The numbers are in. And they don’t lie.
We’ve now closed our poll on the right sidebar entitled: “Who should Bob Bradley sub into the midfield for the El Salvador game?”
Your choices? Individual players and combinations of players, including Benny Feilhaber, Jose Francisco Torres and Stu Holden.
And the answer is emphatically Benny Feilhaber. Our TSG mancrush continues. (Stay tuned for our final salvo post next week to get Feilhaber into the starting line-up against the Cuscatlecos…..you’ll love it, TSG promises….and let’s just tease it by saying TSG did a little road trip to make it happen.)
Back to the data.
First, only 2% of you want Coach Bob and the US to keep the same line-up as Mexico. That’s a pretty resounding number.
The most selected answer that won the plurality was “Benny and Stu” with 35% of the vote.
Nearly 70% of you want Benny Feilhaber starting in some capacity, either just himself or with a combination of Stu, Jose or all three. That’s another resounding number.
Amazingly, 54% of you want the Iceman Stu Holden starting in some manner. That was probably the most surprising data that came back. TSG loves Stu (check out our interview the Dynamo star if you haven’t seen it yet), but, as my brother pointed out yesterday, he’s probably going to inhabit the second half spark plug role that Feilhaber had if BF starts. Alas, Freddy, this was yours to lose at one point!
17% of you wanted Jose Francisco Torres to start by his lonesome or 32% in some combination of he and Benny and Stu. So not as loud a cry as for the others, but still bears merit.
And finally, some write-in for Kyle Beckerman. It would be great to reward the classy captain in his home stadium. That’s for sure.
What does TSG see happening here? Hmmm, again we’ll have more in next week’s preview, but at this point we’ll go out on a limb with two possibilities: Benny as the lone replacement, with Rico going to the bench or less likely, but possible: Benny and….Torres.
Let’s add a major disclaimer here though right now. It’s highly, highly unlikely that Bradley makes more than a single switch in the midfield. Experience tells us that. It’s probably nearly non-existent to make two switches in the midfield if you are introducing a new starter in back four–which will likely be Marshall. But then again, we beat Spain and Beckham is loathed in the US, so stranger things have happened.
Why the Benny-Torres combination as likely for September 5th? You’ve got Holden who you probably want to season through a reliever role like we commented above.
Continually, Holden has clearly shown he belongs with his Gold Cup and Mexico relief resume. He doesn’t need anymore review — the question for him now is, what role to develop him into. So Holden sits.
And then you’ve got the Torres situation again. At some point, if Bob Bradley’s going to bring him to these games, he has to play him. At this point it’s borderline rude if the guy continues traveling. You have Clint Dempsey with a slight knock before yesterday’s Fulham game and his recent national team play, so you have an excuse to “rest” him so to speak.
Further, USMNT goes T&T just 4 days later on location in Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago which will arguably be a more difficult match (especially if Kenwyne Jones is on his game) and you have have the argument for a fresher Dempsey.
Do we think it’s Benny-Torres-El Salvador? Probably not, but there’s some justifiable logic.
More next week and thanks for voting in our polls. It’s really helpful to corroborate or refute some of our hair-brained and not-so-hair-brained theories.