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Who should the USMNT start vs. El Salvador?

KljestanDempsey ( 

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The U.S. men's national team is preparing for its road game of the Hexagonal Round of World Cup qualifying, with a trip to El Salvador slated for Saturday. With two qualifiers in five days, U.S. national team coach Bob Bradley could be looking to shake up his lineup a bit in one of those matches.

Which one will it be? Chances are it won't be El Salvador, since road qualifiers in Central America are notoriously tough. In other words, don't expect too different a squad for Saturday's match from the group that defeated Mexico last month.

There will be one definite change in the lineup, with starting goalkeeper Tim Howard serving a suspension for yellow cards. Brad Guzan is likely to get the start, but veteran Marcus Hahnemann is in camp, which could make the decision on who to start just a bit tougher.

Here is a look at the squad we should expect to see vs. El Salvador:






As easy as this lineup should be to call, you can't help but wonder whether the presence of veteran midfielder Pablo Mastroeni might not tempt Bob Bradley to go with the veteran over Kljestan, who didn't have the best game vs. Mexico.

The goalkeeper spot will be debated this week (and SBI will offer up a closer look at the battle tomorrow) but the fact that Guzan has actually been with the team for much of the past year tells me he will get the call.

What other wild cards might we see? Could we finally see Carlos Bocanegra as a left back for the national team? Probably not, at least not with Heath Pearce finally starting to see some steady playing time at Hansa Rostock.

I doubt we will see many drastic changes. If anything, I think the Trinidad & Tobago qualifier next week in Nashville is the match more likely to include several new faces in the starting lineup, particularly if the U.S. team rolls to a victory in El Salvador as expected. I think the T&T is where we are more likely to see the likes of Jose Francisco Torres and Jonathan Spector (who spoke with about his return to the national team).

Who do you think should start vs. El Salvador? Think Bradley should keep the same ten field player he used vs. Mexico? Would you like to see some experimentation in a road qualifier? Think the U.S. team is destined to win regardless of who starts?

Share your thoughts on the U.S. starting lineup in the comments section below.


  1. ——————–Altidore——————

    Torez or Adu———-Donovan——-Dempsey




  2. I would like to see Spector and Demerit get some playing time just to see how each of them fit in the time.
    Torres—Bradley– Beasley
    Also M. Edu deserves a nod for his current form I just can not see him in the place of Bradley with his stellar form as of late

  3. ————Timmy———–


  4. yes ching a FOWARD does the defensive work? this is such a weak argument. a foward is supposed to play offense and help SCORE. he rarely gets involved in scoring opportunities, unless he’s STEALING someone else’s goal of course *cough klejsten cough*
    i’m also tired of hearing this holding up argument. yes ching holds the ball up. he also holds up and slows down the entire team and keeps us from scoring. we need to change the line up and banish ching from any meaningful games. we have forwards such as jozy and davies that are more then capable of replacing ching. he is the weak link in our squad.

  5. wow…how can anyone enjoy watching Hedjuk run his guts up and down the line, only to over commit on a tackle or to make a great run to wank a cross to the 10th row behind the goal or hit the shins of the first defender??? and beasley?? really? I guess we don’t get enough bad crosses from Hedjuk that we gotta put him in as well??



    Adu-Bradley- Sach-Clint

    Pearce Boc Gooch-Spector


    Amazing we cannot find a left back better than Pearce…Really, what is Ching gonna do against defender who can outrun him going backwards?? Would love to see Torres get quality minutes as well as Pabs…

  6. Again, Torres’ time in Mexico has honed his skills so superbly and I believe that he can step into this match against El Salvador and have a huge impact. Jozy showed us something great on his third cap, why not let Torres do the same.

  7. —————Ching—Donovan————–





    Jozy for Ching
    Adu for Dempsey
    EJ for Donovan

    It would be cool if at some point we could see this trio near the top.


  8. However, both Howard and hahneman paid their dues behind keller, and keller behind meola. I think Guzan is young enough he can understand his chance will come.

  9. All the hate on this blog is so unnecessary, first of all Ching, he gets the ball in tough spots and sets up great free kicks, plus experience counts, for all of you saying he “sucks” well he’s not the wonder player we would all want as a forward but he has helped get tough points. And most likely if he can pass on his abilities to our upcoming forwards then we will have great strikers in time to come, I seriously doubt that he will bake it all the way to SA, but for now he is a solid option op top.

    And Kljestan??? Really your coming down on him? How about focusing on how he has matured in the past years than how he played a not so great 90 vs mexico? How about how he will eventually be a regular on the mnt unless we naturalise some other midfielder? I mean the guy has talent and is just getting better, and what better way is there to improve his development than to put him in qualifiers.

    On the other hand, Altidore Adu Torres, great players, that is already known, although very young and still adapting, as I said above the only way to push them to get better is giving them quality time on the pitch. I have a really good feeling about these two matches and hopefully we can see a little bit of switches in the roster for the second match against T&T.

  10. GO USA!!! I’d like to see EJ pick up 20mins in this game and the next. If he can contribute to an assist or a goal than great. If he stinks it up, never ever call him up.

    And Marcus Tracy is a future 2014 option. Same with Jemal Johnson. Being decent strikers in the Danish league is equivalent to MLS.

    Altidore, Donovan, Davies, Ching and maybe Cooper.

  11. No team is ever destined to win, no matter what the odds. Look at Fulham v Manchester United last weekend, few would have thought Manchester United were not destined to win the match before the game.

    Since going on the road in Concacaf is notoriously tough, Coach Bradley must go with his toughest and most experienced group of veterans. This means Pablo Mastroeni and Marcus Hahneman.

    Pablo is a grizzled midfielder who does not get rattled. He is a person you want on your team under pressure. He will stay in control and dominate the midfield. Klejestan is a wonderful player and passer of the ball. His offensive creativity is superb. However, his defenses leave something to be desired, and when rattled he gives the ball away.

    Hahneman is a regular starter for his club and has more veteran experience than Guzan. Guzan is a great goalkeeper, but when its all on the line currently the start goes to Hahneman. In two years Guzan may take that role for his dedication, but he needs to go to a club where he is starting regularly.

    In the T&T game Sacha will start over Pablo and Guzan will start over Hahneman. We will probably also see appearances from Spector, Califf, Torres, Adu, and Altidore.

    The most shocking call up for me this round is Adu, not EJ. EJ is a proven goal scorer in Concacaf. Adu has not proven much so far, except his exceptional talent.

    Starting line up for El Salvador with likely subs in parenthesis.
    (if Beas gets injured, Torres)—————-
    ——————-(Sacha near end of game)

    Starting line up for T&T with likely cameos in parenthesis.

  12. Too early to start experimenting against either team. We should field the best 11 every game until we qualify. It would be a mistake to take Trinidad lightly. Last game in Nashville was the Morocco debacle where they loaded the box and won on a counter at the last minute..

  13. I think Hahnemann starts. I think Bradley played Guzan a lot last year for the purpose of acquiring a work permit. Hahnemann is still the better, more experienced keeper.

  14. I’m with the handful few that wouldn’t mind seeing Torres in the middle with Bradley against El Salvador. Torres is good on the ball and is good at tracking back and helping the defense, so as mentioned above by others I don’t think it would be too much of a gamble for Bob Bradley.

    Torres needs to be one of the younger guys that see significant playing time in these two games.

  15. I’d rather see Torres than Sacha for offense..I do’t want to see Mas with Mike as that’s too defensive. Bob needs goals against El Salvadore, who will pack the midfield.

    To me that means penetrating passes. Torres is good at it.

  16. –Ching–Donovan–




    I’m thinking we need a defensive line-up. It’s really tough to score on the road, and I think el savlador and their fans will be on the offensive.

    Subs should be Altidore,Edu, Adu on either wing.

  17. Why not start Torres over Kljestan? I dont think we’ll be taking too much of a risk and Torres does provide good defensive cover with very good stamina so he’ll be able to do it for 90 minutes(that sounds so wrong). He is able to make defense splitting passes very easily. He is alot like Kljestan really. I just wish to see him start. He’s an interesting prospect. I also think he’s used to the away enviroments of Central America and that might actually help. Just a thought. I dont expect Bradley to go with Torres but I think Torres should come off the bench though.

  18. Yeah I don’t mind Bradley blooding some of the younger guys into these tough qualifiers, like Guzan and Kljestan. But let’s not go crazy with it, we still need a result and want to get off on a good note

  19. Qualify first, screw around with the lineup later. There is no way Bradley’s going to make significant changes until the US is safely in. And those of you who keep arguing against Ching just don’t get it. He does the work, especially defensively, that no other forward will, and Bradley obviously prefers a defensively-minded team.

  20. ——Altidore–Ching———-




    This is what I would like to see! Beasley as a left back would be very interesting to me since I see guys like Ashley Cole, Bosingwa, Hejduk Dolo, etc… how are smaller backs that do very well. But what Ives has posted is closer to what Bob will do. Best thing I see with the USMNT is that we are getting healthy and it looks like we will have plenty depth come 2010.

  21. If Altidore starts I’ll eat my boots.. More like EJ up front to stink it up.. This is a road game fellas.. Bradley only wants 1 point


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