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Who should the USMNT Start vs. Jamaica?


With the knockout rounds of the CONCACAF Gold Cup now upon us, the U.S. men's national team will need to find the right mix of players to help it navigate what will be a tough road to the Gold Cup Final, a road that begins on Sunday against Jamaica at RFK Stadium.

Though the United States only managed a 1-0 victory against a weak Guadeloupe side, there were enough promising signs from that group to make that starting lineup the foundation for the squad Bob Bradley will start against Jamaica.

So who will Bradley turn to in the first match of the Gold Cup knockout rounds? Here's the lineup I can see him turning to:



Some thoughts on the lineup:

Alejandro Bedoya is the change from the Guadeloupe match. He has shown so much energy and attacking initiative that he makes sense as the spark in the U.S. lineup. It also means Clint Dempsey starting up top for the United States, something many have been wanting to see for some time.

This lineup can also morph into a 4-5-1, with Bedoya playing underneath Altidore, and Dempsey on the right.

Eric Lichaj gets another start after a strong outing against Guadeloupe, though Jamaica will present much different challenges for the young fullback.

What other lineup might Bradley turn to? He could give Juan Agudelo another run-out and hope that the young forward could disrupt Jamaica's defense, but this lineup gives the U.S. a better attacking balance.


What do you think of this lineup? Which players would you have in your starting lineup if you were the coach? Think this lineup can beat Jamaica?

Share your thoughts below.



  1. Are you on drugs? Boca needs to be CB over Gooch all day, with Lichaj as LB. And time and time again has proven Bradley/Jones/Edu never works.

  2. Sitting Donovan is probably one of the worst ideas I’ve heard. Also, you really think Bradley would EVER run a 4-3-3 with Dempsey up top? No.

  3. I think the line up is fine. Maybe changing Bedoya for adu to start, and bringing in Bedoya as a sub to bring in energy into the second half. Also agudelo in for jozy in the second half. Our back line is solid and we need to focus on the buckling working together and advancing towards the finals if we keep changing it the dynamics won’t be there, I like ream but at this stage we need lichaj and his speed boca and Goodson pair up good and dolls crosses. But more importantly we need Landon as he was in the gold cup to take control and show up as well as Clint, with out them we will not move forward. Mid files Bradley in jones is a good pairing and both are work horses.

  4. I can tell you haven’t watched Rocky in a while b/c clearly you are lacking in heart and balls. “Doesn’t matter. They are going to lose.” So many Cowards on this site. People were going up against Jamaica not the Netherlands. Are the Jamaicans a dangerous team that shouldn’t be taken lightly? Of course. If we show up can we win, uhhh yap. All these USA fans who throw in the white towel instantly b/c of the past couple of games really makes me gag. Grow a pair, think positive and gear up for what’s gona be an exciting match!

  5. Your not going out on a limb at all. I think many people on this site feel that by bashing CONCACAF competition they somehow flex their soccer acumen muscles. Since the Ghana which game has been bigger?

  6. Thats a good point to raise. Hopefully Bradley ponders this concept when he awakes, gets out of his racing car bed and puts on his “wears waldo” PJs for the big day.

  7. People have been freaking out lately (Not so much on this thread). I understand why but mark my words. We’re gona take care of Jamaica on Sunday. You heard it first from Gabriel Cash’s armani suit wearing partner, Ray Tango!

  8. I’m pretty much assuming that Onyewu is toast until I hear otherwise– and we probably won’t hear otherwise until and unless he suits up, since there’s no advantage gained by tipping one’s hand. The team is in a far better position to know whether he’s able to go or not than we could be.

  9. You’re right to be stuck there. I think this U.S. team has the pieces to be a good team, certainly good enough to be the first or second best team in Concacaf. But they are not headed in the right direction.

    I chalk that up mostly to their inability to finish. Think if they had finished a reasonable percentage of the chances they’d created! They would be 3-0 and nobody would be too worried.

    There also are questions about the defense, but it would be adequate if the team could finish its chances.

  10. Thanks for the prophecy, but I’ll be consulting the entrails of a chicken before I believe we’re sunk for sure. Cheers!

  11. agreed! if you have ever played forward, you know your gunna miss a few sitters here and there…good sign that he’s been creating chances, and i like his work rate.

  12. I find that 8-9 times out of ten I agree with the proposed lineups posted on SBI. This one and the before the last game are two of those times.

  13. As sharp as Bedoya and Lichaj have been looking, that is then an all rookie left flank against a very quick and hot Jamaican side… Isn’t that a little risky? I think we see the same starting lineup as Gwad, with Bedoya subbing for Jozy around 65 and Dempsey shifting high and kljestan in for Wondo if he’s gassed and LD shifting up at around 75 minutes. Edu might be an 80 minute sub if anyone else tires.

  14. That sounds about right, but if he’s not absolutely finished this may be the game for Gooch. With Bocanegra back at the defensive helm his old partner ( Onewyu ) may be a match up well with the physical Jamaican’s.
    Peter Nolan

  15. People don’t really seem to be answering the question asked, which is not “pick a lineup against some generic opponent,” but “pick a lineup against Jamaica.”

    The basic fact about this game is that Jamaica has one huge advantage– team speed– and is otherwise a markedly inferior roster (talent wise) to the USA.

    I’d be happy to hear what others’ thoughts are on dealing with that, but my impression is that one-on-one defending is going to be less relevant than usual here (because if Jamaica scores, it’s going to be by avoiding the defense, not charging straight into it). That might call for Ream over Goodson.

    If the game turns into an aerial slugfest, the US team is bigger and more skilled with the ball. I’m fine with winning 1-0, or 2-1 a.e.t., in that fashion. I’m actually tempted to go five in the back, maybe with Spector as one of the five since he can act like a midfielder on set-pieces and sustained attacks. If that sounds too conservative for you, just think of it as a 4-1-2-2-1.

    My gut hunch says to start the following:


    However, I’m okay with starting Goodson or Bedoya in place of Ream and Spector, on the “play your best players” principle.

  16. Uh, it’s an elimination round of an important competition.

    So, yes, I’m going way out on a limb and saying that it is indeed “bigger” than a bunch of random friendlies.

  17. The USA already has one power/athleticism forward. His name is Jozy Altidore.

    I’m not sure to what extent you’d want a carbon copy of him as a second forward. If for some reason you did, Edson Buddle is about as good as it gets right now.

  18. He’s not really getting those chances “from the wing.” He’s getting them when he wanders into the middle of the pitch. Which is nice and all, but the US attack is lacking in width right now.

    Then again, I’d encourage a methodical, take-no-chances approach against Jamaica, so perhaps a narrow game would encourage that.

    I just don’t see enough out of Wondo or Agudelo right now to justify starting them. I’d rather start the best players and figure out the formation later than try to ram a round peg into a square hole.

  19. Nice apologist angle…

    What if Feilhaber hadn’t been injured? Then Bob Bradley would have lost himself Bedoya altogether. In that case, Bob Bradley’s poor initial selection cost him a player who has ended up playing ahead of Adu and Rogers.

    I’ll give you that he appears to be letting training inform his selections, but he also selects the wrong players to begin with.

  20. Don’t you guys see what’s going on????

    He’s peaking! Both club and country! You can only learn so much from a coach who isn’t dynamic and let’s face it both Bruce arena and papa Bradley aren’t good for him anymore. He’s tied down to playing defensive with galaxy because Bruce has a leash on him and the rest of theteam.. Then he comes here only to see the same garbage strategy and technique.

    He needs some inspiration… All the us players do cuz they just seem frustrated as a whole.

  21. It doesn’t matter who starts, who subs, or who plays where. There is no way the US wins on Sunday. Zero shot. End of story.

  22. I could be frantic about wanting to see Adu play but our midfield is lacking a spark and BB still hasn’t selected Spector as an option….a guy who had a brace against a team like Manchester United!!!!….a guy who is capable of opening up the field on the flanks. Mikey/jones/Edu…all of them are among the best players on the team but have the same style of play. US needs some diversity, we only have one player with the skill to take on player…Dempsey. Altidore is powerful and can be a threat but his ability to take on players, to dribble for an opening shot in limited.

    we can put Wondo up top (and not saying he’s a bad player) and try out Robbie Rogers instead of Adu up top or Spector in an attacking midfield roll?? Plus a guy BB left off the roster before comes in and provides the spark the team needs?? Does that say anything about his judgement??

    Just saying

  23. I don’t like the notion of starting Dempsey up top. He recieves many of his opportunities on the wing (he just didn’t finish them versus Guadeloupe).

    If he is pushed up top late that is fine. I would rather see Agudelo start, with Bedoya coming on as a super sub.

  24. Absolutely not. Have you seen him defend? Have you seen him dictate the pace of the game? Have you seen him slow down the ball in the final third to wait for teammates to get in position and then deliver that decisive ball that is the assist to the assist- setting the entire thing up like a general? Have you seen him maintain possession with an incredible pass consistency percentage? If you haven’t, you haven’t been watching.

    His set pieces have been off, that is it. Iguess those things are a little more subtle to watch for, but they have a huge impact on this team sport.

  25. Here is my dream Starting 11 and Bench (If only BB had the forsight….!!)

    Chandler—Whitbread(Demerit)—Bocanegra—Cherundolo(could switch sides)



    Bench: Ream, Lichaj, Demerit,Spector, Edu, Diskeruud, Klestjan, Bedoya, Altidore, Aguadelo, Bunbury

    I can already hear the complaints…and yes if you put a great distributer/possession player like Torres covered by Jones in the middle and Bradley outside, we would be extremely strong!

    This is just a what if, but this team could have been put together!! Now Imagine having Holden in the middle with Jones covering, and Feilhaber outside right, with Donovan up top with Dempsey???

    We can only wish BB would gather a team like this!!

  26. I think Bradley likes him; however, he just doesn’t have a spot in Bob’s scheme. I think after Solvenia, Bob feels that we need two defensive minded CMs to compensate for our shaky back line – rightly or wrongly. I liked Torres starting in the WC match, but it definitely did not pay dividends. I haven’t watched Torres much this year, but in club matches last year after the WC, he really looked bad. Hopefully, he can change form and make it back, but I think he might become victim of numbers in CM.

  27. +1 – Yeah, at first it does look like it is an easy way to criticize Bradley (neglecting to put Bedoya on the initial roster only to now have him first off the bench); however, we really don’t know all the reasons Bradley had for making his roster the way he did. I am sure that he was going to use Benny first off the bench and maybe Bedoya is the guy who is showing best in training that he can fill that role. Bob may have wanted Rogers and Adu on the roster in case of a specific match-up (one that may or may not materialize). They are more one dimensional than Benny, Sasha, or Bedoya.


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