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Who should the USA start vs. Slovakia?

Jozy Altidore 10 (

The U.S. men's national team takes on Slovakia on Saturday and the match is one of the last remaining opportunities this year for head coach Bob Bradley to take a look at different players and positional pairings before the end of the year.

With standouts Landon Donovan and Tim Howard not called in, and with key injuries to Oguchi Onyewu and Jay Demerit, the squad Bradley will turn to to face the Slovakians will be a much different-looking group than the ones that helped the team qualify for the 2010 World Cup.

Just who will wind up starting on Saturday? There are several lineup combinations to consider. Here is one of them:






What other variables might we see? Sacha Kljestan is back with the team and Bradley could be tempted to give him the nod in midfield, either on the right flank, with Dempsey moving up top, or in a central role with Feilhaber playing on the wing.

The forward options are interesting as well, with in-form MLS scoring leader Jeff Cunningham a very interesting speed option up top alongside Jozy Altidore.

The right back spot continues to be a tough one to call, with Bradley having to choose between Jonathan Spector and Steve Cherundolo, two players seeing regular playing time in top European leagues.

Now it's your turn. What starting lineup would you like to see against Slovakia on Saturday? Would you start Dempsey up top with Altidore? like the idea of seeing Spector at left back? Is Cunningham not really an option to start?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. my one thing is “EJ (speed and finishing)”. But that’s the thing. EJ hasn’t been finishing for years. I think he has one goal for Fulham in all competitions. Don’t hold me to that but one goal in like two years isn’t finishing in my boat. He’s got speed. He doesn’t have finishing.

  2. I’m just saying, if Kljestan got the call up, then Beasley shoulda been on the bench. I’m just saying.
    Neither one should see the field tomorrow.

  3. The Slovakia game may be the last one where BB has a chance to try out possibilities for the injuriy alternate position, i.e. the guys who will be called in at the last minute when player X develops appendicitis or is arrested for mail fraud. Kljestan fits the profile, familiar with the US setup, somewhat versatile, big and strong, well liked in the locker room. These people who are getting all hot and bothered about his selection need to take a cold shower.

    If they are lucky the US will get maybe 6 more exhibition games if history is any guide. Not a lot of games. So you might want to consider putting yourself in BB’s shoes.

    1.) Clearly he needs a sort out his back four. Even before Demerit and Onyewu were hurt, it was not functioning well. Guzan is important in this regard because Howard hasn’t been coordinating well with his defense or maybe it’s vice versa.

    2.) Then he has to sort out how to deal with the absence of Davies.

    3.) Finally, and perhaps most important of all, he has to get Jones settled in.

    If Jones is everything everyone says he is, his presence will have a beneficial cascading effect on the team. He could take pressure off the back four, he could help the forwards with their defensive responsibilities, helping to free up Dempsey and Donovan. And he will of course help settle out the midfield. He should certainly be able to help get the most out of Bradley. He’ll be able to cuss out MB and Dolo in German and they will listen.

    BB needs to devote time to those three issues and the alternate issue so those comedians who are asking for a cattle call of all warm American bodies who aren’t kicking soccer balls with their toes will be disappointed.

  4. He definitely had a few bad national team games and had a bad start to the club season. I thought he looked a lot better in the second half. My issue is, I just don’t see who else you would call in. I’d like to see Jeremiah White just to see if he could add anything, but he isn’t on this squad. To me, there isn’t really anyone else available. Who would you rather see?

  5. Must be joking? Pacey tow footed Rogers is one of the fresh new talents and sparked a tremendous comeback againt Costa Rica. I hope he gets in.

    Just because the Crew coach is a fool doesn’t mean that Bradley is.

  6. we should start dempsey up top because i’d prefer holden over anyone else as a replacement for davies. not in davies position, but simply his spot on the starting 11


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