Wednesday, November 14, 2007

USA v. South Africa

I know this weekend is the finals of the MLS Cup. But I'm more excited (as I always am) about the national team match, even though it's against an opponent I know practically nothing about.

Match details: Nov. 17 in Johannesburg. Kickoff for the "2007 Nelson Mandela Challenge Cup" is set for 4 p.m. local time (9 a.m. ET), and the match will be broadcast live on Fox Soccer Channel and Galavision. Sweet.

The MNT Blog that U.S. Soccer runs whenever the Nats play is actually pretty interesting this go round. (Good story of Adu running in to a Benfica supporter on an elevator.)
Yet, hands down, the best part of this weekends game? It could mark Jozy Altidore's senior national team debut!!! The time has finally come. Let Jozy's conquering of world football begin.
Player pool:
Goalkeepers: Brad Guzan (Chivas USA), Tim Howard (Everton, England)

Defenders: Carlos Bocanegra (Fulham, England), Jonathan Bornstein (Chivas USA), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover, Germany), Dan Califf (Aalborg, Denmark), Oguchi Onyewu (Standard Liege, Belgium), Jonathan Spector (West Ham), Heath Pearce (wherever it is he plays, which I can't recall at the moment).

Midfielders: Freddy Adu (Benfica, Portugal), DaMarcus Beasley (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland), Michael Bradley (Heerenveen, Netherlands), Maurice Edu (Toronto), Benny Feilhaber (Derby, England), Sacha Kljestan (Chivas USA)

Forwards: Jozy Altidore (New York), Clint Dempsey (Fulham, England)
My guess on the starting 11 later in the week, but a decent chance Adu could get a start.


Slurpo-san said...

That's quite a trek for a friendly, which may explain why the majority of players are Euro-based. Even then, South Afrca is still a hike from Europe.

Glad to see Jozy finally get the call. I'll also be interested to see Benny in action--if he plays we can be certain that the issue at Derby isn't injury-related.

folks missing from Scott-o's player pool: Eddie Lewis and Landon Donovan.

I'd like to see this starting 11:
Howard in goal; Charlie Black-Mouth, Cherundolo, Pearce and anyone other than Oguchi in defense; Beasley, Bradley, Feilhaber and Donovan in the MF; Dempsey and Altidore up front, and then bring Edu and Adu off the bench. Unlikely however that Jozy gets the start...he'll likely come off the bench.

the USMNT still has a crying need for a target man--you know things are bad when I'm wishing Ching were available! Whither Kenny Cooper?

Scotto said...

Landon is out with a calf strain, and Derby is keeping Lewise there (Davies doesn't want him making the long trip; curiously, he wants Benny to go to get soe minutes).

Slurpo-san said...

that's what I get for not keeping up with things. And no replacements were named? Very curious, Davies' comments on Lewis and Feilhaber. I didn't realize Lewis was the apparent key to Derby staying up!)

Scotto said...

The replacements were Pearce and Spector.

This is how Adu could end up getting a start--replacing a MF and a MF/F with two defenders leaves some space to be filled. Adu might make some sense. Or better yet, Jozy!

Jozy! Jozy! Jozy!

Scotto said...

One more note: Good Int'l Herald Tribune stroy on Adu and Jozy: