Who should the U.S. U-23s start vs. El Salvador?

  USAU23vsCanada (ISI)

Tonight is do-or-die time for the U.S. men's Under-23 national team. A win tonight against El Salvador and the Americans stay alive in the CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament. Anything less than a win and the United States will see the dream of an Olympic berth eliminated.

U.S. head coach Caleb Porter has the difficult task of trying to pick the starting lineup he believes can deliver a result, and with the team facing its third game in five days, he will have no choice but to consider some changes to his squad.

Tonight's match should be a wide-open encounter. El Salvador isn't a bunkering team, and will almost certainly go after the U.S. defense if given the chance. That works into the USA's favor because they have the weapons to burn El Salvador. The question at this point is what changes will Caleb Porter make to his lineup.

Which changes should we expect? You can look to the team's upset loss to Canada for disappointing performances that should lead to some switches. From Teal Bunbury at forward, to Jared Jeffrey in central midfield, and Zarek Valentin at right back, there were some players who didn't make the grade against Canada who could be good bets to be subbed out.

What lineup can we expect Porter to go with tonight? Here is one lineup I could see him going with, along with a lineup I would consider turning to:

PROJECTED U.S. Under-23 LINEUP vs. EL SALVADOR

Shea————–Boyd—————-Adu

———-Diskerud—Corona————–

——————Okugo——————–

Villafana—————————Sarkodie

————-Kitchen—Opara—————-

—————–Hamid———————-

Some thoughts:

The most glaring absence from this group is Joe Gyau, who has looked dangerous coming off the bench in the team's previous two matches. It is that effectiveness off the bench, along with Porter's seeming hesitation with starting him in either of the first two matches, that makes me wonder if Gyau is someone Porter sees giving the team extended minutes.

Bill Hamid returns in goal and while it may be a surprise to some, the fact is he is still the most highly-regarded player at the position and one bad game isn't going to lead to him getting yanked.

Terrence Boyd should the call up top and it shouldn't come as a surprise. Teal Bunbury was largely ineffective against Canada and Boyd is just a better option.

Kofi Sarkodie makes sense returning to the lineup to give the team some speed and fresh legs on the flank. Jorge Villafana returns for a second start and he did give the team a few effective runs forward vs. Canada. Valentin started the first two matches and looked very fatigued in the Canada match.

Amobi Okugo gets the nod here over Jared Jeffrey, who just looked tired vs. Canada. Okugo is the kind of imposing physical presence in the middle that could help disrupt El Salvador's attack.

So what lineup would I trot out there if I were putting a team together to beat El Salvador? Here's the group I would go with:

Gyau————Boyd—————-Shea

————-Adu——-Corona————-

——————Okugo——————–

Villafana—————————Sarkodie

————-Kitchen—Opara—————-

—————–Hamid———————-

The only change I'd make is starting Gyau for Diskerud, though that would mean sliding Adu into a playmaking role and potentially flipping Shea to the right. If Porter doesn't go with this lineup, I still think it's a group we could see at some point in the second half.

This entry was posted in CONCACAF OLYMPIC QUALIFYING, U.S. Men's Olympic Team. Bookmark the permalink.

105 Responses to Who should the U.S. U-23s start vs. El Salvador?

  1. NE Matt says:

    Sean Johnson deserves a start. Hamid may have confidence issues after his horrible game and we cannot afford any mental lapses tonight. Also, Sean deserves to see minutes especially since we may not see the Olympics anymore and he has worked hard in camps to impress.

  2. Brain Guy says:

    When in doubt, or when it’s a close call, go with the fresh legs. The team looked gassed on Saturday. Three games in five days is brutal. Who makes these schedules?

  3. kevin says:

    DO NOT START HAMID!!!!!!

  4. Andy says:

    Yeah you’re lineup is a winner.

  5. marco says:

    Nobody looked gassed on El Tri yesterday.

  6. Alexandria says:

    We can’t win if they come with the same mentality they had in the last game they played like they were guaranteed to winand not play to win its crazy. No sense of urgency no hustle its the Same problem that’s plagued this crop their entire international youth careers they play way too soft.

  7. marco says:

    Good line-up, I would add Johnson at goal.

  8. 2tone says:

    Actually I would prefer Valentin to start at LCB. I don’t know if Corona has the legs to do what Diskerud does. I would almost want to see Williams over Sarkodie as well. Villafana played well against Canada, and deserves another start. Yes I want speed out there against El Salvador. So yes I would start Gyau and Shea. Not only that Boyd has good speed as well, but has a way better frist touch compared to Bunbury, and is just a better CF period. Over all I think your line-up will be very close to what we see. A Canada tie or loss to Cuba and a U.S. win means the U.S. takes first in the group. All I have to say is LETS GO USA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. Withdrawn Striker says:

    Diskerud has looked solid. I’m not sure it makes sense to not start him. Starting Okogu might make sense for the reason Ives states. I’d like to see Gyau get the start. shea can sub on either side. I guess that leads to this:

    Gyau————-Boyd——————Adu

    ———Diskerud——-Corona————-

    ——————Okugo——————–

    Villafana—————————Sarkodie

    ————-Kitchen—Opara—————-

    —————–Hamid———————-

  10. JSA says:

    Keep talking.

  11. PanchoMiguelMoralesdeConejo says:

    The “fresh legs’ team….don’t think we’ll see it, but why bring Taylor and Williams if you’re not going to use them? These would be the offensive options on the bench: Bunbury,Shea,Mix,Jeffrey or even Sarkodie.

    Gyau————Boyd—————-Taylor

    ————-Adu——-Corona————-

    ——————Stephens—————

    Villafana————————Williams

    ————-Kitchen—Opara—————

    —————–Johnson——————-

    Valentin for me has not got it done on either full back position. Need some more toughness/grittiness on the field. Williams and Stephens would help; though you wonder if they could keep up with the speed.

  12. 2tone says:

    The first line-up would be fine if Sarkodie actually got down the endline and whipped in crosses. But Sarkodie has been hesitant to get down the line. So it makes more sense to just start Adu in the middle and put either Gyau or Shea at RW. we sure are missing Josh Gatt right now because he would be the logical choice to start at either RW or RB.

  13. MemRook says:

    No doubt! Me too. Two goalies might actually help keep a clean sheet. A tactic definitely worth looking into.

  14. THomas says:

    Keep our best player off the field for the most important game to this point?

    I’d keep Gyau on the bench and bring him in, especially since he’s thrived in that roll the previous two games.

  15. 2tone says:

    Yeah it makes no sense to not start Shea. He has been the most dangerous player in the first two games. No way Shea doesn’t get the start. Not only that I could see Shea starting at CF with Adu and Gyau on the wings.

  16. ko'd says:

    I would like the line-up with guys that will win and therefore prevent the annoying situation of me paying $400 bucks for plane tickets from Minneapolis to KC, $300 in hotel rooms, and $120 in game day tickets to watch El Salvador’s U-23s play Mexico’s U-23s.

    I have faith in the boys, but they better come out with more fire than they did against Canada.

  17. Chris says:

    the question should be Shea or Adu….I think I would bench Adu, he dissapears for big parts of the game.

    Gyau–Boyd–Shea

    –Diskerud-Corona–

    Villafana,Opara,Kitchen-Sarkodie

    —-Hammid—-

  18. Ryan says:

    Agreed. I will admit Hamid has the potential to be great, but I think Sean Johnson is every bit as good as him and has the potential to be even better. He has the better MLS resume in my opinion. I know JK and Porter seem to favor Hamid, but you can only base so much off training camp performances.

    If Sean is just gonna get called up and sit on the bench (come on, he seriously couldn’t get into the 6-0 rout the other night?) then send him back to Chicago.

  19. rooney says:

    i wouldn’t bench a player AND start the game with 10 men.. seems like a bad tactic

  20. slowreno says:

    100% agree!!! Gyau and Boyd deserve starts hands down. Mixx and JBC in the middle are a lethal duo. As you’ve only got 10 guys I’d stick with Ives and put Okugo in front of our back 4.

  21. BostonTim says:

    Is this game televised tonight? If so, what channel is it on??

  22. Stove says:

    I really don’t understand why you would leave out Mix. He’s one of the best players on the team. I would bring Gyau off the bench because he’s doing so well in that role, or maybe sit Shea for a half and start Gyau… Shae is one of my favorite players but he’s so much better when he’s fresh. When he played for USMNT he seemed so exhausted and it was a real bummer in his last few games.

    Shea————–Boyd—————-Adu

    ———-Diskerud—Corona————–

    ——————Okugo——————–

    Villafana—————————Sarkodie

    ————-Kitchen—Opara—————-

    —————–Hamid———————-

  23. Carlos says:

    The U.S defence is weak and will be exposed v.s El Salvador. El Salvador is technical, they posses well, and have a solid defense. U.S doesn’t advance, sorry.

  24. CSD says:

    Television Channels

    “Universal Sports Network, mun2″

    Good luck finding either one of those channels. I would recommend watching on the World Wide internets and stuff…

  25. timothy says:

    You only get 3 subs. Keeper is a sub you only make if the current one gets injured

  26. s says:

    Johnson cannot catch the ball.

    While he is incredibly athletic, I think he’ll lose the Fire job. He spills way too many routine shots.

  27. Stove says:

    I highly doubt Shae starting there, but I would find that EXTREMELY entertaining haha

  28. wilyboy says:

    Boyd
    Shea Adu Gyau
    Corona
    Okugo
    Villafana-Kitchen-Valentin-Sarkodie
    Johnson

    Very similar to Ives, but I don’t think Opara is fit enough, he was so shaky against Canada that I wonder about his legs. Valentin never seemed tired, and I don’t think Valentin-Kitchen would have any problem with El Salvador.

    Hamid should get a break to calm his nerves, I’d still start him against Mexico if we make it to the Semifinals. This entire group will be rested and reset, but for right now, put out the fires and get the result.

  29. wilyboy says:

    Mix was entirely ineffective against Canada because he was breathing heavily from the very beginning. Starting him three games in 5 days is a bad idea, if Jeffrey deserves to sit, so does he.

  30. Air Jordanz says:

    While the U.S. could certainly lose, your analysis is laughable and I will enjoy following this post up later tonight.

  31. Air Jordanz says:

    Minneapolis and KC are both on I-35, no?

    You couldn’t make a 7 hour drive?

    Weak sauce.

    j/k

  32. Air Jordanz says:

    Of those 3, Adu would play CF before Shea, but that combo wouldn’t be too bad. Boyd is the best and freshest option at CF for tonight, though.

  33. Tyler says:

    Actually their MLS resumes were nearly identical coming into this season.

  34. Ryan says:

    Umm, if you start Johnson that’s not a sub…

  35. Ryan says:

    That was a weak point true, and something he did much better on after sitting a few games last year. Just think it’s worth a look.

  36. The Imperative Voice says:

    Porter has not set this up well. It’s three games in five days yes but then it’s five days til the semi next Sunday. In theory you’d want your best XI for tonight, because they can play again on five days’ rest this weekend, but because he didn’t rotate enough key players I do think he has to pay heed to legginess now, because it’s a must-win. If they were tired for Canada……

    Porter like Klinsi seems to have issues getting his best XI players picked and on the field together, covering all his needs. There is no way in heck Adu or Mixx should be ahead of Gyau.

    So I’d start something like:
    Shea Boyd Gyau
    Corona Okugo Mixx
    etc.

    Personally I think it would have been wise to start Hamid one game Johnson the next then start the stronger for the third game but being real Cuba posed minimal competition and it would have been apples and oranges to evaluate. Whoever played Canada would have both more saves and more risk of mistakes. I don’t think that makes Hamid worse and their MLS stats are actually very similar.

  37. TheFrenchOne says:

    that would suck x 10

  38. Tyler says:

    What is this talk about sitting Hamid? Idk if you all have ever watched a match before this tournament but keepers do get scored on sometimes guys be it from a mental mishap or otherwise. Bill will bounce back as will the rest of the team.

  39. The Imperative Voice says:

    I actually like your idea because I think it’s more in the spirit of Agudelo up top where the team seemed better. I would especially try it late if we need a result because he has some height and heading ability but more proven productivity than Bunbury or Boyd.

  40. BostonTim says:

    thanks

  41. 2tone says:

    Diskerud was gassed because A. He had two to three players marking him at all times and B. Because he had to keep coming back to clean up Jeffreys mistakes. Who by the way hasn’t looked at all like an enforcer DCM.

  42. mooch says:

    Shea- Adu – Gyau

    Corona Mix

    Okugo
    Villafan -Ike- Valentin – sarkodie
    Hamid

  43. 2tone says:

    I needed a laugh thankyou. El Slvador is not organised and will be cut open by the U.S.

  44. ko'd says:

    Ha–there and back? I could only afford to take one day off of work. With gas prices, not convinced the transportation costs would be much different.

  45. Shady says:

    No 4-4-3 unless we want to loose like we did to Canada. El Sal will sit back as well and will get nothing accomplished in the midfield if we play a 4-4-3

  46. bryan says:

    the US only have themselves to blame. talk about an overconfident bunch of kids! when i was watching the Studio 90 stuff, i kept thinking to myself that they were way too confident. sure enough, they were. so now not only do we have to beat El Salvador, but we need to beat them handily. we need to watch cards, we need to be smart about subs too since we won’t get a game to rest people. then we need Cuba to tie or beat Canada so we can get 1st. otherwise, we play Mexico for our Olympic berth. needless to say, that won’t be a walk in the park and both teams will be fighting to the death to get to London.

    can you imagine if Canada and El Salvador HADN’T tied? this situation would be even worse.

  47. Shady says:

    “will” should be “we’ll” in the above

  48. bryan says:

    if we can’t get it done with an extra player, than there is no hope.

    of maybe in your 4-4-3 we sacrifice the keeper?

  49. bryan says:

    and 4-4-3 should be 4-3-3

  50. baldomero123 says:

    +1 Though Adu said that they respond well with their backs against the wall and would rebound, I have problems trusting the words of this doubtful character. I am all for US to advance but I am afraid panic had already set up on the souls of these kids. It is not just the hardness of their first touch but the softness of their psyche. They were exposed vs Canada as not fired up enough as individual players and also as the group. Hope I am wrong.

  51. wilyboy says:

    You can’t blame Jeffrey for Mix’s play. He’s started 180 minutes, and looked withered in the last 90. Giving him another 90 rather than saving him as a sub is playing names instead of performances.

  52. wilyboy says:

    Canada and El Salvador tying couldn’t have been worse. We now have to beat El Salvador, all they have to do is bunker and counter for any result but a loss.

    But you’re right about the overconfidence. This seems to be a trait amongst American group play. They have on awesome result, one awful result, and one very narrow opportunity that they either take or lose.

  53. WFRW says:

    If El Salvador had beaten Canada, this situation wouldn’t be worse. A win over El Salvador combined with a good GD would give us a better chance at winning the group as opposed to praying that Cuba somehow steals a point from Canada. And either way, we’d need the win to move on.

  54. cj good says:

    If and when we win tonight and we play el tri in the semi’s will we see Chandler, Morales, Hart, and Altidore? Or will it be this same group?

  55. Withdrawn Striker says:

    I like the 4-4-3 better than the 4-2-3 proposed above!

  56. Benjamin C. says:

    If you have DirecTV, or a friend with it for that matter, Universal Sports Network is on a free trial through April 2. It is on channel 625. Take advantage.

  57. fischy says:

    The benefits of high-altitude training….

  58. Stove says:

    Idk… I would much rather have a 4-4-3 than a 4-3-3 :O

  59. Kelly_Goosecock says:

    Win or lose tonight (or in the semis), the main thing I am taking away from this tournament is the amount of enthusiasm everyone seems to have about our U-23 squad, both good and bad. The AP article about the US losing to Canada has nearly 2,000 comments. During the Olympic qualifiers four years ago, you didn’t see nearly as much interest from anyone other than die-hard soccer fans. I think that speaks volumes about the progress we’ve made as a nation that wants to care more about soccer.

  60. m says:

    This roster is set..no changes until qualifying is done

  61. Joamiq says:

    I think he was responding to the notion of getting him into the Cuba game. There are better ways of using subs in routs like that.

  62. Joamiq says:

    Oddly, I get Universal Sports Network, but not NBC Sports. Dish Network sucks.

  63. fischy says:

    Except then it’s just a back 3, unless you actually name someone to be the 4th.

  64. fischy says:

    mun2 is on Verizon FiOS. Don’t know about cable systems.

  65. Dear Mr. Akron,

    Play Sheannon Williams at right back!

    Sincerely,

    America

  66. TheFrenchOne says:

    if we have another injury and only have 18 abled bodies, then porter can bring in a replacement

  67. Chuck says:

    Universal Sports is local in the Yuma AZ are, channel 13.2 if it helps anyone.

  68. london2012 says:

    If we want to really implement the 4-3-3, with the modern permutations, why not this?

    Gyau——Adu——–Shea
    —-Corona—–Mix——-
    ———Okugo———–
    Vilifana————Sarkodie
    ——Kitchen—-Opara—–

    Adu would serve as a false 9 in this. Boyd has potential and I understand the “need” for a point player, but this is our most efficient line-up. These boys could easily play through El Salvador.What do you think?

  69. Eurosnob says:

    True, but USDA does not permit chebutanol in our beef.

  70. Eurosnob says:

    I meant to say clenbuterol.

  71. 2tone says:

    Mix was fine. On the other hand Jeffrey was not. Mix had to continually come back and help Jeffrey.

  72. mooch says:

    obviously you cant read, okugo is in there as the holding mid to make a 4-3-3

  73. Chuck says:

    Aw no, it changed in January to @sportstv which is utter crapola

  74. Doug says:

    Hmm. I have DISH and I get BOTH Mun2 — Channel 269 — and USN — Channel 402.

  75. Kevin_Amold says:

    You’d be well served to dial down the snark. Keepers get scored on all the time, but both goals showed pretty poor keeping from Hamid, at least in my view. The first was just awful, and I thought he could have punched the cross on the second.

    That said, I think I agree that Hamid should start IF he isn’t damaged psychologically by those errors.

  76. 2tone says:

    Interesting idea. You could also play Shea at CF as well. As long as Bunbury is not out there I will be happy. He totally disrupted the flow of the attack by just standing around waiting for a ball over the top. He had no movement and rarely came back for the ball. All of things that made this offense great was because Juan did all of those things. ther weer times he would drop further back acting like a false #9 allowing Shea to cut in towards goal. There was none of that with Bunbury.

  77. Rory says:

    Enjoy the mall at Legends there across from the stadium Parking lot while Mexico plays El Salvador. You could also hit up the Nebraska Furnature Mart.

  78. rory says:

    NBC plays hardball with the cost of NBCSports… they are currently sending Universal out there to try to build it for the olympic build ups. Not sure why the thought process on one but not the other, but there you go, that’s Comcast/NBC for you… mergers like that lead to weird ideas.

  79. 2tone says:

    oh and Bunbury’s first, second and third touches are horrendous. The dude has a lead foot.

  80. Judging Amy says:

    I rewatched the game yesterday. The team actually started pretty decently. Mix in particular played well. He really keeps the team flowing with his off the ball movement, switching the attack and his quick, intelligent touches.

    After that good start Canada seemed to wear us down a bit and the team as a whole struggled. Mix was relatively decent (although it was a poor performance all around). If anyone looked especially tired to the point of it affecting performance it was Opara, or Bunbury. Boyd (all hype aside) didn’t look too different from Teal in terms of effectiveness. Shea supposedly had a bad game but he created some of the best chances of the night. Gyau turned in another good performance.

    I think Mix may have been tired but Porter probably considers him too essential to the midfield to take him out. I doubt he sits today.

  81. Rory says:

    Someone needs to take one for the team then so we can bring in a stud. Get some advice from the Canadians on how to fake an injury and go down late in the game. Or perhaps that idiot from the American Outlaws section that threw the beer bottle at the goalie can aim for one of our expendible players tonight?

  82. Rlw2020 says:

    +1

  83. PanchoMiguelMoralesdeConejo says:

    Good post.
    Porter was out-coached the last game. I don’t think anyone would have thought Cuba would be tough, but could predict a good game against Canada and what is likely to be a card-fest against El Salvador.

    That Porter wasn’t ready with a 3 game strategy is troubling to me. He got the result he wanted in game one, but wasn’t ready for game two. He’s a smart guy , he’ll realize his mistakes…I just hope he gets a shot to prove me right.

  84. PanchoMiguelMoralesdeConejo says:

    Amy, as usual your post is a very good observation.
    I too doubt that Porter will sit Mix. Still, I think think he should. Mix is/was visibly gassed and for the #8 carrying forward/point of attack that is a tough guy to have slow to react when pressing for a goal.
    If this team is as deep as we think it is, and as deep as Porter has said it is…then he will lose little by starting a Stephens or Okugu at holding midfield, and letting Corona play the #8 and Adu the #10.

  85. Brad says:

    Gyau should start but Shea sucks on the right(no right foot at all). I’d rather play him in the center than on the right. How about this:

    Gyau——Shea——–Adu
    —-Mix—–Corona——-
    ———Okugo———–
    Villifana————Sarkodie
    ——Kitchen—-Opara—–

    Shea has the height to play a target role and could make runs onto the skilled passes of Mix and Corona out of the midfield. We need Gyau’s speed out there to put pressure on the Salvadoran flank.

  86. PanchoMiguelMoralesdeConejo says:

    I don’t trust the backline being able to distribute through the midfield to play Adu as the false 9. It’s cool on paper, but is it only me who is looking at Valentin, Opara and Kitchen dropping in very poor passes to the midfield? I mean, it is almost comical how poor the passing out of the back is.

    The one guy I at least respect out of the back is ‘el Sueno’. I too would start Williams on the right…I want someone who isn’t afraid to tackle someone out there. Valentin is way too soft for me as a fullback. Maybe better at CB..but I’d sit him this game.

  87. PanchoMiguelMoralesdeConejo says:

    Shea with his back to the goal? No way, he is not the kind of player to play a hold up role. Even if he doesn’t have a right foot, I’d play him on the right, his cutbacks to the middle would allow for the RB to come up the wing for the cross. But more importantly, it gets Shea moving toward goal with his ‘on’ foot.

  88. Stove says:

    I agree to an extent, but this is why they’re playing the the U-23s… they’re young. If anyone should be blamed for their over-confidence it should be the coaches in my opinion.

    That being said I think they’ll learn a lot from it and hopefully have a hell-of-a game tonight. Go USA!

  89. bryan says:

    if Canada won the first game, they would be sitting at 6 points before this final game. assuming they beat Cuba, they get 9 points. 7 points if they tie. If the USA beats ES, then we end with 6 points and in 2nd, no matter the result in Canada/Cuba.

    if ES had won the first game, they would be sitting on 6 points before the final game. assuming Canada beats Cuba and the USA beats ES, than ES ends with 6 points (Canada & Cuba), Canada with 6 points (USA & Cuba) and the USA with 6 points (Cuba & ES).

    in our current situation, if we beat ES, then we are good, but the question is 1st or 2nd. we still need Cuba to tie or win at a chance to get 1st.

    unless i am completely wrong in my assessment, having ES and Canada each only get 1 point helps boost our chances of getting 1st, albeit at the control of Canada/Cuba. in scenario #1, we have no chance of getting 1st while in scenario #2 we are relying on GD to break a three way tie. scenario #2 is probably about the same as our current situation.

    probably not as big of a deal as i first thought, but interesting nonetheless.

  90. cj good says:

    Does Aguedelo count? If so do you bring in Jozy or Chandler? I almost like Williams to shore up defense

  91. bryan says:

    absolutely. Caleb was no better. every interview was talking about how technical these players were. and how good their strategy is. i just started getting the feeling they all thought they were Barca or something. but at the same time, i thought Caleb’s media response to the Cuba game was good. so idk, i think they just got ahead of themselves and 2-0 was the result.

    but, like you said, they’re young. i hope to see a much better display tonight.

  92. bryan says:

    yeah, because i’m sure their clubs will do a 180 and let Jozy, Chandler or Williams go…

  93. luke says:

    just saying, even though they would switch frequently regardless, shea would be on the left to begin if him and gyau lined up as the 2 wingers.

  94. Withdrawn Striker says:

    Jeezuz F. Christ, lighten up!

  95. RLW2020 says:

    ————–Boyd—————-
    —Shea——-Corona——Gyau—-
    ———Mixx——–Adu———-
    -Villafana-Kich/Val/Opara-Williams-
    —————Hamid————–

    CF: Boyd needs a full game to show his ability

    LM: Shea his only position he should be at is LM

    RM: Gyau deserves the start but could be used off the bench, if this is the case slide Adu up and bring in Okugo at Adu’s spot

    CMs: Mixx, Adu and Corona can get it done. Jeffery looks beat and Okugo is not as good as the stated 3, offensively at least. I would start Gyau and bring Okugo later once the lead is in hand, but i could understand doing the opposite and starting Okugo, stabilizing the game and then going for it later with either Gyau, Adu, Corona, Shea (whoever doesn’t start)

    FBs: Williams needs to show he is the best RB, watching valentin try to make long throwins and track wingers like Williams can just wasn’t cutting it. Plus he is in form and not exhausted like the others.
    CBs: Up to Porter, none of them have been great, I guess whoever looks most ready.

    GK: Keep Hamid in there, he will bounce back. I believe Johnson could do well (a la Guzan vs. Egypt ’09) but Hamid is the top choice and this is a must win game.. 50/50 i guess I just have more faith in Hamid.

    All in all this game is beyond must win! Don’t hold back anything, if we win we have almost a week off until the semi final game. And there is no way this team shouldn’t be in the Olympics!

  96. RLW2020 says:

    Universal Sports Network = DirecTV 625.

    if you don’t have directv, i recommend it.. 100x better than Comcast or any other inferior tv carrier.

  97. cj good says:

    For one game they might. Promise not to play them in final that does not matter. That is why I could see Williams.

  98. Poter says:

    Listen, the U.S. is going to dominate El Salvador tonight and then , in a close game, beat the frijoleros. It is going to happen. We will not lose at home to the frijoleros. They will have run out of their bean juice by then. ORALEEE!!!

  99. H2Oman says:

    Sitting a player after those errors is prone to do a *&^% of a lot more psychological damage than the errors themselves. ANY competitive athlete wants nothing more than to get back on the field to set the record straight- I’d give my #1 guy that shot any day. If you truly believe he is the better keeper of the two- and I do, you have to stick with him.

  100. As much as I like Shea, he did look exhausted against Canada. I’m also in favor of letting Speed Demon Gyau get the start. Shea could be a very effective sub.

  101. If you don’t get either USN or mun2, you can also watch online for free on CONCACAF.com. Good quality, official streams paired with horrific British commentary by a guy who clearly has never seen any of these players before.

  102. AG says:

    Shea————Corona———–Gyau

    ————–Adu—–Diskerud———-

    ——————Okugo——————–

    Villafana———————–Williams

    ————-Kitchen—Opara————

    —————–Hamid———————

    This front five should have been deployed at halftime Saturday. Though possible, I doubt we’ll see this for the start tonight.

  103. Vic says:

    I don’t think Porter was out coached this last game. We simply lost because of couter attacks. Our younger players are much more skilled and do well with possession. The same thing happened against Guatemala in the U-20s. We dominated possession and still lost. Its different because USA is normally the team with less skill/possession so we’re the ones that counterattack. We are also a little weak on defense. Its unfortunate Chandler and Daniel Williams aren’t available.

  104. thaDeuce says:

    I said it during the cuba game and again during the canada game, playing cuba first really hurt us. The disparity in their play sucked our momentum away. Peaked too high.

    Like how a batter on deck swings a bat with a donut before stepping to the plate, cuba was our anti-donut.

  105. Carlos says:

    Told ya, bro.