[USA-TURKEY] After many starters sat out Tuesday's friendly against the Czech Republic, look for Coach Bob Bradley to
field close to his first team for Saturday's friendly against Turkey in Philadelphia (TV: ESPN2, Galavision, live, 2 pm ET).
“We’re pretty set with most of our lineup," he said. "Those decisions will be based on the need to see some different players and based on the fitness of others after the game the other day.”
Key decisions involve three players:
-- If Jonathan Spector plays, where will he play? He played at left back -- to mixed reviews -- for most of the year at West Ham United, but he was a right back for the USA at the 2009 Confederations Cup.
-- Will Maurice Edu remain in the starting lineup in midfield? He played the first half there against the Czech Republic before moving the middle of the backline, where he played at the 2008 Olympics. Edu is pushing Ricardo Clark for a starting job in midfield next to Michael Bradley.
-- Where will Clint Dempsey start? He started on the right side of midfield for most of 2009 but might be used up front in the position formerly held by Charlie Davies.
A largely pro-American crowd of more 50,000 fans is expected at Lincoln Financial Field for the send-off game. The fact that Tuesday's game in East Hartford, Conn., also drew a pro-American crowd was not lost on Landon Donovan.
"I was a little disappointed the other night not to be able to play in a game like that because it’s not too often we have such pro-American crowds," the U.S. star said. "When we play in qualifiers, we always have a large contingent of passionate American fans, but more often than not our opponents’ fans are more prevalent in the stadium. So [the other night] was cool and we expect the same again. There’s no better way to head to South Africa than with a home game like that.”
If we are to do well in SA, we need Torres in the middle. Neither Bradley, nor Edu, nor Clark is good enough on the ball to send first-class diagonal passes to the wings or through balls to the forwards. We loss something defensively, but our problem is usually not being able to score enough goals.