Future Lineup of the USMNT

"Grant, listen to your friend Chris Boulay. He's a cool dude."

If you frequent the soccer realms of the Twitterverse, or you happen to enjoy Sports Illustrated, you probably have heard of Grant Wahl, SI’s soccer guy.

He recently posted what he would like to see as the post-Gold Cup roster, and while I agree with most of what he picked, there is a few tweaks that need to be made.

Wahl’s lineup is as follows:

Goalkeeper: Howard
Defenders: Chandler, Gonzalez, Ream, Lichaj
Midfielders: Bradley, Holden, Dempsey, Adu
Forwards: Donovan, Agudelo

Not a bad first team. Not bad at all. (Keeping in mind, this is assuming all players are healthy.)

Thing is, it’s not the best the United States could have. The Yanks can be better and stronger than this. Too bad the roster that is about to hit you should have been done before the Gold Cup and before the Spain match.

Park The Bus’ Lineup

Goalkeeper: Howard
Defenders: Cherundolo, Gonzalez, Ream, Lichaj
Midfielders: Bradley, Holden, Dempsey, Edu
Forwards: Donovan, Altidore

Eight of 11 spots were the same. The typical core of the team right there, except for one exception (mentioned below). Donovan, Holden, Dempsey, Howard and arguably Bradley are what this team depends on. If a majority of this group isn’t in, the team doesn’t win. The other three? Those players will or should become the heart of the defense. Lichaj has shown his talent over the past year and Ream is going to be a talented player. Omar Gonzalez is also promising, and giving him a shot would be a great way to change it up a bit more. Bocanegra would be on the bench, so it’s not as if he dropped off a cliff. Usually it would be Boca, but I want to see three younger kids begin to mesh with each other. The Gold Cup put a bad taste in a lot of supporters’ mouths, partially due to the awful play by the defense. Maybe the start of a new look back four would help the team move on.

Landon is a given in the lineup, but the lackluster performance in the Gold Cup leaves questions elsewhere.

Now the differences:

Cherundolo for Chandler: Steve Cherundolo is the best option on the U.S. wing, even if Chandler is the future.

Edu for Adu: Maurice has been underused lately, and its absurd. Adu showed more of what he could do during this tournament, but is he really able to be thrown into the starting lineup permanently yet? Adu, another bench player that could possibly make the starting lineup at some point. Edu does not get enough credit and needs to be utilized by Bob Bradley, or whatever person manages this side.

Altidore for Agudelo: When was this an option? Why would Jozy be dropped to the bench or worse? If Stu’s not injured, Jozy is one of the healthiest on the side. Altidore looked good this tournament, which was a refreshing sign. Juan Agudelo may be the future, but Altidore has the vote of confidence by this blog.

Wahl did not offer seven bench players, so I will instead.

Goalkeeper: Hahnemann
Defender: Chandler, Bocanegra
Midfielder: Adu, Jones, Bedoya
Forward: Agudelo

Hahnemann is the team’s second-best keeper. There’s no one else that feels right in that spot. Chandler, Bocanegra, Adu and Agudelo were already spoken for. Jermaine Jones played well this tournament and he should be rewarded with more call-ups. Bedoya also impressed, and was one of the final’s few decent performances for the Yanks.

Those that didn’t make the cut:

Johnathan Bornstein doesn’t belong on the squad.
Clarence Goodson is a talent, but there’s too many young center backs to warrant someone like him a spot.
Chris Wondolowski has no business playing on the international stage. He just isn’t made for it. Wondo’s crap. Plain and simple.
Robbie Rogers also has not shown much that would give him any reason whatsoever to be on this squad.
Sacha Kljestan is a good player, but he, much like Goodson, does not fit on this team.
Oguchi Onyewu shouldn’t be on the roster at this point, but that doesn’t mean he should be off forever. After being signed by Sporting C.P., maybe that’s the boost he needs to get back to his old form. For now? Keep him off.
Nick Rimando isn’t as good as Hahnemann, and there are many other keepers that should come before his name on the team sheet.

Who knows what the next couple months have in store, but hopefully some form resembling this lineup becomes the norm with the national team. But if it looks more like Mr. Wahl’s, that’s probably not too bad either.

 

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One response to this post.

  1. Posted by gucci on 07/25/2011 at 17:34

    brad guzan? not even mentioned hes the number 2 and future goal keeper. also you have 3 center mids in edu bradley and holden. that wouldn’t work

    Reply

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