Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Annother Minnow To Beat Up On

So, in about six hours the US team will take on Trinidad and Tobago in first round World Cup qualifying after tallying a wins in Cuba and Guatemala. A win tonight in Chicago would give the USA nine points and all but assure a trip to the CONCACAF final six.

Not to disrespect T&T, who put forth a fine effort in the 2006 World Cup (nearly nicking a point from England) but they aren't quite the same squad these days under Francisco Maturana. Now that the recalled Dwight Yorke is not available due to injury, the Trinidadians won't be able to threaten Tim Howard's goal much during the run of play, although with their team speed, they will make the USA work for 90 minutes.

The US team still needs to generate more offensive punch - something they should be able to do against the minnows of the region. That is why, given their lack of goal production, I'm scratching my head why coach Bob Bradley continues to call in Brian Ching and Eddie Johnson. Of course, Jozy Altidore and Freddy Adu need time to get integrated with their new clubs so Bradley is left with few other options aside from the usual forwards in Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey. Still, it would be nice to see some younger players get a try.

I predict a workman-like 2-0 win for the USA with goals from Dempsey and DaMarcus Beasley.

The complete US lineup:

Goalkeepers (2): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa, England), Tim Howard (Everton FC, England).

Defenders (8): Carlos Bocanegra (Rennes, France), Danny Califf (FC Midtjylland, Denmark), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96, Germany), Frankie Hejduk (Columbus Crew, Major League Soccer), Oguchi Onyewu (Standard de Liège, Belgium), Michael Orozco (San Luis, Mexico), Heath Pearce (Hansa Rostock, Germany), Marvell Wynne (Toronto FC, MLS).

Midfielders: DaMarcus Beasley (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland), Michael Bradley (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Ricardo Clark (Houston Dynamo, MLS), Maurice Edu (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland), Sacha Kljestan (Chivas USA, MLS), Eddie Lewis (Los Angeles Galaxy, MLS).

Forwards (4): Brian Ching (Houston, MLS), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles, MLS), Clint Dempsey (Fulham FC, England), Eddie Johnson (Cardiff City, England).

No comments: