Who should start for the USA vs. Brazil?

USAvsSpain (ISIphotos.com)

                                                                            Photo by ISIphotos.com

U.S. men's national team head coach Bob Bradley has had some tough decisions to make regarding his starting lineup during the Confederations Cup, but his decisions heading into Sunday's final can be boiled down to one.

Who will replace Michael Bradley?

When thinking about the starting lineup for the rematch with Brazil, you can't really argue against coach Bradley keeping the same group that has defeated Egypt and Spain by a combined score of 5-0. What Bradley must do is decide on how to replace his son, who is missing the final after being issued a highly questionable red card vs. Spain (and no, there will be no appeal or overturning of that red card so forget that idea).

Bradley has a variety of options to choose from, but one player has earned the right to start.

That player is Benny Feilhaber.

While he certainly didn't have the best game in his lone start of the tournament, Feilhaber has been very good in his appearances since, capped by his sharp ball movements leading to Clint Dempsey's goal in the win vs. Spain. Sure, the image of seeing him stripped by Giuseppe Rossi leading up to Italy's first goal in the U.S. team's 3-1 loss, but Feilhaber has played well since and merits the start.

Bradley's other options? Sacha Kljestan is regarded as the leading contender, but his foolish red card vs. Brazil capped a forgettable performance by the Chivas USA midfielder. Jose Francisco Torres is a good option off the bench, but he has yet to play in this tournament so starting him in the final wouldn't make much sense.

That leaves Feilhaber, the Brazilian-born midfielder failed to impress the last time he started against his native country (Brazil's 4-2 friendly win in Chicago in 2007). On that day Feilhaber was clearly out of form and facing the effects of not playing for Derby County. Now, Feilhaber has slowly worked his way into the national team mix and has played well as a substitute (including an impressive showing vs. Brazil). On Sunday, the U.S. team will need him to play well as a starter.

With Feilhaber in the lineup, here is what we should see vs. Brazil:

————Altidore———-Davies—————

Donovan———————————-Dempsey

—————Clark———-Feilhaber————

Bocanegra—-Onyewu——DeMerit——Spector

———————–Howard———————–

One lineup variation I'm hearing a lot of is having Dempsey start up top and Davies on the wing. The reason that isn't ideal is because Davies is best-suited up top, where his speed can cause trouble and he can keep pressure on opposing centerbacks, but more importantly, because Dempsey brings better defensive work, possession and passing to the table on the right flank, where it is needed the most. Now, if there were a natural right midfielder in the U.S. pool who could provide the work rate, possession, passing and ability to beat defenders that Dempsey does, I think we would see Dempsey up top. Unfortunately, that player doesn't exist right now.

What do you think of this lineup? Would you stick with the same group that got you to the final? Would you go with Feilhaber over the other midfield options? Are you confident that the Americans can put together another strong performance and exact some revenge against Brazil on its way to the Confederations Cup title?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in Confederations Cup, U.S. Men's National Team. Bookmark the permalink.

179 Responses to Who should start for the USA vs. Brazil?

  1. Memrook says:

    Alright, Bradley has a red, so the lineup oughtta be

    Altidore – Davies

    Donovan – Feilhaber – Clark – Dempsey

    Bocanegra – Gooch – DeMerit – Spector

    Howard

    Pretty much the same against Spain, but obviously Feilhaber slots in Bradley’s role. Donovan uses his speed to exploit on the left and Davies uses his speed to exploit in behind and help out on the right. We saw today with SA/Brazil that speedy attacks really neutralize Brazil. Now all we need from our boys is the same exact effort against Spain.

  2. ryan says:

    that has to be the lineup, there’s no reason to change anything. obviously people will clamor for adu and torres, but they haven’t earned the right to start yet.

  3. HokieFutbol says:

    Kinda like you said it Ives…who else should start besides Benny? I think his options are pretty limited unless Bradley wants to retool the line-up, which wouldn’t make sense considering the recent success. Win or lose this tournament was a huge success and a lot of questions about the line-up have been answered. Having said that Brazil is beatable…

  4. William the Terror says:

    anyone considered putting Davies on the wing and just moving Dempset up front from the get go?

  5. Trent says:

    I wonder if Bob Bradley will refuse to coach since his baby boy can’t play.

  6. Memrook says:

    so yes, obviously I agree with Ives, since our lineups are identical, and I think it’s definitely best to go with the same lineups from Egypt and Spain. I can’t wait for this final. I have a long weekend ahead of me with lots of work, so I’ll have to wait ’til late Sunday to catch the game, which sucks. But I’m pumped. Come on you Nats!!!

  7. cbr says:

    what!?!?!?! no beasley and wynn!?!?!?

  8. Mike from linden says:

    Dempsey should be up top for the most obvious reason. He’s scored two goals in the past two games for the US playing as a foward.

  9. Mike Caramba says:

    It’d be nice if we challenged Bradley’s red. Am I the only one whot thinks there’s a chance he could have his ban lifted?

  10. SR says:

    This lineup has yet to lose and yet to give up a goal vs two solid opponents, although Bradley was holding it down in the defensive midfield. I can’t imagine we’ll see anything different. Big games by Clark and Benny along with a solid defensive performance from the back 5 and we could really push for the win.

  11. kahlva says:

    Yes, that has to be the lineup.

    If the team plays like they did against Spain and Egypt – with the same intensity – any result will be good.

  12. BlueWhiteLion says:

    Ben.

  13. EDB says:

    i dunno.. i think we need another holding mid there but we don’t have another one on the roster.. would have been nice to have mo edu..

  14. HIncha Tim says:

    Looks good to me. I would like to see Torrez as a midfield option off the bench if more possession/ attack is needed.

  15. Rossi is Judas says:

    Heath Pearce is also capable of playing in the defensive midfield position. He certainly wouldn’t be my first choice (I’d go with Torres) but it is an option.

    A change in formation is also not completely out of the question.

  16. JeffM says:

    I think Ives has it exactly right. Actually, I think the lineup picks itself – Kljestan isn’t in form, and neither Adu nor Torres have the defensive skills to hold down the fort in the center of the midfield. Also, you can’t put either Adu or Torres on the left and let them try to deal with Maicon. Finally, the US has played best in a 4-4-2, not only in this tournament, but in general.

  17. Duh says:

    Memrook, was it really necessary to post the same lineup as Ives had written? Just say you agree..

  18. Memrook says:

    Wow Duh, you’re totally right. I’m so sorry, Ives. I’m sure Ives is thinking to himself right now, “I wish people wouldn’t post their opinions on my blog.” etc. Just chill out, ok? I was just reaffirming what he said, and I suppose you feel really big calling someone out like that. Anyway. I admitted in a few posts later that I obviously agree with Ives since they were almost exactly the same.

  19. Tolik says:

    One change to your lineup, Ives.

    I’d like to have Dempsey upfront instead of Davies (or Altidore) with Torres taking the midfield duties.

    No Sacha, please!

  20. Joga Rooch says:

    For me, I’d go with Benny for sure. I bet BB will bring in Sacha for defensive purposes as he has an edge on Benny in that regard. I don’t rate him as highly, but BB tends to prefer a defensive oriented mid, even when lining up 4-4-2. Who are the likely substitutes, based on if we are leading or if we are trailing? I’d like to see Torres get a sniff if we need some offensive spark, move Deuce forward for whichever forward has the least effective day. If we need to stop the bleeding (unlikely this time) I’m not sure how to shape things. Depends on if Feilhaber or Sacha start. Either way, I hope the boys bring the same effort they have had in the last two. The Spain match showed we can stifle creative passing sides, but that effort must be repeated! C’mon you yanks!

  21. Murphy says:

    Right on Ives. If Benny doesn’t play well bring in Torres. If Kljestan starts or even comes into the game I will go back to posting “Fire Bradley” on this site every day. Benny played great when he came on vs. Spain–especially on the 2nd goal he really made that play.

  22. AdamTheRed says:

    I hope to see Freddy Adu and Torres… .on account of the USA winning 3-0 at half time.

  23. froboy says:

    gotta be benny, adu or torres off the bench if we need goals in the second half

  24. Jose A. V. says:

    Yup, thats the lineup that should be used.(4-4-2) Please no lone striker please.

  25. Chase says:

    My head might explode if Klejstan gets the start. I’m sure BB will go with Feilhaber and maybe, just maybe Torres might get some action off the bench (doubtful though as he hasn’t played a minute of the tournament).

  26. Angel says:

    Well I think Bob Bradley should put guys that has Speed, Knows how to control the ball in the Midfield and good passer. Brazil will be waiting to play against a team that play against Egypt & Spain with is exactly how Ives setup the lineup. If I was Bob Bradley I will send it a curve. Send something familiar but do a couple of changes. My starting line up is:

    ———–Altidore——-Dempsey(Davis)———-

    Donovan———————-Adu(Feilhaber)

    —————Clark———-Feilhaber(Torres)————

    Bocanegra—-Onyewu——DeMerit——Spector

    ——————–Howard———————

    I will put Dempsey at first this time to pair with Altidore. Used Donovan and Adu left and right wing. Feilhaber or Torres with Clark and Sup him with Mastroeni. Defense stay the same. South Africa give us a Blueprint on how to play Brazil, Attack attack and hold the midfield so the defense can play same as they did against Spain… Go USA

  27. Eric Griesheimer says:

    The starting line up is a given…who comes on in the second half? Jozie will most likely be done around 65-70 min. Dempsey will be giving less defensive cover and may need to be moved up front or pulled off.

  28. AJ says:

    You have to go with Feilhaber. He doesn’t have Bradley’s defensive abilities, but he is the best passer we have out of midfield. Hopefully he can spring the attackers in on goal a few times in the match.

  29. Tony in Quakeland says:

    Yup, Ives, you nailed it. Also, starting Benny offers more tactical choice when it comes to late subs – with Adu/Torres being Benny like and Sasha offering more size and bite.

    William the terror: Davies speed really exhausted the Spainish defense and he should be able to exploit Brazil. Consider this point made by Greg Seltzer on soccer365: “Want to know the #1 reason Pique/Puyol actually ran more distance than DeMerit/Onyewu despite Spain having 56% of the possession? This guy right here. Happy birthday, Charlie.”

  30. Josh says:

    Did anyone see Uli Hoeness’ comment about Donovan: link to sports.yahoo.com

    “Klinsmann’s only idea for strengthening the squad in January was Landon Donovan,” Hoeness said. “Hermann Gerland (Bayern’s reserve team coach) told me the guy wasn’t fit to play for his reserves.”

    That makes me hate Bayern even more! Meanwhile, strong play from Gooch has got two Serie A teams interested, and Torres *might* be moving to Deportivo. If our players can use the Confed Cup as a springboard to playing time in Europe’s top leagues, then win or lose, it’ll have been an incredibly successful experience.

  31. Bill says:

    I was wanting to pick apart your line up and demonstrate how much ‘smarter’ I am then you. But, I actually like it.

    I’m tempted to say pull dempsey out (he’s really a better fwd then mid – but need the speed/size of Davis/altidore) and have feilhaber play there (outside mid). Then put in Kleistan for holding mid.

    While we’re at it..Davis? I need my Freddy Adu fix! And why can’t our Texan/Pachuca midfielder get some minutes – Torres for Spector (yeah, I just don’t feel the love for him) – So now a 3 man back line and 5 in middle ‘W’ for those you enjoy tactics – vs that ‘box’ formation arena/bradley use.

    Nah..I like your idea better but it was fun trying :)

  32. Tolik says:

    Torres is not on the roster for Gold Cup. He should get at least some minutes against Brazil. What did he tell BB in the locker-room at the half time in CR to get so far into the sh*t list?

  33. japan says:

    If I see anything other then Ive’s lineup, I will once again question Bradley even if we win the game.

  34. ARey says:

    Sounds good to me… keep the guys who’ve gotten us here in there. I love Sacha but we don’t need another dumb red card, they’re getting somewhat ridiculous right about now and in the immortal words of Rodney Dangerfield, “We can’t get no respect around here”

  35. joe says:

    I like your thoughts on the starting line-up. Dempsey has been a great late game forward. It seems that he has really excelled in that spot once given the time to get in the flow of the game. I think starting him up front would be a mistake as we would lose one our most successful and creative links and the game could devolve into a game of long balls being played up front. This would obviously take Donovan out of the game and make Jozy act as a holding foward something he hasn’t shown a great ability to do yet.

  36. Freddie Footballer says:

    I think some posters have hinted at the first sub we could/should see. Either Adu or Torres at right mid in for Davies, push Dempsey up top with Altidore.

  37. mexicanbluefish says:

    Sacha would be a ridiculous choice. Benny will be hungry to make up for his mistake, and will want to build on his decent performances… he is primed for a great game.

  38. Luke in NC says:

    Obviously we will all be purely baffled about how that brain of BB works if we dont see this line-up…..with the POSSIBLE exception of Dempsey up top, though its doubtful (he still our most sold/proven option on the wings along with LD).

    I’m still nervous about BB’s decision making though…..particularly when it comes to substitutes. Obviously most of us want Torres….but i fear Kljestan might get put in and not be much of a help. He’s a liability at this level until proven otherwise (and preferably proven on a much less significant stage).

  39. Memrook says:

    link to fifa.com

    I don’t know if these castrol ratings mean anything, and I know Ives already posted on them after the Egypt game, but looks like Clint has moved up from Eighth to Third, behind Kaka and Villa. And since Kaka and Dempsey are left in the finals and Villa is not, looks like they are favorites to finish first. If the US win (god I hope they win!), then it’s likely Dempsey will be fifa.com’s player of the tournament!

  40. ko'd says:

    Hey Ives, any chance that your tweet “Brazil edges South Africa, 1-0. Now we get USA-Brazil II. Can USA be Rocky to Brazil’s Apollo? (Except for being KOd in the first meeting)” was a shout-out to my intellect and insight?!

    No? Oh well. I can always dream…

  41. Trent says:

    G)Howard

    D)Demerit

    D)Onyewu

    D)Spector

    DM)Bocenegra

    DM)Clark

    LM)Faihaber

    RM)Dempsey

    AM)Donovan

    F)Altidore

    F)Davies

    This formation/lineup will allow us to be able to play more defensively when needed and to counter-attack when given the opportunity(we seem to be a counter-attack team).

  42. RSLFANINCALIFORNIA says:

    For the love of everything holy – Do not start Beasley! For that matter, he should never be invited to the USMNT camp ever again.

    Absolutely the worst player ever to don a US Kit

  43. Yusef says:

    An eligible Bradley and Jones taking Clark’s spot may be the strongest American lineup going forward. If this starting XI plus Benny, Freddy, and Edu stay healthy and get playing time abroad, we are all going to have a lot of fun watching them play over the next year.

  44. NK says:

    While I agree in general that Benny should and probably will get the start, your comment below makes me want to pull my hair out. The logic is twisted at best, absurd at worst. Do you mean to tell me that Kljestan is best positioned to start, simply because he already has? Even though that start (not to mention every appearance in at least the past year) confirmed the fact that he has no business on the pitch? If Bradley has any sense (which is debatable at times) and doesn’t cave-in to his stubbornness, Torres would be the automatic selection over Klejstan in this game as well as any other.

    “Bradley’s other options? Sacha Kljestan is regarded as the leading contender, but his foolish red card vs. Brazil capped a forgettable performance by the Chivas USA midfielder. Jose Francisco Torres is a good option off the bench, but he has yet to play in this tournament so starting him in the final wouldn’t make much sense.”

    Further, I’d just like to defend Benny against every person who keeps dredging up the turnover vs. Italy. First, what US player hasn’t had a poor turnover in this tournament? Simply because Rossi hit an amazing shot from well outside the area, does not mean that this was especially egregious. For consistency, we should demean every player who has a turnover, even if they are fortunate enough for it to lead to something a bit more innocuous (here’s looking at you Connor Casey, Klejstan, Rico, et. al.).

    Secondly, it was a pretty difficult pass to handle. It wasn’t as if he was prancing around midfield trying to make meaningless plays simply to look good (Dempsey anyone?).

    Finally, I would also point out not only his pass versus Spain, but also his releasing pass to Jozy vs. Italy which led directly to our PK. No one in our player pool (sans maybe Torres or Adu) is really capable of these sorts of passes on a regular basis.

  45. Pat says:

    I would put Dempsey up top to start. I don’t think it will happen, but I think it should.

  46. thedoc says:

    it would be interesting if dempsey ended up with player of the tournament, but you forget that villa can still play in the 3rd place game, so it isnt impossible for him to keep the honors. id put odds on kaka taking it home

  47. Fan Futbol says:

    The only tweak on Ives’ lineup: I’d start Adu as a withdrawn striker in place of Davies. Never in a million years will Bradley do that, of course.

    That Kljestan is even a possibility is mystifying. He was 100% worthless in the first Brazil match; it was like playing with 10 men, even before he went off.

    FF

  48. OmarVizquel says:

    Ives: What actually happened between Michael Bradley and the ref after the game, and will there be any repercussions???

    Rumors are flying around.

  49. Memrook says:

    you’re right, thedoc, Villa still plays, but according to fifa.com the weight of that game is inferior to the weight of the Final. (Or so it seems by this following article):

    link to fifa.com

  50. jpc says:

    I think the same lineup will be fine, except obviously Feilhaber in for Bradley…

    Bocanegra’s is the clear choice at left back, but his lack of speed on the left w/ Maicon is concerning, but hopefully Donovan and the CB’s won’t allow him to be left on an island.

  51. The Gentleman Masher says:

    Spot on, Ives. You definitely start with this. Yes, Dempsey scored a late goal 2 games in a row, but he also was everywhere up and down the wing.

    We’ll need defending like that early on…and the drop off from Dempsey on the wing is significant (at least, in terms of who has, and hasn’t played).

    I’ll be interested to see what Bradley does – not often you play the same team twice in a span of 10 days, and he knows he needs to make adjustments to beat Brazil.

    It’s still a shame about Bradley – with he and Rico are on the pitch together we’ve surrendered zero goals in this tournament.

  52. ThaDeuce says:

    I’d really like to know more about the rules and regulations on red card appeal and why its a given it won’t be appealed. Also I’d love to hear Ive’s opinion on if it should be appealed or not. I just don’t understand/ know enough.

  53. patrick says:

    sasha shoudlnt see the field until he transfers to europe and gets his act together. He’s done nothing positive for the US since the Sweden game and is infuriating to watch. His passing leaves much to be desired, he doesnt stick tackles like bradley or clark, and he doesnt distirvute or handle the ball better than feilhaber or torres. There is no situation (except injuries) that would warrant letting sasha put on a jersey. He’s terrible right now.

  54. pat says:

    ——Altidore————

    ———–Dempsey——–

    ——Donovan—-Kljestan-

    —–Feilhaber—-Clark—

    Boca-DeMerit-Gooch-Spector

    ———–Howard———

  55. Joey says:

    Please Bob, let the answer be not Sacha Kljestan. I think Sacha has forgotten how to play. I would like to forget seeing him play.

  56. Memrook says:

    hmmm, well the article about Deuce and Castrol player index is really interesting, but it’s not letting me post it on this website.

    link to fifa.com

  57. Javier says:

    Feilhaber does seem to make the most sense and has earned the right to start.

    Not crazy about Dempsey at right half. Would it make sense to have Davis out right and Dempsey up top with the two interchanging?

    Torres deserves to come off the bench before Klejstan. I’ve been hard on Adu on these blogs but I’d bring him off the bench before Klejstan as well.

    Any other forwards on the bench besides Casey? I think I’ve seen old people move faster than he does on the field. I don’t expect him to beat Altidore or Davis in race but he seems to always be walking or trotting when he’s standing around ball watching.

    I only hope the team that beat Spain and Egypt shows up to play against Brazil. I’m still down on BB but he and the team have redeemed themselves the last couple of games. Now can they keep up through Sunday’s game and beyond to qualifying and the WC. Changes need to be made, but they have been outstanding the last two games.

  58. Memrook says:

    link to fifa.com

    .html#castrol+index+kaka+deuce+close

    There’s the article about Deuce and the Castrol index ratings and how’s he favorite to win. Good read.

  59. kswiss says:

    No question in my mind, that needs to be the lineup. I’m guessing Benny sits a little bit in front of Clark to start with, though depending on how the game plays out he may have to drop back even with Clark.

    I think Bob is also going to keep the same sub pattern as the last two games, barring injury. Since Feilhaber is starting now instead of being the first sub, it’ll be Torres or Kljestan for Benny or Clark around 60-65 min. Then we’ll probably see Casey for Altidore or Davies around 75-80, if we happen to be ahead. If we’re losing, maybe (MAYBE) we’ll see Adu or Beasley come in to try and boost the attack.

    I’m not saying this has to happen, because every game is different, but like the starting lineup, it’s worked so far.

  60. CT says:

    Angel you’re crazy. Adu and Torres have no business within 500 miles of the starting lineup.

  61. FCB says:

    The exact same line-up that started against Spain except of course Feilhaber for Bradley. It would be against BB’s character to change.
    That’s why he doesn’t use timely substitutions or sometimes even substitutions at all.

  62. Alex G says:

    Hey people, correct me if Im wrong but I don’t think BB likes Torres, and i don’t get it, the kid is a good player, he hasn’t appear in a single Confed match not even as a sub, what’s wrong with BB??, well, I hope to see him in the final, at least for some minutes.

  63. whatagame says:

    Josh,

    Saw that quote a few months ago. Hoeness is a rude dude and its clear he didn’t like Klinsman (which makes you wonder why they ever brought him in). Donovan was collateral damage (Hoeness taking a shot at Klinsman). Makes me hope that Ribery and Toni leave BM. Have to root for the other Munich team anyway.

  64. Rekro HATES Rossi says:

    Have Dempsey swap places with Davies and your all set.

  65. kofix5 says:

    I like Ives lineup for sure.
    I wish I knew more about Davies game but I for all the football I watch I’ve never seen a Norwegian league match. Interesting that some are saying to switch him over to the wing for Dempsey. I disagree with that since Davies breakaway speed blows Dempsey doors off and will cause Brazil’s D trouble.

    I don’t want to see Sacha at all. For Club or Country he hasn’t been on form since hat-tricking Sweden.

    Bring on Torres or Adu as a late second half sub.

  66. Angel says:

    CT

    Are you the one that is crazy, come on tell me who you want there (Sasha/Beasley) come on please. Everybody here knows that Adu and Torres are better Choices. Plus did you see how S. Africa played against Brazil or Egypt. I hope you understand Futball but they control the ball, made good passes and they kept pressure on Brazil defense. in order to do that you need guys that are fast and have good control of the ball and good passes. To win all the ball in the midfield and cut. Just like USA did in the first 30min of the game against Spain.

  67. The Ghost of Josimar says:

    Scintillating stuff against Spain.

    Ives’ line-up seems spot on. Benny has earned it. He brings sorely needed composure on the ball — the way he created the chance that led to Dempsey’s goal against Spain was lovely.

    Bob Bradley…credit where credit is due. Bringing on Davies has been a very good move; the team has been on point.

    Count me, however, among those baffled and sorely disappointed by the decision to bury Jose Francisco Torres.

  68. FredMacMurray says:

    The fact that Gooch is almost the worst ranked player in the tournament tells you these ratings need some work. IT seems to really favor passing – amount, and accuracy. And distance travelled. But Gooch won so many headers in the area against spain it was too many to count. Which is what you want your center back doing. But he seems to get almost no credit for it.

  69. WK says:

    “I wonder if Bob Bradley will refuse to coach since his baby boy can’t play.”

    G)Howard

    D)Demerit

    D)Onyewu

    D)Spector

    DM)Bocenegra

    DM)Clark

    LM)Faihaber

    RM)Dempsey

    AM)Donovan

    F)Altidore

    F)Davies

    “This formation/lineup will allow us to be able to play more defensively when needed and to counter-attack when given the opportunity(we seem to be a counter-attack team).”

    Trent, i was going to ignore your first post like everybody else here, but this second one is proof you’re just drunk. you can’t play a 3 man back line against the likes of kaka, robinho, maicon, and even dani alves tearing up our right flank.

  70. Justice says:

    i’m good with whoever BB puts on the pitch, but we gotta play with ELEVEN MEN FOR THE FULL NINETY! if we play brazil tight for the first 25-30 minutes. we’ll start to see chips in that canary yellow facade…

  71. Isaac says:

    Like someone above stated, Davies did a good job of keeping the pressure on Egypt and Spain’s centerbacks. The USA has learned the little things it takes to win these matches.
    All the Torres and Adu worshipers need to let it go for this match and understand that neither has the defensive goods we need to win this match.

    I would like to see Torres get an appearance off the bench but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Kljestan be that sub. Kljestan brings more defensive bite to the game; yes, he just got red carded for showing that “bite” but Rico Clark made up for his red card so I think we shouldn’t be too close-minded to the idea of letting Sacha make up for his.

  72. kofix5 says:

    NK I agree with your post so much that I thought it deserved to be printed again.

    NK says-
    While I agree in general that Benny should and probably will get the start, your comment below makes me want to pull my hair out. The logic is twisted at best, absurd at worst. Do you mean to tell me that Kljestan is best positioned to start, simply because he already has? Even though that start (not to mention every appearance in at least the past year) confirmed the fact that he has no business on the pitch? If Bradley has any sense (which is debatable at times) and doesn’t cave-in to his stubbornness, Torres would be the automatic selection over Klejstan in this game as well as any other.

    “Bradley’s other options? Sacha Kljestan is regarded as the leading contender, but his foolish red card vs. Brazil capped a forgettable performance by the Chivas USA midfielder. Jose Francisco Torres is a good option off the bench, but he has yet to play in this tournament so starting him in the final wouldn’t make much sense.”

    Further, I’d just like to defend Benny against every person who keeps dredging up the turnover vs. Italy. First, what US player hasn’t had a poor turnover in this tournament? Simply because Rossi hit an amazing shot from well outside the area, does not mean that this was especially egregious. For consistency, we should demean every player who has a turnover, even if they are fortunate enough for it to lead to something a bit more innocuous (here’s looking at you Connor Casey, Klejstan, Rico, et. al.).

    Secondly, it was a pretty difficult pass to handle. It wasn’t as if he was prancing around midfield trying to make meaningless plays simply to look good (Dempsey anyone?).

    Finally, I would also point out not only his pass versus Spain, but also his releasing pass to Jozy vs. Italy which led directly to our PK. No one in our player pool (sans maybe Torres or Adu) is really capable of these sorts of passes on a regular basis.

    Posted by: NK | June 26, 2009 at 11:44 AM

    I have to add that it was Dempsey’s foolishly ill-timed pass to a well-covered Benny that gave Rossi a chance to pick his pocket and shoot that screaming goal.

  73. goalscorer24 says:

    I am glad it is Brazil we will be facing in the final. There seems like there could be some poetic justice there, and if we are able to win it puts an incredible exclamation point on it all. Feilhaber has to start, if he tires throw in Torres. Please, please no Klejstan!!!

  74. JK says:

    Please no Sacha. What has he done to even deserve sniffing the field on Sunday? Other than Klejstan and Beasley not playing, I honestly don’t care who starts for Bradley. Justice is spot on: we need to play the FULL ninety minutes with ELEVEN men. I will also add that we do not need to allow an early goal, or we will behind the eight ball in a huge game.

  75. Derek says:

    I like the line up, but who is the first sub?

    I’ve loved the midfielder sub for Davies pushing Clint up top. Davies wears them down a bit. Softens the D up for Clint.

    So, is the sub Torres? Klejstan? I’d like to see maybe Freddy, but I don’t think he sees the field.

    Do Beasley and Klejstan get a chance for atonement?

  76. Colin Ferguson says:

    We should see Ives’ starting lineup from kickoff. If we are winning, the sub pattern will remain the same with the more defensive Kljestan coming in for Davies and Dempsey moving up top and then Casey coming in for Jozy if we are still up late.

    If we are chasing goals in the second half after the 70 min mark we should consider a formation change. Sub Adu in for Davies, put Dempsey up top and push Spector onto the right wing.
    Altidore—-Dempsey
    ———Adu———–
    Donovan—-Spector
    —Clark—-Feilhaber—
    Boca–Gooch–Demerit

    Yeah, it’s narrow and demands a lot from Donovan and Spector, but both of them have shown they can dig deep late in games. 20 minutes of this formation should get us a goal.

  77. Derek says:

    I think Colin has it.

  78. The Ghost of Josimar says:

    Here’s a difference of opinion:

    1. I believe Torres has shown enough — for the Nats and for Pachuca — to be getting on the field. And even to start.

    2. Since he has not seen the pitch the whole tournament, I too would not pick him in the starting 11 against Brazil.

    3. Torres is not a defensive liability. It is not clear to me that Benny (whom I have always rated) is superior on defense. Adu…well whenever I have watched him he has shown magic but also little inclination to get back and defend. In his case, the “no defense” rap makes sense based on past performance.

  79. kpugs says:

    Please no Sacha. I know I trashed Dempsey for having an awful tournament and yet still playing, and I got faced when he scored against Spain.

    But Sacha isn’t as good as Dempsey. His “awful” is far worse than Dempsey’s version of awful. And right now, Sacha is AWFUL.

  80. matt C says:

    Can’t MIchael simply wear Sasha’s shirt? He won’t be needing it anytime soon.

    That idea aside, unfortunatey (or fortunately) the discussion about who should start is boring. As many, many have said, there’s really not much of a choice. The critical factors will be how those starters play the subs.

  81. Gilbert (Not Gil) says:

    In times of trouble, go with what you know.

  82. ArmenoRican says:

    Umm, the idea that Spector should be pushed up to the wing if the US is seeking a goal late is ridiculous. Yes he provided a wonderful cross on Dempsey’s goal against Egypt, but Spector is not as adept going forward as other right back options (at least within the full USMNT pool – i.e., Steve Cherundolo). If that’s what you want in terms of formation, Spector has to get subbed and you bring in Torres.

  83. UCSBlover07 says:

    All everyone keeps saying about Freddy is that he is a defensive liability. Well, if you play him as a withdrawn striker, that pretty much solves the problem. It’s not like Altidore, Davies and Casey (perhaps the worst display of hustle i’ve ever seen from a sub repeatably) are pressuring too much on D. Seriously, someone should tell Casey that the game is only 90 min so if he goes in at the 85th min he only has 5 min left so he should run his a@#@ off! I don’t understand Bob’s hatred for players that have excellent poise and creativity on the ball. It’s not too hard to work with players on their defense. Teaching players how to be better offensivly is tough.

  84. Warren says:

    ————Altidore———-Davies—————

    Donovan———————————-Dempsey

    —————Clark———-Bocanegra————

    Bornstein—-Onyewu——DeMerit——Spector——

    ———————–Howard——————-

    I realize Bornstein didn’t do good job against Brazil, but if we’re looking to tighten up the midfield AND want a solid option off the bench for an offensive spark and greater defensive role (say, replace one of the forwards), then this lineup would address those concerns. I think yours may win out tomorrow, Ives, given Feilhaber’s recent contributions, but this has to be the next best alternative.

  85. lasoccer says:

    I predict Dempsey will start dragging about the 50th minute to get BB to move him up top earlier … ;)

  86. David says:

    I would go with Torres, and bring Feilhaber on late as a sub like the last two games.

    Torres has played numerous games against South American professional teams, and is used to the South American style.

    He will add composed passing, which is exactly what we need.

    And, WE MUST CAP TORRES IN THIS GAME SO THAT HE IS NOT ELIGIBLE FOR MEXICO!

  87. andre says:

    Really can’t wait to see Bocanegra vs. Maicon, that is if Boca starts at leftback. I think it’d be wise to have a solid defender who isnt going to make very many runs into the other half playing left back against brazil. Same with Spector on the right.

    Our backs, against the likes of Spain and Brazil, need to do more defending than worrying about overlapping runs.

    It’s sick to think, We have a legitamate shot at winning this,

  88. MVK says:

    Bennys turnover against Italy is on Dempsey, Dempsey had space and dribbled at Feilhaber then passed it like 2 yards to marked Feilhaber with our other midfielders pinched as well..

    He is the clear choice

  89. VolsnCards5 says:

    Altidore

    Donovan Dempsey

    Torres Feilhaber

    Clark

    Boca Demerit Gooch Spector

    Howard

    I would salivate over this formation

  90. ko'd says:

    Altidore
    Donovan Dempsey
    Torres Feilhaber
    Clark
    Boca Demerit Gooch Spector
    Howard

    I would salivate over this formation

    Posted by: VolsnCards5 | June 26, 2009 at 01:07 PM

    So would Brazil…

  91. Eric Griesheimer says:

    Torres has already been capped. Played in WC qualifiers against Costa Rica and Trinidad and Tobago.

  92. alex says:

    Jozy will be on PTI today at 5 PM! I just got confirmation! lets see how Tony and Mike handle him!

    Everyone make sure to watch!

  93. stephen says:

    “If I see anything other then Ive’s lineup, I will once again question Bradley even if we win the game.”

    unbelievable

  94. Isaac says:

    And, WE MUST CAP TORRES IN THIS GAME SO THAT HE IS NOT ELIGIBLE FOR MEXICO!

    Posted by: David | June 26, 2009 at 01:01 PM

    He’s not eligible for Mexico because he played in a World Cup Qualifier, an official FIFA sponsored event. In fact, he’s played in nothing BUT World Cup Qualifiers.

  95. VolsnCards5 says:

    @ ko’d–they are going to be salivating at any formation we put out there

  96. dman23 says:

    i just hope if someone scores they moonwalk, that would be awesome.

  97. Man fan says:

    I think Bob will change things up, since Brazil has already seen a similar line up and I think putting Dempsey up top might just be it.

  98. Doughboy says:

    Regarding the red card appeal, from page 15 of fifa’s regulations for the confed cup:

    “No protests may be made about the referee’s decisions regarding facts connected with play, such decisions being final.”

    From there regulations booklet, available on their official documents page: link to fifa.com

    By the way, the fifa site is amazing, especially the stats page. They deserve substantial kudos on that.

  99. Aaron says:

    Ives: Is there any reason US Soccer didnt challenge the suspension for that Bradley red card? Unless there was something more that we didn’t see, the foul really didn’t seem bad enough to merit a straight red. I honestly expected a challenge much like what was done for the Clark red in the Italy game.

    Did something happen between Michael Bradley and the ref after the game? This is the first I’ve heard of it.

  100. elmatador says:

    DaMarcus Beasley for Bradley….don’t kill me….Just kidding!!! Line-up looks good, Feilhaber can make some big key contributions up front, but in defense we will definitely miss Bradley.

  101. ko'd says:

    VolsnCards5–granted.

    But I am actually confident that they will be mistaken…

  102. harry says:

    I think we use the same Lineup as last game…………but man i would be so pissed if we are 0-0 or down 1-0 or 2-0 and Conor Casey comes in Before Adu as our super-sub……how bad would that Be!

  103. matt says:

    New Don’t Tread On Me Design

    link to store.objectivo.com

    jozy charlie

    ld, clark, failhieber (jewish-brazilian), deuce

    boca, demerit, gooch, spencer

    howard

    Come On Bob’s Army!!!

  104. Jose A. V. says:

    Please no Beasley or Sacha. This a game to a look at Adu and Torres as sub.

  105. Barry U says:

    Agreed. Can the USSF ask for the red to thrown out?

    If we stay out of trouble – Subs – Bornstein, Casey, Pearce (if we are winning). Adu/Torres (if we are losing).

    Good luck guys!!!

  106. Aaron says:

    Nevermind, thanks for that, Doughboy.

  107. Isaac says:

    Ives, any word on who the ref is for Sunday? Anyone but Larrionda and I would LOVE Massimo Bussaca.

  108. Tony in Quakeland says:

    Two reoccurring comments baffle me. The first is moving Dempsey up top. Why? First off, just because Davies is fast, doesn’t mean he can play the wing. In fact, his lack of vision around the goal – just ask Landon Donovan, he of the waving arms at the top of the box – and his off target crosses hardly suggest a guy who can walk in and play wing against Brazil. And where is the evidence that he will contribute on defense? Finally, his speed exhausted the Spain back four and will be even more effective against Brazil. Leave him where he is.

    Also, Dempsey has grown each game, putting in a two-way work rate against Spain that was positively Donovan-esque. Why take him out of that role now?

    The other comment is the demand for Torres. Yeah, I think the guy has great potential – but he, Benny and Freddy are similar type players. And Benny has done a complete Lazarus this tournament. He deserves the start.

  109. Fireball says:

    No, Dempsey should not start up top. You need him going up and down with his workrate to shut down the right side with team defense. Davies can’t do that like Dempsey has become an expert at.

  110. cfig says:

    I’m pretty sure Torres is already cap-tied after playing in a qualifier. I do want to see him play more and he’d be my first sub if we’re needing more offense, but I’d start Benny.

  111. Jammer says:

    Everyone asking about an appeal.. FIFA doesn’t allow appeals! They are run like a typical autocratic international bureaucracy with no checks on the system to prevent corruption. The non-accountability and the draconian nature of red cards are the worst aspects of soccer. But no it will not change. In America we always try to fix problems, so it is very dispiriting to see a broken system and know we have no power to fix it, ever. A black mark on the sport.

    Feilhaber doesn’t have the defense Bradley does, but sometimes he makes very smart plays on offense. We will have to hope it will make up for it.

    To me, the more interesting question is next year’s World Cup. The current squad has had such great teamwork and chemistry for the last two games, and has developed amazing confidence. (That’s what the conf cup is really for.) So, when Edu comes back, do you break up the lineup to let him in? I don’t think so.

  112. Matt Gabriele says:

    Feilhaber will play, since he’s the only midfielder who’s been on the field recently. I’d like to see Torres or Adu slot in for Bradley, playing ahead of Clark (but I know that ain’t gonna happen).

  113. Rastafari says:

    Feilhaber is rated.. I expect he will be key in upping our Shots on goal

  114. Aaron says:

    To follow up on Jammer’s point – I’m more interested to see how Jermaine Jones will slide into this midfield.

  115. Derek says:

    I like Dempsey starting in the midfield, and moving up top later. He has an INCREDIBLE nose for goal. He has also mastered the ability to push off defenders and not get called for it.

    Clint is vying for the top spot in the Castol Index!!

    I CAN’T BELIEVE WE’RE GOING TO THE FINALS!!!

    This is so Great!

  116. Mike says:

    just hope if someone scores they moonwalk, that would be awesome.

    Posted by: dman23 | June 26, 2009 at 01:13 PM

    You have no idea how much my excitement is heightened for this game simply because of this post. It was already at 110%. Now it’s like 400%.

  117. Angel says:

    My team for the world Cup 2010 is

    Goal keepers: Howard, Guzan,

    Defenders: Spector, Bocanegra, Oguchie, DeMerit, Orozco, Cherendulo, Pearce, Bornstein.

    Midfielders: Donovan, Adu, Torres, Jones, Bradley, Feilhaber, Clark, Beasley,Edu

    Fowards: Altidore, Davis, Dempsey, Cooper, Ching

    ————Altidore———-Davies—————

    Donovan———————————-Dempsey

    —————Bradley———-Jones————

    Bocanegra—-Onyewu——DeMerit——Spector

    ———————–Howard———————-

    You can add more to the list who would like to see on the World Cup 2010 please no Sasha…

  118. Elmer says:

    I like Ives’ lineup. Given the way the team played against Spain, I don’t think you mess with anything.

  119. Pete says:

    Ives

    Spot on. Why change unless yo have to and feilhaber is perfect. You will not get the same sharp passes or defense as Bradley but you will not drop off too much.

    On a side note, I have never been a fan of Harkes as a player or broadcaster but leading up to the Confed. Cup, he was starting to grow on me. Since watching the Confed. Cup, I believe he openly has a man crush on Donovan. You would think that Landon is the second coming of Pele or Georgie Best. Harkes never critizes him. He always puts the blame on the other players, never on Landon. Look, I think Landon is a nice player but when the guy shows up for big games once in a blue moon, at least as an “impartial broadcaster”, call a spade a spade and tell the people that Landon does make mistakes, a lot of mistakes. Bring back Wynalda. He makes some people mad but he tells the truth and says what real soccer fans are thinking. I miss him.

    Personnally, I would not loose much sleep if Bradely simply took him out of the lineup. I would be willing to bet that all this “responsibility” that Landon is apparently holding would be evenly passed out to the rest of the team.

  120. Angel says:

    well I think is kind of hard to Moonwalk with cleats (Sorry if I misspell) plus on the grass ummm but it will be awesome tho. I think the one who can do that is Dempsey since he into Hip Hop and I think he can break also…lmao

  121. primoone says:

    “Angel you’re crazy. Adu and Torres have no business within 500 miles of the starting lineup.”

    Well this comment is 50% correct. Adu certainly should not get a start. And niether should Benny as they are not currently geared to go a long stretch. I mean seriously, they dont get regular playing time with their club and thats the first thing you want to look at. You can make a case for josy…but lets face it. He is the only thing we have up there. If i were the coach…and thank god im not..Sasha gets another start to redeem his aweful play. Rico got another chance and did very well. Lets see what sasha can do and make a decision after that. Let his play dictate his fate…

    Not taking anything away from benny because I think he can add to the attack in different ways but the midfield will suffer horribly with 3 attacking Midfielders. but lets face it…from a defensive aspect…he is no Sasha. My 2 cents.

  122. mexicanbluefish says:

    It is the following stat that has me both impressed with the team as well as worried about our level of exhaustion:

    “Distance covered

    USA monopolise the podium when it comes to South Africa 2009’s hardest-working players, and Bob Bradley has particular reason to be proud of his son and star midfielder, who has covered an average of over 12 kilometres per match. Incidentally, the best-placed Spaniard in these standings, Xavi, lies a lowly 37th, underlining the European champions’ ability to let the ball do the work.

    The leaders: Bradley (36,426 metres), Dempsey (34,855), Donovan (34,263)

    That’s almost a marathon for each of them. Especially in the case of Dempsey, I don’t know how much he could possibly have left in him. Donovan I think can handle it.

  123. cf says:

    I am curious about the following:

    Was the last time Adu saw the pitch was when the USMNT down a goal? Being down a goal was he sent on with specific instructions to create and score or was he sent on to defend so that someone else could create? When was the last time anyone saw Adu play long enough to give an accurate appraisal of his defensive ability?

    Ives or one of the regular adamant Adu critics answer these questions please. Many thanks.

  124. jh says:

    I too hope Adu eventually starts getting some playing time, just not in this game. If he sees the field Sunday then something has gone horribly wrong. He’s played only sporadically over the past year, so his fitness is probably way less than where it should be.

    I think Freddie has great/really good potential, but let’s not explore that potential in a game of this magnitude.

  125. Derek says:

    Clint needs a long vacation after this…

  126. beto says:

    I agree with Ives lineup but what do people think about Altidore and Dempsey up front with Donovan, Clark, Feilhaber, and Torres in the midfield and Davies subbing at some point?

    I am a complete novice with these things and honestly I am not a fan of Dempsey but he has been productive in the box. It seems to me that Feilhaber is decent defensively and Torres is very calm and controlled on the ball – able to hold the ball and one of our better distributors(?) – which might be of great benefit against Brazil no?

  127. Pete says:

    Beto

    Having Jozie paired with Davies is the perfect big, target player and and the quick, smaler player to play off of him. It will keep defenses guessing if Jozie will keep the ball or dish it off. I think if you put Clint up there with Jozie, you lose his biggest strength, holding the ball. Clint will not run off of him and now you have changed the player that Jozie is and that is not good.

  128. RedStateJim says:

    Have any of us done any work this week?

  129. ETJ says:

    It seems like ten percent of the people that post on SBI are still clamoring for Adu. Thats better than the 20 percent of a week ago but still I just don’t get what people see in him. I was at the first game he scored a profesional goal, but even then I didn’t get the hype. I feel bad for the kid and I hope he does well at the GC. but until he proves himself he hardly even deserves a spot on the USMNT roster

  130. beto says:

    Ok Pete. Like I said I am a complete novice regarding tactics and positioning. My football experience ended playing CFB for a state champion under 14 team back in the early ’80’s:)

    Anyway I am just a big fan and know who I like and don’t like when I see them play. I really like Davies and I think I understand what you are getting at but how would Altidore – Dempsey be fundamentally different from Altidore – Ching? That Altidore – Ching combo seemed to work well as I remember it and isn’t that the odds on favorite in terms of striker combo going forward? Dempsey does seem to get dispossessed of the ball quite often though so perhaps that is the difference. I don’t know… sometimes I just think Dempsey might be better if he just didn’t have the added pressure of really needing to track back alot. He seems to not want to do that at times IMO. He just seems out of place and not at his best when on the wing IMO. Maybe he is just gassed.

  131. Steve says:

    I agree with the players Ives but what about Dempsey in the middle with Clark?

    I know re-introducing him to the role versus Brazil is risky but he played D-mid some in MLS and certainly has more fight and bite than Benny.

  132. Radi0head says:

    a couple of reservations with the suggested line-up

    1) while i freaking love benny, i do wonder abotu his fitness to replace bradley. in the sense that we have already seen a post about about bradley running 12km per match. is benny fit enough to do that?

    2) last 2 matches we have gotten great goals by inserting a fresh benny in late game and pushing dempsey up. Obviously if benny starts that wont work. Unless we sub in adu late and once again push dempsey up. I have the feeling this could possibly work well.

    3) I do not want to see sacha play. In a the more defensive role (the only reason we would want him on there) i think he will most definitely end up with a red. he just does not seem to have any defensive restraint at the moment when going for tackles.

    thats all i got right now!’

    GO USA!

  133. Pete says:

    Beto

    Personnally, I do not like the Altidore-Ching combo. I think you have too similar players trying to do the same thing. All those years with McBride up front brought success because you had players who were able to play up front with him. I agree with your point about Dempsey but fitness should not be a problem for a guy who plays regularly in the EPL. But if you noticed, he has scored his last two goals late in the game.

    I have never been a big fan if Ching. I think he is a nice player but not one who can perform consistantly on the world stage. Can Jozie? Time will tell but from the looks of the last few games, even the ones they lost, he has the makings of a player like McBride. Hopefully, Fulham can pick him up and he will truley be walking in his footsteps.

  134. Dan Roudebush says:

    Bornstien is a sleeper at left mid. He has good wheels. and if Boca has to pick up his man, he’s played enough outside to tuck in behind Boca. The kid is not swiss cheese despite some critics getting on him.

    The would put LD more in left center. Or Dempsey with LD outside right. A good position for him.

  135. matt says:

    South Africa showed yesterday that we’re gonna have to change shape and go with 1 forward and 2 high wingers, and flood the midfield to keep the brazilian wing-backs pinned on their side of the pitch

    Maicon killed us on the right last game, and Boca’s gonna need some help so it’s not constantly a 2 on one down the right flank

    Altidore

    dempsey donavan davies

    feilhaber clark

  136. beto says:

    “Can Jozie? Time will tell but from the looks of the last few games, even the ones they lost, he has the makings of a player like McBride. Hopefully, Fulham can pick him up and he will truley be walking in his footsteps.”

    Is there real talk of Jozy perhaps ending up with Fulham next year? That would be great if so.

    Again, I feel like I am out on a limb here but I don’t see Jozy ever being a McBride type striker because, unless I am seeing things incorrectly, Altidore isn’t very good in the air (IMO).

  137. CT says:

    primoone:

    There’s general agreement on this board that Kljestan is not on form, so I wouldn’t start him. Feilhaber probably cannot go 90, so I would consider bringing on SK in the 70th minute to finish the game – especially if the US is leading or tied. BF may not have the defensive chops the SK has, but he will definitely be better at playing the ball out of the back as opposed to hoofing it up the field and giving possession back to Brazil.

    As for who is the best partner for Jozy up top I remind everyone that Ching had a hand in all three goals that Jozy scored against T&T. With Jozy/Ching Ching is the target and Jozy is the runner; with Jozy/Davies Jozy is the target and Davies is the runner. Both setups work.

    I too am curious about Jozy/Dempsey, but I don’t want to try that pair for the Confed Cup final.

    The one thing I think the US cannot do is have only one striker up top. When this occurs the striker gets lost and is nearly completely ineffective. If the MF’s need help to keep from being overrun, the strikers need to drop further back and we have to give up the moonball down the field.

    Fingers crossed for a positive result on Sunday. Vamos USA!!

  138. Patrick says:

    Can Feilhaber play on the wing? and defend on the wing? Because to be honest the thing I keep thinking is the best player to replace Michael Bradley is Landon Donovan. Clark plays the defensive midfield role and Landon plays the holding midfield role. The idea being that Landon plays a Claudio Reyna type role maintaining possession, distributing, and playing defence, surging forward when the opportunity presents itself. Landon played great defense against Spain and was one of the only US players who showed poise on the ball in the 2nd half- not giving it away with a silly pass or a long aimless clearance.

    I wouldn’t want to tinker to much either, but I would be tempted to put Dempsey in front of Bocanegra on the left and Feilhaber in front of Spector on the right, have Clark cheat to the right to support that side and play donovan in a holding role in front of the defense to maintain possession, link up with the wingers, and pick his spots to make counter-attacking runs upfield.

    Just a thought.

  139. Supsam says:

    Oh my word, has Bob Bradley finally found his optimal starting 11??? Pending a resurgence in form for Cherundolo, Heduk. Or a gem in Jones.

  140. The Ghost of Josimar says:

    I agree with Tony: Benny has, so to speak, come back from the dead.

    Benny always was a classy player — the way he made the second goal, that is why supporters are clamoring for him, Torres, and even Adu.

    Bob Bradley let it be known that Benny needed an attitude adjustment. And for a while — injuries notwithstanding — it looked like he was on ice.

    Now, with Kljestan showing he is simply not up to the job, Benny has been taking his chance very nicely. Against Brasil, he deserves to be in the first 11.

    But it makes one wonder. Torres is an exceedingly promising player. What is going on that he is frozen out? I hope he gets a proper chance to win a place in the first 11. It makes no sense if he is being punished for the goal against Costa Rica.

    But credit where credit is due — the team looked magnificent against Spain and Egypt.

  141. Angel says:

    One thing I can tell you guys is that USA has nothing to loose if Bob Bradley change the lineup a bit, Remember we already made to the final in a tournament that we supposed to be out of. So been Second place is still sweet even better that is not Rossi and Italia in this final. Don’t get me wrong I would love our Team USA win this cause not only USA will be notice and taking more consideration all over the world. But is that final and we already won, been champion is just a icing on the cake. So those who are saying no Adu, Torres or Pairing Dempsey at top with either Altidore or Davis are nuts cause I think they can create something plus I’ll give Bob Bradley a new weapon for most important game coming up which is Win at the Azteca on August 10. So GO USA GIVE ALL YOU GOT AND MAKE US PROUD EVEN THO YOU ALREADY WON IN MY HEART. USA USA USA!!!!

  142. sal says:

    demps should not be up top, his job is tobe a playmaker on the wing and when the game goes on and players are getting tired, he goes up top to fight for balls and score while we get new legs in the midfeild with out loosing anything, its strategy

  143. Bradley Sampson says:

    Why haven’t we worn our change kit in this competition?

  144. C-B-W RBNY says:

    i think torres starts in place of bradley, although i would like to see him starting anyway

  145. Isaac says:

    I think that no matter the result of the Brazil game this tournament has served it’s purpose for US Soccer. We’ve found some revelation players with Charlie Davies who has been great taking pressure off Altidore and even scoring a goal.

    DeMerit who has been a monster at the back and is probably one of the few players where all of the fan hype has been properly placed.

    Spector has also taken on a destroyer look in recent matches and cant be forgotten for the cross to Dempsey in the Egypt game. He may well have advanced past Hejduk in this tournament.

    The fans have been fantastic, you guys in particular; they’ve been passionate about the team and have really stuck with them despite all that has happened.

    Ives has been amazing with all the coverage he’s been giving; this is my first major tournament i’ve followed with the SBI Mafia and I am having a fan-freaking-tastic time.

    I couldn’t be prouder of this team and no matter the result on Sunday i’ll support them 100% afterwards.

    The tournament has been a success.

  146. Turtle says:

    DEmpsey stays on the wing. His work rate has been proven despite Harkes’ comments.

    (For the first time ever I’ve stopped listening to the games. I have a hard time with his WHINY delivery. Although I did notice – and it’s kind of funny – after both the goals, his mic goes dead and you can hear a faint WOO HOO through JP’s mic. And on the second goal there’sa big slurp – hopefully it was a beer. If you can watch the goals again on ESPN360 and listen closely.)

    Line-up like Ives says. Subs – if we are losing or tied should be Torres or Adu in place of whicever forward is gassed. If we are ahead I have no problem with bring in the big slow white dude to hold up the ball – Casey. And BB’s choice to bring in Bornstein was perfect. Do it again.

    And for the love of God/Jah/Buddha/Allah…please, please please….no red cards. If you leave your feet make at least a yard away from the play to block said shot/cross/pass (I just discovered the “/” key – lol)

  147. Andrew in tampa says:

    The Jozy McBride comparison is not valid. They are very different players. McBride never possessed the one on one skill that Jozy has. Jozy wont ever have the aerial game that McBride has displayed. Of course, Jozy won’t get his jaw broken as many times.

    This has been a superlative soccer week. can’t wait for sunday. Don’t want to see Sasha, Casey or Beasely. time for Torres and Adu.

  148. Turtle says:

    Of course as a forward goes out Deuce goes top. (forgot to mention that in previous post)

  149. Isaac says:

    Every body turn it to ESPN Jozy is on PTI

  150. CaliNick23 says:

    Alitdore

    Donovan

    Bornstien-Clark-Benny-Dempsey

    Boca-Gooch-Demerit-Spector

    I’m worried about our left wing becasue Brazil attacks down the right wing so much I think a defensive hard-working midfielder like Bornstien can help neutrilize them.

    Donovan and Dempsey may switch throughout the game.

    Sub:Davis,Torres or Adu,

  151. Andrew says:

    Bring back Beas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    IM KIDDING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  152. castroviejo says:

    no sacha

    torres needs to start for feilhaber

  153. David says:

    I stand corrected regarding Torres being capped. Realized the same later in the day after posting. So embarrassed…(j/k)

  154. primoone says:

    -Ct- I too am not the biggest fan of Sasha and would love to see Benny get the start but I think that we have benefitted from Benny’s insertion in the 2nd half and closer to the end of regulation. He brings that spark that dies out right around the 65 th minute. You insert Benny in the starting lineup and he will be eaten alive trying to keep up in the middle. He will have to play both sides of the midfield and that is definitely not his game. Brazil will eat through benny so fast that it would tire Rico out just trying to recover…(take Torres fatiguing trying to wipe DMB ass for him everytime he was caught out of position in the Costa rica game). Sasha does give the ball away at times and is a bit tentative with his transition game..but lets give the kid another shot. Rico wasnt on form for that Italy game but he showed some heart. Remember Sasha did get a ranger tryout so there is some redeeming quality in the guy somewhere. Let the kid sink or swim. Bring Benny or Torres on at the half when we need that offensive spark. Because if you bring sasha in later in the match,…you might as well be playing with 10 men.

  155. Tom P says:

    Benny F. is not fit for 90 minutes or so they say which raises the question:

    who replaces him when he is gassed at the 60 minute mark?

    Sasha is a terrible defender even when in good form which he certainly ain’t.

    So to all out there: Who comes in since there isn’t a snowball chance in hell Torres or Adu is going to see the field?

    I look forward to your thoughts and think about it this way: Suppose we are in the lead when Benny runs out of gas.

    Thank you

  156. Wispy says:

    I absolutely LOVE the idea of moving Donovan or Dempsey to holding mid for this game. I know its a bit of tinkering, but I don’t think Benny is fit enough to go 90 in the middle and he has NEVER had a good game on the wing. Plus, as much as I think all the tournament-long clamoring for Adu or Torres is misplaced, I say go with:

    ——-Altidore———-Davies———-

    Dempsey————————-Torres

    ———-Bradley——Donovan———–

    Bocanegra—Onyewu–DeMerit——Spector

    —————Howard——————–

    Bring Benny on at 60 and move Dempsey up top, and if we really need to spark some offense, bring Freddy on for Clark. No reason to play for a 1-goal loss here.

  157. Leonardo says:

    say Feilhaber with me in an Arnold Schwarzenegger accent:

    “FEEL-HAH-BAH”!

    i can’t help it… it’s just too much fun!

    (yes still high of win vs espana!)

  158. Wispy says:

    Whoops, I meant Clark instead of Bradley.

  159. Keith says:

    Feilhaber is definitely the best substitute for Bradley in MF, but Brazil is bigger, faster, and more physical than any of the other teams the U.S. has played in this tournament. We will miss Bradley’s pace, toughness, and grit in this one. Feilhaber seems to operate best with a bit of space and a few forwards as passing options, but I think Gilberto Silva will clamp down him hard and fast.

    I look forward to when Maurice Edu and Jermaine Jones are healthy enough to provide more depth in midfield.

  160. CT says:

    primoone:

    You certainly have one approach. My thought was that maybe BF gives us momment of brilliance in the first half and the US goes into the dressing room with a 1-0 lead, giving the US a chance to take a more cautious approach in the 2d half.

    Dying to see what choice BB makes.

  161. Dennis Mueller says:

    B. bradley practically said his starting lineup will be what Ives said. It is hard to argue with. Of course, nearly every US player in the Spain game came off the field exhausted. Dempsey limped off when he was subbed. Davies looked tired before he was subbed and all the rest looked pretty quiet for a bunch of guys who should have looked jubulant. So, I would not be shocked if at least one of those players either did not start or was subbed fairly early. If saubs are needed, Torres would be my first choice at midfield, Pearce or Bornstein would be the sub at back. At forward, push Dempsey up and sub in Torresat his spot. Late in the game, if the US is up Kljestan could be counted on for 10 minutes or so of solid defending, so could Beasely who will be anxious to reprieve himself. I was not impressed with Connor’s efforts in either game, but he did hold the ball a bit against Spain. Maybe if we need that in the last 5 minutes. If the US is on the wrong end of a 1 goal game, Torres and maybe Adu will get a chance late.

    I am surprised Torres was not included on the Gold Cup roster, but if I read this right, Bradley thinks he can play, just thinks he needs time with the other first stringers to work things out. Putting him with what Bob obviously thinks are the second string guys would not do that, might send him the wrong message and might not endear him to his club team who have aready gon without him for a month.

  162. Brock says:

    Benny is the only option and frankly the bench is questionable when we do have to bring a sub in. Even though Bradley did not deserve the red he needs to maintain the high energy that he plays with while avoiding the stupid cards, which will come with experience.

  163. Derek says:

    Borstein as a midfield sub sounds likely. Bob has done that already.

  164. madmax says:

    Anyone who watched game one with Brazil and now recommends Kljestan to take the pitch at anytime should make an appointment with ……

  165. Tom P says:

    Borstein as a midfield sub sounds likely. Bob has done that already.

    Posted by: Derek

    That’s what I came up with seeing what Bradley has to choose from. Only other choice would be Pearce because I just can’t see any of the others defending well – and as I said before Sasha K. is a bad defender even when his offensive form has been good. I’ve watched a lot of Chivas games because I admire Preki-both the as a player and a manager- and that is the conclusion I have drawn.

  166. Dominghosa says:

    It’s too bad, really, about Bradley’s ghost red card.
    Feilhaber, right now at least, is best used as a sub off the bench. He is not match fit for 70-90 minutes. Every time he’s come off the bench with 25-30 minutes left, he makes a huge impact.
    Feilhaber right now is best used as a super sub. But there is no other choice with Bradley out.
    Not sure how I would feel about the idea of Davies on the wing. I would love Dempsey at the top with Altidore but Davies on the wing doesn’t seem like a good idea to me. He’s not a winger.

  167. Andrew says:

    there has been talk in the press about possibly going with a 4-5-1 and pulling Davies. PLease BB, do NOT do this. the US has never thrived with a 1 striker formation. just play our game,like we did spain, and Attack!!

  168. Johnny Boy says:

    Benny has played well…….as a sub.

    Based on his play against Italy and the fact that he hasn’t had a lot of club playing time, he doesn’t really seem to have game fitness and can’t go 90, hence the substitute appearances.

    So who would you sub for him? Perhaps Bornstein, who after all, was a forward at UCLA. I’m inclined to start Bornstein as a midfielder and bring Benny on later. If it ain’t broke…. Otherwise you are talking Sacha, Freddy, Torres or Beasley all of whom have negatives.

  169. Dustin says:

    “being issued a highly questionable red card”

    No it really wasn’t. At least not to anyone who cares about the game and doesn’t want to see foul play hurt players. Bradley isn’t very smart is all, maybe he’ll learn not to go cleats up.

  170. harry says:

    Wow, to the person who said Adu dosent deserve to play……………i just have one question? What has Kjlestan done? All he has doen is score a hat-trick against a Sweden “C” team in a meaningless friendly in front of 9,000 fans and plus he got benched in MLS. Seriously guess who was our General for our U-20, U-23 and a few USMNT games………..Adu. What happened? I remember when Adu was playing with Benfica and Starting US games in late 2007 everybody was like “Adu is clearly our best well-rounded player in history”…” he is better with his right foot than Donovan is with his right foot” fast-foward 1 1/2 later and everybody be hating on Adu………is it because what the Euro-club coaches say/do thats the final word? I hope not it makers us fans look weak.

  171. James says:

    I’m wiht the Benny in for Bradley.

    But, I would look at sliding Donovan or Dempsey into the center of the park and leave Feilhaber out wide like this:

    ……Davies…Altidore
    ………Donovan
    Feilhaber……….Dempsey
    ……….Clark
    Bocanegra..Onyewu..DeMerit…Spector
    ……….Howard

  172. MiamiAl says:

    I think Feilhaber gets the start, but I have a sneaking suspicion that there will be a Demarcus Beasley sighting….Could Beasely actually get the chance for some redemption? If Bradley puts him in and he fails, I think psychologically Beasley (and me) would not be able to recover…

  173. zongzap says:

    This is a game that controlling the midfield will be critical. I think Torres might be the best on the ball of any center in camp but I doubt BB will use him at all. It would be the correct thing to do

    I don’t know why BB called the guy into this tournament then never used him. Should have saved him and Wynne for the Gold Cup but now that BB has beaten a giant he’s POSITIVE he’s doing the right thing. I however think that the Spain win was the result of the team on the field overachieving, in spite of BB. The problem with that is you can’t win like that very much

    Torres in the center with Clark gives us the best chance of scoring

  174. Johnny Boy says:

    i just have one question? What has Kjlestan done? Seriously guess who was our General for our U-20, U-23 and a few USMNT games………..Adu. What happened? I remember when Adu was playing with Benfica and Starting US games in late 2007 everybody was like “Adu is clearly our best well-rounded player in history”…” he is better with his right foot than Donovan is with his right foot” fast-foward 1 1/2 later and everybody be hating on Adu………is it because what the Euro-club coaches say/do thats the final word? k.

    Posted by: harry

    __________________________

    Harry,

    2007 was a real long time ago.

    Kjlestan, who is stylistically very similar to a bull in a china shop, plays regularly for his club which is a lot more than can be said for Adu. The reasons don’t really matter but Freddy hasn’t played regularly for his club for nearly two years, an eternity at the professional level. At the very least he is terribly rusty. Also, all those U-whatever teams are great for spotting potential but they mean nothing at the Senior level. Freddy still has great potential but then so do lots of other players. You like him and I get that but, to date, he has proven himself (on the field) to be nothing special.

    I like him as well but he is a defensive liability. On a team that can afford the luxury of having such a player that would be fine but the USMNT needs to have everyone, even Dempsey, carry their share of the defensive burden. Right now the US has a chance to win a tournament, a very rare event. Do you really want to rely on someone who has done absolutely nothing in two years to impress the people he most needs to impress i.e. his coaches? Adu needs to go somewhere where the coaches believe in him and will use him. And the responsibility for that is on Freddy Adu, not Monaco, not Benfica, nor Bradley.

    I don’t know what Bradley really thinks of him but international coaches need players to prove to their club coaches that they are “worthy”. By and large, Bradley, or any international coach, doesn’t have the time to “develop” Adu. It is on Freddy to get that done at the club level and so far he has done a awful job of it. Remeber, players with “potential” are what get coaches fired.

  175. 123 says:

    I agree with ives. We will see that formation

  176. Telecaster1 says:

    I agree with the starting lineup because I don’t think they have a better option right now than Dempsey out outside halfback; if they did, I think I would want to start Dempsey at forward and look to bring Davies in as a sub if US losing late since his speed would be even more magnified against tired defenders. A little concerned with Dempsey’s defensive ability against speedy Brazilian outside players and his inexplicable need to dribble in the back when other players are pushing forward. I think Fielhaber is always the best choice for attacking midfielder whether Bradley is available or not. Harkes said during the game “get the ball to your best player” and Fielhaber understands this and looks for Donovan in space which is how US got their second goal (although not a spectacular play by Donovan – it still led to a great scoriing oppurtunity). Clark, Dempsey, and Davies all missed Donovan uncovered on deep wide runs that would have led to the same type of scoring chance that got the second goal. Fielhaber sees the field better than any other player on the US team, but is a little suspect on defending which is why he needs to be the attacking midfielder. Please – no more Klestian or Casey (I hope there’s no need to mention Beasley anymore). The Casey subs late are mind boggling; that is the perfect fit for Freddy Adu who has the best dribbling skills on the team and is most likely to beat a player in a one v one situation (especially when the other team is pushing players forward). In that situation, he might only need to beat one defender to go one on one with the goalie. Even if Casey beats a defender, he doesn’t have the speed to run half the field one on one to the keeper. These are of course just my opinions and I should point out that I have no caps.

  177. primoone says:

    Harry

    Whens the last time Adu’s played and showed something for the US senior team. Better yet, when’s the last time hes played for club? Hell…when is the last time he suited up for a club??

    Its plain and simple with respect to international ball. You dont play for club…you dont get meaningful playing time. It has to do with fitness and game plan. If the game plan calls for someone to be effective for 65+ minutes then guess what…Benny…adu…and in my opinion Josy as well will not be soccer fit to start. no one is saying he sucks…the only thing that is being said is that he is not match-fit. And, there are other options other than Adu that can be effective in the role left vacant by Bradley. Remember, you are trying to fill the hole left by Bradley. And frankly Adu is no Bradley. they have 2 different styles of play. Josi on the other hand is better than what we have currently at striker soo you go with your best. Adu is not the best at this point in time.

  178. cesar says:

    Plug in Feilhaber for Bradley. At this point the question revolves around the subs, because we’re now looking at a situation where Altidore and Dempsey both will be gassed by the second half, Feilhaber will be playing his first full 90 in quite a while, and everyone but Bocanegra on the back line will have some ~370 minutes on them. So who do you sub in, and for whom? Will one of the Torres/Adu mystery combo finally appear? What about Bornstein, Beasley, and Kljestan, are they bound for an encore against Brazil? We may hope not with the latter group, but it might be more reasonable to go with the known commodity in a final match. No?

  179. FIXXXER says:

    Warren – I like the idea of pushing Boca up as a d-mid for this game.

    Am I the only one crapping myself that we are gonna start Benny and Clark as our 2 defensive midfielders vs Brazil????? I’m US through & through, but these 2 will be far outmatched. Will certainly have to have the games of their lives.