The highly-anticipated USA-England friendly on May 28 is still a touch more than two weeks away but that doesn’t mean we can’t start thinking about it. Especially not when England manager Fabio Capello unveiled his roster for the match.
This leaves us with the obvious question of who will U.S. national team coach Bob Bradley call up for the friendly at Wembley? I wouldn’t expect a roster for another week, but that doesn’t mean we can’t speculate.
Will Bradley factor in MLS matches? If so, Houston, FC Dallas, D.C. United and New England all have games on the same day or the day after. That would rule out the likes of Brian Ching, Kenny Cooper, Taylor Twellman and Michael Parkhurst (unless Bradley takes Cooper and Ching and calls it a wash for Houston and FC Dallas).
And what about Red Bulls head coach Juan Carlos Osorio’s concerns about Jozy Altidore being fatigued? Will Bradley pass on Altidore in order to give him some rest, or will he call him in because he sees Altidore as a player who should have a key role in World Cup qualifying?
Here is the 18-man roster I see Bradley using for the England match:
GK- Tim Howard, Marcus Hahnemann
D- Oguchi Onyewu, Carlos Bocanegra, Steve Cherundolo, Heath Pearce, Jonathan Spector, Jay DeMerit, Eddie Lewis
M- Michael Bradley, DaMarcus Beasley, Freddy Adu, Maurice Edu, Kyle Beckerman
F- Clint Dempsey, Landon Donovan, Jozy Altidore, Eddie Johnson
And the Starting XI? Here’s my guess:
A few thoughts on the roster:
Beasley has worked his way back to the point of being able to dress for Rangers and he could potentially see playing time in the UEFA Cup final. That tells me he’ll get the call against England.
I would personally leave Altidore home and bring the Texas forwards of Cooper and Ching. Altidore doesn’t need to go from NYC to England to Houston. He needs to rest up for the Olympics. That said, it will be up to Bradley to decide whether he thinks Altidore needs rest or needs to log minutes with the national team first team ahead of World Cup qualifying.
I also am not a big Eddie Johnson fan, but if he’s healthy I can’t see Bob Bradley not calling him in.
I swapped in Feilhaber for Edu. I can see Bradley leaving Edu back in order to give him some rest and give Feilhaber a look. I can see a Michael Bradley-Ricardo Clark tandem, though I’m still reminded of how much they struggled against Mexico when paired together. Forgot about Houston’s mid-week game, which would likely rule out Clark. I’ll go with Kyle Beckerman getting a call in and Maurice Edu getting a start. Feilhaber’s going to the Toulon Tournament and his lack of first-team action likely rules him out of any of the upcoming friendlies.
What 18-man roster and starting lineup would you like to see face England? Share your thoughts below.