USMNT / World Cup / World Cup - International

The US National Team in South Africa

What do you think is the best line up and formation for the US National Team this summer with Charlie Davies and Oguchi Onyewu not available? My take.

Team Roster:

Goalkeepers: Tim Howard, Brad Guzan, Marcus Hahnemann

Defenders: Carlos Bocanegra, Jonathan Spector, Steve Cherundolo, Jay Demerit, Edgar Castillo, Chad Marshall, Jonathan Bornstein, Frankie Hejduk

Midfielders: Michael Bradley, Ricardo Clark, Benny Feilhaber, Stuart Holden, Jose Francisco Torres, Jermaine Jones, Landon Donovan, Clint Dempsey

Forwards: Jozy Altidore, Conor Casey, Eddie Johnson, Jeff Cunningham

Formations:

4-4-2

1st Team

—————————-Jozy Altidore————-Clint Dempsey—————————————-

——————————————————————————————————————-

Benny Feilhaber————Michael Bradley————-Ricardo Clark————Landon Donovan

——————————————————————————————————————-

Carlos Bocanegra———-Jay DeMerit————-Jonathan Spector———-Steve Cherundolo

——————————————————————————————————————-

————————————————-Tim Howard—————————————————

2nd Team

—————————-Conor Casey————-Jeff Cunningham————————————–

——————————————————————————————————————-

Jonathan Bornstein—— Jose Francisco Torres ———Jermaine Jones———-Stuart Holden

——————————————————————————————————————-

Edgar Castillo———–Carlos Bocanegra—————–Chad Marshall———-Frankie Hejduk

——————————————————————————————————————-

————————————————-Brad Guzan—————————————————

4-4-1-1

1st Team

———————————————–Jozy Altidore—————————————————-

———————————————Landon Donovan————————————————–

Benny Feilhaber————-Michael Bradley————-Ricardo Clark———–Clint Dempsey

——————————————————————————————————————–

Carlos Bocanegra———–Jay DeMerit————-Jonathan Spector——–Steve Cherundolo

——————————————————————————————————————-

————————————————-Tim Howard—————————————————

2nd Team

———————————————–Conor Casey—————————————————-

———————————————Clint Dempsey————————————————–

Jonathan Bornstein——Jose Francisco Torres———–Jermaine Jones———Stuart Holden

——————————————————————————————————————–

Edgar Castillo———– Carlos Bocanegra————Jonathan Spector———-Frankie Hejduk

——————————————————————————————————————-

————————————————-Brad Guzan—————————————————

Analysis:

Without Charlie Davies and most likely Oguchi Onyewu, the US team is probably not as strong. However, I still think that the US can put out a strong team that would be capable of making it out of the group stages. The question is, who should go to South Africa and which formation would be the best?

It seems to me that the US has played well with a 4-4-2 formation, but I feel that a 4-4-1-1 formation may be the most appropriate for the US. With the 4-4-1-1, you can slot Landon Donovan in the center of the pitch near to the goal, where he is most dangerous. He can also supply the type of pace that Charlie Daveis brought closer to the goal than if he were on the left or the right of midfield. In addition we don’t really have many strong forwards, but we do seem to have some stronger midfielders. This formation allows us to add one more midfielder, who might be better than another possible forward, so we have a stronger 11 on the field. In addition with this formation it will be easier to squeeze the space in midfield, which might allow us to keep better possession.

Of course the 4-4-2 formation makes the team more balanced by putting more pressure on the opposing team’s defense. In addition Jozy Altidore has not done well without a strong supporting forward up top next to him. If we put Clint Dempsey up top with Jozy Altidore, then again we end up putting in an extra midfielder at the cost of a less valuable forward like Eddie Johnson, Jeff Cunningham, or Conor Casey. In addition, Clint Dempsey has a nose for goal and has played better for the US when used as a forward. He is also good in the air. Unfortunately, I think that the US will still struggle to maintain possession without a fifth midfielder.

With either formation I still think that the US will need to play a counterattacking style, rather than a possession game because the skill level just isn’t there for the US. I would expect that the US would yield a high percentage of possession to the opposing team’s defense. The hope would be that the opposing team wouldn’t be able to play through the middle and would have to resort to playing longballs. I think we have a good ability to score on the counter with players like Landon Donovan, Jozy Altidore, and Clint Dempsey.

As for particular positions, I like Benny Feilhaber on the left because he is a complete player even if he doesn’t possess great speed. Beyond that I think Jose Francisco Torres is not as strong as Benny Feilhaber, Michael Bradley, or Ricardo Clark.

I also like Carlos Bocanegra on the left with Jay DeMerit and Jonathan Spector in the middle of the defense. Steve Cherundolo is great on the right, Jonathan Spector plays best in the center, and Jay DeMerit is about the same as Carlos Bocanegra in the center. In addition Carlos Bocanegra is better than Bornstein or Castillo on the left even if he lacks speed. So what do you think?

Posted via web from The Philly Soccer Page

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