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.