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Beasley avoids injury, but tackle raises questions for USMNT

DaMarcus Beasley (Reuters) 

If you happened to catch a replay of the horrific tackle on DaMarcus Beasley that resulted in a red card and Beasley's quick exit from Rangers' Scottish Cup win on Wednesdy, you probably spit up your Cheerios for fear that the U.S. national team's best left wing option would miss serious time.

While Beasley avoided serious injury, the incident still makes you wonder just what U.S. coach Bob Bradley would do if he didn't have Beasley around, something that would definitely be worrisome considering the next two World Cup qualifiers are just six weeks away, and considering there's no clear-cut back-up for Beasley.

So here is the question for you. If you were Bradley, and Beasley weren't available for the El Salvador and Trinidad & Tobago qualifiers in March/April, who would you play on the left flank? Would you throw Robbie Rogers into the fire? Would you call up Eddie Lewis and hope the veteran can deliver some solid performances? Would you consider starting Jose Francisco Torres even though he's more a left-footed central midfielder than natural winger? Would you consider putting Landon Donovan on the left flank?

What would you do? Share your thoughts below.

Comments

  1. Torres in the center with Mike.

    Push Sasha outside. He handles it pretty well when caught out there due to the run of play. And good enough offensively to create problems without Beasely speed.

    BB can also probably use an asymmetric formation from the back (one outside FB pushed up) with El Salvador trying to clog things up in the center.

  2. While i like the idea of Eddie Lewis, I agree that we need to stop depending on old guys too much. There might be some wisdom to grabbing his experience for that Honduras game though.

    We need to be willing to take some “risks” (if they are risks) with younger guys every now and then. We dont have the talent to make it big on the international stage without some risks anyways!

    I like the idea above of using Adu on the wing with Torres in the middle (in place of Klejstan), at least for a home Trinidad game.

  3. Do not call up Eddie Lewis, he has been great, but now is the time for youth. Not to take El Slvador lightly, but what better experience could there be for a young player. This way the US team will have a backup player for Beasley that is ready for the World Cup.

  4. *cough* Scottish league sucks *cough*

    Posted by: Scott A

    LOL, if the Scottish Premier League sucks how come Beasley and Reyna have played there and Beasley will not come home?

  5. (1) I think starting Donovan on the left with Altidore up top with Ching would make some sense. @ John Godfrey proposes another workable solution.

    (2) Torres makes a lot of sense too. In the current USMNT format, the wing midfielders pinch in a lot, so Torres’ not being a natural winger does not have as much impact. I think I would make this choice if I were BB.

    (3) Not Rogers. He has really not performed well in international play, at the olympics or in the full team setup.

    (4) Another option is Stuart Holden, who played a lot on the left side for the Dynamo the last two years.

  6. I hate this mentality that young players have to go through the “friendly” hoops to get a competitive game with the USMNT. Just because Torres hasn’t played in a big match doesn’t mean he can’t handle a road WCQ at El Salvador. Torres has the talent and experience to play and start in this game. If history is an measure we need a talented and creative left footed player to break a team who will post 10 men behind the ball and hope for a draw. To me it’s a no brainer. If it is not DMB then it has to be Torres.

    But I think we all know that Mr. Bob will bring in Eddie Lewis.

  7. Scott A : The standard of play is much greater than in MLS. And that includes teams outside of Celtic and Rangers, which you would realize if you weren’t so busy orally pleasuring Don Garber …

  8. Despite the FIFA ’09 All-Stars listed here, I think a lot depends on situation.

    Vs. T&T at home? Give Rogers, Torres, Adu or Convey (or some combination) a shot.

    AT El Salvador or Costa Rica (or in Azteca?)

    Give me Eddie Lewis.

    He may be a step slower than he was, but he has good vision, plays defense, and still delivers the set pieces as well as (if not better than) anyone else in the player pool. And he’s tough, as he proved in Guatemaula last year.

  9. Either Dempsey or Donovan. Did anyone notice in the Mexico game that guys were switching positions from time to time? Beasley ended up on the right side a couple of times. At the same time, I’d include Torres over Kljesten. You have a left-footed player in the center who could switch over to the left side also.

    ———Ching–Altidore———

    Donovan–Torres–Bradley–Dempsey

  10. Bring in Lewis as the presumptive starter, but give Rogers (or Convey) a chance to knock him off in camp.

    Either way, I’d plan to sub Lewis out for Rogers/Convey during the game, either with a 2-goal lead, or about minute 70, whichever comes first.

  11. I’d put Rodgers on the left and keep Dempsey on the right. When Dempsey plays on the left for Fulham, he tends to drift into the middle of the pitch. I assume we’d have the same problem with Torres. I don’t think we can afford to leave Heath Pierce exposed without a natural left sided player in front of him, especially against T&T who have one of the best right wingers in the region (Carlos Edwards). I don’t like the idea of calling Eddie Lewis up. I doubt he’ll be around in a year and a half and we need to start developing depth for South Africa. The best option might be taking a look at Bobby Convey, if he has a good camp with San Jose.

  12. Jeremiah White, although right-footed, plays left wing for Aarhus these days. If BB thinks Dempsey must be up front or on the right, I would think that White could be an option.

  13. Sorry, let me try that formation again 🙂

    Adu ———————— Dempsey
    ——Torres——Bradley——

  14. “Beasley will miss Saturday’s Clydesdale Bank Premier League clash with Kilmarnock but should be fit for the following weekend’s trip to Hamilton.”

    Uh, I am sorry–Did I miss something? Doesn’t this assume the Walter Smith had intentions of putting Beasley in the squad or even playing him? Beasley plays about 60-80 minutes a MONTH. The only person who assumes that a Beasley injury would be a blow to the Rangers team is the author of that story. And even s/he may be delusional.

  15. Great question Ives, it’s the first thing that came to my mind yesterday 🙂

    I think we have some depth, we just have to be creative. Sans Beasley, I’d like to see the open cup formation, with this midfield:

    Adu Dempsey
    Torres Bradley

    You’d get Torres ball control with Freddy’s creativity. I think Freddy would step up if given the chance. His defensive work rate would not be so much of a problem with Torres and Bradley behind him. Of course, Donovan would be upfront with Ching or Altidore.

  16. For El Salvador – Lewis out left (for his experience and skill) and keep everything else the same.

    For TNT – Donovan out left (TNT are not very skilled but very athletic) and Jozy or Adu underneath Ching. Leave everything else the same.

    Thank heavens that Beaz did not suffer a serious set-back, especially for a team that gives him chump-change chances to play. Stay healthy bro and get the hell out’a dodge in the summer.

  17. I’d be inclined to go with Lewis. That way the whole lineup doesn’t need to be shuffled. Plus, Eddie won’t be worn down yet as the MLS season will just be underway. Fingers crossed that Beasley stays healthy, but if he were forced to miss the next couple USMNT games I’m confident Lewis would get the job done.

    If it were later in the Hex and we were already sitting pretty for a top 3 finish, then sure try out some of the youngsters.

  18. Landon on the left wing and Adu playing behind the forwards. Could make us venerable to counter attacks with Landon attacking and Adu’s inability to track back, add to that our weakness at left back. However, with all that offensive firepower on the field and our holding mids in Bradley and Clack/Edu and we will be fine through CONCACAF qualifiers.

  19. Well, I would prefer to call them all in and see how it goes. Torres to me would be the most likely to emerge from camp.

    But it’s going to be Eddie Lewis.

  20. kev13p…..Amen brother. I think Adu has been caught in some bad circumstances both at Benfica, where a new manager had a low opinion of Americans and at Monaco where he is caught between an American owner who wanted him and a manager who wants to prove to the owner that only he makes the football decisions by not playing Adu. Adu was our only player who flummoxed Spain, even for a second, although he made some immature choices against Argentina. I know your post was not advocating Adu, but I am. I would move people around to get him on the field. If he flops…..well he had his chance. Same goes for a Ching for Altidore/Cooper switch in my view.

  21. Yeah…if we’re okay with playing other guys who don’t start for their teams, why not Convey? When he was in-form, he was a very good player.

  22. This has been Bothering me for a while now. BB is still overly reliant on Beasley, even though he’s been increasingly injury prone over the last few years. I thought he did well against Mexico, but one has to wonder if he can possibly stay healthy all the way through 2010.

    While Torres is getting regular playing time in Mexico, it isn’t his “natural” position. I do think he has enough ability to play there though. That said, this is why I sincerely hope we can develop a servicable pairing up top… Ching/Altidore (don’t slam me, but Ching is clearly BB’s 1st choice) or Altidore/Davies (eventually?)could work on top, which would allow us to take advantage of LD’s versatility by moving him to the left flank.

    Otherwise, I say we call up Eddie Lewis until we’ve locked down enough points to get to South Africa (which we will with games to spare), and then make sure we get guys like Torres lots of minutes in the “extra” qualifiers, the Gold Cup, and/or the Confederations Cup.

  23. I’d start Rogers or Torres. In the Mexico game, the potential risks of a new guy not handling the pressure were greater than the benefits of blooding them. With these matchups, in my humble opinion, the benefits of breaking them in will be greater than the (smaller) risk of them not performing against lesser foes

  24. I would use Donovan and Dempsey on the wings. Give them the freedom to switch. I would use Altidore and Ching up top.

  25. You either:

    A) Put Torres there and pair him with Bornstein as LB. Torres can hold his own defensively and if he pinches to the middle, Bornstein loves the overlap

    B) Play Adu on LM and pair him with Pearce. Say what you want about him, but Adu is more ready than Rogers for full national team duties. He’ll also drift centrally, but Pearce should be able to cover on D.

    I know Rogers is the next big thing for the USMNT crowd, but I don’t think he’s ready for a Qualifier start yet.

  26. I throw Torres in. THOUGH it is a WC qualifier, El Salvador’s talent in inferior to that that he faces in Mex League play and in other tournaments. He’s already seen crowds some rough crowds…he doesnt play in MLS after all.

  27. The time is over for calling in aged veteran players to fill in on occasion. The US has too many promising young players that deserve a chance to get game experience and prove themselves either capable or incapable of competing at the international level. It’s time to start weeding the pool out.

  28. Put Landon on the left and put Freddy Adu in behind the striker or Robbie Rogers gets the position. There’s just not a lot there right now.

  29. How about Dempsey on the left (as he does for Fulham), and then solve the right wing problem (a much easier problem to solve)?

    That could mean Klesjen (sp?) out right with Torres in the middle, or Donovan out right with Altidore or Cooper in up top, etc.

  30. I would call Eddie Lewis in and start him. I would also call in Rogers and Torres for training before every game and have them battle it out for who will come in as a sub as it will be needed for Lewis, not talent wise, but because he will get worn out running up and down the field all day. Getting old sucks.

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