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McCarty Replaces Sturgis: US Olympic Team Thoughts (Updated Friday)

dax mccarty 300x240 McCarty Replaces Sturgis: US Olympic Team Thoughts (Updated Friday)

Dax McCarty from

Peter Nowak swapped one Floridian for another as Dax McCarty replaces the injured Nathan Sturgis on the US squad. This leaves Nowak with only four natural defenders on the squad which leaves for Hong Kong and pre Olympic training tomorrow. The swap also gives Nowak more options in the midfield. McCarty and Strugis have both been solid performers for the US youth national teams recently unlike some other choices to the Olympic team, namely Benny Feilhaber. By picking one and not the other for his initial squad, Nowak made room for Feilhaber but essentially cut the number of defenders.

With this in mind should Nowak play a 3-5-2 or 3-2-2-1-2 in the Olympics? Is the 4-4-2 or the 4-5-1 not a feasible option for this side as reconstructed after Sturgis injury?

Here are some ideas:



Kljestan—————————— Rogers———-



Or how about this?



————– —Bradley—————————




If you go with the more defensive look outlined on top Dax McCarty replaces Danny Szetela who has a propensity to give the ball away when pressured and Robbie Rogers replaces Stuart Holden to help stimulate the attack. The lineup on the bottom trusts Michael Bradley to clean up in front of the back line and for Danny Szetela and Stuart Holden to know when they must drop back allowing Bradley to step up and join the attack. Marvell Wynne is the one viable option of the bench on the backline and he is right footed and sometimes gets caught pushing too far forward. Another possibility is to play Stuart Holden at left back and stick play a 4-4-2. If this is done I’d expect Danny Szetela to head to the bench, Marvell Wynne to replace Mo Edu at right back, and Edu to replace Michael Orozco in the lineup and Robbie Rogers to play wide on the left side. That would also effectively make Charlie Davies the only pure attacking option off the bench. Here is how that lineup would look:







Thoughts? What was the point of Benny Felihaber’s selection with any of these tactical alignments?

This entry was posted in Leagues: Major League Soccer, U-23 Team. Bookmark the permalink.

About Kartik Krishnaiyer

A lifelong lover of soccer, the beautiful game, he served from January 2010 until May 2013 as the Director of Communications and Public Relations for the North American Soccer League (NASL). Raised on the Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the old NASL, Krishnaiyer previously hosted the American Soccer Show on the Champions Soccer Radio Network, the Major League Soccer Talk podcast and the EPL Talk Podcast. His soccer writing has been featured by several media outlets including The Guardian and The Telegraph. He is the author of the book Blue With Envy about Manchester City FC.
View all posts by Kartik Krishnaiyer →

16 Responses to McCarty Replaces Sturgis: US Olympic Team Thoughts (Updated Friday)

  1. Phillip says:

    I don’t think Wynne is good enough to play in a 3 man back line.

    What about Parkhurst? You just leaving him out Kartik?

  2. kartik says:

    Thanks Phillip!

    Great catch, and my apologies to everyone for that awful oversight.

  3. Phillip says:

    Yeah, no problem…

    I think Wynne only plays if we go to a 4 man back line.

    I personally like the second lineup, and would expect Rogers to come on at about 60′ for McBride.

  4. Roger says:

    I would bring on Davies before Rogers actually. If it’s late in the game the speed and counter attacking quality of Davies trumps that of Rogers whose play with Columbus has been solid but more due to playing with Schelotto than any other factor.

    I like the second lineup better also otherwise.

    So no 4-4-2 for sure?

  5. NJ says:

    They used Edu in the back for the qualifying and most likely will continue to so. So most likely continue to see 4 in the back but Wynne will be the odd man out, with Ianni, Orozco, Edu, and Parkhurst.

    I also hope we see our fair share of Holden, during qualifying, he looked like one of the most dangerous players on the pitch (ex Adu).

  6. Ryan says:

    Leaving Wynne out of a 4 man back line while including Ianni would be a bad move, imo. Almost any 4 man back line is going to include Wynne at right back, and will probably feature Parkhurst and Edu in center with Orozco as the left back.

    Also, says that Michael Harrington is taking Dax’s spot on the reserve squad, so if we see any player go down I’d expect to see him swooping in to help at left back, push Orozco into center and run a competent 3 man back line with Parkhurst.

  7. W27 says:


    Are you kidding me?

    Hoe can he be part of this team?

    The guy is freaking no talent, undersized nothing!

    Kartik, is this a practical joke by you?

  8. eplnfl says:

    I have always enjoyed watching McCarty, so glad he’s on the team.

  9. kartik says:

    I like McCarty alot. He’s been a great support player in the US setup and plays extremely well with Freddy Adu. With FC Dallas he hasn’t impressed: he may go down as one of those guys who is better for country than club. Sturgis is actually similar in that regard.

  10. Kiwi Yank says:

    The decision to select Feilhaber looks even worse now after a week of relflection than it did at the time when everyone was upset about it.

    In a crowded midfield he has no role to play and we are down to four natural defenders.

    Well done, Nowak.

  11. Benny Bites says:

    You know what guys.

    The only reason we are in the position of having too few defenders is that Feilhaber all cocky with his new Anglocized belief that since he took up space on a Premiership squad he is better than any other American was selected for the team instead of Sean Franklin or dare I say it, Mike Randolph?

    Do you find any irony in the fact that Benny now will likely not see the field because it must be assumed McCarty will play ahead of him?

  12. Flash says:

    How can anyone disagree with Benny Bites?

    Seriously, what will Marvell Wynne’s role be, Kartik?

    Second half sub or starting right back?

  13. kartik says:

    Well Flash if we play a 4-4-2 I’d guess he’s starts at right back. If we play with a three man backline, my guess is that he comes off the bench. Wynne’s positioning isn’t the greatest but he has outstanding closing speed and can join the attack and make an impact.

  14. huhfd says:

    McCarty is awful. He will be by far the worst player on the team and maybe in the whole tourney

  15. bandeeto says:

    I expect Feilhaber will give McCarty some competition for the Least-Needed-Player category.

    At least McCarty plays withy some husstle. Feilhaber just coast half the time he’s on the pitch.

  16. Javier says:

    mccarty is a good counter attacking option.

    holland isn’t that strong. we can beat them!

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