Does this question really need an introduction?
Much has been made about the Yanks vaunted left back position. Who do you favor as the lead in the depth chart there: Boca, Bornstein or Pearce….and why?
GeorgeCross: Personally, I think that Bradley has given Bornstein more than enough chances to make that position his own, and he has not come anywhere near the required standard – to be perfectly honest, his inadequacies would be highlighted week in week out in the Prem, let alone international football and the World Cup.
Pearce is a little tricky because I have only seen him play a few times for Dallas – I saw him play quite well, but did not think he was anything too special. Not sure he has enough ability to bridge the gulf in class – might not be so evident in the group games against Slovenia and Algeria, but I question Pearce in the knockout stages.
Therefore, Bocanegra to get the green light, not because he is brilliant, but simply because he is the best option that the USA, sort of a minimax strategy – minimise the maximum damage that an opponent could inflict – rather than looking for an offensive left back. He might not have Bornstein’s legs, but you will not see him getting caught out positionally as much, and he won’t be as naïve in conceding ‘tactical’ fouls in and around the box – again, the further the USA progresses, the tighter the games become, and it really is about these millimetres and centimetres that can make all the difference.
McKee, “Spectator-Capped”: Spector/Gooch/DeMerit/Boca! (ConfedCup lineup = best).
England will bring speed/skill regardless of our choice. We need Boca’s headers in attack with LD10 and CD9 ahead of Boca – keep the game in their half to check England’s pace. Cards/injuries? Use Dolo right, Spector left, Goodson center as needed. Pearce? Bornstein – not convinced
Shoaff, Black Sox: Pearce: so slow. Bornstein: so not ready for the World Cup. Boca: needed in the middle, especially with the injury to Gooch. The solution: Jonathan Spector. Plays left back for West Ham and is our most versatile defender. If Cherundolo is healthy, they both play—Cherundolo on the right, Spector on the left.
Rogers, Hillcrest Road: I don’t know who is tops on Bradley’s depth chart, but I’m liking Pearce at that position right now. His play in the last couple of friendlies was really solid. He showed a great ability to contribute to the attack with smart, timely runs and great balls from the wing. Bocanegra is too solid in the middle, in my opinion, to put him on the left. Also, he seems to have trouble with speedier players, so putting him out there against Aaron Lennon, Shaun Wright-Phillips or Theo Walcott could spell trouble.
McKee, Spectator-Capped: Spector/Gooch/DeMerit/Boca! (ConfedCup lineup = best). England will bring speed/skill regardless of our choice. We need Boca’s headers in attack with LD10 and CD9 ahead of Boca – keep the game in their half to check England’s pace. Cards/injuries? Use Dolo right, Spector left, Goodson center as needed. Pearce? Bornstein – not convinced
Michelot, Ligue1Talk: I like Pearce. He’s “aged” well, as if MLS had given him new legs. He looked good against CONCACAF teams and he is better offensively than the other 2. Good balance between offense and defense. Play Boca in the middle where his lack of speed is less detrimental.
Arbogast, Notre Dame: Talk about choosing amongst unappealing options. Since you have to pick someone, I’m going with Bocanegra. Bereft of anything better, I’m going with experience and smarts to carry the day. With DeMerit’s rise, you can feel real good about your central defense even without Boca (assuming Onyewu is back and fit).