Photo by ISI Photos
The best way to describe the U.S. national team roster chosen by Bob Bradley for Wednesday’s friendly against Mexico is to call it an exciting look at the future.
Michael Bradley, Freddy Adu and Jozy Altidore have all been called in, joining Maurice Edu in a group that should be the nucleus of the U.S. Olympic team and the U.S. national team for years to come. Bradley is ready to test the youngsters against the toughest opponent in the region.
You may not even realize it but none of those four youngsters has played in a US-Mexico senior national team match before. Bradley missed the Gold Cup final with a red card and the others weren’t a major part of the U.S. squad before the fall.
Will all four start? I know most fans wish they would, but I think Bob Bradley will maintain his patience with Jozy Altidore and Freddy Adu. Here is the lineup I could see him using on Wednesday:
USA Starting XI vs. Mexico:
BENCH: Guzan, Robinson, Parkhurst, Corrales, Adu, Noonan, Altidore
So who am I NOT sold on? I would go with Drew Moor as the selection I’m not so sure about. He is the lone natural right back in this group but I wonder if Bob Bradley will slide someone into that role from central defense.
The problem is that side of the field is where Andres Guardado will be terrorizing, which is why I can see Donovan being used out there in what would be a great battle. It wouldn’t shock me at all if a Parkhurst wound up at right back. As some of you may know already, Guardado will miss the match due to injury, which could have an interest effect on the U.S. team’s strategy (and I have a feeling it factored into Bradley’s roster decisions).
You’re wondering about that 4-5-1 aren’t you? Some folks would prefer Adu in Bradley’s spot and Bradley deeper. I think coach Bradley will use that trio to stifle Mexico’s key figures, Giovani Dos Santos and Pavel Pardo, while also keying the counterattack. Michael Bradley plays a two-way role for Heerenveen and has been lighting it up in Holland so I think he’s ready for a more advanced role in the attack.
So why not play Donovan in Bradley’s role, Dempsey in Donovan’s role and Altidore up top? Well,
I don’t think Dempsey’s suited for the defensive work that it will take to deal with Guardado, and you want Dempsey as close to goal as possible. If anything, I can see Dempsey in Bradley’s spot. That may actually be the best lineup, assuming coach Bradley were ready to led Altidore start.
This would certainly be an exciting starting XI I wouldn’t mind seeing:
BENCH: Guzan, Robinson, Parkhurst, Corrales, Clark, Adu, Noonan
I think you could see this early in the second half if Bradley doesn’t start with it.
And Adu? I don’t see him starting but I see him definitely getting second-half minutes. I still think don’t think he’s ready to be a starter but he’s still dangerous enough to make an impact as a sub.
What starting lineup would you like to see against Mexico? Share your suggestions below.