I Take Bob Bradley’s Lunch Money

Posted on March 4, 2010

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I love to Monday morning quarterback, and in that spirit, after last night’s 2-1 exhibition loss to the Netherlands, I present to you the USMNT’s Best XI For The World Cup.  Believe me, this is information that Bob Bradley absolutely does not currently have.

Jozy Altidore as the lone striker.

Five across the midfield-Clint Dempsey as an attacking midfielder sagging behind Altidore, DaMarcus Beasley and Stuart Holden on the wings, and Landon Donovan and Michael Bradley in the middle, with Donovan playing higher up and Bradley playing farther back in the holding role.

4 through the back (L-R) Jonathan Spector, Jay Demerit, Carlos Bocanegra, Steve Cherundolo.

Thoughts:

  • It kills me to include Beasley in the WC Best XI, but he’s getting games at Rangers again, and he didn’t play that badly last night.  I hate his touch and his crossing, and I think his speed isn’t what it used to be, but he’s a veteran, has shown good backbone in coming back from injuries and embarassing performances.  He might not blow everybody away but he’s a known quantity who’s been in World Cup pressure before.  But he might also be in the running for the Eddie Pope/Claudio Reyna “I Got Old And You Didn’t See It Coming” trophy.
  • I badly want to include Torres, but he just doesn’t seem to fit anywhere in the team at all.  He either plays where Landon plays (forcing Landon out wide or off the field, neither good) or he takes a holding midfielder’s place and we lose the defensive aspect of play that, honestly, the US really depends on some games.  I think his game will have to develop some new dimensions for him to get consistent PT on the national team. **EDIT** Holden’s injury opens up some new doors for Torres if he can’t go.  Dempsey can go back to the right, Donovan moves up to behind Altidore, and Torres slides into his natural midfield position.  We’ll see.
  • I don’t think Onyewu is going to be ready for the World Cup.  I’m not seeing it.  Not enough time, and Gooch was slow to begin with.  He’ll be a parade float after tearing up the knee.
  • I like the idea of boxing the midfield for added defensive strength in the WC, I just don’t like the idea of depending on our fullbacks for width in the attack.  I’m not sure Cherundolo and Spector have the game for that.
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