Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
Is Castillo answer at left back?
by Paul Kennedy, September 8th, 2009 7AM
Subscribe to Soccer America Daily

MOST READ

MOST COMMENTED

[USA] U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati's statement at halftime of Saturday's USA-El Salvador game that Edgar Castillo had been cleared by FIFA to represent the United States at the senior national team level was certainly coincidental. A poor outing at left back by Jonathan Bornstein -- one of four players whom Coach Bob Bradley has used at the position in seven Hexagonal games -- only increases the likelihood that Castillo, a natural left back, might get a shot.

It won't be before October that Castillo might get a call-up. But he has made a case for getting his shot by playing well for Tigres in Mexico's First Division since moving on loan from Club America this summer and being reunited with Coach Daniel Guzman.

Castillo had a shot at playing for Mexico's Tri in World Cup qualifying -- which would have precluded his ever playing for the USA -- but he lost his passport and never made it to Honduras for the 3-1 loss that cost Sven-Goran Eriksson his job in April.

Bradley has used Heath Pearce, DaMarcus Beasley, Carlos Bocanegra and Bornstein at left back -- none for more than two games.

Whom Bradley uses on Wednesday against Trinidad & Tobago remains to be seen. With Oguchi Onyewu back from suspension, Bocanegra could slide back to left back -- where he plays for French club Rennes and where he has started for the national team since the Confederations Cup.

But with Jay Demerit again unavailable -- Conor Casey was the only other player from the original 22 not on Monday's flight to Port of Spain -- that would mean Chad Marshall would probably keep his spot in the middle of the defense alongside Onyewu against the Soca Warriors if Bocanegra moves to the left side.

Left back has been a problem spot on the U.S. national team for more almost a decade.

Frenchman David Regis held the job through qualifying for the 2002 World Cup but lost his starting job in South Korea, where Frankie Hejduk was the unlikely fill-in for most of the USA's run to the quarterfinals.

Eddie Lewis was the stand-in at left back when no one grabbed the job in 2006, but that experiment was exposed during the disastrous 3-0 loss to the Czech Republic that opened the 2006 World Cup, and Bocanegra took over for the next two games against Italy and Ghana.

What makes the left-back job increasingly tricky in the U.S. scheme -- and why Bradley would be very reluctant to try Castillo there during qualifying -- is that Landon Donovan has moved to the left side of midfield since the emergence of Charlie Davies in Donovan's former position as the second forward.

The switch gives Donovan more opportunities to see the ball and take on defenders. Against El Salvador, he was given plenty of freedom to move forward -- he set up both goals in the 2-1 U.S. win with pinpoint passes -- but it put enormous pressure on Bornstein to man the left side with help from midfielders Michael Bradley or Benny Feilhaber providing cover. But with Michael Bradley in particular often moving deep into the Salvadoran area, Bornstein had lots of space to cover.

Whoever is at left back -- Bornstein, Bocanegra or perhaps Castillo -- will have plenty of responsibility, and raises the question of if and when the New Mexico product, who moved to Mexico as a teenager and represented Mexico at the under-23 level, will get a shot.

 



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
What They're Saying: John Molinaro    
"Going to games and trekking up to the team's training facility in north Toronto to cover ...
U.S. Awards: Nominees set in five categories    
U.S. Soccer has announced the nominees for its 2016 U.S. Soccer Player of the Year awards ...
What They're Saying: Bob Bradley    
"I'm still confident. I think we have made progress, but it's up to us to prove ...
MLS Awards: Giovinco and Hedges repeat Best XI picks    
Three teams each landed two players on the MLS Best XI. Supporters Shield winner FC Dallas ...
MLS Moves: Atlanta United signs Almiron as its No. 10     
Another vital piece has been added as Atlanta United prepares for its first season in MLS ...
MLS Moves: USL MVP Okoli signs with NYCFC    
Though it is well-stocked with attacking firepower, New York City FC has signed a goalscorer to ...
NASL: Decision day arrives for ailing Division 2 league    
Players and staff of clubs in the six-year-old North American Soccer League should learn their fate ...
Video Pick: Ridiculous red-card meltdown     
MSV Duisburg's Baris Ozbek took swings at half the players on Sportfreunde Lotte and stamped on ...
MLS Cup: Remaining tickets sell out in three minutes    
Major League Soccer announced that tickets for Saturday's MLS Cup between Toronto FC and the Seattle ...
What They're Saying: Chapecoense mourner Claudiane Penegalli     
"It creates indignation because it was a human failure. It wasn't a problem with nature, with ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives