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

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?

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  1. Javier

    July 30, 2008 at 12:10 pm

    mccarty is a good counter attacking option.

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

  2. bandeeto

    July 27, 2008 at 8:21 am

    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.

  3. huhfd

    July 27, 2008 at 1:25 am

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

  4. kartik

    July 26, 2008 at 11:03 pm

    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.

  5. Flash

    July 26, 2008 at 8:46 pm

    How can anyone disagree with Benny Bites?

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

    Second half sub or starting right back?

  6. Benny Bites

    July 25, 2008 at 3:12 pm

    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?

  7. Kiwi Yank

    July 25, 2008 at 6:46 am

    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.

  8. kartik

    July 24, 2008 at 8:32 pm

    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.

  9. eplnfl

    July 24, 2008 at 7:57 pm

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

  10. W27

    July 24, 2008 at 5:05 pm


    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?

  11. Ryan

    July 24, 2008 at 4:47 pm

    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.

  12. NJ

    July 24, 2008 at 3:29 pm

    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).

  13. Roger

    July 24, 2008 at 3:15 pm

    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?

  14. Phillip

    July 24, 2008 at 1:55 pm

    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.

  15. kartik

    July 24, 2008 at 1:38 pm

    Thanks Phillip!

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

  16. Phillip

    July 24, 2008 at 1:33 pm

    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?

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