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.
Party Boy needs a cap! Do it!
Agreed. He seems to have an air of Dempsey to him. Size, strength, skill, nose for goal, he’s even lacking in pace like Dempsey. I wouldn’t be shocked to see him notch one on Saturday.
fair enough. In August I’d be very interested in this roster. 🙂
Maybe not exciting in terms of looking towards S. Africa, but some of these guys could emerge as future Nats (Gonzalez, Pontius, still young).
I second that idea. Thinking like a coach instead of a fanboy.
Remember Jay Heaps was in that line-up… getting torched.
cant do that. there’d be no goalkeepers.
calm down….he is at the same exact position Micah Richards is at in his time at City
They both have always survived on athleticism(strength and speed), but that wont work if they really want to have jobs in the national teams
Do you know something even more important…..THEY ARE STILL YOUNG! Marvells game will improve and will be a great player in the future
Marvell isnt a wingback who should have the ball that much anyways
Pontius should play in this game!
Findley over Casey, and Rimando should at least get a half. But of course as an RSL fan, I’m playing favorites.
That really doesn’t make any sense. We’re not trying to see how Findley/Cunningham plays as a striker, we’re trying to see how Findley and Cunningham will play next to a bigger,(presumably) slower striker whose job is to hold the ball, distribute from the top, and latch on to crosses.
The funniest thing about that Bolton reserve joke is that Stuart Holden could probably confirm.
For the love of a God, please do not play wynne! I know everyone looks for the African Hybrid player in America to dominate….wynne is not this player. He is a large bulky force, but his feet are terrble! He has little to no touch, and has hard time turning! I don’t think he can muster up against concacaf teams let alone the real teams internationally….so why even give him a nod against honduras?????
As a Crew supporter, all I care about is Chad Marshall seeing the field. I always root on Gaven, Rogers, Hesmer (not called up), and Hejduk (not called up) when they are called up to the Nats. I hope Eddie and Robbie get some time. Eddie is one of the most consistent wingers in the league and is versatile enough to play centrally as well. Robbie is on the short list of good pure wingers we have in the pool, and his pace suits international play. Chad, however, needs to be showcased. In my opinion, he brings just as much to the table as DeMerit, and with Boca’s lack of playing time, Gooch’s injury, and the question marks surrounding Spec’s ability to play CB, he is a necessity to the team. Marshall is a cut above other options like Goodson and Conrad.
Rogers’ lack of minutes was due to Warzycha not really making a great coaching decision. I think the Gold Cup being held and taking his minutes away from MLS time makes more of a difference than you’re giving it credit for. The same can be said for his cross and corner, which were sublime. Are you going to tell me that Pontius would have made that kind of delivery?
I always felt speed + size is the way to go with the two up top. This allows for better combination as the two players can peel off each other as the ball is passed up to the two forwards with the wingers overlapping. Benny needs to get behind the holding midfielder and sit in front of the back line, collect the ball, and dish it out.
Okay so I’m not expecting Barca soccer, but I just want to see some cohesive movement and passing.
make it a U-23 game and get rid of the journeymen MLS players.
That’s the right line up! Two must subs or alternatives would be Gonzalez and Bedoya. And like it or not we will see Pearce in South Africa. I don’t think Castillo or Hejduk will replace him.
John O’Brien should be fully healed and fit by now after sooo much time off, Isn’t he about as old as Dolo, Boca and Conrad?? ;^)
I’d like to know what SBI’s take is on Conor Casey. Would you put him on your 2010 WC Squad?
What if your midfield can’t get or hold possession? Who do you turn to? If you don’t have a forward who can hold possession when your midfield can’t then you’re really screwed. Being able to hold possession is for anyone to be honest. I’m not saying everyone has to be able to but anyone who can is welcome on this team.
First off, Rogers is ambidextrous, so he doesn’t have an ‘unnatural’ wing.
Second, I don’t know which Gold Cup you watched, but Rogers service was brilliant the whole tournament. He had two crosses against Grenada that both found goals and one that found Adu on the head that was saved. His cross to Arnaud in the Panama game led to the first goal in that game.
Third, it’s not about Rogers ‘making up’ for past errors. This isn’t an ex-boyfriend begging for mercy, this is about form. It doesn’t matter whether Costa Rica were wasting time, Rogers FIRST touch in that game was a brilliant cross to Casey. That cross, the cross for the first goal, and the corner for the second count as brilliant service, tired/coasting team or not.
You clearly haven’t learned jack squat from Charlie Davies’ injury. DEPTH. Being a starter on this national team means nothing when it comes to injuries, at least not that kind anyways. At any moment, Bornstein could dip in form, or be injured and that’s when someone, whether it be Pearce, Castillo, Bocanegra, or Spector, has to step in. It’s ridiculous that U.S. fans haven’t figured that out yet.
Micah, your lying to your self if you think that Rogers is better than Pontius.
I can maybe understand McCarty, but they’re both garbage in terms of USMNT quality.
yeah he had the corner in the goal, it wasn’t exactly Beckhamness or a Pirlo type of corner, I have to give more credit to another scrub, Bornstein for the goal.
Rogers indeed has done more for the US than Pontius, but he has played 9 games for the nats, started in about 7 of those!
Pontius is the same age, and I’m pretty sure he had much better stats than Rogers last season, his rookie season at that!
4 Goals and 3 assists for a Forward/Midfielder is much better than 5 assists for an already established starter playing in the best team for the past 2 years and current 2 time Supporter’s Shield Winner with guys like Gullermo Barros-Schelotto and Alejandro Moreno as well as Emmanuel Ekpo at times
Pontius had to actully earn his minutes as rookie and managed more, maybe if the Gold Cup hadn’t been played Rogers would have the same amount, but not more minutes than Pontius.
And I don’t care much for DC.
Also Pontius had 41% shot accuracy vs Rogers 35
So tell me again why Rogers is SO MUCH BETTER?
Oh BTW, for all his speed and ability to get by people and cross, he can’t cross or shoot once he does get by his man!
you want proof of it, look for the whole Gold Cup and the Crew’s games and even about half the minutes he got vs Costa Rica in DC
I like Ives’ lineup with the change of Davis in for Rogers (we’ve seen lots of Rogers, give Davis a look and he had a great 2009 season) and moving Benny up to CM instead of a holding midfield position. He’s a creative, attacking sort of player, let Beckerman run down people and give Benny a chance to create a bit. I’d like to see an early sub for Sacha as well, not to knock the guy but he’s had a lot of time and there’s a number of outside mids that I’d like to see in gametime situations (as well as Cameron on the wing).
Agreed, and while he may not have Rogers’ pace I think he’s much more technically skilled and puts in a wicked ball from the left.
No, it’s not the USA’s job to get him back into form, but when you get chances like these that only come along literally once a year, you take them. Bradley’s most likely not going to include Kljestan as a player for the World Cup roster, but, again with how crazy the injuries have been this year, it’s not like we can say for sure. I predict at least ONE injury to one of our more steady players by the World Cup.
Why would it be sarcasm? Think about it, the only guys who will most likely see any PT on this ENTIRE squad are Benny, Bornstein, Casey unfortunetly because of Bob’s tactics, and an unlikely ultra overachieving new player.
Do you not think that Benny can be a leader?
He may not have the most caps but honeslty who has more? Conrad? That might be about it, I think Sacha nope Benny has the most caps despite playing in the most competitve locations and being about 10 years younger than Conrad.
If there’s a character issue, I’m un aware of it Brian, my apoligies, but no, make no mistake about it! I think that’s our captain for this perticualar team.
It’s not hate, it’s realism. He has gone downhill fast ever since things fell through with Celtic. It’s not just internationally; last season, he wasn’t even a guaranteed starter for Chivas. It’s not the national team’s job to “get him back in form.” Especially since he’s in MLS, he needs to be kicking ass in league play before he gets significant international time again.
(Although, BB likes him, and the camp pool is thin to say the least. So I think you will get to see him a lot against Honduras, which is just another indication that this game is pretty much irrelevant.)
I like your lineup Ives, but with one caveat. BB likes Kljestan in the middle, which means Benny at LM, and Rogers at RM.
I say we go with this:
I think Beckerman and Feilhaber in the center will be interesting to watch. If the MLS and recent internationals have taught us anything, it’s that they both seem to be equally adroit at sitting in deeper roles to distribute and defend, while getting forward to attack and create. I would assume Beckerman carries the gist of the defensive work load, but Feilhaber sitting deep next to him would really give this team a good spine and possession style of play.
The big thing that is hurting Pontius for this game is that he was out for 5 days with that hamstring injury. They also have been playing him at outside mid and he has some people to try and overtake for that spot.
I just hope he gets out there so we can see more of this:
I think John O’Brien is too busy rebuilding Haiti, while simultaneously doctoring the sick/wounded and improving their infrastructure and GDP, to play in this game. He sends his apologies.
I was right there with you until you decided to put Pearce on this roter in any way shape or form.
Why why why? Let Bornstein start and play the whole game, he’s sort of our leading LB right now since Boca has to play CB with DeMerit until Gooch comes back, he can use the minutes to figure out how bad is he or if he’s improved.
With Alejandro Bedoya playing in Denmark at a better rate than Rogers since he wasn’t even playing well in MLS and the guy proved in Gold Cup and last camp that he can’t cross worth a $hit, why him?
Brad Davis is old too, but he’s already gotten caps so is not like he’s being introduced, and I think he’s been affected by Donovan and before that Beasley and Adu playing on the left mid spot.
Davis was tied for the most assist or 2nd if I’m not mistaken.
The forwards need some kind of service to see if they can bring something to the table. Rogers can’t cross, ONE corner and a few crosses vs Costa Rica when they were coasting trying to waste time to end the game and win in order to go on to the World Cup does not even come close to making up for some of what Rogers has done, or not done for that matter.
Sorry he is not like Messi who can play on his unnatural wing and just cut inside to take on players, he already can take on players, he just can’t cross worth a dime!
….the World Cup hasn’t been played yet so I’m assuming you meant Confederations Cup.
I don’t understand why people are so hateful towards Sacha. I know he’s had a run of poor games, but it’s not like he’s never played well. If we can get him back into form he’d improve our depth majorly. Even in out of form Sacha is better than an in form McCarty in my opinion, although I REALLY like McCarty.
First off, we need a target striker. Maybe not because Casey is better than either Findley or Cunningham, but because we’re trying to replicate Jozy playing next to a smaller forward the likes of Cunningham or Findley.
Rogers has CLEARLY improved since last January unless you didn’t watch the Gold Cup, the Costa Rica game and the two friendlies afterwards.
Marshall is a better back than Gonzales, and showed it during the Gold Cup. He’s had plenty of time to recover from his midseason injury and should be fresh and ready for this match.
It’s ironic that you say Rogers sucked last January,because Bedoya is in the very same position to be just as bad. Rogers had never gotten a cap before last January and the same can be said for Bedoya this year. I want him to get time, but I think it’s best we substitute him in.
If we’re going to test depth then we’d better do it the whole way so I say give Pearce a chance, as well as Goodson.
You’re arguments lack a good reason why Robbie is better than those guys. I agree Robbie is a good player, but to say he’s better b/c he’s scored for the US and hit a corner kick that got put in doesn’t prove it. You give most mids/fwds game time and they’ll score. And anyone at that level should be able to hit a nice corner.
Why are we wasting our time with sasha? Torres and Castillo are way better than him. Enough is enough…he messed up as a sub in the confed. cup and if we could have put in torres…we would be holding the cup instead of a second place award….stop wasting time and get the real ones in. Bradley, you have so much talent and yet you continue to use favorites….thanks for helping us loose the world cup…
Benny Feilhaber, he’s most likely to start or play period out of all the players here for every single game with the 1st team, and he needs to develop leadership, the more season leading type of veterans, the better!
is beckerman not a known quantity at this point?? he’s is about to turn 28. he’s good in MLS, not good internationally. we have enough defensive mids. put in someone else.
maybe it’s a roster issue, maybe i’m just crazy, but for some reason I just don’t like him for the NATS.
i feel the exact same way about casey.
can’t wait to see what cunningham and maybe findley can do in this game. hopefully we can keep a lot of the ball so we all have a chance to find out.
at least you acknowledge the bias. Beckerman and dax have two different kinds of games, and beckerman is better.
I really hope that’s sarcasm.
It will be Jimmy Conrad.
I’m gonna have to agree with “Hawk”… Casey is an aggravating forward and I cannot stand when he’s even wearing a US jersey. It’s like seeing those people who order a jersey with their own name on it and some ridiculous number like “69” or “01” to feel important. He deserves to be in the same category as those guys.
Findley and Cunningham together would be intimidating to any defense, if only for the fact that both of them could straight-up BURN every single defender on every single national team world wide. Yes, they’re small and lacking the physical muscle of a “holding forward” but c’mon, our game is speed with the likes of Donovan, Altidore, Bradley, Feilhaber… and enshallah Davies. Think of how fun it would be to see those two run circles around the field getting open for Feilhaber’s precision passes.
Holding is for the midfield, not forward. Holding is what Casey does… until he loses it or makes a frustratingly terrible pass to somebody in a different color shirt. Yes, he makes me want to kick puppies and punch babies… so for the love of puppies and babies, please don’t start Casey!
I’d like to see Conrad and Marshall. One could play with Bocanegra, that’s if Boca starts to play better and Gooch stays sidelined. I would even be comfortable starting both over Boca and Demerit in South Africa if Gooch is out.
Evans was poor at RB both with USMNT and Sounders. I believe he’s only played a few games at that position. I would like to see both Cameron and Findley start.