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USA vs. England: The Pre-Match Huddle


The U.S. national team is set to face off against England at Wembley Stadium today at 3pm (ESPN Classic) and the match has American fans across the country excited (and some extremely nervous).

The match is the first of three high-profile friendlies for the Americans (Spain and Argentina being the next two) but this one will be considered the most important in the eyes of U.S. fans who would love nothing more than to have some bragging rights over their counterparts on the other side of the Atlantic (and in some cases, Brits who now call the United States home).

There are plenty of intriguing match-ups to consider, but first let’s consider the lineups we will see today:

USA projected lineup






With Landon Donovan’s availability in doubt, I can see Bob Bradley going with veteran Josh Wolff in a right wing role ahead of the less experienced Freddy Adu, who has seen no first-team action for months. This is the same lineup I suggested earlier in the week and I don’t really see another combination being used to start the match.

ENGLAND projected lineup






Ashley Young is, well, young, so you wonder if Capello will start him or go with a veteran like Stewart Downing instead. I think Young is an electric player who can change a game, but Capello may choose to use him as a second-half sub. The back four seems pretty set as does the midfield. I’m not sure how Capello rates Crouch, and if he might consider starting DeFoe, whose speed could create problems for Bocanegra and Onyewu. I also wonder whether Capello chooses to go with David Bently over David Beckham in the starting lineup. Another possibility is a 4-5-1, with Gareth Barry combining with Gerrard and Lampard in central midfield, with Crouch going to the bench.

Interesting points for me include:

  • How the American center backs deal with Wayne Rooney.
  • How Dempsey and Johnson (if they start) find chances against Rio and Terry.
  • What Landon Donovan can do against England’s vaunted defense (if he plays)
  • How Beasley does in his first national team game since November.
  • How Heath Pearce does against Beckham or Bentley.
  • How Steve Cherundolo deals with the speed of Ashley Young (if Young starts).
  • What Freddy Adu can do once he comes on as a second-half sub (assuming he doesn’t start)

What will you be looking forward to? Share your thoughts on any of the above topics, and anything related to today’s friendly in the comments section below (and remember to check back here during the match as I will be doing a running commentary).


  1. —-Johnson—Donovan—-

    —-Beasley—- —-Adu—-


    —-Spector—- —-Cherundolo—-


    if not donovan then i think jaqua might have to or dempsey but for the love of god….please dont put wolff…..

  2. LANDON DONOVAN IS A “COWARD”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Bradley should never call him into the squad AGAIN.!!!!!!!!

  3. Well ESPN has Gooch in the line-up, so it must be a typo on soccernet and BBC.

    And what is Capello playing at by putting Gerrard on the left?? What a waste…I’d have Gerrard play in the CAM role he plays for LFC sitting just behind Rooney, with Barry and Hargreaves providing support centrally and Young and Bentley playing the wings…

  4. another usmnt game with a sub-full-strength line-up. What’s new? Why schedule the damn things if you don’t use your best. I understand about last minute injuries, but hell……

    I hope jozy breaks out of his depression/fatigue soon. He played a lot of games three months ago, so I guess he is on the can’t play more than 4 games a month plan.

  5. What a limp lineup, seriously. Who’s scoring? And Califf and Orozco over Demerit? What evidence have we seen to support that? When the US gets absolutely blasted in all 3 of these friendlies, lets hope Bradley finally gets a little criticism. (I hope I’m proven wrong, but still. Just some horrible lineup decisions.)

  6. Not having Onyewu is a killer…I was really excited for this game, now without Donovan and Onyewu we could be in trouble.

  7. 1. Soccernet has Gerrard on the left.

    2. Bradley had no choice but to play Johnson this match (who else? Jaqua?!). I think it’s the Wolff over Adu decision that is really questionable.

  8. if josh wolff starts bradley should be FIRED. this is a firendly and we need to get our young players playing against tough comp. remember their are a lot of players for the us that our looking for new jobs and we know the world will be watching, so its interesting to see how some of these players play assumed all the pressure. PLEASE NO WOLFF HE IS GARB!!!!!

  9. If we were true fans we would not stand for this.. does anyone think teh enlgish, italians, french, or whichever self respecting football nation would stand for this??? we have good players in our system, Why use two bums? A guy who hasn’t scored in any type of copetitions in months, and another over the hill bum who has scored twice in about 2 years.. it’s just not right!! and i’m sick of it.. absolutely sick of it!!! I’d rather lose with grace and a little bit of flair, than loosing by getting laughed out of the damn stadium… seriously bradly screw you… you ruined my day…

  10. BBC has Califf instead of Onyewu. Hope they’re wrong…

    Still – Wolff? Really? What are we going to learn about Josh Wolff from this? What does he bring to the table? Why not give Adu the run out?

  11. That is such a terrible forward tandem. If this is the attitude Bradley is going to put forth in these games, he doesn’t deserve to coach this team.

  12. Screw Bob Bradley, and screw the entire US soccer orginazation as a whole.. we’re going to get laughed out of Wembley… Seriously would it have been that hard for him to start Adu? Over a freeking teamless bum such as Wolff??? incredible…

  13. sigh) how are we going to score goals with this lineup?

    Posted by: brentmcd

    Cherundolo will score from midfield! I waited all month long for Josh stinking Wolff and EJ! EJ and WOlff with a double hattrick!!! I went from confident to just hoping to not loose by 3 or 4 goals!

  14. Ives, I just think this “going safe” mentality is not going to get us anywhere.. will it get us home soil wins vs. mexico and canda? And an odd upset or surprising victory here and there? absolutely, but unless we really unleash the little talent we have, we’ll have no hope of actually breaking through… it was the young reckless attitude that saw us breakthrough in 2002, and i don’t want it to be 50years until we have another…


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