Bradley or Clark enjoyed a standout game vs. T&T, but Clark looked to be the more likely of the two to be benched before his game-winning goal. Bradley once showed enough confidence in Torres to start him in Saprissa vs. Costa Rica. Does he turn to the youngster again in the equally intimidating confines of San Pedro Sula?

Does Bornstein get the nod again? We say yes. Honduras boasts speedy right winger Edgar Alvarez, currently starting for Serie A side Bari. Carlos Bocanegra struggles at left back against really fast wingers so Bornstein is the better match-up. Starting Onyewu and Bocanegra together looks like a given here. Jonathan Spector could theoretically get a look at left back as well,  but Bornstein's improved performance against Trinidad & Tobago gives him the edge.

Who will Bradley start at right back? We will go with Cherundolo, who has been in very good form for Hannover 96. Spector has been playing for West Ham, but has not been nearly as consistent as Cherundolo in recent weeks.

So why should we expect a different performance than the one we saw in Trinidad last month from the same group? It will be up to the midfield to step up its game across the board if the Americans will have any hope of escaping Honduras with a point. Anything short of a strong showing from the midfielders will mean a Honduras blowout because the Honduran midfield is stacked and dangerous, and their best players are all in top form (save for injured striker David Suazo).


Now it's your turn. What lineup would you like to see the USA use vs. Honduras? What changes would you make? Think the above lineup can get a result in San Pedro Sula?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in CONCACAF, U.S. Men's National Team, World Cup Qualifying. Bookmark the permalink.

81 Responses to Who should the USA start vs. Honduras?

  1. Kevin says:

    The real question is: If we don’t see it on television, did it really happen?

  2. milkshake of despair says:


    What are your thoughts about the benching strategy of proposed by others of benching some key starters due to yellow card accumulation to save them for the Costa Rica game?

    (SBI-I hadn’t really heard that but it doesn’t really make sense to me. I’m not a believer in playing scared, which is what that would basically be. It would essentially be telling your own team that you’re not confident you can win in Honduras. That kind of defeatist attitude could have repercussions beyond the one match in Honduras.)

  3. milkshake of despair says:

    ^^^^please excuse the grammar. still waking up here in the left coast….

  4. JohnC says:

    I was really impressed by Torres in the Pachua Houston Game. The guy has such a quick touch on the ball that I think he would pair very well with a non-destroyer midfield partner such as Bradley or Feilhaber. With that said there is zero chance he sees the field before the 65th minute if at all. The lineup above will be the one we see, with two games left there is no need to try something new.

  5. Chris de RBNY says:

    Might go 4-5-1 to try to offset the midfield advantage.

  6. afrim says:

    benching important players b/c of yellow cards vs. Hondo sends the wrong message to the team. It tells the team “you’re probably not good enough to win here so we’ll save you for the home match instead”

  7. Matt says:

    I absolutely think your proposed lineup ‘can’ get a result in Honduras; however, ‘will’ they is another question. I believe they will. I must believe.

    Really, my only concern is in defense and more specifically the wings. Like you said, this is where the only real questions remain. I don’t mind your choice of Dolo on the right. I’ve been a long time fan of his, but I hope Coach Bradley is ready to go to Spector at a moments notice. He’s the future at right back and I’m afraid that future may be coming sooner rather than later. At left, I like Bornstein but only because I think Boca is needed in the middle this time. Even with his reduced pace, I think Boca is a better option on the left, but without Demerit, I feel Boca is more needed centrally. The Boca – Gooch pairing is a proven one.

    Personally, I think the debate between center midfielders is just a matter of choice. I am just as confident in Feilhaber, Bradley or Clark. They all bring something a little different that can be just as effective in helping the team on any given day.

  8. Murphy says:

    I still don’t understand why Bornstein is considered better than Spector just because he’s fast. Beasley is faster than a lot of left midfielders but he’s not starting. Spector is a solid back in the Premier League and he has played on the left side. I wouldn’t hesitate to play him over Bornstein in that position, but my name’s not Bob Bradley.

  9. Brian-Indy says:

    I like the line-up no surprises there, but I definitely wouldn’t mind giving Holden and Torres 30 minutes in the 2nd half. I see this game being tight, maybe we are down a goal at the half and I think those 2 could come on and provide us the energy to get that tying goal. Or maybe Davies and Altidore have us up 2 at halftime. Who knows…I do hope Dempsey shows up for this game and gives us the energy he did in S. Africa.

  10. Reid says:

    As it goes right now I don’t plan on “seeing” anyone take the field. Hopefully that changes and something a little closer then going into the city (ny) comes around.

  11. Angel says:

    JAJAJAJA!!!! This Guy as a Coach is a Joke, I’m telling you Honduras will be a hard team to beat and Costa Rica is hurting to get a win and come and bit us in the butt. Bob Bradley is an Idiot keep calling Bornsteain & Conrad why why!!!

  12. Jose A. V. says:

    I agree with the line up. But if Dempsey, continues to struggle, he should be pull off at halftime for Holden.

  13. advocat says:

    I hope chicago does not get the olympics. Mayor Daley has done nothing for soccer in chicago. So to Hell with him and the city.

  14. mix says:

    normally im not a 4-5-1 guy, but i think this is a perfect situation to deploy it. clog the midfield (dempsey, donovan, clark, bradley, torres) and keep the dangerous guys for honduras in check. torres is in my lineup for possession but obviously will not be in bradleys lineup because for some reason he hasnt noticed that lack of possession in come from behind losses (mexico, brazil) cost us games.

  15. zongzap says:

    Why get yourself annoyed? Ives’s projected lineup will most likely be it. The only one in question is Clark.

    PS – This lineup will most likely not be able to bring back any points either

  16. euroman says:

    Boca locks down the leftback position and Goodson steps into the middle with Gooch.

    So here it is:

    Davis Altidore

    LD Bradley Clark Dempsey

    Boca Goodson Gooch Spector


  17. japan says:

    jozy, dempsey

    donovan, bradley, clark, benny

    bornstein, boca, gooch, spector


  18. afrim says:

    Angel aka “jaja binks”, with Marshall and Demerit hurt who else should be bring in?

    I love when ppl are critics but never offer a solution

  19. Welshbean says:

    Jozy, Davis

    Donovan, Bradley, Clark, Demps

    Spector, Boca, Gooch, Dolo


  20. Keith G. says:

    The line up Ives has will be the starting line up,with only Spector at RB being differnet. I think this will be the starting line up (minus DeMerit, replacing Bornstein) going into the the World Cup deffending on what happens with Jones. So if we want to see what we can look foward to at the World Cup, these next two games will tell us.

  21. Mingjai says:

    I’m sure this won’t happen, but I’d like to see the 4-4-2 with Torres instead of Clark and Spector instead of Bornstein.

    Otherwise, maybe a 4-5-1 or 4-1-4-1 might not be so bad in this game. Something like this:






    If the US needs more offense, with this lineup, they could push Dempsey forward and play a straight 4-4-2.

  22. Angel says:

    Afrim: please he has more choices and better players than Conrad, Try Orozco, Omar Gonzalez who is playing good for LA. on the left try Castillo better control and good attacking Left defender. So tell me why you think Conrad or Bornstein are better please do me a favor.

    (SBI-Angel- Orozco and Gonzalez are not better than Conrad. Not yet anyway. As for Castillo, you just can’t throw in a player into a major road qualifier and put him on a team with players he’s never played with. His chance will come, as they will for Orozco and Gonzalez.)

  23. Jeff M in Houston says:

    Ives – could you give us a summary on the history of guys being inserted into lineups, let alone squads, at late dates? I am very frustrated about Castillo’s situation. Is it a offense/defense thing in that strikers/wingers go straight in, whereas defenders don’t? But, the principle of your best player for the spot and/or the system seems pretty straight-forward. If you’re good & ready, you play. Simple yes?

    I am scratching my head looking for historical comparisons. Was Pablo Mastroeni the immediate backup for Chris Armas for 02? Or was the formation changed (I doubt that since it surprised Portugal, yes?)

    The first non-US one that popped in my head was for Spain 82, Rossi, though an established star, had just finihsed his suspension but started for gli Azzurri, and won the Golden Boot.

    Is it a question of nerves? Confidence? in the coaching philosophy? IMHO, it is deeply frustrating and appears to be one more apsects of Bob’s conservative , bunker-in nature….We get Charlie only b/c Ching was injured. We do not see an attempt to ALWAYS start a “time-keeper”/ possession player like Feilhaber or JF Torres in the lineup. Some research please…help us see this in global perspective, not just a Bob perspective.

  24. Zac in Indy says:

    I think Ives has the line up right. Stale, predictable, and beatable. I suppose its okay that the game won’t be on TV, just rewatch the Mexico game and pretend the green shirts are blue.

  25. JeffM says:

    I think Ives has it right; Cherundolo’s in better form than Spector at the moment, and Bornstein’s speed make him a better option than the combination of Bocanegra & Goodson. I can’t say I’m over the moon about this lineup, but I think it’s the best we have.

    I’d like to see Feilhaber, Holden, or Torres (or some combination of the three) come off the bench early-ish (maybe 55th minute) if we don’t have the lead. A tie does us almost no good – we need to go for the win.

  26. Roger Allaway says:

    If it’s the same as it was in 2001, the stadium in San Pedro Sula can’t be called “equally intimidating” as Saprissa. Back then, there was a track and the stands were a long way from the field.

  27. Dman says:

    My thought of the day

    Jonathon = Jonathon

    Spector not= Bornstein

    LB = LB

    West Ham > Chivas USA

    All other teams in EPL > All Other MLS Teams

    EPL > MLS


    Spector > Bornstein

    thus concluding……Spector should get the start

  28. Southern says:

    I know it won’t happen, but I would love to see Dempsey pushed up top with Altidore (bring Davies in and let his speed really be a factor later in the game) because Dempsey’s possesion and defensive contribution have been horrible.

  29. Leonardo says:

    if weather had anything to do with USA’s poor showing in T&T, then it doesn’t look good in Honduras. Same weather conditions: 85 degrees with 70% humidity.

    come to think of it, do *any* of our players play regularly in tropical climate?

    Id like to Castillo in at LB as soon as possible? what’s holding Bradley back?

    *Spector* at RB.

    i’d luv to see a 3-5-3

  30. usadcu says:

    As a long standing Dempsey fan (except when the Revs were playing DCU, of course), I hate to say it, but I would leave him out for Holden and, like many others, I would go with Spector at LB.

  31. Joe B says:

    ditto usadcu

    bornstein is not intl caliber .. he is big liablility — would rather see spector out there

    and with holden in over dempsey i think we’d see alot better collective team play, more possession, consistency, heart etc

    although on the road at honduras may not be the best time to intro holden to the starting line-up

  32. AC says:

    I’d like Spector to be given a try at left back for the national team. That could add some good quality to the backline by placing him and Dolo on the field at the same time. I wonder why Bradley hasn’t given him and Dolo a chance to be the 2 defensive backs. Both can get foward and send in crosses. I know Bornstein is fast and okay at the position but right now that is all he is. He gets knocked off the ball with his slight frame and I think Bradley is once again displaying his preference for “his” guys. Spector has been playing leftback for West Ham, a PREMIER LEAGUE team where the pace is out of this world and the wingers are constantly coming at you and testing you. I’m not saying West Ham is the best team in the world, but the quality of competition is higher then what Chivas USA faces.

  33. Rich says:

    I must agree with Southern. It won’t happen but here is what I want to see.

    – Davies Altidore –

    Donovan Dempsey Bradley Holden –

    Spector Bocanegra Gooch Cherundolo –

    – Howard –

    Based on the 3 assists that Holden should have had in the last 3 games I would like to see him playing. He is in the best form of any US player right now, as the Pachuca game showed. Dempsey would play behing Davies and Altidore again to get on the end of Holden or Cherundolo crosses.

    If BB does not want Deuce in the middle of the field then I would put him up top with Davies. I would be fine with Altidore because a tall forward would work better with Holden’s crossing ability. But Davies has been in better form lately, so I think you give him the nod.

    Of course that will not happen and we will get the 2 D Mids and they will drift very far back and we will get the dreck that we always get…

    Someday BB will get it or get out and we will stop the insanity of 2 DMids….

  34. Deuce says:

    Spector will start.

  35. AC says:

    Also, I agree with Ives about possibly giving Torres the chance to start. I’m so perplexed why Bradley refuses him more playing time. Torres is great at the possession game with his quick passes and ability to play the ball well at his feet. The national team needs more players like him which would make a good mix with the other players so this team can just simply GET SOME POSSESSION!

    Also, I agree with others on giving Holden more time. The kid has a good future as the right winger (Wow, a natural winger FINALLY). His and Donovan’s pace on the left could really give some problems if utilized correctly with the fowards.

  36. yeah really Spector has played at left back for West Ham. Put our two best fullbacks in the group Bradley called on the pitch with Dolo and Spector. Boca and Gooch in the middle. We need to win this one.





  37. Joe B says:


    Can you state whether or not you think Bob Bradley has given J.F. Torres a fair shake?

    After a cakewalk initial runout as a sub against Haiti,

    Coach Bradley threw Torres into his first starting role in formation this team has never run before in a very hostile road qualifier.

    After a mixed 45 from Torres in that game, he was yanked and not seen again for months on end, despite the aforementioned mitigating circumstances.

    Obviously I don’t have the luxury of seeing players in practice and behind the scenes – so there clearly should be more behind the story.

    As it is, without that insider perspective, it is highly frustrating to see a talented player like Torres get no minutes; whereas the coach’s son, while clearly a talented player with great potential, gets seemingly automatic minutes and enjoys the benefit of a US formation that complements his style of play.

    To top it off: to me: Torres represents the great future of the USMNT (ie the further inclusion of the Mexican-American player; and the move towards a more latin, possession based game); whereas Mike Bradley represents the prototypical product of the previous USSF youth development system that stood in the way of the US becoming a genuine soccer power (ie: upper middle class white kids who excel through the ODP system that stacked the deck against poorer often minority players – ie the ones who typically become worldwide phenoms)

    Nothing against Mike Bradley, temper and passing/positioning issues aside, he seems a great kid and is clearly an excellent contributor to our team and has a very bright future …

    The question is: Ives: do you think Torres has gotten a fair chance to shine for the USMNT?

  38. Angel says:

    I just can believe this stupid ESPN is not going to show us the USA U20 vs Korea cause the are showing Freaking Crap of Baseball.. WHAT THE F. IVES can you find out whats going on since you are with ESPNsoccernet.

  39. huricano says:

    i think feilhaber’s creativity is needed,along with Ching’s experience.

  40. BurlingtonChelsea says:

    Does not make since to bench starters for this game since a win secure qualification. Ge the 3 points and then experiment in DC. Also I pose the question since Obama faile din his Olympic bid does that show everyone he has absolutly no pull for WC 2018 or 2022?

  41. scott47a says:

    I think we should start Ching, Casey and FrankenCooper up top in a three man front that would recall the walking zombies of the original Night of the Living Dead.

    Now that’s footspeed!

  42. Altidore

    Mandon Dempsy


    Bradley Clark

    Spector Gooch Los Dolo

    This is the ol’ 4-5-1 on D and 4-4-3 on O.

    Will work like a charm and bring home points.

  43. EA says:

    @ the Torres conspiracy theorists…

    I think you guys are fabricating something that isn’t there. He has more appearances in qualifying than Feilhaber, more than Davies, and one less than Clark, all of whom are considered “regulars” in this cycle.

    He’s 21 years old. He plays a position that is VERY crowded. While he’s talented, he isn’t Landon Donovan, where he’s MILES ahead of everyone else at his position like Donovan was at that age.

    What do you guys want, him to be starting and playing the full 90, like Donovan or Gooch or Howard? I just don’t think he’s in that class, yet.

    He’s getting his opportunities. What more can you ask for?

  44. KCB says:

    I just want to know why no Frankie Hejuk? Heart and Courage are things you just can’t teach. He needs to be on the roster if not in the starting XI, imho.

    Instead of Bornstein, why not Wynne? Do you guys think he has not performed well enough with TFC to get a call up? Dudes got the assets to be a quality outside back for 2014.

  45. scott47a says:

    I’m a Paco Torres supporter and want to see him play more. I’d love to see what having him just to the left of Bradley would do.

    People need to watch more FMF games to see the amazing passing skills and ball control that Paco has. He’s really heads above many people in Mexico already at age 21 … and so yes, I believe Bob should be playing him more for the U.S. squad.

    There is going to come a time in the next few months when Bob has to make some real tough decisions. Torres deserves a shot at three or four full-90 starts between now and then to show what he can do.

  46. holden caulfield says:

    i’d like to see HOLDEN get the start at right mid and put Dempsey forward. Dempsey is better closer to goal, and the more i see of Holden the more i think he’s gonna be the best player on the field for the U.S. soon,..

  47. Adam from Joliet says:


    First subs if all goes well: Conrad in for Bocanegra, and Clark in for Bradley if we have the lead. Third sub would be Holden or Rogers in for Dempsey.

    A few other notes: Conor Casey has no business being on our roster any longer. He dogs it every game, and never comes back on D. Bradley is not doing well, but can anyone remember the last time he didn’t start when available. I don’t think his skill set fits our needs currently

  48. Adam from Joliet says:

    Oh yeah, Howard in goal. I think that is pretty much assumed till we have officially qualified.

  49. BF says:

    Several things…

    Those calling for Dempsey’s removal should watch the Fulham v. Arsenal highlights. Dempsey played amazingly well and with lots of energy.

    USA still needs a good holding central midfielder to direct things (think S. Gerrard). Can Holden or Torres be that guy? I haven’t seen them play enough to know.

    Those calling for Wynne should stop. He doesn’t have the foot skills for the national team level. I’ve seem him play in Houston and he had no touch and doesn’t look like he uses his head.

    In defense a coach really has to gage the cohesion of his players and the attackers the other team is sending. Nobody wants Honduras doing end runs around our outside defenders. Still I like Spector for the spot given the pace of the Premiership.

  50. Steve says:

    I’m glad this game isn’t on TV. Keeps me from getting my hopes up for nothing.

    And I don’t think ‘sending a message’ that we can’t win in Hondurus is an issue. Mexico, Costa Rica, El Salvador and even T&T have already hit send on that one.

    2-0 no matter who Badley throws out there. Save your worry for Wednesday.

  51. kobao says:

    i’d like to see Benny Feilhaber or Jose Torres get the start over Clark. Feilhaber has shown he has what it takes to start and Torres has shown great promise when he gets a chance. I still think it was harsh he got subbed out of the Costa Rica game as he was one of the few i felt actually played well.

    Maybe start Feilhaber and throw Torres out as a sub to see what he can do in the last half hour?

  52. Derek says:

    So, if no TV, how do we follow the game?
    Is there going to be a match tracker?

  53. Isaac says:







  54. Soccer Stud says:

    I’d say bench Dempsey. Make him think about his game.

  55. Andy of Chicago says:

    What are you talking about “Bornstein’s improved performance vs T&T?”

    He looked terrible in that game…

    Spector is a better player and deserves to start.

    (SBI-I won’t argue about Spector being better than Bornstein but if you don’t think Bornstein was miles better vs. T&T than he was vs. El Salvador then I really don’t know what else to tell you. That one is pretty obvious to anyone who watched and didn’t spend the T&T match complaining about Bornstein being out there.)

  56. Austin says:

    we are going to need a friendly to integrate castillo into the lineup guys…..the same with jermaine jones(when healthy)

    I honestly would like to see Bob bring in Omar Gonzalez or Michael Orozco now that Conrad is getting older….Marshall and Demerit are injured and conrad wouldnt usually get the call BUT i just think it would be nice for him to bring them into camp and look at them compared to onyewu and boca…..it probably doesnt matter anyways because they probably wouldnt see the field…..probably bradley just wants more experience right now so they can qualify already

  57. Austin says:

    BF….wynne can be sloppy, but definately deserves to be in the US reserves

    his defending is great….he reads EVERYTHING perfectly including whether to contain or tackle and everything around him

    and even though he doesnt have skill on the ball doesnt mean hes extremely sloppy, he can be though at times

    his speed is unbelievable and so is his strength…he is a pretty good header of the ball as well

    im just sayin that he needs to atleast be looked at when you have injuries in back, but i dont think this world cup is his…..spector, cherundolo, hejduk, NO wynne, you cant have 4 right backs….let the experienced hejduk and cherundolo atleast travel to their last world cup and then bring in wynne to back up spector or vice-versa

  58. Austin says:

    sorry if it seems like im ragging on u BF, but holden and torres are not holding mids, they are attacking mids who can attack through the middle or exploit th wings with crosses and skill at other times….a holding mid is a defensive mid that holds the ball, takes strikes from 18 and further, and is aggressive throwing tackles in….Rico and Bradley are exactly that….what you see with gerrard is a player that exceeds all limits and thats why hes so good and renound, u cant ask for another gerrard in that position right now in the world i believe….the type of player in england that compares a little more to holden or torres is a frank lampard

    P.S….completely agree about Dempsey though:)

  59. Austin says:

    THANK YOU EA….i have been trying to tell people that, he is just not some1 who you can seriously depend on to start over landon and dempsey… AND HES NOT A HOLDING MIDFIELDER, thats the other thing, people think that he could start over rico as a holding midfielder but his tackling, size, and aggresiveness does not fit the tee at all

    if we should feel sorry for anybody south of border it should be orozco( wasnt even looked at in gold cup)

  60. notsweet81 says:

    Honduras will come out with a lot of emotion and so will the fans…especially with all the political craziness they have gone through. The two teams are very close as far as talent level is concerned and with a big homefield advantage I don’t know if it will matter who is out there.

    I would vote for Holden over Dempsey because if Dempsey walks around like he has been the Honduran midfield will push down the left side all day.

    Ives, I thought Suazo was back from his injury? Are you just saying that he is not on form?

  61. scott47a says:

    I’m not in charge, but if I was:


  62. r.benjamin says:

    I also hate the 4-5-1 but agree this might be the time to use it. Clog the middle. Add Torres. Sub in Feilhaber for Clark or JFT at 60. Or Sub in Holden if you want and push Dempsey up. I’m a big Jozy fan, but maybe sub or dont use him here.

    I also think in this formation and eventually the 4-4-2 you will see Davies THRIVE with JFT’s distribution. JFT and Jones or Edu MUST be given a full look.

    Spector sees speed each time out in the EPL. His positioning and class trump what Bornstein has.

  63. Isaac says:

    I understand that Torres and Feilhaber are tidy and composed on the ball, but that’s not required to win one of these games.

    Those two are guys who thrive when the team has possession. If our team can’t get the majority of the possession, then Torres and Feilhaber can’t do what they do best, which is keeping possession.

    I will say that Feilhaber brings an awful lot of bite defensively for such a great attacking player so I wouldn’t be surprised if he started. However, he’s looked best off the bench since the Honduras game so I think that’s what Bradley will go for here.

  64. Jo-Jo D'Hippo says:

    Bradley needs to wake up and give Paco some starts before it is too late

  65. Jo-Jo D'Hippo says:

    Holden on the Right with Dempsey at Forward makes a lot of sense Bradley!

  66. andrew in tampa says:

    Altidore, Cherundolo, Clark, Dempsey, Casey, Donovan, Bocanegra and Feilhaber are carrying a yellow card – which two players are absolutely essential to getting a win against CR? I think that is the more crucial question, Ives.
    Given Bradley’s penchant for conservativism, I can’t see him going all out for a win in Honduras. i see him placing his eggs in the home game basket. It makes no sense to risk it all on the road, lose and leave yourself weakened for the home game. And you can’t ask guys to play tentative because they have yellow cards

  67. The Ghost of Josimar says:

    Like the rest of us, Ives has a reasonably good sense of how Bob Bradley’s mind works.

    But in what dimension would Jonathan Bornstein ever start for a team of West Ham’s caliber? Should Bornstein start at left back? It really shouldn’t even be a question.

    Bob Bradley’s failure to better integrate Jose Francisco Torres is one the *big* stories in US Soccer.

    It speaks volumes to Bradley’s limits as a manager. His conservatism. His mis-guided and over-long reliance on one Sacha Kljestan. His failure to select and develop a side that can maintain possession through the midfield.

    Torres should get considerably more time going forwards. But based on past performance, it is only reasonable to expect to be disappointed by coach Bradley.

  68. Deuce says:

    Spector will definitely start. When was the last time Coach Bradley worried about club form in determing roster spots??? Onyewu, Altidore, Davies, BEASLEY….on and on…
    Spector started the last few games, he will continue to start.
    Of course it has been said a million times already, but I wish both Cherundolo and Spector would start, with Spector on the left. Of course, Spector plays there for his club, so Bob Bradley won’t play him there because he doesn’t pay attention to club play!!!!!
    I’m excited about 5 of the central midfield players, feilhaber, torres, clark, holden, and bradley CAN all rock the house. I just hope whoever starts decides to show up!

  69. Deuce says:

    Of course our wings and strikers are our best positions right now though. Super Stars on the wings, young flashes up front. So i’m optimistic, as usual. Hoping I’m not disappointed any time soon again…its a horrible feeling.

  70. Dennis says:

    I suspect we will see Spector rather than Bornstien starting at LB. West ham simply faces better teams than Chivas does. Bornstein needs to get out of the US (and add a little mass) if he wants to become a better defender.

    Torres had a patch after the C.R. game where he did not play much for Pachuca, did he have a minor injury that slowed him or made him less effective? He is now being more effective at Pachuca, he may get some time ahead of Clark.

    It is really unlikely that any new players would be added at this stage in qualifying, The US is leading the group, the team chemistry seems to be good, I think it would be a mistake to send the message now that you do not trust the players you have.
    After Qualifying, new players will be brought in for friendlies and if they fit in well in training, we will get to see them in some games with most of the potential starters. As fans who see only the games, not the training sessions, we will never have all the information. Mastroeni in 2002 was not a surprise to those who watched the training sessions after Armas was injured, however, anyone who simply saw him in a horrible runout in Giants Stadium in the last tune-up for the 2002 W.C. would never have placed him in the lineup. The people I know who did see several of the NJ based training sessions were very impressed with him and his performance was outstanding in the W.C.

    The Bradley haters should give it up. B.B. will be coach of the US MNT for at least the next 9 months and perhaps beyond that.

  71. Dennis says:

    I am not sure benching Dempsey is the right thing to do, It might make him try too hard to prove he can dribble like C. Ronaldo (he can’t). Now, taking him out early because he looks tired, that’s another matter. I am sure he knows that Bob expects him to pay attention to defensive responsibilities and if he is too tired or too lazy to do that reliably, some rest on the bench might rejuvenate him. With several days between these games, I expect Dempsey will look much sharper in the second game. He might be one of those guys who does not deal well with time zone changes (he did play better in S.A. after several days and he did pretty much suck for long stretches after the long flights to the US). In fact, I am trying to recall when he had a good game within 3 days of a 6 hour time change, probably happened, I just cannot recall it.

  72. Dennis says:

    Who besides Amado Guevara will be missing for Honduras? I thought Costly and another starter were out as well.

  73. Dillon says:

    Bornstein is a fine player, but I hate to keep seeing him as the first option on our national team. Someone who stick out to me as one worthy of a fast-tracking to the World Cup is Geoff Cameron. Skilled and gifted enough, fast and strong enough, great on defense and a good option going forward. Lack of experience in big matches is an issue, but just because he has never been there before does not mean an exclusion. He got one call up and has played admirably all year. Seeing how we are so thin at that spot and nothing has panned out, I think we out to give him a shot in the near future aka our friendlies this winter

  74. The Ghost of Josimar says:

    1. Jonathan Bornstein may be faster than Spector. But the game in England is played at pace. And in what dimension would Bornstein ever start for a club like West Ham? Doesn’t the question of who should start at left back answer itself?

    2. Torres’ ability to control the play in tight quarters and keep possession on the ground — these are qualities we absolutely need. It was stunning to see Sacha Kljestan repeatedly preferred to Torres this past summer. Bob Bradley’s decision not to give Torres a serious run of play is one of his more glaring failures.

  75. Isaac says:

    I’m so tired of hearing the constant argument, “why didn’t Torres get playing time this summer for the national team?” Ives already posted something on this guys. He was just plain tired. There is no conspiracy theory here guys. There is no coaching problem with him not getting a look in the summer. I believe that we can trust Torres to be a good third sub for the moment though. However, don’t be surprised if Bradley brings in Ching, not that I’m asking for that, but it’s a possibility.

  76. strongboy3 says:

    spector hasn’t done anything wrong do lose his spot at right back, or in the starting eleven. I say play both cherundolo and spector. One on the left. Bornstein is way to behind to be playing with anyone outside of Concacaf. If he’s our starting left back in the WC, we are going to get work down that side.

  77. DaveW says:


    Danilo Turcios and Amado Guevara are out on card accumulation.

    @SBI Do you think Rambo de León could take advantage of the US left back as well?

    Also, after watching the coaching duel between Rueda and Aguirre/Carrillo in Azteca, I think Rueda is way better at making in-game adjustments than BB.

    Really worried about the flank play of Honduras, including their forwards serving from wide.

  78. gabe says:

    sorry, but no way you would start holden boys. good call ives keeping clint in there.

  79. Deuce says:

    true strongboy, but teams already target our left back no matter who plays there, it would be nice if we put spector there to finally plug the hole.

  80. Eric says:

    Conor Casey made the roster?? He has been, IMO, the least impressive member to wear the MNT uniform in the last couple of years.

  81. Dennis says:

    Dempsey is out due to a shoulder injury picked up in yesterday’s game. That opens up a slot for Holden, Torres, Feilhaber. It will be interesting to see which Bradley picks. I imagine it will be determined by which looks best in training this week and which might pair up best with the outside backs (defense being so important in an away WC qualifier.)
    Courage will also matter, at the moment, Honduras may very well be the least safe place to play in this part of the world.