USA vs. Slovenia: A Look Ahead (and who will start for the USA?)

USAReuters 

The USA-England World Cup opener got all the hype, but Friday's match between the United States and Slovenia is as actually more important for the Americans. A win puts them in comfortable shape heading into the last group match against Algeria. A loss would all but eliminate the Americans.

Slovenia comes in off a 1-0 win against Algeria, while the Americans have one point from their 1-1 draw against England. A Slovenia victory secures passage into the second round, while a draw keeps both teams in the hunt (though it will mean the Americans face a must-win against Algeria).

For a primer on Friday's match, here is one of my previews for Fox Soccer, a look at how the sides facing off tomorrow night are very similar.

The big question heading into Friday's match is what, if any, changes will Bob Bradley make to the side that held England last Saturday. Will he go with the same lineup (shown above) or will he make some tweaks?

Here is the lineup we see Bradley fielding on Friday night against Slovenia:

USA Projected Lineup vs. Slovenia

—————Altidore————Findley————–

Donovan————————————-Dempsey

—————–Torres——-Bradley—————–

Bocanegra—-Onyewu—–DeMerit——Cherundolo

———————-Howard—————————

So why this lineup? Jose Torres over Ricardo Clark is the only change from the England match. Why? It doesn't make much sense to have Clark and Bradley in the middle against Slovenia. My money is on Michael Bradley being assigned to stifle Robert Koren, with Jose Torres taking advantage of the space given by a Slovenia midfield that should give him room to operate and circulate passes to the flanks.

Robbie Findley might come as a surprise, and I could see Edson Buddle getting the call, but Slovenia showed some vulnerability to pace against Algeria and Findley could unsettle the defense and make things easier for Altidore, Donovan and Dempsey.

Another option Bradley has is to move Dempsey up top, though this doesn't quite look like the match to do that in. If Dempsey is moved up top, you could see DaMarcus Beasley make his tournament debut.

Either way, I think the Americans will look to get forward more, and while they won't be attacking in waves, they'll show more of their attacking arsenal against the Slovenians than they did against England.

What lineup would you like to see against Slovenia? Hoping for the same lineup that tied England? Hoping the Americans go on the attack? Confident in a victory?

Share your thoughts below.

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130 Responses to USA vs. Slovenia: A Look Ahead (and who will start for the USA?)

  1. john godfrey says:

    This looks right. I wish Buddle was on instead of Jozy, however. Edson would have attacked that LD cross that Jozy pulled away from. Jozy just isn’t hungry enough. Edson is.

  2. Tim Crawford says:

    Bornstein. I’d argue, but I don’t even feel it’s necessary.

  3. Joe says:

    I think we’ve got to see more of Buddle tomorrow. Play the hot hand.

    US needs to score and score often against Slovenia and Algeria – we need to win both and outscore England to ensure tops in the group and to avoid Germany in the round of 16.

  4. scott says:

    i do like your projected line-up. as long as we can get a win, that’s all that really matters.

  5. dena says:

    Same line-up that tied England, plus Torres. Maybe Buddle for Findley.

  6. sread says:

    Absolutely! We can do ourselves a huge favor and try to score a ton of goals in these next 2 matches because the English will be trying to do the same thing. It’s a race to avoid zee Germans

  7. Goalscorer24 says:

    If Bradley goes with your lineup I would be happy! But Lalas was saying he won’t change anything from the England lineup, and I hope he is wrong because we will need some good passing from Torres to open up the Slovenian defense.

  8. I agree completely with this line-up. Torres or Stu need to start in the middle.

  9. RevsFan says:

    I’m not much of a fan of Dempsey up top, but I could see Dempsey slide up instead of Findley, and then Holden start out wide to provide a little more defensive coverage for Torres.

  10. Idaho Brian says:

    I would prfer to start Dempsey up top, move LD to the left, and bring in Stuart Holden to provide some more width and better crossing ability on the right flank. Bring on Findley’s pace against tired legs in the second half…

    That being said, I expect Ives is spot on with the projected lineup…I can’t wait to watch!

  11. guero says:

    what has Lalas ever been right about?

  12. micah says:

    I like it, but I think BB will go with the same lineup we had against England, using Rico to stifle Koren and letting MB get more forward. Not that that is a better option, just what I think will make sense to BB.

  13. JSmiley says:

    BTW, in case it hasn’t been discussed yet:

    The referee is Koman Coulibaly, from Mali. First WC I think. Not much I can find about him on the web. Seems to be a clean slate. At least its not Larrionda.

  14. Ted in MN says:

    I agree with you Ives about the speed but wouldn’t you want that later in the game. Look what happened vs England: Findley’s speed was wasted early on vs King and Terry. They eventually bring on Carragher (given he wasn’t tired but just plain slow) but Findley is tired at that point. Why not use the speed when it can really hurt them?

  15. wilyboy says:

    Absolutely Torres, he’s a great catalyst. I’m glad people realize that tactical changes must be made game to game. I’d rather Dempsey and Donovan switched, and Buddle in for Findley (unless he has learned to run through walls). This game will be played in front of Slovenia’s defense, and we need to have players that can muscle, dribble, score, and hold the ball.

  16. Shirtees says:

    Buddle! He’s hot off the griddle! Let him burn them up!

  17. Aristophanes says:

    Agreeing with some previous comments here, I think Buddle and Gomez have to see the pitch! They’ve demonstrated they can score goals. Goals are so precious in this world cup!

    Also, I’d love to see Holden and Torres get some time (a) because they’re really good = (b) I enjoy watching them play and (c) they deserve to get noticed.

  18. Felix says:

    I agree with Ives’ lineup completely.

  19. TomM says:

    My worry is that Slovenia will play us exactly the way the Swiss played Spain, and the Danes played Holland – a tight, organized, counter attacking bunker. Holland solved it by adding width and speed on the flanks, Spain tried solving it by adding a second forward. Problem is, we’re neither Holland or Spain- so this match has me worried as much as the first. Agree with Torres, who is the only one that can split defense with passing, and with Findley’s speed to help stretch the Slovenians out a bit.

  20. Hooligan says:

    Look at it this way; Germany wouold be pay back for’02 in Korea and Ghana quite possibly could be redemption for ’06 in Germany.

  21. Duck says:

    I like this one:
    Donovan-Altidore-Dempsey
    Bradley-Holden-Edu
    Bocanegra-DeMerit-Onyewu-Cherundolo

    I more of a Holden fan than Torres, but with Bradley and Edu covering him, I am sure either would do fine. We have a lot of decent central midfielders, why not play them? (Of course, that is what Spain thought, too)

  22. Hooligan says:

    Torres is the right sub but leaving Findley in takes away from the speed we need in the second half.

  23. john.q says:

    nothing to complain about with that line-up although i’d like to see buddle up with altidore. since they will allow us to get at them id rather have buddle, who can finish and is on fire. getting an early lead will really help us with this match.
    then, later on, findley can come on and use his speed against a tiring slovenian side.

  24. mattoomba says:

    I like your lineup, but Bradley will probably continue with his strategic mentality of “Let’s keep doing the same thing until we get a bad result…then we’ll think about changing it.”

  25. SBI Troll says:

    Yep Ives has the lineup right. But i would still consider Buddle over Findley. I think it may allow Jozy create more and not be occupied playing as a target. Findley can come out later and use his speed to cause havoc when Slovenia is tired.

  26. Cochese says:

    I agree. I would pair Buddle with Jozy. We all know Findley is speedy, and frankly I’m suprised at how good his first touch has been, but in a game where USA needs to win – and thus score goals – they should not sacrifice a precious offensive spot by using Findley as a rodeo clown for the slow Slovenian defense. It’s not like Buddle is slow – and Slovenia is not England. Put someone in there who has proven they can score at this level. Worst case, Buddle fails to make an impact on the score sheet, and we have fresh legs in the form of Findley or Herc to come in and run riot on the fatigued Slovenian back line.

  27. Johnny says:

    The amount of Torres groupthink here is stifling.

  28. SeattleStan says:

    Cutting his hair

  29. JB says:

    If we win tomorrow, and England lays waste to Algeria as well, then Slovenia will be playing for their lives against England on the 23rd. I don’t see England hanging 3 or 4 goals on Slovenia, while I could see us doing that to Algeria. If we win tomorrow we win the group.

  30. suckerpunch says:

    How insane would I be to wish for this line-up?
    —————Donovan————Dempsey————–
    Beaseley————————————-Holden
    —————–Torres——-Bradley—————–
    Bocanegra—-Onyewu—–DeMerit——Cherundolo
    ———————-Howard—————————

  31. John says:

    got to be torres. i like the idea of having a fast striker to complement Altidore (Charlie Davies anyone) but Findley has shown me nothing, except quite a brilliant chip to Donovan who then set up Altidore against Australia. Go with Buddle.

    2nd Half move Dempsey up top for Buddle or Altidore and get Holden into Dempsey’s spot. Maybe bring in Gomez a bit later for the other striker. With a lead, perhaps bring in Clark for Torres (like Edu better, but that’s not happening).

  32. Jesse says:

    I like this lineup.

    We really need a possession specialist in the middle, and Torres is the man. The same attack that broke down Turkey should do the trick in this match.

    I’d like to see Bradley be a little more willing to make adjustments during the game. I thought there were some things breaking down in the second half vs. England that didn’t seem to get addressed until it was almost all over.

  33. SBI Troll says:

    As they say in the NFL, the fans favorite player is the backup QB.

  34. golfstrom says:

    Findley must start. His speed opens up space for LD and Dempsey, who are the real attack threats. I think the mf choice to pair w/ MB is a bit overrated – if Clark starts, he can just sit back and MB can advance anyway. The midfield in this game will be quite congested (both teams play very narrow), so I don’t know that this is the best game to start Torres.

  35. mwc says:

    I like Torres and Beasley (yes, Beasley) as second half subs to bring a spark. Torres should have more space to operate in the second half. Beasley adds speed onto the wing both offensively and tracking back to help snuff Slovenian counters. I know he has not done much in awhile, but I think that Beasley will play well if given the chance. I think he is dying to show he can still play and get himself a look from another club.

  36. brittleheadgirl@gmail.com says:

    jozy out, buddle in. buddle is hot and uses his physcial stature more. Jozy needs to figure out he can out muscle most defenders.

  37. SBI Troll says:

    So Jozy didn’t outmuscle Jamie Carragher, for the our best attacking chance vs England. Yes, Buddle should get a chance to play, but not at the expense of a player that gives opposing defenses the most problems.

  38. Spectra says:

    that’s our best goal scoring lineup. I think it’s incredible against a weaker side. But it is better to have dempsey and donovan back further against stronger teams

  39. maxmouse says:

    lineup needs less Findley. We have two guys in crazy form (Gomez/Buddle), and we’re playing a guy(Findley) who hasn’t shown he can score at the international level, and only has one goal this season in the MLS(iirc), we’re not losing a ton of speed in playing Buddle or Gomez, and both have proven they can score. I just really don’t see why Findley is playing at all, strikers are up and down, and we’re starting a guy who is down in favor of two guys who are hot just because he’s “fast”(Carragher has no pace and kept up with Findley, cmon.) would LOVE to see Torres start as well, he does it all and is a firecracker on each side of the pitch.

  40. montana matt says:

    pretty insane considering your line up doesn’t have a single true forward.

  41. montana matt says:

    I agree with basically every other commenter: same lineup as we used against England, except Torres for Clark, and Buddle for Findley.

  42. jb says:

    Bold prediction Ives! Would love to see Torres start, tho I cant help remember the Netherlands game where he did not do well. My preference would be for Holden to start next to Bradley. I understand that Clark is an athletic and ferocious defender, but I agree with most of the posters that we need better possession and distribution from that position.

  43. Joamiq says:

    If this is the lineup Bob plays, I will be very happy. I’d prefer to see Buddle in there and have Findley come on in the second half for either forward, but the key is Torres in for Clark. I expect this to make a big difference for the US attack.

  44. golfstrom says:

    Buddle, too who knew.

  45. attenborough says:

    We’re all in agreement that Bob will make the mistake of starting Redcardo again tomorrow though, right? I know I’m not getting my hopes up. Bob has an inherent fear of flair, talent, and potential.

  46. golfstrom says:

    >Bob has an inherent fear of flair, talent, and potential.

    That’s because he has an inherent love of getting results. *rolls eyes*

  47. Murphy says:

    good point

  48. Jim in Atlanta says:

    Are you high, seriously!? Your complaining about one cross and come to the conclusion jozy isn’t hungry enough, WTF! if you think Buddle is better than jozy you should leave this blog right now. sure he is on a good streak but altidore is the the better player and the future of USSOCCER. if you want to see the US lose go head and start buddle with findley and see what happens. I tired of people riding jozy like he isn’t our best forward regardless of how many goals he has or had. oh and jozy didn’t pull away from anything he missed the ball completly. you must be some fair weather fan, MLS fanboy, our someone who knows nothing about the US team and is just following now while trolling this site like a leprechaun claiming things are cold when they clearly aren’t.

  49. phil says:

    SBI, I’m with you on the lineup except I give Buddle the nod over Findley. I think you’re gonna see the Green Dragons concede a lot of space to the USA and basically dare us to take our shot at them. As a result I din’t know how much a speedy striker stretching a backline that will camp out pretty deep to begin with will help us much. We will absolutely need someone who is very comfortable on the ball and with distribution with that anticipated strategy in mind, so my vote is for Torres or Benny.

    I think some of the USA goals are going to be from rebound-y and fluke-y type plays and from set pieces, which is what Buddle is great at.

    Plus, I give Gomez a go from 65 on regardless of the score.

  50. phil says:

    right, and the torrid losing streak we’re on is proof of that….

  51. Polish Wonder says:

    The difference is we have seen what Torres and Clark can do. Torres isn’t some back-up QB we haven’t seen play. And Torres is a solid player.

  52. Polish Wonder says:

    The USA has played minnows who just created barricades. The USA would then try a lot of sneaky balls through, which usually didn’t work. If Slovenia tries that, then USA needs guys who can hit the ball from distance to force the midfielders out of that barricade.

  53. Austin says:

    I would go with the same line-up as the England match, BESIDES Clark who (like Ives said) wouldnt make sence when you simply need more attacking against Slovenia. Clark and MB are the CM’s we play when we play power houses to stop a formidable attack. We need Holden or Torres with Bradley in the centre. I prefer Holden to Torres IN THIS MATCH just because Holden has great distribution skills like Torres but advances up the field at a faster pace which could stifle the Slovenians. However, i doubt BB will use Holden with Bradley tomarrow. Im fine with Torres though, he will compose our midfield well throughout. Up top is also something i would change. Findley gives an element of pace against big sides that leaves opposing teams open on the counter. That is great, but what you want to look for against Slovenia is a player with good control, vision, physicality, and nose for the goal. Edson and Herculez both have these attributes, but if i were to chose one it would be Gomez. You always want a bit of a mix up top as a manager and Edson is just a bit too similar to Jozy for me(Jozy is faster though(: ). Again, I would not have any problem with a Buddle start. Jozy will again be the striker to hold the ball up and run at defenders with speed and strength. I dont care if Findley and Clark start, we just better win.

  54. SBI Troll says:

    Actually I’m all for Torres over Clark in this game. Just used the analogy for the OP.

  55. blokhin says:

    What’s the mid-point between possession-oriented but less physical Torres and physical but below-average passer Clark?

    Edu

    Bradley will start him and then may sub one of the others for either defense, or offense in the second half….

  56. attenborough says:

    Yes, I prefer ties and watching Ricardo play lost in the midfield the entire game.

  57. Valdosta says:

    Mr. Godfrey is over reacting to a missed cross but you are over reacting as well. Buddle has looked really good since camp and while Jozy has more experience at this level, Gomez and Buddle both being “hot” is very important. Jozy may be the future but we need goals NOW not in 2014.

  58. Valdosta says:

    Torres doesn’t do that that much. He is a defensive, holding midfielder. He settles the midfield. If you want offense go for Holden, Benny or DMB and have Bradley sit back.

  59. Valdosta says:

    “Findley’s speed was wasted early on vs King and Terry.”

    Did you notice that King didn’t come out for the second half with a pulled groin? You don’t think chasing after Findley might have had something to do with that?

    Notice how Jozy burned Carragher down the wing for his “almost” goal?

    Normally I’d agree with you but since you can bring on Gomez for a change of pace in the second half, I wouldn’t sweat it too much.

  60. Rich says:

    —————Altidore————Buddle————-

    ———————-Dempsey———————

    Donovan————————————-Holden

    ——————-Bradley—————–

    Bocanegra—-Onyewu—–DeMerit——Cherundolo

    ———————-Howard—————————

    Speed may cause problems for Solvenia, but it does not put the ball in the back of the net. Goal scorers do. We need to score goals. Why bring hot goal scorers if you do not use them.

    Slovenia plays a similar style to us and will play back allowing us to attack. We play much better that way. When you look at home games in qualifying that is the way we played and we were much more dangerous. When we played away matches we hung back more and let the opponent come at us. I would argue we were way less effective that way. Like the second half against Brazil in the Confed Cup. We do not need Rico Clark. That lineup has us way to far back and not attacking. I say play more of a diamond and allow Holden to send in crosses to taller players (Findley is not tall, Buddle is).

    I would not have a problem with Torres, yet he has really only had the one good half against Turkey, and Holden can shoot well from distance. I could also see Edu in the game as the holding mid, allowing Bradley to move higher up the field, ala his days in Holland.

  61. greg says:

    put buddle in first, then replace him in the 70th with findley when the slovenians are tired….

  62. Austin says:

    I agree a bit with this however, a player who is just as good as Torres at passing and even better at attacking is Holden who also knows how to tackle as weve seen at Bolton…..Edu is too similar to Bradley and we need someone who can spring just like Torres but brings more aggresive nature, Holden is perfect, but im not sure if BB will take this into consideration

  63. SammyD says:

    Lalas is on the moon. He had Spector starting against England.

  64. Micah King says:

    Cutting his Santa Clause beard, too.

  65. Austin says:

    Even if Serbia somehow went through, it would be nice to beat Neven Subotic…

  66. BFitz says:

    I haven’t seen anyone recommend the pairing of Altidore and Holden up front. BB subbed Holden in up top on a couple of occasions and he did very well there. With his speed and technical skills he can get behind the defense and set up Jozy. I think it could be a deadly combination. He could be much more dangerous than Findley.

  67. Micah King says:

    Hey !!!!!!!!!!!there is only room for one Micah, lol. :D
    I will start Altidore-Buddle
    Beasley-Torres-Bradley-Donovan
    Bocanegra-Goodson-Onyewu-Spector
    Howard.
    I think we should rest some players, for one half. Sub in the second half Holden for Donovan, Dempsey for Beasley,and Gomez for either Buddle or Altidore which ever one is the most tired.

  68. TimN says:

    I mostly agree with Ives’ picks, but I’d go with Buddle instead of Findley. Both have pace, albeit Findley a little more, but Buddle is a cleaner finisher.

    I’d also go with Edu instead of Torres next to Bradley. Torres is smaller, and may get muscled around a bit by the Slovenians, whereas Edu can be both defensively and offensively minded, and perhaps stronger on the ball.

  69. jjank says:

    I think just about anyone else would have attacked that header more than what Jozy did.
    But that doens’t mean we should bench him for that.
    Jozy, in my opinion is rusty, he doesn’t get much playing time outside of the national team. He needs to find a team where he plays 90 all the time.

  70. jjank says:

    You got it. But I don’t care about avoiding Germany. As long as we make it to the next round. We’ll see how good Germany is when they play Serbia. Australia was horrible!!!

  71. Roy says:

    Truth is I’m a little Findleyed out. But will live with him as tong as Torres is in the mid. As an offensive quarterback, he’s the best we have.

  72. jjank says:

    Yea, but I think we are strong on the flanks with Donovan, Dempsey and even Holden. If you play torres, that adds some extra creativity in the middle and helps reset the team much better than clark does. If our backline plays mistake free then I don’t see how we loose this game unless Slovenia get alot of luck.

    Spains problem was, I believe, they played too close and didn’t spread the field. They changed it in the 2nd half somewhat but then didn’t come with much variety. Spain was too tight and played to a strong defensive side and when you miss all your opportunities you are not gonna win many games.

  73. bottlcaps says:

    I saw the need for Findlay against England. It was a simple defensive measure. Findley brings NO offensive punch to the US team. He was merely a “decoy” to stretch the English defense and allow Dempsey and Donovan more room and kept the English defensive backs honest by avoiding them pushing up on offense.

    But Slovenia IS NOT England. They should be respected, yes, they are in the WC and defeated some good teams to get there, but the US needs firepower, not defensive cover. You need to sit Findlay and bring in Buddle who while not as speedy as Findlay, is nonetheless, probably faster than Altidore. If Altidore has not produced any difficult goals. The time for WAITING for potential is over. Fish or cut bait. If Altidore does not produce, bring in Gomez and pair him with Buddle. Remember Donovan has played with Findlay, Gomez and Buddle when, at one time or another, they played with the Galaxy. He knows their moves!. Altidore wiffed on at least one cross he should have nailed and Findlay, well, he can run fast, but so can a lot of other players, but now is the time to be dangerous by scoring A LOT against an inferior team.

    England will be anxious to mop the floor with ALgeria, score some goals, no, a lot of goals, and have the inside track to be Group winner.

    If the US blows it’s chance to score a lot of goals against Slovenia, by playing conservative or defensive to INSURE they will win, then it will be a Pyrrhic victory. The US will finish second in the group, face Germany and most likely go out in the round of 16. If they win Group C, they face Ghana and if Mexico wins their group and wins its round of 16, THEY will face the US. a much better road to the semi’s.

  74. primoone says:

    Ok. Now tell us how you really feel. And Don’t hold back!

  75. primoone says:

    If we tie with slovenia (perish the though) then Gomez and Buddle aint seeing much of the pich in the third and final match.

    FUHGETUHBOUTIT..

  76. jb says:

    Love this idea. It’s a way to get Holden on the pitch and eliminate a weak spot for the US. Holden is too good to ride pine on this squad. I mean, is there any doubt who the better footballer is between Holden and Findley? Put Edu or Torres next to Bradley, keep the 4-4-2 and you got an excellent attacking lineup.

  77. Paul says:

    Every time I see Jozy in one of these team pictures, it looks like he’s unable to bend his knees. In each one, everyone else in the front row is crouching, but Jozy looks like he’s stuck about a third of the way down.

  78. primoone says:

    If the Slovenians bunker ball is what’s in store for us then we have something for thier a**. Contingent on the starting lineups,Torres will nickel and dime them with possession just outside their own box. That’s Par for the course when he plays for Pachuca in the attacking role. It’s certainly not our strength, however, it will serve a purpose taking into consideration that you need the ball to score. Truth be told, I don’t think they can beat us at our own game.

  79. primoone says:

    In addition to that…RedCardo sets a fine example of turning the ball over in his own midfield.

  80. primoone says:

    ——————-Howard————-
    Dolo——–Gooch———JD—-Boca–

    ——–Bradley———–Edu———-

    ——–Duece————-Beasley——

    —————-Donovan—————-

    —————-Josimer—————-

  81. Second City says:

    At this point, I don’t care what line-up it is, but I do care that we have the right mentality going in to it.

    Yes, we could draw and still advance with a win against Algeria. However, if we can’t get three points against Slovenia, we don’t deserve to advance.

    Period.

  82. Brad says:

    I would go with Ives’ line-up too but sub in Buddle for Findely early if Slovenia is playing bunkered down. Findley’s speed would therefore useless and I think Buddle plays better in cramped areas.

    I can’t wait!

  83. Justice from the Big D says:

    +1

    “we got something for their a**”

    LOVE IT!

    Reminds me of home!

    COME ON YOU YANKS!!!!

  84. Stephen says:

    Dempsey on the bench? Wow.

  85. Kevin says:

    Come on you yanks. I really hope Torres is out there; he’ll distribute like no body’s business. And throw Buddle in there With Josmer, for the love of God BB.

  86. phil says:

    If Jozy had hit that shot in the second half (that was only stopped by Thumbs Green making the save of his career) we wouldn’t even be having this conversation.

  87. Brett says:

    Take Findley out, move Landon up top, Dempsey on the left and Holden on the right. As the game goes on Dempsey can swap places with Landon and Buddle comes on for Jozy. Late in the game we can take off a defender or midfielder if necessary and sub in Gomez or Findley. If we get a lead, we can pull Jozy out and bring in Edu or Clark to be an extra holding MF.

  88. phil says:

    be honest, duck, it’s the hair you’re a fan of….

  89. SaintJude says:

    I’m with you. I would welcome a match against Germany. We would earn some respect and exact some revenge for ’02 by sending the new tourney darlings home with their tails between their legs. Sure we would be underdogs, but I relish that role anyway. We could lose, but we are also good enough to beat anyone if things go our way.

  90. phil says:

    Actually I think he showed tremendous confidence in the team he picked. It was clear he wanted to bring Holden on earlier, but read something that told him to ride that out for a little longer.

    I was so upset with how the Italy game got away from us last summer for this very reason, but in this case I think he was simply following the “don’t fix what ain’t broke” rule…

  91. SaintJude says:

    Don’t forget that Findley is good at using that speed to track back on defense as well. That is a useful aspect to his game that may help when we are likely playing against a team that will look to counter attack.

  92. phil says:

    I’m a DMB fan as well… wished he saw time against England and hope we see him against Algeria, but here I think you keep your LD and Deuce out wide.

    UNLESS you do something like a 4-5-1, which I don’t think Senior would do:

    _________Altidore_________
    Beasely Dempsey Donovan
    ______Edu______MB_______
    Spec__’merit__Gooch__’dolo

    now that I think about it, this would actually be a GREAT lineup against fast and furious team like Algeria (or a fast furious and sickly talented team like Argentina or Germany), but not Slovenia. Too Big, too Slow too Bunkered in. The speed of this lineup would have nowhere to go and no one to chase.

  93. Jammer says:

    I also thought that missed header was a key play. Jozy is a great player, but Dempsey and Donovan are the offensive creators. The team just needs someone to reliably put the ball in the net, and that’s Buddle.

  94. phil says:

    for this game. against another opponent we need big tenacious DM to gum up the middle without getting carded or brain farting.

  95. phil says:

    I’m not saying I’m a fan of Clark, but I for one and not going to roast Bradley over a choice I disagree with when we walk away with a draw. there is nothing to say that play would not have happened with Edu or Torres on the pitch, it was a brilliant moment on England’s part and a collective brainfart on the part of the USA–one they hopefully will not replicate again.

    That said, I would rather see Edu or Torres or Benny before Clark

  96. phil says:

    I think Senior sees him as a winger option much more than a center mid option.

  97. Danny says:

    I can’t wait for this one…USA-England was a big match, but this one is going to be bigger…We must get three points out of this one to give us a shot at making the Round of 16…I fully expect to see a much better display from the Americans here than from our last game…No doubt we will attack and create more…I think Bob Bradley will keep things the same and tell his team the same message…I predit a 2-0 win for the mighty Americans…

    LETS GO USA

  98. andrew in tampa says:

    There was a Gooch-Jozy siting at the Argentina-S.Korea match. Colleague of mine saw them leave just before full time. I missed it. Can’t wait for 4 p.m. CAT Friday. I will be viewing the game from the Santon fan zone. Let me know if anyone else from Ives mafia will be in the nabe.

  99. Austin says:

    exactly and thats why i said im not sure if BB will take this into consideration

  100. jjank says:

    Yea, we need to take advantage of Buddle and Gomez being in such great form right now.
    Buddle did not really get a chance to do anything last match

  101. RW says:

    If Beasley makes an appearance in any game during the WC I’m turning my television off and will not watch the USMNT again until Bradley is replaced. Which could be in about a week and a half…

  102. jjank says:

    I watched the USA-England match again and the only person I can say for sure that we should sub in for would be Clark. He seemed to not really do anything or really want to get on the ball and he was partially at fault for Englands goal (as well as Onweyu, even though it was kind of a broken play). Edu or Torres need to get a chance.
    Other than that. Cherundolo, Dempsey, Findley and Bradley played spectacular 1st half, Donovan was very good on set peices and played better in the 2nd half.
    I think it would be hard for BB to start Buddle or Gomez over Findley.
    I can’t wait!!

  103. Jay says:

    I think it is important to note that by Findley starting he wears the defense down faster and thus makes defenders more tired for the late subs that can actually put the ball in the back of the net.

  104. Mister Gaga says:

    Findley is completely useless in a game where the opponent will likely bunker–we won’t need his speed, we’ll need skills he doesn’t have. Play Torres and Holden and put clint up top.

  105. BAJ says:

    Here’s my thought on Torres over Clark. When the back line needs to distribute the ball Torres is the better option to keep possession longer. And keeping possession is the best defense. Plus his eye for passing lanes gives us more attacking flare and again more possession.

  106. Stephen says:

    This is awesome. The Jay Demerit story is really good.

  107. Stephen says:

    Here’s the link.

    link to ussoccer.com

  108. jjank says:

    The case for Torres is that he will link up much better with the forwards and find those passing lanes, I agree. If we had alittle more distribution skills in our mid then we are much more dangerous and allows our flanks more space.
    If we are playing a team that is more defensive then it might be better to put buddle in with Torres because buddle will help keep the form in the middle and hold up much better, whereas findley is more of an outside attacking forward.

    Honestly, as long as we try someone other than Clark, i’m fine with it because clark was nonexistent in the 1st half and the 2nd came to life a bit but still didn’t do much. I’m not saying he played bad, but just average.

  109. Patrick says:

    I love ya Ives, you’re my favorite soccer source, but I just don’t see Dempsey moving up top ever being a wise move. He is way to valuable on the wing and Buddle and Gomez have both proven they are worthy of playing time.

  110. Micah King says:

    No, I mean to rest him. That is why he is on the bench.

  111. john godfrey says:

    Jim. Dude. Relax. Go have a caffeine-free Coca Cola or watch some TBS or do something else in Atlanta, the hub of soccer in this country.

    Watch the game again. (I’ve watched it three times, including the play in question in slow motion, repeatedly.) Or watch a few Hull replays. (I watched every second that Jozy played this past EPL season.)

    Jozy is immensely talented but every coach he has ever played for has complained that he is too easygoing and lacks a killer instinct. And that’s exactly what he displayed on that perfect cross from Landon. Edson has been burying ever chance he has all year. And that’s why I want him in against Slovenia.

  112. Isaac says:

    Why? He still brings alot. His only problem was his rustiness. He seems to have gained back the sharpness that made him great.

  113. john godfrey says:

    At the risk of further inciting Jim in Atlanta, I offer this: I reallyreally hope BB doesn’t start Benny in the midfield. He isn’t ready and he isn’t good enough. My preferences for central mid against Slovenia, are, in order: Torres, Edu, Holden, Clark and then Feilhaber. But I worry that BB might try to get clever with this…

  114. john godfrey says:

    …alongside Michael Bradley, I mean.

  115. alex mang says:

    well phil if Jozy would have scored a goal on the cross from LD we wouldn’t be having this conversation

  116. 23 says:

    You got that wrong. Torres is an AM, he can creates “killer passes” to the forwards or wingers that cut inside. Clark is the DM, the holding guy. MB is a box-2-box Mid.

  117. 23 says:

    You don’t rest your star player in an important match dude.

  118. Isaac says:

    The only change I would make is bringing in Jose Torres for Clark.

    However, there is one other lineup I’d actually like to see:

    ——————————-Altidore——————-

    ——————–Donovan——————————-

    Dempsey——————————————–Beasley

    ———————Torres—-Bradley——————–

    Bocanegra———–DeMerit—-Onyewu———–Cherundolo

    ————————–Howard————————–

    The important thing about this lineup is it’s different methods of managing the game. Donovan can stretch defenses with his pace and skill the same way Davies or Findley can when the USA is trying to score, but Landon can also drop back into the midfield and help the USA move the ball around through there into the attack when they’re having a tough time doing so, calm the game down, or help the team get a foothold in a game. Dempsey and Beasley can take players on from the wings and stretch the field to provide service from the flanks for Altidore and Donovan, who can head the ball despite what people think, but Dempsey and Beasley can also cut into the middle to create, shoot, knock the ball around, or dictate the pace and play of the game. Altidore can work as a target striker that holds the ball up, takes pressure off Donovan, gives Landon someone to run off of and the flanks someone to aim for, but he can also work as a lone forward that, when Landon drops in to the midfield, can break down backlines on his own using his pace, size, strength, skill and aerial ability and create and finish chances for himself. Torres is someone who can pass the ball incredibly well and this comes in handy when the USA is trying to score so that he can set the ball in movement quickly through a midfield that could be clogged or he could help the USA keep possession when they want to kill the game off or take the sting out of their opponent. Basically, Torres sets the tempo that the USA will attack to. Bradley’s job is to be everywhere and institute that tempo all over the field while disrupting the oppositions ball movement through the midfield and break up attacks in his own third of the field. I could see Holden coming in this lineup for Beasley and he probably would, but Beasley has the veteran experience which is shown throughout most of this lineup.

    I think the key is managing the game, which is something Bob is always stressing in the locker room based on USSoccer videos. That doesn’t mean keeping possession, it just means having different ways to deal with the situations that come up during the game.

  119. Brian says:

    What argument could you possibly make?

  120. jb says:

    Rather childishly harsh statement. I will be annoyed if we DON’T see Beasley because of the speed, skill, and experience he brings. And if Bradley is let go or leaves, we may all come to see his time as head coach as the highest peak for American football.

  121. ryan says:

    i think Slovenia playing for there lives is just what the English need. The English are by far the more talented team and will take advantage of a Slovenian side that is just looking to attack. But the bottom line is we need to come out and attack and take it too our next to opponents b/c we are the more skilled side. We can’t really control anything the other teams do we just need to go out and score goals and hope its good enough for first.

  122. phil says:

    here’s another thought: Findley, DeMerit and Cherundolo are each carrying a yellow card.

    So:

    —–Buddle Altidore——
    Donovan Edu Bradley Dempsey
    Boca Goodson Onyewu Spector

    I don’t honestly think there’s much wrong with this line up. I dn’t think Findley’s speed is as much an asset as Buddle’s ability to scrap a goal against SLO. Goodson is in great form and his height could come in handy on corners. While Spector has had a rough patch there’s no denying he’s still a great option (relax y’all, Cherundolo is still my number one pick for RFB).

    Most importantly, it eliminates the possibility of not having Demerit or Cherundolo when you’ll really need them–against Germany Ghana or Serbia in the next round!

  123. phil says:

    oh, and go celtics.

  124. bryan says:

    resting one of your best players in a must-not lose game?!?! not a chance

  125. bryan says:

    why holden in the middle instead of edu or bradley? i dont get it.

  126. I’d put in Torres for the reasons mentioned above. I’d start Buddle over Findley for 2 reasons;

    1. He’s Donovan’s teamate at L.A. so they will have some familiarity

    2. Findley’s carrying a yellow.

    If the US stays relaxed, they can destroy them. I’m praying for a 3-0 win that keeps us away from Germany. My 3-day weekend is here.

  127. JW says:

    Knowing Bradley, he will probably have us all scratching our heads as usual and either keep Clark in or go with his guy through qualification and confed cup _ Benny instead of Torres.

    I would personally like to see Torres and would not mind seeing Beasley at some point who seems to be wanting to prove something. However at this point, I don’t care who plays, just as long as we win. I am kind of tired of singling out one guy over another. I just want to get behind the entire team and i can always begin my rants if they lose and don’t get to the next round.

    GO USA!

  128. TimC says:

    I think they need to focus on getting width right from kickoff and go with Holden or Beasley on a flank with Dempsey sliding up top…as for the CM, Torres looks like a good option but Edu and even Feilhaber would do the job. If it is Clark again, I would really like to see Bradley get forward a lot more with Clark taking the primary defensive responsibilities.