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U.S. roster clues?

Kickoff for the USA-Czech Republic friendly in East Hartford, Conn., is not until 8 p.m., which means we will not receive the official game-day roster until probably 7 p.m. at the earliest. Bob Bradley will choose as many as 23 players. With six substitutes permitted, a maximum of 17 players will see action against the Czech Republic.

The very early -- and very unconfirmed, unofficial -- buzz is that several regulars will remain in street clothes. The names I hear are Jozy Altidore, Landon Donovan, Clint Dempsey, Michael Bradley and Carlos Bocanegra. Other veterans will be in reserve.

If, in fact, those five are out and some World Cup probable starters begin on the bench, who would you like to see in the starting lineup?

By Steve Goff  |  May 25, 2010; 10:46 AM ET
Categories:  2010 World Cup , U.S. men's national team  | Tags: Bob Bradley, Landon Donovan, U.S. national team, World Cup  
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Comments

If those five are out, here's my starting lineup:
-------------Howard------
Cherundolo-Gooch-Demerit-Spector
Holden---Edu----Clark---Beasley
------Ching-----Findley-------

Subs: Feilhaber, Gomez, Buddle, Torres, Bedoya, Pearce

Posted by: yvesmontand | May 25, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Oh goody! Another MLS audition! Shouldn't we be getting the starting lineup some pt, instead of getting a closer look at the Bradley/Garber/Gulati MLS quota system?

Posted by: soccerreform | May 25, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Bedoya better get at least 45 minutes.

Not too worried about seeing the starting lineup get pt, I assume Turkey and Australia will be used by that.

Posted by: LovetheGoffer | May 25, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Torn on Guzan vs. Howard - Brad needs the minutes but Howard needs full cohesion with his defensive line. I'll go: Guzan; Bornstein, Gooch, DeMerit, Spector; Beasley, Clark, Edu, Holden; Gomez, Buddle.

I'd like to see Torres, Marshall, Ching, Kljesten, Bedoya, and Holden come off the bench.

Posted by: VercengetorixII | May 25, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Right to left:

Howard; Cherundolo, Onyewu, Goodson, Bornstein; Holden, Clark, Feilhaber, Beasley; Gomez, Johnson

If Johnson isn't fit to play an hour, start Buddle instead.

Certain spots don't really matter to me. In goal, we all know Howard's the man. If Bradley wants to start Hahnemann or Guzan, or split those two in case there's still uncertainty about who the backup is, so be it.

I also don't really care who starts at right back. Spector did play more games this season than Cherundolo, but both played often enough to be reasonably sharp.

Really, the only players I'm really interested in seeing from the start are Onyewu, Holden, Beasley, Gomez, and either Johnson or Buddle. Gooch and Holden are obviously already on the plane, but they need matches after those long spells of injury.

The others on this list are all on the bubble. Beasley is rumored to be having a good camp, and with the likely need to shift Dempsey up top at some point, we're going to need another good winger. Gomez, Johnson, and Buddle are all in form; it's really a two-part question for Bradley to answer: 1. What type of player do we want?, and 2. Do you want to take 3 or 4 forwards? I'm more inclined to take the extra forward, which in my book means Altidore, Ching, and 2 out of these 3 guys (Findley shouldn't even be in camp).

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | May 25, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Whoops, I've got Holden on twice! Change my sub of Holden to Feilhaber, how about? :sheepish grin:

Posted by: VercengetorixII | May 25, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

I'm a bit puzzled by Bradley's approach if this is what he indeed plans. We have three matches, including tonight, before the June 12th. Shouldn't we get the key cogs, e.g. Donovan, Bradley, Dempsey, on the field together and building a rhthym?

More important, it is hard to evaluate fringe players like Findley and Buddle when they are not playing with top talent. Given our likely midfield tonight, our forwards are not likely to get much service. So how can Bob fairly evaluate the fringe fowards?

Posted by: jofij | May 25, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

So I guess we'll see the top crew against Turkey. Sweet, cant wait for what should be an awesome day in Philly!

For the veterans on the board, how many minutes can we expect to see BB's WC starting 11 on Sat?

I would also assume that our starting D will only get 45 or less tonight, then prob a full line change if we plan to use the entire WC starting 11 for significant minutes on Sat.

Posted by: rademaar | May 25, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

It's so frustrating watching Mexico play all these friendlies while we are only playing 1 (!) before we figure out the final 23.

So Bradley is going to throw out a roster with several key starters not even on the bench, and try to get significant game time to about 11 players competing for the final 4 spots.

How are you going to get any worthwhile assessment when every player on the pitch is playing under the pressure of making the final cut? Every player is going to be a bundle of nerves and respond to it differently. (Particularly for the forwards - are they going to be selfish to try to get that goal when they're better served to pass?)

Plus, we need to be seeing how someone like Bedoya fits in with our starters - that's a totally scenario than how Bedoya fits in with the other fringe players.

Posted by: joe_hill | May 25, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

If the point is to separate the wheat from the chaff, then rest the known starters for a game, big deal.

Bradley needs to see Gomez/Buddle/Johnson-Findley, etc. He needs to get Gooch and Holden onto the field and minutes.

Posted by: delantero | May 25, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Chest,

My only real quarrel is that I'm more interested in seeing Spector at LB than Bornstein. I'd prefer Edu vs Clark and Buddle vs EJ, but you hit the big questions.

Posted by: benonthehill | May 25, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

I like the idea of having this be last op. for the "fringe" players show what they have against national team talent.
For those that make the argument for having team cohesion now, at this point its a bit early since you'll have to play against various types of systems in the remainig friendlies and in group play.
Personnel will change a bit in those games anyway, why not see what some of the "others" have before we put anyone on a plane?
I'd like to see tonight:
Guzan
Pearce-Gooch-Goodson-Spector{the middle is weird I know, I'd like to see some versatility amongst the big men.}
Beasly-Torres-Clark-Holden(hoping for speed and service on the wings with touch and toughness in the middle)
Buddle-Gomez (GOALS!! however we can get them. I'd also like to see them not be used as super subs to see what they can do in rhythm.)
Subs@ half: Cherundolo Demerit(for health reasons they come off the bench instead of start. Both have the propensity to get hurt.)
Bedoya-Feilhaber

Ching

I guess Marcus Hahnemann for the last sub.

Posted by: UniteforDC | May 25, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Whoever is on the side/left back better be ready to deal with the speed of Wolcott or Lennon on 12 June.

Whomever lines up for us .. .it's a match up that scares me as I see endless runs down that side.

Posted by: delantero | May 25, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

If the point is to separate the wheat from the chaff, then rest the known starters for a game, big deal.

____________________________

That is not the only point or even teh main point. In my opinion, the US as much as any team at the World Cup needs some games together. We're not Brazil. You can't just throw 11 guys out there and expect them to gel.

Posted by: Palin-McCain2012 | May 25, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

@joe_hill- If those players are a bundle of nerves and cant perform in a home friendly against the Czechs, then I don't think anyone wants them on a roster that will soon have the nerves of dealing with Wayne Rooney and England in probably the most hyped US World Cup game ever.

Posted by: rademaar | May 25, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

If the point is to separate the wheat from the chaff, then rest the known starters for a game, big deal.

____________________________

That is not the only point or even the main point. Why put all your efforts in determing yourplayers who will never even play, when your first team needs many minutes together. In my opinion, the US as much as any team at the World Cup needs some games together. We're not Brazil. You can't just throw 11 guys out there and expect them to gel.

Posted by: Palin-McCain2012 | May 25, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

If the point is to separate the wheat from the chaff, then rest the known starters for a game, big deal.

____________________________

That is not the only point or even the main point. Why put all your efforts in determing yourplayers who will never even play, when your first team needs many minutes together. In my opinion, the US as much as any team at the World Cup needs some games together. We're not Brazil. You can't just throw 11 guys out there and expect them to gel.

Posted by: Palin-McCain2012 | May 25, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

@rademaar - i'm not talking about whether or not they have the nerves to play the game, the problem is that they're going to be second guessing themselves all game long, wondering whether taking a pass or a shot is what they need to do to separate themselves from the rest of the fringe players.

if you've got more than 2 or 3 guys out there trying to prove to bob bradley that they deserve to be on the plane, then we're going to be competing against ourselves just as much as the czechs.

Posted by: joe_hill | May 25, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Add me to the long list of people here who don't get what they are trying to accomplish here. Our starters haven't played a game together since qualifying. Shouldn't these warm up games be about getting that unit playing well together??? Time for auditions ought to have been over long ago. And what do you learn by having the scrubs play with each other? Doesn't it make more sense to see which scrubs gel well with our actual line up? This whole exercise seems pointless to me.

Posted by: fedssocr | May 25, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Palin-McCain, tell me again? :)

So, you'd rather see Dempsey after a long season get in 90 more minutes . . . Bocanegra just a few weeks out from hernia surgery . . . Donovan b/c we just don't know what he is capable of doing . . .

I'm comfortable with the fact that all these players were involved in qualifying, Confed Cup, etc. And I think two more games prior to the World Cup is sufficient. Mexico has played 5 already and has two or three more . . . we'll see how they perform.


Posted by: delantero | May 25, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

What Chest said today, and will say through the rest of the World Cup.

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | May 25, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Oh goody! Another MLS audition! Shouldn't we be getting the starting lineup some pt, instead of getting a closer look at the Bradley/Garber/Gulati MLS quota system?

Posted by: soccerreform

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

soccerreform: Have you ever said anything positive on ANY blog or board? Your endless whining and criticism of MLS is tiresome.

Posted by: PrinceBuster21 | May 25, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

case in point:

Bedoya continued: "I feel like I've got to show something. There's great competition out here. There are 12 midfielders here and we all have what it takes to get to this level. I think I have to show something really special.

it's fine to treat camp like a competition, but when he is talking about tonights game and being in competition with other players on our team, then that's not the right way to approach building a team less than 3 weeks from our first game.

Posted by: joe_hill | May 25, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

I think we need to see significant minutes from Torres, Beasley, Bedoya, Buddle, Gomez, and especially Holden, who's our starter if and when Dempsey moves up top. I would view Pearce playing 90 as a bonus, but push comes to shove I'd rather have Torres/Bedoya on the plane than a player Bob would would never start over Bornstein.

Gooch is also going to be watched very closely.

Posted by: UnitedDemon | May 25, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

I agree with jofij when he wrote:

"I'm a bit puzzled by Bradley's approach if this is what he indeed plans. We have three matches, including tonight, before the June 12th. Shouldn't we get the key cogs, e.g. Donovan, Bradley, Dempsey, on the field together and building a rhthym?

More important, it is hard to evaluate fringe players like Findley and Buddle when they are not playing with top talent. Given our likely midfield tonight, our forwards are not likely to get much service. So how can Bob fairly evaluate the fringe fowards?"

Posted by: jofij | May 25, 2010 11:07 AM

It seems important to me to pick your top 23 earlier, plus just a couple of fringe players, and get them minutes together. It seems that other teams are closer to having their squad set and are busy building chemistry.

Posted by: WorldCup | May 25, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

By the way, it is impossible not to like Bedoya.

http://yanks-abroad.com/get.php?mode=content&id=6349

Posted by: UnitedDemon | May 25, 2010 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Play the best 11 in the first half, unless they're resting an injury. We need to learn to score early. Test the fringe players in the 2nd half.

Posted by: garygeck | May 25, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

@joe_hill- Agreed that it is probably not good for beating the Czech Republic in tonight's game to have a bunch of players competing against each other on the same team, but then again I don't think BB really cares what the final scoreline reads. I think the team-building aspect will be targeted once the roster is trimmed to 23.

Its a valid point though that it is bad to have a bunch of players competing against each other when such a short time-frame is open before the WC starts. As we have seen, many teams don't even bother with the 30 man roster and go straight to 23, and hopefully as our national team pool gets deeper in the future we can do the same.

Posted by: rademaar | May 25, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Do we know the Czech roster?

Posted by: Reignking | May 25, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Wow, I've never heard that competition within a team is bad.

Don't tell Anson Dorrance, it's been the hallmark of every one of his training sessions for years.

Posted by: delantero | May 25, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Reignking,

here's a link w the Czech and Turk rosters as they were announced last week. Not sure if any changes were made since then:

http://www.socceramerica.com/article/38114/us-sparring-partners-set-rosters.html

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | May 25, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

If the veterans on the team haven't figured out how to work together yet one additional friendly really isn't going to help. I find it hard to believe that Coach won't have junior out there for the full 90.

Posted by: csd1 | May 25, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Oh goody! Another MLS audition! Shouldn't we be getting the starting lineup some pt, instead of getting a closer look at the Bradley/Garber/Gulati MLS quota system?

Posted by: soccerreform | May 25, 2010 10:56 AM

got any of the good weed yer smoking???

Posted by: bonghits4gomez | May 25, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

With those guys missing, my starting XI would be: Guzan; Cherundolo, Gooch, Goodson, Spector; Feilhaber, Edu, Clark, Holden; Buddle, Gomez.

Subs: Pearce, Bornstein, Torres, Bedoya, Beasley & Findley.

Posted by: hollywoodlex2003 | May 25, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Hahnemann; Cherundolo, Onyewu, Goodson, Spector; Holden, Edu, Feilhaber, Beasley; Ching, Buddle

I really want Spector to work out as left back and want Buddle to score. Oh yeah - and that nobody gets hurt!

Posted by: soccerman | May 25, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

things that players want to show BB: hustle, speed, work rate, good decision making, movement without the ball, interplay with teammates, understanding of role, performance within the system being implemented, etc.

how are any of those things going to be detrimental to the team tonight (or in the long run)? any guy who tries to make it a one man show, takes every shot, refuses to pass to teammates for fear of making them look good, etc. is not going to make it onto the plane to SA. guys who help the team play well will. no need to fret about guys competing with each other - they're always competing. but they help themselves more when they make their teammates look better and help the team win. let the guys with guaranteed spots rest and let's see who can help the US if called upon.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | May 25, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

I agree with what Prince Buster said about soccerreform: "Have you ever said anything positive on ANY blog or board? Your endless whining and criticism of MLS is tiresome." Come on Soccerreform, MLS is good at mediocrity!

Posted by: lovinliberty | May 25, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

lovinliberty, forgive me but I completely miss where you were going with your post.

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

A few cycles ago there wasn't so much competition and guys were just guaranteed spots based on need and not necessarily talent and/or form. Nowadays, we have the talent that is still guaranteed a spot but all other spots have to be fought for. These guys are pros and in Eurpoe you have to fight for a spot/start. So doing that here is nothing new to them. Competition within a team is always a good thing. Of course today is the first time I have heard otherwise.

Bubble guys do your thing, make Bradley lose sleep tonight. Because if you don't he will cut you and not even think twice about it. So it's up to you.

Posted by: Kosh2 | May 25, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

I don't really care who starts. I just want Bornstein to play a half so that our goalkeeper will have the opportunity to stop a penalty kick and our defenders will get to set up walls and otherwise prepare for dangerous free kicks around the 18.

Posted by: dcarmy | May 25, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Last chance for the Borenstien Express! If screws up tonight, he loses his chance to start.

Posted by: alan19 | May 25, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

@dcarmy: Zing!

Posted by: Rand-al-Thor | May 25, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

@dcarmy - Well in.

Posted by: Kosh2 | May 25, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Do we know the Czech roster?
Posted by: Reignking
=========

Hang on, I'm checking on it.

Oh hush. You knew it was coming.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | May 25, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

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