New Addition: The US Roster For Upcoming March Friendlies

Coach Bob Bradley, or Coach Sweats if you prefer, went with unique roster in competing with

-Deadpan- Two careers that have paralleled one another (too good a pic not to show again)

CONMEBOL opponents in March.

The roster sees the following:

G: Tim Howard, Marcus Hahnemann, David Yelldell

DEF: Carlos Bocanegra, Oguchi Onyewu, Steve Cherundolo, Tim Ream, Jonathan Bornstein, Zak Whitebread, Timothy Chandler, Jay DeMerit, Jonathan Spector

MID: Stu Holden, Michael Bradley, Jermaine Jones, Maurice Edu, Benny Feilhaber, Sacha Kljestan

FW: Landon Donovan, Clint Dempsey, Mix Diskeruud

STR: Jozy Altidore, Edson Buddle, Juan Agudelo

Of note:

* TSG: Way off in our projections. That said, you’re seeing a decidedly more progressive Bob Bradley with this line-up. In 2007, you wouldn’t have seen a just-recovered Agudelo make the camp. Here he does.

Next question: Will Bob Bradley entrust key roles to those that need three-year maturation and growth or will he ween himself off veteran and gradually make those switches.

* Timothy Chandler. Listed as a defender.

* You can now say that Tim Ream is being groomed for that distribution role out of the back. Who he pairs with? Still up in the air. Would Omar Gonzalez have made it if fit?

* Sacha Kljestan, playing a much deeper role for Anderlecht, where will he get the look.

* Not one true–and I mean textbook–winger on the roster. No Ale Bedoya, no DaMarcus Beasley (not that he would have made that). Look for Bradley to do the Cherundolo-Donovan train on the right side.

Who plays left? Does Stu Holden switch over there or does Benny Feilhaber reclaim that role? Will Coach Sweats go with a 4-2-3-1 and who hubs the middle of the “3”….could it be Diskeruud?

99 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by matthewsf on 2011/03/16 at 1:39 PM

    Let me kick this off. Who mans the hole in the “3” if it’s a 4-2-3-1.

    Will it be…Feilhaber? Kljestan? Holden…I still can’t see Holden in that role.


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/03/16 at 1:40 PM

      Maybe Diskerud as well?


      • The center midfield should be predicated around Holden from now onward.

        He is our best option whether paired with Jones/MB/Edu.

        Donovan should be on one of the wings.
        With these two premises in mind I think either Demps or Mix should man the hole. Yes Demps is good running onto the play but having 2 wingers pinching in causes too many problems and our left side is so asymmetrically weak.

        Demps can play the hole. I think BB and Demps both want him closer to goal.

        Spector is our utility man but he and Chandler should get some time (maybe down the road) at RM.


        • Options…though any change with Holden centrally would be refreshing


          (If Chandler pans out he would be perfect in Spector’s sted when Dolo is playing RB)


          (Feilhaber could play instead of Mix)


          (If Jones doesn’t get the nod in center why not spread the field and bring him outwide?)


    • Posted by dth on 2011/03/16 at 2:03 PM

      Dempsey should be a candidate.


      • While Deuce has the playmaking mentality, I think he shows with Fulham that he’s better drifting in off the wing – an inverted winger (albeit not a slight and quick one like Robben) for lack of a better term. And for the US he plays that role or a forward. I think Bobbo would be better suited to play Dempsey wide and explore a different creative muse in the hole.

        If Baby Sweats’s passing is all some people say it is then he might do well in this role since he’d be relieved of some defensive responsibilities.

        Feilhaber supposedly has the ability but he’s either not been given the keys to the car or he hasn’t taken his chance if placed in the role.

        I wouldn’t mind seeing the three be more interchangeable than static…place Holden, Dempsey, and Donovan in the 3 and tell them to work it out between them.


      • Posted by justin on 2011/03/16 at 6:39 PM

        i agree
        i don’t think coach bradley is going to move away from the 4-2-3-1 which he has tried every friendly for the past year without going for it during this match. The most creative player moving both north-south and east-west on the pitch is dempsey. here’s what I think things will look like (ps I called whitbread a week ago on the preview post… don’t mind if i do)





        during the january camps bradley kept insisting on wanting to play more of a barcelona type soccer. With this line up we have a khedira like destoryer (jj) an alonzo like distributor (holden), and a ozil like creator (duece) all in the midfield. the only question is who plays the other winger opposite of donovan.


        • Posted by justin on 2011/03/16 at 6:43 PM

          let’s not forget that dempsey sat on top of the forward for the first half of the season this year when fulham had more injuries and it didnt work out too bad.


        • Posted by EFG on 2011/03/16 at 7:39 PM

          Curious how you mention “Barcelona-type” but name 3 Madrid players. The comparisons still work though


        • Posted by justin on 2011/03/16 at 10:32 PM

          ha yeah i got the squads mixed up in my head… so i guess you could say… a destoryer like mascherano/keita, distributor like xavi, and playmaker like messi…. thanks for pointing that out


        • Posted by Woody on 2011/03/17 at 12:50 AM

          I don’t agree with your analysis, but I just have one question. Why would you pick Mascherano or Keita over Sergio Busquets?


  2. Posted by matthewsf on 2011/03/16 at 1:40 PM

    I could see Holden in the middle of a 4-2-1-2-1 ….where both Donovan and Dempsey are tucked in but have license to go wide.


    • Posted by Berg on 2011/03/16 at 2:46 PM

      I could see that as well. The US just plays so narrow sometimes, even in a traditional 4-4-2.

      Injecting a Timothy Chandler type player who can make overlapping runs might help moving forward.


    • Posted by Berniebernier on 2011/03/16 at 3:50 PM

      I really like that formation.

      Need Chandler and Dolo to play attacking (bummed that there was no Lichaj) tomake sure we have width. Given the propensity of the back 2 to play central and Dempsey to play central even when at wind.


  3. Posted by tnnelson on 2011/03/16 at 1:40 PM

    I am giddy with excitement. really happy to see Bradley taking control and getting Chandler in the mix, and I’m really pumped that Diskeruud and Agudelo are getting more consistent looks. I can’t wait to see how they fit in with a full squad. they both performed well with our C teams, so it will be very interesting to see them with the full squad and competing against the best international squads from CONMEBOL. Looks like we will se a 4-2-3-1 again, and I’m excited for that, because our first team hasn’t really had much time to try that out since Bob decided to start trying it out. the defense will definitely be interesting as well, as Demerit hasn’t played since the World Cup, and I’d also like to see a Gooch-Ream paring. Whatever happens, should be very exciting


  4. Posted by Matthaios on 2011/03/16 at 1:43 PM

    no Gringo Torres??? Kljestan over Torres is a joke!! What does Bradley see in Kljestan that he doesn’t see in Torres? Torres must have shown an attitude problem in camp or has “convey-itis”. It is never a good sign when u are hoping for a non-career ending injury to the coaches son or to another over-called in midfielder in order to have some “objective” selections. I am not saying Michael Bradley is not worthy, but will we ever see the “best” midfield while nepotism is involved… Woohoo, Bob chose a few guys that I think deserve it(chandler, whitbread)…but Benny F and Kljestan are known quantities and lately are producing very little. My wet dream: Jones with Torres in middle and Holden on left or right and Donovan bombing up one wing. Demps with aguedelo up top. ok, enough of my rant… my guess bob will finally realize that Kljestan is not international class in this camp along with Benny F.


    • Posted by Ufficio on 2011/03/16 at 2:18 PM

      I am not saying Michael Bradley is not worthy, but will we ever see the “best” midfield while nepotism is involved…

      If Bradley is worthy, then his call-up is not nepotism. So what are you saying exactly?

      Agree that Kljestan over Torres is a real head-scratcher. It can’t be based on playing time, as Torres has been getting much more than Kljestan lately.


      • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/03/16 at 2:23 PM

        Sorry commenting from afar. You are seeing a very direct or german game with bradley. Beyond deuce really everyone is a vertical player. And frankly kljestan for all his blemishes has some of the best vertical creativity on the us.

        He’s just wildly inconsistent and has been an immature player. But he did start the confed cup final I believe.

        That said stillpuzzling as his selection does not appear based on merit. If you’re bradley you can’t really now say you’re only bringing in players that are regulars at the club level.


        • Posted by Tabare on 2011/03/16 at 3:12 PM

          1. The Kljestan selection is, from where I sit, amusing and wholly unmerited.

          2. Bradley’s continuing failure to integrate Torres is a real blemish on his tenure. On this score I disagree with Martin (below). I think Torres can be a dangerous, forward-thinking player. Sadly, I do not see it happening under Bradley.

          I think the reappointment of Bob Bradley was a serious wrong turn. But I am excited to see the Argentina game. We’ve come a good ways over the last few decades…


      • Posted by Matthaios on 2011/03/16 at 2:25 PM

        I was trying to say, that let’s imagine Bradley Jr. riding pine for the next several matches and “not in form”…if he was your son and you were coach of USMNT, do you think you might give ole sonny boy the benefit of the doubt(i.e. Houllier doesn’t like my son) and call him in anyway? All I’m saying is, it is nearly impossible for a father to be objective when his son is part of the equation and a crucial part if you ask me. I am no M. Bradley hater, just wanting him to earn his call ups under same criteria Bob uses for the rest of the squad. As for Torres, I just don’t think Bob rates the Mexican league…and if you watched Pachuca’s last match it was a defensive nightmare(not that Torres was responsible for any goals).


        • Posted by Martin on 2011/03/16 at 2:51 PM

          ” just wanting him to earn his call ups under same criteria Bob uses for the rest of the squad.”

          And what criteria is that?

          He brought Freddy Adu on to the roster of the 2009 Confed Cup and the 2009 gold Cup when Adu had played a total of about 5 minutes at Monaco. He played Gooch in the World Cup when Gooch had played 30 minutes at Milan all year. He brought Benny F into the team when no one else would give him minutes at Derby or wherever it was he fell out with management. There are many other examples.

          BB has his regulars and if he can’t find better guys he plays his regulars.

          Torres is a fantastically skilled player who does nothing dangerous with the ball. As long as you have Holden and Jones on the club there is no central role for JFT. I like him a lot; but he simply doesn’t produce anything.


        • I agree that I’d like to see the USMNT without Baby Sweats for a game or two just to see what it’s like.

          As for Torres, I think his style of play clashes with Senior Sweats too much. I’d like to see what he can do, but when everyone (as Matt said) in the US camp is very vertically oriented you’re not going to get much from a single horizontally oriented player because the others won’t be in the correct positions to receive his passes. The key reason Torres showed so well against Costa Rica in DC is that they were sitting back allowing Torres to get the ball from the D and then jog it up the field, make a cup of tea, and then decide where to pass it. Argentina and Paraguay will likely press a little more…


        • Posted by dth on 2011/03/16 at 3:04 PM

          Why is it we have to believe that Torres and Bradley are somehow natural adversaries or something? Maybe…Torres isn’t that good.


        • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/03/16 at 3:53 PM

          But the main difference is that Bradley has a lot more viable choices for midfield today than he did for CBs on the run up to the WC. Do you think Onyewu would have made the 23 if the US had the same depth in the CB position as midfield? IMHO, I do not think that this is a valid counter, as you’re not comapring like for like.


        • Question on Torres:

          Is his cover defense so abysmal that he couldn’t be used at LM too gain width?

          Yes I know he was tried there early on years ago, but not with the current pairings. Would it have been worth a shot? As is abundantly clear we do not have any traditional wingers who toe the line (especially on the left side).

          Besides Jones and Torres who else could send crosses in from the left if Demps was slotted into the withdrawn role late in the game? (DMB=done, Shea=not aggressive/not ready, JB = please no)

          Just saying this for the sake of arguement that BB shouldn’t give up on Torres yet. I would like to see at least one of our wingers not clog the middle.


        • Posted by dth on 2011/03/16 at 6:38 PM

          I don’t think not putting Torres at winger reflects his lack of defense. I think it reflects his lack of aggression, pace, and trickery. He’s a central midfielder, through and through. Unfortunately, he’s a central midfielder who gets overwhelmed at faster speeds of play–and playing in Mexico does him no favors there.

          We’ve seen Mexican forwards make successful transitions to Europe, and we’ve seen defenders make transitions a bit more rarely, but where are the midfielders? It seems to me they do less well: Guardado is probably the best of the bunch but he’s injured all of the time; Juarez doesn’t play much at Celtic, if I remember correctly; Barrera, similarly, doesn’t get much run with West Ham…Something the FMF should take a look at. Preferably after our 2013 Azteca date, of course.


  5. Posted by Matthaios on 2011/03/16 at 1:48 PM

    one more thing, David Yeldell has too much hair to be a USMNT keeper…c’mon Bob pay attention;)


    • Posted by MesaATLien on 2011/03/16 at 4:37 PM

      Haha, that was my main reason for thinking that Dominic Cervi would never be a world-class American goalie. I mean this dude has a full head of hair at 24! Timmy was already bald by that point!


    • Posted by bunkelUSA on 2011/03/17 at 5:21 AM

      yeah, but the hairline seems to be receding a bit. i’ll let it slide…just this once.


  6. Guzan, Lichaj, and Bedoya are glaring absences

    DeMerit, Feilhaber, Diskerud, Ream and Agudelo are surprises

    LOVE Whitbred.

    Knee jerk starting 11 for Messi and co:








    • Posted by PC on 2011/03/16 at 2:51 PM

      I’m pretty sure Guzan and Lichaj are missing from the roster because their clubs wouldn’t let them go.


    • Guzan didn’t come because he won’t be at the Gold Cup (getting married).

      In Lichaj BB knows what he has. He wants to try Chandler out. Lichaj wouldn’t get any minutes.

      Bedoya hasn’t shown much, except some descent movement off of the ball, pace and coming back on D.


      • Posted by Martin on 2011/03/17 at 9:19 AM

        Guzan will never beat out Howard as long as he fails to shave his head completely.

        That buzz cut or whatever it is slows him down aerodynamically just enough to prevent him making those highlight reel saves.

        It’s why Houllier won’t let him succeed the best dome head of all at Villa.

        Someone should beat some sense into him or better yet shave his head.


  7. Posted by AB on 2011/03/16 at 1:53 PM

    I think Stu Holden should be the man in the middle of the 3. Playing consistently and very well at Bolton. If anything, keep the 4-4-2 if the new 4-2-3-1 doesn’t work and put DONOVAN up front with jozy – he has the speed and can score in the big games (don’t listen to me though, im not a coach).


  8. Posted by dude on 2011/03/16 at 2:05 PM

    I love this. Well, only the Hondurans love Bornstein, but still.

    We all know this is going to be a 4-2-3-1 formation. Problem is, don’t think Bradley grasps what players are actually good at. The best wide options are Dempsey, Donovan, Mix, and Agudelo.

    Personally, I’d like to see Guzan, Dolo-Gooch-Ream-Boca, Jones-Holden, Donovan-Dempsey-Mix, Altidore.

    I think its time we gave the keys to Dempsey, he works harder that way. The passing for this team would be incredible. Sub out Mix or Dempsey for lack of creativity and put in Agudelo in a 4-4-2.

    Also, get Edu in there, he deserves it. I like Junior, but he needs to decide what his priority is, attack or defense.


  9. Posted by dth on 2011/03/16 at 2:07 PM

    Here’s a question: can we get an official ruling on Mikkel’s name? In the last few months we’ve seen: Diskerud, Diskeruud, Mikel, Mix, and Mixx. We need to standardize this.

    A bit surprised that Agudelo got the call-up but not Bunbury. Perhaps Bunbury is a bit too out of match shape?

    A starting lineup. 4-2-3-1: Howard; Bornstein, Ream, Onyewu, Cherundolo; Bradley, Holden; Donovan, Dempsey, Diskerud; Altidore.

    (By the by: Holden for middle of “3” in 4-2-3-1 isn’t a good idea: Holden’s a box-to-box linking midfielder. I think I’ve seen Bradley deliver more creative through balls than Holden. And I’ve seen a lot of both.)


    • Posted by dude on 2011/03/16 at 2:10 PM

      Bunbury’s injured.


    • Posted by Cameron on 2011/03/16 at 3:14 PM

      I’ve always read Mixx. Don’t know if that’s right, but that’s what he’s listed as on the US Soccer website.


    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/03/16 at 3:47 PM

      Very true on Holden’s role for Bolton, but the US doesn’t have a true No. 10, so whoever plays there, will be somebody who doesn’t not perform that identical role for his club.


      • Posted by dth on 2011/03/16 at 4:07 PM

        Well, we’ve seen Dempsey play as a second striker/#10 for both Fulham and the USMNT and look good…Mix is an all-arounder who’s played the #10 role. Donovan could probably play that role. Any of these options are more natural #10 than Holden is.

        Now, if you want to go with the Chelsea/Man City-style 4-3-3 with two box-to-box midfielders that’s another discussion we can have…


        • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/03/16 at 4:24 PM

          I am not saying Dempsey did a bad job for Fulham as the second striker, not at all. But don’t you think Dempsey’s [and Donovan’s for that matter] best position is out wide, and drifting in? I know some people like him in that role as it brings him closer to goal, but I would keep him on the left. Personally, I’d play Holden in the same role he performs with his club in tandem with Jones. Which means no Bradley.


        • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/03/16 at 4:37 PM

          The main problem with the 4-3-3 for the US is your lack of a central striker who can hold up the ball effectively and bring in the Dempsey and Donovan on either side of him into play. Can you see Altidore doing this? To be 100% honest, I can’t.

          So, while you might have the midfield trio in Jones, Bradley and Donovan, another tactical problem arises elsewhere with this formation.


        • Posted by justin on 2011/03/16 at 6:55 PM

          yes I agree again. Bringing holden or mb90 into that 3 hole position will just stagnate our offense going forward. Mix i believe is still alittle too under developed but it would be cool to see him there with dempsey and donovan on the wings. You need someone who can run at a defender and also distribute. dempsey is the best at that.


        • Though Donovan wears the #10 I don’t think he could hack it in the center of the park. His frame is a little too sleight and he’s better when running at goal not coming to the ball from every-which angle and then distributing the ball everywhere.


        • Posted by LarryMontanez on 2011/03/17 at 12:32 PM

          i think donovan could do well attacking up the middle; when he has had the opportunity to run at a defense up the middle, he has caused a stir and looks very dangerous. He’s not really a traditional CM, like a stand-still distributor in a tight space (ala xavi), but he can beat other midfielders with his speed and then make multiple defenders converge. he would certainly pull more defenders to him than if he was out wide. and if a CB has to cheat even a half-step toward donovan, that would make jozy even stronger. basically, it’s not ideal, but i would love to see what would happen if BB gave it a try.

          As for Dempsey in the middle, he can take a defender on one on one to get a shot/cross off, but he doesn’t have the pace with the ball to make multiple defenders collapse on him. but he does find space and makes good off the ball runs. and if defenders get drawn to donovan further up the pitch…

          again, donovan isn’t a textbook CM, but i’d love to see how he and the MNT would do with him there


    • Official…as far as I know and yes USSOCCER has it as Mixx but not most other sites


      Mikkel Diskerud
      aka: Mix


    • Posted by Sverre on 2011/03/17 at 1:26 AM

      Official name is Mikkel Diskerud (Well, in fact it is Mikkel Morgenstar Pålssønn Diskerud) with the nickname Mix (single x).
      He has been called Mix by friends since he was young, and plays with that name on his jersey in Norway.


      • Posted by Martin on 2011/03/17 at 4:13 PM

        Mix is short for mixmaster.

        Supposedly, his mother nicknamed him this because he was always tearing around the house as a kid.


  10. Posted by Joe on 2011/03/16 at 2:09 PM

    Lichaj and ale bedoya are only 2 that should be there. Minus the injured guys.

    Holden is the star in waiting. Give him a spot where he can hold down forever. Dempsey needs to attack, he scOres on demand in the EPL.

    Ream is the future too. Wish Omar was healthy would be a future Cb pairing.


  11. Posted by phlub on 2011/03/16 at 2:51 PM

    likely he’ll start dempsey up front. been a while since the US has started with 1 striker even though it kind of makes sense. maybe too soon for diskerud to get in the A team mix, should definitely see time though. same could be true for ream, but with goodson hurt now seems like his time to prove it. boca can handle LB. and no lichaj is a surprise… but there’s no representation from championship league on down other than whitbread.

    dolo, gooch, ream, boca
    mb90, EDU (not JJ)
    donovan, holden
    altidore, dempsey


  12. Posted by Cameron on 2011/03/16 at 3:17 PM

    Very excited for these games–glad that I forked over the money for the Meadowlands, especially after seeing this.

    I would have liked to see Lichaj in there–that’s about my only complaint. I’ve read on other websites that it’s because he’s still establishing himself on loan, but if that were the case, Bradley wouldn’t be on this roster either (before people jump on this, I like Baby Bradley and think that he deserves his place on the NT). This would have been a good place to test out if Lichaj was correct in saying that he’s capable of playing left back–I’d prefer him over Bornstein, who isn’t exactly going 90 every game at Tigres.


  13. Posted by mbw on 2011/03/16 at 3:23 PM

    This is really exciting — defense aside, this is a VERY strong USMNT lineup. I would go 4-2-3-1: Bocanegra, Ream, Gooch, Cherundolo; Jones, Holden; Donovan, Deuce, Chandler; Altidore.


    (1) Jozy should not play along up top. Deuce here would play something like a withdrawn striker role, as he did in the second half of the Ghana game.

    (2) Holden should not be forced to play out of position. So he plays the linking role, as Michael Bradley did against Ghana. Jones plays where Clark/Edu did in that game.

    (3) Starters should be playing regularly in the positions they’d be called on to play. This means Bradley gets squeezed out of midfield and Bornstein should not start at left back. Ream and Gooch are exceptions because there aren’t better options at centerback (pending the results of the Whitbread experiment). Chandler plays mostly at fullback but has played recently in the midfield.


  14. Posted by John on 2011/03/16 at 3:38 PM

    Just tried to write about ten different scenarios in the midfield… so… instead of that crap shoot.

    My guess here is that the defense goes…


    Dolo, Ream, Onyewu, Boca


    Altidore starts up top.

    In the midfield it will be some combination of…



    • I like the back line but Ream should probably be to the left of Onyewu, right? He is better with his left foot and could provide linking service on the left that Onyewu and Boca can’t. Obviously this is fluid during the match.

      Not trying to nitpick. Does Whitebread see any min, or is his he just get some time in practice? Would love to see him in the Paraguay match. Demerit is also interesting. Does he see any relief time even without full fitness?


  15. Posted by Berniebernier on 2011/03/16 at 3:46 PM

    Couple of thoughts:

    1) Very excited to see Chandler called in… not sure if he is a LB at the international level or not but am excited to see.

    2) Glad to see Mix and Agudelo get called… time to get these guys some A-team experience.

    3) Assume we see Altidore one game and Buddle the other with Agudelo coming in as a sub.

    4) Shocked by Zak Whitebread. Didn’t see him in the mix.

    Now time for a dumb question: I am assuming that FWD means the outside 2 in the 3 part of a 4-2-3-1. Is that the case? Is the middle of the 3 not a FWD? Why are they all not listed as MID?


    • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/03/16 at 4:07 PM

      Broadly speaking, the middle two bands in this formation are midfielders, one band is defensive, and one offensive. Obviously, formations are not static and there will be times where a ‘defensive’ mid will be more advanced than the ‘offensive’ mid. Does that make sense?


      • Posted by BernieBernier on 2011/03/16 at 4:51 PM

        That is helpful. I am not used to hearing offensive midfielders as forwards. I always thought of Forward and Striker as interchangeable.


        • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/03/16 at 5:16 PM

          Well the thing is, the two wide offensive midfielders in a 4-2-3-1 are not that different to the two wide forwards in a 4-3-3…


  16. Posted by Joe on 2011/03/16 at 3:50 PM

    Holden for president. Best player soon to play on the USMNT for sure. (after deuce and donovan). He is the future.

    Ream is a stud. Do i really read that he doesnt deserve to be here? REALLY?

    Bradley being called out? What game do you guys watch? Hes definitely a player in the MF.

    Lichaj and Bedoya- big missing parts.

    I would love to see Jozy—- Dempsey/Donovan/Holden/MB/Bedoya/ play together, mess around with the lineup and master it. All of these guys are legit studs, the only one I would exchange would be Bedoya and slide in JJ/Edu and tweak it from there.

    Ream/OG/Lichaj one defense one day. Future is bright if BB can do something.


    • Posted by John on 2011/03/16 at 3:54 PM

      Bradley hasn’t been playing for his club team. The one game that he DID play in the last 2 months he didn’t look exactly fit.

      So… yes, people are talking about him not starting.


  17. Posted by BunkelUSA on 2011/03/16 at 3:55 PM

    I am excited about this roster, I’m starting to get the impression that Bob is entering this cycle with more of an open mind than many of us expected. As far as the lineup, I’m interested to see a front 3 Jozy, Deuce and Donovan with a midfield 3 of Holden and (2 of) Bradley/Jones/Edu. I agree with Matt in that I don’t see Holden in the “hole” in the standard 4-2-3-1, but more as the advanced player in the midfield three (“1” in a 4-2-1-2-1, if you will). This probably works better with Clint/Landon’s tendency to drift inside as well.

    D will be interesting. Exciting to see Ream stepping into the first choice CB rotation…I hope he’s ready. I could see Bradley starting Gooch given his run of games (and tendency to start even when he’s not playing), but I can also see Gooch getting torched, since he’s not the quickest on his feet…Argentina have some decent forwards, I hear.


    • Posted by Martin on 2011/03/17 at 4:16 PM

      “I’m starting to get the impression that Bob is entering this cycle with more of an open mind than many of us expected. ”

      Bob has always had a very open mind.

      What is different now is the US suddenly has a better, broader variety of players available. It’s amazing how good players can suddenly make a stupid manager smart.


  18. Would just like to give props to Bob Bradley and his assistant coaches for bringing in an exciting mix of players. Would have rather seen Torres than Sacha Kljestan, but c’est la vie.

    Have to say that on selecting players for camp the coaches is doing well both this cycle and late last cycle. Don’t get enough credit for that.


  19. Posted by Brian on 2011/03/16 at 5:02 PM

    Are Ream, Agudelo, Donovan & DeMerit really gonna miss their MLS games on March 26th (same day as Argentina match)?


    • Yes…unless BB just wants them to come to camp, then fly to their MLS game on the 26th and fly to Nashville to play only in the Paraguay match. Have a hard time believing that is going to happen (Donovan and Ream will definitely miss their matches).


  20. Posted by Crow on 2011/03/16 at 5:22 PM

    I would like to see Chandler tried out at wingback (LB) vs. Paraguay. I think he usually plays the right side but Cherundolo/Lichaj already have that covered. He could also be a substitute on the “wing”, but man would that be awesome if he could take over LB. Is that too unrealistic?

    I’m excited with the roster. I think this is the happiest I’ve ever been with one of Bob’s rosters. That being said- I am anxious to see how he works Holden into the mix.

    Whatever the case- I’ll be at the Argentina game with a 5′ by 6′ banner that Prairie Rose (the girl who made the famous CD9 banner) custom made for me….. for Deuce!!! I can’t wait!


    • Posted by Cameron on 2011/03/16 at 6:19 PM

      I know that Lichaj could potentially play LB as well. Would be interesting to (someday) see him tested out there.


  21. Posted by corky on 2011/03/16 at 5:24 PM

    Don’t you think Lichaj wasn’t called in due to his need to fight for his place at Leeds? I believe the regular right back is coming back from injury. Leeds extended his loan to the end of the season, so he needs the chance to play and prove himself to Leeds and to Villa (remember, I’m pretty sure Walker isn’t coming back to Villa).


    • Seems that Chandler is going to be tried at RB (maybe for some relief min). Guessing that you are right about Lichaj but also that he wouldn’t have seen many minutes even if he was called.

      Also these games are about trialing CB pairings and finding a backline for the Gold Cup. Dolo is the only constant in the backline. He needs to be out there to see how the CBs pair next to him.


      • Posted by Berniebernier on 2011/03/17 at 8:55 AM

        Why are we trying him at RB? Doesn’t he play on the left for his club team? Isn’t left our biggest hole (on D)? I am confused. Felt like RB was in good hands between Dolo and Lichaj.

        If we are going to try Chandler in Dempsey’s place and push Dempsey into the middle of the 3 then I can see that.

        But otherwise given Chandler a shot as we know what we get with JB/Zack Lloyd/Pierce/etc. None of them are the answer.


    • Posted by Cameron on 2011/03/16 at 6:18 PM

      This seems like the best explanation. I’m interested to see how Chandler plays (I seem to keep repeating myself that playing for the NT is VERY different from playing with a club–being good at one doesn’t necessarily mean being good at the other), but Lichaj is still penciled in as my “heir to Cherundolo”–especially since Chandler seems very comfortable at right wing as well, a plus if there’s some reshuffling in the midfield due to Dempsey being played up.

      I think that Dolo, disregarding any health issues, has the RB in a lock for the GC. He’s still too good not to play.


  22. LB is still the ?

    Seems BB still believes in JB for the Gold Cup more than the potential of Zach Loyd. At this time JB deserves that over Loyd, but JB still has so many flaws; Unless the coaches are going to look at Chandler for both RB and LB, the non-inclusion of Loyd (at least to camp), is a glaring mistake. Other MLS players in camp so that isn’t an excuse.

    Currently Boca > JB > ?

    Hope the coaches will at least be wholeheartedly evaluating Chandler for either wingback spot.


    • What if during the Paraguay match late Yelldell and Chandler are put in…

      Yelldell passes it out to Chandler at LB…to Jones…back to Chandler streaking up the sideline…
      Let the Deutsch/American revival begin

      Sidenote: If Jones is not trusted more than MB & Holden to man the middle. Do the coaches trial him at LB in practice (if only briefly)? Personally want Jones at CM but when needed maybe at LB?


  23. Posted by Durant Durant on 2011/03/17 at 7:50 AM

    Holden should be the centerpiece of our midfield. He is a future captain in the making. Since he’s been in the EPL I’ve been very impressed with how mentally strong he has been in big games. His transition from Houston to Bolton was as seamless as anyone could imagine, and I think his consistent mental toughness and positive attitude will serve the midfield well and hopefully it will rub off on some of the other players.


  24. Posted by FutbolAmerica on 2011/03/17 at 8:31 AM

    Am I the only person that’s still not sold on Jermaine Jones? He’s been hyped up so much and all I’ve seen in a lot of his action at Schalke (and now Blackburn) is a lot of fouls and cards with very little impact to the games. Granted, a defensive mid is supposed to disrupt an opponents offense to an extent, but he gets cards early and is forced to back off for long periods of time.

    As for the left back, I think Gooch should get a run out at left back especially against Argentina where I think he could do a better job of containing the flanks against very talented wingers.


  25. Posted by Izzy on 2011/03/17 at 9:15 AM

    I’d like to see this shape:

    I tend to think that what we played in the World Cup switched freely between a 4-4-1-1/4-2-3-1 and a 4-3-3/4-2-1-3. Feilhaber, Bradley and Edu’s roles deeper in the midfield allowed Donovan and Dempsey to roam around higher up the field. Feilhaber would drift inside from the flank to form a trio with Bradley and Edu. When out of possession, Dempsey and Donovan would move into wing-forward positions, leaving Feilhaber, Bradley, and Edu shuttled from flank to flank to cover for them.

    Holden Bradley and Jones all have the bring the defensive bite and awareness to patrol the middle and the touch and skill to get provide get the ball into the attack. Holden and Bradley both act as box-to-box/link hybrids while Jones holds deeper in the midfield.


    • Posted by dth on 2011/03/17 at 9:35 AM

      Some interesting ideas here. Very much unsold on Edu at CB, particularly now that Onyewu is (presumably) fit and Ream has shown some positive qualities. Edu probably could’ve made a fine CB–had he been training since youth to do it. Probably too late now.


      • Posted by John on 2011/03/17 at 10:30 AM

        Yeah, I agree.

        I think the Edu as a center back needs to be filed under “In case of emergency”

        Our problem isn’t necessarily CB, we need more Full Backs (specifically LB).


      • Posted by Martin on 2011/03/17 at 11:46 AM


        Can you tell me what it is playing about center back that a succesful professional defensive midfielder would have such a hard time learning?

        What is it that Gooch and Boca know how to do that Edu would struggle so much with?

        Is the tackling different? Does one mark a man differently? How about on corners? Does a center back have a special way of lining up on corners that a defensive midfielder could never hope to figure out without years of study?

        Do you have to run more as a CB? Maybe you kick a ball differently? Please let us know.


        • Posted by wallace on 2011/03/17 at 11:55 AM

          Holding the offside line is something Mo probably doesn’t get a lot of practice with at rangers. That is something Boca and Gooch are very familiar with both for club and country. I really cant see Mo dropping out of the midfield since he has seen such heavy playing time at Rangers in that position. Additionally, we have good options with both Ream and Chandler.


        • Like Wallace said, holding an offside line is a critical aspect of the centerback game. As Oguchi Onyewu (vs. Slovenia) can tell you, screwing it up because of lack of seasoning can be extremely harmful.

          Marking players is different. Going forward is much rarer. The passing angles are different. It’s much different. It’s an easier change to bump from DM to centerback, to be sure, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy or should be dismissed. If it were easy, we’d see it more often.


        • Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/03/17 at 1:44 PM

          I agree that a CB is a very specialised position, but the transition from midfield can be done and has been done [King, Ferdinand, Maldini, Beckenbauer to name a few]. However, I will concede that I have never seen anybody do it at this level at 25 years old [with the exception of Mattheus who played as a sweeper, but who plays 5 at the back these days?]. Effectively playing the offside trap, especially since the rule change, is not as easy as it looks. Plus it is usually the CB who makes the important decision whether the back-4 steps up or sits back depending on the position of the offensive players. It sounds straightforward, but it’s not as easy as it looks, and I can only imagine what it’s like at this level. Which is probably why the switch is made early than 25…

          Re. [set piece] marking, it’s not a case of ‘mark a man’, each player knows exactly who he is matching up against prior to kick-off, the sort that’s done on the training ground and class room – unless you’re backward and utilise a zonal marking system [and I’m not talking about the men on the post!!] But they do have a point about marking players in open play, pushing a player to the channel, and staying on your feet, and when to go to ground…


        • Posted by KickinNames... on 2011/03/18 at 6:54 AM

          The few times I’ve seen him pressed into CB service, those fundamentals (angles, how to attack balls in the air, offsides, etc) were lacking. The telltale mark for me was that the opposition recognized it early and played a ton of early balls to his back side mark and he had a lot of difficulty adjusting to them to clear with both head and feet. Agree with dth and others that these subtleties are what separates a CB from a CDM.


  26. by the by, the US u-20 qualifying squad was named today:

    I’m surprised they were able to get such a good team together–it’s nearly first-choice.


  27. Posted by Martin on 2011/03/17 at 6:47 PM

    dth, George Cross and Wallace,

    Re Edu to CB

    Gentlemen with all due respect, you guys have got to be kidding me, especially if you really think Edu can’t learn how to work the offside trap.

    My guess is BB is trying out Edu at CB because it increases his versatility and that is vital in tournaments. If Edu can be an acceptable fill in for a game or three,and there is no reason he can’t, unless he doesn’t want to do it, it gives the US a lot more flexibility with the roster, an extra striker or midfielder maybe.


    • Posted by wallace on 2011/03/17 at 7:53 PM

      I wasnt aware of the fact that BB was already trying Edu at CB. I agree it would interesting to see and it would give us a chance relieve our over abundance of midfielders. I just dont think its a great idea to move Edu when he is clearly excelling at his midfield position right now. Lets also keep in mind if, in fact, Edu does attempt to make the transition he has only six days to do so from the beginning of camp until the Argentina match. That being said, Beasly made a similar move to LB… or was it RB?…when it was necessary. I trust in BB to make the right call on this one.


  28. Posted by wallace on 2011/03/17 at 8:18 PM

    I’m new to the website so I though I might as well add my two cents for the line up. Here it goes:

    (Nod to Connor Walsh)







    look for Feilhaber making an early appearance, 65th minute? for Holden. I would like to see Sacha get a chance in there as well.

    I’m curious to see how Buddle and Agudelo fit in to the mix. I dont think we will get a chance to see Agudelo or Mixx until Paraguay when BB will be taking more chances, especially if the scoreline provides an opportunity.

    With the large amount of Defensive players brought in I think we can expect completely different lineups in the back for the two games with the exception of Boca.


  29. Posted by dth on 2011/03/18 at 8:44 AM

    USA-Spain Round III on June 4th in Foxboro, MA. I suspect putting it on turf is just a way to disrupt those fancy boys’ possession skillz.


  30. Posted by chazcar2 on 2011/03/18 at 11:25 AM

    In a 4-2-3-1 I would like to see MB90 playing on the right wing. Move Donavon to the left with Dempsey in the hole. Those three on top of Holden and Edu. Have Altidore/Buddle at striker. Bring Agudelo on for Donavon, Mix for Dempsey, Kljestan for Bradley at various times to see how they work in. I don’t think Jones gives you anything that Holden/Edu can’t. He might be good squad depth, but I think Developing Edu and Holden is more important.

    Back line: Bornstien, Onyewu, Bocanegra, and Cherundolo to start. Ream on for Boca or Onyewu, and then try out some things with the fullbacks.

    I think DeMerit, Spector, and Fielhaber don’t get many game minutes but are important in practice and are on the squad going forward as solid depth.


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