U.S. Men's National Team

Who should the USMNT start vs. Egypt?


                                                                              Photo by ISIphotos.com

The U.S. men's national team has one match remaining in the Confederations Cup, one last match for players to prove themselves, one last chance for Bob Bradley to test his squad against stiff international competition outside of World Cup qualifying.

While the United States is still technically alive for a place in the semifinals, for all practical purposes the Americans are playing for pride, which means Bradley just might be willing to give chances to some players who have yet to get them in this tournament.

With that in mind, here is a look at the starting lineup we could see for the USA on Sunday vs. Egypt (2:55pm, ESPN2):

Projected USA lineup vs. Egypt






As you can see, I'm convinced that Clint Dempsey won't play in this game. Now, if he does, you can slide him into Feilhaber's spot, leaving Feilhaber to compete with Clark for a spot alongside Michael Bradley. I am also convinced that Bradley will use either Torres or Adu in this game, with Torres getting the nod for me. Now, if Bob Bradley decides to leave Torres and Adu on the bench AGAIN, I would imagine that we will see Donovan and Dempsey in midfield with either Conor Casey or Charlie Davies up top alongside Altidore. Who won't we see? Beasley or Kljestan (who is out with a red card) (and if we do see Beasley, Bradley will have some serious explaining to do).

What starting lineup would I like to see vs. Egypt? Here's the squad:







Charlie Davies is probably the longest shot of these players to get a start, but I would like to see him paired up with Altidore. Donovan has been doing plenty of running as a second forward, but I would be interested to see him in a playmaking role with Davies up top to help create some space. I have Carlos Bocanegra at left back, but would just as soon welcome Bornstein at left back and Bocanegra in as a central defender. Having Bocanegra on the left here has more to do with wanting to see the Bocanegra-Onyewu-DeMerit trio together in a game than anything against Bornstein (who I have been higher on than most in this tournament). And for you "Feilhaber can't play the wing folks" this is a diamond midfield, which would havfe Feilhaber in a more central role than wing role. Yes, I know, Bradley hasn't really used the diamond but it's what I would like to see with the current group and against Egypt.

So what would a starting lineup with Torres AND Adu look like? Here's the lineup, which apparently 60 percent of SBI readers are hoping to see:






If you're saying "Bradley would never play this formation" that is not true. He used it vs. Cuba in last year's home qualifying win. While Altidore isn't the type of target striker you'd prefer in this formation, it does put Adu and Torres on the field together. Torres isn't nearly the defensive liablity that Adu is and actually looked sharp in this exact role vs. Cuba. Bradley could go with Ricardo Clark instead of Feilhaber to give the team more defensive bite, but I think Feilhaber showed enough late vs. Brazil to merit another look.

Now it's your turn. Which starting lineup would you like to see the U.S. national team use vs. Egypt? Which of the above lineups do you like the most? Are you hoping to see Torres play? Or would you prefer Adu?

Share your thoughts below.

  • CG

    OK, Harry. I respect your opinion (maybe not your approach to stating it), but I disagree with it.

    Listen, I live in Central Illinois and here is what I know about Adu… next to nothing. I have never spent time in training with him, have never observed him in training, and have never had to get along with him as a teammate. All I have to go on is a fractured relationship with a tough-nosed coach that many on here are regretting has now left the USMNT program, and a lot of bench warming in Europe. I have seen him on TV numerous times and in those appearances, I don’t recall seeing him making a lot of tackles and winning a lot of balls. He’s creative and his potential is undeniable. There are definitely spots for players like that on the pitch, but he is weak on the defensive side of the ball as far as I’m concerned and needs cover when he’s out there. Again, he’s good. He’s consistently made the 23-man roster. Why the hell would Bob keep bringing him in if he weren’t in the plans? You guys and your conspiracy theories about grudges are grasping at straws. Kenny Cooper might have an argument there, but not Torres or Adu (and by the way, I’m also OK with Kenny Cooper hanging out in Dallas, my full-of-it-ness be damned). All I can go on is what I have seen on TV and the trust that I have that coaches who are far more knowledgeable than me know what they are doing.

    Regarding your other argument, Bradley was in the early rounds of kicking ass and taking names at Heerenveen when he started getting consistent minutes with the MNT. What is Adu doing right now at the club level – you know, at the same age as Bradley was when he had a similar number of league appearances? Crazy thought… maybe Bradley is better than Adu… (I better slow down here)


  • Chad

    Why not try a 5-4-1? Egypt is going to be out for points, of course, so our only hope in beating a team which nearly beat 2 of the top teams in the world is to pray for a lucky counter.

    Honestly, Jozy hasn’t impressed me much in these games. He gives the ball away far too easily. But, he still may be our best option at striker. If he can focus more on the hold-up play that would help out A LOT.

    A 5-4-1 would maximize the use of our best players…defenders. Using Spector and Bornstein as wingbacks.







  • GO USA

    The lineup with torres and adu on the field looks way more intimidating than the first one. Just saying that we should at least go out with a bang against a surprisingly good Egypt squad. If I were Egypt I would be way more worried at seeing adu then Feilhaber.


  • Tony in Quakeland

    I guess I’m one of the few Nats fans not standing on the window ledge looking longingly on the traffic below. I see some positives – even positives from the negatives. Spector has all but sown up a job and DeMerit is now firmly in the picture. Add Jones once he is eligible and I’m actually comfortable with the defense (while still wanting to see left back firmed up, of course.)

    As for the positives out of negatives, well…Beasley. He has pretty clearly played himself off the team. And as someone who watched him come up since his teens, I’m shocked at how far he’s fallen. I can understand why Bradley wanted to be sure. I mean, this has been an extraordinary decline, well before the sell-by date. Now, recognizing that he is truly done, we can go on building a team without him. Does Bradley realize it? Unquestionably – you don’t replace a guy at the half unless you are sending him a message.

    And Dempsey, who I used to call Mr Teflon because no matter how lackluster his performances, blog land loved him. If anything is clear, he is not a guy you can build a team around and should no longer be guaranteed a spot.

    By next summer, assuming guys get playing time this coming seasons, we may see this:

    Ching – Altidore

    Donovan Torres Adu

    — Jones —

    Bocanegra – Gooch – DeMeritt – Spector

    I’m strangely comfortable with that. And yes, I left Michael off because I think he will be a situational player – in for Torres or Failhaber when we need more bite. If this disastrous experience leads to that, it will have been worth it.


  • Tony in Quakeleand

    Kind of amazing to find people still bashing Donovan – just a few, but astonishing nonetheless. I can only guess they are infected with John harkes obvious dislike and constant criticism of LD. Tell you what Harkes, I saw you play many times – and Donovan is twice the player you were so just get over it.

    Some one above actually said Donovan plays no defense, when in fact he may play too much defense. He constantly makes plays in the defensive third. Remarks like that make me wish Ives had an ignore feature…


  • Bob

    Two ideas:

    (1) Serious –






    (2) Not so serious, but at this point why the hell not –







  • Bradley Sampson

    “””John Harkes is the single worst soccer broadcaster in history”””

    Man, agreed, I’m travelling and didn’t have Galavision so had to listen to Harkes. JP sounds like he’s bored with the whole thing, too.

    As to who we can start against Egypt, I was thinking Beckenbauer, Mathaus, Sammer, Kopke and Klinsmann. Are they available?


  • MAES

    Probably seeing this:






    Would like to see guys who have not played yet:








  • Javier

    Ives, what’s your persopective on the national team, it’s future, the future of some it’s players, players that might be brought in, and BB and his future?


  • FCB

    “””John Harkes is the single worst soccer broadcaster in history”””

    …You *obviously* haven’t heard Marcelo Balboa.


  • Harry

    Here is freddy’s last ever play with monaco………In this video he takes the ball from the wing..dribbles by 3 Juventes players and then draws the game-tying PK(Freddy was also rusty coming this game). Freddy was rated highest monaco player and got much praise from the Juventes Coach. Thats why people believe Ricardo never played Freddy After this game because he was showing Ricardo up………

    So thatsd why i would loved to seen Adu vs Italy and Brazil..some of the players in that Video..Adu was corkscrewing are on the Italian National team.


  • Joe clark

    Charlie Davies is not nearly qualified enough to see the field for the USA. Scoring goals in Sweden does not prove anything when at the international level you play against players that start for the top teams in europe. I doubt that the likes of Kaka and Pirlo get scared when they here that some USA kid that plays in Sweden is going to start. I Don’t expect to see Bornstein and Dempsey in this game and would just it is common sense to know not to play beasley in this game. That being said i think Torres and Adu will both play in this game.







    I think Torres will get in the game somewhere in the second half. If we are losing Dempsey will probably see the field otherwise he will not.


  • Blooded Blue

    Now that I thought about it, I think I would like to see Charlie Davis in there with Altidore, Too bad Kenny Cooper didn’t take the trip to S. Africa. With that in mind, Dempsey & Beasley should definatly NOT start, Dempsey always gets caught dribbling into trouble. Example: dribbling the ball in center midfield against Hondurus which led to a goal for Hondurus. Beasley has alot of self-doubt, never commiting, very undecisive. Beasley does these half passes that are always picked off, a good example of Besleys indecivness would be when he took the short corner kick vs Brazil, the ball was left hanging, it was niether a pass or dribble and it was imediatly picked off leading to the goal by Rohbinho. Therefor


  • elmatador

    I don’t really care….0-3 at the WC in 06′, 0-3 at copa America, 0-3 at confederations cup…Bob needs to go…We need Bora back…


  • jpc


    – I prefer playing w/ two forwards, but to begin w/ I would play this way, maybe playing freddy so far up as to be a second forward, OR even switching him and donovan, and allowing donovan and Altidore to play forward


  • JL

    Defensive liability that ADU is? What games have you been watching? U do now that he was a teenager playing against grown men right? his ability to possess the ball is a better defense then anything the USMNT have put out there recently. and btw what did adu do to your family that you have such hatred for him?


  • CG

    No offense, Harry, but I probably won’t watch your 10-second video for fear that it might change my opinion.

    @Tony in Quakeland

    Agree 100% on your comments with regard to both Beasely and Donovan. I have a few good English friends who went through a similar affair with Michael Owen a few years ago. Hoping against hope that a promising young star would regain a form that seemed to be robbed far too quickly by injuries and time off the field. Some still have that hope, but most (including the national team coach) realize that the window is all but closed.


  • CG

    Probably be the last time I post on this, but let the record reflect that I’m OK with Adu getting on the field on Sunday. I don’t hate Freddy Adu, and would venture a guess that most everyone on here who has at one time or another criticized Adu would say they don’t hate him either, so there’s no need to be so defensive (pun fully intended).

    If having reservations about a player based on the experiences of an 18-year-old kid is biased, then I suppose so is trumping his inclusion based on the over-hyped promise of a 14-year-old media darling (and a few YouTube clips).

    This kid is an American on the USMNT. If you think for one second that I’m actually rooting against him, then I can’t help you. I would absolutely love it if Adu leads us to the promised land someday. I just don’t think right now that he “deserves” what others think he does in terms of time on the field. That’s all. Nothing more, nothing less.


  • socrates

    “Charlie Davies is not nearly qualified enough to see the field for the USA. Scoring goals in Sweden does not prove anything when at the international level you play against players that start for the top teams in europe. I doubt that the likes of Kaka and Pirlo get scared when they here that some USA kid that plays in Sweden is going to start. ”

    Davies’s club level and performance is NOT a valid reason to keep him off the field. Which of the following options WOULD scare Kaka and Pirlo?

    a) player scores goals in Sweden
    b) player scores goals in MLS
    c) player rides the bench in Spanish 2nd Division

    Hmmmmmm so maybe the demand that we use players who excel at top clubs and scare Kaka is just a tad off base for the good ol’ USA at this point in time.


  • Didier Drogba







  • Kevin

    Spector-Gooch-Boca? (if not healthy, DeMerit obviously)-Wynne

    Feilhaber for Bradley, 75 (Mike has played every game and worked his ass off. I say give him a rest)
    Davies for Casey, 65
    Clark for Bradley 80 (give him another shot; he looked good for 32 minutes against Italy. After that though…yea not so much)

    I put Wynne at LB because his crosses are terrible enough at RB, so I don’t see a difference in that department. I am convinced that his performance vs. CR (or lack thereof) was a fluke. I say give him a shot to be out LB. If Boca is healthy, he should get the start at CB, and start him at LB in Azteca (unless the WYnne experiment is a massive success). I put in Casey simply because we need a striker who can hold it, something neither Altidore nor Davies can do. I don’t really think Casey is anything but a backup to Ching, but we don’t have Ching right now, and we clearly need a holding striker.

    Screw defense, we need to score at LEAST 3 goals (assuming Brazil beats Italy by 2 or more, which most likely won’t happen). I might actually want to see a 3-4-3, with Wynne being replaced by Feilhaber and Donovan moving up top to the right of Altidore. and Adu staying as the CAM. Donovan can be the withdrawn striker, so it’s really kind of like this:






    Hooray for innovation! The USSF should hire ME!!


  • JSM






    Why do we have to have a big guy up top. Why can’t we try to out pace them for a little while. Egypt plays very fast. I think Davies and Donovan have a chance to play off each other.


  • Raghu

    So, I’m pretty disappointed in how the US has shown this month. I feel like the squad has regressed from last summer.

    I’ve not been a big BB hater. And have actually been a fan of DMB and a defender of his on this blog in the past (I’m ready to admit that his first touch has actually gotten worse and he needs club time before coming back to the Nats).

    After seeing the positive performance of our back 4 and the fact that Jones is joining this team, I’m frustrated that BB wouldn’t consider a 3 Back line with 2 holding mids in front of him. I think Holland played it in the Euro last year.

    Whomever our best 5 attackers end up being in front of
    Bradley/Edu – Jones (assuming he’s as good as advertised)
    Boca – Gooch – Spector

    This lineup sets up Demerit and maybe a Parkhurst as backups and gives BB the flexibility to play Edu in the back or bradley in a more attacking position.

    What kills me about this though – is that DMB would have been great (the old DMB) on the left wing. I don’t know who’s fast enough to handle the outsides of this.


  • Carlos

    stick to a 4-4-2 and quit playing people out of position just to get them on the field. Let everyone play the position they are comfortable with & if they cant win a spot then so be it.

    Altidore up top with Davies

    Donovan as the #10 AMid

    Bradley as the DMid

    2 OMids Dempsey & someone else besides Beasley.

    Bocanegra at LBack

    Demerit & Onyewu in the Middle

    Spector out Right


  • TR

    Let’s try to avoid using the phrase or similar ones to “never again” because these that’s just stupid. Wynne should “never” play for the Nats again? Even if he became the best RB in the world, he shouldn’t be called up because of how he played in 2009? While I doubt he will be that great, I’d like to see what he can do in 3-5 years. I don’t think Beasley should be called up until he gets in quality time and returns to his old form, but I won’t say never. See if it happens. If hit does, call him up. If not, don’t call up.


  • madmax

    “Bradley takes a lot of heat, but it is possible that our players just don’t match up… regardless of who is coaching. It’s still a player’s game.”
    Posted by: Jeff

    Jeff everything you said would be correct if You picked the team and the tactics and the training. Since you don’t, you’re completely wrong.


  • Freddie

    Altidore — Donovan


    Torres Dempsey


    Pearce Gooch Boca Spector

    Thats what i’d like to see but i don think it’ll happen


  • joel

    i dont think it matters who we start, the results and the effort remains the same.

    Bradley has to go! The players also have to look in the mirror.


  • Tom P

    “””John Harkes is the single worst soccer broadcaster in history”””

    …You *obviously* haven’t heard Marcelo Balboa.

    Posted by: FCB ”

    Amen to that FCB


  • Tom P

    My pre Confederations Cup prediction on this blog was 0-3-0 with a minus 10 goal differential. I mentioned we might get an own goal. (Didn’t mention a PK- my bad) No one really on the board got pi**ed and said I was overly negative, a hater, a jerk etc.

    Honestly we loyal followers sensed this going back to Cuba in the rain, Guatemala on the road where we dominated for the most part and got lucky and the El Salvador miracle choke job by the home team who just plain collapsed in the last 20 minutes after schooling us for the 1st 70 minutes.

    My Point? – all realistic fans saw this one coming. I guess we all just hope what we know in our gut is wrong. This team has been going in the wrong direction for some time now and the lack of heart and determination has been the hardest part to tolerate.

    For those who don’t think BB should be fired……would any manager in a real soccer country survive our performance over the last 4, soon to be 5, matches? (Throw out Trinidad at home and you could much further back then that and don’t mention the Mexican win because i watched that in Germany with some friends and even they were shocked at how unglued the Mexican program had become)

    I think we know the answer to that and that is why we aren’t a serious soccer nation among other reasons.

    And yet I will turn on my TV a 2 pm Sunday and once again hope against hope………….. as will most of this on this board. We either are, masochists, incredibly naïve or we just plain love train wrecks because this U.S. man’ national team has clearly come completely off the rails.

    The worst thing that could happen Sunday for the long term prospects for the program? We win in a minimally impressive fashion and Suni and the bed wetter’s boys club that is the USSF sweep this fiasco under the rug with another master spin job in the void of real criticism since the mainstream sports press does not give a damm about soccer and would prefer that it continued to fail at the highest level so they in turn can continue to ridicule it. And yet as a fan a big part of will be rooting for this to happen because I am that desperate a case when it comes to U.S. Soccer.


  • Youngee8

    Thank you for your service but Demarcus, Shasha- you done! Dempsey- you need to step it up…we have a mutual friend but your performance is not your old self. You are suspended for 4 months until you want to come back.

    Jozy’s not our guy now but will be soon so I have no problem developing him in the Confed. Davies let’s give him a shot and see for a tourny that does not mean anything at this point but pride. BTW- let’s bring McBride back????

    Altidore Davies

    Torres Feilhaber Bradley Donovan

    Bornstein Gooch Boca Spector


    Jay- you’ve done we’ll and proved you are a capable central back but I want to get Bornstein another look. Timmy H. ditto but want to get your back up some experience on a big stage.

    Go USA!


  • Ben

    Altidore . . . Davies

    Donovan . Torres . Adu


    Bornstein . Demerit . Gooch . Spector


    Speed, speed, speed! Let Torres spring Adu, Donovan, and Davies, and let’s at least see some excitement.


  • John C.






    Let the experience of Boca, Bradley, and Gooch cover the space left behind a more attacking left wing. The 2 holding mids should give a good shield to the back four. Ask the right wing to be a box to box mid if balance is needed. It should also free space for them to run at defenders wide right.


  • noMoreDMB

    Would like to see Boca at LB if he can go, Torres, Adu, and Davies involved.

    Why anyone would ever want to see Wynne again or rip Donovan when he has been the best player on this team in this tournament is beyond me.


  • Bryan







    Altidore can’t be alone up top, so either Adu or Donovan up top with him.


  • sean

    We should play Adu in this game so we can actually see what he is capable of. If he is a complete defensive liability then he will be exposed and we will know that going forward. Why not use this game to experiment? Put Feilhaber, Torres and Adu on the field at the same time. See what happens. I think that if our midfield can actually posses the ball and maintain composure in tight spaces this will HELP our defense. Our only chance of advancing is if we score at least 3 goals. So why not take a chance and field a lineup that is capable of more creative play?


  • Otis clemons

    The 2 one is best we do need alil more d support but yes donoven should play more central


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