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USA News & Notes

Greetings from Rio Tinto at Sandy.

Jay DeMerit (groin) is almost certainly out tomorrow. Carlos Bocanegra says he expects to play in the middle -- no surprise. Conor Casey, who had a wisdom tooth extracted this week, will not join the team here and instead play for the Rapids tomorrow. A decision about whether to call him in before the T&T trip will be made late Saturday or early Sunday.

My guess at the USA lineup (4-4-2): Howard; Spector, Marshall, Bocanegra, Bornstein; Dempsey, Bradley, Feilhaber, Donovan; Davies, Ching.

El Salvador Probables (4-1-4-1): Montes (Aguila); Salazar (Firpo), Henriquez (FAS), Gonzalez (FAS), Umanzor (Aguila); Sanchez (Earthquakes); Alvarez (Earthquakes), Romero (Hermosa), Quintanilla (Ermis Aradippou, Cyprus), Castillo (Leon, Mexico); Zelaya (Leon, Mexico).

Some quotes.....

Bob Bradley, on DeMerit: "It would look like he's out for tomorrow and then we will continue to see how he improves over the next few days in terms of availability for Wednesday."

Bradley, on Landon Donovan's best position: "Landon is a dynamic player -- he's mobile, you want to make sure he has the ability to move around the field, come inside when he feels that it gives him the chance to get the ball but also drift wide when he feels there is more room to operate. It's probably similiar to what we see with many, many playmaking-type attacking players these days because teams defend around the world in ways that it's not so easy to just have a guy play a stationary position."

Bradley, on Jonathan Spector's ideal position: "In the last two years, it is clear that it is as an outside back. His time as a center back has not been anywhere near the same. He is versatile. For us, we felt very good about the way he played in the Confederations Cup -- his ability on the right side. More and more, that is a spot that suits him well. When injuries call, like at West Ham recently, I know he is ready and confident that he can step over to the other side and do a good job."

Donovan, on Salvadoran midfielder Arturo Alvarez, a former USA U-20 and current San Jose Earthquake: "He is a dynamic player and he is difficult to play against. One v one, he is as talented probably as anyone as we have in MLS. At this level, it's a little different -- you don't have as much time, you don't have as much space. If he does get on the field, we need to limit his ability to run at us one v one and make sure he doesn't have a chance to turn and get going."

Donovan, on El Salvador's tactics: "On paper, we should win, but they've had a lot of okay results on the road in qualifying and I think they've figured out a way of playing that they are comfortable with. Our goal is to score early, knowing that, if it doesn't come early, that over 90 minutes, we will break them down, wear them down, get a goal and win it."

Bradley, on weighing the scenarios with nine guys on yellow cards: "It's a tough one. I have gone through every team in the group and everybody is in the same situation. ... You use the information when you have a double-fixture date, factor it in at certain moments with decisions, and you try to make sure players on the field are aware. For example, if you are a center back and you have a yellow card [entering the game] and you get [another] one and your partner has a yellow card, if possible then he has to get through the rest of the game without one. They have got to be a little aware of that."

Isn't it silly that yellows carry over from earlier rounds? "It seems that way, but certainly it means everyone is in the same boat."

Bocanegra, on Onyewu and DeMerit's absence: "They are two big players for us, and anytime you lose players like that, others have to step up. But we have a pretty deep roster now, one of the deeper ones we have had in the national team pool. It will show tomorrow."

By Steve Goff  |  September 4, 2009; 8:30 PM ET
Categories:  2010 World Cup , U.S. men's national team  
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Posted by: alan19 | September 4, 2009 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Grant Wahl is also saying that's the likely lineup. I hope he and SG, who are rarely wrong, are this time. I'm not at all comfortable with Bornstein, given that El Salvador attacks the wings when they counter. If I was de los Cobos, I'd be pushing Alvarez up almost as high as a forward and looking to isolate Bornstein relentlessly.

Spector's not perfectly suited for playing left back, but I'd rather have him there and Cherundolo in on the right. Cherundolo is smarter, more composed, and more experienced than Bornstein is. In this kind of game, with our starting center backs both out, we need to look at the mental qualities of the players we start. Bornstein isn't a dolt, but in terms of soccer IQ Cherundolo is clearly stronger.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | September 4, 2009 9:16 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: DadRyan | September 4, 2009 9:38 PM | Report abuse

I recently came back from a business trip and to my delight/confusion FSC was on my Dish Network. I get the middle tier, so it hadn't been available, but now it's there. Does anybody know anything about FSC coming down a level on Dish Network? (Or did someone break into my house and order it?)

Posted by: Lucius2 | September 4, 2009 9:40 PM | Report abuse

Chest we are in agreement as well in this post too. I would to prefer Spector on the left over Bornstein. Unfortunately, this move has many factors working against our wishes. One being the fact that Bornstein is one of Bradley players from Chivas USA.

I would like to go on the record and say that Ching is actually a detriment to this squads level of play. Yes, we are all so in love with the English International tactical persona that every small man has to be matched up with a big man. I.E the big man holds up the ball, provides the flicks, plays with his back to the goal, etc.

Recently though, the Confederations Cup, this US national team has shown the ability to A) strike with quick and deadly force and B) provide, at times, quick interchange play in the midfield through our forwards (The fact that Dempsey, Donovan and M. Bradley all are capable of playing at the highest level is the reason US is able to do this).

Ching offers none of these qualities. His touch is average at best at the international level. His speed of play is slow, and he has no ability to get in behind any defense (be it El Salvador or Dowling College). He also lacks any creativity in his runs.

If our team is going to be built around quick passing, and a rapid attack, Ching has to go. Altidore does lack a bit in the link up play, but his pace, power and technical ability is levels above Ching. Ching only slows this team down.

Another reason I would be against starting Ching is the fact that El Salvador is going to sit deep. Therefore, we don't need a player who is going to essentially be an outlet after our D receives a long sustained attack.

I am just saying, for this team to reach another level Ching is not the answer. This team is not in the mold of an English team, even though many of our supporters want it to be (manly through our obsession with the EPL).

Watch the game closely tomorrow and you will see Ching kills potential attacks through his slow down play.

Posted by: grubbsbl | September 4, 2009 10:05 PM | Report abuse

As much as I hate to see Ching trotted out again, a game at home against a likely bunkering and physically smaller opponent is probably the best time to do it. Especially with Onyewu unavailable for set pieces.

McBride used to own the Salvadorans. If he were healthy I'd almost prefer him to Ching.

Posted by: benonthehill | September 4, 2009 10:33 PM | Report abuse

SEVENTH ZOMG!!!11!!!!!111!!!!!!1!!!!!111!!!!!

im teh b3$t

Posted by: kdiff813 | September 4, 2009 10:47 PM | Report abuse

eight is great.

Posted by: DadRyan | September 4, 2009 10:49 PM | Report abuse

just saw md lose to ucla 2-0. despite very impressive atmosphere, terps fell to the main pitfall that plagues college soccer: aimless longballs. UCLA was slightly better in possession and connected better on one-twos, though their first goal--the turning point of the match--was an extremely dubious goal-line decision.

the vaunted matt kassel did little to distinguish himself from his teammates...

...but the crew still make it a fun game though...

Posted by: nefariousjahs | September 4, 2009 11:14 PM | Report abuse

Wow, Quintanilla is playing for Ermis Aradippou on Cyprus. The derby with the Mycenean squad must be tough.

Following has video from his debut . . the music makes me want to get hammered on some cheap cachaca (sugar cane liqour).
Que Viva!

Posted by: delantero | September 5, 2009 12:24 AM | Report abuse

At College Park it was nice to see the youth of America supporting the beautiful game. Disappointing result but great atmosphere. Gives hope for the future of the game in this country.

Posted by: stoneg8mom | September 5, 2009 12:29 AM | Report abuse

""Gives hope for the future of the game in this country.""

The future of the game is bright. Keep buying tickets. Keep going to games. Keep going to bars showing games. Invite friends over for the US match tommorrow, etc, etc. There are too many of us in this silent majority.

Posted by: delantero | September 5, 2009 12:36 AM | Report abuse


I think you're being hard on Ching. I'm not saying he should start, but your post is pretty harsh. He's the best back-to-goal player we have. Cooper doesn't play that way and Casey is lazy, as well as somewhat erratic. Ching is very consistent, and as benonthehill points out, his size will cause El Salvador lots of problems. If he plays well in holding the ball up, we'll get lots of freekicks.

His hold-up play will also buy us time to get further forward as a unit. It's hard to counter on a team that stays compact both front to back and side to side. To maintain that kind of tight shape, you need to keep the ball in the attacking third. Yes, this also gives El Salvador time to fall back, but if we keep our shape in attack and happen to lose the ball, we'll be in prime position to shut down the counter and get the ball back.

I realize selling a striker on how he impacts the team's defensive shape is not sexy, but it is very useful and is of paramount importance to Bradley. I'd prefer Altidore and Davies just like everyone else, but that doesn't mean Ching is the useless oaf people paint him as.


Off topic:

Anyone watch the first half of Tecos-Santos? Oswaldo Sanchez stood on his head to keep it 1-0 Tecos (including a ridiculous save of a Marioni PK), then Daniel Luduena scored direct from 2 separate freekicks. Tecos ends the half with 9 men and at one point had a 10 man mob around the ref for about 2 full minutes. Great spectacle, if nothing else. Luduena looked as calm and sure as Etcheverry did back in the day when a freekick within 25 yards was basically like a penalty kick.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | September 5, 2009 1:20 AM | Report abuse

People who support Ching either have no eyes or have lost their marbles. Nuff said.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | September 5, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

I don't think anyone is being hard on Ching. He doesn't score when it matters, he doesn't create anything. He's just a big dude that stands in the box when we are in the offensive side of the field. He's not going to dribble around anyone, doesn't create chances, is not fast etc. Jozy scores big goals in big games. If the US had anyone else, Ching wouldn't make the squad. Everyone said the same stuff about Taylor Twellman. Scores all these goals in MLS, but doesn't matter in USMNT games. Eddie Johnson couldn't score when it mattered either.

Posted by: jase700 | September 5, 2009 10:48 AM | Report abuse


looks like dish network is offering a free preview of FSC for september. see:

Posted by: birdynumnum | September 5, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

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