I'd start Torres over Edu at this point, the US seemed to have trouble getting any link to the forwards without him. I'd slot Gomez in as a second half sub up top as well, but other than that I agree. I'm pretty excited after they looked pretty good in the second half today.
Post US-Turkey Starting XI
I made my knee-jerk Starting XI for the US World Cup team once the final roster was announced. Now, it seems only fitting to provide an updated Starting XI after seeing the team play Turkey.
Cherundolo DeMerit Onyewu Bocanegra
Donovan Edu Bradley Dempsey
top subs, Torres, Holden, Goodson
Cherundolo in for Spector: Spector did not have a good day. He was burned a couple times but most noticeably was responsible for the Turkey goal as he took way too many touches before losing the ball at the edge of the 18, starting the counter-attack where Turkey scores. I am all for Spector getting involved in the offense but he needs to be smart about it. Cherundolo was very involved in the US attack during the 2nd half but was cautious enough to not get stuck in the offensive third.
Dempsey for Beasley: I've never been a big fan of Dempsey up top. He has always seemed to be more effective at midfield and making overlapping runs instead of starting up top. Today helps prove that point as he was largely ineffective in the first half yet had 3 or 4 quality chances on goal in the second half.
Findley for Dempsey: This is a tough decision and realistically, Dempsey will be up top to start and Findley (or Buddle) will come in off the bench as a 2nd half sub. I'm willing to throw Findley in the starting XI for now as he was the catalyst on much of the effective play and really was able to link up the midfield and forwards. His speed was even able to rundown and break up a Turkey counterattack. I don't like starting Findley but with Dempsey at outside mid, its hard to find another forward that could step in here.
What about Torres? Torres was magnificent the entire 2nd half. He really showed what he brings to the team and outside of his late freekick going in the goal, I'm not sure what else he could have done to prove his worth. That said, I'm not convinced that he would be as effective over 90 minutes as he is over 30 or 40 minutes. To me, Torres is the ultimate 2nd half sub as he plays with a ton of pace, has a quick strike, and can really change the dynamic of a game in a hurry. So, no starting nod (yet) but he will definitely see the field every game.
I thought that the halftime subs made the difference in the game, especially Torres, Findley, and Cherundolo. I am a firm believer that both Donovan and Dempsey are most effective attacking inside from the wing midfield position with dangerous overlapping runs and that proved true in the 2nd half. Bornstein should never see the field in the world cup. Ever.
I think you might start Edu against England and Torres against the other two teams when you're looking to turn possession into scoring. I've always thought Torres was overlooked -- I remember being livid when he was taken off at the half against Costa Rica -- and if he can play in the 4-4-2 next to Bradley I'd love to see him on.
Also, there's no way Findley starts. Holden should start and they should play Dempsey and Altidore up top.
I don't know much about soccer but I love watching the US soccer team during the World Cup. I thought the energy that Findley brought into the second half changed the whole complexion of the game and made the difference. I know he doesnt have any experience but I would seriously consider starting him. Why not? Dempsey played much more effectively at mid-field in the 2nd half and Findley's speed and aggressiveness really got the team going.
The other player I was really impressed with was Jose Torres. I got the feeling that Brian's not too high on Torres after his post on the Czech game but he looked like a stud out there. If the only thing preventing Torres from starting is a perception that he can't play like that the whole 90, I say start him and give him a chance to prove us wrong.
Onyewu looked a little better and the 2nd half.
Last comment---I disagree with the original poster regarding Spector being responsible for the first goal. He made a nice run and in that situation someone from the back or mid needs to slide over and cover for him. Even still, he ran all the way back and almost made the stop. I thought the goal was more due to Goodson's failure to slide over and help rather than Spector being out of position.
a couple questions from someone who doesn't know much about the USMNT: Other than Altidore who is still pretty raw, we have no experience up front. Would it have been completely ridiculous to give someone like Brian McBride a call? I understand he's 40 or something by now but wouldn't that experience help or is it more of a benefit to give the younger players the opportunity with an eye toward the future? Also, I get the feeling that losing Charlies Davies was big. Is it a lock that he would have made the 23-man roster had he not gotton injured? And who has taken his spot now that he's out?
The result was encouraging today....can't wait for England.
First, Brian is 100% correct on Findley. He played well today doing exactly what he should be doing in South Africa, coming off the bench and providing a spark with his speed/energy. He may have earned the "off the bench" role if we find ourselves behind, but he should not be out there for the full 90 minutes.
I'm curious how Capello will line up his squad against the US. I don't see him dropping either Lampard or Gerrard. If he then plays with two strikers, he will essentially be asking Stevie G to do all the dirty work in midfield (Lampard gets away with being a goal poacher for Chelsea because Makelele, Essien, and Mikel have been around to do the dirty work). I think the US has to play 4-5-1 to have any chance (Turkey almost killed them on the counter attack against two outright strikers, Rooney and Co. would carve us up). If Bradley can find the right mix of three central midfielders, the US may have a chance to control the ball/pace, or at least force Capello to isolate Rooney and bring on someone like Barry or Carrick.
4-5-1 = 4 defenders, 5 midfielders and 1 forward correct? So your saying the US needs to keep 1 more person back against England?
Findlay today, I kept thinking: Arjen Robben with pigment, hair, and Robben's propensity to be overelaborate and late in crossing the ball, but without Robben's left foot and tendency to shoot 90% of the time he gets possession.
I'd prefer Robben.
Positives: Torres, Findlay
Negatives: (really, really negative): Bornstein, Spector. I mean, they are so bad and as always, Bornstein continues to impress at how shockingly below average he is yet still gets PT from Bradley.
Fair Enough: Everyone else. Donovan, Clint, and Jozy did what they had to. I wouldn't say that had good or bad games. They just played to their abilities but didn't excel like they could've.
I think Torres should start in the midfield. He could even play in a formation that utilizes a 5-man midfield but he needs to start so the game can have his full influence. I'd prefer not having 5 in the mid but i'd understand that strategy against England. But at the same time, I think we should be aggressive against England and not get caught up with the big names of their roster. Attack them and keep them honest.
As for Edu, I really like Edu and i'm always pulling for him but IMO he's behind Torres right now. He's just not as fluid as Torres right now and doesn't have the same ability to orchestrate the midfield and offense. Torres brings a sense of compsure to the game that Edu lacks.
And lastly, re: Findlay. His performance today was encouraging on so many levels. He brings the same type of energy that Davies brought and he takes the offensive burden off of Jozy, Clint, and Donovan with his pace and ability to open up the final third. IMO, he's off the bench but he's off early. It was very good to know that we have a 2nd FW who is confident and can create on their own.
Since Dempsey and Donovan are probably more likely to bag goals than any of our non-Altidore strikers, I don't view going 4-5-1 as that big of a sacrifice. I would employ a triangle of Torres plus two of the holding players (Bradley, Edu, Holden) with Dempsey and Donovan flanking Altidore going forward (looking more like a versatile Mourinho 4-3-3 in attack). To me adding Feilhaber (if Dempsey is up top) or one of the other strikers doesn't add much punch to the offense when compared to the defensive gains an extra ball winner would provide. I really think the big weakness of the English is in the middle of the park (especially if it is just Gerrard and Lampard) and I'd like to see us force them to either add another central midfielder or become a stricly long ball team.
Also, the English aren't all that strong defensively. I think a goal or two will be available and I'd rather see us focus on shutting them down so that any US goal scored becomes huge. If we need a goal late we can always drop a ball winner for an extra striker without throwing much out of rythm as well.
To me playing two strikers and trying to attack the English would just get us murdered on the counterattack. Players like Rooney and Walcott on the break with snipers like Gerrard and Lampard in support would have ripped the net to shreds if given the chances Turkey got today.
Well maybe old Bob knows something about soccer after all. Count me as one of the Findlay-over-Ching second guessers that feels a little foolish at the moment.
I've got a big plate of crow warming up in the microwave, but I think I'm not quite ready to eat it yet. If Findlay actually plays like that in the real games I'll be happily chowing down.
As far as the starting 11 goes I always assumed that Dempsey would have to go up front in an effort to get the best 11 guys on the field, and gun to my head I'd still bet that's the case against England. I really wouldn't be shocked though he does put one of the forwards up front and moves Dempsey back. Dempsey's always seemed more comfortable in midfield and the fact that Bradley put 3 faster strikers on the roster over other deserving candidates indicates to me that pairing one of them with Altidore is what he ultimately wants to do.
Did not provide any upside, outside of maybe a leadership argument. Everything you get from Ching is predictable. Including his lack of creativity. I applaud Bradley for having the stones to switch it up and go with different options at forward.
The real winner here overall is U.S. Soccer, for the first time there was serious and meaningful debate regarding having a lack of WC roster spots for talented players. A far cry from where the U.S. squad was even 4 years ago. And part of an exciting youth movement on the team.
I have to mostly agree with your lineup. I was a Spector fan early on, he was whipping in dangerous crosses and has a good pedigree from ManU, but I think he has played his way off the starting 11 lately. I also like what I've seen lately from Goodson, but I don't know if I want him to displace displace Boca or Cherundolo. Boca just has too much experience with us. Dolo has some composure on the ball, but he always seems too small to me. I think I would have him starting though. I like Goodson as the first defender off the bench. I also hope Bornstein (and Kjlestan) don't get off the end of the bench.
I think Findley has done enough to earn a start up front, helped some by the fact I really want to move Dempsey back into the midfield. Over qualifying I've had problems picking a central mid out of Bradley, Feilhaber, and Clark. I'll throw in Edu, but I've barely seen him at all. I'm just trusting the masses. But Torres was winning balls, holding possession, making good passes, and just showing the flair that makes a good central mid.I would consider starting Torres vs Australia to see if he can bring that energy for a full 90. If not he should be the 1st mid sub on. Pick the other central mid out of one of the other 4 guys. At the very least Torres will be a good halftime spark sub.
I was actually getting ready to write off our World Cup chances after the first 20 against Turkey. We didn't do much at all and Donovan, Dempsey, Altidore were non-factors. The way we came on in the 2nd half changed my mind completely.
This may be a silly question, but in the absense of Brian's potential USMNT blog, where do you guys get your information/analysis from?
I like what I saw out of Findley/Torres too but your have to remember that was only one half of soccer. If you recall the game against the Dutch in Amsterdam Findley and Torres were terrible. Lets see what they both can do against Australia before we start predicting their inclusion into the starting line-up against England. If I had to guess, Spector/Demerit/Onyewu/Bocenegra across the back. Donovan/Edu/Bradley/Holden across the middle. Dempsey/Altidore up top.
This makes me happy