Photo by ISIphotos.com
The U.S. men's national team will play its first match of 2010 on Saturday against Honduras in Carson, California (9pm, Fox Soccer Channel/Telefutura), and while most of the team's top stars won't be playing, the match is still an important one in terms of trying to figure out who are Bob Bradley's best options to fill out the World Cup roster.
There are plenty of new faces in camp, including Chris Pontius, Alejandro Bedoya, Omar Gonzalez and Geoff Cameron, but also some established veterans such as Jimmy Conrad, Jonathan Bornstein and Benny Feilhaber.
Honduras will also be missing all of its European standouts, but should still field a team capable of providing a stiff test to the U.S. team.
So what lineup should we expect on Saturday night? Here is a starting XI we can see taking the field:
PROJECTED USA LINEUP vs. HONDURAS
Alston is probably the surprising name to see here, but he was a better defender than Wynne in the second half of the 2009 MLS season, so if he has carried over that form we ca see him getting the nod. Brad Evans also saw playing time at right back during last summer's Gold Cup so he is also a possibility on the right. Centerback should be set if Conrad and Marshall are healthy, though Conrad and Omar Gonzalez have been used together quite a bit.
Robbie Rogers has seen playing time on the right wing for the U.S. team, so it wouldn't be surprising to see Rogers on the right and someone like Alejandro Bedoya or Brad Davis on the left. That said, I have a feeling we'll see the midfield quartet of Feilhaber, Kljestan, Beckerman and Rogers. Dax McCarty has enjoyed a strong camp as well, which could lead to a four-man midfield of Feilhaber–Beckerman–McCarty–Rogers.
I'm sure many U.S. fans will want to see Robbie Findley over Conor Casey, but Casey should get the nod. Whether Findley can edge out Jeff Cunningham for the other starting spot remains to be seen.
It will also be interesting to see if Geoff Cameron gets playing time, and where he will be used. A central defender last season for Houston, Cameron could lineup on the right flank and even in central midfield.
Here is the roster available for Saturday's match:
Goalkeepers: Zach Thornton (Chivas USA), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake), Troy Perkins (D.C. United), Kevin Hartman (Kansas City Wizards)
Defenders: Kevin Alston (New England Revolution), Jonathan Bornstein (Chivas USA), Jimmy Conrad (Kansas City Wizards), Omar Gonzalez (Los Angeles Galaxy), Clarence Goodson (IK Start), Chad Marshall (Columbus Crew), Heath Pearce (FC Dallas), Marvell Wynne (Toronto FC), Brandon McDonald (San Jose Earthquakes)
MIDFIELDERS: Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (Ã–rebro), Geoff Cameron (Houston Dynamo), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders), Benny Feilhaber (Aarhus), Eddie Gaven (Columbus Crew), Sacha Kljestan (Chivas USA), Dax McCarty (FC Dallas), Chris Pontius (D.C. United), Robbie Rogers (Columbus Crew)
FORWARDS: Justin Braun (Chivas USA), Conor Casey (Colorado Rapids), Jeff Cunningham (FC Dallas), Robbie Findley (Real Salt Lake)
Now it's your turn. What lineup would you like to see the U.S. team start vs. Honduras on Saturday?
Share your thoughts below.
Bedoya actually plays in Sweden and was really good last year. He will be one of your best midfielders in a few years.
Robbie Findley??!! LOL!
Nike dunk shoes
Do you guys not think that Finley can hang? I mean he is almost the same type of player as Cunningham (pacey with goal scoring instincts).
I don’t understand some of the negativity for this game. Bob only gets a few times a year to look at new talent; this camp and game are very important. A few of these guys will probably be starting this summer and a number will be there for depth. Others are more long term prospects…
I really hope Davis, Alston, and Bedoya get some time. I hope Cunningham has a good game… we’re going to need him this summer…
Me too; the kid’s got speed and skill. I hope he sees the field…
Agreed. He’s got a great left foot is generally an all stud for Houston. He’s long over due for a look…
He has done something for the team, Rogers has. Pontius and McCarthy have done nothing. That’s my argument. Are you people serious Pontius is an Striker he should have more goals then Rogers.If Pontius was so good he would have gotten Bob Bradley’s attention a long time ago. Rogers does his job, it is too assist, he is a Winger. Rogers does it for club and country. And McCarthy turns over the ball way more then Rogers too, and lets see how many times Pontius does it too if he gets to play. Pontius has 28 appearances and 4 GOALS. Are you serious for a striker 4 GOALS in 28 appearances, the guy is a striker.Pontius acts like he is scared to shoot and when he does he misses. You all are hilarious to think Pontius and McCarthy is better than Rogers. Also, this is a reply to Edwin too.
Careful… Trying to play and bring actual youth into the national team at the expense of “journeymen” will bring the torches from a select mob…
Conrad and Marshall because they were a great force together last Gold Cup until Conrad got injured. Plus I think they have the foresight and are composed distributors whereas Demerit tends to blast the ball forward and not smoothly start the offense. Demerit should be Boca’s backup if Gooch is fit while Marshall and Conrad would be Gooch’s.
I don’t get the dislike for Goodson, he was not one of the 4 or 5 players who simply gave up vs Mexico in the Gold Cup; both outside backs got caught standing way upfield and watching , all the midfileders failed to pressure and cover in the second half, Ching seemed lost and Cooper added little up top. I think it was Marshal at CB with Goodson and they pretty much had to defend against 4 or 5 Mexican attackers following bad giveaways by others, even Perkins who is generally decent had a bad gaffe as a direct result of few defending many.
But as one of the minority US fans there, it was pretty ugly and hard to watch!
This is what I liked to see:
Also, taking Beckerman out and sliding Cameron in CM while Goodson takes his place is not a bad idea. Rogers, Pontius, Cameron, Finley, Bedoya, Davis should all get firm looks.
I agree, Cameron needs to play, he has what it takes. I really would like to see Alston and Pontius play. Both are young, hungry and have European talent. Remember in 2002 what happened when we played young, hungry MLS talent……
Too much holiday egg nog?
I want to see Wynne up top, he’s got pace. While he may not have a clinical first touch, he’s got a better touch than Ching.
Ok, I know he’s not on this roster but what are the chances Simek gets a call up? What do you think, SBI? He’s been playing pretty well for Sheffield Wednesday.
Oh, how we dream…
I was wondering about Cameron at LB. I think that Bornstein is the favorite there and I think he’s earned his spot. Is he the best? No. But he has recovery speed and he has a decent offensive skill set. I would like to see Cameron get some looks though. I said earlier in this thread that I’m interested in his versatility. I don’t think Bocanegra is a good choice for LB, not as much speed.
I’d like to see Cameron…I’m interested in his versatility.
Um, McCarty looked solid in the limited minutes he got in the two friendlies last year. Sure He’s young, but I think that he did well to distribute and to cut off the attack, to an extent.
Yeah. If he can continue to do that, he should definitely see the field.
But can Casey? Or Altidore for that matter?
I think he’s a better option up top than Casey.
conor casey is soo bad. he should not be in this squad. he should never ever ever ever ever ever ever play for the nats again. he is god awful. bb sucks and should be sacked 2mara
Klejstan played for BB at Chivas. I think we all know how BB has a soft spot for his former players.
How else can explain his insistance at playing Born and Klej?
Think Beckerman and Feilhaber will be a good pairing. Beckerman does the running and has the energy of two players whereas Feilhaber is a perfect link up player between defense and offense if given the freedom; which is what Beckerman should offer.
I’d like to see Pontius get some playing time (maybe with us trying a 4-3-3 with him on one side, Findley on the other and Cunningham through the middle, late in the game).
You’d prefer Conrad and Marshall over Demerit? Demerit has been fantastic for us the past year or so and has earned a starting nod. Our best CB pairing is Jay and Gooch, they compliment each other very well.
Cunningham is the poor mans Anelka. Poacher who is always dangerous even when quiet all game. Underestimate him at your own peril. We know what beckerman brings to the table. Time to try someone else out
No more Casey, no more Ching. Casey’s goals were a fluke and Ching is a statue. Cunningham is good enough at hold up play, potentially better than Jozy based on the Hull games televised lately. Also, let’s see what Dax can do instead of Beckerman and others at CM. He has more upside and is the “engine” type of MF that every team needs. He is a Paul Scholes starter kit and needs to be given some time.
Gonzalez was the primary reason that LAG went from worst to first in the West last year. The dude is a force in front of the goal. Also, I’d also like to see Beckerman, Findley and Rimando rewarded for the great work they did in bringing an MLS cup to RSL.
Yes, Pontius would be able to make that cross and corner. He did many similar things this season. Forgot what team, but he actually made a move and beat a defender to cross a rocket into the box to get a tying goal (I want to say NY). But yea, Pontius can make those moves.
Beckerman, Findley and Rimando all should be on the team!!!
Salt Lake till I die!!
The only use Wynne has in the National Team pool is so I can use him at LB in Fifa 10. He will stop any winger in the world haha.
As a Galaxy season seat holder there were more then just a few nights I sat at the HDC with Bradley a few rows away as he watched Omar Gonzalez play. Please, give him some minutes now….
Cameron can play just anywhere, Kinnear has said his best position internationally is probably on the wing. Him at outside back isn’t a bad idea though, worth an experiment at least.
seriously, geoff cameron should be an outside left back, he has enough speed and awareness for defense and enough attacking skill to push up. He would be our version of Maicon. Am I the only one that thinks he would be better than the petite bornstein? Plus if we are looking for a replacement for Davies, Findley is the correct choice. Blazing speed, decent enough touch and who knows, he could get lucky every now and again
As a RSL fan I hope to see Findley
and Beckerman have good matches to
improve their chances in the future
with the national team. But in this
match I really hope Rimando gets on the
pitch because this may be his only
He’s basically Royston Drenthe without an sort of technical ability or tactical awareness whatsoever…..Which was what made the Wynne-Drenthe matchup at the Olympics very amusing.
Hey Edwin, you dumb s%*t! Was I replying to you? I was replying to Zack Lewis, who said “Sacha or Bornstein”.
As for Benny, ehh he’d make a better captain than Sacha and Bornstein, but I’d rather have Conrad as captain since he’s had World Cup experience and he’s been around longer.
Who cares who plays? The fact that I am going to this match makes me feel bad about my life.
Good luck to Dempsey, Gooch, and Davies.
I think it is, because it isn’t a FIFA international date. Not sure about that.