The Beginning Of The South Africa 23

Air Bradley One enroute to Redemption, South Africa

Goalie (3):

Tim Howard, Brad Guzan, Marcus Hahnemann


Defense (7):

Steve Cherundolo, Jonathan Spector, Oguchi Onyewu, Jay DeMerit, Carlos Bocanegra, Clarence Goodson, Jonathan Bornstein


ESPN person, "So you guys are going where again?"

Midfield (9):

Clint Dempsey, Landon Donovan, Michael Bradley, Maurice Edu, Ricardo Clark, Jose Torres, Stu Holden, Benny Feilhaber, DaMarcus Beasley


Striker (4):

Jozy Altidore, Edson Buddle, Herculez Gomez, Robbie Findley

There in spirit….Charlie Davies….

• We have some inkling where Clint Dempsey will start. We think. Is Bradley married to the 4-4-2?

• Incredulous that Brian Ching was cut, but the US kept forcing the ball to Buddle in tight corners to open up last night and he responded amirably.

• I told you Robbie Findley had the lead going into camp. Mark my words, Bradley likes his defense first and speed. He certainly has to show better.

• Seven defenders. Enough confidence in Gooch. Enough confidence in the health of Boca and DeMerit. Maybe Bradley’s trying some disinformation with England to keep Crouch out of the starting line-up? Half-kidding.

Plus, you know what you’ll get with Bornstein; you don’t know what you’ll get with Pearce. Read our player rating on him from last evening.

The 1950 squad...

219 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by dude on 2010/05/25 at 11:33 PM

    You know, I never thought I’d write what I’m about to. I think we should leave Benny Feilhaber home.

    Crazy sounding? Possibly. But he’s not in good form. What’s more, I don’t think he serves any purpose whatsoever, literally every position and role he would have held is played better by someone else. Wing option? Bedoya, Beasley, Holden, Dempsey. Central? Defense Bradley Clark, offense Torres, Edu happy middle. I don’t think we’d miss him. Never thought I’d see the day.

    The most important point was hammered home by Torres and Edu playing together. Edu is a starter, and Torres is a unique offensive spark. That means we take Dempsey as a midfielder, and have match day calls for which forwards among Ching, Buddle, and Gomez, who all showed they can play. (That Ching comment is a bitter pill to swallow, but he played well).

    Defense is the biggest issue, though.


    • Posted by Jim from NC on 2010/05/26 at 6:30 AM

      I am a huge fan of Benny, having advocated for him for since he joined the pool, but I understand your comments about Benny. I don’t really know if he is in good form or not, but I think he is on par if not better than Torres. The problem I have with Benny is not really Benny himself, but Bradley Sr. His styler of play and philosophies do not have a position that Benny can play. I love Benny’s patience on the ball, his passing, and his constant work to go to the ball as a passing option, but Bradley’s system (2 defensive midfielders) has no role for that type of playmaker. Having said that, you have to take Benny. I know TSG has been advocating Bedoya, but I am not sold yet.


    • agree defense is the issue for me as well, im not sure its somthing that can be solved before 6/12/10 you could bring 7, you could bring 8, you could bring 9 D and it still wouldnt make a difference.


  2. I’ve had the same thoughts on Benny. I was a fan of his in that spell where it wasn’t cool to ve a fan, but his lack of recent match time makes me think his spot is better occupied by Torres/Bedoya.

    Can’t see Rogers getting the call unless Beasley were to go down, Bedoya is the better option if an almost left footer isn’t needed.


  3. Posted by Gino on 2010/05/26 at 1:03 AM

    Whoever we think makes it or doesn’t doesn’t matter cuz in a few hours, Bob renders our opinions moot. HOWEVER, I have to disagree on not taking Benny and here’s why. We need his experience as a playmaker. Despite Bob’s penchant for using two holding mids, we’ll still need a creative CM for when we need to unlock a tight defense. Slovenia will probably be sitting back and looking to beat us on counters or maybe even settle for a draw if they beat Algeria in their first game. And if we’re chasing a game then Benny is better suited to provide an offensive spark than Mike Bradley or JFT. Hey, I like Torres a lot and think he deserves a roster spot. But Coach is taking three D-mids and that probably means we only take one pure CAM.

    Feilhaber has more reps at this position than either Torres or Holden at the international level. Everybody knows how Bradley values experience. Plus, I think the fact that Benny didn’t play against the Czechs is more indicative that Bob has already bought him a ticket. I think Torres’ first half appearance was his last chance to convince Bob otherwise. Frankly, we stunk it up in that first half and part of that reason is because our mids didn’t link up well with our forwards. It seemed most of the balls played to Buddle and Johnson were mid to long range aerial balls. Again, I hope Jose makes the squad, but not at the expense of Benny.


    • Posted by Colin on 2010/05/26 at 6:20 AM

      I agree whole heartedly…Torres is lower in my book than Feilhaber.

      Worth noting…players that didnt dress: Howard, Donovan, Dempsey, Bradley, Bocanegra, Altidore, Demerit….Feilhaber. Hes got a ticket already and rightfully so if you ask me. Dont forget that the CMs will pick up their share of yellow cards and could pick up a suspension for the 3rd game…depth at CM is necessary.

      So…basically its down to…pick 2 of these 5? Tough call…good luck Bob


  4. Posted by Stephen on 2010/05/26 at 4:41 AM

    I am not sure how you can’t take Robbie. He played lights out and in past games where he played with Holden they complimented each other too well. I hate to say this but Gooch is not ready. Goodson will have to take his spot. I would rather have CG 100% than an 80% Gooch. I love the guy but maybe next time. Gomez rocked it. Missed a couple of chances but came through. Over all, where the hell were the shots in that game? Holden was top notch and I’m glad he is in full form. Can’t wait to see the “A” team on Saturday. USA all the way!


    • Posted by Colin on 2010/05/26 at 6:23 AM

      Gooch is going to Africa no question

      Whether he is a starter or not is what is in question

      Did anyone else notice that he appeared to be limping the entire match?


      • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/05/26 at 7:02 AM

        Obviously, I am not privy to Onyewu’s fitness and medical evaluation, but on the basis of last night’s game, it will be a huge risk to take him**. If he’s not ready, then he’s not ready. I don’t think you should be taking a player who might be using WC games time to improve match fitness.

        **The only thing I can see is Bradley taking him because he has the safety net of replacing an injured player upto 24 hours prior to the first game.


        • I agree. I don’t think he’s ready. His stride is affected.


        • Posted by Kevin on 2010/05/26 at 3:15 PM

          For me, Ching or Bedoya should be getting his spot, BUT that would leave us with 6 defenders. I love that last comment… it gives hope to US fans who don’t want to see Crouch beat us in the air. Honestly, he still had enough concern to ice the knee when he came off, Gooch shouldn’t have made the squad.


      • Posted by Colin on 2010/05/26 at 7:48 AM

        Who else would he take at CB tho? Chad Marshall is injured too I thought.


        • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/05/26 at 9:34 AM

          Colin – I know everybody wants Onyewu to be fit, but take a step back and listen to what you’re saying. (I think) you’re saying that because there are lack of options, you’re willing to take a player that is not ready to the World Cup. I am not bashing Onyewu’s ability when fully fit – I am saying that you’re asking for a lot of trouble, especially given that DeMerit and Bocanegra have ‘niggles’. He will be a liability at the back. And I hope we don’t get into “the percentages debate” like we did with Davies.


        • Posted by Kevin on 2010/05/26 at 3:21 PM

          George – I 100% agree on the Gooch note. I am and have been able to accept the fact if Davies couldn’t return in time because of the injury, but he’s a little differen’t than the Gooch predicament. I wanted to call Davies in to camp and see how fit he was. If he was maybe not completely match fit, but physically fit I would think that he would be a good option. This is where I think his club screwed him over. I don’t really think as others that Davies “deserved it” I though of it as better to see if he’s fit than to see if we get lucky with Klestjan.

          A little off topic, but you reminded me the Davies conversation. Gooch SHOULD be suffering the same fate as Davies. Watching at home.


      • Posted by Bob on 2010/05/26 at 9:42 AM

        I noticed the limp as he came off at the 66th minute. This was something that Wahl had tweeted about early in camp, but Gooch and others refuted a day later.


  5. I agree with Matt above. Here is our best option:

    3 goalies, Howard, Hahnemann, Guzan (in that order)
    (7) Boca, Dolo, Specter, Onweyu, Demerit, Goodson, Bornstein
    (9) Dempsey, Donovan, Holden, JFT, Edu, Bradley, Beasley, Clark, Feilhaber
    (4) Altidore, Gomez, Buddle, Ching

    Left off: Pearce and Bedoya
    I think Onyewu will eventually be back to better form and may start the 2nd or 3rd world cup games pending card/injury situation. BB is ready to start Goodson and Demerit in the center (and he should be).

    On Pearce having both JB and Pearce who both have a penchant for bad positioning does not help. Yes having 7 defenders is risky with cards and injuries but I think there are many guys elsewhere on the team that can play on the defensive line in a pinch that give us cover. I still feel LB pecking order is Boca, Spector, JB.
    On Bedoya. JFT and Feilhaber make us a much more versatile team. Feilhaber can come on to give us offensive spark. JFT can play CAM or LM. He was great on the ball last night and distributing well, just the player he usually passed to then proceeded to lose the ball. For any distractors of JFT in the March friendly, in that game he was put in a tough situation. JB was like a black hole sucking him over for help, Donovan was doing nothing productive, and MB was well doing what he does “roaming”. JFT never had any real close support or dump options and he defensive positioning mistakes were partly a result. Ultimately he showed what he has last night and why he is SOOO much better than Kjestjan. Now the reason Bedoya is out is simply that yes he brings energy but his position is already covered well.


  6. The other option would be:
    3 goalies, Howard, Hahnemann, Guzan (in that order)
    (8) Boca, Dolo, Specter, Onweyu, Demerit, Goodson, Bornstein, Pearce
    (8) , Donovan, Holden, JFT, Edu, Bradley, Beasley, Clark, Feilhaber
    (4) Altidore, Dempsey, Gomez, Ching

    Left off: Buddle and Bedoya
    Bedoya see above comments. Really RM depth is probably Dempsey, Holden, Donovan so Bedoya really is extra and thus left off.

    Buddle: Seems he is in the holding role. So if BB doesn’t plan on playing him with Altidore then he is behind Altidore and Ching in depth (not in class). Yes he showed great yesterday but Ching has more experience in the holder role and should be going. Also Dempsey needs to be tried up top whether in 4-4-1-1 or not. Yes he is our best player on the field, but our overall TEAM might be better with him at striker and Holden out wide. For this reason this may be a more conservative 23 that keeps us safer at defense.

    Here is hoping BB makes some good choices.


  7. Posted by Fireball on 2010/05/26 at 6:01 AM

    Is anyone afraid that Findley is going to make the team?

    Gomez got a goal but he also froze on a counter when he was 2v2 and shot right at the keeper after the Ching backheel.


  8. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/05/26 at 6:52 AM

    Which channel is showing Bradley’s 23-man squad announcement?


    • Posted by Tom M on 2010/05/26 at 6:58 AM

      ESPN 1pm EST.


      • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/05/26 at 7:03 AM

        Cool, thanks. I thought it was 10:00 EST. Stupid massive country with multiple time zones!


        • Posted by pckilgore on 2010/05/26 at 10:55 AM

          Thank god you don’t live in Russia.

          Well, Russia if there was actually anything worth knowing about east of the urals.

          Ok, forget I said anything.


  9. i would like see both buddle and gomez go, doubt both will but i liked the work ethic from both last night and could add quality up front


  10. Posted by Jimmy Salango on 2010/05/26 at 7:31 AM

    Any idea if BB is gonna rest guys on Sat too? I am going to Philly , I hope to see the USA team at full strength.


  11. Ok, my 23 (as just tweeted):

    GK – Howard, Hahnemann, Guzan.

    D – Onyewu, Bocanegra, DeMerit, Cherundolo, Spector, Goodson, Bornstein.

    M – Donovan, Bradley, Clark, Edu, Holden, Beasley, Torres, Dempsey, Feilhaber.

    F – Altidore, Ching, Gomez.

    Last spot is a coin flip between Buddle and Bedoya depending where BB wants his depth.


    • Posted by KMac on 2010/05/26 at 5:16 PM

      Impressive cfig – you nailed almost perfectly – who would’ve thunk it. Findley instead of Ching.
      Of course there was Boca’s comment about Findley, but…perhaps Ching couldn’t shake the hammy problem or reinjured?
      Great forecast – congrats!


      • Thanks, those did end up being some good picks. I’m gutted not to see Ching go, thought he really deserved it, but happy to see Torres make the 23.


  12. Posted by Jef_Costello on 2010/05/26 at 7:49 AM

    I would take Gomez or Buddle over Findley, but it would be pretty unfair to pass him over without a trot out. He had a great camp according to Bocanegra’s comments to espn, and maybe BB decided that he was already in.

    As much as that would irk me, it’s much more important to drop Kljestan and bench Bornstein.


    • Posted by dude on 2010/05/26 at 8:20 AM

      Seriously? Findley and Cunningham got more than a trot out, they played several games, and we know that they aren’t going to bring it.


  13. Slight tangent: Anyone else think the fact that there’s 3 current or just barely former Dynamo players making the 23 merits Dom Kinnear some serious consideration as the next USMNT manager?


    • Posted by BW on 2010/05/26 at 9:48 AM

      dunno about manager, but i agree their scouting seems to be a step ahead


    • Posted by Kevin on 2010/05/26 at 3:37 PM

      As much as I like Kinnear, I’d much rather the one in a million shot at Fergie I stated before. He’s never been shy of supporting US players or stating that he thinks that we are menacing. cfig – I would definitely agree though that Kinnear’s system, and stability mixed with dynamicability (is that a world) is already a great choice. Personally, I’d rather have him for manager than BB. His favorite 4-1-2-1-2 would fit in great with the US. Particularly in 2014. And he likes speed up top. If Kinnear ever manages the USMNT, The first thing I could see done is actually DEVELOP the squad for the next world cup. Get comfortable playing together and what role they have in the team. All that would start from Day 1 if I had to guess. Also something I would love to hear is our manager actually commanding and demanding more out of his players. All those vuvuzelas and you can still hear Kinnear.

      That was a pretty long rant just to end up with the simple answer CONSIDER HIM.


      • Definitely agreed. I love that Kinnear is very willing to move guys around and adjust formations and tactics in order to use what he has or doesn’t have available (which he’s done a whole lot recently).

        I’d love to see a high profile European manager come in for the USA as well, but if we’re staying domestic I think Dom is by far the best choice.


  14. Posted by DT on 2010/05/26 at 8:34 AM

    Why does Bradley seemingly refuse to consider playing Dempsey up top? I think we need a Dempsey up top since we’ll be without Charlie Davies, in order to run at defenders and draw them out of position (something Jozy doesn’t do all that well).

    Our best lineup would be

    Jozy – Dempsey

    Donovan – Bradley – Edu/Torres – Holden

    But I fear we’ll see something like:

    Jozy – 2nd striker (Ching? Buddle?)

    Donovan – Bradley – Edu – Dempsey

    In which case we’ll see another early exit and a Bradley firing.


    • Posted by Soccernst on 2010/05/26 at 9:14 AM

      Bob doesn’t refuse this lineup, just won’t go there for a starting lineup. Bob uses Dempsey as the pivot around which to subtly flex his lineup more offensive/defensive. Push Dempsey to forward for a flagging attacker + add another defensive midfielder = more bite to *cough* protect a lead. Push him forward + add attacking mid = pressing for a needed goal. For my money this is smart use of Dempsey.


  15. If Ching is indeed out that presents some interesting questions. I would read that as Altidore + Buddle and Gomez + Findley or Bedoya. I need the next 1:40 to go by fast.


    • tuesday: Ching out based on what? I’d think he’s a pretty safe bet at this point, he’s looked the most capable of the striker pool aside from Jozy (and maybe even including Jozy recently).


    • Posted by Tom M on 2010/05/26 at 8:56 AM

      Are you referring to the tweet on Wahl’s twitter page about Ching? I would be surprised if Ching didn’t make it. I thought he acquitted himself well last night. For those that that don’t know apparently Ching was spotted at the Hartford Airport this morning.


      • Just saw that too, I’m thinking there’s another explanation (picking up friend/family/etc.). Based on performances and experience (as we all know Bob likes the familiar) I’d think Ching has the target forward spot locked up.


      • I agree – I actually thought Ching was very effective and he and Gomez made a good pair. It would surprise me if he wasn’t in the 23. My 4 would be Alti, Ching, Gomez and Buddle.

        I read the tea leaves from last night like this: not dressing – you’re on the plane. dressing but not playing – you’re not on the plane. dressing and playing: you might be on the plane unless you’re Sacha Kljestan.


        • I just read “unused substitutes” and some of those guys are on the plane. My tea-leaf reading works if it is confined to the forward pool. I don’t think Findley is in the discussion or he would’ve played.


        • Posted by DT on 2010/05/26 at 9:04 AM

          I hope they throw Sascha from the plane!!

          Although Ching isn’t the prettiest of players, he is a very very effective target striker, very good at holding up the ball, making runs to draw players out of position. He’s not a “fan’s player” but he’s definitely a “coaches player”.

          Pretty sure he’ll be on the plane.


        • Posted by Bob on 2010/05/26 at 9:52 AM

          I would read it as “unused bubble substitutes.” Obviously, guys like Clark and Hahnemann are on the plane, but Marshall and Findley not playing may mean that they are going back to MLS.


  16. Posted by Hercules on 2010/05/26 at 10:04 AM

    I turn on the TV, and see that everything is delayed by 20 minutes….Last minute changes by BB?


  17. Posted by Stephen on 2010/05/26 at 10:08 AM

    marshall, sacha, ching, Bedoya, johnson, pearce and rogers are going home. that’s what my inside guy told me


  18. Posted by Bob on 2010/05/26 at 10:14 AM

    I am at work. Pleassssssssssssssssssssssseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee … someone … anyone post the team as soon as you can!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  19. Posted by Hercules on 2010/05/26 at 10:24 AM

    Guzan, Hahn, Howard

    Bocanegra, Bornstein, ‘Dolo, Demerit, Goodson, Onweyu, Specter

    Beasley, Bradley, Clark, Dempsey, Donovan, Edu, Benny, Holden, JFT

    Jozy, Buddle, Findley, Gomez,


  20. Seriously? No Ching but Buddle AND Findley?

    You’ve got 3 strikers with almost zero combined international experience. WTF?


    • Posted by Hercules on 2010/05/26 at 10:28 AM

      I was more surprised with the inclusion of Findley than the inclusion of Buddle. I didn’t see how Findley could make the squad without even playing last night. So, now, starting 11 for Saturday?


    • Posted by Shane_K83 on 2010/05/26 at 10:29 AM

      Buddle takes Ching spot.. If ching took findlay spot, than we would have 3 target forwards to one Gomez


      • Posted by Hercules on 2010/05/26 at 10:32 AM

        I guess my thinking was that if Ching didn’t go, we would move Dempsey up top, and get an extra midfielder or defender (read: Bedoya).


      • If we’re looking for someone to play a target forward role I thought Ching looked much stronger last night.


      • Posted by Kevin on 2010/05/26 at 3:45 PM

        3 target forwards? I’m sorry where do you get this from? Ching was the only target forward ON THE 30! How do you get 3 ON THE 23!?!?!?


  21. Posted by Bob on 2010/05/26 at 10:27 AM

    Wow! No Ching? Wow! I don’t know what to think. I didn’t think that he played that bad. He should be ahead of Findley IMO … that is a surprisingly big shocker as I thought that if Findley made it then Buddle or Gomez was going home. Wow!!


  22. Posted by Bob on 2010/05/26 at 10:28 AM

    What is BB saying about his selections? Please anyone post his comments.


    • Posted by Hercules on 2010/05/26 at 10:29 AM

      Nothing basically. Just commenting on going to the WH tomorrow (I think). No comments on player selection.


      • They usually give the president a jersey with his name on it, any chance Bobbo throws in a complimentary pair of sweats too?


        • I gotta say I think the track jacket is sweet. Might be picking up one of those when the weather cools off (which would be November n Texas).


    • Posted by Kevin on 2010/05/26 at 3:47 PM

      I don’t think he is literally saying anything by his player suggestion, but he’s borderline asking to get fired on July 13th. Welcome Kinnear…


  23. Posted by ETJ on 2010/05/26 at 10:28 AM

    Unbelievable. No Ching unbelievable. Findley unbelievable. Findley scored one goal in 8 MLS games, was so unimpressive in his other USMNT games… he must have been running circles around literally everybody at the training camp. Everything else I’m fine with, but honestly Ching was the best forward yesterday, and he would be the one forward with any real international experience. Unbelievable BB un-$ucking-believable.


    • Posted by Timmy on 2010/05/26 at 11:47 AM

      Reminds me of the Taylor Twellman snub from the 2006 team. Not sure what sweatpants is thinking but let’s pray that it works.


      • Posted by Randy on 2010/05/26 at 12:52 PM

        Even as a Dynamo supporter I hav e no real strong issue with Ching no tbeing there. Just don’t put Findley on the field unless we absolutely have to. i still say looking at this selection of forwards/midfielders would it have killed BB to have at least brought CD9 in for a few days.

        I think the Ching decision has nothing to do with last night, Ching has shown that he can be overwhelmed on the international stage in the past year and a half. With Buddle, Gomez and Altidore already there I hardly see Ching being more than veteran support picking up maybe 15-30 minutes tops at this Cup anyway.

        Are there any nations that will not carry three keepers? Who the hell needs three keepers especially when you look at the drop off in talent from 1 to 2 and 3. Is Guzan really the best we can do as a backup?


        • Posted by Matt B on 2010/05/26 at 1:57 PM

          I believe FIFA mandates that 3 keepers be on the roster


        • Posted by Kevin on 2010/05/26 at 3:51 PM

          I feel like we have quite a bit of Dynamo supporters here….

          Since when has Ching been overwhelmed on the International stage? I’ve never seen him lose his cool while wearing the red, white and blue and the only game I don’t think he did very good in was at Azteca. Coincidentally, he was joined by most the rest of the squad… even Lando…


  24. Posted by DT on 2010/05/26 at 10:28 AM

    I think the absence of Ching and the inclusion of the 3 young strikers is Bradley telling us he’s going to play Dempsey up top…I hope


    • Posted by Shane_K83 on 2010/05/26 at 10:30 AM

      Buddle, Altidore to start, with Gomez as an impact sub


      • Posted by Hercules on 2010/05/26 at 10:33 AM

        I think that is what we might see on Saturday. Isn’t this the first time in a while that Dempsey isn’t listed as a Forward, but actually in the midfield where he plays?


      • Posted by Andy_4Lakes on 2010/05/26 at 10:36 AM

        Findley-Altidore start. Buddle Jozy’s backup, Gomez Findley’s? I’d rather see a Jozy-Gomez starting pair.


    • Posted by BW on 2010/05/26 at 10:33 AM

      either dempsey up top or Jozy by himself in a 4-5-1. i’m thinking it’s the latter.


    • No, I think the exact opposite. The fact that he chose Findley over a Bedoya means Dempsey is playing wide in midfield.


      • Posted by DT on 2010/05/26 at 10:36 AM

        Ugh – I hope not!!!

        If so – hello early exit and firing of Bradley.


        • Posted by Hercules on 2010/05/26 at 10:38 AM

          Well, I say BB is gone after the WC anyway, so let’s just hope not for the early exit. Seriously, how often to National Team coaches last for more than 1 cycle?


        • Posted by pckilgore on 2010/05/26 at 11:02 AM

          None, that I can think of. They may skip a cycle, but most of the serious contenders never do it twice.

          Think about it, if you do well, other people offer you boatloads to come coach them.

          If you don’t do well, your country wants to try another coach.

          Hence, the world cup coach shuffle (TM)


        • Managers shouldn’t do more than one-cycle at the international helm. “Rewarding” Bruce with another 4 years was a mistake.


        • Posted by Tom M on 2010/05/26 at 11:08 AM

          Isn’t this Domenech’s second in a row?


        • Capello will get a chance at the Euros if England does well enough. If they win, you can pretty much call him coach for life, if he wants it, and a knighthood in the British Army.


        • Posted by Randy on 2010/05/26 at 12:54 PM

          Well since its been breached if, and I pray it happens, BB is gone after the Cup can we please get serious about getting Klinsmann or Kinnear as the coach.


        • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/05/26 at 3:16 PM

          I have been pretty critical of Bradley in the past. But to be fair to the bloke, it looks like a couple of big big players are going to be missing. What do you think is a fair expectation with the players you have available? Do you think another coach would have done any better with the same players?

          Believe it or not, after 12th June, I will be rooting for Team USA all the way. It is my adopted country you know…

          And Low was the mastermind behind Germany in 2006 – so if you’re going to go down the German route, he’s your man.


  25. Posted by Jef_Costello on 2010/05/26 at 10:29 AM

    Findley (or even Buddle/Gomez) over Ching = Terrible decision from my perspective.


    • Posted by Shane_K83 on 2010/05/26 at 10:31 AM

      Im sorry but Buddle is better than Ching..


      • Posted by Jef_Costello on 2010/05/26 at 10:34 AM

        He is playing well now, but Ching has miles more experience.

        I was expecting Ching to start vs England if Dempsey was not moved. Now I have a suspicion it will be Findley.


      • Watching last night’s match, you thought Buddle did more than Ching?


        • Posted by Shane_K83 on 2010/05/26 at 10:35 AM

          I thought so.. Ching had to sexy back heals.. thats it..


        • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/05/26 at 10:37 AM

          Sorry guys — been busy — the US forced the ball into Buddle on a tight right side last night and he did very well as the target man.

          I think you need to have players that can do more than just be the target man….they need to present the option that they might make a run.

          That being said, for me, the surprise is not Ching for Buddle — I had Budle going all along. The surprise is that both Findley and Gomez made it.

          The reason? The USMNT is going to defend till the death and look for that counter.

          Note, if the US uses a CDM like they did Torres last night (as a distribution hub out of the back) then the target forward being just a smidge less valuable.


        • Posted by Hercules on 2010/05/26 at 10:43 AM

          I like the play of the distribution hub that we had in the first half with Torres. But, who is going to be our midfield pairing? Between Edu, Clark, Bradley, and Torres. Should we try Bradley-Torres again? I guess most of our questions will be answered on Saturday.


        • I really didn’t think Buddle was going except as a last choice spot. He showed ok last night, but I felt that Gomez and Ching linked up much better and Ching tracked back well to win some balls.

          If we’re looking at form there’s no way I bring in Findley as the impact sub over Gomez or a shift of Dempsey to striker.


    • Posted by Tom on 2010/05/26 at 11:30 AM

      This just tells me that Sweats favors the system over the individual talent. The thought process then is:
      – We play a 4-4-2. Period.
      – Therefore we need two target strikers and two fleet strikers.
      – Take the best two of each available (Altidore, Buddle and Gomez, Findley).

      From this perspective, it’s understandable but the downside is that we’re forsaking a more talented and experienced (if less versatile) Ching and trotting out Findley who has shown exactly nothing in his previous matches. The fact that he didn’t even have to earn it last night bothers me even more. (And admittedly I’m still bitter about RSL beating the Fire last year, so I just have no love for this guy.)

      Oh well, it’s done now and I’m well above rooting for any of our guys to get hurt. Time to back the 23!


      • Posted by Kevin on 2010/05/26 at 8:40 PM

        Well admittedly, I’m still bitter about LA beating Houston although it was more the called back goal to be specific, so I don’t like anyone who has anything to do with LA but I feel like for the most part I don’t let my bias cloud my judgement. My judgement tells me that Ching should go over Buddle. I have no doubt that Bradley saw how involved he was and how many chances he got compared to Ching he got way more chances but you also have to look at where those chances come from. It’s not all about scoring because without the final pass often lacked between forwards nobody will score. Where would Barcelona be without the likes of Xavi and Iniesta? What if Becks never developed a pinpoint accuracy for his passing? Ching showed he is more valuable to the TEAM than Buddle.


  26. Posted by John on 2010/05/26 at 10:30 AM

    I like it. So there.


  27. Posted by dude on 2010/05/26 at 10:31 AM

    Findley? I just can’t believe it. What does he Not have to do on the pitch to get tossed? Should have swapped him for Bedoya.

    Ching gets beaten out by Buddle. That I like. But, man, did we waste a spot.


  28. Genuinely shocked that Findley made it. Bob thinks Buddle can do what Ching does with more speed and goalscoring threat.

    I honestly think this roster is short one winger who can come on as a substitute and get quality service into the box and one left back since Bornstein really doesn’t count. You do know what you get with him, though I don’t think it’s anything you want..


  29. Posted by Shane_K83 on 2010/05/26 at 10:33 AM

    Truth is, Findlay wont see any minutes in SA, as Ching wouldent have either.. the question is, which one, if there was a chance for either to play could make an impact off the bench and Findlay wins that for me


    • Posted by Hercules on 2010/05/26 at 10:36 AM

      Sadly, I don’t know if this is the truth. Findley didn’t play last night, so I now think that his spot was more locked up than everyone else’s that did play. (Though I originally thought the opposite). So, is he a starter? I hope not.


    • See, I think Ching could’ve seen time. Playing a team like Slovenia who might park the bus, he’s a guy you get in there for at least 45 minutes to wear down defenders and play a physical, bruising game. Then you bring in someone like Gomez to find the holes and make things happen.


    • Posted by Supporter on 2010/05/26 at 10:37 AM

      Findley will have a lot to prove in the next match. Extremely gutted that Ching has been left off; who else has the experience and/or ability to hold the ball up? Considering Ching wasn’t even an option as the #23 spot, his omission seems like a huge gamble from Bradley.


    • I totally agree with this. I’m not remotely upset at Ching not making it, even though I thought he put in a good performance last night. I always saw it as being between him and Buddle. I also said yesterday that Bob could very well take all 3 of the new players and feel good about it like they were “his guys”.


  30. Posted by B-Mac on 2010/05/26 at 10:37 AM

    People need to understand, it wasn’t Findley vs. Ching. It was Buddle vs. Ching and Findley vs. EJ. Redundant if you take Buddle and Ching.


    • Posted by Supporter on 2010/05/26 at 10:40 AM

      Where does this logic come from? EJ as the impact striker? I think we could argue Ching would also beat EJ if it were 1 v 1. If it is true, Findley only wins due to the luck of being drawn against EJ.


    • Posted by Hercules on 2010/05/26 at 10:40 AM

      Ok, so it was Buddle v. Ching, but why wasn’t it Findley v. EJ v. Neither?


      • Posted by Supporter on 2010/05/26 at 10:44 AM

        100% agree. It may be due to fitness. It better be due to fitness; I can’t think of any other explanation.


    • Posted by Colin on 2010/05/26 at 10:41 AM

      i saw it as Buddle v Ching and Gomez v EJ…while Atlidore and Findley had their spots earned in previous showings and in camp and didnt need to show anything last night.


      • Posted by Bob on 2010/05/26 at 10:51 AM

        If that is the case, then Findley must have shown it in camp as he did nothing in the friendlies.

        Saturday will say alot about who is actually going to dress for games in SA. Could Finldey be brought along as a practice guy like the NFL does when they bring in scout teams? Just wondering.


  31. Posted by T-Muck on 2010/05/26 at 10:49 AM

    Now the obvious next question is, what is your starting line up?


    • Posted by Hercules on 2010/05/26 at 10:59 AM


      Subs: Holden, Gomez, Torres,Feilhaber, Dolo, Hahn
      Not Dressed: Bornstein, Guzan, Clark, Onweyu, Beasley, Findley


      • Posted by DT on 2010/05/26 at 12:11 PM

        If Holden doesn’t start this team is going nowhere.


        • Posted by Hercules on 2010/05/26 at 12:24 PM

          The only way that Holden starts is if Dempsey moves up to forward. I’m finding that less likely because of the 4 forwards that are in the 23.


        • Posted by Randy on 2010/05/26 at 1:00 PM

          Holden will start at least once regardless of Dempsey. He has earned that at least and Stu is more versatile than to only playing wide right.


        • Posted by Hercules on 2010/05/26 at 3:11 PM

          Yes, he is more versitile, but he is best on the wing. And I don’t think that at this point he can challenge Donovan/Dempsey for a start on the wings. I love seeing him on the field, but he is probably 3rd in a position that our top 2 are probably our 2 best field players.


  32. Posted by DanL on 2010/05/26 at 10:53 AM

    I’ll still wear my #11 Ching jersey for the World Cup. He earned the right to play in this world cup. He earned it…


  33. Best comment I’ve read so far today about Findley from SBI (sorry Shinny I was cheating a little, but it was an innocent reading. It didn’t mean anything to me, I swear!):

    …. [Findley] didn’t play last night which means his spot was locked up already…

    he must have scored on every shot during camp, beaten deuce in a freestyle rap battle, and foiled a terrorist attack


  34. Posted by Jimmy Salango on 2010/05/26 at 10:56 AM

    Altidore- Demps
    Donovan- Edu-Bradley- Beasley
    Boca- Demerit-Gooch-Dolo


  35. Posted by John on 2010/05/26 at 11:02 AM

    Bob used to really like Ching. Now he really likes Findley.

    For me this is an either/or situation. Let’s not start pretending that Ching scored buckets of goals for the US because he had a good 45 minutes yesterday.


    • Posted by Len on 2010/05/26 at 11:33 AM

      Looks like Boca did know something we didn’t when he tipped Findley to be one of the big surprises of the world cup. Findley must have really impressed in practice. Wearing my pre-Dynamo Earthquakes goggles, I really wanted Chingy to go though. He did little wrong.


      • After conceding 4 goals yesterday, I refer back to my pre-match comment regarding Findley:


        • Posted by Len on 2010/05/26 at 6:09 PM

          Prophetic words. I should have recalled them immediately but I was sleep deprived when I read them. Still confused as to why Chingy was excluded though, even if Buddle can play the target man as well. I don’t think BB would mistake bad defense for good offense during practice in Findley’s case. Maybe he really is playing well? Until I see it though, I have to agree with Pat that Ching has more to offer. I agree with you and others that Findley must just be one of Bob’s boys. the For the first time ever, I desperately hope I’ll be eating my words. P.S. told my dad Ching was a lock before he bought his jersey before the game yesterday. (see bitter post from DanL) above. Whoops.


    • John, I think it’s more of a matter of the skill set that you get from Ching v. the other forwards in the pool. No one else holds the ball up as well or wins fouls as well. Based on what I’ve seen at the international level, Findley doesn’t seem like he adds as much to the team as Ching would, especially if Gomez can be the same kind of catalyst he was yesterday. At least that’s why I like Brian Ching… he’s not going to score a ton of goals, but he helps the other players score goals.


      • Posted by John on 2010/05/26 at 12:06 PM

        I agree to a certain extent (I have never been that high on Ching). Although as matthew said it isn’t really a comparison of skill sets between Findley and Ching. However, Bob seems to find one player he just loves even if everyone around him is kinda iffy. This tournament that guy is Findley.


        • That’s a fair point, but I think Ching shouldn’t have even needed to battle for a spot… I think the battle should have been between Findley and Gomez, who supposedly have similar skill sets. I think I’m just splitting hairs here though… I should note that I was very happy with the 23-man roster selection when I saw it. I wanted Bornstein over Pearce, I wanted Goodson over Marshall, I wanted Beasley over Bedoya and Rogers, I wanted Torres over Kljestan and Bob obliged me on all of those.


        • Posted by John on 2010/05/26 at 12:14 PM

          I would have taken a sack of clay over Kljestan.


        • A heartfelt amen to that.


  36. Posted by brian on 2010/05/26 at 11:07 AM

    trending topics: Findley, Buddle, Ching, Roster

    Never thought MLS players would bring such a reaction.


  37. Posted by Swa on 2010/05/26 at 11:22 AM

    Am I the only person who thinks that Herculez looks like the President? Little bit.

    Anyway starting XI for Saturday that I’d like to see is





    Buddle for Gomez at half
    Torres for Edu at half
    Goodson for Gooch when he appears to be laboring
    Dolo for Bocanegra (Spector moves left) when he appears to be laboring
    Holden for Altidore around 65′ and Deuce moves up top
    Either Beasley for Donovan/Dempsey or Feilhaber for Bradley around 80′

    A chance to test out a potential WC starting lineup while also experimenting with some forward/midfield combinations later on.


    • Posted by brian on 2010/05/26 at 11:53 AM

      that’s another one of the magician’s tricks. That’ll be a great pic when they visit the White House tomorrow.


      • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/05/26 at 12:07 PM

        Would you not want Dempsey on the left and Donovan on the right?


        • usually Donovan = LM
          Dempsey = RM

          Unless you know something about Demps ability on the left I don’t. Is Demps have a better left foot? I think Dempsey is MUCH more dangerous coming in on his natural right side for booming strikes.


        • Huh? I think you’re confusing your left and your right.

          A right footer cuts inside onto his strong foot from the left.


        • Yeah you are correct but in my head I was actually thinking of Dempsey running onto a ball from the right and burying it as in his last WC goal. More volleys than cut in shots. Sorry I worded that poorly.

          This is a decent issue to consider. And I know the two of you discussed it previously on TSG. I still think Donovan adds more defensive cover on the left for suspect LB position but I can see a pro of having Donovan crossing on the right. Either way I think Dempsey is our best player and needs to be involved as much as possible and not have to worry about tracking back as much.


        • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/05/26 at 4:25 PM

          Personally, fitness permitting, I’d play Holden on the right, Donovan on the left, Dempsey in the hole and relegate Bradley. But if Holden doesn’t make it as a starter, Dempsey is more dangerous cutting in on his right, and drifting in from that side in general – Spector can deliver the ball pretty well from the right flank and I can’t see anybody else making those intelligent runs…


      • Comment of the day (not an original thought, posted by someone in an SBI chat):

        Is Bornstein always out of position?


        • Posted by kaya on 2010/05/27 at 4:27 PM

          Oh LOL. I looked at this earlier didn’t catch that.
          I did note that junior appears to be even grumpier looking than his father (has he *ever* smiled?)…. and that sweatpants couldn’t avoid the khakis.


  38. Posted by Kevin U on 2010/05/26 at 11:42 AM

    You all think that Clarke isnt gonna play at all?? I agree with TSG that Clarke is gonna start with bradley vs England


    • I’m with you Kevin… I think every player who didn’t start yesterday (and made the 23 man roster) are Bob Bradley’s preferred starters at this time.


    • Posted by Shane_K83 on 2010/05/26 at 1:40 PM

      Clark and Bradley starts vs. England… Hmmm.. I see us playing 60 minutes with 9-10 men


  39. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/05/26 at 11:45 AM

    The USSF could have shelled out for some suits for the players. They are professionals, after all, not a Sunday pub-team…


    • Posted by KMac on 2010/05/27 at 12:36 AM

      George, you make a point. However, it was pretty damn hot in East Harford (don’t know about Bristol) – suits would have been oppressive! (surprised the warm ups were worn too). In fact off camera, you can see Rico slinking his off and Beasley tipping him to put it back on while on camera.
      Finally, we are coached by Sweatpants, not the special one or Capello, the fashion dons of football!:)


    • Posted by kaya on 2010/05/27 at 4:29 PM

      George, we’re poor, don’t you know that? Now stop suggesting we fling money around on suits and suites. Besides, we’re saving up for our secret weapon. I’m still pretty sure it has something to do with Findley.


  40. Posted by Kevin U on 2010/05/26 at 11:46 AM

    hey now those jackets are pretty sweet


  41. Posted by John on 2010/05/26 at 11:47 AM

    Here is my completely false conspiracy theory.

    Bob (in conjunction with Russian football officials) left Charlie Davies off the roster so that he could put Findley (a double agent for the KGB) on in his place. In order to justify the “you aren’t recovered speech” to CD9, he also made way for Findley by telling Ching that he hadn’t recovered in time thus justifying his prior decision.

    This was in a total effort to allow Findley to help the Spanish win by disabling Wayne Rooney, Theo Walcott and John Terry during the England game, thus not letting England through to play Spain during the world cup, this would allow Spain to win and put their eggs into the Russian football federation with their bid for the World Cup.

    Lord Triesman would be proud.


  42. Posted by Timmy on 2010/05/26 at 11:55 AM

    The biggest shocker of the world cup will be coach sweatpants breaking out the one suit that he owns and dusting it off to wear in South Africa. If he has any plans in mind, this should be it. If he wears a suit, it will take the team’s performance to another level without having to say anything. He needs to do this!


  43. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/05/26 at 12:15 PM

    I am feeling very confident about 12th June. I think I will visit Foster Farms (poultry company) to start counting.


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/05/26 at 12:21 PM

      George — talked with Rebecca Lowe at ESPN UK today.

      Her comment, “I think Garragher was convinced to come out of retirement because Glen Johnson cannot be trusted to come back on defense.”

      Thought I would drop this nugget in there. :>


      • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/05/26 at 12:36 PM

        Ah, the old “she thinks”…

        I feel that the only way Carragher would we tempted out of retirement was to be given a shot at being a centre-back back-up primarily, and doubling up as a right-back back-up. And not getting over looked for the likes of Upson, Lescott etc.

        Your back line looks so creaky at the moment – don’t you wish you had our cast offs (Campbell, Cahill, Shawcross, Lescott, Brown. Jagielka, Davies, Upson, Dawson, Smalling, Turner, A Ferdinand, Tompkins)? And I haven’t even gone to the Champioship for DeMerit’s English opponents!!


        • Posted by John on 2010/05/26 at 12:39 PM

          If your castoffs are marginally worse than your backup back line, how many goals would they have given up to Mexico?

          Or were they just not picked because John Terry had slept with their wives?


        • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/05/26 at 12:45 PM

          And that’s just the centre-backs! I would pick most of these players than DeMerit or Goodson.

          I think you will find it was an ex-fiancee. Out of order all the same, but he didn’t quite pull a John Harkes.


        • Don’t you want to wait to see how the starters play before making that comment? If you’re feeling good about the US back line because of Heath Pearce and a not-quite-fit Onyewu, then I have some swampland to sell you. Being as unbiased as I possibly can, I would take Clarence Goodson over any of those castoffs. A goal and an assist in friendlies against quality competition, plus some solid marking and aerial play… I’ll take that any day.


        • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/05/26 at 1:53 PM

          What’s the pH of the swampland – I might be interested?

          How on earth would you take Goodson over Dawson, Upson or even Cahill. I’d even have Sol Campbell even though he’s a couple of yards short of pace. I think you’re telling porkies when you say you’re not biased.


        • Posted by kaya on 2010/05/27 at 4:31 PM

          I’m sure you can get better contacts with BP that can fill you in on the most up to date details.


    • Come on George, you know we never would’ve conceded any of those goals on set pieces like Mexico! Ronal-d’Oh!


      • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/05/26 at 12:41 PM

        I don’t know Tuesday. All I have heard over the last month is what a beast Onyewu is and how he would snap any of the England players – and then he has trouble jumping for the Czech’s 1st goal!!

        Come on, if you were English, and you were facing a back four of Spector-DeMerit-Goodson-Bocanegra, how would you be feeling right now? Be honest mate!


        • In fairness, it was never me who said that. My previous comment is literally dripping with sarcasm – it’s the sauce that’s helping me choke down my less-than-charitable assessment of England v Mexico. It is true that Onyewu can be a monster at the back. I think he did alright for the first 45 minutes when I had a good view but he didn’t look fully fit to me. He says he’s scared about jumping and it looked it. That’s very worrying.

          So, I concede your point but we’re talking about a one-off cup tie. We don’t need to be superior 9 times out of 10, just to hope that June 12 is our one time out of 10.


        • i would have at least a semi


    • Posted by kaya on 2010/05/26 at 12:43 PM

      George… you are the master fishing expeditioner.
      Regardless of what you think of June 12, the end result will be England going out to Germany on PK’s.


      • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/05/26 at 12:49 PM

        If Germany finish 2nd in Group D, I fancy our chances of doing them in 90 minutes.

        I’m off to the travel clinic to get my jabs for RSA, and then to Borders to get my books for the long flight. Oh, and an abacus, for said visit to Foster Farm.


      • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/05/26 at 2:01 PM

        OK – I am being 100% honest here.

        Do I think we will win the World Cup? No.

        Do I think we will have an outside chance? Yes, an outside chance (like all the contenders). But really haven’t got too much quality so we need to keep key players fit – more so than other countries.

        What would I be satisfied with? After 2 consecutive QF exits, we really need to push on to the SF. I don’t think me wanting to reach the SF is unrealistic or greedy (if we play like I know we can).


        • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/05/26 at 2:17 PM

          And I would rather have that glimmer of hope every four years and have it dashed away (and have the global football community ridicule us), than enter the tournament just hoping to get out of group play. Nothing has changed for me since I watched my first World Cup in 1982…


  44. Can the record be amended to show:


  45. I agree that Onyewu doesn’t look fully fit and if he says he is afraid to jump, then ok. But I legitimately want to know, how can any defender be expected to jump when a player on the other team is using your shoulder as a launching pad? The offensive player was able to increase his height and his hang time from using Onyewu’s shoulder as a prop. You could even see Onyewu mouthing after the goal, “he was pushing me down.” Even beasts like Onyewu can’t jump very well with 180 lbs of weight on their back. I thought he got a bum deal from the refs and the commentators who didn’t even talk about that point. I guess he still should have jumped sooner disallowing the other player to hang in the air, but you’d like the referees to see things like that.


    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/05/26 at 2:05 PM

      I am not saying it’s right, but most attacking players try to gain that edge over the defensive player. Nothing new here.


  46. To summarise a few points above about upcoming Turkey game:

    Kevin U mentioned Clark as the starter come June 12

    Vengeful Pat: I’m with you Kevin… I think every player who didn’t start yesterday (and made the 23 man roster) are Bob Bradley’s preferred starters at this time. I neglected to think of Feilhaber… I don’t think he’ll start, but I think he’s probably Bob’s first player off the bench.

    On these points I definately see BB starting Clark against Turkey to give him time and evaluate but I still think by Australia and England Edu will be the starter.

    Biggest battles right now:
    1) LB – Boca?
    2) Dolo vs. Spector
    3) Findley vs. Gomez (Buddle is Altidore backup)

    On the Findley situation. I like Tuesday “Findley’s running is actually very good. It’s just he has no final ball.” I agree that is what he showed in March and some other games. Question is how much of that was pure nerves on shutting down mentally with the ball on the big stage. Now I don’t think all of that could be atributed to nerves but what if Findley has some finishing and just had 2 really bad games?
    Ultimately it seems highly likely Findley gets start against Turkey to have Bob further evaluate him with Gomez in relief.
    I really would like to see Demps tried in 4-4-1-1 but don’t see Bradley trying it.

    Ideal starting 11:

    Donovan- Edu-Bradley- Holden
    Boca- Demerit-Gooch-Spector/Dolo

    Likely starting 11 for Turkey game:

    Findley- Altidore
    Donovan- Rico-Bradley- Holden
    Boca- Demerit-Gooch-Spector/Dolo

    Biggest future question: Would BB sweat more in a suit or his customary sweat gear in the heat of SA (well relative since it is winter in southern hemisphere)?

    Follow-up: how much wicking and heat vapor holes does his nike sweat gear have?

    2nd Follow-up what if Nike designed a suit for him?


    • Posted by Hercules on 2010/05/26 at 3:21 PM

      Your starting 11 for Turkey have Dempsey sitting out a second straight game? I think that it is more likely having Dempsey start instead of Holden. Though the fact that both goals yesterday were due to Holden was a huge plus for him.

      And concerning the 4-4-1-1 with Dempsey needing tried…Does it? Isn’t that what we have already seen in late game scenarios? Sub out a forward, Sub in Holden, and move Dempsey up? I think that is something that we have seen quite a few times lately, and seen how it works. I think we need to see if we find a different combo that works better. We already know that the 4-1-1-1 works to an extent, but probably not all game. Should we try the 4-2-3-1 that we saw against the Netherlands again? But if we did that, did we need to bring 4 true forwards?


      • On Holden my thought was that we will likely play 4-4-2 for the WC. So for Australia onward Dempsey will be starting with Holden coming on later possibly. If that is the case I think Holden should get a proper trial with the A team. In March Holden didn’t get the full opportunity because of going down with the injury. Yesterday was with the B team. I would have this line-up with the intent that Dempsey comes on later and Holden either slides into the middle, or is out. Would like to see Feilhaber/Holden get some quality time (maybe 2nd half) in for MB.

        On the 4-4-1-1 I know we have seen it some but not with the lineup we have now. I don’t know if Holden was in when Demps went up top since Demps was injured since Jan. Or at least I don’t know if they used it long enough to see it work. I have no problem with the tactic of using it later in games. Not saying it has to be the starting formation, just want to see it or the 4-2-3-1 given longer time as a tryout.
        Just my thoughts
        Honestly I just want to see a competitive game where we can’t make excuses about injuries, etc. And see how BB responds to tactical situations. Should be fun.


        • Posted by Hercules on 2010/05/26 at 3:44 PM

          Gotcha. Sounds good. I was just going along with the group-think that Turkey will be a full dress-rehearsal just like Australia. Yes, a no injuries game would be great.

          What about start with a 4-2-3-1 of


          then at half, switch to a 4-4-2 of


          Then between 70 and 75 switch to the 4-4-1-1 of


          Though I would love to see either Gomez or Buddle in place of Findley, but I also want to see what was so great about Findley in camp.


        • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/05/26 at 3:57 PM

          4-4-2, 4-2-3-1, 4-4-1-1 are all pretty similar formations, just slightly tweaked. The differences are more subtle than you think… especially if you think about most formations are slightly lopsided in one way or another.


        • Posted by Hercules on 2010/05/26 at 4:02 PM

          Yes, they are. But for me, it is mainly a sense of personnel on the field. In my thoughts, the switch between the formations is predicated by a sub. For example, there is a different skill set needed for the CM for a bucket midfield versus a diamond midfield. And for us, we don’t have the players to have all of those skill sets, and therefore a change in formation is really a difference in personnel.


  47. Posted by Chris on 2010/05/26 at 2:27 PM

    Did anyone else see Damarcus Beasley telling the younger guys to his right (Buddle, Findley) to zip their jackets up so they looked more professional while his royal sweatpantsness was being interviewed? Nice one DmB.


  48. Posted by BigPapi on 2010/05/26 at 2:55 PM

    I think Bradely messed up big time….First I think we definelty needed to take 8 defenders (Bocanegra, Demerit, and Onyewu) are all dinged up and Onyewu looked awful last night, no way hes ready to play. I think Bornstein was chosen over Pearce because he’s Bradley’s boy. I think even though both had a rough game last night that Pearce has clealry been the better player then Bornstein over the past 1-2 years. I also believe that all the Goodson hype is a bit overated. He had one solid game, but he was going up against a week offensive attacker and could have done better on that 3rd goal. The same goes for Gomez, one header shouldn’t give you a spot on the team. Findley? No way! Ching was definelty the right choice there.


    • Posted by Hercules on 2010/05/26 at 3:15 PM

      Ok. So you are blasting BB’s decisions, as I have today to an extent as well, but who would you replace Bornstein/Goodson/Gomez/Findley with? From your post I got Ching over Findley. Who would you drop to add Pearce? Drop Gomez, add who?

      I thought that Pearce should have come, but I couldn’t think of a midfielder to drop. I don’t think that Findley should have come, and Ching was probably going to, but they are different skill sets. Buddle took Ching’s spot (I’ve been convinced).


      • Posted by BigPapi on 2010/05/26 at 4:43 PM

        First off I’m fine with Goodson making it probably deserved it. I’m just not buying all the hype. Ching over Findley. Perhaps drop Gomez and keep Demspey/Donovan as a striker and add Pearce? However, if BB is really right about Gomez how can you keep Bornstein over Pearce? The last game anyone remembers Bornstein playing well in was the infamous header he scored in qualification a good 6 months ago…since then he’s done abosolutley NOTHING! If you can remember back in 2008-09 when US played a string of friendlies against England, Argentina, and Im drawing a blank on the last team and Pearce played admirably in all those games. He carried that momentum into the qualifier against Mexico, and then as a team they played poorly against EL Salvadror and he had a bad outing. Then hes immediatley benched for Bornstein after that? Maybe this messed with Pearce’s confidence as well? Didn’t understand the benching but Ok, show us what you got Bornstein, again nothing. Pearce played well in the Gold Cup sans the Mexico game which the entire team was off. Pearce came on real strong the past view games for us, and then has a bad half last night and hes gone? No way I can wrap my head around that, Bornstein is just Bradley’s boy and its a damn shame. I think most would agree?


        • Posted by Kevin U on 2010/05/26 at 5:12 PM

          Both are terribly Inconsistent, you even made points as to where Pearce is inconsistent…..Both have made stupid plays Bornstein against the Dutch and Pearce with that slide tackle last night I wouldnt want to bring both of them with and the decision has been made its Bornstein so its time to get behind these 23 who are representing our country


  49. Posted by Dylan on 2010/05/26 at 5:51 PM

    Words cannot express how disappointed I am that Kyle Beckerman was not included in the final 23, I assumed he was left out of the thirty because he was already guranteed a spot. Terrible decision, he was prime for a huge world cup.


  50. Posted by Shane_K83 on 2010/05/26 at 7:19 PM

    I just want to say that I am so F**k@ng Hyped about this world cup I could just SCREAM!!! June 12 can not come fast enough!!!


    • Posted by itally on 2010/05/26 at 7:53 PM

      I’m with ya. About to explode!


      • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/05/26 at 8:38 PM

        You’re going to be crying at 16:30 12-Jun-10. Fact.


        • I’m feeling ok about the 12th. While I’d be thrilled with a win I’m optimistically hoping for a draw, and really I’d still be positive with a USA loss by a slim margin. So long as we maintain some semblance of respectability in the match, which I think we can, i’m reasonably happy.


        • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/05/26 at 9:15 PM

          How can you be happy with a loss in tournament football – even if you played well – it’s all about the points to advance from the round robin? It’s going to put so much pressure on you for game two, especially if Slovenia win game one. Wake-up man!


        • Fair point, let me rephrase. I wouldn’t be happy with a loss by any means but any points we get v England are a bonus. I’m much more concerned that we look solid in that match and capable of playing well and progressing to the knockout stage. But I’ll be screaming my head off for the Yanks to pull the upset:-)


        • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/05/27 at 3:12 AM

          I think Mrs Cross and I are watching this game at home with zero alcohol involved. I get pretty fired up in most cases, and whilst she is very excited for the WC, she doesn’t need her own hubby in her face going ballistic everytime Howard picks one out of the net. If the USA win or draw, Mrs Cross is going to have an enjoybable flight to Cape Town rubbing it in!


  51. Maybe Findley was selected exclusively for his pace. The Confed Cup success of a summer ago was partially chalked up to the pace and scoring of Charlie Davies. Perhaps Findley is meant to be a poor man’s substitute for the injured Davies.

    Dempsey at center forward instead of Ching?

    I wonder how badly injured Gooch is. That ice bag on his knee last night and the way he was beaten for that goal make me wonder if it’s worth risking his overall fitness on the chance that he might perform passably in one or two matches in South Africa.

    The rest of these selections are pretty much what I expected.


  52. Posted by Antonio H. on 2010/05/26 at 10:58 PM

    The party can’t be over yet! I just got here!


  53. I think Holden has to be seen as a serious possibility to start at CM with Bradley. He was better centrally than he was out on the right, where he played very narrow at times against the Czechs.

    Our best attacking 4-4-2 probably looks like:

    Altidore + (Findley, Buddle or Gomez)
    Dempsey, Holden, Bradley, Donovan
    Bocanegra, Onyewu, DeMerit, Spector

    To make it more defensively solid you’d drop Holden for Edu or Clark.

    I would like to see Bob at least experiment with a second shape, possibly a 4-3-3 with

    Dempsey, Altidore, Donovan
    Bradley, Torres, Edu
    Bocanegra, Onyewu, DeMerit, Spector


    • I think, now that we know the 23, we’re going to need a whole new post for tactical/formation discussions:)

      Having seen lots of Stu as a CAM firsthand I’d be really interested to see him there for the Nats, I was a bit surprised by his shift inside in the last match but that entire game was largely experimental. I’m really curious to see if Bob would try that, my bet is that he’ll go to his tried and true Bradley + Edu/Clark rotation in the middle.

      I really like your 4-3-3 idea, putting Dempsey and Donovan into more forward roles would really open up our attack while hopefully not exposing us too badly on defense as long as they don’t totally shirk their defensive responsibilities. I’d love to see us try that v an opponent like Slovenia.


      • Don’t worry, I’m working on something…


      • I think Bradley values solidity and familiarity over anything else, which leads me to believe that Bradley/Edu will be in the middle.

        Going with a 4-3-3 puts a lot of defending burden on the outside midfielders. Bradley and Edu are among our fittest players, but it’s asking a lot of them to defend England’s outside mids as well as join in supporting our attack.

        If Gooch doesn’t regain sufficient fitness in the next two weeks, I could be happy with Goodson at CB.


        • I don’t see a 4-3-3 as a starting shape – rather as something to go to when an opponent does something that effectively cancels out our 4-4-2. Did you see Mexico’s 3-4-3 vs England? Mexico wants to be top dog in CONCACAF again and that is specifically designed to destroy us and our solid 4-4-2, I promise. Once they get the defending right (and I think they will) that’s going to be a very good team that will dominate possession and be hard to beat when they score.

          I don’t think that’s anything we’d want to try against England where being defensively solid is mission number 1. If Algeria’s attacking fullbacks are getting a bit too much joy, Jose’s answer to this problem of having a couple of “wide” players high up the pitch in wide areas could be exactly what the doctor ordered. I mean, where does Pandev play in Jose’s system really – where Dempsey plays from LM in our 4-4-2 anyway. Donovan would play more like Eto’o who can just as easily end up in the back line wide outside of a tucked-in Maicon.

          We really played 4-4-2 against Czech but adding Dempsey and Donovan makes it much less that because of how they play their roles.


        • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/05/27 at 11:37 AM

          Do you think Dempsey and Donovan would put in a defensive shift? The once thing that was clearly seen was Eto’o (especially) sprinting back into position when Inter lost the ball. Plus they had a certain Sneijder who also dropped deep to help out…

          But it’s very do-able if the players are disciplined enough.


        • I actually think Holden could be the ideal player for a role like that with his workrate in defense and attacking instincts. Maybe not quite yet, but he will be.


  54. George: Jose has this player called Maicon who basically plays LB and LM at the same time. He didn’t have his best game against Bayern but he’s so important to them. Barca weren’t even in the tie until Messi took him out. Maicon allows Inter to be incisive on the counter attack since they are able to defend with 7 players there are always 3 players ready to break. This was really the same formula that worked at Porto but jose could never accomplish at Chelsea.

    Sneijder is a funny case – sometimes he’s the attacking midfielder in a 4-3-3 or 4-5-1 and sometimes he’s the second striker playing in the hole in a 4-4-1-1 or the central player in a 4-2-3-1. Jose’s system at Inter is really all of these things at the same time with the players drilled to automatically fall into the shape best suited to the situation. This is why it really is so bloody brilliant.

    This is also why the system Mexico are playing will just kill us in the coming years if they keep at it. Now I see why they needed all those matches – Aguirre is doing something quite new. It’s a 3-4-3 that also becomes a 3-5-2, 4-4-2 and a 4-5-1 all at the same time. They haven’t quite got the hang of it yet but when they do there will be trouble.

    With Donovan and Dempsey, i see it more like 1 of them needs to get back in that system. I think Holden could also play the spot where I have Torres, crashing around breaking up play and springing counters like Sneijder often does. There’s always the Beasley options. He’ll definitely get back.


    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/05/27 at 2:11 PM

      Yes, I am aware of Douglas Maicon, but I always thought he played as Right Back for both club and country?! He does have the ability to operate as both , especially with Eto’o playing narrow (compared to Pandev on the left).

      Re. 3-4-3, I saw the ZM article and it’s very thought provoking. They just have to stop conceding cheap goals from set pieces!


      • Ha ha, very dry. I mean, how could you not notice Maicon? Of course you’re right about him being on the right. Sorry, doing too many things on too little sleep.

        I have this feeling Mexico are out to get us.

        Work? Wait, there’s a World Cup coming up in 2 weeks! If you need me for anything during the month of June I’ll be at Lucky Bar.


        • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/05/27 at 8:18 PM

          From a footballing perspective, it’s actually criminal that Mexico can keep the ball as well as they do and *still* lose the game.


        • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/05/27 at 8:34 PM

          The Sun has a “free” England t-shirt. I have a mate cutting out and collecting tokens. I want that t-shirt.

          I think TSG should have a Bobby McMahon Appreciation Society.
          keep scrolling down
          Please note: heavy hint of sarcasm.


      • A big shot out to ZM for explaining. My analysis consisted of “What the hell was that, a 3-4-3?”


        • Any links to said article?


        • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/05/27 at 8:25 PM

          For those who are not aware of ZM, in my opinion, they’re a poor man’s Jonathan Wilson. It’s quite funny how he will write an article (eg inverted wingers), and, hey presto, they have an article of said inverted wingers (giving props to JW).

          ZM is a great read, but I still think _some_ of their “opinions”** are off target (see article on Michael Carrick – enough said).

          **I admit, that I have my own strong opinions…


        • Thanks guys, I’ll give it a read.


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