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Who would you like to see start at defense for the USMNT against Poland?


Photo by Perry McIntyre/

With some new faces in United States men's national team training, coach Bob Bradley has quite a few personnel decisions to make ahead of Saturday's friendly against Poland.

One of those areas of contention is at defense, where Carlos Bocanegra, Steve Cherundolo, Clarence Goodson, Eric Lichaj, Oguchi Onyewu, Michael Parkhurst and Jonathan Spector are available for selection. Heath Pearce will be in the mix for next Tuesday's friendly against Colombia.

At central defense, would you like to see Onyewu be given the chance to show how far he has come since being substituted off in the United States' World Cup draw with Slovenia? What about Parkhurst, who hasn't played for the national team since November, 2008?

At fullback, Lichaj could earn his first cap and start his quest to become a regular starter over the current four-year cycle. Then there's Spector, who has fallen out of favor at West Ham, but could perhaps give himself a lift with a strong showing on the international stage.

Who would you like to see start at defense against Poland? Share your thoughts below.


  1. The centerback picture is just depressing. It’s difficult to tell how big Gonzalez’s upside is, Opara has lost a lot of valuable time, and I’m not sure Tim Ream can actually play a lot of defense (though for an American centerback he sure is good with the ball). There’s a lot riding on Boss’s progress. Hope he finds a place to settle in soon.

  2. No Bradley because I pretty much know at this point exactly what he brings to the table, and we need to assess what Jones brings. Jones isn’t a young player, he’s a veteran, no need to mother him along.
    Just make him start and see what happens.
    It’s a friendly, and that’s what friendlies are for.

  3. Strong and fast pairing works best? Based on what exactly? It worked when Davies was around because Davies was one of our best 11 at the time. Everytime we needed to score at the WC Bradley himself pulled the fast striker (Findley/Gomez) in favor of moving Dempsey up top. (Actually more of a Altidore up top with Dempsey, Donovan and Fielhaber roaming around underneath him.) That got our best personnel on the field (with possible exception of Holden). Plus EJ is neither strong nor fast at this stage. He dosn’t have a good striker/soccer brain and at 27/28 it is too late to develop that …

    I’d give Justin Braun/Wondolowski/Lenhart or anybody else with a pulse and some striking history a run out because any of them still might have an upside. EJ has proven over and over again he doesn’t have any upside.

  4. spector is seasoned???…and Gooch in current form?? wow, same players+same coach=SAME RESULTS. lets call Bornstein, Finley and Clark and get it over with. We need to try something different, thats why most people didnt want Brad back and thats why we need to get rid of the spectors, goochs, finleys, clarks and add new potential by trial and error till we get it right. By the way young talent does work (US vs Brazil!!! they embarrassed the so called seasoned defense. seasoned and fried is more like it!!!!!)

  5. I would like to see Cherundolo at RB, Onyewu and Bocanegra in the CBs and Lichaj at LB. I really want to see if Onyewu can still go the distance and just want to see Lichaj play and see what he has. As for Cherundolo and Bocanegra well they deserve to start with how they are playing with their clubs right now.

  6. the only other consideration would be if Bob would like to try Mo. Edu at CB again.. could provide some rest for a thin back line.

  7. Chicago: Bocanegra-Goodson-Onyewu/Spector-Dolo subs: Lichaj, Spector/Onyewu

    Philly: Pearce-Bocanegra-Goodson/Parkhurst-Dolo subs: Lichaj, Spector/Onyewu

    the point is that every defensive player will play I just would not start a player like Lichaj that we don’t know anything about especially at LB where he is even more unknown.

  8. we talk about one of the key areas of the game, DEFENSE, the make it or break it area, the weakest part of the US team, the group that has haunted us for year and years. The issue here is we refuse to try something different….Spector is not even dressing up for a weak team like West Ham, why is he even being considered TO PLAY FOR THE US NATIONAL TEAM!!! Gooch is not seeing any playing time and we cannot dwell on pass glory (Davis, Adu,). He is not fit to “even dress” for AC Milian which directly translates to him not being fit to play for the US NATIONAL TEAM…THE BEST OF THE BEST OF AMERICAN….THE ALL STARS OF US PLAYERS IN THE WORLD!!!! One of the responsibility of the coach is to teach, enlighten or instruct players with the right skill set and athleticism to function as one unit, most importantly to recognize these skill sets/potential and harvest them. Are we that shallow that all we have is Gooch/Spector/pearce??? We might as well throw in Bornstein and clark!!! we need to try to harvest young new talent…Gabe Agboussemonde(U20), Gonzalez(galaxy), Lichaj, Ambrose (FC Dallas,U20), Zamora(chivas USA, U20), Garza (Estoril-Praia), Daniel williams (SC Freiburg) ,Michael Orozco Fiscal (philadelphia union/san luis), A.J. DeLaGarza (galaxy)….something different. We know Boca and Dolo show up on a regular for their clubs so they are good to go.
    It’s like a boxer with the same combinations, being knocked out time and time again due to lack of a good defense. We have to switch it up and find an air tight group, not necessarily the best INDIVIDUAL PLAYERS but the best TEAM PLAYERS that work together effectively.

  9. I really like that lineup. Holden and Feilhaber have the ball possession skills necessary to thrive in the middle. Either one would be good in the middle of the park.

  10. Why try? We have Tim Ream, Omar Gonzalez and Ike Opara who are all the future of the center of our defense. Edu is a beast in midfield and plays there exclusively. You can’t have him play central defense for the national team and midfield for his club. He is good for emergencies but I wouldn’t pull him out of a position that he thrives in. If he sucked in midfield then sure why not move him elsewhere?

  11. He played in that preseason tournament last summer and started every game at right back. I haven’t seen him this season so maybe they moved him to left back. It is very difficult for a player to switch, even if they are excellent with both feet.

  12. When Bobby talks about playing time at clubs he is referring to the fringe players. Gooch has been a national team starter for over 4 years so he gets into the camp as long as he is healthy; then a decision is made if he starts depending on his form. I would like to see him get 180 minutes in these two friendlies to give him some game time. He has been training for almost 2 months, but he needs to get in game shape.

  13. Brian, “thisisphil” actually called for the insane 3-6-1 to start the match then switching to a more traditional 4-4-2. But would like to move towards a 3-5-2 over the next 2 years.

    Based on his later comments on players we should all recognize that he cannot be serious about his formation/player selection.

    Gale Agbossoumode – Has never played a professional 1st team match. Good prospect at 18, but CB’s usually take time to develop to the international level.

    Castillo – Can’t find a home club… constantly on loan and isn’t getting PT while on loan.

    Najar – 17 year old Honduran who isn’t a US citizen and won’t likely become one until after the 2014 WC.

    Salgado – 16 year old who hasn’t seen a professional 1st team match. He maybe a possibility in 2-4 years, but until he actually sees professional playing time he’s too much of an unknown.

    Lastly in a 3 back formation you don’t employ attacking Wing Backs like Lichaj/Dolo/Castillo. In a 3 back system the defenders are required to stay at home and not get forward into the attack, otherwise you are way to valnerable to the counter attack.

  14. Since we have no Donovan, I would slide Demps to the left, Feilhaber to the center, and Holden to the right. Other than that, I like the lineup. I would start Benny, but bring in Bedoya, either at the half or early in the second half and slide Holden to the middle. But with Donovan, I like Holden in the middle.

  15. Very true…. but it was LeftMid in a very tight formation…. more like a LeftCenterMid in a 3 man midfield…. his runs forward were straight down the middle but he played horizontal defense sliding from the middle to cover a winger but than returning to the middle for offense….. 4-3-2-1 is what we need to play


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