Going Phanatical: Turkey Day In May

This might be the easiest preview to write–or the shortest due to Microsoft.

Will Bob Bradley receive a sign in Philadelphia for who should start up top?

The Yanks heads into the city of Unionified City of Brotherly Love to give about 45,000 spectators the ability to assess for themselves the sum of its parts against Turkey this Saturday. (2pm EST)

Whereas Tuesday saw the developmental squad get a run-out in the 1st half while the 2nd half saluted those that earmarked back to, primarily, MLS, Saturday’s friendly such be a mix of building cohesion and experimentation.

Okay, let’s kickoff our first USMNT preview since March…and let’s get our World Cup road trip started….

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

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

TSG’s “What We’re Looking For”

We need a few more of these big fella (Courtesy: Matt Mathai)

• Okay, let’s try this one again: Whither Gooch?

“You can’t look at observations in isolation; you have to look at the entire body of work.”

Fan observation #2 about to be served.

• What’s the forward combination?

Is Jozy Altidore going to line-up on the left in front of Landon (I don’t think so and not what this writer wants to see) or is he going to line-up on the right, where Edson Buddle started on Tuesday as your target striker?

Given Bob Bradley’s comments on Robbie Findley being effective off the bench. I think you’re gong to see a Gomez – Altidore pairing.

I’m slowly retreating from my “soft goal” stance on Herculez–he looked the part Tuesday against most of the Czech first team–let’s see what he does Saturday. Exciting if he can inhabit that “drag-the-corner-defender” role.

• Let’s hear it for Marcus Hahnemann?

The guy’s 37 — if he’s going to get another cap, this is probably the one.

If you don’t see Hahnemann to start this game, then Brad Guzan is the clear-cut #2.

Edu in thought before Tuesday's game: "Okay, I'm going to score a goal, play shutdown defense, and throw down a stanky leg." (Courtesy, Matt Mathai)

• Is Maurice Edu in the hole?

Michael Bradley is your go-forward central midfielder. He’s got some ability and showed the knack in the Netherlands. Jose Torres did a superb job dropping into the hole and moving the ball on Tuesday.

Will that role go to Maurice Edu? Can he move the ball effectively in that role? Is that how the Yanks play? Ricardo Clark is, by the way, not that guy.

11 At The Whistle

G: Marcus Hahnemann

The skinny: Anybody’s guess here. I think Howard continues to get a break and Hahnemann gets the nod. My guess is if you see Howard in goal, he’s only play the 1st half and Marcus “Aurelius” Hahnemann heads between the pipes.

Tim Howard, again, is from nearby New Jersey.

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

The skinny: Do the States play arguably #1 backline. There are only two games–wow–left until England. I think they have to here and I think this is it, barring performance impacted by injury.

G: Clint Dempsey, Maurice Edu, Michael Bradley, Landon Donovan

The skinny:  I can see Stu sneaking in here somewhere–and if that’s the case you’re likely seeing Clint Dempsey at forward. I know I’m in the minority, but I just don’t see Dempsey your

Conversely, Stu Holden is a better defender on that right side and that Yanks are better with him on the field (I believe that).

Will be very interesting.

STR: Herculez Gomez, Jozy Altidore

The skinny: We we learned that Edson Buddle is categorically a target man. I think you need that speed guy ahead of Landon as I mentioned above. Let’s see what Gomez does here.


Here's what I'm thinking...next time an attackers comes in my area...yada, yada, yada.. (Courtesy, Matt Mathai)

Jonathan Bornstein starts; Boca moves to the middle; DeMerit to bench?

It will be very telling if Bornstein gets a start on Saturday or against Australia…..and yes part of me just wanted to use that picture to the right.

The forward pairing is everything, but Gomez and Altidore.

Jozy and Duece. Big Jeezy and Findley? Buddle and Gomez? If Coach USA is trying to pair Altidore, then I think Gomez here is your best bet.

Ricardo Clark goes for Maurice Edu

Does Clark get a shot here to “compete” for the starting role? It’s hard to argue that in the two friendlies he’s played this year Maurice Edu has been solid and offered contributions. In fact, Edu has looked down right dynamic in the middle.

Wild card? Benny plays the role in the middle of Mike Bradley to start that Torres did on Tuesday and we see a number of folks reference “The Flying Hovestad” goal against Mexico in 2007. (See glossary).

Iceman Holden makes way for someone.

As much as I think Stu will come off the bench against England, I’m finding it very hard to argue that the States aren’t better with Holden on the pitch. Holden is such an asset to Yanks, in that, he plays the complementary role to the tee, but when he’s got that one or two shots to take advantage of an offensive situation in a game, he usually doesn’t miss them.


(Note, for the youngsters, the pic of Bruce Willis up top is a reference to one of my favorite movies: “12 Monkeys.” It was set in Philadelphia…and if you thought you were getting a tired Rocky reference for the city…well.

You may get an “Invincible” reference in the review though.)

80 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by 723FootballFilms on 2010/05/28 at 11:48 AM

    Love your starting XI. That would be my optimal lineup. I’ll be happy if Buddle or Gomez gets their chance with Jozy. I really hope you are right about Mo over Rico. IMO Mo is just flat out better than Rico at every facet of the game aside from maybe stomping on people.


  2. Just thought I would start off with nice Bruce Willis references.

    But let’s not get out of hand and reference “Unbreakable”. It was a really shite movie….though I guess CD9 could be referenced that way….nooo I am reliving the horror of witnessing that movie. See what you started Matt.
    Die Hard…ahh better now there’s a series of movies to reference the way the team should play tomorrow (minus the constant injuries, knock on wood).
    Anyways good article.


  3. Posted by John on 2010/05/28 at 11:50 AM

    Just say no to Hudson Hawk.


  4. I agree with the starting line-up but I feel that BB might start Findley as he obviously saw something in him to bring him without playing him. Gomez is a better option but maybe Findley has some unseen finishing? We will see.

    Other thoughts

    1) I think you are right that BB starts with a 4-4-2. I don’t see BB diverging too much from his norm for the starting XI (i.e. we won’t see George Cross’s ideal of Demps as withdrawn striker, Donovan LM, Holden RM).
    Also “Tues. & Cross” have converted me to believing that Demps and Donovan might be better switched with Demps as LM, if Holden is not on the wings. I don’t know if we are likely too see that either. (side note Tues. & Cross has a ring to it, like one of those wonderful Law firm partnerships. You really should have a joint webpage or something)….

    2) If there is a situation later in the game where it would be advantageous to sub out MB for Holden/Feilhaber, will BB do it? I would much rather have an Edu/Holden match up in those situations than a Bradley/Holden.

    3) When was the last time Rico played for the US? I think he defiately needs to get some relief time. I agree fully that Edu is the starter at this point.

    3) JB starting = me throwing a chair into my TV.
    (yeah that may be a little harsh but even BB has to try out Boca right?)


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/05/28 at 12:38 PM

      Rico last played against Denmark.

      I’ll have to read more comments, but I don’t favor a swap of Landon and Deuce. The US is going to pack it on the right, leave the left open for a US counter and have Donovan in his infinite energy patrol that side of the field.

      While offensively the swap makes sense. Donovan did well against Ashley Cole and better from the right with his time at Everton …and Deuce is not a speed threat so coming in opens space, BB is not going to put a weaker and slower (not by much but still) defender in Dempsey on the left.

      The interesting thing is that Holden IS the perfect RM for Bob’s scheme…where does that leave Deuce?


      • Posted by KMac on 2010/05/28 at 1:20 PM

        I agree with Matthew, I don’t see a switch of LD and Deuce, even though Deuce admits he likes that position. if Boca starts on the left back (or anyone for that matter), we need someone who can track back with speed (LD), or provide cover if Bornstein sees the field. I thought Beas did a good job at that on Tues in Hartford. They might switch for a few minutes in the run of play, but I doubt they start or play majority inverted.


  5. Posted by DanPA on 2010/05/28 at 12:03 PM

    I would love to see several permutations in central midfield:

    start: Bradley – Edu

    2nd half: Bradley – Clark

    60min: Torres or Benny – Clark
    give Rico a solid 45 minutes
    give Torres/Benny some freedom to move up the pitch with Rico staying in behind later in the game

    I doubt we will see this happen and its probably too late to do that much experimenting, but I’d still love to see how some of these combinations work together.


  6. Posted by kaya on 2010/05/28 at 12:05 PM

    Sorry, I know this isn’t related to the post (and a link to another blog), but I thought these were LOL-arious enough to share.
    Somehow I missed this ESPN effort to indoctrinate me into the communist world of soccer:


    • Yeah somebody had brought these up before but have never seen them all. Thanks for posting the site.
      Overall these drawings are not that bad.

      The USA opponents have pretty good drawings. Like Algeria’s with the lone wolf and Slovenia with the bear.
      I like the reference to Thierry Henry’s “golden hand” in the French image.
      It is too bad Morten Olsen doesn’t actually wear that bowler hat and all get-up on the sidelines. He would give BB a run for most interestingly dressed.
      Australia and North Korea got hosed. Kangaroo-minitaurish-Kewell and a Pegaseus repectively.


    • Posted by Jennifer on 2010/05/28 at 1:15 PM

      I’d seen a few of these but not all. Most are pretty good. Loved the Swiss one, made me laugh. Australia’s is by far the worse, maybe because the kangaroo’s stomach looks way to fat with the skinny legs and Cahill’s face.


  7. Frankly, I’m interested in seeing so many different combinations of US players that I don’t think Bob Bradley will be able to do me wrong tomorrow. I think Bornstein needs to get another start in the next two games because ultimately he might be our best chance to neutralize Aaron Lennon or Theo Walcott. Those guys are blazing fast, and the only way Boca could cope with them would be to foul or try to push them out wide and hope they have a poor day crossing the ball.


    • Posted by Antonio H. on 2010/05/28 at 12:39 PM

      I’d take exceptional positioning and high in-game IQ over speed any day


    • Posted by BW on 2010/05/28 at 1:09 PM

      I think we put Donovan over there to run with them and to keep Lennon/Walcott’s defensive responsibilities in their minds as much as possible. That will help offset any lack of speed at our LB. As long as Boca can hold them up, Donovan will recover to help.


    • Posted by i like tuesday on 2010/05/28 at 6:58 PM

      Walcott vs Bornstein is the ultimate match-up of two players with lots of athletic ability but very tiny soccer brains.

      I’d go with Bornstein against Walcott but Boca against Lennon, who is a far more complete player.


      • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/05/28 at 7:18 PM

        Walcott is frustrating, but he is “one pass” away from greatness. Bornstein is an accident waiting to happen. I would *love* that match up.

        More than Kevin Keegan.


  8. Posted by Antonio H. on 2010/05/28 at 12:38 PM

    I think BB switches up the formation in the 2nd half. Whether it be a 4-3-2-1 with Stu coming in for Herc and Demps sliding into the CAM role, or a straight up 4-4-1-1 with same substitution, it’s gonna happen. I do see one of our wide midfielders(LD or Deuce) going up top in the latter stages of the game though.


  9. Posted by CJ on 2010/05/28 at 12:48 PM

    With a fast Winger against Boca why doesn’t he play conservatively deep and push them inside to jam up their runs? Why does he need to be isolated? Especially with a Beasley in the roster capable of tracking back to cover? Is the concern for just one isolated “lucky” breakdown play, or for every time the England RW touches the ball?


  10. Posted by dude on 2010/05/28 at 1:01 PM

    I like the lineup. However, if Boca can’t start, I’d like Spector to try left back. Cherundolo is doing a good job, and it would be nice to know once and for all (and before Bornstein sees straight red).

    Would also be interesting to see Buddle-Jozy, I think they’d be a physical handful for the defense, and allow players like Gomez and Dempsey to slither through late in the game.

    And I’d like to thank you for speaking the truth about Edu, too many fans think that Clark is a match for him in terms of actually playing soccer.


  11. Posted by KMac on 2010/05/28 at 1:31 PM

    Ives confirmed Herc and Jozy paired for the 15 min the press was alowed in today’s practice…your crystal ball is on target again Matthew. Well played.

    Will any of us see you guys in Philly – tailgate or McFaddens??



  12. Posted by B-Mac on 2010/05/28 at 1:36 PM

    I’m really interested to see if Dempsey is moved to forward, whether he lines up on the defensive line with Jozy or behind him as a sort of supporting striker. I think the only two line-ups you’ll ever see from Bradley is a 4-4-2 (quasi 4-2-2-2 as Bradley uses it) or a 4-2-3-1. Bradley loves his wingers and he loves them high, so I think you’ll never see a 4-4-1-1 or 4-3-2-1.


  13. Posted by anthony on 2010/05/28 at 1:42 PM

    We need to get Stuart Holden in the game, I’m banking on him to be at least a very effective regular half-time sub. He’s the next important play-maker for the USMNT. Forget Adu, Holden is the future. Do we start with Dempsey in the midfield, with two strikers up-top, then move him up around half-time or if the strikers aren’t penetrating, and bring out Holden?! Holden does the stuff Dempsey doesn’t do (like defend and start plays, but Dempsey has an eye for the goal, we all know that) And one more thing, I don’t think there is any question. Edu should start. We know that teams are going to try to shut down Donovan right away, that’s where Holden comes in. He may turn out to be more important than we have


  14. Posted by anthony on 2010/05/28 at 1:45 PM

    I am just really excited, we have real options now.


  15. I’d say the time for experimentation is over. Casting is complete. The last two matches of the send-off series are dress rehearsals before the opening. And what an opening it will be against Jolly Old. We’d better be ready…because they’re going to be.


  16. Posted by Chris on 2010/05/28 at 2:05 PM

    I had to read the first paragraph of the article three times …O_o

    Here’s hoping we see Gomez and Jozy up top, I think this pairing has potential.


  17. Posted by Shane_K83 on 2010/05/28 at 3:22 PM

    Noah Davis from GOAL.com thinks this is the starting Xl… Not to bad, but I like Boca at LB






    • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/05/28 at 3:36 PM

      There really is 0 rationale to starting Bornstein for sure in this one and Goodsen as well.

      In terms of Bornstein the only way he starts is if he is your starter on June 12th or if he is injured which BB says he is not.

      You need to run Boca out there to assess where he is at. Remember Turkey will play hard but they have nothing on the line. Same as the czechs. You stand to gain from playing “not Bornstein” on the left.

      Same goes for Goodson. Find out what the starters look like becauseif they’re not ready than you have to play bornstein or goodson on june 5th.

      I might eat my words but that’s the rationale I’m taking.


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2010/05/29 at 5:56 AM

      Hey guys — mentioned this last night in reply.

      I just think Davis is categorically wrong — let’s keep the discussion confined to TSG commenters unless news.

      (Uh, need coffee).


  18. Posted by BrooklynPete on 2010/05/28 at 3:43 PM

    Unfortunately, Bob Bradley didn’t name 4 forwards so that he could play a 4-4-1-1 or a 4-2-3-1 or whatever formation has our best 11 players on the pitch, which IMO looks like this:


    Unfortunately, t looks like a 4-4-2 will definitely be deployed at the start and I agree that it will be Gomez. I’m not knocking Gomez (or Buddle for that matter). Both have had excellent seasons and I think both deserve their spot on the roster. But, the idea of starting one of them over Holden makes my stomach turn. As a Fulham fan and after watching Deuce play all season, playing him on the right is a total waste of all of his talent. Especially when we have such a natural right winger in Holden.

    On another note, I’ll be at the match tomorrow. Does anyone know what the bar scene is like around Lincoln Financial Field? I know about the Outlaws McFadden’s plan, but are there other options. No diss on the Outlaws, but I’m not arriving to Philly until late morning and am looking for a plan B in case it is too crowded.


  19. Posted by BrooklynPete on 2010/05/28 at 4:32 PM

    Unfortunately, Bob Bradley didn’t name 4 forwards so that he could play a 4-4-1-1 or a 4-2-3-1 or whatever formation has our best 11 players on the pitch, which IMO looks like this:


    Unfortunately, t looks like a 4-4-2 will definitely be deployed at the start and I agree that it will be Gomez. I’m not knocking Gomez (or Buddle for that matter). Both have had excellent seasons and I think both deserve their spot on the roster. But, the idea of starting one of them over Holden makes my stomach turn. As a Fulham fan and after watching Deuce play all season, playing him on the right is a total waste of all of his talent. Especially when we have such a natural right winger in Holden.

    On another note, I’ll be at the match tomorrow. Does anyone know what the bar scene is like around Lincoln Financial Field? I know about the Outlaws McFadden’s plan, but are there other options. No diss on the Outlaws, but I’m not arriving to Philly until late morning and am looking for a plan B in case it is too crowded.


  20. Posted by kaya on 2010/05/28 at 5:14 PM

    I def expect to see Boca at left. I think Gooch needs the minutes, but fear that in reality would should be giving DeMerit and Goodson playing time together instead. I’d like to see Holden move Dempsey up, but am afraid we should expect to see Holden on the bench and Gomez paired with Jozy… keeping fingers crossed that Bob is holding out on starting Clint up top as a stealth move.


    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/05/28 at 7:36 PM

      You see to be very afraid. And so you should be.


      • Posted by kaya on 2010/05/28 at 8:08 PM

        LOL, George. I’m not. It’s the beauty of being the underdog. It’s all on England to not eff everything up as I know they are quite capable of doing.
        Ligament injuries are a b*#%h to recover from and I just hope that USSF made the right call in deciding he’s fit. As much as for his sake as the team’s.


      • England aren’t nearly as invincible as we’re meant to believe. Besides they’re hoisting the expectations of the ’66 team as they have been…for years. The weight must be very, very, heavy.


        • Posted by sfshwebb on 2010/05/29 at 1:03 AM

          er…I really don’t think anyone is saying England are invincible. In fact all the English pundits are saying is how unprepared they are.


        • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/05/29 at 4:01 AM

          Spain and Brazil are the teams to beat. Brazil are always a threat, Italy can build momentum, Germany know how to progress in a tournament, whereas Netherlands, England and Argentina do not.

          It will be interesting to see US play Slovenia – especially if Slovenia play defensively and keep their shape. And even more so if they have 3 points from the 1st game agianst Algeria.


        • If a British citizen suddenly developed super powers and thwarted a bank heist in London, there would be loads of British journalists that would find a way to complain about how they thought it was done wrong, and offer up their own suggestion of how it all should have been handled.

          The criticism of the English side, at least from what I’ve heard on Sky Sports News, seems mostly just a serious case of grumpy pants because in their minds no one will ever be as good as Geoff Hurst, Gordon Banks, Bobby Charlton and Bobby Moore.


  21. Some BB quotes after selection of 23 that dovetail with TSG’s selections:

    On the role of outside backs:
    “You need the width, you need the ability to have those players join in, be a threat and not only to cross but to provide crosses from different places. That can lead to some great chances…Jonathan Spector had two great deliveries in (ConFed cup) that set up goals for Clint Dempsey. Also (we need) the types of crosses that get us further up the field. I think that both Steve (Dolo) and Jonathan (ohh no Bornstein) give us great options in that regard.”
    This has always been holding him back from Boca shifting out wide but should it?

    On Gomez:
    “Herculez has been on a great run in terms of scoring goals. Watching him everyday, his movement, he works very hard, those are all things that go well for us.”

    On Findley vs EJ for 23:
    “That was certainly one of those tough, LATE decisions. We feel that Robbie still brings something special, especially as a RESERVE…..Now in those situations he needs the ability to make those count a little bit more. Part of that is confidence…”

    On Hahnemann:
    “Last night’s lineup would not be an indication of ranking. We realize we have three good goalkeepers…Marcus over the second half of the season for Wolverhampton played really well, played all their games. As a veteran, as much as he would have of course loved to play last night, we still felt it was important for Brad to get that game.”
    means Hahnemann is #2?

    On Onyewu getting back to starting level:
    “(We need to see him progress)…Last night was a great start and we’ve got a couple more weeks, two more matches, so we’ll get a good read as to exactly where he is as we get closer to the first game.”


    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/05/28 at 7:35 PM

      Guzan is *completely* over-rated. I think Hahnemann is a better ‘keeper. Guzan has hardly been steady when he’s played for club or country. USA aren’t as “deep” in the No. 1 position as one would like to think.


  22. Posted by Tom M on 2010/05/28 at 6:08 PM

    There are some telling quotes in here. He says”It’s a game where we certainly will have a team that’s much closer to our regular team,” he said. “We have a few decisions to make. We need to take into account some guys that played 90 minutes the other day. We’ll size up how they feel and whether we bring them right back.” Well the only guys who played 90 are Edu, Goodson, Holden,Bornstein, and Cherundolo. I would think if any of those guys start they have to be considered the front runner to start June 12 based on BB’s comments….”Both have worked hard in recent days and both are ready to step on the field,” Bradley said. This is in reference to Bocanegra and JD so I would expect them to play.


  23. Posted by BrooklynPete on 2010/05/28 at 6:58 PM

    Unfortunately, Bob Bradley didn’t name 4 forwards so that he could play a 4-4-1-1 or a 4-2-3-1 or whatever formation has our best 11 players on the pitch, which IMO looks like this:


    Unfortunately, it looks like a 4-4-2 will definitely be deployed at the start and I agree that it will be Gomez. I’m not knocking Gomez (or Buddle for that matter). Both have had excellent seasons and I think both deserve their spot on the roster. But, the idea of starting one of them over Holden makes my stomach turn. As a Fulham fan and after watching Deuce play all season, playing him on the right is a total waste of all of his talent. Especially when we have such a natural right winger in Holden.

    On another note, I’ll be at the match tomorrow. Does anyone know what the bar scene is like around Lincoln Financial Field? I know about the Outlaws McFadden’s plan, but are there other options. No diss on the Outlaws, but I’m not arriving to Philly until late morning and am looking for a plan B in case it is too crowded.


  24. Posted by robbie on 2010/05/28 at 7:14 PM

    I’m shocked that more people aren’t adament on Dempsey starting up top, behind Jozy. Seriously does that make TOO much sense or something? I don’t get it.

    If someone can argue that having Gomez/Buddle/Findley (ha) on the field is more promising than having Holden out there I’d buy them a beer.

    Putting Dempsey up top makes him more comfortable and allows us to not only get more talent on the field, but get more talented with perfect fits. Bring Gomez on as a sub, a role he has proven quite good at.


    • Posted by robbie on 2010/05/28 at 7:19 PM

      Let me also say that while I was driving the Edu bandwagon months ago I’m not sure he’s displaced Ricardo. Familiarity is important; I think that Clark still has the upper hand.

      I was a bit disaponted in Edu’s service on Tuesday night but he plays the role of sweeper very nicely. I won’t be upset either way but I feel it is way closer than some of you think between Clark and Edu.


  25. Posted by dikranovich on 2010/05/28 at 7:50 PM

    its a friendly, lets experiment, but do it with the starters. put the captain and the back line to the test. 3-5-2. this makes total sense, because if it is successful, then we know a three man back line is an option.
    spector goodson bocanegra
    bradley edu
    holden feilhaber donovan
    deuce the jozy

    ps: this lineup will crush it. and if you want, you can replace goodson with gooch, or jd, or spector with jd. give us jd gooch and boca on the back line. with junior bradley and mo edu it would basically be like having five central defenders on the pitch. this is a killa option folks. look at the firepower on this team.


    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/05/28 at 7:56 PM

      How would this deal with a 4-3-3 with offensive full-backs? Seriously.


    • Posted by Kevin U on 2010/05/28 at 8:03 PM

      It’s not time to experiment with that seriously were way too close and Gooch needs to be on the backline to get time and having a backline of just 3 is gonna make him have to cover more ground we don’t have any defenders experienced with a 3-5-2 just not gonna happen I like our chances better with the 4-4-2 I’d even rather do a 4-5-1 than a 3-5-2 at this point


    • Posted by Shane_K83 on 2010/05/28 at 9:31 PM

      No way in Heaven Conservative Bob would consider your 3-5-2… I was playing with a 4-3-3 formation in my mind though.. goes like this.



      —–Demps– Altidore— Donovan–

      P.S. By no means do I support the idea to Experiment, This formation is what im running on Fifa world cup and I’m killing it.. 😛
      I just want to see our basic 4-4-2 with the starters tomorrow.


  26. Posted by dikranovich on 2010/05/28 at 9:47 PM

    so i guess when senior capello wants to experiment with said formation it is a wise move. this 3-5-2 is the american formation. look how many center backs we have on the roster and just in general. bocanegra is familiar with the 3-5-2 from rennes. if spector can play any position on the backline, then he can play in the 3-5-2. shoot, id almost like to see the 3-5-2 with rico and edu in the defensive mid spots and junior up in the central attacking mid spot. then you still have dempsey and jozy in front of that. donovan and holden on the wings and that is a nice team. it really does not matter who the three center backs are, just as long as they can play together. for turkey, gooch can probably use a little more rest anyway. demerit goodson and bocanegra looks like a good trio to me.
    just remember that 3-5-2 is the american formation and it fits with our pieces, isnt that obvious to everyone. oh, if we had a healthy jermaine jones, then the 3-5-2 would be ok, is that what everyone thinks?


    • Posted by Shane_K83 on 2010/05/28 at 10:11 PM

      easy dikranovich, all i said was Bob wouldent switch to 3 in the back.. Experiment, as fun as that sounds, is a scary thought 2 games away from England.. we are past that phase my friend..


    • Posted by Gino on 2010/05/28 at 10:30 PM

      What do you mean exactly by “the American formation”? I think Bob Bradley is American and I can’t recall ever seeing him employ a 3-5-2.


  27. Posted by Gino on 2010/05/28 at 10:26 PM

    I think the fact that Bob decided to bring four forwards means Clint starts at RM. There just doesn’t seem to be any other conclusion. I’d hoped that Bedoya would have made the roster because he’d be Stu’s backup on the righ and then Clint could be pushed up top. But that’s not how it played out. Now it seems that the only real dynamic/impact sub we have is Stu if he doesn’t start, which now seems unlikely.

    I’d like to think DMB could also be that type of substitute but (a) he seems to have lost a step and his game is more about being crafty and (b) if Beasley’s playing, then where is Lando? I’m afraid Feilhaber and Torres’ creativity will be diminished because they might not see the field until the opposition is already defending like the dickens. It’s ard to break down a defense that packs it in.


  28. Posted by dikranovich on 2010/05/28 at 10:40 PM

    no, playing different formations is not experimenting, it is just good preparation. the usa played a 3-5-2 in the second guatemala game and looked pretty good. i think rico and pablo were the defensive mids. yeah, the 3-5-2 is the american formation, which was used by arena in 2002, which also happened to be the world cup usa went deepest in, at least in the modern era.

    usa is loaded with central defenders, and is really pretty strong at defensive mid, that sure sounds like a recipe for the 3-5-2 to me. then we have some good wingers in dempsey and donovan who can run all day long. didnt dempsey cover like the third most distance at the confederations cup. you know donovan can cover ground.

    then there is the ability to sub in some valuable players. feilhaber can take over the central attacking role, and junior can move back to a defensive mid role. this 3-5-2 is just custom fit for the usa. its like the 4-3-3 is just the formation that we should avoid, refer back to the tico game in san jose. the 4-3-3 does not fit well with team usa. unfortunatly we have thomas rongren trying to force it down the throats of our utes. thats for another post though.


    • Posted by Gino on 2010/05/28 at 10:52 PM

      The closest Bradley will come to using a 3-5-2 formation in the next three or four weeks is on a PS3 or Xbox. Bob is nothing if not a creature of habit.


  29. Posted by dikranovich on 2010/05/28 at 10:58 PM

    if coach bradley was a creature of habit, you would have thought ching would have been on this world cup roster.


  30. Posted by dikranovich on 2010/05/29 at 5:42 AM

    isnt the writing really already on the wall. i mean, the usa roster includes nine midfielders, and only seven defenders. with those numbers you have to think a five man midfield is likely. add to this, that two of the forwards have combined, less caps then we all have fingers, on one hand. five midfielders makes sense because our best players are midfielders. dempsey, donovan, and junior are all mids. we all think holden is also a top player and without forgetting about feilhaber and his past contributions. then you want to see at least one of edu or rico on the field. we need to play with a five man midfield.

    someone mentioned a 3-6-1 from 98, without mentioning the fact that john harkes was not on this team, as if harkes was not one of our most impressive players ever.


  31. Posted by matthewsf on 2010/05/29 at 5:50 AM

    This Matthew from TSG.

    I would be extremely surprised if the US used a 3-5-1 for even one moment during the tournament.

    Bradley has tried three traditional systems during his tenure. A 4-3-3 (early on, didn’t work, no striker in the hole), a 4-5-1 (a mess at the Confederation’s Cup) and then since then nearly an exclusive 4-4-2 (or 4-2-2-2 if you prefer) or 4-4-1-1.

    The reason only seven defenders are going–and let’s consider Bornstein–who I like–marginal–at this point is that is all who were up to snuff at the International level.

    I would imagine 6 maybe get into play during the group stage. And there there is the cover provided by Edu, Beasley and others in an extreme emergency.

    Here’s the question that you need to consider–would the US ever play an alignment that they never tried in a game against the World’s best?


  32. Posted by dikranovich on 2010/05/29 at 6:15 AM

    yes they would matthew. last time i checked neither of slovenia or algeria is a world power, plus its a 3-5-2, not a 3-5-1. the usa really played more of a 4-4-1 at the confederations cup and that was because of red cards.

    matthew, you can name a defender or maybe two that will not see the pitch in south africa. and you can name a couple of strikers that may just get a little time, but please, please try and name a midfielder on this roster that does not bring something that may very well be needed. we have nine solid midfielders on this roster and not playing with five midfielders just does not make sense.


    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/05/29 at 7:03 AM

      I understand that the USA have more talent in midfield, but I cannot see the USA playing with 3 CBs. It is very probable that Bradley opts for a two-band midfield formation whether it be a 2-3 or 4-1, but I would personally consider it a waste for somebody like Dempsey to be running up and down the flank like a wing-back. IMO, keeping Dempsey fresh and a little more central in the US’s offence, where he can do the most damage, is key to US’s success. You don’t have too many players who can produce something out of nothing, so having him track back like that is not that the best way to utilise his obvious talents – you have other players who can be the water-carriers.


    • Posted by Antonio H. on 2010/05/29 at 9:53 AM

      Come on mate, think with your brain, not with your heart. Has there been ANY indication that Bradley has even thought about switching to 3 in the back? I do realize everyone has an opinion and I’m not harping on yours(hopefully not) but still…


  33. I agree with George on this one. The hot question seems to be how to utilize Dempsey. It seems not so prudent to change him into a center forward just before the tournament begins. Maybe it’s what he’s meant to do though? I don’t think it will be Deuce for Bradley with Holden on the right…not to start anyway. I’m glad it’s the manager’s problem and not mine. I think Bob Bradley should go with prevailing logic and good sense and leave Dempsey on the right where he plays for Fulham. If Holden comes in later as a substitute, Dempsey can push up behind Altidore. Also if during the match Deuce moves more central, it’s not like Cherundolo or Edu/Clark isn’t going to cover that gap if they lose the ball. Gotta be Spector or Boca at left back though. The irritating thing about all this is that it should’ve been settled a month ago. I somehow doubt that our group opponents are tinkering with their lineups/formations/tactics at this late stage. At this point maybe Bob should be saying to himself “Maybe the smart thing to do is go with what worked at Confederations Cup.” Does anyone disagree with this?


    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2010/05/29 at 10:07 AM

      I think Bradley’s selection dilemma stems from Davies’ injury and lack of quality replacements – which is clear because a large percentage of people are calling for Dempsey to play as the deep lying forward. I have to admit, the USA have been rather unlucky with injuries, with an already thin squad.

      England are still tinkering because of Barry’s late injury. But Capello’s other problem is a nice one to have – whether to include Adam Johnson or Joe Cole… But our starting XI and formation is know (except DM role).


  34. Posted by John on 2010/05/29 at 10:02 AM


    Lets go USA!



  35. “…How did Constantinople get the works/That’s nobody’s business but the Turks….”


  36. Posted by dikranovich on 2010/05/29 at 9:37 PM

    is it to late to call in marvell wynne?


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