Which player will you be watching when USA faces Czech Republic?

USMNTCamp (HowardCSmithISI)

Photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com

The USA-Czech Republic friendly may just be an exhibition, but it will carry much more weight than most friendlies ever could.

The World Cup dreams of several players will be on the line on Tuesday night at Rentschler Field in East Hartford as we get our first glimpse of the group of players Bob Bradley will be choosing from to shape his 23-man roster.

There are players we already know plenty about, such as Landon Donovan, Clint Dempsey and Tim Howard, but Tuesday night's match will serve as a vital test for some new faces and some veterans working their way back into the fray.

Here is our question to you: Which player will you be watching the most closely on Tuesday night? Will it be Oguchi Onyewu? DaMarcus Beasley? Herculez Gomez? Edson Buddle? Alejandro Bedoya?

Which player did you pick, and why?

Share your thoughts below.

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150 Responses to Which player will you be watching when USA faces Czech Republic?

  1. Brian Sweet says:

    Gomez/Buddle. Can either of them replace Charlie?

  2. alf says:

    It’s all about Gooch and his form. That has the biggest implications for how the rest of the starting 11 lines up and whether Pearce and Bornstein make the line up or just Bornstein. It also has the biggest implications for how we do in SA, because with a leaky defence we may not get out of the group …

  3. montana matt says:

    Gooch. Is fit and ready to go?

  4. Kenny says:

    second that thought. I’m more worried about the strikers than I am any place else. Though the back line scares me a bit with injuries.

  5. Probably Beasley, Gomez and Buddle in that order. Beasley’s form will determine what happens to Bedoya, there’s a chance one but not both go. It may come down to one forward spot between Gomez and Buddle and their individual performances will go a long way to determining if one or both goes.

  6. usry723 says:

    Buddle/Gomez/Bedoya.

    Bedoya deserves a 23 man spot but he needs to show it in this match. Hopefully he gets a chance to do so.

    I hope we also get a chance to see what Buddle can do when he’s paired with Jozy. That pairing has me very intrigued.

  7. dena says:

    Bedoya, Torres/Feilhaber, Gomez, Pearce, Gooch… the list goes on.

  8. kwall says:

    Bedoya is the one to watch. He reminds me of Dempsey in the last World Cup, full of energy and drive. He is eho I would like to see play.

  9. Colin says:

    GOOOOOOCH!

  10. Matt Mathai says:

    The most intriguing battle is at striker. It’ll have the biggest impact on our chances in SA.

  11. Aaron in StL says:

    Probably the guys coming off injury (assuming they all play). So Holden and Gooch will be key. Hoping Bedoya can show well and cement a spot.

    Also Buddle and Gomez, be interested to hear a third party view on those two as the Howard and Cherundolo comments sounded pretty much like the company line to me.

  12. Deano says:

    Kljestan-if he keeps playing well may force Bob to think about bedoya and beasley.

    Pearce- another guy who has played well recently and with everyone at cb except goodspn carrying some injury, may sneak in as cover if a center back is gone and spector comes in

    Feilhaber- everyone has him as a lock, maybe Bob as well. He hasnt played well of late and didnt play as much as he used to when his club was relegated.

    Jose Torres- maybe the most skilled US player on the ball. He has talent, maybe too much for this team with this style.

  13. afc says:

    Buddle, Gomez, and Bedoya. Should be a great game!

  14. Jon says:

    completely agree…if gooch isn’t on, the world cup will be tough

  15. Greg says:

    Is the extra £9 a month for ESPN worth it to watch this friendly? Too tough to decide…

  16. RS says:

    1. Bedoya-his form will determine whether Dempsey plays up front, Holden starting on the right, and Bedoya as a spark-plug off the bench. If he’s not headed to SA, then most likely we’ll see Dempsey on the right.

    2. Torres-Feilhaber-Edu-Clark-Klejstan: three will probably go and pair up with Bradley in the CM position. Who gets to go home early with Klejstan? (there’s a chance that either Feilhaber or Torres could play on the outside, though.)

    3. Bornsetin: if he seems to show any nervousness in these friendlies, that might simplify the decisions about the left back position. If he’s solid, then that helps with the question marks about Gooch by playing Bocanegra in the middle.

  17. kpugs says:

    Every striker not named Josmer. Because I need them to convince me to change my opinion that Charlie Davies at even 80% isn’t better than every one of them. I am not convinced as of yet.

  18. Kevin_Amold says:

    Jose Francisco Torres.

    A player for which many of us wish success.

  19. Trav says:

    I have to go with Gooch as well.

    After that, Bedoya, Gomez, and Buddle.

  20. KEvin_Amold says:

    Stuart Holden as well. Has he recovered from the X-Rated tackle he suffered? Is he sharp?

  21. D says:

    Goochie

  22. Canchon says:

    It’s all about Gooch. We know that BB has a blueprint for winning: play a tight defensive shape and run out the offense on counter-attacks. That means the US team will have to absorb a lot of pressure, push the play out wide, and have Gooch clean up the crosses in the middle (as in the Confed cup). If Gooch is not the monster in the middle, watch out, it could be a long WC.

  23. Kevin in Denver says:

    if you’re one of them, and you score a goal against what promises to be a hungry Czech side, you punch your ticket. It’s an important battle up top.

  24. ETJ says:

    no its not worth it, go to atdhe.net to watch it on your computer for free

  25. SBI Troll says:

    I’m hearing good things about DaMarcus Beasley in camp. I’ll also be looking at Spector vs Dolo, Edson vs Herculez, and all the players who line up next to Bradley. Most of all I’ll be watching if Gooch looking tenative in the air and how aggressive he looks.

  26. Aaron in StL says:

    I honestly think that the actual training camp will have more bearing on who makes the squad as opposed to this match. Unless somebody like Gomez scores 4 goals or something, BB will pretty much have an idea who he’ll be taking I’d suspect.

    Although the following two matches will be a better measure of who may start once the roster is whittled down to 23.

  27. ETJ says:

    Very well said, I think BB’s style also means we need speed on the wings, which is why the players I’m going to be watching most closely are Holden and Bedoya

  28. Herculez Gomez and Buddle. Which will step up? Who can do what they do on the national level? Who will give us the confidence that they can replace Davies?

  29. AC says:

    Bedoya….The guy has really come out of no where so fast….I’m not saying he is the next messi, ronaldo, etc, but I saw glimpses of a good winger during the Netherlands game and such a position is something the USA isn’t exactly deep in at all….

  30. Adolescent Girl says:

    OMG! I’ll be watching Bocanegra and Holden because they’re damn sexy!

  31. DC Josh says:

    Gooch— Is he ready?

    Gomez— Is he the answer to the absence of Davies?

    Beasley— He used to be the most promising young American, can he win back the hearts of US fans?

  32. Matt Snyder says:

    WHOEVER plays (starts & sub’s) for the forward and Left back psitions — PERIOD.

    —I am interested to see how Gomez & Buddle perform.

    I am assumign Bob will go with experience at forward with Donovan and Dempsey and Boca at LB, but ……eventually backup players will be used at some point in the tournament.

    WHo will it be????????

    Ahhhh!!!!! Bornstein?????

  33. Dave from Charlotte says:

    I’ll be watching all the major injury returns (Gooch) and fringe players I’m pulling for (Gomez, Buddle, Bedoya, Pearce).

    Is it just me or has their been squat from the journalists about who’s truly stood out this past week? I’m sure there were at LEAST half a dozen dudes there writing for websites I read daily (Ives, the yahoo guy, wahl or one of the other SI guys, etc) ….

    for an entire week about all i got was that Gomez looked good…as did all the forwards. Where’s the beef?

  34. Paul says:

    How many US players would get a spot on the England team right now? This is an England fan speaking: I’d take Howard, Donovan and Dempsey (though Dempsey might struggle for a starting place). Howard and Donovan could probably start (GK, right mid). Anyone else Capello would pick?

  35. Paul says:

    I also think Bradley has aleady made his decision on the roster spots. The game, which I plan to attend, will most likely not change his plans.

    I’m hoping either Buddle or Gomez steps up at striker. Johnson has proven little in the four years since the last WC. Time for a change.

    I’m a big Beasley fan, but I’d love to see Bedoya take his spot. That last MF won’t see the field in SA, but Beasley definitely won’t be around in 4 years.

    I’m also hoping Holden looks sharp, so that Dempsey is an option up top for the lumbering Ching in the 2nd half, when we need a boost.

  36. Matt says:

    I’m most looking forward to seeing Gomez and Bedoya. I’ve seen a lot of the MLS guys like Buddle, Findley, Rogers, Kljestan, etc. I haven’t seen much game action from Gomez and Bedoya. Buddle scares me in the sense that I worry that he will be overwhelmed by international play (like Findley and Cunningham). I’ve been a Rogers supporter (even through his dip in form) because his speed and technical ability are very good. The problem for him is his decision making on the field, and Bedoya’s European experience may help him to edge out guys like Rogers. Gomez is such an intriguing prospect, but we need some good stuff from him in these friendlies to convince me.

  37. Ferris says:

    Definitely agree on Beasley – he showed such spark against the Netherlands coming off the bench – would be great for him to get the start and see if he can help control the flow of the game through the midfield and wing throughout.

  38. sread says:

    Totally agree. There are some other position battles that will draw interest, but if we don’t have a quality striker on form going into SA…we may not have much of a prayer. LD’s PKs and Boca’s set piece goals only come around so often…we need a striker who can prove he’ll finish his chances. Whether that’s Gomez or Buddle remains to be seen. EJ needs to prove quite a bit as well before anyone believes in him starting for the NATs.

  39. johnnycougar says:

    Yep, I agree! I’m sure this is totally cliche but if you don’t give up a goal the worst you can do is draw.

    Though I will say that Boca is more than capable at center back. I’d just rather avoid needing Bornstein at left back. So I’ll personally be most interested in Gooch’s play but it may not be the most important spot for our team.

  40. obxfly says:

    Not that interesting but it is probably the only players that have not been mentioned. Who starts in goal and will they get the whole game or just a half? I am hoping to see Guzan get some time.

  41. DLewis10 says:

    Stuart Holden, not really a popular pick. I wanna see how he plays in the mid.

  42. gofot gol says:

    Yes, One led a foreign league and the other a domestic league in scoring. Has Davies scored more goals then Buudle or Gomez in League play?

  43. Ferris says:

    If JT can rip another shot or two like he did against the Netherlands and find the back of the net he could earn not just a roster spot but some significant PT potential.

  44. Chad says:

    I’d say Gooch, but who can watch a defender for 90 minutes? The better the US plays, the less he will have to do. The forward battle is a lot more fun and can’t wait to see who handles their nerves better: Gomez or Buddle.

  45. Dan K says:

    Gomez/Buddle and Fielhaber.

  46. johnnycougar says:

    this ^

  47. Barry U says:

    All the forwards other than Jozy. El gringo and Bedoya vs Benny. Gooch and Boca’s health.

  48. bryan says:

    i’ll be hoping to watch Ching. he needs to prove he is fit enough for this. because EJ, Gomez and Buddle are all above him right now.

  49. dwitty says:

    Absolutely agree with Beasley. His form this past season with the Rangers has been phenomenal. Even off the field he has excelled; offering to take a pay cut to stay with the Rangers? Top notch way to show your dedication to the team.

    If Beasley can replicate for the US what he’s done for the Rangers, he’ll have a ticket to SA with his name on it.

  50. A Guest says:

    Where by “long” you mean “short?”

  51. Benny Dargle says:

    Frankly, Capello would probably choose all three of our goalkeepers before any of his native choices. Guzan is the only one who is close, but I think he would have started over James or Hart or Green had he not been stuck behind Friedel this year (who also would go before all three of England’s keepers if he hadn’t retired from international duty).

  52. Betinho says:

    Gooch and Beas

  53. assocfoot says:

    Freddy Adu, of course

  54. Rashid says:

    I’m really looking foward to see what the hype is about this young kid, Landon Donovan. He seems to be a pretty solid #10 but I just want to make sure.

  55. brad says:

    Gooch, Holden, Buddle, Gomez

  56. wilyboy says:

    I want to say Bedoya, but that left wing is covered by Donovan pretty well, who I don’t see missing a minute of action. More than likely, Bedoya would be right wing sub, which brings me to…

    Holden. Holden has to prove that he can handle the start on the right wing if Dempsey is going to have license to score. Holden’s probably the most important, even though we all know he’s going to SA. If he plays well, a lot of questions will be answered.

    While it is important for Buddle and Gomez to show well, I’m looking at them as late game substitutes when our starters are worn out and we just need someone who has some shooting accuracy.

  57. Rashid says:

    Also if anyone is curious Davies has scored a total of 29 professional goals and 4 with the USMNT.

  58. jts says:

    40 minutes

    been a few days, even facetiously

  59. Erik says:

    You do know Bornstein will be the starter don’t you? Has Bob showed us any different?

  60. Isaac says:

    Alejandro Bedoya and Torres. Two guys who just haven’t gotten a lot of looks. Torres has looked a bit rough everytime he starts, but he’s always managed get over them. Plus, he’s never started at home. Bedoya has not only stood out, but fit in every time he has played for the USA. I’d kind of like to see Donovan sit this one out, or maybe come off the bench( I know that sounds stupid) so we can get a look at guys like Bedoya. A lineup like this might be nice:

    ——————-Buddle—-Gomez——————–

    Bedoya————-Torres—-Bradley———–Beasley

    Pearce———-Bocanegra—-Onyewu————Spector

    ————————Howard————————

    Past that, Donovan will probably start with Bedoya coming off the bench.

  61. Thorpinski says:

    All 3 goalies LD, Clint and Gooch. If back in full form Gooch could start and both LD and Clint I think could make a case for starting.

  62. Paul says:

    Charlie Davies and Freddy Adu will be in a bar somewhere, drowning their sorrows and cursing at the screen ;)

  63. Isaac says:

    Also, does anyone know if Bedoya is lefty, righty, or two footed?

  64. Reid says:

    Goodson, after all the injuries to our CB’s we need good coverage. Always liked his NT games before, but this is a whole new stage.

  65. madmax says:

    I don’t think anyone of the fence sitters can win a place in this game. I think Bradley has already chosen his 23, but maybe 2 or three could lose their spots. So I’ll be watching Beasley, Ching and Kljestan to see if they perform well enough to stay in his 23.

    Remember Bob Bradley said he’ll cut to 23 before the Turkey game, which should be the more difficult game. He is giving his not quite ready chaps an easier chore with the Czechs.

    I hope he saves Gooch for a run at the Turks who have very skillful and quick attackers.

  66. D says:

    I actaully think winger might be the deepest position with Donovan, Demspey, Holden, Beasley, Bedoya and possibiliy even Torres or Felli being able to contribute at a high level.

  67. Isaac says:

    hahaha…

  68. dave says:

    espn3.com

  69. jpc says:

    Buddle, Pearce, Gomez, Feilhaber, holden are the guys that I want to watch… For me these are the guys that could really make or break this team in terms of depth, and filling much needed holes in the starting lineup…

    Buddle and Gomez are obviously on great form. Buddle has been more impressive for me in terms of the types of goals he scored compared to Gomez, who seems to be more of a poacher than a versatile goal scoring threat. Buddle’s been great in so many facets, but we will hopefully see which parts of his game translate to international play.

    Pearce is the best true left back option when he’s playing well. From what I’ve seen of him in MLS, he’s looking like his old self for the most part. He’s got a great left foot, and is athletic enough to keep up w/ most. Hopefully boca does well at left back, but if he can’t for some reason, the team desperately needs Pearce to come through.

    Feilhaber is the only real creative attacker we have in the center of the field. he may not see the field against England b/c the middle of the field should be a warzone(unless we go down or are in extreme need of a calming presence); he should be very useful in our other games, as Slovenia/Algeria are as far as I know about them organized teams w/out much attacking flair. We are gonna need to keep possession and pressure in those matches, which is Feilhabers purpose.

    If Buddle, Gomez, or Johnson simply can’t produce, Holden will be the key to the team, as Clint will be forced to play up top. I think he can be good in that outside role, the question is, is he ready right now to play 90 minutes and be a key contributer? As good as Dempsey is, I don’t think he was ready in 2006 to take such an important role, and although he played well in stretches, he largely disappeared. Hopefully Holden is a little more advanced at this stage than dempsey was.

  70. Ryan says:

    Unfortunately, if you go by the Czech vs. Turkey game the other day, this is NOT a hungry Czech side.

  71. D says:

    It may be hard for Gooch to start over Terry and Rio. He would be a great number 3 cb though.

  72. Chicago - Scott says:

    What makes Czech hungry???

  73. Josh D says:

    Think you look at everyone at this point, sigh…

  74. Chicago - Scott says:

    haha how could he when he was hurt for practically the whole season?

  75. D says:

    That’s a very good lineup for this game. Felli should come in for Bradley in the second half. I would like to see Bedoya, Gomez, Buddle and Torres get the whole game for sure. Have to see what these guys bring to the table. Maybe try Torres as a winger too.

    I don’t think Howard should start this one.

  76. Lost in Space says:

    Personally I believe Gooch needs at least a Half in this match and close to 90 against Turkey. Need to see if he’s fit and how much rust there is. Will go a long way towards determining if Boca can/should be pushed to the LB possition.

    Holden, Bedoya,& Beasley. Can of them step up and be a starting Winger to allow Dempsey to Move up Top and pair with Jozy.

    Buddle & Gomez…can either hang at the International level or will they prove to be as bad as Findley.

    These are the questions I’ll be looking to have answered in the match tomorrow.

  77. sarcasm says:

    Bornstein and Pearce are both better than Ashley Cole and Robbie Findley/Wayne Rooney is probably a toss-up.

  78. D says:

    Klejistan should not be in the 23. Ching maybe.

  79. Chicago - Scott says:

    Espn3.com… perfect quality

  80. Jason says:

    Stuart Holden is my key. If he can run at playersw in the world cup, we become a different team because we can truly attack from both sides of the ball. At this point, I wouldn’t say we have that luxury.

  81. JL says:

    I agree. But while I’d say that The Gooch Question is most important, I’m actually more intrigued by Beasley and Bedoya. Love to watch both of them when they’re on their games and hope it doesn’t come down to either/or…but I think it will.

  82. John Nichols says:

    He scored 14 for Hammarby in 2008…..15 in his last year at BC

  83. Bill says:

    Herculez Gomez intrigues me. I’m also looking for Beasley to see if he may be regaining his form.

  84. Aaron in StL says:

    Donovan, Dempsey, Torres and Benny are definitely not wingers. They can all play outwide but bring much different qualities to the table. More slashers and possesion guys.

    Bedoya is a true winger that can get up and down and serve the ball. Dempsey and Landon are more shoot-first options than providers. Although Landon can do just about everything up front.

  85. dbag says:

    I am interested to see if ESPN chooses professional commentators for US friendly matches from now on. I was watching the US womens match with my daughter on tv the other day and found it horrible. I did not know what many of the players names were and whenever they would zoom in and break down the play, Foudy would use the players nicknames. I still cant figure out who boxy or lil is. I just hope espn mens commentators dont call us players with nicknames like landycakes, duece, the virtuoso, etc. I just expect some professionalism if its with ESPN, mens or womens national team.

  86. The bums will always lose says:

    The fitness of Gooch, Holden, etc. is definitely important, but they’ve got some time to figure that out. As far as this match and getting down to the 23 is concerned, I’m watching:

    Any forward not named Altidore or Ching. Can EJ/Findley/Buddle/Gomez force Bob to take 2 of the 4, or will just 1 show up, leaving room for another midfielder?

    Can Pearce make a case for the squad?

    Does Kljestan get any playing time, and if so what does he do with it? Other than Bornstein, he’s probably at the top of the list of “Bob’s boys”, and I think if he sees time in this game it means he’s got a legit shot at making the 23 and is either going to play his way onto or off of the roster. Can he handle that pressure?

  87. Mingjai says:

    As long as I’m NOT watching Kljestan, I’ll be very happy. No offense Sacha, but you’re too far down the bench.

  88. D says:

    Yes, all these guys should see quality time along with Buddle. BB should use game to figure out final 23 and use the final 2 friendlies as simulations with starting lineups as if the WC starts that day and making subs accordingly.

  89. d says:

    Any England v. Mexheco Running Commentary???

  90. Freddie Footballer says:

    Completely agree. I’m obsessed by the numbers of it all. How many defenders/mids/fws do we take? 8-8-4 or 7-9-4?

    Will Bob go with three forwards (and say Dempsey) or four traditional forwards?

    Will he take 8 defenders?

    I won’t be surprised if Kljestan, Rogers, Marshall, etc don’t make the 23 but I will be surprised if Bedoya, Torres don’t and to a lesser degree if one of Buddle/Gomez don’t.

  91. Lando Calrissian says:

    +1. Awesome dude. I’ve never seen a post dripping with so much sarcasm!

  92. alf says:

    In confederations cup Bornstein played himself off the starting line-up and DeMerritt into the starting line up, with Boca moving over. That was Bob’s line up against Spain and Brazil. Bornstein then played himself back into better graces against weaker CONCACAF competition, but against Netherlands I suspect he reminded Bradley that he’s good for giving away at least one goal a game against top quality competition.

  93. Hamid Karzai says:

    In order:

    Gooch

    Boca

    Demerit

    Ching

    Dolo

    Beasley

    Bedoya

    Rogers

    The back four has been crap so the health of those first three is vital.

    If Ching is sharp and healthy, he goes if not it opens it up for Buddle, Gomez and EJ

    Spector has been uneven so Dolo’s form for what has been a crap back four is vital

    Beasely and Bedoya will have a secondary effect on the forward situation.

    I’m wondering if Bob will try Rogers at LB (probably not)

  94. PVC says:

    “Pearce is the best true left back option when he’s playing well. From what I’ve seen of him in MLS, he’s looking like his old self for the most part. ”

    That’s really amusing.

    The “old” Pearce was Bornstein before Bornstein was Bornstein. You guys all wanted him executed, preferably by throwing him off a cliff to save on ammunition or the cost of lethal injection chemicals.

    But I guess JB and Sacha have replaced Pearce and Ching as “scapegoats of the month”.

  95. Charlotte from Dave says:

    The past week has mostly been about conditioning. Hard to tell about who’s “ahead ” from those kind of drills, unless someone is just completely not getting through the drills.

  96. UPtehTOON says:

    I more worried about the back line than forwards.

    The player I’m watching is Herculez.

  97. Bon Scott says:

    Donovan plays all over, not just on the wing for the US. Dempsey and Holden are not traditional wingers either;like Donovan Dempsey is apt to be anywhere and Holden is always drifting inside. Torres and Benny are definitely not traditonal wingers. DMB and Bedoya are like Donovan but don’t roam as much.

  98. Terminator 3 says:

    Davies isn’t on the roster so the fact you are not convinced is irrelevant.

  99. Jerry Lewis says:

    You mean the shot that was about 10 feet to the left and 20 feet overhead?

    Hell, even you can do that.

  100. EA says:

    “Bedoya deserves”

    Based on what?

    No player DESERVES a spot on this team. If anyone does, Frankie Hejduk does. But he didn’t (or couldn’t) earn it, so he isn’t here.

    Being the next shiny toy =/= deserving a spot.

  101. NotIves says:

    still like pearce more than bornstein personally.

  102. EA says:

    I believe he, unlike Lieutenant Dan, has full use of both feet.

  103. strider says:

    I want to see Gooch for a half to build game fitnes. I hope to see Holden & Beasley as well. However, one major key will be at forward. Can either Gomez or Buddle handle the speed at the international level. We BADLY need one of these 2 to come through.

  104. Big Chil says:

    Without having read any of the above, though I’m about to, it’s Buddle, Gomez, Bedoya on the bubble, and I’m looking forward to watching them tmw. Choppers, Denver, if anyone’s local.

  105. BetaMale says:

    As most people have pointed out, the big question mark is Gooch. I’d also add that pretty much everyone on our defense is either hurt or sucks in some capacity. This is what I’ll be watching intently.

    So pretty much our big issues are keeping goals out and putting goals in. No big deal.

  106. Isaac says:

    We’re not talking about the “”old”” Pearce. We’re talking about the present Pearce. You know, the one who has shown confidence, comfort, and skill on the ball dribbling out of the back, which, in case you haven’t noticed, is a novelty considering our back line. He had an excellent game against game against Sergio Kun Aguero and showed some of his offensive skills against Argentina. He did extremely well offensively against El Salvador and brought some combination play up the flank against Holland. He’s yet to receive a real challenge of his defensive skills since his renewal of form, but the Czech Republic seems to be his chance.

  107. Isaac says:

    Disagree. Kljestan has looked good in the MLS and the same can be said of his El Salvador game.

  108. PVC says:

    I thought Pearce looked good in the Gold Cup but then everyone did until the Mexico game. Since then he has looked okay except he hasn’t really played when anything important was on the line. I think England would tear him to pieces.

    I would leave him and Bornstein home. If someone besides Boca or Spector has to play left back let it be Robbie Rogers, who really should ask the Crew to play him there. Otherwise, I’d just go with Spector, Dolo, Gooch, Demerit, Boca and Goodson as the defenders, assuming health is not an issue. I’d rather load up on midfielders.

  109. The Argonauts says:

    Holden is so yesterday. Leave him home and let Bedoya do that.

  110. Pantera says:

    You mean like not sleeping with your team mate’s wife? Boy, you want everything don’t you?

  111. Mary Ellen says:

    I would like to see Robbie Rogers light a fire and burn through the defenders. I am also interested in seeing how Holden and Gooch are doing.

  112. Micah King says:

    I love how your post is filled with so much suspense like a Soap opera, Tele novela, or an episode of Degrassi. I am very excited to see how our players will perform tomorrow. I cannot wait, your post has me wondering what will be the big outcome tomorrow. :D

  113. Micah King says:

    +1, GREAT SARCASIM. LOL. Also, Pablo Mastorani over Owen Hargreaves.

  114. scott says:

    It tough to find a replay with the second angle but the replay everyone has seen doesnt do that shot justice. The second angle is from behind the net and is impressive, you’re exaggerating how mush it was off by.

  115. Micah King says:

    Cherundolo to start instead of Spector.

  116. Micah King says:

    I will be watching Gomez, Buddle Rogers, Boca, Klejstan Gooch, and Holden. Finley has got to prove he can do something internationally, I have not been impressed with him at all.

  117. Come on you Yanks says:

    I know this sounds crazy, but I also want to give Findley another test. I know he hasn’t been the best but BB must see something in him. His speed could be very useful against England, so I’d like to see him play a bit tomorrow.

  118. Ted Decker says:

    Herc for me.

  119. Ted Decker says:

    this should be a poll.

  120. beachbum says:

    Holden is today and tomorrow. Take him along of course…and Bedoya!

  121. beachbum says:

    many items to key in on, but most important to me is Gooch…how is he, mainly physically speaking.

  122. beachbum says:

    can Buddle pair w/ Jozy? Can Herculez come in off the bench and make a difference?

  123. beachbum says:

    where to play Stuart? what is his role?

  124. bphs says:

    Good analysis. Feilhaber delivers a much needed spark. I think we are in the minority that thinks Pearce should make the final 23.

  125. Dave from Charlotte says:

    Agreed the focus has been on conditioning, but there should have been plenty of 3v5 and the like…how else would the milk toast statement that “all the strikers look sharp” have come up on a few different articles?

    For example, maybe Ives can’t “officially” write about that for foxsoccer for one reason or another (too subjective maybe?) but he sure as hell can blog about it…saw some tweets with some beef this evening btw…thanks for that Ives.

    Anyone else catch the LD interview with Josh Elliott? He tries to come across as a fanboy, but seemed to struggle with the interview on the facts front and knowledge front…hmmm. No wonder they needed to hire British announcers.

  126. PGS says:

    just watched that game again. it was a great rip from distance, only about 4 or 5 feet off. also the keeper didn’t have it covered. so yeah, it was a good shot.

  127. playmaker says:

    If the US loses to Czech Republic (again) without Milan Baros, Tomas Rosicky and Zdenek Grygera, what does that say? It’s also a weak team.

  128. patrick says:

    josh elliott is actually one of the bigger soccer fans amongst all espn personalities. In the morning sportscenter on big soccer game days he’ll mention how he’ll be watching this, or that, etc. It’s also the reason he’s in the commercial for jozy.

    Check out this article from last year mentioning him begging people to watch the champs league finals

    link to sportingnews.com

  129. TomR says:

    Gooch, Rogers and Holden have my interest. I have heard whispers that Rogers had a good camp so I wonder if he can bring it to the next level. He certainly has the skills. Holden and Gooch-where are they after extended down time due to injuries?

  130. jpc says:

    that sounds good in theory, until you look back at the Eddie Lewis, Bobby Convey and D. Beasley experiments at fullback, none of which worked out well for us…

    I’m not sure what you meant by “you guys”, but I’m just one guy and I’ve always supported Pearce, especially since the Argentina game in 08 when he was one of the better players on the field…

    Nobody is scapegoating Bornstein, but either him or Pearce are gonna go to S. Africa, b/c they’re the only 2 real left footed fullbacks we have. And given that battle, Pearce is gonna win in my opinion. I’m not saying he should be the 1st or 2nd option at the WC, but he’s gonna be there I think. Therefore, I think its important to play well leading up to it, so Bradley has more freedom to put his back line players in the best position to succeed.

    Does that not make sense?

  131. playmaker says:

    Rogers sucks, he is overrated. Holden is another one, he is okay nothing extra special.

  132. patrick says:

    it means nothing. These games aren’t about results, more about who plays where and well with who, who is our LB, etc. If the US lost 4-5 but gomes had 2, buddle had 2 and ching had 1, would you be disappointed? What if we won 1-0 but played awful and won on bad PK call?

  133. John1 says:

    This first friendly is pure evaluation and nothing else. Winning is only icing on the cake. We will have our first team against the Turks.

  134. ThaDeuce says:

    you hit it all ives, those 5 are the main ones! not really expecting as much from gomez, but i hope all of them do well and that he proves me wrong, and that bob makes good but tough decisions.
    can’t wait to see the match in person!
    wut wut

  135. ThaDeuce says:

    well.. also torres, feilhaber, and hahneman… and Pearce!!

  136. Soccernst says:

    Sadly, I’ll be watching Kljestan.

  137. Sean says:

    Hejduk?!?!??? Are you joking… He was the bornstein of the last wc cycle

  138. Dave from Charlotte says:

    So it seems…Jozy commercial was actually pretty funny. He must’ve been hung over then from a night out with his Czech porn star namesake because that interview with Landon was painful.

    Or it was…

    Executive Producer: Hey, Josh! Landon is here…we didn’t know…go interview him!

    JE: What?!?! Seriously?!? I’m not prepared!

    EP: So what…its Landon!!!!!!!!!!!

  139. playmaker says:

    Tell that to Portugal who drew 0-0 with Cape Verde. BS it means something, if not why play them?

  140. Warren says:

    You’re right you’re crazy

  141. Warren says:

    make that 2

  142. Warren says:

    Torres ‘too skilled’ for the team? Are you kidding?

    What you mean is, there are still too many players in the USMNT pool with limited technical skills. You don’t solve that problem by removing technical skill.

    Torres on the plane means someone with less skills off – no problem.

  143. Warren says:

    I think you got it right as to who might start on England, with Gooch and Hahneman making the squad as back-ups.

  144. Warren says:

    I like your lineup and yeah keep Donovan’s minutes down to keep him fresh and injury-free. He should start on bench and run a bit in second half, or skip game altogether would be my preference.

  145. Warren says:

    Ouch you think those 3 are in the 23? I’d feel better if 1 or 2 or even better all 3 of them stayed home.

  146. Warren says:

    Disagree about Sacha looking good – you must have been watching reruns from 2008.

  147. madmax says:

    I’ll be watching Ching and Kljestan. Bob needs a good performance from both to justify taking them to SA. I think they are sadly in his 23 right now.

  148. EA says:

    Good lord. Did you not see what I wrote DIRECTLY AFTER that?

    “But he didn’t (or couldn’t) earn it, so he isn’t here.”

    I’d say 15 years of contributions to US Soccer, plus carrying our asses in El Salvador could qualify as “deserving.”

    But it doesn’t, just as 30 minutes of international game time, 3 good runs and 3 goals for your club make someone DESERVE a spot with the team.

    It’s like Bedoya is the new Freddy Adu.

    John Wolyniec has scored as many goals for his club in the last year, as Bedoya and Adu have. Where’s the clamor for him to be called in for the Worl……….

    Oooooh, look! Kenny Cooper!

  149. parker says:

    Beasley is going to dominate