Wednesday, July 15, 2009

WC 2010 US Lineup Prediction

After the biggest non-WC performance to this date by the US soccer team vs Spain, I'm going to predict the 23 man squad one year in advance, starters denoted by (S).

Goalkeepers: Tim Howard (S), Guzan, Perkins

Howard is our undisputed number 1 and possibly our best player overall. Guzan is a favorite of Bradley even though he didn't get an PT last year. Personally, I would prefer Hahnemann as a veteran leader.

Defenders: Cherundolo(S), Onyewu(S), DeMerit(S), Bocanegra (S), Spector, Marshall, Bornstein, Heydude

If Dolo stays healthy, his experience and speed earns him the nod over Spector. However, Spector is likely our future RB as well as a capable backup to other defensive slots. Left back Edgar Castillo seems to be a prima donna off the field and hasn't played well enough to make us overlook it. I doubt he'd be called in for qualifiers unless he turn it around in a hurry. However, he seems to have the talent to start, (troubling rumors of defensive liabilities aside), especially at the hole known as US Soccer's LB. Bocanegra seems to be too slow there while Bornstein doesn't inspire confidence either, so Boca is my guess since, you know, he's the captain and all. The search continues...

Midfielders: Dempsey (S), Bradley (S), Jones (S), Donovan (S), Feilhaber, Edu, Holden, Torres, Beasley

Dempsey, Donovan and Bradley should be and currently are entrenched as starters for next summer. I'm tired of hearing complaints of nepotism against Bradley Jr. - we have no other box to box central midfielder who has started and produced in a top-level european league in our entire pool like he has. Hopefully that will change when Jermaine Jones enters the fray. He has been rated among the best defensive midfielders in the Bundesliga and as long as he leaves his ego behind in Deutschland, he should start immediately. I personally think Feilhaber is our most creative midfield playmaker and should contend for a starting spot as well, as long as he plays consistently this year. Edu is Jones' backup while Torres and Holden can provide cover for multiple midfield positions. I expect Beasley to work hard after this summer's debacle and regain his form and hopefully speed. Bradley will give him a chance if that's the case. If not, Rogers or Szetela may get a call.

Forwards: Jozy (S), Davies (S), Ching

Davies' vast improvement this summer merits him the start next to Jozy. Ching deserves to make the trip and will likely be counted upon as well. I would only take 3 "forwards" since Dempsey and Donovan can both play up top as necessary. Casey, Cooper, and every other MLS pretender haven't shown any real value to the MNT. Former anointed savior of US forwards, Eddie Johnson, can possibly put himself back on the radar with a strong showing at Fulham this year but I wouldn't count on it. Maybe Brian McBride would be willing to answer the call? As for Adu, he has disappointed at the club and international level so far, and until he gets PT at Monaco, he will likely not make the trip to South Africa.

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