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Who should the USA start vs. Mexico?

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The U.S. men's national team has reached the CONCACAF Gold Cup final yet again, and has done so with using basically the same lineup for the quarterfinals and semifinals. This leads to the simple question: Does Bob Bradley tinker or does he keep the same starting lineup for Sunday's final vs. Mexico?

Considering how well the team played in beating Honduras in the semis you would think that the lineup could pick itself for Sunday, but there are still some questions. Does Kenny Cooper deserve a look as a starter? Is Jimmy Conrad recovered from the nasty concussion vs. Panama? Will the short turnaround time from Thursday to Sunday lead to a change?

With all these things in mind, here is what Sunday's starting USA lineup should look like vs. Mexico:






Yes, that's right, we have Bradley standing pat and going with the same group. The Cooper-Arnaud debate seems to be the most popular one, but we see Bradley going with Arnaud's energy and speed, and Cooper coming off the bench in a super sub role he has slid into nicely.

The back-line was stellar vs. Honduras and should remain the same. Now, if Jimmy Conrad can go, Bradley might want his experience in the lineup, but can you really bench Goodson after he scored in the semifinal?

Those are the only real question marks at this point in the tournament, unless there's an injury we don't know about.

What do you think of the U.S. team using the same lineup for the final that beat Honduras in the semifinal? What changes, if any, would you make?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Jozy Altidore also is another completely overrated player. He doesn’t pressure their defense, he doesn’t win 50/50 balls. He actually looks like a scared little girl when he plays in big matches. He only scores opportunistic goals when the ball falls right at his feet. Even the Spain goal in the Confed Cup was lucky. The keeper should have stopped it. Why do you think his club, Villareal, loaned his worthless self out after like 2 months!

  2. Ching is horrible. I’ve never seen him crack a shot ever! He is sooo slow. I mean his biggest accolade is the “he creates chances” for others. Well, mostly, I guess this would be by falling down when he is slightly hit. He does get those calls, but that is not the type of football we want the US to be known for! I’d rather have Cooper, b/c at least he has heart and desire! Heck, I wouldn’t mind having Holden get a shot at forward with the Qualifying team.

  3. I think it’s ridiculous and sad that we are playing a championship at such a crappy venue. Turf for a championship. Are you kidding. Let’s play the 1st round of the NBA finals outdoor on asphalt in Texas. Crazy

  4. I would only slag Rogers for not living up to what he’s capable of:speed and a certain graceful sublimity. He will get there, I think. But not until next cycle.

    I really hope he does.

  5. hey Isaac,
    Jozy scored against spain in the confed cup with no help from ching. Jozy scored against mexico with no help from ching. Jozy ran rampant at the u-20 world cup with no help from ching. If you look at ching’s touches, they’re all too heavy. He really knows how to get into the right place at the right time and he has an incredible ability to head the ball, but he’s just not an A team player. I hope he sits out the WC in 2010.

    also, how many shots has he blasted over the bar this gold cup?

  6. Saw the game on Fox. I am assuming some of the trashing on Rogers is because someone has a player they are trying to promote. The kid provided most of the energy for most of the first half. Was the impetus behind the first goal. Also he should have had a clear PK for the tackle in the box. Also according to the stats he competed 90% of his crosses and 85% of his passes.

    And through out the tournament his defense has been the best among the outside mids.

    Strange the way people see things.

  7. Ching is a very good player for the USMNT.

    I think he gets alot of critisism because he has doesn’t score goals as often as McBride did.

    Let’s face it, Ching has replaced McBride up front, and McBride is one of the best players that the US has ever produced.

    I think the comparison is fair and that Ching’s talent and skills are a notch below those of McBride.

    Ching is still a valuable asset to the team. I like him as a player, just wish he would score more often with the chances he gets.

  8. Could be Bradley sees Holden as a potential sub for the full side at outside mid, and is keen on playing him there as much as possible.

  9. I would have to make some changes to the team after a poor game from Pause and Rogers.







    Then I would say depending on how the strikers perform, you could move Arnaud up tere and take one out wit Rogers coming in and keep the same formation, or bring Pause in and put Holden out wide and go with two holding mids.

    Whatever line up with, I just cant wait to be there for the game.

  10. Those saying that the U.S should play more up front because mexico is always saying that we are on the defense, are just plain out crazy! MExico doesn’t have an answer to our style of futbol, so why change?! I personally think they will never understand it because they don’t know how to play dicipline futbol. The U.S are MASTERS when playing their style of futbol! Look at Germany,Italy,England,Germany, they don’t play like, Brazil,Uruguay,mexico,etc…

    Ching is a great player, he just can’t execute!! He does create, I’ll give him that.

    Mexico will be playing on Sunday with a A 1/2 team vs USA C-team and still there is no favorite for this match, hilarious!

  11. Andrew,

    What is your definition of top competition? Because Jozy is playing the same teams that Ching is and has only scored one goal outside of CONCACAF for the National Team. Ching is only one behind Jozy in goals in this World Cup Qualifying cycle, Ching setting up two of them. You seem to say that a striker’s job is to only score goals and in a lot of cases thats true but there are different types of strikers. Like someone said a while ago, Ching creates an enviroment in which other plays can score and finding the net when he gets a chance. Here’s another statistic. Since 2007, The USA has not lost a single match that Brian Ching has appeared in. I think that just about sums it up.

  12. I don’t want to get in on the Ching bashing, but if i remember clearly his job is scoring goals and he has not shown the ability to score against top competition. And he keeps getting credit for creating other people’s goals. That is such a stretch. l am anxious to see him do better on Sunday but would be very disappointed if BB starts him on Aug. 12

  13. This is a unique opportunity for the American MLS all star team- which is what this squad really is, to see where it stacks up vs. a Mexico B+ squad.

    This is really about the Mexican league vs. MLS.

    Let’s just hope these guys raise their collective games to meet the challenge. Who plays does not really matter to me -it’s more about who brings their all and plays with commitment and confidence. We have not lost to Mexico on American soil in 9 years. That is what they are defending and they should play out their heads to keep it going.

  14. Excuse me but the whole reason Jozy is the highest goal scorer in the U.S. pool is because Ching had a hand in 2 of his goals. If not for that, Ching would be the highest goal scorer with 5( or 4 because I think their counting Ferguson’s own goal in the Barbados game). That’s not to say Altidore cant score without Ching, it’s just that Altidore has only scored one goal without him there. I think that says something.

    The Ching hate on this site is ridiculous. I hope he puts the haters in their place against Mexico.

  15. we need to bring in some A team players. Jozy specifically. He should start instead of ching. ching sucks. most over rated player on the US roster

  16. Hincha Tim

    I agree that was a harder finish than it looked. he did a nice job of turning in a tight space and opening up his foot to be able to put it to the right of the keeper. i too have seen those missed, he did a nice job with it.

  17. I don’t buy what these players are selling:


    I think we should see this:


  18. can we please in the name of all things holy stop making posts that say:


    It’s really lame, especially when none of them are actually first.

  19. I totally agree with Austin’s lineup above. Clark with Beckerman in the middle makes good sense. Rogers makes too many poor touches and off target shots. He seems to be trying too hard. He’s fast and tricky like Holden, but not as smooth or accurate.

    I was never a big Cooper fan, and I agree the choice between him and Arnaud is close, but I would lean towrads Cooper. He’s a little slower, but his size is an advantage especially against Mexico.

    I would love to watch Holden and Quaranta on the wings sending in accurate crosses to Ching and Cooper. USA 3 – Mexico 1

  20. This line up creates itself.
    Conrad is not good enough to start on our C team…Marshall, of course, and Goodsen are better. Goodsen may be climbing up the ranks in depth as well.

  21. if conrad can go put him in for godson because the space of time between the semis and finals is to little so if conrad is healthy bob bradeley should put a rested and experienced player in for goodson even though goodsen scored in the semis

  22. ———-Ching——–Cooper———






    Lets show the Mexican that we can play in the attacking mode, is something that I know they are not expecting. They always complaint that USA never let them play cause they always play the acounter attack. That USA is a Defense all the time. So Bob show so guts and let them play we don’t have nothing to loose and more to gain. Plus this what you want it Bob Bradley so lets experiment

  23. Ever notice that as soon as Quaranta comes on to the field, the game seems to get more active. He’s one of those spark plugs that makes things happen. His crosses and passes are accurate and awesome. He should start!

  24. i want clark to be called in for pause……I also believe rogers has shown a very poor touch at times which mexico could take adavantage of so….





    I think Cooper is a super sub, but if he scores(especially twice even if one was a PK) and beats defenders unlike Arnaud, I say start him, I believe Cooper has a better idea of playing the striker role than Arnaud(arnaud is more of a withdrawn striker and he hasnt used skill that should be shown in that role….he did score well against haiti, but Mexico wont allow him to switch feet like he did on that goal

    P.S. I picked Cooper over Arnaud, but it was close so, i dont really believe it matters that much who starts,arnaud or cooper….and the same with Quaranta over rogers, i just dont think we can afford to loose the ball in improtant positions against mexico

  25. Is anyone on either team in card trouble?

    Two ways someone could be in card trouble:
    a. They’re missing this match
    b. They’re coming into this match with a card so might miss Azteca.

  26. OT: but interested for anyone with info – live in NYC area and wondering what the prediction is for ticket availability outside stadium on Sunday? Any chance to find a seat for decent price? Appreciate any help.

  27. ching is terrible. please let him see the field as much as dmb.

    Posted by: Fire BB | July 24, 2009 at 03:48 PM

    Dude, do you ever provide a reason that you don’t want a player on the field or do you just rag on him for no reason to get one of your faves on the field? You’re only argument I’ve seen so far this tournament is ” Ching is terrible”. You’re not terrible if you’ve scored 5 goals in World Cup Qualifying and if you discount the two he had against Barbados, he’s still level with Landon Donovan, who would have 3 if you take away his goal against Barbados. He’s scoring goals, and setting up goals, so I would think his job is safe in Bob Bradley’s eyes.

  28. Cooper has earned the start. Arnaud has worked hard, but just has not done much up there. I think he’s out of position at forward, he’s better in the midfield.

    Cooper has added a spark every time he’s come on. There’s a reason the goals are happening when he’s come on. I’m not totally sold on Cooper, I think he’s had good moments and bad, but he seems to be confident and playing well…

  29. “I think that everyone came out of this match OK, and if that’s true, then the 18 that we have will be the 18 for the final,” Bradley said. “We would only need to go deeper into the roster if there are some injuries that we don’t know about at this time.”

    I don’t think well be seeing any of the A-teamers for the final…

  30. is there any chance jozy will get called up? i really hope so it would be nice to watch him play in giants stadium again

  31. It seems to me that Bradley has basically chosen to set a tone that has the forwards chasing to harrass the opposing backs, outside mids who can get forward (though Rogers has had trouble doing that lately), center mids who can stay involved, win some tackles and make at least decent passes, outside backs who can get forward and centerbacks with size and composure and who do not lose focus. All that means Arnaud starts, Beckerman starts, Holden starts, and the backline stands pat (unless Conrad can go for sure). The questions are what do do about Pause and Rogers.

    I do not see a tested scenario that would replace both Rogers and Pause, so it is unlikely both would not start, but separately:

    Rogers, first: he has had trouble advancing and keeping the ball against everyone except Grenada, I think he is the most likely player to lose his spot and that would be to Quaranta (even though that would likely mean shuffling Holden to the left, where he did setup the last goal last night).
    Pause: he just has not seemed to me to stay involved enough defensively and unless he steps up his game intensity he could be found wanting. If he is left off, Quaranta would likely come in as right mid and Holden slid to the center with Beckerman. The energy and commitment of both Holden and Beckerman would be effective in winning the ball and distributing it out of the midfield.

  32. before the match will Rogers and Dos Santos make an agreement that neither will try to defend? Should be fun to watch.

    I think Pause stays in. He hasnt been very good, but I am starting to like the idea of having work horses in the middle and having the creative guys out wide with the freedom to pinch in. Its how the A team is playing right now, and if this is a tryout for roster slots you want to see guys in situations they actually could face.

    Would be nice to have Clark in Pause’s place, but I respect Bob for sticking with the guys in camp. This team is fighting hard for each other, so I I think its tough to bring in a replacement unless there’s an injury. Sure, would be fun to see Cronin, but a cup final vs Mexico isnt the time or place.

    Will be interesting to see what happens to our outside backs? Heaps has looked much better in the past two matches than he did against Haiti, but he also hasnt really had to face guys running at him.

  33. this lineup looks right … coop should be supersub at this point

    though do we really expect anything from rogers in this game??

    would quaranta be a better choice at this point? probly not i suppose primarily due to continuities sake??

    as an anti-bob fan – must give much credit to bradley for being spot-on pretty much this entire tourney


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