Nice to see some fresh faces for the USA in the Blue, White and NikeGrey huh?
In two days in Cape Town, the United States takes on South Africa in perhaps the least anticipated match in South Africa in 2010. The coverage begins at 2 p.m. ET on ESPN2 and Galavision.
Actually, over 36,00 tickets already sold for the affair at Green Point Stadium. That’s like, what, 49 times what showed up for the last US friendly outside of Philadelphia?
We’ll do a little lighter treatment at TSG on this friendly. Don’t worry, we’ve got the preview here, Orange Slices forthcoming on game day, and a review. Just maybe a little bit lighter weight. Sugar-free TSG perhaps.
To the preview for this friendly that sees Coach Sweats call up the kids.
As usual, our customary preview goes: TSG What We’re Looking At, 11 At The Whistle, & Disclaimers.
TSG: What We’re Looking At
• There’s speed…maybe…speed on ‘dem flanks.
I’d like to see Jonathan Bornstein on the left flank. I’d like to see Eric Lichaj on the right flank.
I’d like to see the Yanks actively use a defender not named Cherundolo to put some pressure on the opponent offensively.
• My what an interesting midfield you have.
TSG’s Jason Price and I had this exchange in the comments upon the roster announcement:
Jason: Very little muscle in that midfield, no?
Matthew: Actually, I think quite a bit of physicality and muscle when you consider that Bedoya, Rogers, Diskerud all go 6’0′ or bigger with Pause as the CDM.
Linking and technical acumen…I think you have a case there.
Jason: Height, but muscle? Dunno. When I think of Bedoya and Rogers, I don’t think of presence or tackling. I mean Holden and Dax McCarty, though not tall, have presence. Excited to see Diskerud, as I’ve never seen him play…
I’ve got to believe that Mix will get the start as there is little carriage in that midfield without him.
And in a nod to another TSG correspondent, that’s a pretty “big” …physically-speaking…midfield. If you check this column, TSG’s Tuesday senses a theme, a German one (see Playing To Stereotypes subsection).
• Is the new Charlie-In-A-Bottle a man named Agudelo.
I’ve been trying to temper my enthusiasm to witness Juan Agudelo and I can’t. Saw him firsthand in San Jose and then watched as he completely disrupted the San Jose defense back at Red Bull Arena.
What I am most impressed with Agudelo is his technical ability, little things that he does effortlessly. Like opening his hip and continually moving the ball just enough to open up his cross for Juan Pablo Angel to smack home for the Red Bulls lone goal last week.
I’ll be keen to see his technical ability on display against a different type of defender. But, TSG is tickled, yes tickled at the prospects of this youngster.
And should he show well, might the Yanks have that proficient forward to place in front of Landon on the counterattack. Brimming….
See Charlie-In-A-Bottle definition here.
11 At The Whistle:
Note, with 18 folks and a long average 12-hour journey for most, look for Bradley to empty the bench in this one and get everyone into the game.
G: Brad Guzan
The skinny: Duh. Gargantuan man Dominic Cervi (6’6”, 210lbs) enters somewhere in the 2nd for the Yanks.
DEF: Jonathan Bornstein, Jonathan Spector, Clarence Goodson, Eric Lichaj
The skinny: First, I’ll throw down cash on both Goodson and Spector starting. The two guys that got no run at World Cup 2010 are honored for their efforts by Bradley with a start. It’s the least he can do.
The question on Spector is position. Specs started for the Yanks against Denmark this time last November and should be looked at in the middle. (Look below for our “disclaimer backline”).
A fit Lichaj mans the right as Specs slides inside.
MID: Robbie Rogers, Logan Pause, Mikkel Diskerud, Ale Bedoya
The skinny: Robbie Rogers and Ale Bedoya, both rewarded for the camp work in May and issued starts. Logan Pause provides some defensive stability. Mix Diskerud gets a chance to run with the Yanks’ “first team” here in South Africa while he’s still match fit.
Mix Diskerud, the Sacha Kljestan Bob Bradley never had.
STR: Juan Agudelo, Robbie Findley
The skinny: Agudelo mans the left, Findley the right. 4 to 1 odds that Agudelo scores. Even money that Robbie Findley dribbles it over the endline at least thrice in the match….
….making it all the more impressive that some low-lying Scottish Premier League team like St. Mirren or Aberdeen might take a chance on him come January.
Man that Setanta deal really hurt the SPL, huh?
• Backline: Spector, Goodson, Ream, Bornstein
The skinny: Our “other backline.” Bob Bradley finally gets a backline with it perfectly aligned for their dominant foot (Borny and Ream are lefties).
As with Omar Gonzalez in August, Bob Bradley takes a look at Tim Ream with the starters while he is still match fit.
• Middie: Eddie Gaven for Mix Diskerud
The skinny: Incredulously, can’t see Diskerud not getting the start, but Gaven’s been in camp before and can mesh on one side with Robbie Rogers.