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Who should the USMNT start vs. Poland?

 USAvsNetherlandsSquad (

The U.S. men's national team returns to action in a week and it will provide us our first glimpse of the next cycle under head coach Bob Bradley.

Will Bradley start trying new things, which he seemed to suggest in his comments after his re-hiring? Will we see a move away from the 4-4-2? Will we get a glimpse of Stuart Holden in a central midfield role? Will we see Jermaine Jones start?

So what starting lineup and formation will see Bradley trot out against Poland on Oct. 9th? Here is one potential starting squad:







Yep, this squad would be lined up in a 4-4-2, and it doesn't include Jermaine Jones. While I do think Jones is good enough to start for the USA, you wonder whether he would get the starting nod in his first match.

Now, if Bradley is serious about trying new things, and he's going to consider a new system, then a 4-2-3-1 makes sense. If so, we could see the same starting lineup, only lined up this way:






So what lineup and formation would I like to see Bradley trot out?






Are we really likely to see a Christmas tree formation featuring Jones, Edu and Michael Bradley together? Probably not, but I'd love to see it used to see if it could work. Jones and Bradley can both get forward and the system could also benefit players like Benny Feilhaber and Jose Torres, who have good attacking qualities. I also have Lichaj in the starting lineup. Sure, Spector is more likely, but I'm sure I'm not alone in wanting to see Lichaj play, and Spector isn't exactly in good form at West Ham.

Now it's your turn. What lineup would you like to see the USA use against Poland? Which formation would you be interested in seeing?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. line-up for saturdays game with poland 4-4-slotted 2


    Dolo – Onyewu – Boca – Lichaj–

    Stu – MB – Jones – Feilharber–



  2. ——————-Jozy———————————-Dempsey————————Bedoya—————————————————————————–Holden—-Bradley—Jones—————————————————————————–Lichaj—Bocanegra—Goodson—Cherundolo———-

  3. “Virtually everybody “drops in and out” or “gets lost” at some point in a 90 minute soccer game.”

    Yes, but when Benny drops out it’s as if the US has 10 men. And as a midfielder whose biggest asset is what he does when he is on the ball, if he disappears then what good is he? You can put up with that for a half but not the whole game.

  4. If you truly do not want to waste time then do not bring up kids who haven’t even shown they can make the first team for their clubs. That is truly a waste.

    The staff waste time coaching up the Szetelas, the Zizzos, the Adu’s of the world, people who may not be there next year because they get cut by their clubs.

  5. “And I am not sure that Bedoya has done enough to deserve a start – he looked quite indecisive in a friendly against Brazil. ”

    That’s not a real compelling reason.

    I can’t think of one US player who looked very good against Brazil that night.

  6. I think MB has too solid of a scoring touch and passing/hold up ability to not play him farther up if possible. And since we have Edu and Jones available I propose:


    Specific subs:
    Benny for Holden
    Bedoya for Dempsey (we know what he brings)
    Gooch for Goodsen (get him some minutes)

    I know Bradley is great on D but he is one of our more reliable scorers as well. He also makes solid passes which we need in the final 3rd.

  7. “letting someone else in our midfield pool step up”

    You don’t let them step up; they play so well that they force the issue on their own. Otherwise what kind of competitors do you have on your hands?

    Benny should have been good competition instead his club career goes to hell and he spends a lot of time out not playing, out of shape,arguing with his coaches,etc.

    Edu spent most of 2008 consolidating his position with Rangers and then, just as he started to take off blew out his knee and basically missed all of 2009.

    Clark, well, you all want him burned at the stake anyway so I won’t waste any time on him.

    Holden has only been serious competition for Bradley since coming back from his broken leg which hampered him at the World Cup. If he maintains the form he has shown through 8 games at Bolton then he has a chance to be okay.

    Torres has hot and cold for the US. He has taken some time to adjust to the difference between the international game and Pachuca’s; he said so himself.

    And Jones, of course, has only recently come back.

    Out of this motley crew and Dempsey, Donovan and MB maybe the US can put together a reasonable midfield. And maybe, with Jones,Holden and Edu providing some decent competition, MB might continue to develop into an above average international.

    You want to develop young players? You all forgets MB is the youngest of all the guys I just mentioned.

  8. M. Bradley is a ways away from his last 2-3 years as a player.

    I don’t watch every practice. None of us do. But it has been said that BB goes a lot on what you show in practice and if that is the case then I’m assuming MB practices well.

    I do know this, I haven’t been impressed with the play of the MB’s competition.

    There is only one person who really knows how much nepotism factors into MB playing all the time and he ain’t talking.

    For my part I don’t have too much issue with MB’s playing time because he’s played well enough and his main competitors for the position ( Benny, Edu, Clark, Torres, Holden)have been inconsistent or hurt. All those guys missed significant time being hurt or inconsistent. MB is quite consistent and never seems to get hurt.

    That may change this season with Jones coming in and Holden looking very promising.

  9. Of all the guys you mentioned only DMB is close to being a traditional winger.

    Holden himself has said how when he plays on the wing he has a tendency to always come inside and stay there. He doesn’t really have the speed, quickness and shiftiness to beat his man down to the byline and whip in a cross; that’s not really his game. Where he now plays for Bolton is probably his best spot.

  10. ————-Guzan————-

  11. That 4-4-2 would be a hell of a lot more effective if Bradley used traditional wingers as opposed Benny/Torres on the left and Dempsey on the right. If you had a Beasley and Holden on the wings then you add another demension to the attack. You can get the opposing CB’s stretched should our wingers beat the corners. Truth be told, we aint fooling anyone with our wing play in our current tacticle formation. As a result, our game is extremely direct and predictable forcing our guys to beat the defense on pure athleticism, fluke goals and PK’s.

  12. I’d go:
    Feilhaber – Dempsey – Holden
    Edu/Jones – Bradley
    Boca – Gooch – Goodson – Dolo

    I think this gives Deuce the chance to find the game without having to do too much tracking back on D, should get us some creativity in the final third and hopefully provides enough defensive cover to compensate for the fact that the backline is…ummm….not fast.

    Subs: Lihaj for Dolo, Specs for Boca, Guzan for Timmy, Jones for Edu (or vice versa depending on who starts), Bedoya for Deuce (move Holden in the middle), EJ for Jozy.

    That gets everyone available some PT except Parkhurst and if Bob really wanted to get him some time he could play either Timmy or Guzan the whole game and then give whoever doesn’t play the whole game vs. Colombia.

  13. I for one noticed how important he is last year in the November friendlies. After those two games I was convinced that landon donovan is the greatest american soccer player to date.

  14. Jozy

    Very narrow, but I personally want to see Duce play a withdrawn forward role.


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