Who should the USMNT start vs. Turkey?

USAvsNetherlandsSquad (ISIphotos.com)

Photo by John Todd/ISIphotos.com


The first chance for Bob Bradley to trot out his first choice starting lineup before the World Cup comes on Saturday against Turkey in Philadelphia. Just what that lineup will be is the big question.

There are questions all over the field, from the striker position to the fullbacks, the wings to central midfield. Bradley will give the first signs of the players he is leaning toward for the June 12 World Cup opener vs. England.

So who will start vs. Turkey on Saturday? Here is our projected lineup:







The three positions toughest to call are right back (Cherundolo or Spector), wing midfield (Beasley or Holden) and forward (Dempsey, Gomez or Findley).

If Dempsey plays up top, the decision is between Holden and Beasley. If Dempsey is deployed on the flank, Herculez Gomez could get the nod (he and Altidore were paired up top in training on Thursday).

Central midfield could offer a surprise, with Maurice Edu and Jose Torres as options, but the odds are good that we will see the Michael Bradley-Ricardo Clark tandem.

What do you think of the above lineup? Which starting 11 would you like to see against Turkey?

Share your thoughts below.

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307 Responses to Who should the USMNT start vs. Turkey?

  1. Modibo says:

    I like it. Beasley on the right makes me a little less nervous about having Boca in back. I would also like to see Dempsey up top. However, I’d like Edu paired with Bradley more than Clark.

  2. Misha K says:

    Why is Clark preferred to Edu? Is this something we may see during the WC?

  3. Sean McElroy says:

    Holden (if fit, ), Bradley, Edu, Donovan,
    Boca, Gooch, DeMerit, Cherundulo

  4. reverb says:

    Bradley-Torres in Mid. Then Edu in for Torres after 60. Clark just hasn’t been playing as much as those guys.

  5. Chicago - Scott says:

    Switch out Cherundolo with Spector and you got my line-up.

    I still think, especially after watching the Czech game, that Buddle > Gomez.

  6. dbex says:

    I’d start Spector in place of Cherundolo (who I was frankly not impressed with vs. Czech), move Donovan to the left and replace Beas with Holden. Otherwise, looks good to me. I might start Buddle up top with Jozy, but if you really think Dempsey will start at forward, might as well start working that combination now.

  7. Chicago - Scott says:

    Clark started the last few games for Frankfort… but I do like the Torres-Bradley combo

  8. malkin says:

    If it’s Holden instead of Beas, is Holden on the left or right? I assumed right.

    I also wonder if we’ll see another 60 minute performance from Gooch and have Spector subbed in at Left w/ Boca moving to the middle. Is this reasonable?

  9. Chicago - Scott says:

    Still hatin on Beasley?

  10. chris says:

    For me it’s Holden and Edu over Beas and Clark. Either way I’m looking forward to seeing how our “A” team performs.

  11. Chicago - Scott says:

    I’m sure Bradley will keep Gooch in as long as he can go… We got to get him minutes before the cup!

  12. nepa says:

    Would love to see Torres-Bradley

  13. Chicago - Scott says:

    Clark played in more World Cup qualifiers and also did well in the Confederations cup, while Edu has been injured. Edu probably needs to do more impressing before he plays over Clark. I’m sure he is almost there though.

  14. dbex says:

    Huh? Not at all. I thought he deserved to get called in and has a valuable role to play. But I think Holden is more creative, and it’s useful to have him out there, especially with Clark (much more of a destroyer than a creator) paired in the middle with Bradley.

  15. Kevin says:

    Holden is a much better player than Beasley. If Dempsey starts up top, Holden should be on the right.

  16. Chicago - Scott says:

    Beasley has seemed more dangerous than Holden to me, also Beasley did great getting behind the ball on defense in the Czech game… I have nothing against Holden, just simply think Beasley has really impressed (maybe hes playing for a new job, and also knows its probably his last World Cup)

  17. alf says:

    In the last two years Edu and Bradely have played all of 45 minutes together in central mid (against Netherlands) while Clark started with Bradley in the Confederations Cup run and qualifiers. With two games left to tune up the starting 11, I’m guessing Bradley Sr. is pretty fixed on Bradley and Clark, cause there really isn’t enough time to try anything else … In my opinion, even if Edu was a better individual player than Clark (debatable) putting him in the starting line-up would be a big gamble. Stability in center of the field is key to any team’s success.

  18. Dan says:

    Makes sense. If you’ve got speed on the wings, you can use Dempsey and Altidore more effectively up top.

    At midfield, i would hope Edu gets the nod over Redcardo. We don’t need another major tournament where we play most of the group stage with 9 on the field. Also, Little Bob will no doubt be getting caught forward a few times, so Edu gives strong defensive balance.

    Dolo got skinned alive on the sideline v. Czechs, he needs to sit on the bench and give Spector a chance to prove the last month at West Ham was an anomaly. His leadership is great, blah, blah, but we need guys that can play.

  19. sread says:

    Edu played pretty much the entire match on Monday and I think most questions will be answered if Clark gets the same PT against Turkey. Edu will see his fair share of time in SA, but I have a feeling Rico Clark is in the starting 11 vs England.

  20. Betinho says:

    I like Ives’ line up. 2nd half move Beas to (don’t kill me but I wanna see it) LB and put holden in that position. Other subs – Spector for Dolo, Goodson for Gooch (late, Edu for Clark, Buddle/Gomez for Deuce and Hahnemann for Howard.

  21. AK says:








  22. Red says:

    I gotta be honest. I’m more comfortable with Edu or Torres in the middle than Clark. I hope to, at the very least, see 45 mins of my desired lineup.

  23. Chicago - Scott says:

    Well good, Holden isn’t bad, I’m just thinking Beasley would be more dangerous with his speed. The rest of his game is looking pretty solid to me too.

  24. Aaron in StL says:

    If we’re saying Boca can be the LB I see no reason for Spector not to be on the right. I like what I saw from Cherundolo, but I still don’t think he’s cherundoloed Spector in the starting eleven.

  25. blah says:

    what do you mean “especially after watching the Czech game”. I thought Gomez stood out.

  26. Stumpys Bear says:

    My interpretation from all of the analysts and press I’ve read is that Edu will get the start. This is the first I’ve seen Clark suggested.

  27. sread says:

    Yeah, these are very precious minutes for Gooch. Plus this isn’t the same situation as it was vs Czech Rep. when subs needed to come in and change things up. We’ll see more continuity in the lineup from half to half and this should only help Gooch. With all due respect to Goodson, who held his own, Gooch needs to be on the field with the top dogs and get comfortable knowing that they’ll have his back out there.

  28. Dan Fontaine says:

    Demps – Jozy

    LD – Bradley – Edu – Holden

    Boca – Goodson – Jay – Spector


    Not sold on Gooch’s fitness. Hopefully he gets there. We need him.

  29. josip says:

    Redcardo. lol. that’s just great.

  30. Dan Fontaine says:

    “Redcardo” – priceless :]

  31. Chicago - Scott says:

    Gomez didn’t play that well. He scored the goal which is why everyone seems to love him now. He had a chance to take a defender on, one on one.. and he simply shot it from 30 yards out because he doesnt have the balls skills to beat defenders. Gomez is not dangerous enough, in MY opinion.

  32. Tony in Quakeland says:

    Here is my made crazy insane line up:





    Advantages: Donoovan can find the game by dropping back or finding seams. Besely can provide cover on the left. I think this give a good frame work to get more agressive or defensive as needed.

  33. jb says:

    I like the lineup. I wish there was a place for Holden, but can’t see where. I prefer Beasley out wide for defensive cover. Holden as first sub, and he can play anywhere in the midfield. Also would like Edu to get some minutes with Bradley to contrast with Bradley/Clark.

  34. Andy in Altanta says:

    I think Holden answered fitness questions rather loudly against the Czechs… he was buzzing around and did not shy away from any tackles… I love that kid…

  35. Murphy says:

    I think it would be crazy to start Gomez. Haven’t most of his goals come as a sub in Mexico this year? He should be a sub if anything.

    I think this lineup is right. Maybe Edu for Clark or Holden for Beasley or Spector for Cherundolo. Our top 13-14 guys are pretty solid, its after that where our squad gets a little shaky.

    I also wouldn’t be surprised if Bob tries playing Findley up top in the Charlie Davies role for the first 50-60 minutes with Dempsey in midfield, and then switching out Findley and moving Clint up top and bringing in Beas or Holden. That was Bob’s best idea last summer, I wouldn’t mind if he tried it again. I know he tried that in the Dutch game and Findley didn’t do anything, but Bob must have seen something in training recently to make him think Findley is better than that performance.

  36. sf2010 says:

    Okay…..He didnt bring all Those forwards to play Dempsey up top against Turkey…..






  37. Stumpys Bear says:

    Can anyone explain the theory behind this lineup?




    Traditionally you’d see the two center mids stacked, one offensive, one defensive. In this lineup, are Donovan and Beasely supposed to play more advanced or more pinched in to compensate? Or do they have the same duties as traditional wingers. If so, where is the offense, setup, final pass supposed to come from. Or are the pinched in and advanced and the outside backs are filling in the role of traditional wingers? I wish US media discussed tactics more often than they do.

  38. elmatador says:

    I agree with you with this line up with the only exception that I think Gooch needs to play to get fitness, if not how is he supposed to get there?

  39. Chicago - Scott says:

    I don’t know, Donovan on one side and Beasley on the other… Those are 2 VERY speedy guys that might have to play against players like Walcott and Lennon. I think Beasley would do a better job than Holden with that, defensively and offensively.

  40. Jon says:

    And Buddle got how many shots off?

  41. Andy in Altanta says:

    Ives… what is Boca’s status? Did he have the German hernia surgery? I think it normally takes a good 4 weeks before you can go full out… Is he in full training at this point?

  42. elmatador says:

    interesting but you should know Bob Bradley by now. He will not deviated from his 4-4-2…I do like your line-up though.

  43. Jonesta says:

    Putting our best plaers on the field in solid positions would be




    now our back line has some issues so here is an alternate one removing the sight-impaired and affraid to jump. Spector-Boca-Goodson-Cherundolo.

    I do not want to see DMB on the field. Should Demps move up top we should see Holden who is a far better player than DMB.

  44. martha_c says:

    Bradley n Clark? I hope this isnt our startin WC tandem. You are absolutely begging to play a man down. Edu has more foul sense then the both of them, better touch on the ball, better passing, and has shown a better nose for goal w Rangers than Bradley did with mononndodach ….

    oh yea but Bradley is the coaches son

  45. Chicago - Scott says:

    I just thought Buddle looked better on the ball. He seems to hold it well and can actually beat defenders.

  46. dbex says:

    Glad to seem I’m not the only one who thought Cherundolo was getting smoked by CZE on a regular basis. He got forward okay, and worked some nice combinations with the wingers, but even there his final ball wasn’t good. I’d rather see Spector starting.

    And LOL @ Redcardo. Though I’m more worried about MB getting tired, lunging in and getting tossed, like he did against Spain.

  47. Chicago - Scott says:

    Donovan plays better on the wings where there is more open space…

  48. JayJay says:

    I think we all can agree that no matter who starts, the new :This is Sportcenter” commercial with Landon is hilarious. Go Yanks.

  49. Andy in Altanta says:

    I think people are forgetting how well Ricardo played at the Confed… He was a bright spot in the latter rounds… He also worked his way into a starting roll and new contract at a decent Bundesliga club that I would say is likely better than Rangers and at least on par… that being said I will be happy with either guy with baby Bradley.

  50. A Guest says:

    This is just not true–Dolo did fine. What are you talking about?

  51. BrianVT says:

    SBI, a question for you and the august group of posters on this board…

    We hear day-in-day-out about all the questions and all the injury-related turmoil, etc… but I’m wondering how this team, question-marks-and-all, matches up, position-by-position with past sides — 2006 & 2002, for example.

    In other words, even with all of these issues, are we still better than we were 10 years ago? For example, we know we don’t have plug&play replacements for Claudio Reyna & Brian McBride, but what about elsewhere on the pitch? Do folks think that our overall big-picture quality level is higher or lower?

  52. JavaLavaJoe says:






    I like the idea of Beas in front of Boca because he’s going to need some help.

  53. bba says:

    I see a couple of reasons. Spector finished the season playing very poorly and frankly, Steve is a better defender to begin with.

  54. Betinho says:

    For me I could careless which one BB prefers. Same with the RB options. I’m happy with either Spector or Dolo. Same with Torres/benny and Gomez/Buddle. That’s jsut me though.

  55. elmatador says:

    if anyone has seen any friednlies lately, for example Mexico you can see that the only way to brek mexico is on crosses or set pieces, on the same hand that’s how mexico broke England, a cross and a cheap reboud ala Dempsey vs Spain but a gaol is a goal and anyone would take it…having said all this, we need crossers (Holden anyone?) he can also help Donovan in corner kicks. I’d like to see




  56. S.C. says:






    I would like (1) Gomez to come in as a sub for Dempsey, (2) Beasley come in for Holden and then slide Donovan to the right, (3) Edu or Torres to come in as a sub for Clark (depending on the score), (4) Goodson for Demerit, (5) Dolo for Spector and (6) Buddle of Jozy. I like saving Beasley because his speed will be needed to cover the still not 100% fit Boca and also infuse some energy into the game. It is important to give as many of these guys looks as possible. We still have Australia in SA before the actual start of the WC to have our final lineup play. I would like to protect Donovan and Dempsey from injury (knock on wood) and take them out but the more playing time the better for them.

  57. bba says:

    I sure hope Mo starts, but I think that the fact he started on Tuesday signaled that Bob plans on playing Rico with Michael tomorrow (like I said though, I hope I’m wrong).

  58. Murphy says:

    12 men on the field? we will beat england with that lineup.

  59. Felix says:

    I think Torres is still too light in the tackle to be a starter. Just my opinion.

  60. go usa says:

    I like AK’s better. We rarely win games where we don’t control the midfield and Donovan is better centrally.

    Onyewu is NOT READY and will not be by the Cup. Was anyone watching him limp after 65 minutes and the look on his face?

    Put Torres in Edu’s position and start giving Edu practice on the back line.

  61. Fred says:

    That’s 12.

  62. Murphy says:

    good point. we better not have any stupid red cards this world cup.

  63. Soccer Convert says:

    Altidore Donovan


    Beasley Dempsey


    Bocanegra Gooch Demerit Spector

    I love this lineup. Holden plays centrally for Bolten and played there for Houston also. Given his performances in Netherlands and Tuesday night, where he attacked well and had some great passes, he may be the attacking mid we’ve been craving. Bradley really is more of a D-mid anyway so if he can be discipled and stay deep this lineup gives up a really creative, quick and great counterattacking force up front. Hopefully Gooch regains fitness, if not Goodsen played well enough to fill in and keep Boca at leftback or move Spector to leftside and Dolo gets start at right.

    This reason this lineup works so well is its gets all of our attacking players on the the field and coincidently at the positions they play for their club teams, go figure.

  64. mratfink says:

    You like his lineup because he has too many players on the field. Pretty sure you can’t play a 4-5-2 :)

  65. A Guest says:

    Agreed–I haven’t seen him play enough personally, but his situation seems to indicate he can hack it.

    I was very, very, happy with Gringo and Holden against Czech, though. Hope they get some sub minutes against Turkey.

  66. Fred says:

    Re: Beasley. I agree he played well against Czech, but how can anyone forget how horribly he played in qualifying and Confeds Cup, and that he has basically not seen the field for Rangers all season? Aren’t you just a _little_ bit terrified of not only putting him on the field, but starting him in the WC? They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results.

    Holden, on the other hand, has proven himself to be a strong, solid, reliable, intelligent player.

    For me, there’s no question that Holden starts over Beasley.

    However, I fear BB will have as short a memory as some of the posters on this site, and in fact Ives himself . . . .

  67. John from Philly says:

    you can’t play 12 people.

  68. Soccer Convert says:





    Boca —–Gooch —–Demerit —Spector


  69. Tom in Ohio says:

    I still don’t get the love affair many fans have with Torres. I understand that it makes some fans feel smarter to trot out the tired old “American fans just don’t understand the possession based style” line, but when I watch him play, his version of “possession” is to kill our own attack with constant back passes instead of hitting any type of telling balls into the attack. That’s what real possession midfielders (Re Xavi, Iniesta) do: they control the ball and then hit insightful, creative attacking balls. Torres doesn’t do that. He may, one day, but until he begins to do so, he is a detriment to the team except under very specific circumstances.
    As to a line-up, I would go with

  70. Andy in Altanta says:

    Anyone still have a sneaking suspicion that Johnny Bo starts @ LB…still… I think if Beasley is ahead of Boca then that helps but if it is Dempsey or Holden on the left (which I doubt it will be)… we could see Johnny

  71. madmax says:

    I can’t improve on Ives line-up, he nailed it.

  72. NJ Guy No Longer Stuck in DC says:

    I thought Edu played together with Bradley against Cuba (or maybe T&T?)back in ’08. IIRC they did not complement each other at all, occupying the same spaces etc., chasing the same balls. We know Clark plays well with Bradley so he should play against Turkey.

  73. Rod says:

    I’d like to see Edu instead of Clark. and possibly spector on the left and boca in the center with Gooch. Holden on the right, Donovan on the left.

  74. Lost in Space says:

    Ives line up is solid, but I’d move Donovan to the Left and Play Holden as the starter. Personally I think Holden is calmer on the ball than Beasley, and by using Beasley as a 60 Min Sub allows for his greatest asset (Speed) to be more effective as the opponents defense tires.

    Would start Edu and bring clark in around the 60th if we’re up to clamp down defensively. If we’re down bring in Benny or Torres for their vision and passing.

    Bring in Gomez for poaching or Findly for speed.

    In the Back…Gooch needs another 60-75 to continue to knock the rust off. Later can bring in Goodson or Spector and re-align the D.

  75. away goals says:

    For all the questions about fitness in the back line, at least we won’t be deploying jeff agoos.

    G-d bless the guy for everything he put into the program, but even bornstein is an upgrade.

  76. jcl says:

    thats an amazing lineup sf2010…too bad we can’t field 12 players though

  77. Andy in Altanta says:

    I am not a guy clambering for Gringo Torres but… If you watch him… his thought process is much quicker than most on our team… if you have a guy that can retain in tight spaces that helps a ton… I think at this point he is a sub only unless Rico and Edu prove that they can’t hold on to the rock… possessing the ball against Slovenia will be a key as with Algeria… Algeria can counter very fast and we want to minimize Slovenia’s attacks into our third… they wont play slick football against us but they are good in the air and are capable of some 1, 2 play that will unlock our slower CBs

  78. madmax says:

    And if I were Turkey I’d attack the USA’s left side of Boca and Gooch. Beas better have on his defending boots.

  79. jb says:

    Speaking of short memories…have you forgotten that Beasley is one of the handful of players on the roster that has proved to be dangerous at the world cup? Donovan and Dempsey are the only other attacking players I can think of. I love Holden and am fine with him starting, but Beasley has proven much more at all levels.

  80. Soccer Convert says:

    Sure Beasley didn’t get much playing time at Rangers, but when he did get time he produced. Same for the Nats recently with Netherlands and Czechs. This lineup moves Holden to attacking Mid which is where he plays for Bolten and Houston. Holden playing centrally gives us a far more threatenign midfield which is the point, rather than playing bunker ball.

    Another point on Beasley or even Freddy Adu for that matter. When you look at Mexico, they don’t make the same arguement that Carlos Vela aor Giovanni Dos Santos don’t play or start becasue they haven’t gotten playtime with their clubs, the manager knows that they can produce on the field, thats all that matters.

  81. Aaron in StL says:

    Completely off topic (was reading some other articles elsewhere today), but has anybody else noticed Jozy’s tiny little dolphin teeth?

  82. Lost in Space says:

    If only FIFA would let us use 12 players on the field. Then you’d have it spot on.

  83. William the Terror says:

    Gomez Altidore


    Beasley Bradley Edu Donovan

    Bocanegra DeMerit Cherundolo


    This will never happen, not even in a parallel universe of football, but i would like to see the 3 -4 -3 all out attacking formation just once.

  84. Aaron in StL says:

    *On the left. Not his given side. I’m saying put him back on the right. He “finished poorly” because he was playing higher quality competition.

  85. BrooklynFC says:

    This is what it should look like….. I love Clark but Edu has that special something about him…… Beas in Front of Boca is the best defensive Left Side we can ever hope for

  86. dena says:

    Really hoping that Bradley tries Edu out with baby Bradley, but I have a feeling that we will see Clark, I also want to see Goodson and DeMerit just in case something happens to Gooch, or if his form becomes a serious liability.

    Spector — Goodson — DeMerit — Bocanegra
    Bradley — Edu
    Holden ————- Donovan

    is what I want to see, but I could easily see Bob putting in Clark and Onyewu, as said earlier.

  87. William the Terror says:

    actually, it would be more of a 3-4-1-2 with Dempsey playing just off the top.

  88. Aaron in StL says:

    If our backline was beter it would be possible. We don’t have any combo of 3 that could pull it off and cver enough ground.

  89. Dave from Charlotte says:

    i understand the whole dempsey at forward argument, but honestly if that was where he was going to spend a significant amount of time during the WC there is no way BB would’ve brought 4 forwards.

    Here’s what I would like to see tomorrow:





    I don’t know how much this game will simulate real conditions, but if not…

    In the 2nd half, I’d sub on Goodson for Gooch, Beasley for Bocanegra, Holden for Buddle, moving Dempsey up top. Then bring Gomez on in the 65th minute for either forward.

  90. tom says:

    We need a playmaker in the central midfield. The lineup posted here offers no creativity in the center of the pitch, no one to direct the action. What we will see is continual bypass of the midfield and a lackluster offensive performance, IMO.

  91. sread says:

    I won’t kill you. It’s not a bad idea at this point. The Howard sub isn’t really necessary, but I love Marcus and wish he would have got the nod over Guzan on Monday. Hahnemann > Guzan, for what it’s worth.

  92. Jimmy says:

    I like Edu over Clark in the midfield, he’s got a better nose for scoring and is just as good defensively. I think you HAVE to start Beasley, he was playing so well for the Rangers in the few games he did get into. Holden is a good second half backup if DB isn’t working his magic.

  93. Dave says:

    Also, I’d like to see Feilhaber in for Clark in the 2nd half.

  94. madmax says:

    Tom watch more closely and you’ll see that before there’s an opportunity for Torres to hit “insightful, creative attacking balls” someone near Torres has launched a straight ahead 30 yard prayer.

    At some point in time the USA players need to abandon that style, maybe 2014 with Klinsi?

  95. BrooklynFC says:

    Bravo on the great post very sensible, you my friend are smart.


  96. john.q says:

    agree with alot of the posters. holden is TOO GOOD to sit on the bench.
    somehow he must be on the field, maybe even at midfield(!) i’d set beas and start holden on the right with landon on the left.
    im hoping bradley starts edu over redcardo clark(haha good one). he just offers more.

  97. Shawn says:

    Donovan —- Bradley —- Dempsey

    Lineup like Inter Milan with Bradley playing the Sneijder role (kind of a stretch). Could also put Bradley in Clark’s spot, and bring on Torres for more creativity against the weaker opposition. Two holding midfielders may be necessary against a team like england, although extra cover on the wings would help against Lennon/Walcott.

  98. BrooklynFC says:

    I want to see this too…… It very well could happen in a Pinch at the world cup lets see how it works….. as far as how it worked last year BEAS was not fully healthy

  99. Fred says:

    That was four years ago. I’m not saying Beasley wasn’t great then. I am saying that his recent track record shows that he can’t be trusted to perform in high-pressure situations.

  100. Brooklyn Dave says:

    I don’t think Gomez will ever get a start. He’ll be used late in games if we are down a goal. If we are up a goal, we’ll see Findley, who can chase the ball, keep team’s honest with his speed, and maybe get a goal against the run of play. So to my eye, if we keep Dempsey in the midfield, it will be Buddle that will start alongside Altidore, not Gomez or Findley.

  101. BrooklynFC says:

    Holden much better than Beasley? I guess we are gonna disagree on the that. Beas is more well rounded than Holden, Holden is good but not better than Beas

  102. Soccer Convert says:

    I agree, here my lineup. It puts Holden at attacking Mid which he plays for Bolten and before at Houston. It moves Donovan upfront, need you best goal scorer where he can score. The mids are still quality enough to get good service in. This lineup should solve our issue with Bunker ball.





    Boca —–Gooch———Demerit—–Spector–

  103. Fred says:

    That’s because Vela and Dos Santos are young players who are still coming up. Beasley is an older player who, for whatever reason, seems to have crested, and his best years are behind him.

    Adu is a a different story because he’s actually 37.

  104. JAuch says:

    I don’t see how you can say Beasley is more dangerous than Holden. Maybe as far as speed but Holden’s crosses and set piece deliveries are ridiculously dangerous. The argument to start Beas on the left though to cover for Bocanegra against speedy wingers is a good one. Oh what would we give to have good options at left back.

  105. James C. Geigersk says:

    Clark and Bradley did NOT do well in the Confed Cup. Not until Clark had to sit and Feilhaber played with Bradley did the attack start to click.

    For my money, Clark and Bradley are not complementary enough to be out there at the same time. They always seem to be playing the same position instead of playing off each other.

    Bradley is better when paired with a distributor, not a mirror.

  106. JAuch says:

    Redcardo +1

  107. BrooklynFC says:

    Buddle>Gomez I’ll drink to that, its so true Gomez is great but Buddle can go into the midfield and fight for a ball and bring it forward

  108. Jon says:

    I agree. I am more confortable with Edu than CLark, who has the penchant for rash challenges. Also if all goes well, Bradley can play higher up the pitch with Edu settling in to the traditional CDM role, something Clark and Bradley never seem to get becuase IMO, Clark won’t settle into the traditional CDM role.

  109. sread says:

    1. Your gonna need to take one of those guys off the pitch.

    2. Don’t think we’ll be seeing much of Spector at LB anytime soon. Beas, Bornstein, Boca–the 3 Bs will fill that spot before Spector does.

    3. Demps probably wouldn’t be played in that type of a role. BB doesn’t really employ playmakers in his formations. We’ll pretty much count on seeing 2 CMs and two strikers.

    4. I do like the idea of giving another striker time with the first team–be it Gomez or Buddle, and although no one really buys into Findley at this point, I think we need to see some time from him up top too, if nothing else to validate his being included in this squad. We need to see if BB has some masterplan for him after all or if it was just a terrible inclusion.

  110. Jayrod1111 says:

    How about this lineup! 4-2-3-1

    The Head Butt Kid

    The Divorcee–The Texican–Duecey

    Kevin Durant-Coach’s Kid

    Blackmouth–The Good Son-Gooch–The Ghost

  111. Jon says:

    The reason why we need Torres is his deftness on the ball. Very few people on the USMNT are as composed on the ball as he is and his distribution is good, as well. Bradley will more than make up for Torres perceived lack of tackling.

  112. Aubie4Prez says:

    I disagree…I see Edu next to MB and Holden over DMB.

    However, since BB brought 4 forwards I almost guarantee you that Demp is going to be playing on the RW. Thus either Buddle/Gomez/Findley next to Jozy.

  113. Waterlewd says:

    Did you watch Everton play this year with Donovan? If so, this lineup would be very similar. The wingers are responsible for tracking back and covering the runs of the opposing fullbacks. Dempsey will provide support to the midfield like Timmy Cahill and be a linking player. It is listed as a 4-4-2, but defensively looks similar to a 4-2-3-1 when Dempsey falls into the hole in central midfield. Overlapping runs from our fullbacks will only come with sustained possession, and most likely to happen on the right side. That’s the way I read it at least.

  114. Stop with Beasley @ LB says:

    Was following you until you stated Beasley for Bocanegra. This has been tried in 2 WC cycles and doesn’t work.

    Depth chart for LB is Boca, Spector, Edu/Goodson, Beasley, Guzan, Bornstein.

  115. brad says:


  116. wally says:

    no redcardo or bonerstein

  117. JAuch says:

    I agree…Beas was definitely not in form for the original experiment. I would have like to have seen that switch instead of Edu to centerback on Tuesday, just because we have plenty of depth at CB. Unfortunately, a couple weeks before a world cup is not the best time for experimenting with your defense.

  118. madmax says:

    I can also see Bradley not playing to win again, and playing everyone on the bench, which I agree with.

  119. JPSpiffy says:

    “Redcardo Clark” has 1 more red card than Edu in all competetions since Edu has become a professional and has played a lot more games since Edu was out with the knee. . . stats are a hell of a thing!

  120. hartman says:

    Altidore Gomez

    Deuce Donovan

    Bradley Edu

    Boca Gooch Demerit Spector

    As shaky as the D looks at the moment, I think the two D mids may be necessary.

  121. K1p says:

    Tom I agree,

    Unless their are 10 other “possession” players on the field, it ruins chemistry. Torres is one of the most skilled individuals on the roster but I think his role will be as a sub in SA. I’ve seen this at all levels. On my girlfriend’s team, there is a Mexican that holds onto the ball too much which basically ruins the attack. I’ve seen this individual play on other teams and he was brilliant.
    I’m not equating rec hacks with our USMNT, I’m just pointing out that team chemistry is very important at all levels.

  122. AG says:

    Dolo did fine against the Czechs more so defensively but I noticed he tends to distribute the ball to guys who were tightly marked and already under pressure rather than keeping possession by switching the field. Distribution will be a problem in that area if DeMerit is right next to him. Spector should start.

  123. Aubie4Prez says:

    That lineup was floating around on another website yesterday and I really like it against England. I think we could pull off a late win with it…especially if we keep our form and as the game wears on England will get frustrated.

    Around the 60-70th min I would, depending on play and how we look, take Jozy off and move Landon up top (his speed is what we will need to steal a goal.) Then bring in Holden/DMB/Torres/Benny–again–depends on what we need. Jozy HAS TO be hustling all day so as to try and tire out the D.

    The only reason why I don’t like it is besides Jozy who can we really sub off? We’d really would have to take Demp off as the reason for this lineup is defensive. Which I don’t have a problem with if we put Holden in on for him…thus he can rest a bit before we really need his creative stuff against SLV/ALG.

  124. K1p says:

    You are right, as the skill level of the team improves, we will see more beautiful soccer. I hate the long ball.

  125. Lil' Zeke says:

    Different kinds of players for different situations

  126. plug713 says:

    I believe that Carlos Bocanegra lacks the speed needed at the left back position. He reads the game well and has experience there from his time at Rennes, but the World Cup finals are at a level that is much higher than he sees in Ligue 1. I would prefer to start DaMarcus Beasley at left back to see if he can handle the position better than he has in the past when deployed there. While we need to begin focusing on our best XI and to develop some cohesion as a team, there is still time to experiment. If Beasley can’t fill in at left back, now is the time to find out, not in two weeks. With all that said, here is the starting formation I would like to see on Saturday:






    In my opinion, a back line of Bocanegra, Onyewu, Demerit, and Spector lacks the speed necessary for a World Cup finals starting XI. Bocanegra has never had much pace and if he is turned by the attack Onyewu will be forced to move over to provide cover. This exposes our center dangerously and puts too much pressure on Spector and Demerit, neither of whom have much pace either, to fill the gap. If Beasley has a bad time in the first half, make the adjustment with Bocanegra in the second half and see how that works.

  127. RooneyFan_05 says:

    What? Beasley as a starter. A player who hasn’t seen a decent streatch of games all year, who had a mediocre game against mediocre competition on Tuesday. Where is the coolaid?






    Then sub Torres in in 2nd half for Feilhaber

    and Buddle/Gomez for Altidore

  128. Dave says:

    LOL…Guzan ahead of Bornstein…thanks for that. Sigh, it’s not ideal, but I’ve had concerns about Bocanegra’s pace since he got burned by Brazil during the CC last year.

    Maybe a 2nd half sub of Bocanegra (for no other reason than to not over work him coming back from injury) with ‘dolo on the right and spector going on the left.

    I would love to see the pictures Bornstein must have of BB and goats.

  129. emanuel says:

    he can play on the left or right

  130. Caesar Augustus says:

    I like the lineup, Ives. Would definitely like to see Dempsey paired with Altidore and Beasley and Donovan on the wings. I’d be fine with Clark starting too…since he has played well for the USMNT before and since he had earned a starting spot at Frankfurt by the end of the season.

  131. sread says:

    Right on. Give the first 11 plenty of time (especially Donovan and the strikers) because the Aussies have been known to come in hard form time to time–friendly or not.

  132. Inlikeclint says:

    I also think Holden has a future centrally for the USMNT. However, as they say in golf, you shouldn’t try to hit shots on the course that you haven’t hit on the range. Saturday is when we should be gelling as a team, not making major position changes.

  133. Rocco says:

    “because he doesnt have the balls skills to beat defenders”

    Come on now that is quite and indictment from one bit of action and you’ll remember that he got a corner out of the play.

  134. Jim from NC says:

    AK – I like the idea of offense, but you are crazy if you think we can go three in the back (or 2 and 1/2 with Gooch there).

  135. Tom in Ohio says:

    I am not talking about what the other players do when they receive the ball. I’m talking about what he does with the ball when he has it. He is presented as a possession style midfielder but to be an effective possession style midfielder requires a certain level of creativity, otherwise it is just possession for the sake of possession. The better players of this type throughout the world find ways to attack, to put pressure on the defense. Torres doesn’t seem to have that creative spark, so he just turns and passes the ball backwards for the sake of possession. I have no problem with back passes that are meant to open up the field in order to set up the attack. I do have an issue with a guy who just passes the ball backwards every time he touches it because he cannot figure out what else to do with it. If we are going to pass the ball without a plan, I’d rather pass it mindlessly forward than mindlessly backwards…

  136. SeattleStan says:

    Bradley may want to show the Turks the what for. In that case, and since the studs up two-footed challenge is his specialty, Clark may be preferred.

  137. sread says:

    You’ve got it all wrong man. Torres brings skills that no other American CM has–his first touch, vision, short passing, shooting range all play to our advantage. There’s no reason to boot the ball upfield every single time we get pressured in the midfield. Distributing the ball wide or even back to the defense is not a bad thing my friend. When we come to realize this, we will appreciate Torres and players like him. He simply does things on the ball that Bradley, Edu, Clark can’t or won’t.

  138. DL says:

    How about get your best at each area on the field.

    FWD: Dempsey/Jozy
    MF: LM-Beasley, CM-Bradley/Holden (played there for Bolton and Houston did very well and is a box to box guy), RM-Donovan
    DEF: LB-Boca, CBs-Demerit/Oneywu, RB-Spector
    GK: Howard

    I think Bradley could play Bornstein at LB, Edu/Clark in the CM (this is most likely) and probably Dempsey at RM, and Buddle at FWD. I just do not think that is the best 11 we can put on the field.

  139. JImmy Corn says:

    Gomez and Buddle both played well. Gomez was active as was Buddle. Both need work.

    I don’t much care for the US obsession with forwards being able to “hold the ball”. I want goals. and if nothing else, Gomez showed a willingness to test the keeper. a less proficient keeper than Cech may have given a rebound or 2.

  140. Raghu says:

    Great chat this morning.

    This might be the first time I’ve read this many defenders of DMB this site. I’m glad people see the value of having a two way player with his pace and work rate on this team (even with his sometimes poor first touch).

    Regarding the Turkey match, I”m not convinced BB will use this match to “play his starter.”

    I think he’ll pair certain players together in preparation for the “multiple’ line-ups he may consider for the three group matches in SA the same way Arena did in 02.

    I expect Rico to get the start against England, even with his penchant for rash tackles. His ability to make up ground to close on an attacker is an undervalued asset by many – and it’s the reason he started for Frankfurt to close the season, and the reason BB plays him in the first place.

    I will not be surprised to see a Findley or Holden, or Buddle get the start in one of the next two. I don’t believe BB will show his hand until the start. If there’s one thing history has taught us thus far, that would be it. (sorry for the long post guys). Won’t happen again. Thanks for all your great work Ives, Franco et al…..

  141. Jamie Z. says:

    Yes, but Modibo clearly means on the left in this instance, as he is talking about having Beasley paired with Boca. on the left flank.

  142. john godfrey says:

    Altidore – Gomez
    Dempsey – Holden – Bradley – Donovan
    Spector – Bocanegra – Onyewu – Cherundolo

    two defensive mids isn’t going to work for Slovenia or Algeria, although I can see the argument for Bradley + Rico or Mo against England.

  143. sread says:

    I hope they do just that. If there’s a real weakspot, we need to see an above average side take some shots at us and let us look into all options right now, rather than repeating our first match vs Czechs in 06…

  144. emanuel says:


  145. Lost in Space says:

    Would not have Dempsey above Boca on the left. It makes for a very slow defensive side. Switch Donovan and Dempsey and I’m fine with it.

  146. Why doesnt anyone give Benny some respect?.. I think Bradley and Benny play well together… Clark doesnt seem to mesh well

  147. White Kix says:

    I haven’t seen any love for Feilhaber in these comments, and he offers just what you are looking for. He can slow up play and keep possesion, and can also spring the forwards and midfielders with one touch.

  148. Josh D says:

    Agree – Edu offers far more than Clark but based on Clark’s exclusion Tuesday, you have to figure he gets the nod. Same I would say of Feilhaber who will probably see second half playing time. Unless that is he doesn’t start on the left which is where he tends to play for his club.

    I also question Boca and DeMerit’s ability to play – have they gotten over their injuries yet? Any updates Ives on the injury front as you seem to have unparalleled access to watching them train when I thought media were banned until midday/afternoon talks?? Sneaky, sneaky!

  149. Madaoua05 says:

    Can we appreciate the fact that we FINALLY have legitimate position battles in the midfield? And did anyone notice that our potential starting lineups are composed entirely of European-based players? American soccer has evolved considerably in the last 10 years. Let’s tip our hats to that.

  150. The Gentleman Masher says:

    I thought it worked well when we started Dempsey out wide in the Confed Cup early…started Altidore and Davies up top, and then moved Dempsey up top later when we brought in a midfield sub.

    This is the lineup I would like to see:




    Subs: Gomez on For Buddle if we need a goal, Holden for Buddle if we don’t. Demerit for Gooch, Torres for Edu.

  151. Bobeto says:

    I do like the lineup and believe it should be the one v. England but for this match I see BB trying Gomez with Josey up top and Holden in place of Beas. I think we will only see Deuce moving up front in the final 20 min. of a match if we need a goal. I, also, like LD on left side. Go USA!

  152. Josh D says:

    Second thoughts – Spector starts too…

  153. dvm2971 says:

    Man I can’t wait until we have a new coach who will breathe some life into this program. Two destroyer central midfield with inept distribution??? Wonderful!

  154. Andrew H. says:

    Altidore Dempsey

    Donovan Edu Bradley Holden

    Spector Boca Demerit Cherundolo


  155. Josh says:

    I’d like to see:

    to see how well Buddle plays up to with Jozy, and if his club chemistry with Donovan translates to the national team. Buddle’s got a good first touch, good technical ability, and when he’s playing hard, he’s created a couple of goals from sheer effort.

  156. Aquaman says:

    Since it is still a warm up I’d like to see how the forwards do when paired with the rest of the starters. I would especially like to see Buddle up top next to Altidore (instead of Johnson) and playing with Donovan on the field (whom he’s very familiar with). He did well for what he was surrounded with, but I would like to see what we really have at forward by putting them in a better situation than they were in against the Czechs

  157. ndcsjp says:

    I’d see Buddle starting over Gomez, since he links up well with Donovan in LA, and Gomez is more of a late-game sub.

    Beasley over Holden for this WC. He has loads of experience, and defends very well. Also, He’s out of contract, so he’s hungry. Also, he’s a winger, whereas Holden can sub in centrally and on the wing.

    Cherundolo is purely an outside back, whereas Spector can fill in the middle as needed. Cherundolo starts on the outside.

  158. Lester says:

    I agree with you. Three in the back is difficult to play without the right personnel. I believe the three guys need to have a lot of speed because it is vulnerable to through passes, which those three guys don’t have collectively.

  159. Betinho says:

    After having a think about it I wouldn’t be surprised to see this line up:


    Deuce -MB – Clark – LD



    I have a feeling BB has seen enough of Findley to think he can replace Davies. Together with Boca’s quote that he think Findley can “be the surprise of the tournament”, I think they will want to see him with Jozy for an extended period.

    As far as Beas to LB. Hear me out. When asked about Bornstein BB always points to his speed, athletism and (this part always makes me chuckle) offensive skills. I think we can all agree that Beas brings more of this. It was shocking how bad our LB’s were in the last 2 friendlies. Give Beas 45 back there. It it doesn’t work…NEVER speak of it again. If it works..we have improved our chances against the English quite a bit.

  160. Chicago - Scott says:

    I’ve been watching him all season, he can not beat defenders one on one. Most of his goals are just being in the right place at the right time.

  161. Rich says:

    Why the love for Bease? If we have 4 defenders and 2 holding Mids why do we need more defense? Isn’t 6 enough?

    – Altidore

    – Dempsey

    Donovan Holden

    – Bradley Edu

    Boca Gooch Demerit Dolo

    Spector has looked more shaky to me, so I say Dolo. Gooch has to go 90. He has to be back in shape or I say we go Goodsen. Please not Clark, he is just not as good as Edu. Gomez is the late addition striker to off the bench.

    I still think it would be interesting to try

    – Altidore

    Dempsey Bradley Donovan

    – Clark Edu

    Boca Gooch Demerit Dolo

    we know Bradly can score goals, but really the time for experimentation is past.

  162. D says:

    Edu is the BEST central mid for the USMNT right. He offers the most flexibility for the other central mid, whether it is an defensive player like MB or an offensive minded player like Torres/Felli

  163. alf says:

    This is why the try-out Czech game was such a colossal waste of time by Bradley. In the Turkey game, he needs his starting best guess 11 out there, and the starting 11 needs at least 60-70% of field time together over the next two games to get a rythm and gel. But then he may still be tempted to see if Edu/Bradley work, never mind Torres. But then he still has to figure out who’s a better first sub Holden or Fielhaber or Beasley, plus Benny needs some game time. But then he has to fiugre out how to line up the D if Gooch is not a starter. Then he has to figure out how the forward subs work out plus give some playing time to Findley. Way too many questions and too little time for just two warm up games and two weeks before kick-off ….

  164. A Guest says:

    We don’t “do” a central playmaker right now. This not apparent since approximately June 23rd, 2006?

  165. D says:

    Yeah, Holden is fit for sure. I think he and Beasley alternate starting and coming off the bench in the WC, with Demps at the top.

  166. D says:

    By very few, I assume you mean Felli as the only other one, so sad. Torres or Felli should be playing at all times, if the US is trying to attack or maintain possession at all.

  167. tyler says:

    Did anyone else think Gooch seemed to be limping for much of the Czech game? I realize he’s probably going to favor his stronger leg, but it seemed to me like he couldn’t run without limping.

  168. mike says:

    Not that anyone cares but here is my lineup…





  169. wilyboy says:

    As long as Edu is the preferred starter, fine. I do feel, though, that this lineup demonstrates the peril of not bringing someone like Bedoya, because I don’t see any clear substitute for Beasley. Unless we want to never take Dempsey and Donovan off the pitch… and if we have to, then we’re screwed.

  170. Wispy says:

    Fine. It’s Redcardo Clark and Maurice Redu, then.

  171. PetedeLA says:

    Can’t imagine why no one has mentioned how poor Dolo was against the Czechs?

    Granted, he never got really burnt, but he was a made a ton of unforced turnovers. As a Bundesliga fan I like the guy, but Spector is a better all around defender, better soccer player, useful on set pieces, and faster.

    Am I missing something?

  172. away goals says:

    That’s a solid lineup. Wouldn’t mind seeing gomez come on for altidore. Then buddle on for dempsey later. I’m a fan of altidore, but dempsey might be the best forward on the squad. He’s just a different kind of forward.

    The comparison above of dempsey to cahill is a good one. Whether it was yakubu or saha playing up top, cahill had to be on the field for everton. Dempsey has to be on the field for the united states.

  173. philmatt24 says:

    Beasley has the edge in speed, experience, and defensive abilities (esp to help Boca vs. England if Boca is on the left). And he scored that awesome game-winning goal vs. Italy in the ’06 Cup… oh wait that was called back.

    But Holden has the edge in crossing, free kicks, overall creativity…

    I could definitely see Beasley starting vs. England because speed may be key in that match. But in general, if I have to choose between the two, I probably take Holden.

  174. away goals says:

    Great comparison of dempsey with cahill. Neither could be considered out-and-out strikers, but both are more important to their teams’ success than the true forward they line up with.

  175. moosecat says:

    4-2-3-1 protecting the hobbled back 4


    -Edu- -Clark-

    -Dempsey- -Donovan-


  176. moosecat says:





  177. jimoh8002 says:

    Im a little more optimistic about clark now than before because of his time in german league. I want to see if he can be the American Gattuso. A hard tackling defensive midfielder that does of dirty work and strikes fear into the opposing attackers. he has a certain aggression that EDU probably doesn’t have

  178. JFan says:

    As far as Beasley vs Holden, to me Beas is good at the scrappy sort of scrambling (ugly) start to the typical US game. And Holden is better at starting the attack when receiving the ball from a defensive back later in the game when the opponent is tired and space opens up in mid field.

    I look for Beas to start although I prefer Holden’s style of play.

  179. away goals says:

    Holden needs to be included with our composure-on-the-ball guys. He can play out of tight spaces without resorting to the long ball.

  180. john.q says:

    i’d love to see bradley at least experiment with this line-up. it’s more offensive and gets all of our best midfielders out there.
    i wouldnt mind seeing a more free-flowing midfield too, with demps, donovan, and holden moving in and out of wide positions depending on match-ups.
    if we’re down take gomez out and bring in torres/feilhaber. move demps up top. findley could even be thrown in for his speed.
    if we’re up take out gomez, move demps up and bring in edu. could even take holden off and throw beasley in since he doesnt mind being more defensive. his fresh speed off the bench can be valuable too.
    mark my words SBI we will see this! :)

  181. KMac says:

    You may be right “go usa”, but from where I was in primo seats in Hartford – I couldn’t detect any limping.
    I watched the DVR on tv when I got back home and didn’t see it there either. I did see decent play for a first match in 7 months. Of course the first goal fueled doubt about his jumping ability. My cable feed was clear enough to see that the Czech used him as a ladder on the header. Normally, I don’t think that would happen. Let’s see what happens on Sat (I will be there too live) and look at his body of work. I will be optimistic until clear evidence otherwise. For a guy to fight back like that – he at least deserves the chance. (not opening the CD9 can of worms here!)

  182. Josh D says:

    But beyond rash two legged, studs up tackles there is no fear. Fear comes from Gattuso, Keano, Viera – guys who are imposing not because they tackle but because they are mad men, hell bent on stopping anything from happening on the field. They tackle, get up and tackle, play very tight attackers, dominate a middle, overally aggressive. I see known of that in Clark.

    Clark is just a hustling, tackling midfielder. And his time spent in Germany was 75% injured, he’ll leap and bound in experience this coming season but I don’t see any big changes from him yet.

  183. Chris Whyte says:

    If by NOT doing well you mean beating Spain 2-0 with Clark & Bradley pairing for 90 minutes, then you’re right. Oh, wait?!?!?!? That was our biggest victory since 2002.

  184. barticus says:







    Good luck gettin’ through this one England!!!!! I’m just sayin’

  185. teds says:

    I think torres should start…i tend to prefer feilhaber and holden over beasley, clark…edu… i prefer clark over beasley, edu…feel like i watched a different game than everyone the other day… beasley still looked pretty weak imo…i’m glad he’s on the team and gets a chance…but…until he proves himself more…he needs to hit the gym or something.. i always feel he is about to break and that he gets tossed around like a rag doll…small is ok… but he needs to be a strong or quick small…

  186. Spearhead says:

    We need to use a 4-5-1 in this game because that would gets us used to what would be the most fitting against England. Use Boca at LB, Goochie and DeMerit at CB, and Spector at RB. I love SC but his lack of height is a big concern. If we were on attack a lot then I would play SC. Midfield would be Michael B, Edu and Clark ( MB in front of those two)in the center and Dempsey and Donovan on the flanks with Altidore up front.

  187. BrianK says:


    I like the line-up, although I am not sold on Gooch. One question,…if Beasely likes to play on the right so he can cut in on his favored left foot and Donovan likes to play on the left so he can cut in on his favored right foot,…why wouldn’t BB accomodate them?

  188. Rocco says:

    Can you cite examples of when Dolo got “skinned alive”? I like Spector too but I don’t think we need to promote one guy by ripping another.

  189. Rocco says:

    Yeah, unless you mean to show Beasley as some sort of winger LB hybrid this is far too risky and frankly, not gonna happen.

  190. LA to BA says:

    When I saw the double Gooch in your lineup I thought you were crazy… but the Bonestein inclusion left no doubt.

  191. AK says:

    My thinking is that DMB has the speed to track back and cover the left side, allowing boca to slide in centrally. And, if DMB is too far up front, Edu can slide to the CB, keeping Boca on the flank.

    It might be a stretch, but it would be good to experiment in these two matches. We know basically who the starting 11 will be, so let’s see what formations we can tinker with.

  192. Rocco says:

    Agreed with Chicago. Switch Donovan and Dempsey.

  193. John says:

    I’m going to call it now. Findley gets the start up top with Jozy just to see how they mesh before going into the world cup.

  194. John D says:

    If you play “inverted” they can cut inside to their preferred shooting foot, but you lose their crossing abilities on the wing.

  195. AK says:

    Hybrid….good term for it. Actually exactly what I was thinking.

  196. D says:

    Well, said the USMNT has come along way over the last ten years. However, I predict an even greater leap over the next ten years, as the U20- U17 guys develop more for the 2014-2018 WC and include the amount of young talent on this WC, along w/Davies and the USMNT should be much deeper and more talented in the next couple WCs.

  197. hernandez says:

    That is not a good excuse to say that Spector finished poorly because he was playing “higher quality competition”. What types of players do you think England will be deploying come June 12? My vote is for Cherundolo.

  198. Warren says:


    Torres, Feilhaber or Holden alongside Bradley, Edu, or Clark is a more balanced central midfield.

    But ability to move ball around from the backs to the forwards is not as valued in BB’s preferred kickball mode.

    2 dm’s = 3 and out imo.

  199. BlueWhiteLion says:

    with our defense being a bit hobbled, this may not work as we need coverage, but I sure would like to see Torres paired with Bradley in the middle, or perhaps on the left side to see better combination play with forwards and mid-field.

    How fast is Torres, relatively speaking? Does he have speed, or is it more quickness and passing?–I have not been able to see him play very often.

  200. Cmbimages says:

    I would reverse that. Start Bradley-Edu. Get control of the center of the field and then press with Torres (who I thought looked very good Tuesday) in the late stages of the game.

  201. Warren says:

    Right, to be fair to Clark he went 90 in each of Frankfurt’s last 3 games if i recall correctly, got his contract renewed.

    Which means Clark is sticking with an upper – to mid-table Bundesliga squad, in a DM position.

    I think it is really close to be honest between all 3 dm’s – Bradley, Clark and Edu.

    As long as 1 of them is paired with a Feilhaber, Torres, or Holden we can have more than 10% of possession.

    But we know BB believes the best defense is defense so it’s more likely a central mid pairing of MB with Clark. Edu could slide into the defensive rotation to shore things up there due to Gooch, Bocanegra, and DeMerit fitness issues, and Bornstein’s (in)competence issue.

  202. Rocco says:

    Good point Frank. His play on the second goal against Spain made that sequence work. At worst, he’s a great sub option.

  203. Warren says:


    A CM who can maintain control of the ball and distribute.

    What a novel concept!

  204. Cmbimages says:

    I would really like to see Bradley get forward more like he did in Holland. Edu seems a better match to give him that freedom.

  205. Warren says:

    Gomez scored, Gomez took a hard shot – off a perfect feed from Ching. It was on goal but right at goalie. Ok not perfect.

    But Buddle’s big accomplishment was taking one in the chin (literally) from Cech, which led to Edu’s finish of the bouncing ball in the box. Any Buddle shots on goal? Not that I recall.

    Don’t mind Buddle getting minutes, but Gomez had the better game. And may have bigger role in US sneaking through to second round.

  206. Warren says:


  207. Cmbimages says:

    What evidence do you have that Dolo is a better defender?

    Not sure he has shown that in either Germany or in MNT games. Please convince me otherwise.

  208. WJ Marx says:

    Agreed that Bocanegra & DeMerit are potential injury problems. But against Chech Republic Onyewu demonstrated clearly that he has not recovered from injury as well as not being either fit or match fit. As is, Onyewu is a liability. Doesn’t that bother you.

    Lotsa potential problems up front as well as in the back. Only the midfield looks ready!

  209. SoccerJohn says:

    If we’re trying to get a look at the guys who might start vs England, I’d rather see Holden (over Beasley), Edu (over Clark), Spector (over Cherundolo), and Goodson (over Demerit). I think that’s our best team right now.

  210. madmax says:

    I still remember Torres 50 yard run, tackle and strip in the dying minutes that helped the US win the WC qualifying group.

  211. Warren says:

    Dolo did get spun around several times by Czech wingers, which i guess is what Dan is referring to.

    Fortunately if I recall correctly the central middies covered for him so most folks may have let it go.

  212. Tom in Ohio says:

    Agreed. Feilhaber combines all of Torres’ positive attributes with the ability to actual make passes that put the pressure on our opponent. Torres all to often, in his attempts to play a possession oriented game, puts pressure on his teammates (See friendly vs Holland where he nearly chipped the ball into our own net).
    Again, I have no problem with passing the ball back or passing the ball wide. I have no problem with that style of play. I just don’t think Torres is particularly good at it. If we nationalized Iniesta somehow, I’d have no problem inserting him into the starting line-up and letting him dictate play, because he is good at it. Torres is not. Therefore, in attempting to do something he does not do well, he hurts the team.

  213. Warren says:

    We’ve already seen that train wreck, why the rerun?

  214. Warren says:


  215. Warren says:

    sorry, not happening.

    With 4 in the back leaking goals at the rate they’ve been doing, no way we go to 3 in the back.

  216. sean says:

    It looks good, but I thought Cherondolo was terrible against the Czechs. Let’s see Spector in at RB.

  217. madmax says:

    There’s no team chemistry in punting the ball 30 yards down field aimlessly. What Tom is asking for is creative spliting passes by Torres on first touch. Not even Barca can do that. The team will move to Torres world style or stagnate. Many here have seen a lot of good soccer on TV or on their computers to accept punt and a prayer and call that chemistry.

  218. Gudtj says:

    You do know you have 12 players listed. Pretty sure FIFA wont let us do that!

  219. madmax says:

    I’d rather see Beasley Left Out than Left Back.

  220. Warren says:

    right, I also like Rico, but Edu does seem more likely to poach a goal which playing solid all around.

  221. Neruda says:

    I give up trying to figure out what BB is going to do next. Can’t wait for the usual surprises.

  222. madmax says:

    I agree Dolo looked bad, a lot of aimless punts down the right side-line.

  223. Warren says:

    play people in position?? shocking!

  224. jig says:

    thats the same scenario for a lot of countries out there.

  225. Warren says:

    You need a midfield and forwards to be in position to get the through balls and forward passes.

    The big mistake through qualifiers (imo) was not working to raise the tactical awareness of the team as a unit. But that is beyond BB the coach I’m afraid, we’ll have to wait for the next cycle to hopefully gain that level of play.

    It’s fine to be a counter-attacking squad but even so you need to be able to catch your breath sometimes and hold the ball.

    Just playing straight ahead and not moving the ball sideways and yes backwards and then across the field – that’s how quality teams play. And Torres no doubt brings more quality ball-possession to the squad.

    I will grant you though that gringo is still young and learning. And at times we’ve seen better from eg Feilhaber in terms of quick forward passes and through balls.

    But – starter on Pachuca vs a 2nd div danish league player? I’ll take the Pachuca starter thanks.

  226. Kenny_B says:

    It bothers me about Onyewu. Do you let him continue to play in the friendlies to try and get him sharper at the risk of leaving (Goodson or some other pairing at cb) out of the lineup?

    Are two more games going to be enough for Onyewu?

  227. D says:

    Yes, you just listed some of the reasons why Edu should be the focal point of the centermid for the USMNT.

  228. philmatt24 says:

    If such photos exist, they are something I NEVER want to see.

  229. BrooklynFC says:

    I hope I didnt come across as someone who does not like Holden cause I truly do like him and think he has skills

    BUT Holden is only three years younger than Beasley. Beasley has been on the scene since 01 while Holden has only been on the scene since 08 3 year age difference but yet 7 year difference in National team experience……. I just wanted to add to your experience point and experience at the international level is immense…… Beasley has simply seen more games at the international level.
    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  230. Kenny_B says:

    I agree completely about Clark and Bradley being mirror images in terms of play.

  231. Isaac says:

    I don’t know WHAT game you were watching but he did pretty well, dribbling his way out of some tight situations and one-two-ing with Holden his way out of others. He had some turnovers sometimes but the rest of the USA attack faded just as badly as he did.

  232. Kenny_B says:

    The best defense is defense….classic

  233. kirk says:

    This is the line-up that I would love to see vs. England (and against Turkey for that matter, just to see if it actually works)








    I think we have seen enough of Holden to know that he can hold his own on the defensive side of the ball. Not to mention his pace and willingness to track back. When we do get the ball back and go forward, it would be nice to build from the back than just giving possesion back with an errant long ball.

  234. D says:

    Isn’t that MB? That’s proably why Clark gets so many fouls.

  235. Dan says:

    There was a great example in the second half- watch the tape. He got undressed 1 on 1. Beaten to the outside, he did a blind slide tackle as the attacker was cutting back inside. Looked rather foolish. He has never been an impact player for USMNT.

    p.s. I plaguarized Redcardo from some other commenter last week, sorry i don’t have a cite guys.

  236. Dan says:

    I think he’s referring to the way Gooch had to hold his leg to keep the ice wrap on it as he left the field. He was not truely limping though.

  237. D says:

    Holden is sick, but don’t know if he is a true CAM like the Torres and Felli. Regardless, I think he could be very effective for the USMNT in that role because he tracks back on D like a mad man. This is what Bradley wants from his two CMs

  238. MidWest Ref says:

    Godfrey – you are right, except Holden will not start – Redcardo will. Holden is BB’s sub for Gomez when he moves Dempsey up top after 70-75 minutes – like he always does.

    Gooch needs to play in the next 2 games to see if he can play in the first 3 in SA.

    Last, Run DMB will not start a game in the WC. I am glad to see him back in the team, but in BB’s preferred 4-4-2, he is not better than either Demps of Donovan, and BB didn’t bring 4 forwards so they could sit on the bench behind Demps.

  239. Dan says:

    Are you Dolo? I see you are logged on as a guest to remain anonymous.

    Or perhaps you are his mom? That’s the only other person who could ignore his talent deficit v. Czechs.

  240. Matt says:

    Should we bring back the Steve Sampson 3-6-1? Anyone?

  241. MidWest Ref says:

    Benny comes off the bench. He is not a 90 minute player in the international game. He does not have the bite or size of Edu or Clark. Once Edu and Clark get suspended for cards – which they will- he is a worthy substitute.

  242. John says:

    i love all the projections and all but i think we’ll see similar lineup that defeated Spain. That’s how we are going to play in WC.

  243. MidWest Ref says:

    I like your “interesting” line up, and posted the same two days ago. Not looking for credit, but agreeing with you Rich. We use this lineup to try to get a point v. England. I don’t want to be a nay-sayer, but we can’t beat England, particularly in the first game.

  244. D says:

    This is what I know 4 players need to see a lot of time in SA Edu, Holden, Beasley and Torres, whether they start or come off the bench these guys add a lot to the USMNT and give the USMNT the best chance to advance along with Donovan, Demps and Jozy.

    Not sure what the back line looks like right now with injuries, but in SA the USMNT will need to have Spector and Boca start and play a full 90 in every game.

  245. John says:

    I thought Gooch looked horrible (he can’t run yet!) and think he’s overrated anyway. I’d probably like to see DeMerit and Boca in the middle. Boca’s a much better central defender than outside, and we don’t lose anything by replacing him with Spector on the left — we have no good options there defensively.

    Holden needs to play BIG minutes. He got stronger as the game went on, and showed me that he can play attacking central mid, a revelation. He has creativity, some pace, can hold the ball, and plays good defense. I’d consider starting him on the wing and moving him to the center later in the game (perhaps too disruptive), bringing Beasely as a sub. I like Torres a lot, but he just hasn’t made the team dangerous yet.

  246. FeilhaberFanboy says:

    I agree – Benny deserves more love than he gets… The thing about Torres is that he has tremendous potential. BB has played him “oh, a half here, and a half there” and he hasn’t developed the game flow synergy with the rest of the core players that his style requires. As a result, all we have thus far is potential, not actuality. And that synergy is likely not going to develop in the next two weeks.

    Benny, on the other hand, has less potential than Torres, in my opinion, but has the vision and ball control, and that spark and synergy RIGHT NOW that Torres has not had an opportunity to develop. In my pecking order, Benny would be right behind Bradley and Edu, who I feel are our best overall options for center mid, given their respective combos of talent and experience.

    So with the exception of Edu for Clark, and maybe holden for dmb (maybe), I like Ives lineup.

  247. Kenny_B says:

    There is more to scoring than beating a defender one on one. Timing your run perfectly and not having to take on a defender (i.e. Milito Champions League final) is at least as valuable of a skill if not more valuable than beating a defender one v. one.

    Gomez should have done better with his finish but man was he in the right spot when he shot right at Cech.

  248. primoone says:

    You have a valid point…Gomez probably should have done better…however, take a look at what he has been able to do when he is in form. you cant ignore the fact that the possibilities of the team scoring a goal greatly improve when he is on the pitch and in form as evident by his last season with puebla in addition to his stint with Galaxy. How many strikers on the US can you say that about other than Charlie and Josimer? The guy’s bread and butter is working off the ball and getting into position to make things happen…he isnt the most technical or fastest on the pitch but what you do know is that he will swallow up any mistake the defense makes in addition to having the ability to rocket a shot at goal anywhere near the box. He is a true striker in the sense that he score goals…period.

  249. Louis Z says:

    I just don’t see Feilhaber starting, he didn’t have a good season, in fact, he got bench a few times.

  250. primoone says:

    Your wrong man…go back and youtube his goals with puebla. Three of those were cherry-picked if memory serves me correct.

  251. eric says:

    I disagree with you on Clark. He was a beast at the Confederation Cup. Plus, Clark can score off a bomb, Edu scores mainly by crashing the box during set pieces. I would rather see Clark in this tune-up since chances will be few against Turkey. Turkey got 4 points against Bosnia in Qualification. They have little offense, but a good D to test our mids and fwds.

  252. Isaac says:

    Cherundolo looked great from my view. Got forward, dribbled and passed well, defended pretty well, although he might have done better on the Czech’s 2nd goal.

  253. primoone says:

    You have a point…Holden’s crossing is dangerous and has a great delivery, however, only a handfull of players are able to get away with just having that as thier only attributes ie…Beckham. As it stands, Bradley asks too much of him in that winger position with regards to tracking back and tiring him out. He can do that for 30 minutes but the whole game is asking for trouble.

    I think Holden is a better player when he is played in a defensive midfield capacity, even more so than Edu or Clark IMO. I think he is most beneficial to us playing defensively then getting into the attack. However, you cant nit-pick him too much considering he assisted on one of the goals.

  254. A Guest says:

    Funny, but no. I just don’t use my name when I’m on SBI instead of working at work!

  255. Louis Z says:

    buddle is the reason why ching didn’t make the cut, buddle can hold the ball, great first touch, but he lacks moving to open space without the ball, hence why he didn’t get a single shot on goal. Now Gomez he is less of a holding player loves to do give and go in short spaces. his bread and butter is moving without the ball, that is why is able to get shots on goal while doing less of the dirty work that buddle does so well.

  256. greg says:


    Undecided if I would switch Donovan and Beasley.

  257. BrooklynFC says:

    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  258. Louis Z. says:

    To me gooch looked still hurt, not out of shape, he was favoring one leg for the other, he couldn’t jump and when he did, he made sure he landed first on the good leg, and his sprint looked slow. I just don’t think that in 2 weeks he is going to be the old self gooch, england is licking their chops waiting to go at him. they better make a final decision on him by half time of this up coming game. otherwise…demerit and goodson i the middle.

  259. Warren says:


  260. Warren says:

    Bradley’s not close to pulling off a Snejder imitation against World Cup quality opponents

  261. Milwaukee-Vince says:

    A few months ago I could not have even envisioned Beasley on the team. As things have unfolded, it does appear that he may be the best option against England at left mid. He’ll probobly have to play against Lennon and maybe Theo as well, depending on how the game goes.

  262. Warren says:

    Deal. Your lineup and subs make most sense of anyone’s I’ve seen here.

  263. Louis Z says:

    Redu? love it.

  264. Warren says:

    Right, Benny just can’t do it for 90.

    He plays much better coming in in the 60th minute or so. Then Benny can go full speed for 30 minutes.

  265. reverb says:

    That sounds good too. However, I wouldn’t be surprised either if Bradley starts Clark with M Bradley to get him minutes, then totally swaps out the center midfield for Torres-Edu in the 2nd half. Ain’t prognosticatin’ fun?

  266. Warren says:


    Except I wish we had more legit contenders for the back 4.

    And relying on 2 hot strikers out of MLS and the Mexican league wouldn’t be my dream preference either.

    But hey, we got more than a few decent middies, which is progress.

  267. Warren says:

    Good point about Beasley’s contract situation, he’ll be desperate to perform well if/when he gets on the field in SA.

    Since otherwise he’s looking at MLS wages for his next contract.

  268. Warren says:

    It didn’t work before, we all promised to never speak of it again (Beas as left back)).

    You must not have gotten the memo.

  269. greg says:


    Unsure whether to switch Beasley and Donovan.

  270. greg says:

    woops double post

  271. Warren says:

    Gooch can’t go 90, he’s playing himself back into game shape.

  272. Warren says:

    You didn’t get that memo either?

    You never take your 2 best field players off.

    Everyone other than Howard, Donovan and Dempsey we can sub for, those 3 need to play 270 minutes each to get us out of the 1st round.

    Papa would add a 4th player into the irreplaceable category.

    Anyway, build your sub patterns around those 4, because they’re never sitting. Well if we’re up by a couple goals with 10 minutes to go he might sit Donovan or Demps to save them for the next opponent.

  273. Louis Z says:

    he hasn’t been doing that for his club this season. in fact, he got benched numerous times for his out of form play.

  274. Berkeley says:

    6 subs again right?

  275. Louis Z says:

    your logic as merit, i intriged with the combo of altidore and buddle, talk about having two tanks on top.

  276. John says:

    Agreed. I love what Torres brings to the game for us. He has the ability to control the pace of the game. I thought he and Edu looked good together the other night. USA had a lot of possession. Now, it’s a given that Lil Brad is one of the CMs. So, I call for Bradley-Torres.

  277. John says:

    The problem is that the US isn’t trying to attack or maintain possession. Torres is the sacrifice on the altar of ‘bunker and counter’. He’s the most under-played player on the US roster, and he’d get better treatment on most national sides.

  278. beachbum says:

    looking forward to your first hand report, and have fun!

  279. D says:

    priceless indeed

  280. beachbum says:

    this is on target, nice post Murphy

    Findley best be aggressive this time, can’t be out there defending himself like vs. the Dutch; once he subbed out, we looked pretty good. he needs to go after that Turk back line like there is no tomorrow IF he gets one more chance

  281. beachbum says:

    excellent post…this is how I see we play, too

  282. beachbum says:

    would like to see Michael pair with Stuart in the middle, see how that goes; somehow Stuart needs to be on the field

  283. D says:

    Much higher quality competition compared to what he had. West Ham was awful this year. West Ham was much was against the elite in the Premier League than the US is. Similar to Jozy at Hull, your teammates are great part of success or failure.

  284. Toostrongjones says:

    Beasley had the same experience in the confed cup. Whoops. I prefer Holden but I’m comfortable with both on the field.

  285. BrooklynFC says:

    Dude was coming off of injury sort like holden right now……. So ill take beas, thank you
    Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

  286. D says:

    The more I think about it, the more I like Beasley starting against England and Having Holden come in for Beas.

    Beasley can provide great cover for the LB ( I think they both can, but Beas would be a little better), plus his experience could be very benefical.

    Holden can start agianst Alergia and Slovenia, with Beasley coming off the bench.

  287. Edwin says:

    Okay I kind of like this line up but I want to see 2 things:

    Lets leave Landon where he plays his best, on the left wing and either put Beasley on the right wing or give Stuart Holden the start and have Beasley come off the bench.

    And number 2 can we please try playing with Torres and Bradley? or Edu and Bradley for that matter? Clark played the least out of all out CM and don’t see why we have to play with two players who essentially are the same type of CM?

    I like this line up:






    Then have Benny come in for Holden and maybe Edu for Bradley. But what am I thinking asking Bob to take out his son out of a game, that has happened what ONCE? In El Salvador but only because Bradley Jr had to come off for a minor knock so Bob didn’t want to play with 10.

  288. ThaDeuce says:

    Only change I’d make for Turkey is Edu over Clark.
    For England, Goodson over Onyewu. We need his height.

  289. insomniac761 says:

    what does everyone think about Gomez and Dempsey up top with Altidore as a sub?

    Gomez and Demps. Altidore as sub

    Landon Edu Bradley Holden. Beas as sub

    Boca DeMerrit Gooch Spector


  290. bob says:

    I like Dempsey and Donavan on the outside. Torres and Bradley in the middle. Gomez and Altidore up top. I will take anybody on defense except cherundolo.
    Beasley was completely useless against the Czechs too.

  291. madmax says:

    He was poor.

  292. Stephen says:

    Great player, but I think you’re right. We need more of a bruiser against England. Expecially to put up with Gerrard/Lampard.

  293. phil says:

    yeah and a penchant for collecting straight red cards…

  294. phil says:

    cricket cricket cricket

  295. phil says:

    if we field 3 keepers….

  296. phil says:

    don’t get ahead of yourself there…

  297. phil says:

    Lando missed the winning penalty in the MLS cup… nobody’s benching him.

  298. phil says:

    bwah hah haha

  299. phil says:

    tell em.

  300. phil says:

    what are you naming movie titles now?

  301. phil says:

    TELL. EM.

  302. phil says:

    Jozy Buddle
    Donovan Bradley Edu Dempsey
    Boca DeMerit Onyewu Spector

    at 60 or 65 sub in Beasely for Buddle, shift Dempsey up top, Donovan to right
    we’ll also see Goodson sub in for Gooch around the 70th
    might also see Gomez replace Jozy and Cherundolo replace Boca around that time.

    Turkey will be a great test. Can’t wait!

  303. Grogtank says:

    Holden over Beasley at RM all day everyday. Holden over Benny at CM all day everyday.

    It’s a shame about Bedoya getting cut. Next cycle we will be kicking ourselves wondering why he wasn’t part of the 2010 squad.

    Goodson is our best CB in the air. Goodson is our best CB on set plays. Goodson is our most agile big CB. Does this make him our best CB? Watch the friendly vs the Czechs again. Did this guy ever not win a ball in the air?

  304. Joseph nanez says: