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The first U.S. men's national team match of the year is finally set to kick off this Saturday (8:30pm, FSC/Galavision) and while most of the national team's top players won't be there to face Sweden, the match should still give us a chance to see some of the top young U.S. prospects.
Unfortunately for U.S. fans, standout defenders Chad Marshall and Sean Franklin will have to wait to impress Bob Bradley as injuries ruled them both out. The rash of injuries to defenders forced U.S. coach Bob Bradley to call in Michael Parkhurst from Denmark, so he should probably be penciled in as a starter.
That still leaves plenty of intriguing young attacking players who could have a chance to shine on Saturday, including Charlie Davies, Kenny Cooper, Robbie Rogers and Stuart Holden to name a few.
Trying to figure out which combination of attacking players Bradley will settle on for Saturday's match won't be easy, but should still be interesting. Here is the starting lineup we could see against Sweden on Saturday:
USA Projected Starting XI vs. Sweden
BENCH– Busch, Hesmer, Ihemelu, Wingert, Thorrington, Carroll, Jewsbury, Gaven, Rolfe, Cooper
Kenny Cooper is the player most folks would probably point out as missing but I just don't see a Ching-Cooper pairing and Davies just came off a strong campaign in Sweden so he's a safe bet to start if health. Could Bradley go with the young tandem of Cooper and Davies? I can't see him leaving Ching on the bench because that would likely leave a pretty inexperienced attack
The midfield could also be a few different combinations, though I think the above foursome is the most likely. Holden and Kljestan could swap positions, but I think this is the most likely four.
As far as the back-line goes it wouldn't shock me if John Thorrington got the nod at right back. Chris Wingert is coming off a good MLS season as well so it will be interesting to see if he gets a chance t play.
Will Sacha Kljestan and Troy Perkins really get the starts considering they will both be flying in from halfway around the world? I think it's safe to say both will unless they picked up knocks along the way.
Now it's your turn, which starting XI would you use against Sweden?
Share your thoughts below.