U.S. Men's National Team

Who will the USMNT start vs. South Africa?

Alejandro Bedoya (ISIPhotos.com)

Photo by ISIPhotos.com

Now that the roster is out, we can start to think about potential lineup combinations for the U.S. national team against South Africa.

Figuring out a potential lineup from such an inexperienced field won't be easy, but it will be a good exercise to think about which way Bob Bradley will go.

He has called in some very young players, but that doesn't mean he will start any or all of them. For some relative veterans like Clarence Goodson and Brad Guzan, the match should allow them a chance to serve as leaders.

So who might we see take the field in Cape Town? Here is one possible combination:

Projected USA Lineup vs. South Africa








Bedoya can play centrally, though he hasn't yet for the national team. If Bradley wants to play it safe, he could go with a more standard 4-4-2, like this:








What do you think of this lineup? Which lineup would you trot out against South Africa?

Share your thoughts below.

  • Benny Dargle

    It’s not a bad thing to have two center backs who have different strengths. One can have speed and distribute well and the other can be really big and great in the air. If you have two of the same type, you are vulnerable to different attacks. On the USMNT, both Demerit and Bocanegra have builds not unlike Spector, while Goodson is more of the Gooch type (at least in height).


  • JS

    I would hope Bradley would go with a 4-4-2 rather than the shorthanded 4-3-2…lol. You left out your other choice for Midfield bro.


  • Isaac

    Clark is fighting for a spot on his European club. While I’m a little suprised at no Beckerman, I think we can live without him for now. Stephens isn’t even available due to MLS playoffs.


  • Kenny_B

    I agree with your argument about different strengths. However, I don’t agree with your assessment of the players in question. Bocanegra is close in size to Spector but even Boca is more muscular. Goodson is not a physical CB, he is more of a finesse defensive player, so IMO he is not a Gooch type (I’m not saying Goodson won’t mix it up, he will, but he just can’t move players around like Gooch or Demerit can). The player I disagree with you most is Demirit. He is A LOT bigger than Spector, no way are they similar in build or playing style.


  • Thorpinski






    Close but you forgot the coaches son who will some hoe make it onto the field.


  • canchon

    JOB did write some pretty smooth columns for the grey lady around the time of the WC…

    I bet JOB could send a sweet through ball to Ives for the finish


  • phil

    almost agree:

    ————-Guzan (c)————-

    love the new blood and wish them well.


  • Benny Dargle

    Check out Spector and Demerit side-by-side. Jay is maybe a 1/2 inch taller than Spector (who is probably the same height as Boca, although Boca isn’t in this photo). Both are a good 4 inches shorter than Gooch, Howard, and Bradley. Goodson has great leaping ability, perhaps much better than Gooch right now, but is obviously capable of being pushed around.


    I don’t disagree that Spector is less physically imposing in his upper body, but I haven’t seen Spector at CB enough to know whether he can play physically. Size of chest is not the only criteria for strength and ability to play physically.


  • phil

    Considering he hasn’t jumped off the roof of a building during his time at West Ham, I’d say that Spector is a tough enough SOB to play CB, so I don’t think his size won’t be too big a factor, especially if he’s paired with Godson, probably our most underrated defender in the pool right now IMHO.


  • pete

    wow how could you ever suggest kyle beckerman or robbie findley are good? Those two are prime examples of what it means to be a player who will never be successful above the MLS level. Robbie Findley showed ABSOLUTELY nothing at the WC except for the fact that he knows how to do everything possible to lose the ball and shoot directly at the goalie should he get the opportunity to. Kyle Beckerman had a horrendous showing last time he was called up to the national team. Not defending Carrol, Pause or Borchers, but I’m just saying Findley and Beckerman should never play on the national team ever again


  • Dennis

    Wow, still so much hate for Bornstein who did a passable job in the W.C. He is a guy who has some skill, can get forward and score. Of course, he has been guilty of lapses in concentration and occasionally poor decisions and he is on the small side for a defender. Except for the size thing, those are correctable by learning and maturity. He will be around for a while. OTOH, I think Convey has been a guy who can play when he is healthy and I don’t think he will be neglected much longer.


  • david





    EJ and beasley and mike grella and schelloto


  • wilyboy

    I’d go more along the lines of:


    Subs with the most time: Diskerud, Bunbury, Carroll.


  • Juan from L.A.

    Ives I agree with your second line up…all the 5 WC veterans will play…although personally I would like to see Borchers over Spector at this particular moment…I think and Bradley NEEDS to field a cautious system or else we’ll get hammer…


  • Gacm32

    I definitely don’t think we’ll get hammered regardless of system. It’s South Africa, not Uruguay or another team with good technical ability. I DO believe we need to play a Christmas tree formation with Mix in the center.



  • castroviejo

    A. Robbie Findley doesnt even start for Real Salt Lake.

    B. Ream got used by Bobby Convey thus exposing his slow feet and poor judgement at times.

    C. Agudello looked very impressive in his playoff game. his vision and creativity were impressive. that cross to angel was nice.

    d. what happened to Wondolowski call up?


  • Red

    We need to find strikers. Edson Buddle was in Findley’s position 3 years ago…and look how he’s viewed now by USMNT fans. We can’t simply cast off players because of a few bad games. And when no strikers score in the last two world cups (7 games), we definitely can’t cast off strikers. We need to see if we can refuel talent or find it elsewhere. It looks like Bob is trying both with this lineup. And I think that’s a solid strategy. Start Findley…sub the youngins.


  • Red

    This is not the starting lineup guys. With no starters, why is his call-up controversial? Has Juan Aguadelo really proven himself over Findley? This is the perfect call-up for a person like Robbie Findley.


  • Red

    Damn…a few good MLS games and Bobby Convey already has his spot back. Imagine this comment 1 year ago. How USMNT fans have no vision and are so impulsive…


  • Shane

    For those saying Finley has done nothing in a US shirt you’re wrong. He had a great game in the Turkey send-off right before the WC. He orchestrated one of the two goals. His finishing has not been noteworthy for the US, but face it, we currently dont have a striker that is a world class finisher. At least with Finley we get some vision and composure at the position.

    Bringing Bullard to MLS would be a big mistatke. He thinks way too highly of himself and gets in fights with his teamates. He would come here to be a star, the center of attention, and as a result would not give 100% to his team. He would demand a huge salary and then get injured. Not worth it for a few laughs – which all get old after a while.


  • beachbum

    that’s what I saw, too

    Bornstein is interesting to watch in this game. He’s a veteran in this group. He certainly did play valiantly at the World Cup, as stated elsewhere on this thread. like to see him play a solid game.

    Spector in the middle makes sense to me; he’s a skilled player and would be good to find a spot for him that fits


  • beachbum

    start the Crew midfield and Pause, like Rob said, or perhaps someone besides Rogers out there…that yellow card for celebrating in the playoffs knocked him even further down the charts for me

    watch him go score in South Africa!


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