Top Stories

Who should start vs. Trinidad & Tobago?


                                                                               Photo by

Now that the really hard work has been done, it is time for the U.S. men’s national team to finish off its World Cup qualifying group.

The Americans can essentially do just that on Wednesday when it takes on Trinidad & Tobago at Toyota Park on Wednesday. A win would put the U.S. team at nine points, giving the Americans a five-point lead on second place in the group regardless of the outcome of the Guatemala-Cuba game, and a seven-point lead on third-place Guatemala if the Cubans can tie ‘Los Chapines’.

Yes, there would still be three games to play, and there are mathematical permutations that could give us a final standings with the USA in third place, but that would require a collapse if amazing proportions.

Trinidad & Tobago is far from a pushover. The ‘Soca Warriors’ have four points from its first two matches and did something the Americans weren’t able to, score multiple goals in Cuba (in a 3-1 win in the group opener). Young midfield ace Keon Daniel has been a revelation, scoring three goals in qualifying after two matches to help make up for the absence of injured striker Kenwyne Jones.

So what team should Bob Bradley use to face Trinidad & Tobago? This is what we will likely see:






I could see Eddie Johnson getting a look, as well as Ricardo Clark, but I see Bradley using essentially the same squad that beat Cuba (with Cherundolo back in for Hejduk). If he wanted to get a little daring and go after T&T he could sit Edu and start Johnson and play a straight 4-4-2 with Michael Bradley as the lone deep-lying midfielder.

So what will the Americans face? A pretty fast and skillful T&T team that doesn’t have quite the fire power of past teams, but that can still move the ball well and finish. Daniel is also a very good free kick specialist so Michael Bradley and co. will need to be careful about fouls near the box.

Here’s a closer look at Trinidad & Tobago, with some video highlights from their 3-1 World Cup qualifying win against Cuba (note that the field is much faster in this match than in the U.S. team’s 1-0 win in Cuba, and also it wasn’t raining like it was in last Saturday’s ugly 1-0 encounter. Looks like the Cubans figured out that letting the grass grow would slow things down.):


So it’s your turn. What starting lineup and formation would you like to see the U.S. national team use against Trinidad & Tobago on Wednesday?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. This SHOULD have been the starting line-up











    Forwards: Altidore, Adu

    Attacking Mids: Klejstan, Dempsey

    Defensive Mids: Edu, Bocanegra

    Wingers: Beasley, Donovan

    Backs: Pierce, Onyewu, Cherundolo

    Goalie: Howard

    BUT, the National Team is too afraid to play with a three man backline and the formation is too offensive minded for BB to comprehend. For God’s sake, get Landon out of the middle…this isn’t the MLS, it’s international play, he won’t dominate like he does in the U.S. Also, Bradley is only on the team because he is the coach’s son…he sucks!!! There, I said it…I am tired of our midfield getting dominated by EVERYBODY because of Donovan and Bradley giving the ball away all the time. We sucked with Bruce Arena, but we are not any better with BB…way too timid and no chemistry at all…what a waste of talent…and we thought David B. would boost American soccer, yeah, just like Bill Clinton almost got back in the White House…pitiful!!!

  2. ———-Ching——-EJ————–


    Beas—-Rico(or Bradley)—-Landycakes


    We need to work around a creative offensive CM & Landycakes just doesn’t have the balls for the position and lil’ freddy just ain’t here!

    Put the big guys up front & middle.

    Put the fast skillz on the wings and let them overlap into the box a la c.ronaldo/messi or whip in crosses all day long.

  3. i think MB needs a break… we have enough players to fill the center… send him back to Germany and let him role with his club…. way too much intl’ football mix with club for this kid… come back refreshed for either the tail end of groups or beginning of hex

  4. here’s an offensive-minded formation to get us some goals. can’t believe i’m starting Mr. Excitement, but here goes….






  5. Klestjan has the skillz to create that tweeked pass to unleash Deuce, lando, or Beas(would prefer to see freddy thou in this case) Freddy and klestjan can do some of they’re mind boggling ish they did up in the olympics that put the dutch on their @$$es. Jozy up top, hands down. Ching is an OK target man, but Jozy has that finesse driving into the box and running at people that you dont see too many big men having. back 4 are a given. as for the bradley/edu/clark decision…I dont know…edu was pretty bunk in cuba…bradley is on and off and clark doesnt get the nod…Rico is probably the best passer, but not as imposing as the others…Give rico the nod and hold bradley for a real test…since he has a yellow already…

  6. jpc – I like your lineup but would switch Dempsey in for Klestjan. I only state that because somebody up top needs to have some skills in the air. Dempsey is better suited for that role but he doesn’t take away the flair that Klestjan would bring. This is simply to cover kick offs and crosses from the wing. If the game was played purely on the ground, then I think your lineup would be perfect. Although, there are only 9 guys on the field. Where and who is the 10th player?

    The theory behind using a true striker such as Ching and his hold up play is to allow players to make dangerous runs. They should be strong enough to hold off defenders and win the 50-50 ball. That is of course, just the theory of it.

  7. Thom- i wont disagree with anything you stated, but i would not wish our national side failure…

    do i think BB will survive past 2010?? depends on how he does in 2010 im guessing… however, BB has introduced youth players to the team…they’ve gotten looks… and will continue to get looks…. Wynne, Orozco, MB, Edu, and Kljestan are all part of the roster for the Cuban and T&T game…. Jozy and Adu will become part of the squad soon enough…. if Rogers rebounds from his mediocre Olympics we’ll see him 2nd to Beasley…. the players are moving up the ranks, and we’ll see them soon enough

    we need to stop over analyising things… Bar Feilhaber, this is the roughly the same squad that beat Poland 3-0, Equador 3-0, and mexico on many accounts… the US manages to get the results at this level… im more concerned about getting the results rather then making it look flashy… a 1-0 win against Cuba and Guat?? ill take it, altho i agree they werent great wins…

  8. —–Ching—–






    Baby Bradley is our version of Gennaro Gattuso, the player who imposes his will with hard work and crunching tackles. yes, he makes some foolish mistakes with those tackles, but at least he has the cojones to make them. Dempsey was our most creative attacking player against Cuba, plus he put the ball in the net from open play, anyone who thinks he won’t start is crazy.

  9. –Donovan—Klestjian–




    – I would essentially have them play without a forward, and allow both donovan and klestjian to float back and forth from the midfield

    – I hate the fact that we continue to play guys like ching and johnson simply b/c they are “true” forwards, when the truth is that they simply shouldn’t be on the field right now b/c their not good enough

    – Can anyone explain to me why we need a striker, when they simply are not the caliber of the rest of the attacking players? is our offensive so dependent on the hold up play of brian ching? How many times have we scored b/c ching held up the ball and laid it off to another player for a goal?

    – our offense is so disjointed b/c the gameplan when pressure is applied seems to be to play a long ball to the striker hoping he can hold possession, which is effective maybe 20 percent of the time. I’m sorry but that’s not how the sport is played anymore.

    – I believe that we have the talent to move the ball forward as a unit and have donovan and klestjian release forward when space needs to be created, and have wynne and pearce overlapping as attackers out of the back. Only playing long ball when we want to b/c open space has been created, not when we feel we need to due to pressure

    – I think Bradley will be good on the wing w/ Wynne. Two players who play with a certain reckless abandon. Bradley’s mistakes passing out of a deep midfield position are killers to any sort of offensive flow (Edu and klestjian have the same problem at times). But those mistakes are a bit more tolerable on the outside as long as they have a dangerous intention and put the defense on its heels

    – I would also like to see Clarke in for Edu at some point, I think he’s fantastic, and the most dangerous player on the team shooting from distance

  10. Brett- well now you can say you have seen it all and I stand by my wish.

    The status quo and complacency is killing us. Do yourself a favor- get a little outraged and start raising hell where ever and whenever you can.

    Our program is bad shape. Our players are not proving their worth at a high club level. Right now I give us a 30% chance of having to play South America’s 5th place team with means no South Africa 3 and out. Mexico and Honduras are not better than us but they will win their home games because they have true home field advantages. So if we have one slip up to say a Costa Rica at home all of a sudden it will get very dicey. And this team under this coach playing kick ball football with 2 defending midfielders is ripe for that to happen. Put it another way- without Howard we may have only 2 pts and maybe 1 as we sit when you look back at both games.

    Brett- we have the money, the young talent , and the infrastructure to be a consistent top 15 nation in soccer and what is stopping us from achieving are the idiots who choose our staff, stifle the creativity out of kids at 15 years old, and a bunch of no nothing blowhards making all the decisions. And one nil victories over tiny, insignificant nations are perpetuating this. You think Klinsmann didn’t take the job because any other reason other than he knew the bureaucracy in place would kill his efforts to turn this all around?

    We need big events to bring on big change. Think big Brett- sometimes bad things need to happen so good things can come. I want to beat Spain one day- not just say we played with them pretty evenly.

  11. For anyone who has seen Maurice Edu play pretty extensively:

    What are your thoughts of him playing either right or left back or right wing? From my limited looks at him, he seems to have a good sense of making runs and joining the attack. With the log jam of Bradley, Clark and Edu, I thought it would be better to move him somewhere else where his offensive instincts could be utilized more.

    But I do realize that I haven’t seen enough of him to determine if that is a good option or not. What do you guys think? Good idea? Bad idea?

  12. Thom- as i stated before, wishing failure on your own team is unacceptable…. regardless of what you think might happen, it’ll take more then just 1 loss to T&T to get BB fired… alot more…

    perhaps if we fall out of the groups and let guat and T&T move onto the hex, then we’d probably see a change, but nothing less….

    ive never seen anyone wish their team failure just to hold onto hope that it may cause a coach to get fired

  13. Why do we even have this post? so we can debate the merits of who is better between Dolo and Heydude?

    I am rooting for a upset. Will still have 6 points and maybe, just maybe, one of the morons who run the USSF will be shocked into noticing that we are going no where WC 2010 with this current regime in charge.

    If I were a 10 year old girl, because then it would be a fair fight, I would punch Suni right in the mouth for being such an arrogant twit who doesn’t realize how over his own head he is.

    My wife will not even watch the games anymore because she grew up in Soutrh America and says what we play tactically isn’t football- it’s kick ball while waiting on set pieces to score.

    She’s right.

    I have been a patient and ardent supporter since 1990. I have travelled to 3 WC’s and watch everything on TV iI can. I’ve even attended friendlies vs. the likes of Haiti.

    Between the Concacaf Champions crash by NE and Chivas, the Olympic fiasco with Benny the di*khead not guarding his post, the continual wash out of U.S. players in Europe, the MLS’s inability to get on the same page as the rest of the world, and above all the brain numbing tactics and player selection of the national team i am at my lowest point as a fan since I fell in love with the sport.

    On that note- do us a favor T&T – put a 4 nil shellacking on us for our own long term best interest.

  14. Why dont we ever use are substitutes effectively….this is what our lineup should be (and is reasonable):







    With these substitutions…..

    1. Bradley in the 65th when either Edu, Bocanegra or Onyewu get in foul trouble/wears down…if the latter two then Edu slide in at CB… (sidenote edu/bradley should be in open competition for that DM spot so that one of them is forced to learn how to distribute out of the back……)

    2. Klejsten for Dempsey in the 70…(Neither one is good enough to play the full 90, maybe splitting the time would keep them fresher and more useful)

    3. Third Sub is open ended based on injury/strategy….

    Also…I am of the opinion that Subotic will not be playing for the US, its clear we want want him, by virtue of him not coming, its clear he does not want to be here….

    Lastly, count me a charlie Davies fan, at least he looks like he wants it out there,(cough cough…dempsey…)…davies slides in at forward donovan to RM 2010…

  15. These proposed lineups without Michael Bradley in it are the most wishful of thinking. It will be essentially the same lineup as Cuba, but with Cherundolo at RB, possibly Clark instead of Edu, and maybe Johnson instead of Ching, all possibilities that Ives alluded to. Ho-hum for sure, but that’s the way it goes for Bradley’s bunch. Maybe Marvelle Wynne can get in the game at some point, along with Kljestan

    The best we can hope for in the forseeable future is the further integration of Adu and Altidore. Bradley is just too conservative

    for much else.

  16. I think the national team could do a better job coaching themselves and deciding which formation would work better and be more effective then what B.B. seems to do.



Leave a Comment