U.S. Men's National Team

USA vs. Paraguay: The Pre-game Tailgate

USACrest  ParaguayLogo


The U.S. men's national team heads into tonight's friendly vs. Paraguay searching for its first win of 2011, but also searching for the right combination of players as the team draws closer and closer to this summer's Gold Cup.

Tonight's friendly (8pm, Fox Soccer Channel) should provide a showcase for some talented youngsters who impressed in Saturday's match against Argentina. Juan Agudelo and Timmy Chandler should both feature against Paraguay.

LP Field is expected a good crowd for the match, with more than 23,000 tickets sold as of late last night. Fans from across the country have converged on Nashville for this rare game in the South.

Here is my Fox Soccer preview on tonight's match, which should offer us a good luck at some new faces, whether it be as starters or second-half substitutes.

Here are some more observations as we draw closer to game time tonight:

Oguchi Onyewu didn't train on Monday and was apparently nursing a hip strain. The injury could rule him out for tonight.

Benny Feilhaber has not trained with the team since joining camp from AGF Aarhus. He picked up an ankle injury in his final game before the break.

Tim Howard wasn't at training on Monday, but is expected to be with the team for tonight's match.

Bob Bradley discussed Mixx Diskerud and Tim Ream on Monday and stated that both had struggled a bit to adjust to the advanced speed of play in a first-team camp, but that both had made progress.

Bradley wouldn't confirm whether Juan Agudelo would be starting, but it sounded like a good bet.

Based on availability and Bradley's comments, here's a lineup we could see tonight:






The field at LP Field was in excellent condition and with rain expected in the forecast, the match should be played at a fast pace. 

When asked about returning to Nashville, where he scored a hat-trick two years ago, Jozy Altidore said the city is a lucky place for him and agreed that it might be the country music, joking that he listens to Johnny Cash. 


Going along with the German invasion of the national team theme, Clint Dempsey was asked if he would be learning German soon to help communicate with his new German-born teammates. "I might have to get Rosetta Stone," Dempsey joked.

While nothing is official, and there's still plenty of time left before the Gold Cup squad is chosen, it sounds as though Juan Agudelo would miss the Under-20 World Cup if he joined the senior team for the Gold Cup. 

That's all for now. Please feel free to share all your pre-game thoughts and opinions in the comments section below, and be sure to check in for SBI's Match Night Commentary tonight from Nashville.

  • Stephen Bunger

    I agree with you. But I don’t think Edu played well. I thought he pretty much disappeared in both halves. The only time i heard his name was when he had his shot go wide. But I guess he didn’t make any major mistakes either, or else we would have heard his name then too.


  • GB

    I am in PORTLAND OR today and no place to watch the game tonight, anyone know a good place to watch it. either in downtown or around the airport


  • beachbum

    in the first half, no one played well but Howard. in the second half, diffrent story. evidently you need a third viewing of the game to finally see what happened.


  • JR

    I wouldn’t mind seeing Bornstein get a run out as a left mid. It is still not at all clear who the backup to Donovan would be if he got injured. If Holden is going to be used primarily as a central player by Bob Bradley this cycle then the depth chart needs to be built anew at both right mid and left mid. Neither Bedoya nor Torres have really made a claim to playing time that Bornstein couldn’t overtake. Diskerud has occasionally been impressive, but he might be needed more as a forward for the U.S.


  • Tony in Quakeland

    Those kind of comments about Michael Bradley make me instantly stop reading. They tell me the poster cannot put aside preconcpetions and actually watch a game.


  • jh

    i wonder if Diskerud could be a Stuart Holden type player, one who is creative going forward with distributions and such and will work hard going back as well. I know he is creative, the question remains whether he put the leg work in defensively. If that is the case, then he should be brought along in that position for the sake of depth


  • Scott A

    Interested to see if Chandler can have another solid performance.

    Be loud in Nashville fellow USA supporters.


  • Dinho

    Disagree. HDC would sell out. Although not as big as LPG, it would make for a better environment.


  • Haig

    How long have you been following international soccer? 30k on a
    Tuesday night against a second tier opponent is excellent. The crowd is very boisterous, and LP Field is a good place to watch soccer.

    But there’s always someone who complains, no matter what the subject is, and I guess that’s you.


  • Brock

    True – the HDC would have sold out just like they did for the USA vs. Chile match this past January…

    oh wait,

    that’s right,

    the HDC didn’t even top 19,000 on a Saturday night


  • joe

    True, but there’s a difference b/n NYC, which the Argentina game was not played in, and any other city in the US.

    It should also be noted that tickets were not made available for much of the stadium in Nashville. I noticed this when the went on sale and thought it odd.


  • Primoone

    Listen…never did I once compare Bradley to any one player that could have played better in that position nor did I mention anything about Bradley, nepotism or favoritism when being critical of Bradley Jr. Ok, you can say I’m a Bradley hater even though my comments did not reflect that of a Bradley hater however, now I get to say something about you. What I see is a Micheal Bradley jock-strap rider who completely gets their panties in a bunch when their favorite players warrant objective criticism thrown their way. Get over it already. You guys here can say the effort was good enough however, not me. Get over it already.


  • Eurosnob

    Joe, the value of the Gold Cup is that the winner gets a spot in the Confederations Cup which is a dry run for the World Cup where you play strong teams in the host country. I agree with you to a degree that preparing for the the Gold Cup is the immediate goal, but a successful World Cup is the main goal. And, by the way, BB started Edu over Jones in Paraguay friendly and Tim Ream on the back line instead of Bocanegra so he is clearly geared towards testing younger players with WC2014 in mind.


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