Friday, November 16, 2007

"Game" time! (ba-da-bing!)

I kill myself! Anyway, the picture is the MNT on safari in South Africa. I like the pith helmets. More pics available here.

So, on to the match. Scotto's predicted (though not preferred) starting 11:

Again, this is predicted, not preferred. But I think with our dearth of forwards you might see Adu start up top with Dempsey, and he’d be a little withdrawn, almost as a MF. I just don’t see Jozy getting the start in his first call up (unless he has been a beast in training). I do bet Deuce comes out at 60-70 to make way for Jozy, so he and Freddy can try and rekindle their under-20 magic.

As for the MF, I see Bradley continuing the ill-fated “Benny at right MF” test, and probably also gong with the Bradley-Edu pairing again. I could see Sacha maybe working in there as well instead of Benny. I’d normally say Bradley-Edu is overly defensive, but Bradley has been a beast getting forward in the Dutch league, so maybe not.

On D, I’d prefer to see Pearce or Spector on the left, but we all know that Bob has a man-crush on Bornstein, so it won’t happen. And, with the options in the center, no way Gooch doesn’t start. Sigh.

One big bonus to this lineup: possible announcer confusion with “Edu” and “Adu” both playing. Could be riotous, unless they wisen up and start calling Adu “Freddy.”

And, again, looking at this lineup, is Bradley scouting out our Olympic team for Nowak? Or is it just that we have so many promising youngsters available?


Slurpo-san said...

I think our strongest MF has Bradley and Feilhaber paired in the middle, with Donovan and Beasley on the wings. Donovan has played very well out there, and while he may be a bit of a defense liability, Cherundolo is more than capable of making up for it.

and closing the match with Adu and Jozy up front would be an awesome glimpse of the future, especially if, like you said, they can rekindle their U-20 fire.

Scotto said...

I too think that Donovan on the right is what Bradley is thinking for qualifying. Shame he got hurt for this friendly. And, maybe Landon would do better on the right, where the team won't be counting on him to be the primary creative force of the attack. And he could still get free to do his long attacking counterattack runs that he does better than anyone in our team history.

It should prove an interesting qualifying road. I wouldn't be surprised to have another couple of players not currently on the radar pop up as well. Say someone like Parkhurst goes to Europe and really develops. We could have some interesting choices, and players like Landon might be best utilized out of their normal or preferred positions.

Slurpo-san said...

concur on the unknown players popping up--before WC02 I really had no idea about Beasley or Donovan, and likewise EJ came out of nowhere in qualifying for WC06 (and quickly and unceremoniously returned to "nowhere", it would seem).

hopefully Donovan will get fit and we'll have a more or less full complement for qualifying, which I believe starts in Spring 08. but every team will always have injury issues, so our ability to develop strength in depth--as other major powers have--will determine our ability to excel on the world stage.