Tuning & Fine-Tuning: USA v. Australia

The United States warms up with an early kickoff in the States Saturday against a potential later stage opponent Australia.

Kickoff at Ruimsig Stadium is 5:30 a.m. PST and the match will be broadcast live on ESPN2 and online at ESPN3.com.

Tim Cahill, the recognizable lead face of a physical 'Roo team

The Socceroos of Oz will  make an acceptable warm-up for later stage US foes Slovenia and Algeria. They’ll try the counter some, but likely be more proficient with set pieces–see a man named “Jesus” below– and crosses into the box–probable starters Oguchi Onyewu and Jay DeMerit should be tested a fair amount.

It all starts for the ‘Roos with an experienced midfield as the fulcrum of a 4-2-3-1 formation.

Those that are earnest followers of the English Premier League will recognize many of the names from that midfield including: the duo of (recovered) Brett Emerton and Vincent Grella from Blackburn and Hull City’s Richard Garcia. Of  course, Everton’s aerial master Tim Cahill leads the group. Marco Bresciano rounds it out, no slouch playing at Serie A’s Palermo this year.

Up top, manager Pim Verbeek can select from much-traveled ex-Liverpool man Harry Kewell or Joshua “Jesus” Kennedy who plays in the quick-paced Japanese league with Nagoya Grampus and netted 14 times in just 25 games. Oh, he’s also 6’4”.

The defense is what the ‘Roos two holding midfielders will attempt to protect as it is aging and missing Middlesbrough up-and-comer Rhys Williams out with a controversial injury.

Lucas Neill was not long for Toffeland, shipped out in less than a year

Captain Lucas O’Neill, dispatched by Everton this year (if you weren’t going to make Everton’s defensive backline this year that says something about the way your game has been trending), who is accompanied by Craig Moore in the middle. The outside flankers are either old (Chipperfield) or traveled (Wilshire.) Sound familiar?

The goalie is Fulham’s battle tested Mark Schwarzer–more than capable.

Frankly the Australian national team plays like your mid-table Premiership team. Whereas the Turks attacked with verve, the Australians prefer to build their attacks more methodically through the center of the pitch.

One other note here, Australia’s coming up off a 1-0 victory against the US November series friendly opponent, Denmark.

It will be interesting to see just how much pressure the US puts up the pitch on the ball in the face of a 5-man midfield and if the US will try to flip the ball over the top or depart from that strategy if Jozy Altidore is resting his injured hinge.

For the most part, I think the US will mix group stage game plans with a strategy to beat the Aussies–if that makes sense.

Ok, now to our customary preview.

As always, we’ll follow the (now-patented) TSG format:

TSG’s “What We’re Looking For”
11 at the Whistle
*Disclaimers

TSG’s “What We’re Looking For”

• The central midfield: Who plays, do they press up the pitch and who moves the ball?

Might JFT show early on Saturday? (Read below) - courtesy, Matt Mathai

Looking back at our piece from early Wednesday, I feel pretty comfortable suggesting that you’ll see Michael Bradley and Maurice Edu in the middle. Given that the ‘Roos will have an extra man in the middle, I think you’ll likely see the Yanks distribute the ball a little earlier to the flanks where Donovan will be manning one and possibly Holden, or even Beasley, the other.

• Do the Yanks protect one or more flanks?

If you noticed in the Turkey game, around the 30th minute I believe Landon and Benny switched sides.

With Turkey eating up Jonathan Spector on the right, Bob Bradley basically knew that he couldn’t keep Donovan up the pitch on that side and expect to protect that flank. Feilhaber was authorized to hold back and Donovan moved more centrally on the left side, able to push the attack wide and allow recovery, but also “potentially” factor in the offense.

I’m not sure what you’ll see here, but my guess is that it will be the blueprint for the England game and that you’ll see Holden tucked inside on the left to start.

• Have the calls for Cherundolo grown loud enough?

Is Dolo a shoo-in? (courtesy, Matt Mathai)

This is a tough one here. Jonathan Spector had one of the toughest assignments on Saturday. Without a ton of cover to start, Spector got burnt. With a pretty good view of his play, Spector had an exceedingly hard time just staying in front of Turan for the Turks.

But Spector won’t face a speed freak against England and he’s accustomed to playing against the English. Will Bob Bradley go with Cherundolo who impressed versus the Czechs and the Turks or will he stay with Spector who matches up a little better against the physical Australian side.

This one is a coin flip and may come down to strategy more than anything. Is the US is going to play and go for the counter, you’ll see Cherundolo with Donovan ahead of him. If they elect to go toe-to-toe with the Aussies, then it will be Spector.

I think we’ll see Spector in this one–but I will likely kick myself when Cherundolo is written on the opening line-up card.

11 at the Whistle

G: Tim Howard

The skinny: No kidding.

DEF: Jonathan Spector, Jay DeMerit, Oguchi Onyewu, Carlos Bocanegra

The skinny: No surprise for me if Cherundolo gets a run-out. I would be aghast if you didn’t see Onyewu. Bradley seems to be thinking he’s fit. If he’s starting against England, well then he has to start Saturday. No Onyewu, then he’s likely not taming the Lions.

MID: Stu Holden, Michael Bradley, Maurice Edu, Landon Donovan

The skinny: See our disclaimer below, but the Aussies goes 5-strong in the midfield and you’re going need to use two hawkers to clog things up. Maurice Edu has clearly shown himself to be the more disciplined and assured tackler. Both MB90 and Edu press the holders for Australia.

STR: Jozy Altidore (Edson Buddle), Clint Dempsey

The skinny: If Bob Bradley wants to mimic an inured Altidore, the best way to do it is with Buddle. In fact, I am quite intrigued to see the Galaxy man out there. He’s arguably got a little more speed and better first touch, but he doesn’t pack as much strength nor is he experienced obviously. Clint Dempsey will sit reserved.

Disclaimers

• The US goes speed. Dolo for Specs, Findley for Buddle.

Highly possible here. The Australian backline can be challenged and the US may deploy a more standard 4-2-2-2 using Holden and Donovan to link through to Dempsey and Findley.

• The US goes 4-5-1 — yes I just wrote that. One of Altidore, Findley, Buddle remain up top. The US midfield is Dempsey, Edu, Torres (holding), Bradley, Donovan

Bob likes to match up. He’s not going to go 4-2-3-1 I don’t believe, but he could go 4-5-1 (or 4-1-4-1) and use Torres as a holding midfielder and press Edu and Bradley up the pitch. I don’t see it; we haven’t seen it yet either, but it makes sense here.

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57 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by dikranovich on 2010/06/04 at 4:59 AM

    isnt australia in group D, just accross from usa? doesnt that mean usa and australia could possibly matchup in the second round, not the quarters or semis. its obvious to me usa is going 4-5-1, why wouldnt they with all the solid midfielders and jozy a little banged up. its going to be a 4-5-1 with two defensive mids so its going to be a 4-2-3-1. that makes sense to go toe to toe with the aussie and show them how much more talent we have. yep, dempsey up top as a loan striker. dempsey is the man. donovan on the left, feilhabver in the middle and holden on the right, maybe donovan on the right, dmb on the left and holden in the middle. anyway you slice it, usa almost has to go with a five man midfield. oh, and jonathan bornstein gets the start in the australia game. he needs to work out his issues and boca probably could use the rest.

    Reply

    • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/06/04 at 5:23 AM

      You are correct on the match-up — my apologies.

      Reply

    • Posted by Antonio H. on 2010/06/04 at 6:32 AM

      Dikranovich, I’m holding you to these (7) predictions you’re making :>

      If Australia’s midfield was a little quicker and younger, a diamond 4-4-2 would work wonders for them

      Reply

    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/06/04 at 6:36 AM

      Bocanegra will have had 7 days rest between the Turkey and Australia games. If he needs more than that, he should not be in the squad considering the time between matches is around 5 days.

      At least you’ve given up on your 3-5-2 notion!

      Reply

  2. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/06/04 at 5:21 AM

    I think Spector height advantage over Cherundolo could be a differentiating factor as to who gets the nod against England. Whilst Gerrard isn’t prolific with his head, he’s not bad. You know Lennon will be picking him out at the back stick after he’s skinned Bocanegra (if he doesn’t go directly).

    I cannot see Dempsey playing up top as the lone striker, as that is not the best way to utilise his talent, not to mention, he’s not that type of player. If he plays as a forward, I would hope that Bradley would use him as a second / withdrawn striker floating in the space between the bands. That makes most sense to me.

    Reply

    • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/06/04 at 5:22 AM

      Clint won’t get space to operate and he’ll get beat-up as a lone striker.

      Withdrawn a much better position for him.

      Rio injured in training….

      Reply

      • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/06/04 at 5:56 AM

        Yes, I saw on the BBC, but it’s probably a little scare mongering, over zealous reporting – just like Altidore’s case. Sounds like he tweaked his knee and it’s just a precautionary measure. I just feel that these journalists haven’t got too much to do for the next week and need to fill some column inches…

        Reply

        • If Rio can’t start who’s England’s backup centerback?

          Reply

        • Posted by John on 2010/06/04 at 7:25 AM

          TONY ADAMS!

          Reply

        • Posted by John on 2010/06/04 at 7:32 AM

          Starting to pick up multiple rumors that Ferdinand is out of the WC.

          Reply

        • Posted by John on 2010/06/04 at 7:33 AM

          BBC is reporting he is out.

          Reply

        • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/06/04 at 7:41 AM

          Wow! This is not good news. But it’s OK – we have Ledley King, who IMO is the best English CB anyway. Carragher is a poor man’s Terry. I would be surprised if he got the nod over King.

          Reply

        • Posted by John on 2010/06/04 at 7:41 AM

          Stay Classy Japan

          Reply

        • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/06/04 at 7:58 AM

          Nice. Kolo Toure’s primary concern is finagling the captain’s armband from Drogba! Great to see where his priorities lie…

          Reply

        • Drogba’s absence makes me very very sad. I will wear my elephants shirt in mourning. This is a ridiculous tackle with the foot at shoulder height.

          Drogs schooled you Tanaka and this ain’t Karate Kid.

          Reply

        • Posted by Colin on 2010/06/04 at 9:54 AM

          that really sucks about Drogba, I was really hoping to see him in the Brazil v Ivory Coast match at Soccer City… : (

          Reply

        • Posted by guti on 2010/06/04 at 12:28 PM

          Colin, I’m going to that match as well. Watching Drogba was going to be the highlight for me. Still, it’s a massive game for both sides, and I’m really looking forward to it.

          Reply

  3. Posted by Colin on 2010/06/04 at 5:40 AM

    I now see why the call him “Jesus”…but does he really play for the Grampas? haha

    I highly doubt we see Altidore in this one….if for no other reason than to be cautious. Buddle, Findley, Gomez could all use minutes anyways. Personally, I am really intrigued to see how the Buddle/Donovan Galaxy club combo works.

    Galaxy Club Combo sounds like a delicious sandwich by the way…now I’m hungry.

    Reply

  4. Posted by Stephen on 2010/06/04 at 6:49 AM

    Am I the only one that is not that worried about Altidore sitting this game out? I know we need to find cohesion but I want to get a look at some sort of Buddle, Findley, Gomez look up front. After everything I’ve seen from Altidore this last year he looks like he just does not have the fire. We have all read it many times. Lots of talent but his practice work ethic and desire seems lacking at best. These new guys are hungry and that is exactly what we need. We don’t have the over all talent of many teams but if we have learned anything from watching any US team from the 1980 hockey team defeat the Soviets to our boys beating Spain last year. Tenacity and hustle go a long way. With that I might have just called myself out at the oldest American Outlaw in the group. USA all the way my ninjas.
    steve

    ps
    I’m not an Altidore hater, I just want to see some ganas from the guy.
    s

    Reply

  5. Okay, I would actually like to see the 4-1-4-1 Matt mentions with Findley up top. Findley is very mobile with intelligent running and has great first touch that means he can take down a ball better than anyone else in the forward pool. He was excellent coming short to link up play against Turkey. In my mind he’s capable of leading the line in the mold of a player like Saha. He could actually be best suited among our forwards to play the lone-striker role against England. Both Donovan and Dempsey are able to get forward in support. I think it would be good to have a defensive shape that’s about relieving pressure by possessing the ball, not just all-out defending under pressure.

    Torres is excellent defending positionally, can set the tempo so we own a fair share of possession keeping pressure on Australia’s defense. This frees Bradley and Edu to go marauding and make things difficult for Australia’s midfield. I think its important Spector gets one more outing against competition he’s better suited to. Cherundolo is more consistent and a known quality but Spector is simply better suited to play against England if he can rediscover a bit of form.

    Things I would like to see:
    1. No goals conceded: Well-defended set-pieces and minimal opportunities allowed on the counter.
    2. 55% possession, both halves. I feel like Torres is forcing our style of play to turn a corner. Donovan’s directness is an important quality, but Torres and Dempsey represent the future direction of this team and the future is now.
    3. Tim Cahill and Australia’s tall striker well-contained. Cahill isn’t like Rooney, but plays in similar spaces. Cahill doesn’t participate in the build-up very much, he just arrives to head the ball into the goal, while Rooney will get frustrated and roam the pitch to find the game. The tactics deployed (Torres holding) are probably more suited to England than Australia, as I think the tactics deployed in the previous matches have been. Peter Crouch Litmus test.

    Substitutions:
    2nd 45, I would like to see Holden for Dempsey and Buddle for Findley and given about 15 minutes in the loan striker role before being joined by Gomez for Edu and Cherundolo for Spector reverting to our 4-2-2-2 to see if it works with this personnel. Boca and Onyewu should get about 80 minutes before like-for-like replacements or instead of Goodson, pushing Edu back for CB practice and giving Clark a run.

    Reply

  6. Love that Google sticks up a Gillette Razors add on the Jesus vid.

    Reply

  7. Posted by Ian on 2010/06/04 at 7:03 AM

    Jozy will play just the first 45, Bob wants to see that his ankle can hold up. I think that Bob will go for speed, or maybe I just want Bob to go for speed. Either way, I can see Findley and Jozy up top to start and then Herculez in at the break for Jozy.

    @Steve-
    That goal that Jozy scored against the Turks should restore some of that fire he’s missing.

    Reply

    • There’s absolutely no justification for Jozy to play in a meaningless warm-up friendly.

      Bob will be sensible and wait another week and we’ll know if his ankle can hold up.

      Reply

      • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/06/04 at 7:52 AM

        I agree. What’s the point in taking a risk if he’s not quite ready? Do you know what the chances of aggravating the injury and making it worse is, when the ankle is not 100%? Bradley will talk to the medical people and their evaluation will determine whether he gets any minutes or not – and quite rightly so.

        Reply

        • Posted by scweeb on 2010/06/04 at 11:34 AM

          The best thing about this is that you get a really chance to see Holden play wing with dempsey up top. I wouldn’t mind seeing Clint and Findley up top together.

          Reply

        • Posted by CJ on 2010/06/04 at 3:25 PM

          I was in the room with an attending ER doc the other day for a patient that I’d be splinting and his words in regards to tendon/ligament injuries is pain for the first few days, not much after that but, it will take 4 weeks to be “healed” although the tendon/ligament will never be the same. Like an elastic that doesn’t get it’s spring back. That was for a mild sprain or aka strain.

          Reply

        • Posted by Kevin on 2010/06/04 at 3:28 PM

          CJ I don’t think that ER doc knows what he’s talking about XD

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        • Posted by CJ on 2010/06/04 at 10:45 PM

          How’s that Kevin? You a doc? I don’t mind being corrected however, the way you called out my post by discrediting a colleague of mine without backing your opinion up with any credibility to support your accusation is weak… I played 10 years of soccer growing up, I had more than my share’s worth of sprains and my own experiences don’t contend with that information either.

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      • Posted by Ian on 2010/06/04 at 12:12 PM

        I would keep him in for a half, but only if Bob starts Buddle over Findley. Being such a young, relatively inexperienced player, Jozy should have at least 45 minutes to get used to playing alongside a player like Buddle. Findley is enough like CD9 that Jozy wouldnt need that time.

        Reply

        • Still don’t understand why Bob should risk his a barely fit starting striker on a meaningless game so he can get minutes with the 3rd choice striker whose probably more his backup than a potential strike partner. The possible benefit just isn’t worth the risk a week before the biggest game of your career, even if it is just a little knock.

          Reply

          • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/06/04 at 1:11 PM

            Agreed – if Altidore is fit, he’ll likely play. If there is any consideration that he is not, absolutely not worth it.

            If not, I have to imagine it’s Buddle or Findley as his stand-in pending the formation.

            Reply

        • Altidore didn’t train today. He will not play tomorrow.

          Reply

      • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/06/04 at 1:38 PM

        Tuesday, that’s exactly what we said would happen yesterday…

        Reply

    • Posted by Stephen on 2010/06/04 at 10:44 AM

      I hope you are right. In the words of Judge Smails, I want Josey to be “TOP NOTCH, TOP NOTCH!”

      Reply

      • Posted by KMac on 2010/06/04 at 4:55 PM

        Never ask a Navy man if he’s had too much to drink…
        Another Rob Roy you Excellency?

        Reply

  8. Great look, as usual. Thought the 4-2-3-1/4-1-4-1 comment is interesting–just put a big post up last night about this (http://tinyurl.com/296sra6). Listen, Robby Findley had some impressive moments against Turkey, but he also had some bone-headed plays. I just don’t see him going 70 effective minutes against England. If Jozy’s out, put Buddle in there.

    I agree on Spector, and the flaws last Saturday were far larger than just his play. Folks need to note that he wasn’t getting burned by Chris Rolfe–Turan is remarkably fast and skilled.

    Last, re: Torres–just can’t see him getting the holding mid nod against England. With Rooney, Lampard, Gerrard and Barry, they’re just too physical. Algeria and Slovenia offer him a much better chance.

    Reply

  9. Posted by s44 on 2010/06/04 at 11:20 AM

    I see Buddle and Findley up top with Dempsey in midfield. Dempsey’s neither really a true hold-up guy nor the guy who’ll make diagonal runs to open things up for Donovan (or Holden). US just plays better with two forwards.

    Reply

    • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/06/04 at 11:34 AM

      s44 – Agreed – I have been saying for that for awhile….then Dempsey started up top against Turkey which surprised me.

      Because it’s a friendly I could see Buddle & Findley but beyond that Bradley seems intent on using Findley after the half and intent on keeping as many caps in the line-up as possible.

      Will be interesting tomorrow.

      Reply

      • Posted by Kevin on 2010/06/04 at 3:12 PM

        Why not Buddle Donovan uptop (assuming Altidore doesn’t start)

        I’d love Altidore to start because I think Donovan COULD play up top with him, but if Altidore’s knock is serious enough, try Buddle.

        Reply

  10. Posted by dikranovich on 2010/06/04 at 12:02 PM

    im sorry fellas, but this game against aussie is not just any old friendly. this is a warm up game for the world cup and tactics are going to be employed which at least mirror what we are going to see next week. gomez and buddle on the pitch at the same time to start, im not so sure that is going to happen. if it is two up top it is going to be dempsey and someone else, most likely findley, assuming jozy rests, which it seems like he will do.

    lone striker is the move and dempsey is the most capable of the bunch and if there is one striker that will not get pushed around or beat up, it is clint dempsey. jozy altidore may have the body to not get beat up, but he does not have that mentality that deuce has. no, deuce up top, sort of like an orchastra conductor. this lineup we see tomorrow will almost without a doubt be one of the more creative lineups usa has ever produced. clockwork usa is about to be unleashed and england might be more than just a little scared.

    if you really think these games are friendlys just look at the growing list of injured players, drogba, pirlo, rio and this list is not getting any shorter. usa needs to proceed with caution and be at the full ready on june 12th. may god bless the usa mens team and watch over them, to see as no harm comes to them, and that they live up to the fullest of their potential. thank you lord.

    Reply

    • Dempsey has a mixed record of success playing at the top. This doesn’t seem like the kind of game where you risk banging him up just to prove a point to the Australians (or the watching English.)

      If we do go with a lone striker, and I think we might, I think we’ll see Buddle there.

      Reply

    • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/06/04 at 1:26 PM

      @dikranovich – Drogba is the only player above that was injured a friendly and you could say that was either a zealous Japanese player or a freak accident.

      On another note, it unquestionable that the US plays better with two advanced players up top–whether it’s a 4-4-1-1 or a 4-4-2.

      The last time the US played with a one-striker formation for the “A” team was against Brazil in the Confederation Cup (loss in group play) and Italy in the group loss as well.

      Having said that, I can see a potential for a 4-5-1, but you’ll see some very advanced players here if deployed.

      Dempsey, unfortunatey, does get beat up a ton up top. Not that he can’t hack it, but he didn’t win the service on Saturday. If Dempsey is deployed up top, he certainly won’t be by himself.

      Reply

      • Posted by Antonio H. on 2010/06/04 at 2:21 PM

        He might not have won the service but we still recovered or kept possession off of most of those header battles.

        Reply

        • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/06/04 at 2:24 PM

          He most certainly did not antonio. 2nd half much better from the midfield though.

          Reply

  11. Posted by Kevin on 2010/06/04 at 3:19 PM

    Our best bet, without Altidore, is…

    Howard
    Dolo JD Gooch Boca
    Bradley
    Holden Dempsey
    Torres
    Buddle Donovan

    The two disclaimers here is obviously whether Altidore plays or not (whether he is fit) and gooch. If gooch starts he starts against england, if not, goodson does. It’s a coin toss.

    Reply

    • 100% not going to see a diamond midfield this late in the game but Buddle and Donovan up top would definitely be an interesting choice.

      Reply

      • Posted by Kevin on 2010/06/04 at 7:38 PM

        well the diamond midfield isn’t that unusual to most players, or the USMNT. When Benny paired with Bradley I don’t think Benny was a DM.

        Reply

        • The diamond midfield is actually fairly unusual in today’s game. Please tell me why you think Bradley will suddenly deploy tactics he hasn’t used in a game pretty much ever. You’re mistaking a complementary pairing at the base of midfield – organizer/destroyer – for starting positions with one in advance of one another. For example, Torres is generally thought of as an attacking player, yet his position was deeper than Bradley’s against Turkey. Pairing a more attacking player with a defensive player doesn’t a diamond midfield make. You’re welcome to the opinion and I’m frequently wrong about who Bob Bradley deploys, but I’m not wrong about his tactical base which is two deep central midfield players.

          Reply

    • I would be shocked to see Altidore on the field vs. Oz even if he’s as much as 90% fit.

      Reply

  12. Posted by dikranovich on 2010/06/04 at 6:11 PM

    matthewsanfran, you have pointed out several times now, that usa played a 4-5-1 against brasil and italy in the first round of the confederations cup. to me that seems like reason enough to think usa go with a 4-5-1 against england. when you play against solid teams, 4-5-1 is a good way to shut them down. and counter attacking out of a 4-5-1 is like bread and butter. listen, if a poker hand wins you money, one time, but over the long run it is a loser hand to play, that doesnt mean you keep going with the hand. its like if you hit an inside straight once, that does not mean you keep paying money to draw to this longshot.

    so your saying usa played well with the 4-4-2 but did not play well with the 4-5-1 in the con cup and that is reason enough to not play the 4-5-1. to me it is all about the situation, and at present, with the group we have, five midfielders makes a heck of a lot of sense. hey matthew, if charlie davies was available, it might be different. if jozy was an absolute beast in the epl this year and was just scoring goals at will. and i think he will still light it up at this world cup, but the truth is, we need a lineup that has the best chance against england.

    lets face it people, a tie against england is better for the usa than it is for england. and lets be serious for a minute. if usa can shut out england, then you have to rate our chances pretty high for getting a win. for gods sake people, we only need one goal to win. people are taking this world football all wrong. its all about the defense. especially from the standpoint that it is all about team defense. you dont hear about team offense, do you. its all about defense and not allowing the other team to score. every american fan really needs to get on this bandwagon of team defense and not allowing the other team to score a goal. this is the gospel truth.

    ——————————————howard——————–
    ——-spector—————demerit——-gooch————-boca——–
    —————————junior————–edu——————-
    ——-donovan————–holden————–dmb——
    ——————————————deuce——————–
    this is it fellas, the best defense possible, well maybe rico for junior and junior for holden would give us a little bit better defense. dmb is key here also, because he has to shut down the right mid for england and keep the right back in check. dmb is probably the best man for this job. donovan can switch in the second half, when johnson is a little tired, or god forbid maybe carrigher plays right mid, we can only pray that might happen.

    Reply

    • Posted by Kevin on 2010/06/04 at 7:49 PM

      In my opinion, if you’re going to play a 4-5-1 with our players, it ends up more offensive. dmb and Donovan on the wings is pretty dynamic wing play. Holden then posseses the ball well and distributes, however we don’t have anyone capable of playing the lone striker role. If deuce can manage, it’d be a great idea. I think the midfield should be a little more like this…

      junior edu
      Holden Torres Donovan

      Or if Altidore could manage and deuce can’t…

      Donovan Holden Dempsey

      which is great because all three players can play in all three of those positions. You can call it defensive because there’s more midfield, but the midfield is the CORE of a team. With midfield you hopefully keep possesion. with no midfield, refer to our first two games of the confed cup.

      Regardless, it’s too late to tinker with a formation THAT different.

      Reply

    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/06/05 at 6:03 AM

      Please stop with all this Dempsey up top as the lone striker. It’s almost as bad as your 3-5-2 suggestion…

      Reply

      • Posted by dikranovich on 2010/06/05 at 5:32 PM

        george, you are an england fan right? you must actually be pretty freaking scared right about now because im not sure who is going to pair with terry, but whomever it is, is going to be a massive step down from ferdinando. usa is going to maul england next week and i think the writing is on the wall. i mean really, does england even have a first rate keeper?

        Reply

        • Not trying to be rude or anything and George and I disagree about plenty of things but you are aware that you’re advocating the same formation that the US had some of their poorest performances using?

          4-5-1 is the way to shut down opposing teams if you are good at playing that way and you have solid defensive players. the USA, frankly, does not. We need to score at least twice to beat England and maybe 3 times unless they’re simply performing poorly.

          The reality is that the US can score three times against England. Think of this as a Fulham vs. Man Utd game for shorthand. Fulham can win, it’s unlikely, but possible. Woy Hodson would not go out in a 4-5-1 when he normally is a 4-4-2 guy. We’re a 4-4-2 teams, with two destroyers. I can guarantee that.

          You should see good defending from the front like in today’s friendly with both Buddle and Findley dropping deep to disrupt both the base of midfield and the centerbacks but we won’t see a sudden change in tactics to something we’ve not seen in a year.

          You’re welcome to your opinion that 4-5-1 is the best approach against England and we’re welcome to tell you that Dempsey on his own up front is madness.

          Reply

        • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/06/06 at 6:47 PM

          Yes, I am an England fan. I am not worried about who will partner Terry. I am hoping it will be King. And if you really feel King is a “massive step down from Ferdinand”, you clearly haven’t watched him play as you obviously don’t know what you’re talking about. The issue with King is not his ability, but his chronic knee condition.

          Maul? Really. I think somebody needs to refer to the Oxford English Dictionary for a recap on the correct definition. Or I could get all Freud on you and say that your over confidence / compensation thinly disguises your inferiority complex that you have regarding the US team against England.

          You are right, England do not have a world class goalkeeper, but I could say that you do not have a great back four. I’d easily take our back 5 over yours, even if you do have the better keeper. They look very vunerable, and England will illustrate this on Saturday. I predict England will win 4-1.

          Reply

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