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Pick Your USA Starters

As a reminder, here is the USA roster for Wednesday night's qualifier at T&T (8 p.m. ET, ESPN, Galavision):

GOALKEEPERS: Brad Guzan, Troy Perkins.
DEFENDERS: Jonathan Bornstein, Danny Califf, Frankie Hejduk, Michael Orozco, Heath Pearce, Marvell Wynne.
MIDFIELDERS: Freddy Adu, DaMarcus Beasley, Brian Carroll, Maurice Edu, Sacha Kljestan, Danny Szetela, José Francisco Torres.
FORWARDS: Jozy Altidore, Charlie Davies, Chris Rolfe.

Who do you want to see in the starting lineup? Altidore and Adu up front? Califf and Edu in central defense?

I'm thinking a 4-5-1 of sorts with Guzan; Hejduk, Califf, Edu and Pearce; Adu, Kljestan, Szetela, Torres and Beasley; and Altidore as the target man. Wynne comes on for flank speed, Orozco for backline reinforcement and Davies as a late attacker if necessary.

Thoughts?

By Steve Goff  |  October 14, 2008; 5:00 PM ET
Categories:  U.S. men's national team  
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Next: Morning Kickaround

Comments

-----------Altidore
------Adu
Torres-Kljestan-Beasley
-------Szetela
Pearce-Califf-Edu-Hejduk
---------Guzan

Posted by: Jeph | October 14, 2008 5:19 PM | Report abuse

I posted that without reading your predicted lineup!

I think the center backs are pretty obvious...

Posted by: Jeph | October 14, 2008 5:21 PM | Report abuse

After seeing a little of the 3-5-2 at the end of the last game, let's throw caution to the wind (what's the point of being conservative now???) and give it a go.


----------------J Altidore
--------------------------C Davies
-------Freddy Adu
J Francisco Torres ---------------------------D Beasley
------------------M Edu-------B Carroll
M Orozco - D Califf - M Wynne
------------------Brad Guzan

Posted by: victor | October 14, 2008 5:32 PM | Report abuse

"As a reminder,"

:-) Like we need a reminder to argue about who starts (or to argue about anything, Cuba, US elections, etc. for that matter).

As I posted on an earlier thread, whoever starts should wear extra thick shinguards. T&T will play hard for the second spot. Jack Warner has already paid off the officials and promised a $10,000/$20,000 (TT) bonus for yellow/red cards to the US. (OK, I made that part up).

Posted by: I-270, Exit 1 | October 14, 2008 5:39 PM | Report abuse

----------jozy------------
-torres---adu----beas-----
-------edu----kljestan-----
pearce-califf-orozco-hejduk
---------guzan------------


would like to see orozco in his natural central position despite the emotional gaff at the olympics, although it is hard to tell if edu will end up a middie or a defender (in the long term).
looking fwd to the match regardless, it'll be fun to see our future out there.

Posted by: jeff | October 14, 2008 5:39 PM | Report abuse

-----------Adu----Altidore---------
Beasley---Kljestan--Torres--Wynne
Pearce-----Califf-----Edu----Hejduk

Posted by: Wes | October 14, 2008 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Since it's all for training...

Perkins
Wynne Califf Bornstein Hejduk
Torres Kljestan Edu Beasley
Altidore Davies

Posted by: Eric in Baltimore | October 14, 2008 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Let's start with who shouldn't play:
GOALKEEPERS: Troy Perkins.
DEFENDERS: Jonathan Bornstein
MIDFIELDERS: Brian Carroll
FORWARDS: Chris Rolfe

So, here's my lineup with subs (4-2-3-1)
Altidore
Torres - Adu - DMB (Davies)
Edu - Kljestan (Szetela)
Pearce - Orozco - Calif - Hejduk (Wynne)
Guzan

Basically, this is very close to our U23 team :-)

I expect lots of passing and possession!

Posted by: Sushant | October 14, 2008 5:44 PM | Report abuse

I like the idea of trying out Altidore as a target man.

I don't see Edu on the back line, but I think this would be interesting:

------------- Altidore

Adu - Kljestan - Szetela - Edu - Beasley

Pearce -- Califf -- Orozco -- Wynne

-------------- Guzan

Torres (in for Kljestan) and Hejduk (in for Wynne) off the bench, if the US takes a lead, and maybe Carroll, too (in for Beasley). If the US is in need of a goal, Davies will come off the bench instead of Carroll. Perhaps, Rolfe in there, too.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 14, 2008 5:50 PM | Report abuse

------------------Altidore----------------
Torres----------Adu------Szetela---Beasley
---------------------Edu------------------
Pearce-----Bornstein-----Orozco-----Hejduk
--------------------Guzan-----------------

Posted by: Asher | October 14, 2008 5:54 PM | Report abuse

I say let's show them some speed.


-----Altidore----Davies
-------------Adu
Torres---------------Kljestan
-------------Szetela
Beasley--Orozco-----Edu---Wynne
-------------Guzan

Posted by: Anonymous | October 14, 2008 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Having said all that, I suppose Bradley could do a halftime switch at goalie -- if he wants to get a look at both. I'm sure Guzan would resent coming across the Atlantic and not playing at RFK or in Trinidad, but he could be happy with a half. I'm thinking that Bradley will want to go with Guzan against T&T, and possibly call up Perkins and an MLS keeper to back up for the Guatemala game -- being a home game and all -- but it's possible that Bradley would like to get Perkins' feet wet before he starts him.

Posted by: Fisch Fry | October 14, 2008 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Goffer, I like your lineup, but I would start Wynne over Hejduk. Frankie is so yesterday!

Posted by: Hedbal | October 14, 2008 6:11 PM | Report abuse

I like Jeff's line-up best. If Orozo sucks then drop Edu back, leave Sacha as only holding mid and try Davies up front with Altidore in a 4-4-2 formation...really...let's try and do some real attacking now that we have gotten our spot in the next round.

Posted by: Beckster | October 14, 2008 6:27 PM | Report abuse

I would like to see a 4-3-3 as so:

.Beasley.......Altidore........Davies
...........Adu.........Torres
...............Szetela
.Pearce........................Wynne
..........Orozco.......Califf
.............Guzan or Perkins

It's an unusual formation for the US to play, especially for Bob Bradley, but I think with the current roster we could pull it off and it would be very interesting. Plus it would play to people's strengths and allows us to get a lot of speed on the field for attacking soccer. The midfield is an upside-down triangle with 2 attacking mids and one d-mid.

Beasley and Davies have been in hot form recently and both are very fast. Altidore is reliable and does well in the #9 role.

Wynne has also been in hot form and in combination with Davies would give us some amazing pace on the right wing. We could also do the same with Bornstein and Beasley on the left wing, but at this time I think Pearce is better.

No worries about having to win this game, so it's a great opportunity to try something really outside the box for us.

Posted by: Eugene | October 14, 2008 6:31 PM | Report abuse

What I want to see is impossible, since Bradley opted to call in exactly 0 right midfielders. So, rather than throw a fit, I'll post what I suspect he's going to play:

---------------- Altidore
Beasley ----- Adu ----- Davies
-------- Szetela - Kljestan
Pearce - Edu - Califf - Wynne
--------------- Guzan

In goal, Guzan has played only 1 game (if memory serves) since moving to Aston Villa. Give him the full 90. I don't know how Perkins has developed in Norway, but unless we're talking about a tremendous breakthrough, he's just in the squad because Bradley wanted to take a closer look. Let's not forget that when he left he was not in any realistic discussion of MLS's top keepers.

Edu (and Beasley, for that matter) would have been allowed to go back to Rangers if he wasn't going to start, so you can bet on him being first choice. I think Edu's future is in his natural position as a midfield destroyer, and Orozco is more suited to playing centrally, but I don't know if Bradley sees it that way, so Mo will be alongside Califf and Orozco will basically be along to see the sights. Pearce needs games, since in my book sitting the bench in the 2.Bundesliga is roughly equivalent to sitting the bench in MLS. Wynne needs the international seasoning, and is in great form right now. I see absolutely no point in playing Hejduk in this game, since we already know exactly what he's capable of and the result doesn't matter.

In the midfield, Beasley will start like I said above. Szetela and Kljestan will be the holding midfielders, since I doubt Carroll will leap over them after only being called in as a replacement. I think Bradley will start Adu over Torres since a) Torres is a regular with Pachuca, while Adu is not at Monaco and b) Bradley, via Nowak, is acutely aware of how Adu reacts to a lack of playing time. Plus, I think there's a good understanding between Freddy and Altidore that doesn't yet exist with Torres. Davies has been used as a winger by both Bradley and Nowak, and I suspect that will continue (much to my dismay). The only way Davies gets to play up front alongside Altidore (where he belongs) is if either Kljestan is moved to the right or if Torres plays on the left and Beasley switches wings. That seems doubtful.

Up top, the only way it's not Altidore is if he gets hurt.

If injuries and cards don't cause a problem, I would expect to see Torres and Rolfe get at least 20 minutes.

Posted by: Chest Rockwell | October 14, 2008 6:40 PM | Report abuse

just don't put freddy on the wing, he doesn't play nearly enough defense for that.

Posted by: northzax | October 14, 2008 6:54 PM | Report abuse

Perkins has been great since his move to Norway, lots of highlight reel saves.

Posted by: Eugene | October 14, 2008 7:45 PM | Report abuse

Perkins has been awesome in Norway. He also was in US camp back in January when he left. Give him the start. He as been playing, Guzan has not. Better start him or he will end up playing for Norway.

Posted by: Matt | October 14, 2008 7:51 PM | Report abuse

----------Davies----Jozy---------
-------------Adu---Torres---------
Beasley--------------------Kljestan
----------------Edu--------------
Heath---------------------------Wynne
---------------Orozco-------------
---------------Guzan---------------

offensive 3-5-2

Posted by: christian | October 14, 2008 7:51 PM | Report abuse

---------------Guzan
Wynne-----Califf------Orozco----Pearce
------------Edu-------Torres
Szatela----------Sasha---------Beasely(Adu)
-----------------------Altidore

Posted by: Tom Dooley | October 14, 2008 8:20 PM | Report abuse

The next two games are huge. Not for the US but both T&T and Guat. are fighting it out for the number 2 spot. This will be an eye opener for these young guns.

Posted by: Bob | October 14, 2008 9:02 PM | Report abuse

Ooh!

------------------Perkins-------------------

-----Hejduk---Califf---Orozco---Pearce------

--------------Edu-----Szetela---------------
----Wynne----Adu-----Kljestan----Beasley----

--------------------------------------------

Formation: 4-6-0 (Man Utd 4-4-2-0 Var.)

Subs:

Altidore (formation shift to 4-4-1-1)
Torres (spell Beasley or Adu)
Carroll (Midfield) or Bornstein (Defense)

Posted by: B.A. | October 14, 2008 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Start Troy!!!!!!! Yeah!!!!!! That is all I gotta say. :-)

Posted by: T. Henry | October 14, 2008 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Let's start with who shouldn't play:
GOALKEEPERS: Troy Perkins.
DEFENDERS: Jonathan Bornstein
MIDFIELDERS: Brian Carroll
FORWARDS: Chris Rolfe
...
Posted by: Sushant | October 14, 2008 5:44 PM
____________________________
This begs the question, "Why?" since by all accounts, Perkins, Carroll and Rolfe are all in really good form for their respective clubs. You might argue that Bornstein has not been in form enough to merit an appearance, but you make no argument here.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 15, 2008 7:30 AM | Report abuse

Arrgggh, we finally get a USMNT game on the real ESPN, and it's lined up against the highest-profile presidential debate in four years!

Posted by: Tres | October 15, 2008 8:36 AM | Report abuse

I think you have it nailed, can't see him doing any different really.
Guzan
HejdukCaliffEduPearce
KljestanSzetelaTorresBeasley
Adu
Altidore

Posted by: Kevin | October 15, 2008 8:42 AM | Report abuse

Atlanta and Arthur Blank make bid for MLS team!

http://atlanta.bizjournals.com/atlanta/stories/2008/10/13/daily29.html

Posted by: RK | October 15, 2008 8:48 AM | Report abuse

MLS spokesman Will Kuhns said the league would announce all applications together on Wednesday at 5 p.m. “out of fairness” to all the that choose to apply.

Posted by: RK | October 15, 2008 8:50 AM | Report abuse

http://www.miamiherald.com/sports/story/725684.html

Spanish soccer club FC Barcelona will submit a formal request Wednesday to bring an MLS franchise to Miami.

Posted by: RK | October 15, 2008 8:56 AM | Report abuse

is anyone hoping for a guatemala elimination? i stay start perkins and maybe he can bobble one into the back of the net.

Posted by: perkins | October 15, 2008 9:33 AM | Report abuse

I'd stick with the 4-4-2. If the purpose of this roster is to evaluate some fringe players in your pool, put them in the system and the position you'll expect them to play in if they make a call up for a more important game.

The weakness I see on the roster is that there are no natural right sided middies. Weird. Kljestan, Szetela and Adu have played there, but I believe they are all better in the middle.

My personal belief is that you need 2 players with talent on the ball in your central mids. The classic holding mid must still be able to attack and must be solid on the ball. As such, I don't think Edu is quite ready for that role yet. He's getting there. Course, he'll have to beat Bradley out for that spot, but that's a discussion for another time.

Guzan is our number 2. Perkins, though I loved him at DCU, has got a ways to go to be a better keeper than Guzan.

Guzan
Wynne Califf Orozco Pearce
Szetela Kljestan Adu DBeas
Altidore Davies

Posted by: Matte | October 15, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

There's no good reason to put Edu at CB in place of Orozco. I expect Orozco to pair with Califf in the middle, with Edu taking Szetela's spot in Goff's proposed line up. Orozco-Edu could be interesting, but I'd rather see both players in their natural positions.

Really, though, all I want to see is Adu, Torres, and Altidore get as much time on the field together as possible. Toss in a little Beasley, Edu, and Kljestan, and we'll have some killer pace (well, besides Kljestan, of course) and skill in the attack. I'd also like to see Szetela get at least 30 minutes because he's been a fixture in Brescia's lineup lately and has always shown good promise when wearing the red, white, and blue.

Posted by: Reston, Va. | October 15, 2008 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Not sure why so many prefer Orozco over Edu on the backline? Yes we know more about Edu than Orozco but paired with Califf is a problem, if you are looking at possbile backups in case someone goes down in the next round of qualifying forget Orozco he's a third option. I just don't see him as a strong defender. May have better balls skills than Edu but he's not physical enough for the center

Posted by: glove | October 15, 2008 12:36 PM | Report abuse

----------------------------------Guzan---------------------------------
Wynne-----------------Califf------------Edu------------------Pearce
--------------------Szetela----------------Torres---------------------
--------Davies-------------------Adu-------------------Beasley------
---------------------------------Altidore---------------------------------

Posted by: Ryan | October 15, 2008 1:00 PM | Report abuse

..............Altidore (Davies)............
Beasley.........Adu.........Kljestan.......
..........Torres......Edu(Szetela)........
Pearce....Orozco...Califf....Heydude(Wynne)
...............Guzan.......................

Posted by: Fed Up United | October 15, 2008 1:52 PM | Report abuse

"Not sure why so many prefer Orozco over Edu on the backline?"

Yes, we know more about Edu than we do about Orozco. We also know that Edu is not a natural CB. He did okay in that role in China, but we're talking about the full USMNT, not the U-23 level. Orozco, on the other hand, IS a natural CB. You say he's not physical enough (yet he's only an inch shorter than Bocanegra, and will continue to get stronger) and is only a third option at CB, but you also confess not to know much about him. Have you seen him play CB? He's held up well at CB in the MFL, which is a higher level of play than Edu's seen in MLS or China. If it's a choice between Edu and Orozco at CB, it's a no-brainer to me at this point -- Orozco.

Posted by: Response to glove | October 15, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse

I don't understand the love for Kljestan.

Posted by: Ryan | October 15, 2008 4:28 PM | Report abuse

No news about the lineup?

I´d love to see Davies in action.
He plays in my team Hammarby IF and he´s really made progress this year.

Last season it was all about speed but now he´s a really good player. In fact last year he even got the comment : I don´t now why he plays for Hammarby couse this guy is not a footballer. That from Swedens coach in USA -94...

No comments like that this year and I think he will play for Hammarby maximum to summer before some of the big teams in Europe will buy him.

Looking forward to the game tonight!

Good luck!

Posted by: Totti | October 15, 2008 6:54 PM | Report abuse

No one has mentioned that this is a golden opportunity to cap-tie Perkins, lest he go Norsk.

Posted by: The Jeff | October 15, 2008 7:35 PM | Report abuse

n

Posted by: Anonymous | October 16, 2008 3:35 AM | Report abuse

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