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:
USA POTENTIAL LINEUP vs. BARBADOS
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.