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Changes in order on U.S. backline
by Paul Kennedy, October 11th, 2010 8:48PM

TAGS:  men's national team


[USA-COLOMBIA] After Carlos Bocanegra, Steve Cherundolo has been granted permission to return to Europe, leaving the USA without its two starting outside backs for Tuesday's friendly against Colombia at PPL Park in Chester, Pa. (TV: ESPN2, Galavision, live, 8 p.m. ET).

Bocanegra and Cherundolo returned to St. Etienne of France and Hannover 96 of Germany, respectively.

Both clubs are challenging for the lead after battling relegation last season. St. Etienne is second in Ligue 1, behind Rennes, Bocanegra's former club. Hannover is third in the Bundesliga after seven games.

Jonathan Spector, who didn't play in the 2-2 tie with Poland in Chicago on Saturday night, and Heath Pearce, who joined the USA following FC Dallas' MLS game on Saturday, would be expected to get the starts on the outside.

U.S. coach Bob Bradley has Oguchi Onyewu and Maurice Edu, who started against Poland, and Clarence Goodson to choose from in the middle of the backline.

While Edu, who starts for Scottish champion Rangers in midfield,  has only limited experience at center back -- he played there at the 2008 Olympics -- his pace is an asset on a backline lacking in speed.

Edu played in midfield alongside Michael Bradley at the World Cup, but Jermaine Jones now appears to be a fixture in one of the two central midfield roles.

With Jay DeMerit unemployed and Onyewu unable to win playing time at AC Milan, that leaves big question marks in the middle of the defense.

The only other defender available for the Colombia game is 21-year-old outside back Eric Lichaj, who has yet to play a league game for Aston Villa. His selection would make him the most inexperienced player to earn a cap in more than a decade.

GOALKEEPERS (2): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton)
DEFENDERS (6): Clarence Goodson (IK Start), Eric Lichaj (Aston Villa), Oguchi Onyewu (AC Milan), Michael Parkhurst (FC Nordsjaelland), Heath Pearce (FC Dallas), Jonathan Spector (West Ham)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Alejandro Bedoya (Orebro), Michael Bradley (Borussia M'Gladbach), Maurice Edu (Rangers), Benny Feilhaber (Aarhus GF), Stuart Holden (Bolton Wanderers), Jermaine Jones (FC Schalke), Brek Shea (FC Dallas)
FORWARDS (3): Jozy Altidore (Villarreal), Clint Dempsey (Fulham), Eddie Johnson (Fulham)

GOALKEEPERS (3): Breiner Castillo (Inde. Medellin), Farid Mondragon (FC Cologne), David Ospina (Nice)
DEFENDERS (6): Pablo Armero (Udinese), Aquivaldo Mosquera (America Cali), Luis Amaranto Perea (Atletico Madrid), Juan David Valencia (Inde. Medellin), Mario Yepes (AC Milan), Camilo Zuniga (Napoli)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Juan Cuadrado (Udinese), Victor Ibarbo (Atletico Nacional), John Javier Restrepo (Inde. Medellin), John Valencia (Once Caldas), John Viafara (La Equidad)
FORWARDS (5): Falcao (Porto), Teofilo Gutierrez (Trabzonspor), Giovani Moreno (Racing Club), Adrian Ramos (Hertha Berlin), Darwin Quintero (Santos Laguna)

  1. Philippe Fontanelli
    commented on: October 12, 2010 at 8:35 a.m.
    While I see changes and transitions in the backline, I do not seee any variations in the midfield. Let's look at midfield candidates Maurice Edu, Benny Feilhaber, Stuart Holden, Jermaine Jones, Michael Bradley then adding the additional powerhouses of Donovan, Dempsey and Torres. That gives us 8 pretty good midfielders to juggle with. And it has been juggled with with, along with the addition of Clark and couple of others. Not to mention there are some others still waiting to get their opportunities. But I have not seen Bradley left out the starting line up or even being substituted to date, in order to try a different formation, a different game plan and different players. Why have everyone else have been tried at different position, shuffled to a different line up, left off from starting line up or being subtituted, but Bradley? Is he the "franchise" player? The star player? The deal breaker? Or what? Why is he the designated player that owns his position at all times?
  1. John Paz
    commented on: October 12, 2010 at 8:50 a.m.
    Antonio makes a great point here. And I think MB90 should definitely be considered for some pine riding considering he gave up about 5 errant passes last game. That's unusual for Mike, but if it had been JFT or Stuie they'd have been benched for sure. Do us all a favor Bob and volunteer to give Mikey some time to get familiar with the bench and we can all pretend it's not nepotism that he's one of three players to never have been subbed out, or left out of the starting XI.
  1. Fernando Paz
    commented on: October 12, 2010 at 11:56 a.m.
    Back to the old USSF good old BOYz buddy system. If you are not in good with the top brass then you are not playing. MB has a free ticket to the starting XI because dad is coach. Hopefully we get a new coach before 2013, there is still hope for a new coach. We are not going to go far with this coach. Hey John look for me on TV on friday at the SOUNDERS game I have from row seats again. GO SOUNDERS!
  1. I w Nowozeniuk
    commented on: October 12, 2010 at 12:28 p.m.
    BB goes with the's time to put in some new faces and give his son a for Edu having the kind of pace needed in the back, get real, pace is good, but, reading the game and executing is foremost.
  1. David Huff
    commented on: October 12, 2010 at 2:41 p.m.
    It would be nice to see someone else playing in the modfield besides MLS Bob's son all of the time, it smacks of nepotism. I guess that we shouldn't be surprised though given all the cronyism that exists between MLS and USSF.
  1. Kevin Leahy
    commented on: October 12, 2010 at 7:17 p.m.
    Why were Cherundolo and Bocanegra even there for the last match. Cherundolo has given good service, but they are not going to figure in down the line. It is time to move on. I have heard that some players get eliminated because they are not getting regular playing time, but that does seem to affect some players status. Now is the time to see what other players can do.
  1. Karl Ortmertl
    commented on: October 13, 2010 at 7:06 a.m.
    Bad defense is what kept us from beating Ghana in the World Cup. Bradley is a terrible defensive coach. The team loses its shape at the drop of a hat defensively and we're good for several defensive blunders a game. The poor coaching makes the mediocre defenders look even worse. This is a problem that can only be addressed by (1) removing Bradley and (2) making a concerted effort over the next four years to upgrade the talent pool on the back line.
  1. Tyler Dennis
    commented on: October 19, 2010 at 11:31 a.m.
    Bocanegra isn't a left back... did you see how Poland attacked him over and over the first half? He either needs to be moved to the CB position or dropped, he just doesn't have the pace anymore. I'd move Michael Bradley back there and put Jermain jones and Torres in the middle.

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