The U.S. men's national team kicks off its Gold Cup on Tuesday against Canada, and with the painful memory of Saturday's 4-0 friendly loss to Spain still fresh, there is plenty of speculation about just which 11 players Bob Bradley will turn to in the Gold Cup opener on Tuesday night in Detroit.
Top veterans such as Tim Howard, Landon Donovan, Clint Dempsey, Carlos Bocanegra, Michael Bradley and Steve Cherundolo are locks to start, but there are other positions which still raise questions. Will it be Jermaine Jones or Maurice Edu in central midfield? Will Bob Bradley go with a 4-4-2 or 4-5-1, and if it's a 4-4-2 will Bradley turn to teen striker Juan Agudelo? Will Oguchi Onyewu get the nod in central defense, or will Bradley go with a Goodson-Bocanegra pairing in the middle?
Here's a look at a lineup we could see the USA field against Canada:
Some quick thoughts:
Just as a reminder, this is the lineup I can see Bob Bradley starting, not necessarily the lineup I would use. Would my lineup be different? Probably not, though I might be tempted to give Eric Lichaj the start at left back, with Carlos Bocanegra pairing with Clarence Goodson in central defense.
Onyewu looked shaky against Spain, so a Bocanegra-Goodson central defense with Jonathan Bornstein at left back isn't out of the realm of possibility. Tim Ream and Eric Lichaj seem like long shots to play vs. Canada. Bradley rates Ream highly, but the fact he went 90 minutes makes it seem unlikely the Red Bulls defender gets the start.
The toughest toss-up is between Maurice Edu and Jermaine Jones, and we go with Jones because he looked better overall in the three most recent friendlies, though it can be argued that Edu looked better against Spain than Jones did.
For those asking why Clint Dempsey doesn't get moved up top, he is needed on the flank more than up top, because the reality is the roster just doesn't have quality wing options.
What do you think of this lineup? Which lineup would you like to see take on Canada?
Share your thoughts below.