USA ready for World Cup send-off match vs. Turkey

 

By FRANCO PANIZO

The U.S. men's national team will take on Turkey in its final game on American soil before the World Cup, and the match should provide head coach Bob Bradley with a real look at his starting eleven.

With the final 23-man roster finalized, Saturday's match at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA (2pm, ESPN2) should help Bradley fine tune his team as it heads towards South Africa. Approximately two weeks separate the United States from its World Cup opener against England, making this friendly a critical one.

"We need to get things right on the field," said Tim Howard. "We need to get all the details and kinks ironed out and you can only do that by getting on the field and working through. You can do bits and pieces in training, but the game is most important."

One of the things Bradley is likely keen to assess is his defense. With three of four starters returning from injury, the Turks should provide a stiff challenge for a unit that has not been completely healthy since last August.

Questions remain about Oguchi Onyewu's race to brush off the rustiness picked up during his seven month injury spell. There is also uncertainty about how Carlos Bocanegra will cope, having come off of hernia surgery earlier this month.

"It's imperative as a goalkeeper you get together and pull the strings and get those guys tight and on the right page," Howard said. "It is important. We saw that last summer, we saw that the last three years. These guys have had a few injuries, and (Onyewu) is coming back from one and Carlos and Jay (DeMerit). We all need to get on the field and feel good about ourselves and put in a good performance."

If Onyewu or Bocanegra struggle, Bradley could turn to Maurice Edu, who played the final 24 minutes of Tuesday's friendly against the Czech Republic at centerback. Bradley will use the match to gauge his starters, but having the luxury of experimenting in a game where the result doesn't matter is a fact likely not lost on the coach.

"If he does (experiment), this is the time," said Jozy Altidore. "These games are the perfect time. There is no consequence. You don't lose points in these games."

Whether Bradley opts to tinker with his lineup or not, playing Turkey in the final match of the send-off series will likely prove a good measuring stick for the United States.

"We need a stern test, we need a strong test," said Howard. "We don't want to go into South Africa with any questions. We want to feel like we've done all the right things."

———-

What do you think of Saturday's game? What will you be looking for? Think the back four will produce a solid outing? Do you see the U.S. national team winning?

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115 Responses to USA ready for World Cup send-off match vs. Turkey

  1. Modibo says:

    Wish I could say I was going to be there… I have a feeling we’ll show poorly against Turkey (more Gooch rust maybe) and then rebound.

  2. Red says:

    Any news on the weather? Says scatters thunderstorms after many days of 79 and sunny.

  3. Coprolite says:

    I’d think that Bob might want to see, ideally, his starting 11 who will play against England starting both of these upcoming friendlies. But from our point of view there does seem to be enough questions to make the squad announcements for both these upcoming friendlies worth tuning in for. Though to us the back four may seem precariously unsettled, there will always be things that are not revealed to us. What fun it will be to see how Bob chooses to use these games.

  4. instinct says:

    Did it feel a little late to still be figuring out who makes the roster on Tues. to anyone else? While watching the Czech friendly my gut was telling me it’s time to start working with the starters. The big dance is only a couple of weeks away. All Bradley needed time for was to realise Ching was still hurt and that Findley is useful for the practice squad.

    Just wondering if anyone else felt this way.

  5. Chris says:

    Should be a good game. The weather might be a confounding factor–it’s almost winter down there, so whether a player is acclimatized to the heat up here is kinda irrelevant.

    Would like to see more Holden.

  6. Andy says:

    I’ll be on one of the two buses of fans traveling from Baltimore to the game.

    I’m actually more interested in what the midfield will look like; our defense still has another week and a half to get healthier and fitter.

  7. kev says:

    3-2 scoreline with Altidore, Dempsey and 1 of the defenders scoring. Hope Holden and Gomez gets some time in this match.

  8. kev says:

    According to DTOT group on FB, tons of those members are going to be drunk off their butts at the game saturday. I wish I was going. sadly saving money to visit my gf in sweden in July. But oh I truly wish I was going.

  9. BrianChing says:

    Any chance that I use the disappointment at not making the WC roster and rebound and go on a goal scoring run and end up as top scorer in MLS with 20goals and than transfered to a European first division come 2011?

  10. Jeff says:

    Does anyone else think its crazy and stupid to be putting our hopes into a centerback who hasnt played for 7 months?? Most natioanl teams wouldnt have even place him on the team let alone start him. I feel likes its foolish, on top of the fact that I think Gooch is overrated

  11. DougH says:

    I agree with you. I know he was trying to take a look at some reserve players but maybe he should have organized a closed scrimage against a amateur side and saved the CZE friendly for the starters. We have too many question marks on the back line to be wasting an opportunity like he did. MHO.

  12. NATO says:

    I wanna see more videos of the group. So glad that ESPN is pimping the heck out of the NT with Jozy and Landon’s commercials but they need more. Give an interview or 2 with some of the younger star players. Maybe do a quick 5min segment called “So you play in Europe” and ask all the players about their current club, the history, the fans, their favorite rival. I’m just saying. We have a hunger for NT news, give it to us.

  13. isaf says:

    Guys who came back to MLS and NT careers are over- Heath Pearce, Tim Perkins, Danny Califf.

  14. TheYanksAreComing says:

    Top Yank goal scorer at the WC?

    Dempsey with 3 goals I say. Donovan and Altidore with 2 and Bradley with 1.

  15. Hapgrass says:

    I totally agree with you. What did BB learn in the last game that he didn’t know already? I could understand giving a couple guys some rest if they are coming back from injury after a week of intense training. But why waste a perfectly good opportunity to field your best 11 to start establishing greater chemistry and the develop the best subs for SA.

  16. MensreaJim says:

    There’s probably a correlation to them coming back and not being as good as imagined previously.

    That said, given Pearce’s age and position I would bet large sums of money he’ll be capped again.

  17. TheYanksAreComing says:

    whose your favorite special force unit? i know it’s off topic but I’ve been so bored lately that i’ve been reading about SFU’s on wikipedia and not just Delta Force or Navy Seals but SAS,SASR, NZSAS, Danish Jaegerkorpset, Dutch KCT, German KSK, French Foreign Legion, Polish GROM,

  18. KevNYC says:

    I don’t see Gooch being match fit in time the first WC match. I sure hope he will be. Lets see how he looks tomorrow.

  19. lazo says:

    gooch was limping last game.no matter what they say even Ley from ESPN noticed. gooch woories me

  20. alf says:

    I couldn’t agree more. Bob totally lost the plot with the Czech game, plus cutting Ching. These mistakes are similar to a total brain freeze he had going down to Costa Rica for the qualifier last year. England had a big chunk of their starters go out against Mexico just a day before the Czech game, and they’ll probably end up getting more game time together prior to the US game than we will. Does Bob really think that playing against a top Euro team that has had more time playing together than US by the first game of WC is a good idea?

  21. Erik says:

    That’s a lot of goals for this team in 3 games.

  22. Josh D says:

    I think the backline is what he’ll focus on tomorrow. He has to get that right and get his players organized.

    My only concern from the article is the mention of Edu going to CB before mentioning Goodson who has done very well since coming back. On top of that Spector is next up on the CB pool before Edu. In my opinion.

    Gooch>DeMerit>Boca>Goodson>Spector>Edu>>>>>>Bornstein for my order of CBs.

  23. Josh D says:

    Meet her in SA… in June!

  24. Josh D says:

    Computer says no. Too old and slow.

  25. sread says:

    Little to none. Actually, just none. Maybe 11 goals if you work your you-know-what off.

  26. Warren says:

    optimist

  27. Warren says:

    It’s obvious Gooch has lost mass and muscle, how much mobility he can get back is key question.

    Gooch’s footwork training from training with AC Milan looks actually pretty decent.

  28. sread says:

    Make that 5 games. We edge Gemany 1-0 in a tight match in the round of 16, then fall 2-1 to Argentina. So that’s 4 goals in the first 3 matches. Very conceivable for US–however, I see Demps with only 2 and Boca with 1–he’ll deliver on one of those set pieces.

  29. Stephen says:

    Well, even if he is overrated, which is hard to believe, he’s one of our top defenders. The good news is, if he sucks, Goodson and Edu should be able to step in for him at any point.

  30. sread says:

    Oh, and no goals for Jozy this WC–maybe one at most. Just don’t see it.

  31. Josh Marcinik says:

    It shouldn’t be much of an issue; last I checked it should be clearing towards evening so we should be fine. I’m looking forward to being at the Linc!

  32. Stephen says:

    Delta and Seals ftw.

  33. josip says:

    how bout the Croatian BSD

  34. D says:

    Did you notice that England didn’t start all of their starting 11, or give some of them time? Yea, Rooney and Gerrard played the full 90…England fans are enraged about that. BB did what was right. It’s not like the Czechs put out a powerful squad. He needed to rest people. Look how poor Dempsey was last summer (short of his goals). He also needed to test people. If he plays the starters for most of the game, then Buddle and Herc don’t get called b/c they couldn’t prove their worth and you’d be complaining then too.

  35. Erik says:

    The reason I hate predictions is because you never know what other teams are going to do.

    I think we have a good World Cup, but I wouldn’t expect to beat a Germany who is just sick when it comes to Tourney play minus the odd blip.

    We could finish top of the group and face Serbia per se. Serbia is a world class team with a rich history (as Yugoslavia obviously) and would be a very difficult opponent.

    I hope for the best, but the World Cup is a beast. But we tend to perform every other year and we play top teams TOUGH as nails in the WC. Think Portugal, Columbia, Italy, Mexico. However, you also have to think South Korea, Ghana, Poland…

    We have two tier 2 teams we are playing this go round and we tend to suck against those teams in the WC.

  36. Erik says:

    I don’t think he was limping. He isn’t the most graceful person when walking or running. He’s just a big dude who is sort of clumsy and can win balls in the air.

  37. Calvert says:

    Hi, Andy. Got any more information about this? Any seats left? Thanks.

  38. T says:

    Thunderstorms at 1:30 in the afternoon aren’t very common. But who knows — anything is possible this time of year.

  39. alf says:

    Nothing new was learned in the Czech game. Capello is at least already looking at certain combinations of players to figure out how the whole thing will work best. Making 23 decisions based on 45 minutes of play in a totally improvised line-up is just silly, and didn’t happen anyways. Rogers had a great 2nd half and didn’t go. Ching allowed US to have much better possession and attack in the second half and made a great creative heel flick to set up Gomez, but didn’t go. Findley, who shoots right at the goal keeper on every single MLS fast break he’s ever had, didn’t even need to play to go, because the argument went we already knew what we had with him (not much). Eddie Johnson, on the other hand, must have still been a complete mystery to Bob, because he got another useless 45 min’s in a US uniform …

  40. Dave says:

    is it me or does it seem crazy that BB would turn to edu in the back before Goodson? The guy has shown well now in a few friendlies and had a good season.

    I think our time is better spent talking about him and spector in the middle than makeshifting Edu back there regardless of whether he played the position in the olympics.

  41. madmax says:

    To call Gooch rusty is a vast understatement. Rusty would imply technical skill work (trapping, passing, shooting, position) but Gooch is learning how to run, pivot and jump,all over again. Some posters say they know others with same type injury who never recover. Hope for best.

  42. madmax says:

    I believe the author’s shift to Edu and jumping over Goodsen was an editorial mistake and not one of quality.

  43. canchon says:

    I see this as a low scoring WC for us, due to Bob’s preferred playing style (bunker & counter). Maybe 4 goals after 3 games. I think Altidore is going to cause more free kicks and at least 1 penalty, which Donovan will convert. I would say Donovan 1, Demps 1, Bradley/Boca 1 from a set piece, and 1 other.

  44. patrick says:

    I actually thought that gooch’s work with the ball was better than ever. He even had a little cut back/draw back that drew a foul. It’s going to be about his positioning and timing

  45. fan of football says:

    Worries me too. I want Gooch on the field, but he has to be 95-100%. Anything less and he will be a liability against rooney and company. If he has another rough game like CR on Saturday (hesitant, unconfident, step slow), I’m sad to say it, but we need to look elsewhere for a starter. Obviously we can hold out hope that the rust wears off at practices, but we need to be prepared for him not to play. I can see the possibility of Goodson (robot #2) starting against Crouch and England. We need an aerial threat at both ends of the field and I don’t know if Gooch will be ready.

  46. Adonis says:

    We have plenty of centerback options other than Edu — I doubt we will see him there again unless there is an emergency. Do not be surprised to see Beasley at left back tomorrow or against England. His speed and defensive abilities make a lot of sense with the injuries. It also allows us to put our best players on the field. Who would you rather see at LB Beasley or Bornstein?

  47. Pat says:

    I think it would take 4-5 injuries or the US being down 3-4 goals to get Edu back at CB. He is that bad. He’s a midfielder, nothing more.

  48. RLW2020 says:

    agreed.. Goodson is a great CB both in defense and attack. if Gooch is not ready Goodson is the clear favorite. i hope he sees good time in this WC and moves up to the EPL or Championship this summer.

  49. Wispy says:

    Yes, Capello is already looking at combinations of players … and he’s just as unsettled as BB is. Carragher at RB, really? That’s why Carragher quit int’l football 3 years ago. And because Barry may not be able to go, Capello’s juggling three players out of position to fill that spot. Germany has no clue yet who will fill in for Ballack, and Spain isn’t even settled on a formation (4-4-2? 4-5-1?) because of Torres’ unknown status. Point is, EVERY TEAM right now is trying combinations instead of just guessing as to a first XI and then throwing them out there. BB is doing the right thing.

  50. TheYanksAreComing says:

    The USA will make it to the quarterfinals. It sounds crazy but we will.

  51. AmericanTill I Die says:

    I was re-watching the Confederation Cup games on youtube and my favorite moment was after Dempsey scores against Brazil and the whole team celebrated. One after one players came to join the huddle. Altidore, DeMerit, Gooch and more all jumped in and hugged and than it was just Boca, Dempsey, Spector, Altidore and Davies in a secret huddle.

    ah man. i love this team.

  52. kev says:

    If only man. I totally would. She half Danish so she might be rooting for Denmark even though they are rivals to Sweden but she really into Brazilian culture so she might root for them. damn :P

  53. irene says:

    Some of you guys have it right but I see Dempsey as being our top scorer and making it to 3. It’s almost assured we’ll get out of the group stage and he will lead us there. You’re right. Boca is sure to score a goal off a freekick. Always count on that and I’m sure Donovan will not only score a PK but also a sweet goal. Altidore and Bradley also to score.

    heck I pegged Davies as our top scorer if he was going. but Dempsey will. Bradley may have us counterattack but we will go for the kill.

  54. Patrick says:

    No, he’s a damn fine midfielder who gives his coach options and will probably pair with Bradley over Redcardo, Benny and the Gringo.

  55. irene says:

    I love how if guys like Bornstein, Goodson, Findley, Buddle have a good World Cup even if just 1 game or so they could be off to a better club. Most likely Goodson is headed to the Danish or Dutch league, both better than his average team in the Norwegian league.

    I read Findley is heading to Europe so most likely Scandinavia. I could see Bornstein headed to maybe the French league and could anyone see Buddle in the Premier or Bundesliga. After the WC all of our players could be playing in Europe.

  56. Goalscorer24 says:

    Ahhhh, no more talk about Beasley at left back! We saw last year he does not work as a left back. You have Bocanegra or Spector.

  57. ALIEN says:

    “Nothing new was learned in the Czech game. ”

    You mean that you didn’t learn anything new.

    That doesn’t mean Bradley didn’t.

  58. sread says:

    I can’t disagree with anything you wrote. We do have that strange offset pattern of performing well, then terrible at each WC. So I guess we’re due, and due big time!

    I was chuckling the whole time while I made that prediction. It would be great if it all worked out that way–anyone who follows the NATS would consider that finish a huge success. The Germans have our number, but I totally agree with Ives that the Serbs are the scariest coming out of that group.

  59. Special Forces Rockkk says:

    Many special operations forces have been active in Iraq and in Afghanistan. In fact quite many are currently engaged in operations all over Afghanistan, just not reported as much. Many European nations keep quite a lid on that. Norway had 150 SOF in afghanistan in 2008 and 2009. Denmark had 55 in summer 09. The Dutch special forces work with Australian special forces in the South of the country. I read New Zealand sent 71 SAS troops to train elite Afghan troops. If you know anything about the Kiwis, it’s that even though they only have like 150-200 or so special forces troops they are pure elite and comparable to Delta Force.

  60. ANDY says:

    One man’s garbage is another man’s treasure.

  61. Blokhin says:

    Our defense has been shoddy over the entire qualification period and these injuries have only elevated the level of concern. Recall both Costa Rica games, both El Salvador games, both Honduras games? These teams are nowhere near the level of our opposition in group C…We only shut out T&T and Mexico in Columbus in February… Yes we played great versus Egypt and Spain at Confed Cup, but we also gave up 3 goals in each of the other three games…

    let’s just hope we can score 2-3 goals versus Slovenia and Algeria

    And whoever starts at the back for us, will need to be covered by Rico/Edu and Bradley in the middle and our wings (looking at you Dempsey) will absolutely have to track back…

  62. Hapgrass says:

    I understand your point and I am not up in arms about the decision to field the team that played on Tues. But as D said, and I said earlier, what could have been learned that wasn’t known before? And looking at the squad that was picked less than 4 hours later, the game didn’t have much of an effect on the staff’s view of the team (the only exception possibly being Heath Pearce). I just think the team has little time to gel and the more playing time they have the better. I am sure we have seen the starting 11 before and wasting time playing players who, no matter how well they played in the game on Tues. (Ching and Bedoya?), were not going to make the team, why waste an opportunity to actually test components of your starting 11?

  63. The Red says:

    Except now he can’t win balls in the air anymore.

  64. Taylor Twellman says:

    You just proved an interesting theory of mine which is that fans love USMNT players who are trying to get more PT ( Torres, Holden, Edu) but then once they get it and they start to look a little bit established US fans love to turn on them and rip them apart.

  65. Hapgrass says:

    Not disagreeing with you. These comments are just everyone’s opinion but it has been difficult for me to see the logic behind the players who played and the players who made the final cut. Two players who I wish were not on the team (Findlay and Bornstein) I hope never make the bench. I just don’t see why you would try different combinations and not play someone like Findlay who has struggled to score internationally in a game that would allow him to get 45 min. especially when you know he has already made the team. When will he get any playing time from now until the Cup? Why play him in front of Gomez or Buddle who are in-form?

  66. Andy says:

    I don’t know if its sold out, but here’s the website:

    link to baltimorebrigade.com

  67. aplhas says:

    Blokin,

    Algeria will be the best game. We can shoot goal after goal but they will counter attack but if we score early they will be in a disarray. Slovenia will be hard to break down. It will be a grind. I can see us winning 1-0 or a draw but we need the win.

  68. sread says:

    There were talks of Bornstein getting looks from lower leagues in Europe. Despite some awful performances, he has tons of caps for his age and has been a starter in MLS for some time. Those things are big pluses with Euro scouts.

    As for Buddle, I think it would take some great moments and a real opportunity for him to be picked up in Europe. Maybe in Scandanavia, like Findley, but not anywhere in Western Europe. Goodson’s ready for a bigger league. He’ll move up regardless of how much he plays in the WC.

  69. alf says:

    “That doesn’t mean Bradley didn’t.”

    That’s kind of what I’m afraid of. This is the same man who watched the Netherlands game when US possession and attack went to die at Findley’s feet and booked Findley’s ticket to SA.

  70. Mason says:

    He also have a very nifty aerial trap of an attempted through ball to his left. He contorted himself well to get to it, and kept the ball within playing distance to start a counter. I don’t recall him making plays like that before.

    I think that some people might be misremembering his style of play from before his injury. He has never been quick, or graceful. His play in the past improved when he was developed and improved his ability to anticipate the flow of the game. Thus, he was able to utilize his strength to intercede in attacks forcefully, yet legally. When he is unable to anticipate the flow, he is late to the play, gives away fouls and collects cards. That’s what I saw on the goal where he was “outjumped”. He was in the wrong spot, and by the time he recovered the Czech was already in the air with his hands on Gooch’s shoulders and back (Props to the Czech – it was a very subtle and well timed push down, just as he jumped). It’s just rust.

  71. Wispy says:

    Hapgrass, you asked “why waste an opportunity to actually test components of your starting 11?” Well, I agree — and I don’t think BB remotely wasted that opportunity. Depending on DeMerit’s status (and based on how bad Bornstein looked), Goodson and Onyewu might be our starting center halves — BB looked at that. The four mids may all be starters at some point in the tournament (though not likely all together) — BB got a great look at all of them. The only real “new” tinkering BB did was with the four guys he played at forward — two of which arguably played their way off the bubble and onto the team. And he did all this while completely resting EIGHT potential starters. I’ve been hugely skeptical about Bob in the past, but right now I think he’s not only doing the right thing, he’s doing it brilliantly.

  72. Wispy says:

    Gosh, wouldn’t it have been great, years ago, if Arena realized that to get our best XI on the field, some of our best athletes shoudl learn a position other than the one they play with their clubs? What if Beasley played every Nats game since 2003 at LB? What if Edu was told four years ago he’d be a RB with the Nats so get used to defending and crossing? We could have our best athletes all on the field at the same time and have some great cover with (slow) guys like Spector and Boca rather than relying on them to start every game. Perhaps we should be doing this right now (“Jack Mac — you’re fast and have a rifle shot but too small to play up top. You’re a right back for the Nats and if you work at it, you could be one of the best RBs in the world for three WC cycles.”) Ah, wishful thinking…

  73. Derek says:

    I watched part of the England Mexico game. England’s defense was terrible, and their only real threat seemed to be Peter Crouch. I think we put Goodson and Gooch out there to try and deny England the air.

  74. aplhas says:

    sread, I had read early 2010 Sunderland was tracking Bornstein. Interesting. I would love for our 2014 WC roster to just be European based players.

  75. Hapgrass says:

    I see your point on a Goodson and Onyewu pairing in the back and I liked him testing Edu at CB/CM as well. The biggest unknown for us fans is the health/fitness factor which we can only speculate about. So I totally understand and agree with your point that some of the players held out need rest and I think it was good that potential starters like Goodson, Beasley, Edu, and Holden played significant portions of the game. But again it doesnt address the main concern I had about the playing time for the potential starters. R. Clark has been injured and only started playing late in the season, I dont think BB would bring Demerit in the hope he will be totally healthy for the WC (when was the last time he played). If we are going to rely on Boca to start at LB, should we test him as early as possible (under the assumption he was ready to go)? Should we have seen how Gomez/Buddle play with Altidore or Dempsey up front? Again, I have gone back and forth on whether or not the strategy to play primarily the backups/rotation players on Tues. was the right way to go, I just want the US starting 11 to have as much playing time together as possible. With 1 full friendly and 1 additional game left, I think the game on Tues. would have been a good chance to play a strong side and see how subs could have fit in the squad, if 20 out of 23 players had already been chosen by that point.

  76. Nathanael Greene says:

    Agreed. He can be useful providing cover to the left back, but he should not be the left back. I for one am glad that we are done testing squad fringe players. Now we can finally show what we can do.

  77. Chris says:

    My dream: Jozy scores more AGAINST England than he scored IN England.

  78. BeatleBall says:

    I was at the Czech game in CT. (with on the field seats) and I saw a US team (of course without its star players) that played hard but couldn’t get the job done.

    I think this Turkey game will, of course, give us a much better idea of where we stand as a team right now.

    Most of the players were very gracious with the kids that waited for autographs after the game. My 11 year old son was so very, very happy to get signatures from his heroes Donovan, Dempsey, Howard, Bocanegra, Torres, Beasley, Gooch, Altidore and Clark.

    He missed getting ink from a few of his heroes… Coach Bradley, Michael Bradley, Holden, Feilhaber, DeMerit, Cherundolo, and Spector.

    Thank you so much guys… you really made a great night even better for my son. These are memories that he’ll cherish the rest of his life.

    After leaving the team buses and walking to our tailgating area, my son continued kicking his ball around until the parking lot cleared…that was about midnight. You guys have created a monster. His goal is now to play for the USMNT. Look for him in 2018.

  79. Erik says:

    Hell yeah we’re due!

    I am worried greatly about Serbia… however, in one of the most amazing games I ever watched, Yugoslavia laid this egg.

    link to youtube.com

    Ah the Dutch of 98 and 2000. How I miss those players.

  80. sandtrout says:

    If he gets a chance, Goodson could really break out at this World Cup. In his last few appearances, he’s looked good, especially in the air. And as good as his head is defensively, it’s downright dominant on offense. I’d even consider putting him in as a late-game sub at forward if we need a goal.

  81. patrick says:

    dude, no one cares about the special forces, unless they are playing for England slovenia or algeria

  82. Derek says:

    Jozy received very little service with Hull. I’m not certain that I can remember seeing more than 1 or 2 crosses in his direction.
    Jozy did do a great job at holding up balls and winning penalties and free kicks.

  83. instinct says:

    Germany is’nt as sexy this time round. Basically, it’s like six players from Bayern Munich and and a bunch of young guys that don’t have a lot of International experience. Even then, Klose was awful this year. Gomez wasn’t stellar as a late sub for BM. With Ballack out and the hopeful replacement injured. Germany is very beatable out of the group stage.

  84. Pat says:

    He isn’t a center back, I don’t see how that’s ripping him apart. He’s a center mid and a good one who is still improving. That’s where he should be playing.

  85. kev says:

    Jozy was the Bryan Ching of Hull. Which sucks. He gets so much scrutiny because he’s heralded as the future of USMNT and he is. He has shown the potential. Hat trick in qualifying, that goal against Spain. Solid play for Hull and Villarreal but he has to show more and do more. He’s only 20 and has a bright future and the present is good for him.

  86. Roger says:

    I had great hopes last year about the idea of Beasley at left back, but it didn’t work. Been there, tried that. Don’t go back.

  87. kev says:

    Who would you guys love to score against England?

    Donovan? Dempsey? Altidore? Howard :P ?

  88. Derek says:

    Dempsey is my boy, but how about all three!!

  89. kev says:

    I’d love that. I’m putting money done. Dempsey will score 2, but i’m going to pray 3 solid goals in the WC. And the USA will make it to the quarter finals.

  90. Aristotle says:

    WARNING: A SARCASTIC POST FOLLOWS.

    Maybe we need to tinker a little more. Give some more starters a rest and see what happens when Findley is inserted. Let’s try some different formations. I think the key will be to tinker right up until the World Cup starts. Actually, maybe we should tinker during the first game of the World Cup against England so we can make sure things will be right in the next two games after that. After the World Cup I would like to see some tinkering at the coach position.

  91. primoone says:

    wow…really?

    Beasley at left back huh…If that happens then we are more F-cked at LB than i thought. Beasely was actually in form…right until getting abused during that costa rica match at left back. As a matter of fact, Beasley’s confidence was shot to hell in a handbasket after turning in that piss-poor performance. Personally I would rather see anyone who is a defender (including Bornstien) as opposed to Beasley. Besides, you have 2 capable defenders that can play LB over Bornstien. If you are worried about Walcot’s speed then find a way to minimize the service to him.

  92. Joamiq says:

    Forecast for tomorrow in Philly: thunderstorms. Yikes.

  93. FulhamPete says:

    Um, the Israeli special forces are pretty badass. But faves? Not really. My FAVES are the Swiss Guard. LOVE the unis.

  94. FulhamPete says:

    The more I think about it, the more I LIKE the idea of Edu at CB. He’s serviceable at the defensive role. But what has always been the real trouble from our CBs? Distribution. With Edu at the CB, particularly against ALG and SVN, that problem’s solved. He’s also faster than Gooch, so he’d be back for most counterattacks in time.

    I don’t often talk about CBs…but when I do, I prefer Oguchi.

  95. Edwin says:

    Lets leave Landon where he plays his best, on the left wing and either put Beasley on the right wing or give Stuart Holden the start and have Beasley come off the bench.

    And number 2 can we please try playing with Torres and Bradley? or Edu and Bradley for that matter? Clark played the least out of all out CM and don’t see why we have to play with two players who essentially are the same type of CM?

    I like this line up:

    =====Altidore====Demspey=====

    =Donovan==============Holden=

    =======Bradley==Torres=======

    =Boca=Gooch==DeMerit=Spector=

    ============Howard===========

    Then have Benny come in for Holden and maybe Edu for Bradley. But what am I thinking asking Bob to take out his son out of a game, that has happened what ONCE? In El Salvador but only because Bradley Jr had to come off for a minor knock so Bob didn’t want to play with 10.

  96. Joamiq says:

    Forecast shows showers and thunderstorms all day… this could ruin the match’s usefulness

  97. Erik says:

    instinct… I would love to agree with you but Germany is Germany regardless of who is playing. They are a true cup team and the only blip lately was Euro 2004.

    Last world cup was 3rd place – before that 2nd place. They ALWAYS show up and they will still be dangerous. Big at the back and slick through the middle. I agree on the forwards though, they are lacking.

  98. Joamiq says:

    I hope you’re not planning on being at the Linc in the evening…

  99. Joamiq says:

    The offensive potential of his head is ignored too often

  100. Joamiq says:

    Playing for the counter and set pieces is the only way these players are capable of scoring. Also “a low scoring WC for us” would probably mean less than 4 goals… something like the 2 we scored last time…

  101. Joamiq says:

    We may not quite be there by 2014 (and as the standard of MLS rises, top MLS players aren’t a bad way to fill out the roster), but we’re certainly moving in that direction. Compare the number of Euro-based players on the last few WC teams and there’s a clear upward trend

  102. ALIEN says:

    “When will he get any playing time from now until the Cup?”

    Maybe he won’t

    ” Why play him in front of Gomez or Buddle who are in-form?”

    When did he play in front of Gomez or Buddle? Did Bradley say he was in front of Gomez or Buddle?

    Has it ever occurred to you that Findley has already played a number of times for Bradley this year and so he knows more about Findley than he does about Gomez or Buddle?

    Just because you don’t understand something Bob does, it doesn’t mean he is an idiot.

  103. Taylor Twellman says:

    He played forward for the Terps, center back in the Olympics and plays midfield for the Rangers. He is young, very athletic and has proven to be quite versatile and adaptable. There isn’t one good reason why he couldn’t eventually be a fine centerback, if that was where he is most needed. Remember he volunteered for this a few weeks ago.

    To pigeon hole him this early because he does poorly in one game is insane.

  104. The Dominoes says:

    Did you notice that England won anyway? What does that tell you?

  105. WET BLANKET says:

    I’m no economist or finacial expert but I think its possible the European economy causes a lot of european clubs to go bust in the next few years. Hardly a wild and crazy prediction, especially if you look and see just how flimsy the financial underpinnings are for so many of these European clubs.

    As much as everyone on this board seems to think the MLS is something to scrape off the bottom of their shoe, it seems to be doing quite well and that stability will eventually start drawing more and more top talent. In addition you may see it getting harder and harder for Americans and foreigners to get work permits in the top leagues.

    The bottom line is don’t think you can get rid of the MLS influence on the USMNT so easily.

  106. ALIEN says:

    Before the 23 were chosen, several players, such as Tim Howard, who can and has said anything he wants, said that Findley was having a remarkable camp, one of the best. It seems like he showed up on a mission.

    I saw him at the Netherlands game and remembered thinking that maybe some guy in the stands had mugged Findley and stolen his kit and somehow snuck on the field. Based on that game I wouldn’t pick Findley for a Sunday league side. But one game isn’t the be all and end all of a man’s career. We don’t know if there was something else going on that caused him to play that way. That is the hard part of being a national team coach. It is often very hard to find a long enough run of games to evaluate a new player properly.

    Everyone who bashes Bob seems to forget these personnel decisions will positvely or negatively affect him more than anyone else on the planet. So while I’m not sure I would have taken Findley rather than EJ ( who was in my view, the Findley alternative. Ching lost out to Buddle), I’m very sure he had a really, really good reason to do so.

    And he has more info on the situation than you or I. Like I said just because you don’t know why Bob did something, it doesn’t mean there isn’t a good reason for it. It just means that you don’t know what the reason is.

  107. ThaDeuce says:

    Or me. I learned plenty!!!
    Some people never learn…
    Hey, all you naysayers!!! Don’t Tread!

  108. Aristotle says:

    I would play Gomez in the first game with the understanding that it’s just because he seems to be on a real hot streak and I want to see just how hot he is. If he can continue to impress even in the first game of the World Cup he stays in. If not he’s out.

  109. Klinsmann says:

    If you go by how Bayern looked in the Champion’s league final and realize they won’t have Robben and Van Bommel but will have Schweinsteiger (unfortunately for them) then you can’t get real excited about Germany. But they always figure out a way to go further than you think they should.

  110. Unbeliever says:

    So if the US did not play that way they would suddenly turn into a goal scoring machine?

    Would you care to tell me how that would work?

  111. BeatleBall says:

    I was at the Czech game in CT. (with on-the-field seats) and I saw a US team (of course without its star players) that played hard but couldn’t get the job done.

    I think this Turkey game will, of course, give us a much better idea of where we stand as a team right now.

    Most of the players were very gracious with the kids that waited for autographs after the game. My 11 year old son was so very, very happy to get signatures from his heroes Donovan, Dempsey, Howard, Bocanegra, Torres, Beasley, Gooch, Altidore and Clark.

    He missed getting ink from a few of his heroes… Coach Bradley, Michael Bradley, Holden, Feilhaber, DeMerit, Cherundolo, and Spector.

    Thank you so much guys… you really made a great night even better for my son. These are memories that he’ll cherish the rest of his life.

    After leaving the team buses and walking to our tailgating area, my son continued kicking his ball around until the parking lot cleared…that was about midnight. You guys have created a monster. His goal is now to play for the USMNT. Look for him in 2018.

  112. STARR says:

    We have seen Torres and Bradley.

    They played the first half of the Netherlands game. Torres was so memorable you forgeot how he nearly scored a beautiful own goal on Howard and got trampled into the turf by the Dutch. He did take a long shot at the Dutch goal but was way off. Overall not very impressive from Gringo.

    There is no Bradley Jr. on the USMNT.

    Michael Bradley, on the other hand, plays every minute because he is pretty consistent, plays his club ball at a high level and, he shows up. The other MF’s always get sick, lose form or get hurt. Bradley, you can count on to be there.

    If you think Bob Bradley plays his son for nepostistic reasons then take notice of the fact that BB made a lot of effort to keep hope alive for Jermaine Jones, even after it seemed clear he wasn’t going to make the roster. Jones is the one guy in the pool who could instantly, if healthy and in form, give the US the mdifield “boss’ it seriously needs and does not have.

    And he would seriously threaten Michael’s PT.

  113. Joamiq says:

    Neither do I. I think MLS is important and will always make some contribution to the national team. But it’s also irrefutable that an increasingly greater proportion of the team is coming from abroad. I think that within the next 8-12 years, the MLS representation on US World Cup squads will settle down to about 2-3 players.

    As a side note, your prediction on the “European economy” is silly (what of the American economy?), and I don’t think it has anything to do with this discussion.