Well, we've had so much in 'n' out with the USMNT squad ahead of Saturday's crucial World Cup qualifier against Honduras I now want a cheeseburger animal-style. Obviously, the team will sorely miss Fabian Johnson and Bobby Wood (not to mention Eric Lichaj and DeAndre Yedlin), but the show must go on.
How exactly, you ask? I have a couple suggestions. First, let me say
that the empty bucket does seem desirable with this group. Asking
Christian Pulisic, arguably the prime playmaker on board, to run wide
from that set is not ideal. Perhaps against Spain or Argentina, that
could work. But in a game we'll prefer to control, it would be awkward
and potentially wasteful.
Just to remind, here is the roster after all the changes:
G - David Bingham, Tim Howard, Nick Rimando
D - DaMarcus Beasley, Matt Besler, John Anthony Brooks, Geoff Cameron, Omar Gonzalez, Michael Orozco, Tim Ream, Jorge Villafaña, Walker Zimmerman
M - Kellyn Acosta, Alejandro Bedoya, Michael Bradley, Jermaine Jones, Sacha Kljestan, Sebastian Lletget, Dax McCarty, Darlington Nagbe, Christian Pulisic, Graham Zusi
F - Jozy Altidore, Clint Dempsey, Jordan Morris, Chris Wondolowski
Yeah, US Soccer listed Zusi as a defender, but... c'mon. Do you want to see him saddled with containing Alberth Elis? Yeah, me neither.
So if we want to play this relatively straight and balanced, looking to take advantage of as much on-field familiarity/connectivity as possible, we could trot out something like this:
Then again, if we wish to go for a dynamic group that can go directly for the jugular...
However, I'd opt for something in between, like this...
This way, guys like Morris and Kljestan can be emergency attack subs. Anyway you slice it, the team still has plenty of ways to go, in spite of the key absences.
we also need to keep an eye on Brooks' knee. If he isn't fully fit, I'd go with a straight Besler switch and not fret much. Like I said... this is our deepest selection ever.
- Greg Seltzer