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Who would you like to see start vs. Mexico?


So I’m sitting here, trying to figure out what to blog about, and it dawns on me that this slow news day feels even slower because of how busy the past two weeks have been. MLS coaches are spanning the globe trying to get contracts signed and new players secured for the upcoming season. Things are slow now but I’m sure they will pick up later in the week.

I did manage to sort out my flight to Houston for the upcoming USA-Mexico match on Feb. 6 when it dawned on me that the game is just two weeks away. That’s soon enough to start talking about the game, isn’t it?

So here is my question to all you U.S. national team fans out there. What U.S. national team starting XI would you like to see take the field at Reliant Stadium against a Mexico team that should have its full squad of stars?

Here is the Starting XI I can see taking the field:







BENCH: Hahnemann, E. Robinson, Parkhurst, Bornstein, Clark, Kljestan, Ching Adu (Freddy Adu was the first field player I had going on the bench but forgot to re-insert him after I began writing it in position order. I think Adu has to get a call for this one.)

I know Bornstein is recovering from surgery so if he can’t go then Ramiro Corrales or Eddie Lewis can get the call. If Bornstein is healthy I can see him getting the call in.

I’m sure the big problem some will have with this lineup is the Onyewu-Bocanegra tandem, which gets way too much criticism. I still think it is the best tandem the pool can provide. Eddie Robinson did look good against Sweden but the Mexican attack will be a bit stronger than the Sweden B Team attack.

It will be interesting to see if Bob Bradley starts Edu or Ricardo Clark alongside Michael Bradley. I say Edu for now but Clark wouldn’t surprise me.

Well, we are still two weeks away but let’s hear your suggestions. Name your starting XI for the United States against Mexico. Fire away.


  1. adu should definitely come in at some pt as a substitute in the second half. he’s proven he can provide the spark on short notice at benfica, and his creativity makes him a great insurance option in case the original game plan brks down.

    i have altidore with dempsey supporting up top. convey and donovan w/ bradley and edu behind them for the midfield. spector, boca, demerit, and cherundolo across the back.

  2. come on now. gooch is still a project. this is the nat’l team not the training ground. gooch should not start until he’s proven himself at the club level. he doesn’t deserve an automatic starting spot yet.

  3. The US can start Adu in the middle only if they feel confident of being able to defend with 7. It is questionable as to whether Altidore is ready for a start in a game like this let alone playing the role of the lone target. You have to play Dempsey with him. If Adu is underneath that ok, but then you are asking Bradley to sort it out defensively pretty much by himself. I think you balance this with a centrally-minded right midfielder and count on Cherundelo to get you down the right flank late. Shouldn’t be a stretch for Spector to shift inside as he is comfortable as either a full back or center back. Donovan is free to attack from the left however he sees fit.



  4. Rank the following players:

    Feilhaber, Donovan, Beasley, Convey, Mapp

    Irregardless of whether you like the guy or not/respect his decision to stay at home or not…I think you have to put him at the top of that list.

  5. You’re trying to tell me that Donovan is our most dangerous player? With a straight face? Look, Donovan is a wonderful little MLS player, but he is NOT a dangerous international player. He lacks any semblance of creativity, as he solely relies on his speed. We waste our wing position on him, where he continually put crosses on the first defender’s head. If we play him in the central of the field, he gets in the way of our best player, Dempsey, and completely bogs down our play.

    Sorry, but Donovan just isn’t our “most dangerous” player. He’s a guy that is hyped because he “chose” the MLS over Europe (where he simply couldn’t cut it) and has since become the US poster boy for soccer. He did absolutely nothing in the Sweden game and was rewarded with his career goal on a PK which he had nothing to do with.

    When was his last goal in the run of play for the Nats? I know he’s hit his last 5 goals from the penalty spot.

  6. Ives, has coach Bradley relesed the roster for this game yet, is it the same as against sweden, or are you just guessing at who to pick from?

  7. I’m not sure which hurts worse, that Gooch is “supposedly” our best CB, or that we have nobody else decent to step in for him. How many more chances does this kid get to show how bad he is? Besides his size, someone please name one good thing he brings to the table? Smartness on the ball? no. Can play a decent cross? no. Knows how to stay with his man? nope. Can play physical without getting carded? nah. Plays against some of the best competition in Europe? nope. Nothing, nada, zilch. I will take DeMerrit, Conrad, or Edu any day against any team.

  8. I do not understand the EJ love on this site. The guy has done nothing in a US shirt for a couple years now. If he can prove himself in Europe, then he earns another call-up. But for now, he is banished. Actually think I would hold my nose and pick Twellman before EJ.

  9. Im also interested to see Edu at a CB role. A senior nats game however is no place for that kind of experiment (friendly or not). Im hoping he gets some time there with the U-23s and if it looks promising hopefully he makes a full time switch to the position at the club level. If that works out (pretty sizeable if) itd be great for the USMNT because we have a lot of young talent and potential up top, in the midfield and in goal but Im a little worried about how talented our back four will be come 2014.

  10. Here’s a thought (sorry if I missed somebody already saying this) – weren’t the U-23s experimenting (fairly successfully) w/ Edu at central defense? The kid’s quality, so why not try it at some point with the seniors, maybe facilitating Boca’s move to left back that so many seem keen on?

  11. Adu————–Altidore



    demerit—- boca—- gooch— c’dolo


    Bench: convey ej spector twellman robinson clark guzan

    dempsey may be out of position but i favor talent over positional requirments…..

  12. 4-2-3-1
    Convey – Adu – Dempsey
    Edu and Bradley

    Convey and Spector have been playing really well every week. Adu needs a chance to shine and Donovan needs time on the bench. The Mex team is fast, really fast, too fast for Gooch.

  13. Its 4-2-3-1 folks or nothing.
    For the Mexico match
    For 2010:

    Three supporting attacking players allows for interchange and flexibility. It takes the biggest unknown (that Donovan,Dempsey, and Adu’s have a somewhat nebulous “true position”) and allows for a fluid, dynamic attack. Space, control, shooting, creativity, and speed are all available. I have argued the merits of this formation and personnel at length on this space previously.

    As before the #9 position is the key, as there are a number of players who can support that player.
    2010 Attacking 5:
    Pick 4:

    And Watch out world.

  14. ————–Altidore—————-





  15. —–Altidore——-Dempsey——-

  16. ideally,

    eddie johnson (Altidore)


    (Convey, feilhaber, Dempsey)
    (beasley, when healthy)

    (Bornstein, Pearce, Demerit)

    Howard (Guzan)

    Obviously all those guys aren’t going to be available though. As for Mapp, I think when he is healthy he is the most dynamic offensive player (other than adu and donovan) on the team. Obviously at times he lets up defensively unfortunately

  17. Does anyone agree with me that “Gooch” sucks? All this guy does is fowl people! Wheres the skill?

    And I see Altidore being more of an asset than Adu. This guy can take on defenders like a seasoned pro. Great feat. Adu loses the ball too much trying to show off. I think his head is in the clouds.

  18. “Wow, I just don’t understand the Donovan love on this site.

    Posted by: Ryan | January 23, 2008 at 12:36 AM”
    It probably has something to do with him usually being the most dangerous player on the pitch for us; for better or worse.

    There are only 2 things I care about with the lineup:
    1) Taylor Twellman is nowhere near the lineup. He should never be called up again.

    2) Adu and Altidore MUST be on the field at the same time. Anyone who watched them in the youth teams and doesn’t combine them again on the Senior team doesn’t deserve to to manage the national team anymore.
    (and yes, I am a fan of Bradley, but if he doesn’t use that combination; sack him)

  19. A lot of people have Altidore starting. I think he can be great, and I’d love to see him there too.

    But honestly guys, the only action that Bradley has given him has been off the bench. I just don’t see Altidore getting the nod over some of the other guys at camp. Freddy has got to get the start sometime. He adds so much flair and creativity, but then again he hasn’t gotten too much senior international experience either. I would love for Bob to give Adu and Altidore 90 minutes on the field, but I just don’t see it happening.

  20. For me, AT has pretty much nailed it on the offense.

    Unless some currently undiscovered talent suddenly appears, come June 2010 the front five taking the field for the US will likely be




    ————— Bradley

    has a very good shot at being the guy right behind them.

    The sooner this group starts getting quality time together, the better. Since Beas is out for now, Convey is a good backup choice.

    The back four is more problematic. Dolo is fine on the right. And I would play Bocanegra on the left, simply because we have no one that seems better. But I have no better idea than anyone else who should be our center backs. I do think, however, that Gooch is an experiment that has failed. He seems clearly more a liability than an asset. He simply lacks the skill to slow or stop a good attacker without fouling him. And his size just makes those fouls more noticeable. They will be called and they may be costly.

    I just don’t understand how anyone can fail to appreciate Donovan’s contribution. He isn’t even half-way though his career and he is already the all time U.S. leader in assists (making other people look good) as well as in goals. If he stays healthy, he will surely end his career the leader in both catagories with no one else even remotely close. Admittedly, his (non-PK) goal production seems to have slowed. But isn’t that a likely result of Bradley playing him out of optimum position on the wing? When Donovan had played as a forward or as a central midfielder he got a lot more chances for a quality shot on goal than he does in his current position.

  21. Has anyone seen a call-up roster for the mexico camp?

    I read last week in Brad Davis’ Houston blog that he, Robinson, and Clark were invited to return for the mexico camp. I doubt we’ll see Ching though because he is probably essential to success of the PanPacific in Hawaii. I think it would be too risky to possible injure him.

  22. It’s interesting that Bradley’s never tried Bocanegra at LB; I’d think that would be a smart move, as it would allow for the strongest defensive lineup. (Of course, it might also be seen as him giving up on Bornstein, and at times it seems like Bornstein is more like a son to Bob than Michael is.) I’m never very good at the lineup game, but mine would be:


    That’s assuming we stick with the 4-4-2, and I’ve been wondering whether or not the team might be better served in a different formation. (If I come up with one, I’ll try to let the USSF know, I’m sure they’ll appreciate my input.)

  23. Oops, totally blanked on Clint Dempsey, a good Texas boy who should be back here against our No. 1 Rival. Here’s my revised listing:


    Subs: Johnson, Altidore, Adu, Bocanegra, Guzan, Parkhurst

  24. Ives,

    I like your starting XI, except that I think Clark will get the nod in midfield as this is his club home. For that reason also, if Eddie Robinson doesn’t start, he’ll be quick off the bench. ER knows well how to handle Mexican attacks, as his performances against Pachuca, America and Morelia all showed last year. He deserves a start, especially after his performance this past weekend. Brad Davis also deserves a serious look.

    What is the status of Brian Ching? Is he healthy? If so, I think he starts in this game. If there’s a question, then obviously the answer is no. Here’s my desired starting XI (not necessarily the best, just who I’d like to see:

    Tim Howard
    Onyewu –Robinson–Conrad–Cherundolo
    Ching–Eddie Johnson

    Subs: Altidore, Adu, Bocanegra, Guzan, Parkhurst

  25. you know, its funny. I hear al this talk about playing without donovan, trying new things because its just a friendly but lets be serious, is there such a thing as a friendly against mexico. No one here will be happy with a loss. Its a rivalry, you put your studs in and see whos better. Those studs include dempsey (the only american scary witht he ball at his feet) and donovan. I’m not a huge donovan supporter but, hes our best player, AND he tends to play well against mexico.

  26. I’d love to see..


    Call it a 4-5-1 or call it a 4-3-3 – It’s fluid and allows for a lot of creativity from those guys that have it. I love the idea of Adu and Donovan just running at people behind Altidore, and Dempsey I think is out of position up top. Let Convey hold down Run-DMB’s post on the left wing. Bradley’s a no-brainer, and the back four is the best we got right now.

  27. Josy and Donovan up front
    Convey and Dempsey on wings
    Bradley and Pablo M in the middle
    Boca, Demeritt, Gouch and Dolo in the back

    Put Dempsey back where he belongs and give Demeritt a shot at center back. Boca can play left back with Spector on bench.

  28. Bob Bradley has shown that he is not an egomaniac when it comes to Club vs Country, so it is HIGHLY UNLIKELY that he will use many European talents, unless they need work, are ‘marginal’ starters or are perhaps being marketed by their clubs.

    Bradley has nothing to prove against Mexico, so I don’t see a big reason to bring in the A team, I see BB settling for a B+ team using as many MLS’s as he can get away with ,(and with the depth he has built, kudos to him for being able to do so). The tough part about this is that MLS is out of season, would he use this as a reason to bring in the Euros? To quote Tim above above who forget any of the Fulham players: Dempsey, Boca, Keller

    Here is what I see:







    Bench: Robinson, Conrad, Corrales, Feilhaber, Altidore, Klejesten, Seitz

  29. Well first off I don’t want to see Clint Dempsey play in the striker role at all. My thinking is either US go with a 3-5-2 formation, or maybe a 4-2-2 formation
    Convey/Mapp, Adu, Cooper, Subotic, Clark, Goodson, Guzan

    Adu, Goodson,Cooper, Boca, Clark, Feilhaber,Guzan

  30. 4-1-3-2



  31. an ESPN deportes radio commentator stated that he had interviewed Bradley after the Sweden game and Bradley said that he would only be bringing 2-3 European based players. I don’t know-or any of us for that matter-if he was just bluffing since Hugo Sanchez is also drawing a check from ESPN.

    I know that Mexico will try to bring as many Europeans into the match in order to beat the US. I would hope that no matter who we bring we beat them.

  32. Who on here wants to place a friendly wager. I will take Mexico. $50 per bet for a max of $1000 for me. So that would be a max of 20 people. We can put the money in an escrow account. If the game ends in a tie then nobody wins. Just let me know.

  33. Unfortunately Castillo will not play for Mexico because he is out 5 weeks with an injury at Man City. Here is the team that Mexico should start.


    Guardado——–Dos Santos




    Here is the U23 team that will probably start


    Guardado———Dos Santos




    The issue is why are they playing this meaningless game anyone. Must be for the $$$$. I think Mexico is stupid for schedule another friendly in the US. Don’t they know that Azteca is a guaranteed win.

  34. I want to start Altidore up top but think Bradley brings him on as a second-half sub. I hate the lone forward concept, but Ching is great holding the ball and distributing to Landon and Deuce running out of midfield. Hate to bench Boca, but he’s looked shaky with Fulham. Would like to start Rico, but he looked rusty against Sweden. REALLY WHO CARES AS LONG AS WE BEAT THESE PUNKS!







  35. Howard
    Dolo – Gooch – DeMerit – Boca
    Clark – Bradley
    Donovan – Adu

    Jozy (for Ching at half)
    Spector (gotta have him, he plays everything but GK)

  36. Aristotle:

    I’m saying that you’re right, he’s not a great player (it wasn’t that long ago that many claimed he was “destined” for Chelsea or ManU–obviously no one really believes that anymore). BUT he’s also not that bad of a player. I’d say he’s our 2nd or 3rd best in that position. Would I like a better option? Sure. But based on what we’ve got, he’ll have to do for now. Maybe you’re right that he shouldn’t be a lock, but if Mexico-USA were tomorrow and I were picking the squad, he’d be in it. I’m fine giving other players more looks…I’d just prefer to do it in other games. Mexico’s our rival and I’d like to field our best possible squad. Even though it’s a friendly, I’d like to leave “giving others a shot” for lesser games against lesser opponents

  37. Can Bradley use any U-23? will this be a U-23 training match, because I would like to see Arturo Alvarez, Johann Smith, and a few others from the U-23. What you guys think?


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