England’s superiority complex is larger than their beer gut.
After my knee-jerk Starting XI, and my Post US-Turkey Starting XI, it is time for a final look at my proposed lineup for this Saturday. Nothing really changed for me as the game itself was not very telling with both teams playing not to get hurt and adjusting to the altitude and weather.
Cherundolo DeMerit Onyewu Bocanegra
Donovan Edu Bradley Dempsey
top subs, Torres, Holden, Goodson
Still Findley up top? Yes, still Findley up top. Dempsey is much more effective on the wing mid (as is Donovan) and having the speed forward paired with a holding forward is a very lethal combination. Dempsey and Donovan on the wings makes the opposing fullbacks conscious about their runs down the flanks which, in turn, opens up the middle of field for Altidore to check into and Findley to make through runs behind. This causes havoc for the defense and opens seems for players to run through unmarked. Dempsey is a better forward than Findley. Buddle is a better forward than Findley. Donovan is a better forward than Findley. Heck, Gomez may be a better forward than Findley. However, Findley is the only one of that group that has the speed to play the counterpart to Altidore. Even though he didn't capitalize, he showed how effective it is and should have easily had at least 2 goals because of it. On a different day with a nicer pitch, maybe he nets both of those.
Neither Australia or the US seemed to care much about this game so to get a 3-1 result is mildly encouraging with Buddle playing the Altidore role very well. It is very likely that we see significant changes in the lineup between the England and Slovenia games due to their difference in both skill and style of play. The most largely contested point here is going to be Findley and I firmly believe he will be on the field at kickoff Saturday and relieved around the 70 minute mark with the score determining who comes on.
In a reversal of roles for most sports, the United States is the underdog in this match and we will have the world on our side. I hate England. I think we pull this one off 2-1 and soccer takes over the country forever. Well, maybe not the last part.