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Who will Bob Bradley call in for the Argentina and Paraguay friendlies?
   March 15, 2011 (1:01 AM) by Howie Michaels     Email This Post Email This Post

Argentina’s roster is out, notably missing Carlos Tevez and Sergio Aguero. Lionel Messi is on it for now, although that is also probably in doubt after he suffered an injury in Barcelona’s 1-1 draw with Sevilla yesterday. Of course, even if those three don’t play Argentina’s roster is still stacked.

But what about the home side? What players will Bob Bradley call in for these two matches. Both are FIFA dates, so anyone will be available, but who will he pull away from their clubs? It’s a particularly tough call in this case because Bradley has to juggle preparations for the Gold Cup— the next international date isn’t until June 1, at which point Gold Cup rosters might need to have been set— while trying to maintain good relationships with MLS clubs whose seasons have just begun. In that regard, I could see a somewhat staggered roster with some of the European veterans being released for the Paraguay match.

Goalkeepers: Tim Howard (Everton, England), Brad Guzan (Hull City, England-2), David Yelldell (MSV Duisburg, Germany-2)

Isn’t it weird to see Brad Guzan getting regular matches? He’s doing pretty well, too. Having previously been the number 2 keeper by default, he’s actually making a pretty good case for himself at the position again. Yelldell has been playing lights out at Duisburg. The Zebras probably aren’t going to get promoted— they’re in 7th, nine points behind VfL Bochum with just eight matches remaining— but they very well might be in Europa League next year, with a DFB-Pokal finale against Schalke 04 looming on May 21. I think Yelldell’s play, combined with Guzan’s potential issues this summer (as I understand it, he’s getting married) make him a strong candidate for the #2 spot in June, and this would be a great spot to start.

Defenders: Steve Cherundolo (Hanover 96, Germany), Carlos Bocanegra (St. Etteiene, France), Oguchi Onyweu (FC Twente, Netherlands), Michael Parkhurst (Nordsjælland, Denmark), Eric Lichaj (Leeds United, England-2), Timothy Chandler (FC Nurnberg- Germany), Tim Ream (New York- MLS), Zach Loyd (FC Dallas, MLS), Zak Whitbread (Norwich City, England-2)

With Clarence Goodson’s injury in Denmark, the door is opened to guys like Whitbread or Parkhurst. I think both make it, although I could see Jonathan Bornstein or the MLS flavor of the week getting a shot instead. Parkhurst has been playing well for some time in Denmark, and in terms of looking at a Gold Cup roster is useful because he can play right back in a pinch. Chandler may have some clearance issues, but I think that Bradley would be crazy to not call him if there weren’t any issues, and I don’t think Bob is crazy. The rest of the group is pretty predictable— Ream’s ball skills make him more useful than George John, Omar Gonzalez, etc. in the immediate; Zach Loyd seems to be the next great hope at LB.

Midfielders: Landon Donovan (Los Angeles, MLS), Michael Bradley (Aston Villa, England), Stuart Holden (Bolton Wanderers, England), Jermaine Jones (Blackburn Rovers, England), Maurice Edu (Rangers, Scotland), Mikkel Diskerud (Stabæk, Norway), Benny Feilhaber (AFG, Denmark-2), Alejandro Bedoya (Örebro, Sweden), Jonathan Spector (West Ham United, England)

The more interesting thing here will be how Bob plays the unit: if he goes with a 4-2-3-1, who is sitting in the AM spot? Does he try the inverted triangle 4-3-3 again (more likely against Paraguay)? Who are the 2 CM in a 4-4-2/4-2-2-2?

Forwards: Clint Dempsey (Fulham, England), Jozy Altidore (Bursaspor, Turkey), Edson Buddle (FC Ingolstadt 04, Germany-2)

A position that isn’t exactly deep for the US goes back to being rather shallow with Teal Bunbury of Sporting Kansas City out with an elbow injury and Juan Agudelo likely with the U-20s for qualifying.

Thoughts? Constructive criticism? Have at it.

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Howie Michaels

Howie once received a death threat at a USA-Brazil friendly. He still believes in Fred Adu. He plays forward in coed rec, although not well.

Latest posts by Howie Michaels (see all)

Categories: Alejandro Bedoya, Benny Feilhaber, Brad Guzan, Carlos Bocanegra, Clarence Goodson, Clint Dempsey, David Yelldell, Edson Buddle, Eric Lichaj, Jay DeMerit, Jermaine Jones, Jonathan Bornstein, Juan Agudelo, Landon Donovan, Maurice Edu, Michael Bradley, Michael Parkhurst, Mix Diskerud, Oguchi Onyewu, Steve Cherundolo, Stuart Holden, Teal Bunbury, Tim Ream, Timothy Chandler, US Men's National Team

12 Responses to “Who will Bob Bradley call in for the Argentina and Paraguay friendlies?”

  1. tom says:

    It sucks we can’t see at least one of Bunbury/Agudelo.

  2. Steve Trittschuh says:

    My feelings exactly Tom. Would like to see Sacha Kljestan receive a call-up for these friendlies. He’s seen some good minutes with his club this season and could be useful in an attacking mid role with the USMNT.

  3. daniel says:

    i would be surprised if bradley goes with anything other than a 4-2-3-1. knowing his safety-first approach in big games (this is big for a friendly with the cup approaching) he’s going to want extra defensive reinforcements against an all-attacking side.

    here’s who i want to see start, not who i think will:

    lichaj ream gooch loyd
    bradley jones
    landon holden duece

    bradley just in over edu on potential alone despite not much playing time since the transfer. all due respect to boca and cherundolo, but they’re past it.

  4. Jonathan says:

    Bradley is a great coach and I respect him. I don’t know if I trust his line-up selection, it’s hard to after the World Cup where we saw two leading scorers warm the bench and Robbie Findley’s anemic efforts.

    Won’t be able to adjudicate anything from these friendlies (Argentina & Paraguay), but probably the Gold Cup. I would like to see Dempsey play forward and not withdraw into midfield for the majority of the game. Perhaps Bradley is yet to discover the successful midfield combination to allow for that. Dempsey is an effective midfielder; I see why it happens so often.

    I say all this to say, while Agudelo and Bunbury show promise, Dempsey’s in stellar form + in his prime and Bradley ought to maximize his skill and nose for goal.

  5. Connor Walsh says:

    I can’t really see many, if any MLS guys other than Landon Donovan getting called in here. Start of MLS season takes precedent over two friendlies. Also, Timothy Chandler still has passport issues to settle, which rules him out for these friendlies.

    Here are my 23 guys:
    GK: Howard, Guzan, Cervi

    DF: Cherundolo, Lichaj, Onyewu, Parkhurst, Whitbred, Agbossoumonde, Bocanegra, Bornstein

    MD: Donovan, Bedoya, Bradley, Jones, Holden, Spector, Edu, Kljestan

    FW: Dempsey, Altidore, Johnson, Buddle

  6. Kyle says:

    Can someone explain to me why we can’t run the 4-3-3?


    Everyone knows Landon and Deuce play their best when theyre up high being creative on the wings.

  7. ISMA says:

    i would to see these players in this formation

  8. Jason says:

    First off Grella and Matt Taylor are both garbage, second 4-3-3 is not a good option for Bradley, and third if Michael Bradley starts thats just stupid, he hasn’t played in a while and Edu has shown a lot of promise and is getting a lot of playing time, personally though I’d like to see Freddie Adu get a call up, granted hes played like 3 games, I’d still like to see it. Here’s my projected line-up 4-2-3-1


    Now I know for a fact if Adu made it he wouldn’t start, and Altidore would be playing the lone striker, and Dempsey would be the winger and most likely Bradley is starting… actually though he could do a 4-2-2-2
    I don’t know if thats ever been used, but it might work put Dempsey and Altidore up top and the rest of line-up.

  9. Jason says:

    Oh yeah and the reason he wouldn’t do a 4-3-3 is because Costa Rica gave us the shit stick when we tried it and second its easier to do something like a 4-2-3-1.

  10. Cam says:

    You want Adu to get a call up???…lets not forget he’s playing in the Turkish 2nd division and has played somewhere around 5 games in a year and a half (because he couldn’t even work his way into a substitute role in the Greek league)…I can’t see why he deserves a call up more than someone like Kljestan who will also be just on the cusp of making the team

  11. Matt says:

    This is who I think Bob will play (not who I would want) against Argentina.

    4-2-3-1 (I could also see Dolo and Lichaj flip-flopping)


    Then like Howie mentioned above, I could see some vets like Dolo and Boca being released back to their teams before the Paraguay game.

  12. daniel says:

    guys, i don’t think a 4-3-3 is the right way to go for an international team. you really have to be familiar with your teammates, play together often, and know what they’re going to do a few moves before they get the ball. we’re not up for that. 4-2-3-1 allows for maximum possession while minimizing exposure. that should be our formation. besides, you really think bob bradley of all managers is going to field a formation that requires attacking fullbacks against argentina?

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