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Who should the USA start vs. Honduras?

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The U.S. men's national team beat Honduras just two weeks ago in Gold Cup group play, but it will be much more difficult this time around. Not just because the 'Catrachos' are playing with much more confidence, but because the U.S. team is missing several key players who helped turn that first meeting from scoreless battle to U.S. victory.

There will be no Charlie Davies or Benny Feilhaber to boost the attack, and no Steve Cherundolo to anchor the right back positition. What Bob Bradley does have is a squad riding a wave of confidence after fighting back for a victory in the Gold Cup quarterfinals vs. Panama.

With the options dwindling, Bob Bradley shouldn't have too tough a time selecting a starting XI for the Honduras match. here's the squad we see him using:

Project USA lineup vs. Honduras






Some thoughts:

So why Parkhurst ahead of Clarence Goodson, who held his own vs. Panama? Honduras boasts some serious speed in the back and Parkhurst is just better suited to deal with Honduras' attackers than Goodson is. Parkhurst was steady in the first Honduras match. That said, Goodson was solid in both of his appearances in the tournament so it wouldn't really surprise me if he got the nod.

Why Arnaud over Cooper? Not really that tough to answer. Arnaud has been much more productive in the attack. His mobility and intelligence in the attacking third helps the offense flow. Cooper is still very much just a shoot first, shoot second striker who isn't suited for helping move the ball around and building up attacks.

Holden getting the nod over Santino Quaranta is a bit of a no-brainer. While Quaranta did score the goal vs. Honduras, Holden has been one of the best U.S. players in the tournament.

Beckerman and Pause should get another start together. Pause looked pretty bad in the first Honduras meeting, but he's been better in recent matches. Add the fact that the semifinal is in Chicago and I can't see the Fire midfielder being benched for Sam Cronin.

What do you think of the lineup? Would you make any changes? Which starting lineup would you go with?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Beasley and Kjlestan for starters, based on their fondness for Bradley and his for them, and the things they did in the past, and ….

  2. ———Ching——Arnaud———–

  3. However, I did really like cronin over pause, but i think i won’t get much traction in here with that. no brad evans hopefully, i think he was a bit too slow last time.
    and i definitely like goodsen way over parkhurst, but if folks are telling me speed is what we need, and its a given goodsen doesn’t have it(he doesn’t? I don’t know) then i guess i’ll go with parkhurst too.

  4. ives line-up. When its time to spark offense, Quaranta on the right, slide holden in the middle for pause. Cooper for arnaud in 70th. Hopefully this side can do it.

  5. Would be extremely foolish to not play Rogers. His defense has been superior. He had a so-so game offensively against Panama but it would be difficult to find another mid that played as well on defense.

    This in turn allowed Pearce to push up and get involved in the second half.

  6. I am curious about what kind of field Soldier’s Field is? If its tight again maybe bring in a big body up fron like Cooper and bring Evans into the middle.

  7. People, get over it …. Parkhurst and Heaps will both start. Maybe if Bradley doesn’t put a bunch of stiffs (not likely) ahead of the defense they’ll look good.

  8. What is it with everyone here and turning on a player after ONE bad game? The Haiti match was his only bad performance of the tournament. It seems like when a player has a shaky performance everyone feels that they should go back and question every thing about that player and his development or true position. Just chill guys; let him get back on his feet.

    Before the Haiti game, people were pretty big on Parkhurst. Some were wondering what he wasn’t doing on the Confederations Cup roster. Then he has that game and all of a sudden, he’s the worst centerback in the pool.

    This was almost as quick an ending to a lovefest as Maurice Edu during the Cuba game. Everyone thought he was the solution over Pablo Mastroeni after a good substitute performance against Guatemala. Then he plays badly against Cuba and everyone’s saying how he Sacha Kljestan should have been playing, and he DID in the Trinidad and Tobago game, in which he played well. I think we all know how that kid’s story goes.

    Nobody knows how one bad game will affect a player and what he’ll do afterwords. So please, all the “Parkhurst has always looked poor on the international stage” calls just really think about it.

  9. random question for anyone who may know the answer: Will the USMNT be getting new kits before SA next year?

    Posted by: radi0head | July 21, 2009 at 11:28 AM

    Yes…most likely!

  10. Robbie Rogers has got to go. After watching him lose the ball repeatedly and make every run with the ball directly to the corner I can’t take it any more. Anybody but RR.

  11. Ooops-

    I meant to say we need to have the best players availible for *qualifying for* and bringing to the 2010WC.

    Can’t assume anything.

  12. I thought Heaps showed much better at RB (than as a LB) in the last game.

    I never saw much from Pause. I don’t know if that is good or bad, but he’s seemed invisible for most of the tournament.

    Arnaud and Beckerman’s hustle is carrying us right now.

  13. DBechman, in case you are being serious-

    Welcome to US Soccer. Thanks for jumping on the bandwagon. A few pointers:

    1. It’s Landon Donovan, not Larry Donavan (hilarious). You are correct. He is one of the best players the USA has produced.

    2. This is the CONCACAF Gold Cup the year before the World Cup. Bob Bradley’s priorities are to have the best 23 men available and in their best form for the World Cup next year. Ensuring we win every game leading up to the WC is not as important. It would be nice….

    3. Players like Tim Howard, Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey have club commitments that must be balanced with USMNT games.

    4. Bob Bradley needs to “blood” new players to evaluate who will be the new Landon Donovan or Claudio Renya (arguibly the best US Player ever)for the day when they are not available due to retirement, injury, red card, etc. He needs to keep our best new talent cap tied, as well.

  14. I’ve always been a fan of Kyle Beckerman, but after seeing his performance in person against Panama he’s one of my favorite US players right now. He’ll probably never get a sniff at A-team duty (especially if/when Jermaine Jones shows up) but his work ethic is outstanding. The guy is a warrior in the middle, with solid touch. I hope my Union can somehow get their hands on him for next season.

  15. Stu holden has been playing great, but i thought the worst player on the field was robbie rogers, he did absolutely nothing, infact he was so bad the commentators mentioned that he looked bad. i would put santino quaranta in for rogers and leave the rest of the starting line up the same

  16. im also against the inclusion of Pause. After the first gold cup match, everything he has done is either subpar or terrible. Who cares if its in Chicago? This is not the time and place for pity caps. This is a freakin semifinal!! Play Cronin or Holden and shift Quaranta to the right flank.

  17. why not have Quaranta as a forward role? I mean if Arnaud can, i cannot see why not Quaranta who is much faster and is more reliable passer than Arnaud. If you want individual skill (power,shooting), you go with Cooper. If you want speed and crisper passing, you go with Quaranta. If you want a little of all those traits, you go with the more balanced arnaud.

  18. I’ll be the apparently sole dissenting opinion on Pause. He had a miserable first 25 minutes vs. Honduras but has been cool on the ball for the remainder of the tournament. I feel with Beckerman being such a force in the midfield as a distributing playing, Pause is getting short shrift because he is doing the sensible thing. The dude should start next to Beckerman again and leave Holden out on the right. I’m agnostic on Goodson v. Parkhurst. No Santino unless as a late sub, he doesn’t have the full-game concentration level. Cheers,

  19. Quaranta will have trouble with Espinoza as well but the key is freeing up Holden to create. Hence getting him at attacking mid like everyone is saying.

  20. If I’m Parkhurst, I’d be p’ed off to be dragged back from Denmark to sit on the bench. If you’re not going to start him, use another player already in the USA to be a backup.

  21. I was at the game on Saturday. Holden needs to be in the center of the field to have an effect. Pause cannot play at this level. He looks like an HS player on the ball, never knowing what to do next, nervous. It saddens me to see Bradley constantly throw guys out there with little technical ability. It is a must at this level. Defense can’t really be changed, so here is my MIDs and FWDs:





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