USMNT: Who Would be in Your Starting 11 v. Mexico on Wednesday?

August 8, 2011

The roster-

Goalkeepers: Bill Hamid, Tim Howard
Defenders: Carlos Bocanegra, Edgar Castillo, Steve Cherundolo, Clarence Goodson, Michael Orozco Fiscal, Heath Pearce, Tim Ream, Zach Loyd
Midfielders: Kyle Beckerman, Michael Bradley, Ricardo Clark, Jermaine Jones, Brek Shea, José Torres, Robbie Rogers
Forwards: Freddy Adu, Juan Agudelo, DaMarcus Beasley, Edson Buddle, Landon Donovan

Preferred formation: 4-2-3-1. I think Jurgen may opt for a 4-3-3 based on how the roster was announced with 5 forwards, but a 4-3-3 and 4-2-3-1 are essentially the same systems.

GK: Tim Howard – a no-brainer

Left back: Heath Pearce – call me sentimental, but I always liked Pearce in the past. He has had his ups and downs over the past few years, hopefully he’s ready again. A split in time with Edgar Castillo would be nice. I’d like to see what Castillo can do. To be honest, although he didn’t get a call-up this time, I think left back is Eric Lichaj’s spot to lose.

Center back: Clarence Goodson and Carlos Bocanegra – yes, this was the center back pairing that helped give up 4 goals against Mexico in the Gold Cup final, but they are still our two best center backs right now. And most people recognize that most of those goals had as much to do with the play at left back as anything else. Although neither is fleet of foot, they both have a better chance at staying in front of the Mexican forwards than Tim Ream does.

Right back: Steve Cherundolo – see Tim Howard

Holding midfielders: Michael Bradley and Jermaine Jones – Bradley, like a few others is a no-brainer. Although I would personally prefer to see Edu instead of Jones, Edu picked up a knock with Rangers and was replaced on the roster by Robbie Rogers. With Stuart Holden still recovering from injury, Jones is the next best option.

Left midfield: Jose Torres – with Clint Dempsey, Alejandro Bedoya, Benny Feilhaber and Sacha Kljestan not on the roster, the U.S., normally with depth to spare in the midfield, is short-handed. Torres is the next best option. Although he had a disappointing World Cup, he should be able to help the Nats with his passing.

Right midfield: Landon Donovan – see Steve Cherundolo.

Withdrawn forward: Freddy Adu – his Gold Cup performance alone merits this spot in the lineup and his passing ability can pry open the Mexican defense. He could also play out wide with Landon underneath to allow Donovan and Buddle to rekindle their LA Galaxy partnership.

Striker: Edson Buddle – our best option considering Jozy Altidore is not on the roster. While Juan Agudelo shows promise, he has not been consistent in his national team, or club, appearances. Buddle can hold the ball, be a force in the air and score and to be honest, we don’t really have any other viable options.

Most excited to see? Well, if I’m being honest, no one outside of my first 11. I really would have liked to see what Eric Lichaj, Michael Parkhurst, Zak Whitbread, Omar Gonzalez, Timothy Chandler, Maurice Edu, Alejandro Bedoya, Sacha Klejstan, Benny Feilhaber or Oguchi Onyewu could do against the best team in CONCACAF, but all will miss the game for one reason or another. I’m hoping to see someone, really ANYONE, step up and show some quality at left back, would like to see Adu replicate his successful Gold Cup and someone else like Buddle or Torres prove they are worthy of regular inclusion in the national team lineup. If I’m honest, I’m not very hopeful of our chances. Missing Dempsey, Bedoya and Altidore is going to make it very tough to score and our defense showed in the Gold Cup Final it will struggle with Mexico’s speed. Hopefully, the U.S. defense can stay strong and we can look to capitalize on a dead ball or two to stay in the game.

John D. Halloran

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One Response to USMNT: Who Would be in Your Starting 11 v. Mexico on Wednesday?

  1. Dudley Lampel on November 25, 2011 at 11:46 pm

    Awsome blog! How can I find your RSS feed?

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