Saturday, March 16, 2013

WCQ Predicted Roster: USA v CRC/MEX

Brad Guzan
Nick Rimando
Sean Johnson

... yea, pretty much a no brainer.

Geoff Cameron
Fabian Johnson
Timothy Chandler
Carlos Bocanegra
Omar Gonzalez
Michael Parkhurst
Edgar Castillo

... truthfully Bocanegra shouldn't even get this call. I mean, he's not even playing for his division 2 squad. But I think he gets the call based on his past Concacaf experience and sits in as more of a guide for the young guys. 
... Castillo had been on a good stretch of form in Liga MX. Unfortunately he broke his face and is racing against the clock.
Michael Parkhurst is in the same position as Bocanegra except the outside back position is a bit shallower to choose from

Michael Bradley
Jermaine Jones
Maurice Edu
Sacha Kljestan
Danny Williams
Graham Zusi
Jose Torres

… no real surprises in this group for me. Jose Torres has been playing Great for Tigres so I think he gets the call. The problem with the midfield is that while all (MB/Jones/Edu/JFT) can play that DM role only Danny Williams is the true one of the bunch. MB/Jones/Edu/JFT are all possible starters but all like to go both ways. So if you start a combo of any of those four you leave the possibility of too many pushing up without enough cover defensively. If they’re all on the same page then great, but if they’re not, then we leave ourselves too exposed.

Also, none of these players are truly the “creative” types. That responsibility would be left up more to the likes of a Mixx (who can’t seem to even make a Jan. camp starting roster), Adu (no explanation needed), Feilhaber (who isn’t consistent enough), or Zusi (who is the closest, but not quite technical enough yet for the pace of the international game) I leave Kljestan out of the group only because it is to my understanding that his game has since morphed into more of two-way player, than his Chivas USA CAM days. He’s more akin to the quartet of two-way players I first referenced.

Clint Dempsey
Brek Shea
Herculez Gomez
Jozy Altidore
Terrance Boyd
Alejandro Bedoya

Eddie Johnson gets the snub here for me, only because he hasn’t really come out of the gates as I think we all would’ve liked (yes I saw his goal vs Tigres), but also because he doesn’t truly provide us with any really wide threat. He, like Dempsey, even though stationed out on the left, will always tend to drift in. Which is the same reason that Clint won’t work out there. So even though we’re limited with our wing options, I feel that Shea, Gomez, Zusi and Bedoya (who I’m a huge fan of out wide) will provide more width. Also, I realize that Gomez is not a traditional winger, but his work rate makes up for it. You’re not gonna get what he gives you out wide in terms of “fight” from Dempsey or EJ.

 If Jurgen’s a smart man he’ll take this all into consideration. If he wants a smooth road to Brazil that is!

Starting Line-up Below...

Starting 11 provided courtesy of American Soccer Now

Thursday, January 24, 2013

USA v CAN: Predicted Lineup

With a pair of USMNT games fast approaching, I figure it’s time for me to put in my two cents.. 
These are always hard to predict, because none of us get the chance to be there while these guys are practicing, so who really knows what the heck is going on out there… *man I wish I knew what was going on out there*

GOALKEEPERS (3): Tally Hall (Houston Dynamo), Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Sean Johnson
(Chicago Fire)

I see all of these guys as being pretty equal, with Hamid being my pick for lesser of the three (everytime I see him it’s like he’s making a bonehead move) and Johnson as the frontrunner. It’d be nice for Hall to get the nod since it is at the BBVA in front of his home fans, but then again Jurgen isn’t really keen on sentiment. Remember that time we played in Belgium…? Sacha Kjlestan doesn’t.

DEFENDERS (8): Tony Beltran (Real Salt Lake), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), A.J. DeLaGarza (LA Galaxy), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Connor Lade (New York Red Bulls), Alfredo Morales (Hertha Berlin), Justin Morrow (San Jose Earthquakes), Jeff Parke (Philadelphia Union)

I think the toss up here will be between Besler and Parke, because I’m almost certain that Omar will be starting. I’d give the nod to Besler as it’s the more likely CB pairing for the future and he’s left footed. Not to take anything away from Parke, I still hope he gets some clock and represents well for the U! Beltran on the right, Morrow on the left.

MIDFIELDERS (8): Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (out of contract), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders), Benny Feilhaber (Sporting Kansas City), Joshua Gatt (Molde), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)

The midfield is just so damn hard to predict… I love it! I’m thinking of this two fold, Jurgen knows that the Canada team we’re playing really isn’t that strong, but at the same time he’s keeping an eye on players with the WCQ on Feb 6th in mind. Conventional wisdom tells me that Beckerman without a doubt will be starting at CDM (him not in the starting lineup would be the biggest shock for me). Mix and Zusi bring the best attack minded combo to the middle of the field with Benny first off the bench.

FORWARDS (4): Juan Agudelo (Chivas USA), Will Bruin (Houston Dynamo), Eddie Johnson (Seattle Sounders), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)

Will Bruin scoring two goals against Tijuana has gotta count for something right? He’s really started to grow on me, especially after his playoff display. I just don’t see Wondo leading the line in any single striker variation that Jurgen may concoct (4-3-3/4-5-1/4-3-2-1…) So doubt he gets the start. Agudelo seems to really shine in that late sub role so that’s where I see him again and I don’t really like EJ wide on the left, but it worked in that last round so why not try it again. That leaves us with the right side of the field. Now Gatt has tremendous potential and a ton of speed, but I still have not been able to get over Bedoya’s performance in the 2011 Gold Cup. I thought he was a terror down that right side and filled in admirably for Landon, which wouldn’t ya know, is where we find ourselves again in 2013. Gatt has the slight edge in actually playing in a Jurgen camp before (Russia game), but I think that Bedoya had a better ending to 2012 than Gatt and will parlay that into a starting nod come the 29th in Houston. Or… I’m way off, neither of those guys line up out there and JK throws Zusi out there and Benny in the middle with Mix ??? Either way, can’t wait to see what Klinsman does with the roster. I’ll do another one of these for Honduras too it’ll be great, see yall then!

Oh and here’s my USA v CAN lineup. Thanks to @ThisIsASN for these lineup creator doohickey #bestthingever

Sunday, November 11, 2012

USA v Russia

Goalkeepers (3)
Tim Howard, Brad Guzan
Steve Clark *

Defenders: (8)
Carlos Bocanegra, Steve Cherundolo, Geoff Cameron, Fabian Johnson, Michael Parkhurst, Carence Goodson
Matt Bessler *
Eric Lichaj *

[Timmy Chandler] If what they’re saying is true then he takes Lichaj’s spot. Parkhurst is currently leading the Danish league in assists, maybe he even gets the start…

Midfielders: (8)
Graham Zusi, Michael Bradley, Danny Williams, Sacha Klesjtan, Jermaine Jones
Alejandro Bedoya *
Mix Diskerud *
Josh Gatt *
Conor O’Brien *

[Dax McCarty] Highly doubt he makes this trip, but I think he’s earned it, we’ll see what happens. I really think he's ready to take that next step and head to Europe. He’s technical and physical enough to play in any style league. I could see him in Belgium, Netherlands, Portugal, France or another league of that caliber.

Forwards: (4)
Clint Dempsey
Jozy Altidore
Terrance Boyd
Aron Johannsson

* New Player

Ok, starting in the back. I’ve been hearing more and more about Steve Clark over there in Scandinavia, why not bring him in.  I think Rimando is awesome [see 1st leg of SEA/RSL] but, this is a friendly, so let’s inject a bit of new life yeah.

It’s unfortunate this friendly comes when it does, I think Omar Gonzalez is playing fantastic right now and would have been an awesome addition to this camp, but nope, he’s off trying to win back to back MLS Cup’s. [pfff]… No big deal. Matt Besler however, is not chasing the Cup. So, as they say, one mans continued postseason is another mans first cap… something like that anyway. Come and show us what you got Mr. Besler.

Timmy Chandler. I’m soooo over you. Either you’re with US or against US. You wouldn’t be the first kid we’ve lost to dual citizenship and I’m sure you won’t be the last. Why not just do us both a favor and just say that you want to try you luck with Germany. We already know that’s what you’ve been holding out for this whole time.
(Yes I’m aware that Chandler is a wonderful talent and only getting better. Yes, I realize that he makes us THAT much better, but I don’t want any wishy-washy players on my national team. No thanks.)
Update: [I had written this before Nuremberg said he’d be released, but my feelings remain the same. I need commitment]

On that note, Aron Johannsson get’s the civilized version of the above rant, since he’s never really expressed any interest in playing for the USMNT. Pretty sure he sticks with Iceland. Although that last minute decision to pull out from their World Cup Qualifier last month was rather interesting…

Now, Eric Lichaj doesn’t probably deserve a call up right now, but I’m going to give him the nod and here’s why. In my opinion, friendlies at this stage of the game need to continue to develop cohesiveness among the probable starters, (ya know, with the ol’ Hex looming and all) and try to rotate in as many substitute options into the camp as possible. At the end of the day these fringe players like Lichaj, Mix, Boyd, just to name a few, aren’t coming in here to start or even get that much game time, but it let’s them see what J├╝rgen is trying to do, lets them know their effort isn’t going unnoticed and then gives that little extra. This way, when they head back to their respective clubs they’re that much hungrier and yearning for another call-up.
[Again, written before the alleged Chandler inclusion, still think Lichaj needs inclusion]

I think the guys we have playing down in Mexico (Gomex, Castillo, Corona) will probably stay there. I believe Liga MX is also in their playoffs or whatever it is that they do down there. That split season/Liguilla stuff is so confusing to me. I don’t like it. Pineapples. 
(…Kevin Hart joke, hopefully someone out there got it)
(Jose Torres is probably not one of “the guys” anymore. Tough break, he was one of my favs =(


         Cherundolo -- Cameron --- Bocanegra --- Johnson

Zusi --------    Bradley --------   Kljestan


Bring it Russia!

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