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Matchday: US v Barbados

Well the time for preparation is over. Today the United States begins World Cup qualifying and results now do now matter. The style and performances of the last three friendlies have been dissected and pulled apart, on this web page and others, but now is the time to finally determine whether the United States is making strides towards what was a stated goal many years ago to win the World Cup in 2010.

Obviously the United States will not win the World Cup in 2010. However, the ambition for US Soccer laid out by Carlos Queiroz in the “Q-Report” has yet to be realized. Between 1990 and 2003, it seemed that even through setbacks, the general standard of American soccer and skill of American players was improving. Since 2003, that belief has faded and real questions have been asked of the powers that be at US Soccer. As access to the game has increased, so has the criticism of the US National Team. Today Bob Bradley is under greater fire than any US National Team coach before him, including Steve Sampson and Bruce Arena in the wake of World Cup debacles.

It seems the American sporting culture while not embracing soccer with the enthusiasm we would all like to see, has kept a watchful eye on the US National Team since 2006, and this has made Bradley’s tenure more pressure filled than any previous coach of the US team has faced. This is a good thing as we move forward, but unlike in the past merely qualifying for the World Cup will not be acceptable to many. For progress to be demonstrated and the game to continue to grow here in the U.S. fans will want to see good results and attractive football. Is this a fair standard? Probably not, but that is where we are in the U.S. circa 2008 with regards to our national team.

With that in mind here is what I feel will be the most effective lineup for today’s qualifier in Carson, CA.

——————————-Howard—————————————-

Cherundolo————Onyewu—————–Bocanegra———–Pearce–

————————Mastroeni————–Edu—————————

Donovan————————————————————–Lewis—-

———————————-Adu——————————————

———————————Johnson—————————————

I have seen much written about Brian Ching perhaps getting the start ahead of Eddie Johnson. While Ching provides the target player that can be effective in qualifiers on the road in Central America, Eddie Johnson has a remarkable goal scoring record in World Cup qualifying. I’d give him one last shot today to see if in qualifying, he can rekindle the magic of the last qualifying cycle.

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12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. eplnfl

    June 15, 2008 at 9:21 pm

    Well, it was 8-0. I guess that will do. When does qualifying start? Bradley’s job is safe for a week or two!

  2. LH

    June 15, 2008 at 8:20 pm

    What a game boys!

    We came out flying.

    Changing the lineup and inserting Ching worked.

    What team in the Euros has shown so much quality in the final third.

    We attacked and when we have that mentality we can beat anybody in the world. Anybody.

  3. Hudsonland

    June 15, 2008 at 8:20 pm

    Cheers.

  4. Berlin

    June 15, 2008 at 8:11 pm

    Injury. Ruiz is still a flopping poacher. 8-0, no bucket, and a Ching hatty (what own goal?). I’ll take it.

  5. elopingcamel

    June 15, 2008 at 8:07 pm

    Hudsonland, they were reporting a back injury to Howard and stating that as the reason for Guzan getting the nod (they also commented on the injury not being too serious, but against Barbados there is no point in risking complications).

    Fandom, How did Bradley do? 8-0 for the home leg ain’t too bad. I’m not saying that he is US Soccer’s savior, but he seems to have done a pretty decent job up until now (with what he has to work with), and seems to be ridiculed at every decision. Do I disagree with many of his decision? Yes, but I also think that overall he has done a pretty good job.

  6. Hudsonland

    June 15, 2008 at 7:52 pm

    I don’t follow USMNT closely, so maybe there’s an obvious answer of which I am unaware, but why Guzan instead of Howard after Tim’s performance against Argentina?

  7. Fandom

    June 15, 2008 at 3:25 pm

    Bradley is a fool. If we win by a scoreline less than the 7-0 we beat Barbados by last time here he needs to be fired before the next set of qualifiers.

  8. Keep it simple stupid

    June 15, 2008 at 2:11 pm

    Very funny Chivas sux.

    Who replaces Jozy? Eddie Johnson?

  9. CHIVAS SUX

    June 15, 2008 at 2:00 pm

    Freddy Adu will be blamed for affecting M. Bradley’s play from the bench and dropped from the national team forever. He will be replaced by Sacha Kljestan.

    Pablo is to attack minded for a defensive midfielder. Bradley asks his kids buddy Jonathan Spector to forgo surgery and join the nats for the August qualifiers.

    Heath Pearce commits a foul and is dropped forever and replaced by Johnathan Bornstien.

    Tim Howard will be blamed for not joining the attack and Brad Guzan becomes the US #1. US #2 Dom Cervi and #3 Chris Seitz don’t get a game between them in the club ranks but both do their duty and serve the national team as training keepers and are eventually offered contracts to be full time training dummies with the national team.

    Oh and Landon Donovan………..dropped in favor of Josh Wolff going forward. Who needs a player that tries to score goals and has some individual skill?

    Not in Bradley’s world.

    Welcome to Bradley’s world where anyone who played for him gets favor over anyone who didn’t have the honor of dawning Chivas or Chicago Fire red.

  10. Johnny

    June 15, 2008 at 1:43 pm

    Good piece. We certainly aren’t coming close to the lofty expectations we are entitled to have after a good run in the 1999 Confederations Cup including a win over Germany and of course World Cup 2002.

    I am not happy at all with the progress of the team and today will only mean anything if we choke it away which won’t happen.

    Ruiz scoring 4 goals for Guatemala regardless of the opponent should put us on notice. They are going to be tougher than ever. MLS has helped him become a better all around striker not just the flopping poacher he was before he came here.

  11. Lee

    June 15, 2008 at 12:45 pm

    I meant the hubris.

  12. Lee

    June 15, 2008 at 12:41 pm

    This blog simply reminds me of the failed promise of so many people, the hibris of US Soccer for years and the harsh reality we now face. Things are not good right now.

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