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Who should the USA start vs. Barbados?


With World Cup qualifying for the U.S. national team set to begin on Sunday against Barbados, it is time to start thinking about what starting lineup Bob Bradley will put on the field.

Will he stick with Eddie Johnson up top? Will he go back to the Onyewu-Bocanegra center back tandem? Will he consider starting Freddy Adu? Is Brian Ching ready to step back in and start?

All these questions will be answered soon enough. For now, here is a look at the starting lineup I think we will see against Barbados on Sunday:







Variations I could see:

Word I’m getting is that Dempsey is really worn down and if he can’t go then Bradley will have to decide whether to slide Beasley to the right and start an in-form Eddie Lewis or move Donovan to the right and start Freddy Adu. I know fans would love to see Adu but I don’t think he starts. Then again, Bradley may want to rest a vet or two for the road leg and might give Adu a long look in that case.

The back-line is pretty set. Danny Califf and Jay Demerit were good vs. Argentina but Bocanegra will get the nod.

Who will start at forward? Fans might hold protests at Home Depot Center if Eddie Johnson gets the nod but don’t be surprised if he does. For all his struggles in the Big Three friendlies (and the past two years for the national team) he has put himself into position to do things. He’s just been awful at actually doing anything. The Barbados series could be Johnson’s last chance to really show what he can do.

I have a feeling Bradley could just as easily go with Ching, who plays very well with Donovan and has the experience of playing well in qualifying. He’s also on pretty good form in MLS and has been healthy.

What starting lineup do you want to see the U.S. national team field against Barbados? Share your thoughts below.


  1. First – great job on the new site Ives,I hope everything is going well.

    I think Bradley will play Maestro – mainly because of experience – which is the conservative play – so I’m not surprised. I generally expect one of these three vets: Lewis, Hejduk, or Maestro to play during qualifying – with one of them potentially making the WC squad. Bradley likes a veteran presence on the pitch and in the locker room.

    There is a long time between now and the WC – there will be plenty of time for Altidore and some of our younger players to grow and be ready for big roles next year. Bradley’s main goal right now is to win this game! I’d love to see us play with EJ,LD, Beas, Demps and Adu together – with either a 3 back line or 1 d mid. in the future. I just don’t see it happening for awhile. I think that Gibbs potential return will allow Bradley to evaluate a 3 back line later on in the process.

    Right now – I think the hope is that Bradley jr. continues to develop into a defensive/linking midfielder.

    My bet today is that BB will go with


    Beas/Lewis —- Lando – —–Demps/Beas

    Mastro —-Bradley



    we’ll see Freddy off the bench today – and hopefully with a good result today, he can start the second leg. I think DMB is at his best when he’s on the left – I’d like to see him stay there. Not sure if we’ve ever had a two way player with that type of work rate before.

    I can’t wait for later on in the process when Bradley’s got time to evaluate DMB,LD, Demps,Adu,Altidore, MB and Edu on the pitch together.

  2. I would have to agree Pat. Buddle has always had great skill, it was just a matter of work ethic and mindset with him. I think Gullit has pushed all the right buttons to get the real talent of Edson Buddle to shine through. I have always preferred him to EJ anyways, so please let’s hope Bradley at least gives him a shot!

  3. Edson Buddle? Aka Man on fire. I mean, how many would complain if he and Cooper get looks over Ching and the Grown Ass Man?

    Not me.

  4. Here is some info on Barbados in case anyone wants to know:

    Barbados adds nine players from overseas for World Cup qualifier

    1 day ago

    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Barbados will have nine overseas players on its team when it faces the United States in Sunday’s World Cup qualifier in Carson, Calif.

    The U.S.-Barbados winner advances to a semifinal group that most likely will include Cuba, Guatemala, and Trinidad and Tobago. The top two teams in the group advance to next year’s regional finals.

    Five of the Barbados players play in England: Marcel McKie, Paul Ifill, Mark McCammon, Johnathan Forte and Johnathan Nurse. The other overseas players are: Miles Jones, Alvin Rouse, Daryl Ferguson and Rommell Burgess.

    The only previous meetings between the U.S. and Barbados were in the semifinals of qualifying for the 2002 World Cup. The United States won 7-0 in August 2000 at Foxborough, Mass., then was held scoreless until the 63rd minute before winning 4-0 at Barbados that November to reach the regional finals.

  5. Well since were playing barbados we def. dont need 2 holding mids. Lets roll the dice with this:








    This is a gamble, but we need to shake things up because we can afford too, were playing barbados, not to mention we need a new look. Ive been saying forever that beasley should get a look at left back. Hes great on d and he can push up on the left wing, which would cause problems for any d. Bradley needs more attacking responsibilty. If he cant answer the call then he shouldnt start. Klejstin to me is a dangerous prospect. He needs playing time, and i think he can become a good player, especially with adu playing with him. Ching starts because their is no altidore. Edu is our answer for holding mid so lets get him more playing time. Boca sux he shouldnt start again.

  6. why are so many looking to play 4-5-1 vs Barbados, they dont even have players lets play 2 strikers 5 in the middle and three at the back, out attack needs to start scoring some goals somthing that aint been happening .

    ———-Ching —– Donovan——–




    i put edu over mastro for the fact that Edu will most likely be our 2010 starter mastro is not getting any younger and games like these can build confidence for a player like Edu.

  7. Barbados. Right. We should be able to put ten bowling pins on the field and a second string goalkeeper and keep it 0:0. Add a striker from the Harrisburg City Islanders instead of one of the bowling pins and we’ll win 4:0.

    Too much agonizing over a game that we’ll win no matter what. Save the weeping and gnashing of teeth for Costa Rica and Mexico.

  8. So… when are we going to start talking about Edson Buddle again.. the guy is on a freak tear right now and already knows how to play with Landon….

  9. EJ’s pace and style of play is perfect for CONCACAF counter attacking style of play. That’s why he does so well in WC qualifiers.

  10. I think that Ante Razov, Jeff Cunningham, Robbie Findley, or any other American forward in MLS would do just fine against Barbados. I would definitely prefer Ching over EJ.

  11. Considering the effort he’s put in in recent matches, Eddie Johnson should not wear or even be allowed to look at another National Team jersey until he scores a hat trick for Fulham.


  12. I’m with Ives, though if we do go up by 2 or more early, I could see Bradley get experimental. Nah, what am I talking about?!?!?

  13. wait….i dont think Mastroeni CAN play. his red card against Argentina prevents him from playing in the next game….doesnt it? im kinda unclear on that….

  14. My Line up




    –Beasley– –Dempsey–


    –Pearce– –Cherundolo–


    –Howard–(of Course)

    i like Pearce on that left wing back position. Adu as the CAM- He HAS to be there.just HAS to. questions as to whether its Mastroeni, Edu, or Bradley though.If Dempsey’s not there could be a huge detriment cause it would effect the whole lineup. Bradley needs to understand that this is the time to play his best players not develop young players,although, if he gains a good lead than it would be fine to put in some young talent

  15. I just want Michael Bradley and Clint Dempsey to not start. I like Eddie Lewis on the left and DMB on the right. Have Donavon and Adu play in the middle with Mastroeni or Edu behind them. Ching up top and the regulars on defense.

  16. I know it’s only Barbados but in view of the fact that the U.S. can’t score a goal lately to save it’s life, I think we need to play this game just like we would if we were playing against a much tougher opponent.

    If, I’m Barbados I’m looking at the U.S. and thinking that the bunker strategy just might enable us to steal a point. If they put up a brick wall and just try to hang on for a point, and the U.S. continues to struggle with scoring, who knows what could happen? As we well know all of the domination in the world doesn’t necessarily mean you will win. At this point the U.S. shouldn’t even take a game against the best 11 SBI posters lightly. Especially if I’m in the lineup! 🙂

  17. Rumor has it Ives hasn’t done a game thread for tonight’s Red Bull game yet because he will be suiting up as a forward for the depleted team

  18. i say this a lot, but if i see 2 defensive mids playing together again im going to go crazy. to break down the bunker defense we are going to see or just to be successful in general we have to be able to keep possession – all of our d mids (clark/edu/mastro/mb) are great d mids, but thats all they are, they can barely pass the ball to someone like donovan, let alone to another d mid- bradley is not an offensive player, watch his games in holland, his goals are all toe pokes of corners,etc. we only need one of them. here’s what id like to see – either something very similar to what brentmcd posted, or



    beas – dempsey – donvan


    pearce – demerit- onyewu – dolo

    kind of a 4-1-4-1 the italians used a lot in wc 2006

    dempsey has said repeated times he likes to play central and behind the ball. and honestly without feilhaber playing to form, we have no one who can keep possession which we desperately need and so we need to start throwign guys like dempsey and donovan in there to see what they can do. also, boca and onyewu are both big dumb idiots, we only need one enforcer, partner him with someone smaller, quicker, smarter – maybe edu in the future?

    *****i advise seeing jen chang’s column for some real knowledge


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