The United States will host Turkey at the Red Bull Arena on Sunday, June 1, 2014 (11:00 AM Pacific) and there are so many talking points leading up to this game. The elephant in the room seems to still be Landon Donovan’s omission from the squad. While the whole country seems to still be shell shocked by this decision, I think we’re forgetting the most important thing, how will we fare with the 23 that are still on the roster. This being our 2nd to last competitive match before the World Cup, Klinsmann needs to start solidifying a starting group or at least a top 14 players that can gel together.
In our last friendly a few days ago, we were missing our captain. We played a sub-par team but in the first half especially, lacked a cutting edge. Would Clint Dempsey provide us with that extra gear we need? Would he play up top or in the hole behind the striker? I ask myself these things as I sit and sip my morning coffee, but like any response to a tough question, there’s no simple answer.
With Chris Wondolowski letting two very good chances go, I personally was left dreaming of what Captain America (Clint Dempsy) would have done with those opportunities. And yes I will hence forth refer to Clint Dempsey as Captain America. Michael Bradley, who at club level has generally been deployed in a holding central midfield role, has been given more freedom to roam and create from further up the in midfield. He is someone who can control the flow of the game, make 100 5 yard passes without losing the ball, and can make some great runs into the box. But usually those runs come from deeper in the midfield. Starting your run from deep allows more room to gather speed, more room to see the field, and usually allows you to enter the box unseen or at least seen too late. I will need to see a little bit more cutting edge from him around the box before I’m convinced he can play that role. My next thought is what would Captain America do in the hole behind the striker. I’ts a role he has played before. He played it at Fulham and like Borat would say, he had “Great Success.”
Ideally I would love to see Jozy up top to give us the muscle and hold up play we need with Captain America playing behind the striker. He can create, he’s good in and around the box, and he can finish. This would allow Bradley to fill into his role of a deeper lying midfield where he can control the game, be bullish off the ball, and maybe even make those runs from deep into the box to get on the end of a cross.
One way or another Klinsmen will have to start solidifying his starting line-up or line-ups that can be used to greatest effect. Will Klinsmen take my advice? No…The answer is no, he will not be taking my advice because he is a World Cup winner and I coach youth soccer in Connecticut…but If he decides to go with the line-up I’m suggesting, I’ll be leaving my resume at the US Soccer office tomorrow.
TV Schedule: ESPN 2, & Univision.