Top Stories

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.


  1. Lewis and Convey. Convey is fit. He has been playing for Reading since last August – they were midseason when he left. Start Lewis and get Convey integrated back into the MNT. Now that he is in town, that should be a lot easier. Torres is the other option – Rodgers is not up to it.

  2. Play a 4-5-1






  3. What I would do: Start Adu in the hole and then either put Donovan on the right and Dempsey on the left or vice versa, whichever the two are more comfortable with (they could switch in-game to the other if one isn’t working, as well).

    What Bradley would do: Eddie Lewis

  4. I like the idea of Holden, but more for T&T, at El Salvador, I don’t necessarily have a problem with Eddie Lewis getting the start. As others have said, he won’t be terribly tired based on timing in the MLS season, and we saw the “experience card” pay dividends last year with him in similar situaions. Dempsey with whoever out right works for me also. Torres needs to be in Klejstian’s spot if you ask me.

  5. Um… I would start Adu, Torres or Klejstian ahead of Beasley even if he were healthy. He runs around a lot, but haven’t seen him do much other than that.

    He needs to be moved to left back.

  6. I’d put Donovan on the left, Dempsey on the right, and start Altidore and Ching up top. Donovan played LM against Poland last year and had a very strong game.

  7. if this hypothetical situation were to occur in 6-8 months, i think i’d vouch for Bobby Convey as well. If not him, Robbie Rogers. And as for Eddie Lewis, the guy can’t even make an impact an immediate impact for the Galaxy, so how could anyone expect him to do so on the national team?

  8. Torres has to get on the field. He may be the most composed player on the ball of anyone in our entire pool. Put him on the left wing. Put him on the right wing. Put him in the middle. But put him on the bloody field. Its time to get him into rythm wiht the other guys so he is ready for Confederations Cup and South Africa 2010.

  9. Easy for me, LW depth chart:

    1) Beasley
    2) Lewis
    3) Rogers
    4) Adu
    5) Torres
    6) J. Johnson
    7) Clark
    8) Mapp

    Just go to the next name on the list.

    Otherwise, I’d do something BB would never do: switch formations.

    As others have said, I’d go 4-3-2-1.


    Subs: Perkins, Hejduk, Califf, Altidore, Adu, Clark, Edu.

  10. I would go with Torres or Donovan if you are leaving everything else the same. Beasley played more towards the middle in the Mexico game allowing Pearce to overlap, so you are not hurt by Torres or Donovan.

  11. Are people serious about putting Freddy in? He has rotted on the bench since December, in no way does that deserve a call up much less a start. Put Torres in the middle, and then decide whether you would want to have LD or Sacha on the left or in the 10 spot.

  12. I like what Dan said above,…I would like to see Torres and Bradley in the middle together…with Dempsey on the right and Rob Rogers on the left. I realize Rogers is green but it is time for him step up. Besides,…matches against ES and T&T would be a good start.

  13. Back up Left Wingers/Midfielders:

    Eddie Lewis – Doesn’t have the legs that Beasley does but his range of passing and service, off the static and moving ball, is very handy.

    Robbie Rogers – The speediest winger we have behind Beasley. a 1v1 artist, can shoot, great passer and technically gifted but when provided with possibly the best header of the ball as a target, he failed to provide the service the U.S. needed.

    Jose Francisco Torres – As stated so many times, isn’t a natural winger. However, his work rate and of course range of creative passing is something to watch for on the wing. Either way I think we WILL see him next time around and his chances of starting are much better off.

    Sacha Kljestan- Not a lefty but has shown with the U.S. and with Chivas( when Bornstein was injured) that it never mattered. As a matter of fact, He seemingly does better on the left wing. His 1v1 ability and creative passes make him exciting to watch. Of course should he decide to cut inside, We all know any goalkeeper within 34 yards should keep an eye on him.

  14. From left Field – Jemal Johnson MK DONS. I think he is left footed and playing well for the second place Legue One team on 60+ points. He is a striker on paper but he has like 10 assists. From what I’ve heard he takes most corners and is sparkplug for them. MK Dons should be in the Championship next year.

    Semi Realistic – Robbie Rogers. But he needs to be more consistent.

    More realistic – Paco Torres. He can shoot and is good on the ball and seems like he would defend since he plays in central midfield.

  15. Kljestan out wide with Mastroeni helping Bradley in the middle. Torres getting the start on the left flank isn’t COMPLETELY out of the question. He’s a hard worker and I think Heath Pearce would feel comfortable with him in front of him. Then again, I’ve always had a theory that maybe Torres should play as a right winger, that way he’s not obligated to knock in crosses. Something like this I geuss:


    We certainly wouldn’t be lacking in technical ability thats for sure.

  16. @Kizz “LOL, if the Scottish Premier League sucks how come Beasley and Reyna have played there and Beasley will not come home?”

    It’s very simple…the Old Firm are solid clubs. Beyond that, it really is a poor league. I’m not trying to be a hater but it’s true. This third-division side which was playing Rangers in the Scottish Cup is semi-professional. I’m not even saying that the league should be better; Scotland is a pretty small country and Rangers and Celtic themselves have had some success. But people have a bloated idea of the rest of the league. It’s very physical–in a bad way in my opinion, predictable, muddy, and not very skilled beyond the top two. Before any Scots attack me, I don’t hate the league, I just don’t think it’s very good

  17. dempsey to the left, pull donovan back to the right, put in adu as a CAM, altidore up front. adu & altidore have chemistry & vision that’s lacking with some of the more senior players.

  18. Johann Smith!? Wow, I’m pretty sure we have better option than a youngster, who has done very little as a professional and has no expereince at the senior international level…

  19. This one is easy: Change the formation to a 4-3-2-1. Like this:

    Cherundolo Gooch Bocanegra Pearc

    Sascha Bradly Torres

    Dempsey Donovan


    It might be time to change formations anyway as we seem to have plenty of central midfielders but not enough wide players.

  20. Jemal Johnson, without question. Yes I realize he’s a League One player, but he has been stellar this year. Goes bombing forward and delivers quality crosses, takes players on, even shows a head for goal. Even with Beasley healthy, Johnson should at least get called in for a camp so Bradley can have a look.

  21. I think Jeff above is right. Dempsey plays there for Fulham from time to time, and switches with Davies most games. Play him there, Sacha on the right and Torres in the middle.

  22. Kingsnake:

    You really are full of yourself, aren’t you?

    The Scottish Premier League is a quality two team league. Big deal.

  23. Zizzo would never have seen a minute in the u20 world cup if johann wasnt injured, n never recieved that seniort eam call up…

    peter u say speed kills but ur forgetting the fastest person in the league haha
    Stuart Holden–Adu–Johann Smith

    teams wudnt b able to handle all that speed on the right side if we had wynne at right back

  24. I think i’d go with moving LannyCakes over and putting Freddy Adu into the middle of Bobbo’s 4-2-3-1 formation. If it were a 4-4-2 then I think you’d have to go with Lewis or Torres since either of them have shown that they know what the word defense means, whereas Freddy acts like a high-school senior debating doing some tough calculus problem or driving over to his girlfriend’s house for a quickie.

  25. *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?

    Posted by: Kizz | February 19, 2009 at 01:51 PM

    it’s called cash money. the top two scottish clubs get their champions league money and can outpay any US squad. the dropoff between those two and the next teams is more dramatic than in any other league in western europe.

  26. Money

    Posted by: Matt Mathai

    Thanks for making my point for me Matt, to dismiss the Scottish League would be a dumb move, plus if you play for the big two (Rangers and Celtic), you will make good money and play at least in the UEFA Cup if you miss out on CL

  27. clearly ching isnt the answer, peter, everyone knows he’s just a stopgap. altidore is that answer, and maybe cooper as well. problem is, we have nobody else right now. hopefully altidore will develop enough between now and june 2010 that he will be able to be effective in the wc. if i were bb id be playing altidore as much as possible, those confederations cup games look like a good opportunity for jozy.

  28. Donovan, Donovan, Donovan.

    He’s got some time there, switching with DMB.

    Instead of looking at this as a patchwork, short-term thing, BB should use this as an opportunity to prepare younger players to fill the squad.

    Players rise to their expectations, if they don’t fall on their faces.

    Therefore, Ching must go. Yes, he’s had a couple of good games against “Local” competition. Nice leave off for the Sweden goal. But on the WC level there’s NO WAY he’s the answer. I see Ching as a forward with *glacial* pace at the top of a team predicated on speed and fitness. I think we need to place our faith in our younger players. SO, I advocate…

    Speed kills, and USMNT CAN be the fastest team in the northern hemisphere.

    Don’t even get me started on Wynne.

  29. @kizz: “LOL, if the Scottish Premier League sucks how come Beasley and Reyna have played there and Beasley will not come home?”


  30. Klejstan to the left and Torres in the middle with Michael Bradley and Dempsey would be good to see. I don’t think this would hurt to try since both Torres and Klejstan track back and help defend…

  31. Oh, and jmac proposed another possible quality option in Stuart Holden. I saw a lot of promise from him in the Olympic qualifiers and Olympics. He would be an entertaining selection even if only for the coincidence that Beasley would be replaced by a Scotsman.

  32. oh, and if you put Adu on the left and a team does something like Mexico did and focus on Dempsey and Donovan they will get punished for having a single person in front of Adu and the goal (hopefully Ching would stay out of the way)

  33. I’d put in Adu on the left. He can do respectively out there. I know a lot is going to be said about his lack of defense out on the wing but maybe this can be covered by either Pearce, Bornstein or Bocanegra in coverage. If Boca goes out left then you could pair Gooch with any number of quality back-up CB’s. Boca wouldn’t offer as much on the overlaps but could shore up the left side defensively if Adu pinches in.

    I would have chosen Convey, but he hasn’t played in a while. It’s not so much that I question his fitness, it’s that I haven’t seen him play in a long time so I don’t know if he would even be the best option.

  34. Adu looked real good out there last time he played. I think with young talents like (in what I view as rightful pecking order) Adu, Torres, and Rogers you cant really go with Lewis.

  35. more importantly, this shows how we really need to get damarcus out of scotland asap. he’s too little, he’s not made for that type of game on a regular basis. either bring him home, or get him back to holland. france probably would be a good league for him as well.

    that said, dempsey plays on the left for fulham so id put him out there. however, i would certainly not put landy out right. he’s much better as a withdrawn striker or an attacking mid… he feels out of position on the right. maybe call up robbie rogers to play on the right. he’s only 21 and has only 1 cap, so its way to early to say he wont be effective for the natl team. you gotta start somewhere, and its only t&t in nashville we’re talking about, not a hard hitting central american team in a hostile stadium. i always liked convey, and he has more int’l experience than rogers, but he’s coming off a major injury, while rogers is coming off a major championship winning season.

  36. Although Rogers looked a little camera shy in the Sweden game, I was pretty happy with his overall play in the Olympics. ElSal or TnT would be a good time for him to show what he’s got. Stuart Holden was also on BB’s radar but picked up a nick in training camp January. If he’s healthy, I like his creativity. Adu could take left and easily take on people, but we’d be giving up a cross and defense. He also has a tendency to slide central from his wing too much.

    Eddie Lewis is always a good back up plan, but I’d like to see one of the youngsters step up in the upcoming games.

Comments are closed.