Photo by ISIphotos.com
The U.S. men's national team has one match remaining in the Confederations Cup, one last match for players to prove themselves, one last chance for Bob Bradley to test his squad against stiff international competition outside of World Cup qualifying.
While the United States is still technically alive for a place in the semifinals, for all practical purposes the Americans are playing for pride, which means Bradley just might be willing to give chances to some players who have yet to get them in this tournament.
With that in mind, here is a look at the starting lineup we could see for the USA on Sunday vs. Egypt (2:55pm, ESPN2):
Projected USA lineup vs. Egypt
As you can see, I'm convinced that Clint Dempsey won't play in this game. Now, if he does, you can slide him into Feilhaber's spot, leaving Feilhaber to compete with Clark for a spot alongside Michael Bradley. I am also convinced that Bradley will use either Torres or Adu in this game, with Torres getting the nod for me. Now, if Bob Bradley decides to leave Torres and Adu on the bench AGAIN, I would imagine that we will see Donovan and Dempsey in midfield with either Conor Casey or Charlie Davies up top alongside Altidore. Who won't we see? Beasley or Kljestan (who is out with a red card) (and if we do see Beasley, Bradley will have some serious explaining to do).
What starting lineup would I like to see vs. Egypt? Here's the squad:
Charlie Davies is probably the longest shot of these players to get a start, but I would like to see him paired up with Altidore. Donovan has been doing plenty of running as a second forward, but I would be interested to see him in a playmaking role with Davies up top to help create some space. I have Carlos Bocanegra at left back, but would just as soon welcome Bornstein at left back and Bocanegra in as a central defender. Having Bocanegra on the left here has more to do with wanting to see the Bocanegra-Onyewu-DeMerit trio together in a game than anything against Bornstein (who I have been higher on than most in this tournament). And for you "Feilhaber can't play the wing folks" this is a diamond midfield, which would havfe Feilhaber in a more central role than wing role. Yes, I know, Bradley hasn't really used the diamond but it's what I would like to see with the current group and against Egypt.
So what would a starting lineup with Torres AND Adu look like? Here's the lineup, which apparently 60 percent of SBI readers are hoping to see:
If you're saying "Bradley would never play this formation" that is not true. He used it vs. Cuba in last year's home qualifying win. While Altidore isn't the type of target striker you'd prefer in this formation, it does put Adu and Torres on the field together. Torres isn't nearly the defensive liablity that Adu is and actually looked sharp in this exact role vs. Cuba. Bradley could go with Ricardo Clark instead of Feilhaber to give the team more defensive bite, but I think Feilhaber showed enough late vs. Brazil to merit another look.
Now it's your turn. Which starting lineup would you like to see the U.S. national team use vs. Egypt? Which of the above lineups do you like the most? Are you hoping to see Torres play? Or would you prefer Adu?
Share your thoughts below.