Since it’s the eve of our clash with Brazil, it only seems right to throw out our ideal line-up. If for no other reason, it will give us the right to say “I told you so” in the event of a loss tomorrow. If we win, on the other hand, we will obviously never speak of this again. Ever.
Some thoughts on the lineup:
-Carlos Bocanegra enjoyed a successful season at Rennes as a left back. Since we seem to have trouble finding a left back who can both attack and defend (then there’s Heath Pearce who can’t seem to do either particularly well), slotting in Bocanegra seems like an ideal solution. Obviously we have to sacrifice our best center-back tandem, but Jay DeMerit’s recent performances against Italy and Honduras have shown that he’s a strong and capable defender. The only other drawback is the loss of Bornstein’s pace. While Bornstein is a bit better on the offensive side of the ball, Bocanegra is undoubtedly a stronger defender–something that will obviously be important against Brazil’s potent attack. This would be the most defensively-sound back four we’ve fielded in recent memory, and hopefully it would allow us to take a slightly more offensive approach in the center of midfield. This leads me to my next point…
-As I am not a fan of the 4-5-1 formation, the only real question I had about the midfield was “Torres or Feilhaber?” While Benny’s solid defensive presence would be a plus in this game, he simply didn’t show enough against Italy. Torres would offer better distribution and attacking presence, picking out the inevitable holes in this attack-happy team’s defense.
-While I’d probably rather start Ching/Altidore or Ching/Davies up top, this is obviously not an option. Altidore and Davies have the speed and nose for goal that Ching lacks, but neither has Ching’s ability to win balls, hold, distribute, and draw fouls. Altidore put in a solid performance against Italy, and while I still don’t think he’s an ideal target man, I have confidence he can fill the role effectively enough. I’d be very happy to see this duo–even though there’s a chance they’d be ineffective for the aforementioned reasons, I think it’s more likely (if used properly) that they could burn Brazil’s defense pretty badly, especially if we get some good offensive play out of the central midfield (again, a reason for Torres).
Enjoy the game and be sure to check back tomorrow for post-game thoughts and our Man of the Match (with illustration!). Until then…
U! S! A! All! The! Way!
Filed under: Match Preview | Tagged: 6/18/09, Altidore, Benny Feilhaber, bob bradley, brazil, Brian Ching, Carlos Bocanegra, Charlie Davies, clint dempsey, confederations cup, Jay Demerit, Jonathan Bornstein, Jonathan Spector, Jose Francisco Torres, Landon Donovan, Michael Bradley, Oguchi Onyewu, Phil Spector, soccer, Tim Howard, usa, usmnt |